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System Image Restore can't see USB hard drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I've just spent a day taking System Image backup images of three different hard drives. Well ok I didn't just sit and watch the bar move across the screen although it did hold up my computer. Anyway, what a waste of a day from my PC because when I try to restore using System Image backup from my USB drive, the USB drive cannot be found. I have followed the procedure on page 750 of Configuring Windows 7, 70-680 precisely.  I tried booting from an OS DVD and a Windows Repair DVD, but no USB drive.  I tried using a blank usb stick and that can't be found either. The USB drive can be seen when I logon to Windows to get the images on it. Might this be more to do with hardware such as adjusting BIOS boot settings, or updating BIOS firmware. There seems to be others with unresolved problems like this. Should I join them and buy Acronis instead?

    Tx

    Sunday, April 1, 2012 10:35 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Microsoft System Image restore for Windows 7 doesn't work by the looks. Maybe I should get Acronis then.
    • Proposed as answer by Deadity Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:20 PM
    Monday, April 2, 2012 2:01 PM
  • I found this on line. Don't know if it will help you but it's something. Read it carefully.

    Restart your computer with external HD plugged in

    Click: Control Panel>System & Security>Backup & Restore>Recover System Settings or your computer>Advanced Recovery Methods>Use a system image you created earlier...

    At this point it says it can't find the back up...and it asks you to backup the files now...click SKIP and on the next page it gives you the option to restart or cancel. Click RESTART.

    When the computer restarts it boots in recovery mode or whatever you call it and it is there I am able to restore the image....and you should too!!

    Monday, April 2, 2012 8:02 PM
  • Tried it but no joys. I get the same thing as when booting off of a Windows Repair DVD. By this I mean I carried out your procedure above, rebooted to go into the recovery mode and then get the message "Windows cannot find a system image on this system". I do not retry because I get the same thing and my only option is to select a backup I want to restore. When I do that I get no backup listed.

    Just a thought but what if the backup on the usb hard drive is like our banks (corrupt). Shouldn't I still be able to see the usb drive anyway? Does the backup file have to be a backup of the existing hard drive rather than that of another hard drive?

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 10:21 PM
  • Tried it but no joys. I get the same thing as when booting off of a Windows Repair DVD. By this I mean I carried out your procedure above, rebooted to go into the recovery mode and then get the message "Windows cannot find a system image on this system". I do not retry because I get the same thing and my only option is to select a backup I want to restore. When I do that I get no backup listed.

    Just a thought but what if the backup on the usb hard drive is like our banks (corrupt). Shouldn't I still be able to see the usb drive anyway? Does the backup file have to be a backup of the existing hard drive rather than that of another hard drive?

    Have you tried plugging into an alternate USB port on your sys?  Have you unplugged the external from:  1.  The wall to let it reset?  2.  The sys, and then into an alternate port?  Just a thought...and BTW...after you've unplugged all, boot your sys without the external and then tried the above?  (after the reboot plug all back in to see if win picks it back up)

    Good luck

    Horatio

    Friday, April 6, 2012 11:53 AM
  • Tried it but no joys. I get the same thing as when booting off of a Windows Repair DVD. By this I mean I carried out your procedure above, rebooted to go into the recovery mode and then get the message "Windows cannot find a system image on this system". I do not retry because I get the same thing and my only option is to select a backup I want to restore. When I do that I get no backup listed.

    Just a thought but what if the backup on the usb hard drive is like our banks (corrupt). Shouldn't I still be able to see the usb drive anyway? Does the backup file have to be a backup of the existing hard drive rather than that of another hard drive?

    Have you tried plugging into an alternate USB port on your sys?  Have you unplugged the external from:  1.  The wall to let it reset?  2.  The sys, and then into an alternate port?  Just a thought...and BTW...after you've unplugged all, boot your sys without the external and then tried the above?  (after the reboot plug all back in to see if win picks it back up)

    Good luck

    Horatio


     

    Yes I tried on different days to do the same thing and varied the sequence of when I insterted the usb drive. I tried another socket at the front this time and with a usb stick instead and it wouldn't see that either. Does there have to be a backup file on the stick for the stick to be seen?

    I tried Acronis and it sees my external drive and backs up much faster. Maybe Microsoft decided it didn't want to steal the thunder of Acronis and Symantec and didn't put too much effort into making Windows 7 imaging work well. 

    • Proposed as answer by Deadity Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:23 PM
    Saturday, April 7, 2012 4:41 PM
  • Hi,

    Could you please check the following newsgroup posts for your answer. The posts lists different scenarios that might work for you. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/9a082b90-bd7c-46f8-9eb3-9581f9d5efdd http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/11d8c552-a841-49ac-ab2e-445e6f95e704 http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/9a082b90-bd7c-46f8-9eb3-9581f9d5efdd

    Best Regards,

    Kim Zhou


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012 5:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Could you please check the following newsgroup posts for your answer. The posts lists different scenarios that might work for you. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/9a082b90-bd7c-46f8-9eb3-9581f9d5efdd http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/11d8c552-a841-49ac-ab2e-445e6f95e704 http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/9a082b90-bd7c-46f8-9eb3-9581f9d5efdd

    Best Regards,

    Kim Zhou


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Thanks for sending me these links and I will check them out. I think I came across most of the answer on the following link although doubts are raised:  http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/windows-7-restore-from-image-wont-recognize/ce8e3d0a-236d-4eff-8370-c171d2dfa555?tm=1333929198413&page=1#footer

    Basically, I should have had three files on the external drive as follows:

    a.      A file named: MediaID.bin

    b.      A file that has the same named as your computer name (this is where the .zip files are located).

    c.      The 'System Image' folder named 'WindowsImageBackup'.

