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  1. #1
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    Replacing hard drive

    My sister’s computer is receiving the message
    “windows detected a hard disk problem”
    She recently moved and lost all of disks that came with computer
    I have made system repair disk and a system backup using the program
    that comes with the Windows 7 operating system.

    A computer store that repairs computers tells me that if they install a new hard disk
    That the backup I have made will not work for the software programs on the machine.
    They say I will need to reinstall all programs with disks that came with the software.

    Is this correct? I thought the backup I made was a clone of the hard drive and I could
    Use the windows 7 restore procedure to install everything on the new hard drive.

    The computer is as follows
    Asustek Computer Inc
    ASUS Desktop PC
    CM5571
    64 bit
    Operating system is Windows 7 home

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    A Windows backup (using the built-in tools) isn't a complete copy of the drive; it doesn't include your data. It is generally enough to fix Windows if something gets messed up, but it doesn't include your data.

    If you could do a complete backup with a standard backup program, you will then be able to do a restore onto the new drive. Of course, you'll need an external hard drive to do the backup to.

    You could download and use Easeus Todo Backup to do a backup of the current hard drive -- it's free.

    The software will probably allow you to make an emergency boot disk (I'm not sure what it's called in Easeus). Make sure to do that before swapping out the hard drive. The emergency boot disk will let you boot up after putting in the new hard drive. (Without this disk, you won't be able to boot the computer into Windows.) Once you have done that, you can then restore your backup onto the new hard drive.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-11-09 at 08:37.

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  4. #3
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    I would like to add that when you mentioned "I thought the backup I made was a clone of the hard drive" there is a difference between a clone and a system image backup. It's a good thing though that you do have a system image backup.

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  6. #4
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    I am confused.
    The Windows 7 procedure for backing up says the contents of backup contains
    “Files in libraries and personal folders for all users and a system image”
    The system image does not include all programs on the computer?

  7. #5
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I wouldn't depend on the Windows built-in backup tool to backup everything.

    Also, where did you put the backup? On the same drive as what you are backing up? That's the drive that's about to fail, and that is coming out of the machine.

  8. #6
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    I hope I can clear up the confusion.

    "A computer store that repairs computers tells me that if they install a new hard disk
    That the backup I have made will not work for the software programs on the machine.
    They say I will need to reinstall all programs with disks that came with the software."

    NOTE: This is relative to the built-in Win7 system image backup
    The computer store is correct because it relates to the software programs, not your individual data.
    For example if Microsoft Office 20xx is being used, that's the software program that needs to be reinstalled.
    If you saved your data at the same time you created the system image backup, your data will still be there but it isn't able to be used without reinstalling the software program.

    See if these instructions are helpful Windows 7: Backup User and System Files
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...tem-files.html

    Jim mentioned using a 3rd party system image backup and I agree with that
    It hasn't concerned me yet because I have my software programs handy but I should check whether or not my 3rd party Macrium Reflect system image backup would include the software program.

    I'd also like to mention I also save my data separately in addition to counting on a system image backup.

  9. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Cmptrgy,

    Let's clarify a few terms.

    Image Backup - An exact copy (for the most part) of the entire contents of a drive or partition.

    File Backup - A copy of a set of files.

    Ok now that we're working from the same set of definitions. If you have an Image of a drive you should be able to install a new drive and restore that image to the new drive and boot w/o much of a problem. You man need to resize the partitions to fit (going to a smaller drive, like an SSD) or enlarge them (going to a larger drive) to use all the space available.

    Now I'm not conversant with peculiarities of Windows Backup/Image software as I have always used third party software (Acronis then Macrium). I've restored images many times to different hard disks and even to entirely different hardware (requires loading new drivers). So any repair shop that says you have to reinstall your software if you have an image is not a place I would get any work done.

    If all you have is File Backups then yes you will have to reinstall your software as you will be missing the Registry where all the Installation process stores the data the program needs to operate correctly (with the exception of Portable versions of software, e.g. those that don't get installed just copied to your hard drive like SysInternals or NirSoft utilities).

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I wouldn't depend on the Windows built-in backup tool to backup everything.

