Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do you recover from a system image created using win 7

  1. #1

    How do you recover from a system image created using win 7


    I tell ya, windows 8 was designed from the ground up to be a system so counter-intuitive, it is counter-intuitive to it's own counter-intuitiveness. It seems that everytime I try to do something that was three clicks away in earlier systems, I have to jump through several hoops while juggling to get to a menu only to find that the only option missing is the one I'm looking for (the audience for this circus is MS). OK, so I have a 2 year old hp desktop computer with windows 8 64 bit system. I just did a complete restore using the factory DVDs that HP was kind enough to send me because none of my restore options that came on the hard drive worked. So I have a bare-bones windows 8 on my 1TB hard drive, those silly little partitions that do something, and a recovery partition. I created another partition with disk management to store files I want. So now I have C partition, D partition (this is the one I just created), the recovery partition, and all those stupid little partitions the windows geniuses decided were absolutely necessary in order to confuse the masses. Now I go to use windows update and sit through a few hours and it decides that something went wrong and reverted back. Hehe, did it again and it went ok. Did updates until it didn't have anymore to give me. Now I don't want to have to do this all over again, so I go online to find out how to create a disk image in windows 8. I don't want to save some files. I want to save the entire windows partitions which is now conveniently updated. I have my new partition with my pictures and videos and whatever. Everything is on my single 1TB hard drive. In the incredibly rare event that windows starts acting up and not responding as it should, I want to be able to click on something and make the windows partitions work as it did out of the box and not have to sit through updates afterwards. I don't want a partial recovery, I don't want a refresh, I don't know what viruses can be designed to do, don't really want to know either. I don't want the factory reset because I'll have to go through and update everything and change settings and reinstall programs which can easily take a full day. If something goes wrong, I want to click on this image and wait 20 minutes while it paints a whole new image over the hard drive partitions with my image and that's it.... I want everything on the same hard drive too. Yes, I know if my hard drive fails, I'll be up the creek without a paddle, but I have backups of files for that purpose. So anyway, I go online and find out about the "windows 7 file recovery" in windows 8 (mouse to top right of screen, click magnifying glass, search for "recovery" in search box, click on "settings", click on "windows 7 file recovery"). This looks good. It gives the option to create a system image and I do just that. It pre-selected C partition and two other little partitions. It asks where to save the image and I selected my D partition, which is on the same physical drive (my only hard drive in the computer). It gives a warning about how if the disk fails, I will lose my image. Thanks, now I know it knows what I want to do. It does it's thing and now I have an image in my D drive. So how on EARTH do I actually restore from this darn image? Tried lots of new hoops. Tried going online and find some deviations from what I did, seen this and that, seen screenshots from people where my menus are missing things from what I saw online. In Windows 7 file recovery, under "restore", it says "windows could not find a backup for this computer". I did not create a system repair disk. I click on "select another backup to restore files from" and it shows nothing but a network drive. I have no network. I am not connected to anything but the internet here at home. I should be able to find my darn image and restore from it. I can see my image in my D drive, can't do a darn thing with it though.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    I think this Line "I did not create a system repair disk" may be the answer to your question. Images to your bootable OS Drive are usually restored from Win PE environment. This is different than Restore to an earlier time. Which is still available in windows 8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I will try making a disk, but sheesh...."windows 7 file recovery" has a "restore" section which should list the image it itself created. I would imagine if it created the image, and gave me options of where to save it, it should be able to restore from it. Will try right now.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    FYI, some of the features which existed in Windows 8 were removed in Windows 8.1 and "windows 7 file recovery" is one of them
    8.1 features Microsoft removed from Windows 8.1 | PCWorld
    It is replaced by "File History". Since you've already have the Factory Image, you might want to update your current Windows 8 to 8.1 before doing any backup. see screenshot:

    Click image for larger version

    In addition, it is much much better if you use a third party freeware to do the image backup which will create a single image file.
    Macrium Reflect Free
    Macrium User Manual
    Install and backup to your D drive. Also use a USB Stick to create a rescue disk whick you can use to boot from and restore the image.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Tried Macrium (free version) and Easeus todo backup (free version). there are always bugs to them that don't let you restore from an image if the image is on the same disk. Tried several times, was just running around in circles making images and trying to restore from them until it gives a message something to the effect of "the destination drive is the same as bla bla bla, xxxx cannot continue.." I thank you for the 8.1 info.