    By moving my backups into a folder out of the way and doing a fresh backup I prevented some confusion in the system. After this I could at last see the external drive and backup when doing a system image recovery. But how is it be possible to store more than one backup of hard drives on an external disk? The only way I know is by moving backups in and out of a folder which will take ages to do. Maybe I can rename the unused backups but this will get confusing because there are thee files to a backup and I think files are overwritten when doing backups if left in the route of the external drive. I is too easy to overwrite a backup of another drive by accident.

    • Marked as answer by MacStrike Friday, April 13, 2012 3:41 PM
    Monday, April 9, 2012 12:12 AM
  • Hi,

    We can back up non-critical volume while creating System Image backup.

    For reference:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Back-up-your-programs-system-settings-and-files

    Best Regards,

    Kim Zhou


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Monday, April 9, 2012 8:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi

    The link shows how to manually create a system image. My point is that the procedure does not allow you to select a folder on a drive to send the image. You only get a selection of drive. Neither can you give the image a useful name to help you identify it later on from other system images. It can only be called WindowsImageBackup. I have several hard disks that are fitted into a SATA swap bay. Unless I have misread the article I cannot see how the Microsoft Image Backup can help me.

    Please let me know if I am missing something though because that is really easy for me to do.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:49 AM
  • Windows cannot find a system image on this computer.

    Any of these 5 things cause this error message or prevent Windows System Images from being found after you have booted into the Windows Recovery CD.

    .

    1. Make sure the folder named "WindowsImageBackup" is still in the root of the USB drive where it was originally created. Like g:\WindowsImageBackup

    .

    2. make sure the folder for each computer image is still the system name of the PC, the way it was originally created. If you rename a folder the image (and other images on the same drive) will not be found. So the full path will be like  g:\WindowsImageBackup\your-pc

    .

    3. make sure you haven't added any other folders in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder unless they are disk images of other computers. Any other folder (like an empty folder) that is aphabetically ahead of a Windows Image Folder will prevent all alphabetically trailing System Images from being found.

    .

    4. If you have multiple system images on one USB drive and rename the mediaID file on any of the images, then all images alphabetically trailng the one with the renamed mediaID file will not be found.

    .

    5. USB Flash Drive
    For some reason, Flash drives don't seem to work for making or recovering from an image with Windows imaging but you can use Acronis True Image Home 2012 to recover a Windows System Image that has been copied to a Flash Drive.

    .

    If nothing above works, you may have a corrupt mediaId file. Download Acronis Home 2012 which will allow you to recover the Windows System Image 1 partition at a time directly from the .vhd files in your WindowsImageBackup folder.

    Use Acronis to recover the 100M reserved partition first, then drive c:\ etc. This works well for recovering to the original partitioned hard drive but not to a blank hard drive. The BOOTMGR is missing on startup when I try restoring to a new hard drive. When this happens, the usual tools for fixing the BOOTMGR have not worked for me.

    The recovery boot disk that you can create from the free 30 day free trial version of Acronis Home 2012 works for recovering partitions from a Windows System Image. If you benefit from using Acronis, you should probably buy it for $49.00.

    When using Acronis to recover partitions its confusing because the drive letters for the partitions are not displayed correctly in the Acronis interface . .  so you have to identify the target partitions by knowing their sizes which are displayed. This happens because the 100M reserved is displayed with a drive letter in Acronis, but of course it does not have a drive letter in Windows.

    • Edited by swb_mct Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:22 AM
    • Proposed as answer by trevlantin Wednesday, April 1, 2015 12:14 AM
    Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:59 AM
  • This suggestion below helped me resolve my issue: i simply had other folders inside the "WindowsImageBackup" folder that were from other computers. i moved them out of that folder leaving only the correct folder for this restore and it worked right away. Thanks for the HELP, I was going nuts wondering why it wasn't working.

    3. make sure you haven't added any other folders in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder unless they are disk images of other computers. Any other folder (like an empty folder) that is aphabetically ahead of a Windows Image Folder will prevent all alphabetically trailing System Images from being found.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 5:43 PM
  • You can try some free backup software, e.g. AOMEI Data Backuper to image your disks, the software allows you to create a bootable rescue media (CD) based on Windows PE kernel. Then you could boot and enter into WinPE from CD to see USB hard drive. Of course, Acronis is a great solution, but need a little bit of cost.

    http://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-data-backuper.html

    Saturday, December 22, 2012 4:40 PM
  •  Hi,

      If you are using a USB 3.0 port/device to backup, Windows 7 will  initially see the device and allow backups to the USB 3.0 port/device but it will not see the USB 3.0 port/device when you try to do a system image restore. Windows 7 does not have native USB 3.0 support so it will not recognize USB 3.0 port/devices.

