Help needed to recover a windows image.

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  1. Posts : 9
    Win 7 and Win 10
       01 Mar 2018 #1

    Help needed to recover a windows image.

    Hello folks,
    I am a windows insider and the last build completely screwed up my computer. The screen kept flashing so fast that it could not load the login wallpaper.

    Having had this problem with WI before, I am quite fastidious in making windows system images and as I had only done it two days before the problem, I thought all would be well. It wasn't

    Having gone through the whole windows repair sequences, I could not get my machine back to the previous build. The error message that I got was that the backup that I had made was incompatible with the drive firmware even though I had backed up to another drive on the same machine.

    I reformatted the C drive in disk part to clean it and finally loaded a clean copy of Win 10. However, it is imperative that I can recover my old files and apps as some of them are irreplaceable including my medication regime for chronic lung disease.

    I know that the information is still there as I can load it onto a virtual drive.

    What I would like to know is can I copy those files across to my C drive and then manually load all of the .reg files that I can find on the backup and will they need to be manually placed in the appropriate folder as listed in explorer or will they automatically go to the right place?

    I am sorry that this post is somewhat long winded but I really do need to recover these files and hope that someone can help me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    01 Mar 2018 #2

    Most if not all of what you are wanting to do probably can be done, I don't know Windows 10, only Windows 7. Is there a local computer software guru in your immediate area who can look over your shoulder and walk you through this?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,837
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1809 - 17763.134 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       01 Mar 2018 #3

    Can you access the data on the Virtual Drive? If so you should be able to save the data out to an external drive - obviously you would need to set-up your virtual device for external access - beyond my skillset but we do have some Virtualization gurus in the Virtualisation forum. if you wish I could move this thread to the forum for you and hopefully, someone can help with the recovery
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 9
    Win 7 and Win 10
    Thread Starter
       01 Mar 2018 #4

    Yes please, thank you very much for your trouble
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,251
    Windows 10 Pro
       02 Mar 2018 #5

    @Pader, could you please tell which program you used to create system image, the one that fails to restore? If possible, could you also post a screenshot showing the backup image file's Properties window (right click the file, select Properties).

    In case you need help in making and posting screenshots, see these tutorials:

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 9
    Win 7 and Win 10
    Thread Starter
       02 Mar 2018 #6

    Hello Kari, thank you for responding.

    The back up that I have is actually a Windows system image. It appears to be all there as I can load it into a virtual disk and see all of the files therein.

    I have uploaded the files that you asked for in this post together with a screen shot of my reflect page shewing the layout of my drives. I have copied the C drive into the first partition of my external drive as a safeguard when I start to move things around. The C drive looks complicated because the only way I could load windows 10 without a registration key was via a Windows 7 for which I had an actual key. The original Windows 10 loaded was an OEM version.

    If it is of any interest, I am making a second post with screenshots of all the .reg files that were loaded into the virtual disk from the Windows System image. There are five of them achieved by scrolling down the search page so please realise their is an overlap in some cases.

    I look forward to see if you can help me,

    Thanks in anticipation.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot (3).png   Screenshot (4).png   Screenshot (5).png  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 9
    Win 7 and Win 10
    Thread Starter
       02 Mar 2018 #7

    This is the second post with screenshots of all the .reg files available on the Image file. I had, before starting this thread, toyed with the idea of loading the .reg files individually but I do not really know what I am doing so, hence, the backup of my existing drive so that at least I will not have to reload a basic Win 10.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot (6).png   Screenshot (7).png   Screenshot (8).png   Screenshot (9).png   Screenshot (10).png  

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,251
    Windows 10 Pro
       02 Mar 2018 #8


    First the things I do not understand:
    • Why do you want to import registry from the old installation? You understand that even if you are now using the exactly same user name and password, it's still two different users. Importing application data and to some extent registry settings with different user security identifier can cause major issues.
    • You told that your image backup was made with Windows native imaging tool, yet you tell you have Macrium Reflect. In first post you told that restoring the image failed. Question is, did you try to restore your image with Macrium? That would naturally not work. A Windows System Image made with Windows native imaging tool can only be restored with the same tool.

