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I have a single HDD with two partitions: C and D. I am running Windows 7 64 bit pro. The system and all the files are on C partition. I can successfully create an Image backup and store it on D. I can then restore the system using the Windows installation DVD and everything works well.

When I use the same DVD to format C: and try to restore everything from D: it does not work. The backup folders on D: are not visible. Why is this the case and why can't I format the C: prior to restoring the system from WindowsImageBackup folder?

  • So you can successfully restore a backup image, just so long as your don't format it first? Are the backup images ever visible? My initial answer is to try formatting, then restarting to the DVD and attempting to restore from there. I can't remember if Windows recovery disc actually performs the formatting functions as you press the buttons or if it's similar to Gparted where it simply queues the operations and executes sequentially afterwards. In any case, Windows also may not be recognizing the (formatted) drive as a valid Windows drive since it doesn't detect any previous installation. – BiTinerary May 25 '15 at 22:29
  • @BiTinerary That's exactly the case. As long as I do not the format first and then restore everything works as expected. I think you have a valid point there and indeed Windows may not be recognizing the (formatted) drive as a valid Windows drive. – Raw N May 25 '15 at 22:41
  • I thought I was adding an additional layer of security but now I see it's an overkill. I suggest you turn your comments into an answer and I will accept it. – Raw N May 25 '15 at 23:21
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Is there a specific reason you need it formatted? The restore process is a type of formatting as is. Albeit, probably not as thorough but nonetheless just as effective. Especially, if you still continue to use it afterwards and insulate yourself from the exact person you're trying to "secure" against.

In addition to the recovery being a type of formatting, simply using the drive afterwards also continues to overwrite preexisting data. Furthermore, if you ever delete files and continue to add more, in my opinion, this process is relatable to many formatting programs out there that offer multiple passes over the disk.

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