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So I need a bit of advice, please; here's my situation: I have

1) a system image on an a brand new external 1 TB SATA drive, that I managed to successfully capture before my

2) primary system drive went down. I realize this is a fairly simple matter of buying a new primary drive and performing the recovery to the fresh disk...however, the issue is that I believe Windows 7 was also having some significant issues of its own--basically, Update unable to install updates, and Backup continually ditching the auto backup schedule. I'd been trying to address those issues when my system was still working, but it's been so fruitless, I'm convinced a Windows 7 re-install would be best, and now I'm concerned that if I was in fact having what I believe are likely registry-related issues before, that these will persist through a recovery--would that likely be correct?

I'm mainly worried about recovering my files, so if I did a full recovery from the image, should I be able to then access my individual files, and copy them manually to an external drive, so I can then do a full re-install of Windows 7? Sorry if this seems obvious, but I've never done a recovery before and just trying to make sure there's no red flags with what I have in mind...

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Depends on when the recovery image was made, before or after the problems started. Before=No, After=Yes – Moab Dec 14 '10 at 16:25

The steps you have outlined are basically correct. Although, if you have space in the computer for 2 hard disks or a suitable external enclosure, you can install a fresh copy of Win7 on the new disk and simply copy over your files from the old one.

But if it's worth some hassle to try and save your existing setup, and you do manage to restore the old setup to the new disk, see this (in order) :

How to Repair Windows 7 System Files with System File Checker
How Do I Perform a Startup Repair or Repair Installation of Windows?.

But personally I would opt for starting afresh, in view of the problems you mentioned.

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