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I had a Windows 7 system, which was hibernated. Then I took an image of the drive while it was hibernated. I'd like to restore the state of the system. I've mounted the image, which is 320gb. The contents are less than 30 gb, though. So could I do the following and still have it work?

  • Format the internal HDD from which the image was taken as NTFS.
  • Copy all the files and folders including hiberfile.sys from the mounted image to the newly formatted drive.
  • Boot the original machine from the external drive.

Thanks in advance.

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Simply copying the files means the drive won't be bootable. You'd likely need to clone the drive to get the boot partition, etc. Also, booting from external drives is a bit hit or miss. Lastly, I'm not sure if there's some hardware value that Windows reads to determine whether to restore from hibernation, or if just the existence of the hiberfile.sys is enough for it to boot as a wake from sleep . . . I'm guessing it actually has to be coming from the appropriate power state . . . – ernie Sep 25 '13 at 0:23
Why would simply copying the files render the drive unbootable? – HolaSnr Sep 25 '13 at 0:26
@ernie check my edits.. would that work? – HolaSnr Sep 25 '13 at 0:27
@HolaSnr Copying only the files on the drive would not copy the MBR, leaving it unbootable. Theoretically, this should work if you take a system image, but unless someone has done this and can chime in, there's no knowing for sure unless you do it and find out. – Moses Sep 25 '13 at 4:31
Copying the files won't work as you won't get the boot information (MBR or GPT). In Windows 7, the default is to create a separate 100 megabyte system partition that contains the boot loader, which basically tells your computer where to look to start Windows. Without this, your computer has no idea what the files on the hard drive are, and can't start an OS. This is similar to why just copying the files from a bootable floppy disk or thumb drive to another drive does not work . . . – ernie Sep 25 '13 at 14:29

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