After experiencing some malfunctions in my hard drive I decided to buy a more reliable one before my existing hard drive completely died. I've used Windows 8.1's backup and recovery tools to create an image of my existing hard drive in the hopes that I can restore this image to my new drive. The image was saved to a Seagate FreeAgent Desk external hard drive.
I've swapped the hard drive out now and put my Windows 8.1 recovery media USB drive in to begin the repair by clicking 'Repair your computer'. I then went to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Image Recovery as I'm supposed to in order to restore this image. I then select my operating system, which is currently Windows 7 (I've installed Windows 7 temporarily on my new hard drive whilst trying to get this sorted). All whilst this is going on my external hard drive is plugged in to my PC, however at this point the recovery settings won't find a system image. I'm getting the following message:
'Windows cannot find a system image on this computer
Attach the backup hard disk or insert the final DVD from a backup set and click Retry. Alternatively, close this dialog for more options.'
Clicking retry doesn't seem to do anything, so I click Cancel and go through and select the location of the backup. The external hard drive does not appear on the list. I suspect this may be because the recovery environment has not loaded the drivers to use the external hard drive, so I click Advanced to try and find them and no matter what I try I can't get this to work.
I've checked what driver my external hard drive is using in Device Manager and it's using the disk.sys and prtmgr.sys drivers in C:\Windows\system32\drivers, but trying to select these to load brings up a message saying that these do not contain information about my hardware, so I'm a little stuck.
Any advice/help on this? Ideally I'd like to use this backup so that I don't have to purchase another Windows 8.1 license and start over from scratch.