Solved Trying to salvage info from Laptop HDD.

Wd Western digital caviar blue wd5000aak...
October 11, 2013 at 22:34:08
Specs: windows 7, 4gb
How to read windows 7 from external HDD. So I have a Laptop that the motherboard went bad. I installed the HDD on another (different model) HP Laptop and it booted. I retrieved the files that I installed . But I want to retrieve the files and programs pre-installed from HP. So I got an external HDD enclosure but it won't boot the same way using my Desktop. I can see all the files but can't figure out how to transfer them. Basically I want to use this Laptop HDD for now as extra storage (format it) and later if and when I get a motherboard install the factory programs back on the HDD to use in the original Laptop. Is this possible and how do I do it? THANKS

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✔ Best Answer
October 12, 2013 at 17:33:35
When a program is installed, special files are put into the system's registry telling exactly how to open and run a program, where to find all of the parts of it, and what rights/access the program has to system resources. These would not be there if you just copied the program over to the other system and they cannot be copied from one system (if you could find the right ones) since they are generated (negotiated) between the installer and the system.

The best way to put back a saved image made by Windows Back up (reimaging) to the same or new drive, is to use the Windows 7 Repair Disk that you make right in the Back up section of Windows. This is easy to make and a blank CDr is very inexpensive today.

An installed copy of windows 7 will generally boot only to the exact system which it was installed into. If you have another system that happens to be close enough to the original system that it will boot, you are in luck in that you can create the drive image and save it without using an aftermarket program and on an independent system. During this boot on the other computer, make sure that you are completely disconnected from the internet since if the system attempts to do a Windows Update, you will probably have a special warning from Microsoft that your system is not authentic and from that point forward you may always have problems with the installation, even after it is reinstalled in the original system (Microsoft or Hp would have to sort it out for you). You could boot to a DVD or USB drive if you were running a Linux program (Live Linux) but Microsoft requires that the system be installed permanently to a fixed internal drive in order to boot.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
October 12, 2013 at 01:03:36
I don't think you can achieve that. If the recovery disks from the original HP laptop were created as they were supposed to then that is all that would be needed. Installed programs etc cannot be extracted for later re-installation. If you use this drive as desired then all the programs including the operating system will be lost.
If you intend repairing the laptop by getting a replacement motherboard then you should shelve the drive until then.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#2
October 12, 2013 at 02:36:11
So I found a program mentioned on Tom's Hardware that would make my desktop open the windows 7 ( PWBoot ) but since I'm fairly new to PCs I'm not sure if I feel comfortable using it. Reading the instructions they talked about backing up files but I didn't know if they meant the ones on the laptop HDD or my main desktop. Have you every used that program? PS side note on the HDD enclosure. Got it from a local computer store an after getting ready to put it together I had to re-drill the holes for the screws they forgot to drill and had to install some padding to keep the HDD from flopping around in the case. CHEAP CHINA JUNK!!!!!

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#3
October 12, 2013 at 05:10:04
The last part first: You may have purchased an external case for a 3.5" drive and putting in your 2.5" drive was not intended by them. A different case choice would be preferred.

It is true that you cannot transfer OS and programs from a hard drive to another system (you can of course save your personal files).
What is also true, if you can boot to the drive in the other computer (internal), then you can use the Windows 7 back up feature to make an image of the hard drive onto an external hard drive, or even a stack of DVD-r's, and a Windows 7 Repair Disk on a CDr and later restore this image onto the original system on a brand new hard drive. Warning: IF for any reason the image is not stored correctly, or the disk(s) are damaged in any way, you will loose the ability to restore it.
Better would be to make the image and repair disk an an insurance policy and then save the original drive in a safe place (or in the original system) without wiping it. Hard drives are not that expensive these days and if you really plan on restoring the computer, just purchase an external hard drive now and save the old one. Depending on the age of the computer, it may not pay to repair it if you are sure the motherboard is gone.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
October 12, 2013 at 10:38:53
The main reason you can't transfer programs is because necessary registry entries are created during install. There can also sometimes be files dotted around the system (not just the ones in more obvious places).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
October 12, 2013 at 14:28:55
The case I got is ==>BERGTEK Model # E25U2 (sata) and yes it is a 2.5" CHEAP CHINA JUNK!!!!! I will try your suggestion on the image back up. Now I do have a Windows 7 installation disk but not sure if that's the same disk you are talking about. After messing with the laptop HDD more today I was able to retrieve more files (17,846) to be exact. The Laptop is a HP 4530s (2011 model) so it is newer it's just finding spare cash to buy a MB. So you say I can't boot from a HDD, but have you ever used the program PWBoot? Do you think it will work? Thanks.


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#6
October 12, 2013 at 14:32:04
Thanks!! Why can't Windows programs be like picking up apples and putting them in any bucket you want to.

