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I have Windows-7 64 bit on an HP dv8 laptop that came with two physical hard drives - C & D. I have a recent system image and other files and folders on drive D. Drive C has failed and the computer won't boot. I don't have a spare hard drive so I want to remove drive C from the system and use drive D as a standalone drive until I get a new hard drive.

The question is - how can I make drive D the boot drive AND restore the system image on it to the same drive? If this is even possible, would it delete the other files on drive D (i.e. the files other than the system image)?

Also, would I need to change hardware settings first?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

As I came to understand it you need to do the following.

  1. Backup all of your data from the D drive including the image to an external drive.
  2. Do a quick format on the D drive (boot up a Linux Live - or use a Hirens Mini XP OS )
  3. Use Acronis (or any other similar software) to apply the image to the HDD
  4. Go to your BIOS(usually you need to press "Delete" to get into Setup/BIOS and choose BOOT device option - where you need to select the HDD you want to use -the D drive - you should be able to recognize it easily

That should be it!

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Please see my response to the poster below (I don't know why the answers switched order). Since you have also suggested use of an external drive, the same response applies to your answer as well. Thank you and I will mark your answer as accepted. – Roger Jun 11 '13 at 4:54

First off there are a couple things to bear in mind--when restoring a system image of Windows the drive has to be the same size as the one it was created on or larger.

You will need to pull the image off of drive D. If you have you installation media for Windows you should be a be able to reinstall Windows using the image. As far as any of my Windows deployment experience goes, the method to create a bootable disk requires the rewrite of the entire disk. You would be best off either purchasing an external hard drive or borrowing one from a friend.

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I was just hoping to avoid having to buy a new hard drive (internal or external) due to financial constraints at the present time but your answer makes it clear that I WILL need another one. With a new hard drive, I already know how to handle this. But thank you for your time. – Roger Jun 11 '13 at 4:49
Sorry I wasn't able to provide a cheaper solution. If I was your neighbor I would loan you an extra drive, I have amassed several over the years. Good luck! – iamwpj Jun 12 '13 at 3:23

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