My SSD died yesterday. I have made regular backups using Acronis True Image Home. I've restored the image onto a new SSD which I have purchased and installed. I have verified it is there. It also contains that small hidden partition at the front of the disk.

However, for some reason, the system will not boot that disk.

I have used a Win 7 System Repair Disk, which I previously made, to try and "repair" the problem - to no avail.

How can I get my system (tower, not laptop) to boot this new SSD that contains my restored Win 7 installation?

  • What version of Acronis did you use to restore the image to the new drive?
    – Moab
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:04
  • Do you have "Startup Repair" on your System Repair Disk?
    – Kinnectus
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:05
  • @Moab I used True Image Home 2012. Jun 2, 2015 at 12:05
  • @BigChris I do have Startup Repair on that disk and have run it several times. Jun 2, 2015 at 12:06
  • In order to get the Master Boot Record, you would have to have a backup of the whole disk, made in "Disk Mode." If your backups are made in "Partition mode", they will not include the MBR.
    – Cosco Tech
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:14

4 Answers 4


If Windows isn't attempting to boot at all, I would first try repairing the system partition manually. This can be done in much the same procedure you would use after restoring a WIM. See using imagex

  1. Boot into Windows PE from either PE media you have prepared earlier, or from a windows installer disc. If using the installation media method, you want to open the command prompt. I think there is a way to access this through the wizard following the 'repair' steps, but you should be able to just press shift+F10 on the 'select disk' page of the windows new installation wizard to open the command prompt.
  2. Run DISKPART by typing DISKPART.
  3. From the disks listed, identify the disk which is the new SSD.
  4. Type 'Select Disk 0' where '0' is the desired disk id.
  5. Now type 'List Volume' to list the partitions.
  6. Identify the windows partition and the system partition.
  7. Type 'Select Volume 0' where '0' is the windows partition.
  8. Type 'Assign Letter='W'' to give it drive letter W (don't worry, this won't change it from C drive in Windows when booted successfully).
  9. Type 'Select Volume 1' where '1' is the system partition.
  10. Type 'Assign Letter='S'' to give it drive letter S
  11. Type 'active'
  12. Exit Diskpart by typing 'exit'
  13. Now run 'W:\Windows\System32\bcdboot W:\Windows /l en-US /s S:', note that you may need to modify this command in accordance with the BCDboot options.
  14. Reboot.

This can be a temperamental process as there is a lot of variables, but if you search for how to restore a WIM file to a hard drive, and study the post-restore process to create the system partition, you will probably have success.

If this procedure fails, make sure that your backed up image does actually include a system partition. If you don't have 2 partitions, or the alleged system partition isn't formatted, you may need to create it with the remaining space. You should be able to isolate the steps needed from the procedure detailed here. It will be an additional two commands in disk part before you assign the drive letter 's'. Something like 'create partition primary size=100' and format FS=NTFS LABEL="System Volume" QUICK'. Don't forget to make the system partition active.

Good luck :).

  • I'm unsure what the downvote is for, but the procedure is covered in most study material for the 70-680 MCTS Exam: Configuring Windows 7, and is pretty low risk given that you already have an image you can restore again. If you are concerned, just unplug your other hard drives first so you don't have to worry about formatting or upsetting the wrong thing.
    – Élie
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:28
  • I'm getting started with it now. For the record, I am not the one who down-voted you. I'm grateful for the detailed instructions. Jun 2, 2015 at 12:32
  • I'm happy to help further if you get stuck with any particular step, I've done this process many times when deploying low volume OEM system images, and transferring images between virtual/physical machines. The important thing is just to pay attention to the output of the 'list' commands and ensure each step is successful before moving on.
    – Élie
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:34
  • Thanks! I got the following error after typing 'active'. "The ACTIVE command can only be used on fixed MBR disks." Have you seen that before? Jun 2, 2015 at 12:41
  • 1
    @onefootswill - Finally got my partition to boot up, not sure if it was the exact same scenario as yours, but its worth a shot.
    – Cosco Tech
    Jun 2, 2015 at 19:19

How to Repair the MBR

  1. Boot into the Windows 7 Repair Disk
  2. Select your language, then select "Repair your Computer"
  3. The disk will search for Windows Installation, in which case it should find nothing, then select the first radio button(Use recovery options...) and hit Next
  4. Once you get to "Startup Recovery Options," select Command Prompt
  5. At the prompt enter: C:
  6. Then: bootrec.exe /FixMbr
    This will repair the master boot record
  7. Reboot
  8. If you are still unable to boot into windows enter this command aswell bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

Step 1: Recover Partition - From PC with windows installation

  1. In Acronis True Home, choose to recover the backup partition.
  2. Select the drive you wish to recover to under "Choose Recovery Destination"
  3. Go into Partition Properties and change type to Primary Active
  4. Click OK and recover the partition

Step 2: BCD Deployment - From PC with windows installation

  1. Install EasyBCD free version
  2. Once partition is recovered in Acronis, Open Easy BCD and go to the BCD Deployment button
  3. Select the partition you want from the dropdown menu
    note: you may need to go into computer management and give it a drive letter
  4. Click Install BCD and follow the prompts

Step 3: Startup Repair - From original PC

  1. Put the drive into the PC that it is intended for
  2. Insert Windows RE disk or install disk
  3. When disk loads up you should receive a prompt to repair an error
  4. Restart and boot into windows
  • Thanks for this. I am going to come back to this. I had to get something up and running as I had lost 2 days already and work from home. But when my contract ends in a month, I intend to revisit this because my Win7 installation had heaps of configs etc which would take me ages to re-implement (even if I could remember them all). Thanks again and I will be back. Perhaps even this weekend. Jun 2, 2015 at 23:33
  • Why a separate answer and not an edit to your existing one?
    – Karan
    Jun 3, 2015 at 3:05
  • Existing answer could help someone as well.
    – Cosco Tech
    Jun 5, 2015 at 1:22

Acronis True Image WD Edition does not create a bootable drive as per Western Digital, which states 'Acronis True Image WD Edition does not provide a booting feature.' They suggest buying the full Acronis True Image. If your copy was not purchased, that's the cause.

  • Seriously? I get marked down for verifying why the operation failed?
    – K7AAY
    Oct 4, 2018 at 15:50

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