    I made a recovery disk, only to find out that my desktop will not boot from the cd drive. A google on how to change that said to start with f10, disable secure boot, enable legacy and change boot order for cd drive. I did that, and the damn thing just goes to windows 8 again anyway. Just yesterday I was wrestling with this computer and I did get it to start with the factory dvd for the restore. Made the mistake of loading the default settings in bios this morning and now I cannot boot from cd. Those silly options of start with usb cd, usb dvd etc. on the "change pc settings" never freakin' worked for me. Just boots to windows 8 regardless. Anyhow, the GOOD NEWS is I stumbled upon the secret esoteric ritual to get my image to work. if you create a windows 8 image using the windows 7 file recovery and save it to another partition on the same physical hard drive as I did in my original post, you cannot use windows 7 file recovery again to recover from that image (to be able to do so would be logical, so they cut that nonsense out with windows 8). You have to hop on one leg, shut one eye while doing the following: mouse to top right of screen, click settings (gear), click "change pc settings", click general (on left), scroll down the right side to "advanced startup", click troubleshoot, click "advanced options", click "system image recovery", from there, you follow prompts...in my case, choose account to continue, enter password (if you have one) and continue, select a system image backup or use the preselected latest image shown. I just did a restore from my image. it took 11 minutes. I was worried that it would overwrite or somehow erase the D partition, but it did no such thing. Your image is solely used to re-image whatever partitions you saved on that image. My D partition on the same physical drive was left alone. SOOOOO.....If you want to save your updated windows partitions to another partition on your same hard drive, THIS is how you'd go about doing it using the windows 7 file recovery program. Hope this helps someone sometime. Perhaps it should be "stickied" somewhere. I tell ya, every google search was a little different and didn't help me because I was saving to the same hard drive as the image. Advantage of doing so is speed in recovery. 11 minutes!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    I only came across this solution because I was looking for a way to get the computer to start with the cd, going....hmmmm, what's this dead end link? ok, what's this dead end link? ok, restart, what's this? Hmmm.....BAM!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Tried Macrium (free version) and Easeus todo backup (free version). there are always bugs to them that don't let you restore from an image if the image is on the same disk. Tried several times, was just running around in circles making images and trying to restore from them until it gives a message something to the effect of "the destination drive is the same as bla bla bla, xxxx cannot continue.." I thank you for the 8.1 info.
    Perhaps you did not do it correctly. When running Macrium, click on the left pane as shown in the screenshot:
    Click image for larger version

    On the next screen, replace the drive letter, in your case it would be D:
    Click image for larger version

    Click Next then click Finish.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    there are always bugs to them that don't let you restore from an image if the image is on the same disk
    I would expect it to work that way. Restoring to the same disk the image is on could easily wipe out the disk causing you to lose the image. It's like standing out on a limb and cutting it off closer to the tree. Wham! Ouch!

    Create the image to an external hard drive then restoring is easy and quick.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    It's like standing out on a limb and cutting it off closer to the tree.
    LOL! I've actually witnessed something like that happening!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    there are always bugs to them that don't let you restore from an image if the image is on the same disk
    I would expect it to work that way. Restoring to the same disk the image is on could easily wipe out the disk causing you to lose the image. It's like standing out on a limb and cutting it off closer to the tree. Wham! Ouch!

    Create the image to an external hard drive then restoring is easy and quick.
    Well, same physical disk, different partition. Image is not for the total disk. Very fast that way. Connecting a usb hard drive on this computer is also hit or miss for some forsaken reason. Nothing seems to be straight-up plug and play anymore. Boy was xp awesome. Thanks guys for the responses.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

How do you recover from a system image created using win 7
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