    Also, where did you put the backup? On the same drive as what you are backing up? That's the drive that's about to fail, and that is coming out of the machine.
    I put the system image and the backup on an external hard drive.
    To put the image and backup on the computer I boot the computer from a CD
    A procedure comes up that lets me restore the image and backup to the hard drive from the external hard drive.

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Cmptrgy,

    Let's clarify a few terms.

    Image Backup - An exact copy (for the most part) of the entire contents of a drive or partition.

    File Backup - A copy of a set of files.

    Ok now that we're working from the same set of definitions. If you have an Image of a drive you should be able to install a new drive and restore that image to the new drive and boot w/o much of a problem. You man need to resize the partitions to fit (going to a smaller drive, like an SSD) or enlarge them (going to a larger drive) to use all the space available.

    Now I'm not conversant with peculiarities of Windows Backup/Image software as I have always used third party software (Acronis then Macrium). I've restored images many times to different hard disks and even to entirely different hardware (requires loading new drivers). So any repair shop that says you have to reinstall your software if you have an image is not a place I would get any work done.

    If all you have is File Backups then yes you will have to reinstall your software as you will be missing the Registry where all the Installation process stores the data the program needs to operate correctly (with the exception of Portable versions of software, e.g. those that don't get installed just copied to your hard drive like SysInternals or NirSoft utilities).

    HTH
    Is the Image backup and a system image the same thing?
    Windows 7 says it saves a system image.
    I think you are telling me that I can use the windows system image
    and the files backup on the new hard drive and that all of programs
    windows office, office excel 2003 ect will run OK.

  13. #10
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dad in Midland View Post
    Is the Image backup and a system image the same thing?
    Yes, they are the same thing. As I stated I'm not familiar with the builtin windows tools for backup but I see no reason that an Image would not be like any other image. Maybe someone more familiar with the specific windows tool will chime in here. One thing you want to be sure of is that you have a BOOTABLE Recovery Media (USB or CD/DVD) that has the Windows Recovery Evironment installed! With out this there is NO way to restore your image.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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    I am not a fan of any native MS backup. W7 backup can back up what you want it to, but not by default. Use an imaging program (macrium reflect or acronis in my case) and something else for important files. All on external, not normally connected drives. not 100% but 2 9s. If you have critical data needs that would be another post...
    David

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    The advice you are getting is all good, but the easiest way to make an exact copy of your drive might be to clone it to a new drive.
    There is a procedure for doing this in the Maintenance Lounge, it's a sticky called "Adding new hard drive and cloning all files to it"

    Hope that helps,
    rstew

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dad in Midland View Post
    I put the system image and the backup on an external hard drive.
    To put the image and backup on the computer I boot the computer from a CD
    A procedure comes up that lets me restore the image and backup to the hard drive from the external hard drive.
    Sounds like you're just about there. Have you successfully restored the backup you made to the new hard drive?

  18. #14
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    According to http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...tem-files.html the Windows 7 built-in system image backup: that's the issue
    "Windows Backup won't back up the following items:
    •Program files (files that define themselves as part of a program in the registry when the program is installed)."
    --- I believe the OP has used the Windows7 built in program
    Yes the system image will be recovered but the various programs themselves will still need to be reinstalled.
    --- If I'm wrong, I'd be glad to know
    That is why I prefer 3rd party programs because as far as I know they will do it all

    "If all you have is File Backups" does not apply to me: I do both. System image backup plus file backups. It's never happened to me but I've seen system image backups fail and even a computer repair shop couldn't restore some of my friends computers and their data from whatever problem their computers had. But that's another story.

    Dad in Midland, can you use a 3rd party program to create a system image backup and their boot disk in your case?

  19. #15
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    I agree with RetiredGeek...

    Visitors and forum members need to recognize the difference between simply backing up some of their files on the one hand, and creating an image of their entire hard drive on the other hand.
    No one has to use a 3rd party tool -- creating an image, and restoring that image, can be accomplished completely through the Windows 7 built-in software.

    A Windows 7 procedure to create disk images, "Windows 7: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup" can be found here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ge-backup.html
    I have used the native Windows 7 software successfully in the past; it works.

    That said however, truth be known, I happen to prefer a 3rd party tool (as do several of our WindowsSecrets forum members).
    There are both free, and commercial, 3rd party tools available if you don't like Windows 7's built-in imaging software for some reason.

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