windows 7 system recovery

I have a hard drive running windows 7 home premium that is about to go bad. I bought a 2nd hard drive as a replacement. I have only 2 sata cables at the moment so I can either have both hard drives hooked up or one hard drive and the dvd player. So I tried doing the following.

1) Connected: Problem hard drive and new hard drive.
Created a system image from windows. I did not create the system repair disc at the end of this process because the dvd player was not hooked up.
2) Connected: Problem hard drive and dvd player with blank disc inside.
Rebooted and created a system repair disc.
3) Connected: New hard drive and dvd player with system repair disc inside.
Rebooted into system repair disc. Got message "The version of the system recovery options is not compatible with the version of windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is compatible with this version of windows."

Question: Am i getting this message because I didn't create the system repair disc directly after step 1 or is there something else going on here?
opikeAsked:
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
You're over-complicating things.
Use Macrium Reflect Free to clone your hard drives, then remove the bad hdd.

DO NOT start Windows with both drives attached after the clone was completed successfully .

HTH,
Dan
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CompProbSolvCommented:
Drive manufacturers (at least WD and Seagate) typically have a free utility from Acronis you can download from their site to do the disk copying.  This would be the same approach as Dan is suggesting, though with different software.

His suggestion about not booting with both drives after the clone is a good one.  It can complicate matters.

I think that the drive-to-drive copy is a good choice here.  An alternative is a full backup to an external drive.

Keep in mind that if your original drive has unreadable sectors with live data, the copy process will be far more challenging.
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nobusCommented:
i also think you have other options :
most branded PC's - and laptops, do have a factory reset partition
use that - after a backup of course.
if you want to use the NEW drive, you can clone your disk drive; best from a bootable cd - but i agree you should use then an usb CD drive, in order to have 2 sata cables free.
personally, i use the free Paragon software for this : http://www.paragon-software.com/free/      

the other option is to use a PC with more sata connectors, or ask a shop to do it for you

***you may be able to repair the FIRST drive with HDDRegenerator  (not free) :
http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html      

it repaired many drives for me; you can run the free trial irst - and see if it finds and repairs a first bad sector - then buy it
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You can always boot the machine from USB stick where you could burn the ISO image of Win 7 Recovery Disk.
Or you can put the second HDD into USB Docking station and perform clone of the system drive to it using DriveImage XML.
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