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A machine from my old job had a complete hard drive failure. I have backups but I'm running into severe problems restoring from them. The only install media was a secondary restore partition on the system's hard drive. I hate whoever came up with that idea more than I can possibly express with words.

I spent several days trying to recover the disk - it is pretty well shot and none of my best tricks could even get it to show up in the BIOS/

The machine that broke is an HP with xp media center edition on it (I don't know why either). The backups were created using the default Windows backup tool - I have .bfk file on an external hard drive that I am trying to restore from.

I've replaced the hard drive. My home machine is running Windows 7 64bit and I'm trying to use it as a platform to restore to the other disk. I downloaded the Windows 7 nt-restore utility, however no matter what I do it restores to my C drive rather than the specified drive. Fortunately Windows 7 security settings prevented it from being a complete disaster - but still not a happy thing. I tried firing up the xp virtual machine. I can browse to the backups but it says they are invalid and refuse to let me view/ continue with the restore. I tried installing XP to an extra hard drive on my machine - however it bluescreens on me during the install process and I cry.

I tried installing xp pro to the new drive and attempted to restore over it, it of course blackscreened on me as that was a stupid idea.

I made two partitions on the new hard drive (Apparently the BIOS on this accursed piece of junk doesn't allow hard drive partitions larger than 200G anyways and thus fails 40 minutes into the install with an ever-descriptive "Disk Read Error". Guess how I spent last weekend?

My last idea was to install xp pro to the second partition and then use it to restore from backup to the first. After the first restart it gives me the error "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware". My brain made one of those bad hard drive clicky noises.

I've tried several boot disks but they don't seem to work. If anyone has a link to a good one it would be greatly appreciated.

Anyone have any more ideas? - I really hate asking on what seems like such a simple issue but I am quite literally at my wit's end. Thanks - and sorry for the really long post.

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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 17 '11 at 18:22

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

    
this might be a better fit for superuser- it'll prolly get migrated by a mod –  Journeyman Geek Mar 29 '10 at 0:26
    
So .. "old job" .. are they paying you to do this, or are you donating your time? –  tomjedrz Mar 29 '10 at 4:20
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