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Is there any way to completely backup all files and programs on a windows 8 machine, and then reinstall it, copy all the data over after reinstallation

I ask because I have an irrecoverable bcd, I've tried many solutions but to no avail(BCDedit,EasyRE,BootRec...). Here's the screen that appears on boot:

I have a working install of ubuntu, and a drive to backup to.

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You should be able to use the Windows 8 Boot disc to recover the boot partition. If you are trying to dual boot, you would recover the Window boot partition, then use Ubuntu Live disk to reinstall grub, that should then give you the option to boot either one... –  TheX Dec 10 '13 at 16:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can copy all of the data from that failed computer but you can't backup the apps (they have to be reinstalled using the original sources, either CD/CD or downloads).

The best course of action is:

  1. Connect the drive as secondary to your working instance
  2. Make a list of all directories in c:\Program Files and c:\Program Files (x86)
  3. The list you made will serve as a list of applications that you need to reinstall as well as for backing up your data. Locate sources for all of the applications that you need to reinstall together with any required license keys
  4. Locate c:\users and backup all of the data from each user that you have used (Don't forget to backup the administrator directory as well if you actively use it)
  5. Verify that data from step 4 contain all of subdirectories like My Documents (this covers the case where there would be some redirect setup
  6. Reinstall Windows and create all of the users
  7. Copy data from the backup for each user and start reinstalling the apps from the list you made in step 2
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Actually you should try booting from a Windows install disc and using the rescue/repair option before pulling out the big guns. No use going through a ton of extra trouble if you don't need to! You didn't mention if you did this but my suggestion would be to follow the instructions on the screenshot you've posted here.

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Tried everything :P –  Amith KK Dec 10 '13 at 6:25

Maybe it's too late to answer that question now but I know a nethod that sometimes could help in this case.

Just to be sure, you should create an image of the disk with something like Acronis True Image.

Then it will allow you to mount the image as Virtual Drive, and copy all the files.

But of course, Application cannot be recovered – you will have to reinstall them.

If you are extremely lucky though, you should be able to restore the image, and let Acronis fix your booting. Sometimes it works.

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Welcome to SU. When providing a software answer, can you let us know if you have used the software before and if you had any issues with it. Thanks. –  Matthew Williams Mar 24 at 9:06

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