Windows – Proper way to re-image Windows 7

64-bitrestorewindows 7

I had a driver completely fail on me so I have to restore my computer from a system image backup. I used an installation DVD to run the Re-Image utility on there, but after 8 hours of "preparing the image" to be restored, it began restoring to my hard drive. After 12 hours there, it was 5-8% complete.

I figured I must have done something wrong or it started doing something wrong. So I installed a fresh copy of Win-7 and ran the utility from there. It's going at the same snail's pace.

I still think I must be doing something incorrectly – I don't see how it could possibly take so long, I could probably manually flip the on my hard drive and be done before that utility.

Am I doing this correctly or is there something else I should be doing?


In case my hardware is relevant:

  • Win 7 64 bit
  • Core i7
  • 8 GB Ram
  • 640GB Internal
  • 1TB External connected via eSATA
  • I had approximately 400GB of data on my computer before it crashed.

Best Answer

It sounds like you are trying to do it correctly, all I can think of is if the image is on the Esata drive, try connecting via USB.

It is possible that Windows PE (The recovery environment) doesn't have a good driver for the external drive and the I/O speed is low, but the fact it was working and not coming up with an error makes me think you are doing the right thing.

Alternatively, if this or similar happens in the future, try asking here for help first! I would advise going in to safe mode and removing the driver fully.

You may be able to do the previous step if it hasn't actually written or started to write the image yet - but I can't really say for sure.

The only other method I can think of is to use your Windows 7 disk without the recovery image and do a reinstallation - It is possible to mount the backup images and just extract the data you need to keep at a later date.... of course, you will however need to reinstall all programs and redo any changes you made.