Applying a backup without an OS running

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  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
       #1

    Applying a backup without an OS running


    Hey all,

    I have managed to run into a problem that I needed some help with addressing in order to not lose my data. To give a bit of background, my laptop has 2 internal hard drives, 1 is my main/primary drive which I used for day to day operation and the other was just a backup drive which has a system image of my system.

    My main drive failed, and after many horrifying clicking, scratching and high pitch squeals coming from the drive, I can only assume it has failed mechanically and isn't some kind of virus. So now I'm currently left with only my internal backup drive with a system image on it.

    I was hoping to use this backup drive as my new primary drive, however I want to keep the files on the backup drive. I checked with my Hirens Boot CD and saw that my backup drive contains everything my other hard drive had, including the operating system contained within the Windows backup folder.

    Normally for this I would install windows on another hard drive and then restore my files with the system image. However my laptop doesn't have a system restore disc or a copy of windows, it instead came with partitions on the hard drive which requires erasing my backup and consequently losing all my data.

    I finally ask the question, is it possible to use the files currently stored on the backup drive without having to resort to buying a new hard drive to copy the files across and then partitioning my backup drive?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 16,278
    W10Prox64
       #2

    Aerodynamix said:
    Hey all,

    I have managed to run into a problem that I needed some help with addressing in order to not lose my data. To give a bit of background, my laptop has 2 internal hard drives, 1 is my main/primary drive which I used for day to day operation and the other was just a backup drive which has a system image of my system.
    I assume this is a "Windows-made Image" and not a 3rd party like Macrium Reflect?

    Aerodynamix said:
    My main drive failed, and after many horrifying clicking, scratching and high pitch squeals coming from the drive, I can only assume it has failed mechanically and isn't some kind of virus. So now I'm currently left with only my internal backup drive with a system image on it.
    Yep, sounds like a mechanical failure.

    Aerodynamix said:
    I was hoping to use this backup drive as my new primary drive, however I want to keep the files on the backup drive. I checked with my Hirens Boot CD and saw that my backup drive contains everything my other hard drive had, including the operating system contained within the Windows backup folder.
    Excellent!

    Aerodynamix said:
    Normally for this I would install windows on another hard drive and then restore my files with the system image. However my laptop doesn't have a system restore disc or a copy of windows, it instead came with partitions on the hard drive which requires erasing my backup and consequently losing all my data.
    It's okay. You can download a W10 ISO from MS TechBench and reinstall (clean install) the OS that way.

    Aerodynamix said:
    I finally ask the question, is it possible to use the files currently stored on the backup drive without having to resort to buying a new hard drive to copy the files across and then partitioning my backup drive?
    Okay you lost me here. You don't want 2 HDDs anymore? I would replace the failed HDD and install W10 onto it, then recover your image to it.

    EDIT: p.s. Hard Disk Sentinel is free on Bits du Jour today - might want to grab that for future....
    Oh BTW - Welcome to Tenforums!
      My Computer


  3. whs
    Posts : 1,935
    Windows 7
       #3

    If you first want to copy the data from the backup drive to an external drive, you can use this procedure:

    Emergency Kit - save your files from a dead OS - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Hey, I appreciate the quick response simrick :)

    simrick said:
    I assume this is a "Windows-made Image" and not a 3rd party like Macrium Reflect?
    Yes, it's the windows made system image using the backup utility.

    simrick said:
    Okay you lost me here. You don't want 2 HDDs anymore? I would replace the failed HDD and install W10 onto it, then recover your image to it.
    I'm looking to avoid spending money on another hard drive. I'm not planning to use my laptop for much longer as I will be buying a new computer in a couple of months. The data on my hard drive doesn't contain anything irreplaceable, it's just a big inconvenience for me to have to reinstall all the programs I had installed.

    So, in short I'm looking for a way to use the files on the system image on my backup hard drive without buying another hard drive.

    simrick said:
    EDIT: p.s. Hard Disk Sentinel is free on Bits du Jour today - might want to grab that for future....
    Oh BTW - Welcome to Tenforums!
    Thanks for the link, beats the bloatware Toshiba HDD monitor I was using before.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 16,278
    W10Prox64
       #5

    Aerodynamix said:
    Hey, I appreciate the quick response simrick :)



    Yes, it's the windows made system image using the backup utility.



    I'm looking to avoid spending money on another hard drive. I'm not planning to use my laptop for much longer as I will be buying a new computer in a couple of months. The data on my hard drive doesn't contain anything irreplaceable, it's just a big inconvenience for me to have to reinstall all the programs I had installed.

    So, in short I'm looking for a way to use the files on the system image on my backup hard drive without buying another hard drive.



    Thanks for the link, beats the bloatware Toshiba HDD monitor I was using before.