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#7
October 12, 2013 at 14:36:05
Err...because Windows is a more complex process.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#8
October 12, 2013 at 17:33:35
✔ Best Answer
When a program is installed, special files are put into the system's registry telling exactly how to open and run a program, where to find all of the parts of it, and what rights/access the program has to system resources. These would not be there if you just copied the program over to the other system and they cannot be copied from one system (if you could find the right ones) since they are generated (negotiated) between the installer and the system.

The best way to put back a saved image made by Windows Back up (reimaging) to the same or new drive, is to use the Windows 7 Repair Disk that you make right in the Back up section of Windows. This is easy to make and a blank CDr is very inexpensive today.

An installed copy of windows 7 will generally boot only to the exact system which it was installed into. If you have another system that happens to be close enough to the original system that it will boot, you are in luck in that you can create the drive image and save it without using an aftermarket program and on an independent system. During this boot on the other computer, make sure that you are completely disconnected from the internet since if the system attempts to do a Windows Update, you will probably have a special warning from Microsoft that your system is not authentic and from that point forward you may always have problems with the installation, even after it is reinstalled in the original system (Microsoft or Hp would have to sort it out for you). You could boot to a DVD or USB drive if you were running a Linux program (Live Linux) but Microsoft requires that the system be installed permanently to a fixed internal drive in order to boot.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
October 12, 2013 at 18:12:53
So you are saying I can make a Windows 7 Repair Disk? And if so exactly what blank disk do I use ie; dvd+r 4.7gb, cd+rw 4.7gb or a cd-r700mb etc. The biggest I see is the 4.7gb blank disk. Is that enough space? And about the Linux. I installed (linuxmint-15-cinnamon-dvd-64bit.iso) on another PC and ran along side of windows. But I was thinking about using this Laptop HDD 320gb with some type of OS. So are you saying that Linux can be ran from the USB on any PC from this Laptop HDD?

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#10
October 13, 2013 at 03:16:02
Hey Mr. Fingers. You helped me back on Sept. 27 when I was asking about buying this enclosure. I told you I had a WD1200u017-005 160gb, Factory made, with a short I think less that 12" cord and if I tried using a longer cord it wouldn't transfer data. But this cheap enclosure I got for $10 has a 30" long cord and works fine. Why?

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#11
October 13, 2013 at 05:45:46
#9: The Repair Disk can fit easily on a standard CD-r but can be created on any CD/DVD media you can write and read. It is not a Recovery Disk in that it does not contain an installable operating system, but contains tools and files that can perform a Start Up Repair, a System Restore (with restore files stored on your hard drive even if Windows cannot start due to software damage), and a ReImaging of a hard drive with an image stored on another drive (separate internal or external hard drive, or a stack of DVD's). This disk is easily made from the back up section and is accessed with a single click and a menu to follow.
Many manufactured systems will allow you to make ONE recovery disk which can reinstall your operating system as it was shipped from the factory (not as you personalized it). Refer to your manual for these details.
#10: This difference may be related to the design of the circuit board in the enclosure or may simply be the quality of the USB cord that was supplied (more likely). A third possibility may be that an older machine had a lower current output on its USB jacks and the one you are now using it on allows a higher current throughput. Either can explain a difference in the voltage drop, causing the device to not work.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#12
October 13, 2013 at 23:39:59
Hey can I still reply to you this way? I have another question.

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#13
October 14, 2013 at 08:56:19
Yep, keep going. These threads stay alive for months and whenever you come back anyone who has input already will be alerted.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#14
October 14, 2013 at 17:24:48
OK here's where I'm at. Installed the HDD from the HP Probook 4530s into a Toshiba L655D-S5050. It boots. Windows 7 / 64bit. Now I want to make a copy of the factory settings and installed programs. So at a later point I can reinstall this HDD back into the Probook if I get a motherboard and reinstall it back to the factory setup. I am going to format the HDD for now and install Linux and use it as a portable OS. This is where I get confused. Do I use, under Backup & Restore, (create a system image) - (create a repair disk) or (create a new, full backup)? I don't want to make a copy of anything except want it was like from the factory. I bought 9 / CD-R 700MB blank disk. So which do I click on and are these the right disk?

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#15
October 15, 2013 at 06:06:33
You can use CD-r disks to make the Repair Disk. The Repair Disk is important to later be able to restore the disk to its current state so you make it first. Then you will need to make the system image (and a back up is not a bad idea if the files are not already copied to another system or drive).
You will need to use DVD-r disks to make an image copy of the drive since the drive will be in the size or many GB of data and CD-r's only hold about 750MB each, I think DVD-r's hold something like 4.7GB each so even with compression, it may take quite a few or them.
Due to this AND the always present risk that the image was not properly made and/or cannot be restored, I STILL recommend NOT doing this and keeping the drive as it is until you use it again. There is a real possibility that this does not work either from your error, an error in recording, or damage to even one of the DVD's. Then you will have to restore the computer /drive to factory settings with a recovery disk that you may need to purchase from them.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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