    In my opinion the best you could do is simply forget importing registry and restore your personal files like documents, pictures, videos, music and such from the backup image to new installation. See this tutorial, the procedure is easy: Restore Windows Backup in Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Posts : 9
    Win 7 and Win 10
    Thread Starter
       02 Mar 2018 #9

    The whole story is that the computer system that failed was on a new computer that I bought several months ago because earlier versions of windows insider failed frequently and left me without a working computer. I somehow got into the habit of using the new computer most of the time and when I had to do some work on my home, I only had room for the one computer and so I continued with the new computer and put the older one aside for the time being.

    A free version of Macrium was installed on the older computer and I archived my files to the newer one but on the new computer, windows system image appeared to be doing well enough making automatic backups on the new computer and so I continued to use it. However, as I did not have the older computer in use, I archived my C Drive to another drive on the new machine.

    When I had the crash on my new computer, I could not access the drives on my newer computer and so I used a Macrium rescue disk to boot up the new computer and found that the Windows System Image appeared to be intact.

    I had already tried to revive the system on the crashed computer using a Windows 10 installation disk and went through the whole menu in the repair section including system restore and restore the System Image. I got an error message when trying to restore the Image for reasons that although the backup had only been made two days before the crash, Windows reported that the backup was incompatible with the Hard Drive firmware. I used diskpart to try to alter the firmware on the C Drive but the BIOS of the new computer did not have facility to change the drive from mpt to mbr and my only option then was to make a clean install but even then I had trouble. I did not have an installation key for Windows 10 because the original version was an OEM version.

    I finally had to install an older copy of Windows 7 because I did have a key for that and from there was able to boot a new installation of Windows 10 from within a running Windows installation. Strangely, the Windows 10 installation accepted my Windows 7 key even at this late date. That is also the reason for the peculiar layout of partitions on my C Drive

    After I had found that the Archive appeared to be intact, I downloaded a full trial version of Macrium after reading that it now had facility for operating with virtual drives. However, a later email from Macrium told me that though the Trial version had full functionality, it did not include the full virtual drive functions. I did manage to use Macrium to transfer the Archive to the C Drive but the operating system (boot files) was missing.

    The reason that I was thinking of transferring the registry was though I could access my text based files quite easily, I also have a large number of Autocad, Solidworks,Inventor files and various other special application files on it that would involve a considerable time to reinstall the applications again reinstate the settings that I had previously.

    In perhaps my naivety, I assumed that if all of the files were on the C Drive and the computer hardware was exactly identical to that previous to the crash, I might be able to reinstall the .reg files to fool the system into thinking that it was the same installation as it would have been if I had managed to restore the system from the backup.
    Had the Macrium app included the full virtual disk function, I was going to attempt to wipe the whole of the C drive partitions and try to install the complete archive to the C Drive again. That is why I did a backup (in Macrium) of the C Drive in the likelihood that I got the transfer all wrong, I could at least reinstate the new installation.

    I admit to being reticent to pay for the full version of Macrium. If I could guarantee that the additional function would restore my computer, I would be tempted to buy it but if it did not, I did not believe that the additional functions of the full programme would justify the cost to me.

    You have probably realised by now that I am not that conversant with computer technology. In fact, I had no inkling of virtual drives until I started trying to research a solution to my problem.

    I apologise that this post appears to have turned into a book, but I have tried to give your the whole background story
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,251
    Windows 10 Pro
       02 Mar 2018 #10

    My recommendation to you is to bite the bullet and reinstall your software on new installation. Your plan will simply not work. Several things are now against you like for instance a system image made from a BIOS / MBR system can't be restored to a UEFI / GPT system and vice versa, Macrium Reflect does not work with Windows Imaging tool image backups and so on.

    Reinstall software, get your personal data from that Windows system image following the instructions in tutorial I linked to in my previous post. Yes, it will take time but at the end you will have a working Windows 10 installation. Forget importing any registry settings from old installation.

    I know this is not the answer you wanted to get. However, this is in my opinion the best you can do.

    Last edited by Kari; 02 Mar 2018 at 20:35. Reason: Several typos
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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