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Restoring a Windows 7 System Image from an External Hard Drive
April 1, 2010 5:41 PM   Subscribe

How do I restore a Windows 7 system image from an external hard drive?

Backstory: Just got a new hard drive for my (old) laptop. I put the factory image of Windows Vista on the new drive since I have Windows 7 upgrade disks and not the full version. Anyway, I immediately installed Windows 7 afterwards as a clean install. I was going to just reinstall all the drivers manually but for some reason I can't use my product key to activate. Windows 7 acts as if Vista was never installed on it.

Current Scenario: I've decided to try to restore a system image I created from my last clean install of Windows 7. It is about 8GB and resides on an external hard drive. I would like to restore that image but when I get to the Windows 7 restore process (after selecting it from the Control Panel and rebooting into it), I can't get it to access the external hard drive. It appears that it doesn't have the appropriate drivers. Checking in Windows shows that the external is using partmgr.sys and disk.sys. Can I copy these two files to a CD and present them to the restore utility, or will it need different drivers?

Will restoring this image even work, or will Windows 7 still think I have never had Vista? Alternatively, is there any way I can keep this current installation and activate it with my upgrade product key without going back and installing Vista again?

Thanks for any insight, Mefites!
posted by roomwithaview to Computers & Internet (1 answer total)
 
No takers? Ok, well I guess I was going about this the wrong way anyway. I ended up using one of the workarounds for using Windows 7 upgrade discs for clean installs. Easily found on the Goog (or Topeka, as it's calling itself today).
posted by roomwithaview at 9:14 PM on April 1, 2010


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