Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Restore a System Image Backup

Because System Image backups must rewrite the entire contents of the disk, you can restore System Image backups only by booting from the Windows 7 DVD and loading System Recovery tools. Restoring a System Image backup from System Recovery tools allows you to quickly get a computer running after replacing a failed hard disk or when the previous operating system installation has been corrupted (for example, by an irreparable malware installation).

To restore a System Image backup, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the backup media to your computer. For example, if the System Image backup was performed to an external USB hard drive, connect that drive to your computer.
  2. Insert the Windows 7 DVD in your computer. Ensure that the computer is configured to boot from the DVD.
  3. Restart your computer. When prompted to boot from the DVD, press a key. If you are not prompted to boot from the DVD, you might have to configure your computer's startup sequence.
  4. Windows 7 Setup loads. When prompted, select your regional preferences and then click Next.
  5. Click Repair Your Computer to launch RecEnv.exe.
  6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Restore Your Computer Using A System Image That Was Created Earlier. If the backup was saved to a DVD, insert the DVD now. Click Next. The Windows System Image Restore Wizard appears.
    On the Select A System Image Backup page, the most recent backup will be automatically selected. If this is the correct backup to restore, click Next. Otherwise, click Select A System Image, click Next, and then select the correct backup.
  7. On the next page, select the Format And Repartition Disks check box only if the disk is not formatted. Be sure that you are prepared to overwrite all of the data on your current disk and then click Next.
  8. On the final page, click Finish. When prompted, click Yes.

Windows System Image Restore reads the data from the backup and overwrites existing files. Typically, the restore will take 30 to 60 seconds per gigabyte. You can restore to a different-sized hard disk as long as the hard disk is large enough to store the backup. After the restore is complete, the computer will restart using the restored files.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Disks and File Systems
  2. Overview of Partitioning Disks
  3. How to Choose Between MBR or GPT
  4. Converting from MBR to GPT Disks
  5. GPT Partitions
  6. Choosing Basic or Dynamic Disks
  7. Working with Volumes
  8. How to Create a Simple Volume
  9. How to Create a Spanned Volume
  10. How to Create a Striped Volume
  11. How to Resize a Volume
  12. How to Delete a Volume
  13. How to Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk
  14. File System Fragmentation
  15. Backup And Restore
  16. How File Backups Work
  17. File and Folder Backup Structure
  18. How System Image Backups Work
  19. How to Start a System Image Backup from the Command Line
  20. How to Restore a System Image Backup
  21. System Image Backup Structure
  22. Best Practices for Computer Backups
  23. How to Manage Backup Using Group Policy Settings
  24. Previous Versions and Shadow Copies
  25. How to Manage Shadow Copies
  26. How to Restore a File with Previous Versions
  27. How to Configure Previous Versions with Group Policy Settings
  28. Windows ReadyBoost
  29. BitLocker Drive Encryption
  30. How BitLocker Encrypts Data
  31. How BitLocker Protects Data
  32. TPM with External Key (Require Startup USB Key At Every Startup)
  33. TPM with PIN (Require PIN At Every Startup)
  34. TPM with PIN and External Key
  35. BitLocker To Go
  36. BitLocker Phases
  37. Requirements for Protecting the System Volume with BitLocker
  38. How to Enable the Use of BitLocker on the System Volume on Computers Without TPM
  39. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on System Volumes
  40. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on Data Volumes
  41. How to Manage BitLocker Keys on a Local Computer
  42. How to Manage BitLocker from the Command Line
  43. How to Recover Data Protected by BitLocker
  44. How to Disable or Remove BitLocker Drive Encryption
  45. How to Decommission a BitLocker Drive Permanently
  46. How to Prepare AD DS for BitLocker
  47. How to Configure a Data Recovery Agent
  48. How to Manage BitLocker with Group Policy
  49. The Costs of BitLocker
  50. Windows 7 Encrypting File System
  51. How to Export Personal Certificates
  52. How to Import Personal Certificates
  53. How to Grant Users Access to an Encrypted File
  54. Symbolic Links
  55. How to Create Symbolic Links
  56. How to Create Relative or Absolute Symbolic Links
  57. How to Create Symbolic Links to Shared Folders
  58. How to Use Hard Links
  59. Disk Quotas
  60. How to Configure Disk Quotas on a Single Computer
  61. How to Configure Disk Quotas from a Command Prompt
  62. How to Configure Disk Quotas by Using Group Policy Settings
  63. Disk Tools
  64. EFSDump
  65. SDelete
  66. Streams
  67. Sync
  68. MoveFile and PendMoves