Another Windows 7 Pro 32-Bit System Restore Black Screen of Death


  • I have searched for many hours to find a solution to this but it appears none really exists.  I am hoping someone out there has a sure-fire way to fix this.

    The situation is quite simple.  I back up my Windows 7 Pro 32-bit system to newly formatted USB drive (or to a new partition on a NAS box -- doesn't matter).  As soon as the back up completes, I shut down the system, put in a new hard drive (larger drive, same manufacturer, does not matter if it is the 512 format or advanced format drive I have tried both), boot from the recovery disk, and recover from the image that I just created (using the "format and partition the disk" option).

    The result is the black screen of death upon boot as described in numerous posts on the web.  I have a mouse cursor and a black screen.  I cannot boot in to any flavor of safe mode.  Trying "boot repair" and the other tools on the recovery disk does not help.  The restore simply does not work.

    I can see what appear to be all of my files on the restored disk and in a case of a real emergency I could mount the VHD file or get the files off of the restored disk.  That is still a pain in the ass when Windows 7 supposedly has this nice image backup system that should make moving to a new drive a snap.

    How do I make a system image backup that I can restore?


    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 3:34 PM

All replies

  • Hi gschuck,

    Thanks for the post!

    Based on my understanding, you failed to restore to a new hard drive from the original backup. Am I correct?

    Please follow these steps: (From Sneha

    1. Boot into the repair disc / Windows installation disc
    2. Select "Reimage your computer"
    3. Connect the disk which contains the backups.
    4. Choose the recommended system image or choose a different one if you wish.
    5. On the next page select the time period of the image you want to restore to. Click Next.
    6. Now choose "Format and repartition disks".
    Go ahead and complete the wizard. 

    Note there're some requirements for Windows Recovery to work, refer to Vikas Ranjan[MSFT]'s reply in that thread.



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    Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:23 AM
  • Thank you for your reply.  Unfortunately, generic instructions and steps are not what I need.  I have followed them all multiple times.  Let me break it down again.

    1. Original drive is 1TB

    2. New drive is 2TB

    So going from a smaller drive to a larger drive.  No issues there, right?

    3. Image backup completes successfully.

    No error messages.  No worries about libraries on the backup volume or anything like that.  No links to network drives.  I can mount the VHD drive successfully that is created in the image backup and read files from it.  All looks good.

    4. Restore from image completes successfully without errors.

    Same system.  Only change is physically moving the SATA cable and power cable from the old hard drive to the new hard drive.  When I restored the image, I picked all the appropriate options including "format and repartition disks".  No errors reported.

    5. System gets black screen of death when it tries to boot from the cloned drive.  This is the same black screen of death reported by many users which occurs when Windows is trying to load the user profile at login.

    Reports of this Black Screen of Death are everywhere.  Google it.  Bing it.  Everywhere.  I am very frustrated.  What is the solution?  I am good at following instructions.  The process is not that hard.  I know what I am doing with computers.

    What I don't know is how to fix this.  I don't understand why a cloned drive is not working.  The backup software seems flawed.  Is it a problem with swap files?  I don't know why it would matter.  I do know that I cannot boot to safe mode either.  Same issue.  Would Microsoft like my hard drive so that they can diagnose the problem?  I can arrange that.

    Generic solutions are not working.  How about some specific troubleshooting steps?  How about an idea that I haven't already found in a different thread?  This is a problem.  A bug.  Backups are supposed to save us from disaster.  The Windows 7 backup just gives us false hope.

    Someone please help.  I can hex edit the image or whatever else you need me to do.  Is there a hidden log file somewhere?  Tell me where it is and I'll get it.  Is there a different disk clone/image software that I should be using instead?

    -- Gary


    Monday, August 22, 2011 4:14 PM
  • give clonezilla a try.  Its a good cloning software, haven't had any problems with it.


    Monday, August 22, 2011 5:52 PM