Restoring System Image to Existing Partition

Hi all,

Recently decided to upgrade my hard drive, and in doing so, decided to sort out a mess of partitions into something a little simpler. Having both drives in side-by-side I got all non-windows-partition files transferred, then made a backup of just C: to a location on the new drive, unplugged the old drive, and booted from my restore/install DVD.

Now I'm facing a truly terrifying prompt!

"Select this to delete any existing partitions and reformat all disks on this computer to match the layout of the system image"

This is absolutely not what I want to do! That button implies it will utterly trash my newly transferred data.

All I backed up was C: and I want to take that backup that I made and restore it onto the already existing first partition of the new hard drive. I do not want to resize or change the partition layout, and I absolutely do not want to delete any existing partitions because they have data on them!

Can anyone tell me whether this is just a badly worded prompt and C: backups would in fact just restore to C: and leave all other partitions alone, or is the Windows Backup included with Win 7 genuinely as destructive as it sounds?

Genuinely scared by the implication of this prompt, feel like I have to copy everything back onto the old drive and put it on a shelf, just in case Win Backup goes mental and wipes it all for grins!

Thank you for any info :)

 

Question Info


Last updated February 8, 2019 Views 4,388 Applies to:
Last week I performed a test recovery from an image and found that the process would completely erase the previous partition from which I had created an image, then restore that image. It left the other partitions alone. However, your situation is a little different in that you re-arranged your partitions after creating the image. The restoration process might well restore your pre-existing partition scheme, which would cause a total loss of your data.

If this was my machine then I would do this:
1. Buy a 2.5" 250 GByte disk and an external SATA USB case for around $100.
2. Using your Windows 7 Repair CD, boot the machine into Repair Mode, then the Command Prompt.
3. Back up all files to the external USB disk.
4. Check that all files are there, including your EMail files.
5. Perform the image restoration.
6. Restore the data files if necessary.
7. Use the external USB disk as a permanent backup medium.
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Hmm... thanks for the info, but I guess I'll copy my data back to the old drive, then unplug that, and have a try at restore and see what it does. I just don't feel safe to leave the only copy of my data (well, I have backups, but they're painful to restore and I'd rather not) on the drive that may-or-may-not get wiped. This is actually worse than if Windows didn't have any built in backup - I'd have made my own by alternate means if it didn't!!

Can't figure out why the backup system would feel a need to rearrange my partitions though - I only backed up the C: partition. I asked for nothing else, not partition size/structure nor data... If this is the behaviour that genuinely occurs, then it is surely the most useless backup system in existence and should either refuse to backup just a single partition, or fix the re-structuring on restore of a single partition :(

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Well, having spent 2 hours copying data back to my old drive, I unplugged it and tried to restore the backup of C: from the second partition of the new disk, onto the first partition.

It didn't delete or format any of the other partitions - but neither did Windows appear on my new C: partition. Restoration failed because the partition structure wasn't identical.

That the Windows partition on the new disk is 10gb larger than the old, and is thus totally viable, apparently doesn't matter to Windows restore - it's not quite the same, and thus it can't possibly be done.

What a waste of time. I'll go find some freeware partition cloning software instead.

Guess I'll be changing my office's backup plan too. Thanks a bundle MS, a backup system that doesn't work just gives a false sense of security and is worse than not having one! Very disappointed.

But thank you for your input Pegasus :)

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While I will need to support your findings with my own independent tests, they to confirm my suspicion that while the partition image facility in Windows 7 is a step in the right direction, it appears to fall far short of what we are used to from commercial third-party products such as Acronis DiskDirector.

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id suggest making a usb boot of clonezilla.  it makes it very easy to clone drives/partitions and is free and simple.  clonezilla 4 the win.

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