      You need to use the USB 3.0 files from whichever company supplies the USB 3.0 files for your pc. In my case, an Alienware 14; it is Intel and I got the files from Dell's download site from my specific laptop and copied the files to cd/dvd from the install folder it made. Then, when I do a system restore, I use advanced methods>install driver>cd>usb 3 files which then shows my Western Digital USB 3.0 external HD with the system image on it and allows restore to continue.

    • Proposed as answer by Chrisl2366 Sunday, February 16, 2014 11:59 AM
    Monday, July 22, 2013 12:38 AM
  • this was the answer to my problem, I had bought a usb 3.0 and 2.0 enclosure and I was tring to use the 3.0 enclosure and it didn't recognize it and I couldn't figure out how to load the 3.0 drivers so I put my HDD into my 2.0 enclosure and it worked the fist time. Thanks for your advice.
    Sunday, February 16, 2014 12:02 PM
  • This suggestion below helped me resolve my issue: i simply had other folders inside the "WindowsImageBackup" folder that were from other computers. i moved them out of that folder leaving only the correct folder for this restore and it worked right away. Thanks for the HELP, I was going nuts wondering why it wasn't working.

    3. make sure you haven't added any other folders in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder unless they are disk images of other computers. Any other folder (like an empty folder) that is aphabetically ahead of a Windows Image Folder will prevent all alphabetically trailing System Images from being found.

    I have one disk that I was making system images of three computers on. One Windows 7 image the one I wanted to recover and two Windows 8 images. Once I moved the windows 8 images out of the WindowsImageBackup folder the recovery program was able to "see" the image I needed. This is a little bit different than the suggestion above.
    • Edited by mooncaptain Thursday, October 23, 2014 11:45 AM
    Thursday, October 23, 2014 11:44 AM
  • No problem, you are correct, it will work through a USB 2.0 port but not a USB 3 port.
    Wednesday, February 4, 2015 9:31 PM
  • Just used this solution and it worked fine. Thanks
    Tuesday, April 14, 2015 9:28 PM
  • Since starting this thread in 2012 there has been a whole load of good stuff send in by members thanks you very much.

    But shouldn't most of these details this all be covered in the book Configuring Windows 7, 70-680 in the first place?

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:10 AM
  • This helped me with a PC at work thanks. The image as you rightly say has to be called WindowsImageBackup.

    I haven't tried it on my PC yet which is the machine I had trouble with originally back in 2012 that started this thread. Had the training book contents been tested out on a group of students this would have come up. Nothing seems to be tested properly before it leaves the factory or press these days! Blast over.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 12:36 PM
  • Wonderful

    The following solution worked for me

    make sure you haven't added any other folders in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder unless they are disk images of other computers. Any other folder (like an empty folder) that is aphabetically ahead of a Windows Image Folder will prevent all alphabetically trailing System Images from being found.

    Thank you very much

    Thursday, November 5, 2015 5:36 PM
  • This method of System Image restoration worked in my case. My Asus Laptop Windows7 only had a usb 3.0 that work. Usb 2.0 not working, Start button when click nothing happens, Taskbar practically stoned cannot pin anything onto it had to use Alt + Tab to find out minimized programs and restoring from Control Panel's Backup and restore is a total pain one click and the whole window hanged.

    Thanks

    Friday, January 8, 2016 2:42 PM
  • [[Well ok I didn't just sit and watch the bar move across the screen although it did hold up my computer. ]]

    LIAR!!! Admit it- you did too watch it- every last second of it- And you enjoyed it- the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem

    Seriously though- I could not get windows Recovery Environment boot disk to see the USB 3.0 WD drive- I had to unplug it and plug into the MAIN USB 2 ports (not the ones on the front of computer=- those wouldn't work- only the bac ports would work)

    Looksl iek you might have tried that though- it seems that windows 7 doesn't have native USB 3.0 support on boot- I guess- The painful way to do it is sdownload driver from your computer manager- then install everytime you do a system restore-

    I don't beleive any other program for backign up will work either as it's a USB 3.0 issue, unless they temporarily isntall automatically their own 3.0 drivers for the purpose of restorign computer- - I also tried Aomei backup software- had the same problem- no support for 3.0- couldn't find hard-drive-

    Looks like I'll just have to switch chord from the usb 3 to the usb 2 whenever i have to do a system restore- Worked for me- hope it works on your system? Only thing I noticed was that I had to wait like 1 minute for it to fidn the backup- I thought it wasn't goign to work- but then it began a search- and it worked-

    Monday, August 22, 2016 10:44 PM
  • This worked for me too. Was messing with this forever trying to figure it out. Thank you thank you so much :)
    Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:29 AM