Solved copying files from partition before re-imaging

July 27, 2012 at 20:11:52
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, Intel Core i3
I have a relatively new desktop which is failing to boot to Win7 64 bit saying "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key". The HDD has 2 partitions one for the programs (C:\) and one for the files (D:\). I am now booting from a boot DVD disk. I could not use the recovery tools to fix the problems with starting Windows, so an option is to re-image from DVDs. When trying to do that I get a message saying that "Everything on this computer will be replaced with the information in the system image". Does this mean all files in C: or all files in C: and D:.?

If it is only C: then I will go ahead and re-image. But if it is both C: and D: then I would like to copy all the files in D: first. In which case I am thinking of buying a 3.5" SATA HDD enclosure case so I can copy the files to another location via USB before re-imaging.

I'd like to get an answer to my question at the end of the first paragraph and any relevant suggestions. Thanks.

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July 28, 2012 at 00:49:26
✔ Best Answer
To be honest, before you do anything else it would be wise to copy your data to an external drive anyway in case (a) the re-imaging does go wrong and (b) in case you drive is showing the first signs of failure.

What did you use to create the image? If the image was taken of just the c: partition then it shouldn't have any effect on the data partition as the image won't contain anything that relates to it. However, if it is an image that came with the computer (supplied by the manufacturer, for example) then there's a good chance that as part of the re-imaging process it will set up the partitions again, in which case you will lose all of your data.

I would err on the side of safety (for the reasons I first mentioned) and backup everything anyway. Also, run a drive manufacturer's diagnostic test on the drive as well, just in case it is failing.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd

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July 28, 2012 at 09:30:21
Thanks for your quick response! I was able to boot into Safe Mode and I'm in the process of backing up everything in the files D:\ partition as you suggested. If successful, I will not need to purchase an HDD enclosure case.

The image was created over a year ago using the utilities that came with the PC. I believe I created the image after having created the partitions. In any case after backing up all the files I will try to restore from the image.

How do I run the the manufacturer's diagnostic test that you mention?

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July 28, 2012 at 18:05:02
In that case you would be wise to backup drive D: Manufactures imaging software usually images the whole disk without the option, lock stock and barrel.

When you are up and running again I would familiarise your self with the Windows 7 Imaging and Backup utilities. It gives you a lot more control of what is imaged and how often as well as backing up important file.

To make effective use of it you really do need and external hard disk. They are not that expensive and well worth the peace of mind.

You get the manufactures diagnostic test from the drive manufactures web site.


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July 28, 2012 at 22:33:38
I got the files backed up and opened the PC to get the HDD model, downloaded the diagnostic testing software from the manufacturer website and ran the SMART, quick and extended tests and passed all with flying colors. As a result I will not have to buy a new HDD and put everything back in which I was afraid I was going to have to do. After that, for whatever reason, I was able to boot normally so I ran Windows Update. Now I am trying to update the firmware on my Maxtor Shared Storage II to Central Axis so I can use it with Win7 but I'm having trouble updating the firmware. If I can't make it work I will have to decide whether to purchase a NAS or just a USB drive to connect to my Linksys E3200 router. Do you have any suggestions in that regard?

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July 29, 2012 at 05:54:34
Since you are back in Windows 7 make a Windows 7 Repair Disk which is a very useful tool that can do a Start up Repair, Access System Restore when the system will not start, and restore from a System Image that you made from Windows Back up. You make the repair disk from the Windows Back up page.
Windows 7 Home Premium does not have the ability to make back ups to network drives, for that you need at least Windows 7 Professional (I found this out after expecting to be able to) so if you have Home Premium (and do not want to upgrade), you will need to use a USB drive directly attached to the computer or a separate internal hard drive for back ups.
For personal back ups a USB external hard drive is generally preferred. For an office environment, a NAS or a shared drive (separate hard drive) on a server or one of the networked computers is generally preferred.

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

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