SOLVED - Windows 7 System Image Recovery: can't see external hard drive

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by cyberia, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    I have two identical Dell XPS 15z laptops. I am trying to do a System Image Recovery from one laptop to the other. The problem: when Windows 7 restarts to do the recovery, it does not see the system image on the external USB drive.

    I think it does not see the external drive, period. I tried backing up and restoring the same laptop (to eliminate the possibility that "cross-recovery" is not supported), and it's a no go either.

    I am following this procedure: How to Do a System Image Recovery in Windows 7. The part where it fails is #5 and #6 of "STEP TWO".


    EDIT: SOLUTION - The built-in Recovery tool in Windows does not support USB 3 by default. USB 3 drivers need to be loaded. See the discussion below for a link to additional information.
     
    #1 cyberia, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  2. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    Two questions: Is the image at the root of the external drive (X:\MyImage)? Is (X:\MyImage) visible in Windows Explorer and Disk Management?
     
  3. techs

    techs Lifer

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    Try turning off (or on) AHCI in the bios.
     
  4. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    The external drive in Windows is know as E:\. The image (VHD file) is located in E:\WindowsImageBackup\XPS15Z\Backup 2012-07-11 011433 and is visible in both Windows Explorer and Disk Management.
     
  5. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    I'd try using the shortest path possible; move the image to the WindowsImageBackup directory, and if WinRE still doesn't see it move it directly to E:\.
     
  6. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    Didn't make a difference.
     
  7. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    Still no go. Is there a way, in the WinRE environment (if that's what it's called) to check if the external drive is even recognized/drivers are loaded?
     
  8. Bubbaleone

    Bubbaleone Golden Member

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    While in WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) open a Command Prompt and run the following commands:

    mountvol --->(This command will show you all available drives, including your external disk)

    dir X: --->(Replace X: with one drive letter at a time, from the letters that the mountvol command showed you, until you see the "WindowsImageBackup" folder on the screen. Let's assume it's E:\WindowsImageBackup, and then type:

    dir E:\WindowsImageBackup /s --->(This command will show you the contents of the WindowsImageBackup folder)


    .
     
    #8 Bubbaleone, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  9. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    Got it! My suspicion was accurate: the external drive was NOT recognized by WinPE. That's because why would Microsoft bother to include USB 3 support by default. :rolleyes: :eek:

    This discussion provided the solution.
     
  10. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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    I dont get why the usb 2.0 driver wouldnt be enough. Sure it would be slower, but it should at least be there.
     
  11. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    Not an expert in the area at all, but my guess is: The USB 3.0 controller hardware on this laptop is sufficiently different that a generic USB 2.0 driver does not work with it.
     
  12. imagoon

    imagoon Diamond Member

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    USB 3 came out after 7 / the WinPE edition that is on your boot DVD / USB stick / Recovery partition.

    It is pretty simple to inject the drivers in to WinPE and rebuild it if you want.
     
  13. cyberia

    cyberia Platinum Member

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    That I can understand. But why wouldn't they inject the drivers into the Recovery mechanism that is accessible from the Control Panel within Windows 7? I mean the built-in one, launched from within Windows which does not require an external boot media. Or at least display a warning on the "Choose an advanced recovery method" screen if the computer has USB 3 hardware? Or better yet, display it on the "Create a system image" screen?

    I know, wishful thinking. But it certaintly does not make sense to allow users to make backups onto a media/device from which they can't restore without jumping through extra hoops, while providing no guidance / advanced warning.
     
  14. imagoon

    imagoon Diamond Member

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    I get you, from what I understand the Windows "create recovery cd" button just burns an .iso that is buried in the Windows folder. Injecting the drivers requires the Windows AIK which MS makes 1.2 gig for some reason. You would mount the image, use the PEIMG install stuff with the drivers .inf. This is obviously beyond a lot of non techies though. 2008 has the same issue by the way. The recovery CD wouldn't detect the drive controllers etc. I cheated and set up PXE booting for the images and injected the drivers though.