    I think I may have an answer for you.....

    There's a WinPESE special Rescue ISO one of our forum members has developed. It is bootable, and contains some additional software on it, including a partition manager. So, it boots into something like a portable, abbreviated W10 OS, where you can partition your backup HDD, then from there, you'll have to play with it. I don't know if you can get the Windows Recovery environment to work from within it or not. If you can, then restore your image to your new partition. If not, then clean install W10 to the new partition and recover your image afterwards.

    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    Maybe you can accomplish this using the tool above....let me know what you come up with.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    simrick said:
    I think I may have an answer for you.....

    There's a WinPESE special Rescue ISO one of our forum members has developed. It is bootable, and contains some additional software on it, including a partition manager. So, it boots into something like a portable, abbreviated W10 OS, where you can partition your backup HDD, then from there, you'll have to play with it. I don't know if you can get the Windows Recovery environment to work from within it or not. If you can, then restore your image to your new partition. If not, then clean install W10 to the new partition and recover your image afterwards.

    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    Maybe you can accomplish this using the tool above....let me know what you come up with.
    There doesn't seem to be enough room on the hard drive to have both the image and recovered system as well. It seems as if the only way is as you said, to make a partition on the hard drive and install windows 7 (original OS I have a serial for), and from there recover the image. I'm not sure how to make this work without it erasing the entire drive. Oh and by the way, thanks for the help with this I really do appreciate it.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 17,344
    Windows 11 Pro
       #7

    If you don't have at least about 120% of the image size as free space on that hard drive, your only choices are to either get another drive to restore to, or copy the image to another medium to restore it from.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 16,278
    W10Prox64
       #8

    Aerodynamix said:
    There doesn't seem to be enough room on the hard drive to have both the image and recovered system as well. It seems as if the only way is as you said, to make a partition on the hard drive and install windows 7 (original OS I have a serial for), and from there recover the image. I'm not sure how to make this work without it erasing the entire drive. Oh and by the way, thanks for the help with this I really do appreciate it.
    I don't understand why you would install W7. The W10 ISO will accept a W7 key upon installation. If you already had W10 on the machine, then no key is needed. One W10 is activated on a machine, it can be reinstalled as many time as you want. The activation is stored on the MS servers based on key system architecture.

    The OS and the image can not be on the same partition. Windows sees a partition as a drive, so if you partition your drive in two, Windows will see 2 drives: one with the OS and one with the image.

    How big is your drive and how much free space is on it?
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    simrick said:
    I don't understand why you would install W7. The W10 ISO will accept a W7 key upon installation. If you already had W10 on the machine, then no key is needed. One W10 is activated on a machine, it can be reinstalled as many time as you want. The activation is stored on the MS servers based on key system architecture.
    I wasn't aware of that. I will be installing windows 10 then.

    simrick said:
    The OS and the image can not be on the same partition. Windows sees a partition as a drive, so if you partition your drive in two, Windows will see 2 drives: one with the OS and one with the image.

    How big is your drive and how much free space is on it?
    Alright, I probably should have mentioned this but I have a 500gb drive which currently has 50gb free, which seems like enough to install an OS. In Hirens Boot CD, I was thinking of making a partition separate to the system image to comfortably fit windows on, and then installing windows from a USB onto the partition. After windows 10 is installed, I would then run the system image which should restore my system back to normal with no partitions and such. Any issues with this plan? My only fear is that I'm not sure if windows is able to do the recovery on the 1 drive, because otherwise after I won't have enough room to have a partition with the restored files and the system image.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 16,278
    W10Prox64
       #10

    Aerodynamix said:
    I wasn't aware of that. I will be installing windows 10 then.



    Alright, I probably should have mentioned this but I have a 500gb drive which currently has 50gb free, which seems like enough to install an OS. In Hirens Boot CD, I was thinking of making a partition separate to the system image to comfortably fit windows on, and then installing windows from a USB onto the partition. After windows 10 is installed, I would then run the system image which should restore my system back to normal with no partitions and such. Any issues with this plan? My only fear is that I'm not sure if windows is able to do the recovery on the 1 drive, because otherwise after I won't have enough room to have a partition with the restored files and the system image.
    If I understand you correctly, it won't work. As NavyLCDR said, with a Windows-made image the partition you are restoring to has to be larger than your image. And, you can not restore an image to the same partition. In other words, once the restore is completed, the partition holding the original image must still be intact.

    So, if your HDD is 500GB and your image is 200GB, you could partition off 260+GB, clean install W10 onto it, then run recovery to restore the image. If your image is greater than (roughly) 200GB, it can't be done on that drive and you'll have to bite the bullet and buy something.
      My Computer


 

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