I upgraded my laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10, but after upgrading and using it for 2 months I decided to come back to Windows 7. I made a system image of Windows 7 before upgrading.

My problem is when I tried to restore system image in Windows 10 it didn't shows external hard disk in which my backup is located, so I inserted a Windows 7 installation disk and chose to restore from there.

It read my hard disk and backup, but while restoring it gives this error:

The selected system image cannot be restored in this recovery environment.

which is also shown in the below image. Previously I have Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. After upgrading to Windows 10 pro 64-bit.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Is the W7 installation disk 64bit also? The installation disk you boot from must be same bit version as the recovery image. This is the only thing I know that can throw that exact error message, bit versions do not match. If you are restoring a 64bit image the install disk you use to get the recovery environment must be 64bit also. – Moab Dec 22 '15 at 15:57
  • Installation disk contains both versions 32 bit and 64 bit. I tried by rebooting win 10 pro 64bit into recovery mode by boot menu and select restore option still gives same error that architecturw must be same. While my image backup is backup through win 7 ultimate 64 bit and win 10 is also 64 bit.Still gives error. – balram rexwal Dec 22 '15 at 16:42
  • Use a different install disk that is only 64bit, or make a "system repair disk" on another W7 PC that is 64bit. – Moab Dec 22 '15 at 16:44

Some manufacturers, such as Gateway, add a hidden partition that allows for a complete restore to factory settings. You'll have to find the user guide for your device, which may be on your C drive, or you might be able to find it on the manufacturer's website. If your device's manufacturer does this, then there will be an alternate key, or combination of keys, that you can press when you have the option to enter BIOS setup, which will take you to a system restore menu. Even if you do have the restore partition on your device, it still may not have a backup option, so I would strongly recommend backing up your data before you try this.

I can only speak from personal experience with a Gateway model nv57h. For that particular make and model, boot up the computer and when you would press the BIOS key (F2), instead press the system restore key combination (Alt+F10). From there you would have the option to restore just the OS, backing up personal files for all user accounts to C:\Backup first, or a full restore which will cause a loss of all data that it did not ship with.

Also, you may want to take note of your Win10 product key before trying this, in case you want to return to 10 at some point after the free upgrade period has expired.

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