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trying to recreate C: drive from Windows Backup file

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Sorry folks, this is a long one. Hopefully one of you fine people will be kind enough to sink your teeth into this for me. Deep breath...

On a spare external hard drive I have a Windows Backup (.BKF) file of my IBM Windows XP Professional desktop PC's now-dead internal (C:) drive. I am trying to restore this .BKF file onto a brand new internal Western Digital HD, but am having various problems.

I bought a USB-to-IDE cable, so that I could write to the new internal HD using my other computer (a HP netbook). My hope was that I could load Windows Backup on the netbook and use the cable to restore the .BKF to the Western Digital HD which I would then put inside my IBM PC.

I plugged it all in, and it told me that the new drive needed formatting, so I did this.

The drive wasn't yet showing up as an option in Windows Backup, so I assigned it a drive letter in Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management. I wanted to give it C:, but this wasn't an option (presumably as it would clash with the netbook's own C: drive) so I chose D:

This made the drive show up in Windows Backup, so I restored the backup file to the new drive. Before it allowed me to do this, it warned me that something due to the layout of the disk was preventing me from restoring all the data. (Unfortunately I didn't make a note of the specific error message.) However it seemed to restore most of the files, and was browsable externally through the netbook. It looked, to all intents and purposes, like my old dead drive before it had died.

When I put the restored HD into my IBM PC, it booted up for a few seconds and then threw up the following error message:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: ntoskrnl.exe"

I tried various things including chkdsk and fixboot in Recovery Console, before eventually giving up and reformatting the disk via Recovery Console, to give me at least the bare bones of an XP internal HD which I would then hopefully be able to have another try at unpacking the .BKF onto. When the disk was reformatted in Recovery Console it was assigned drive letter C:

Now when I try and connect the drive externally using the USB-to-IDE cable on my netbook, it isn't showing up anywhere. Not in My Computer, Device Management or Computer Mangement. It doesn't even go through that detecting routine when I connect the USB, with no "Safely remove hardware" option showing up, despite being visible earlier. Nothing.

The drive is not dead and is whirring around when I power it up.

How can I recreate my old hard drive onto this new one using the .BKF file, and how can I see it again in my Device Manager, now that Recovery Console has assigned it drive letter C:?

Many thanks in advance!

Edited by beeteejay, 10 April 2011 - 02:53 PM.

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SOLVED this one myself! Here's how:

I suspected that the reason the new drive had disappeared from Device Manager was that it had been assigned the letter C:, and so was clashing with the netbook's own C: drive. I gave up on trying to address the drive externally using the netbook.

I put the new drive into the ailing IBM desktop computer and formatted it using my netbook's XP Home startup CD (thought this would clash with the original XP Professional install [for which I never received a CD] but it didn't seem to matter).

Then I went to load Windows Backup from the extremely basic low-res version of XP Home I was presented with on restart of the IBM PC, but it wasn't there. So I copied NTBACKUP.EXE from my netbook onto a memory stick and loaded it from there.

From here I was able to restore my .BKF from my other external hard drive, selecting the options to replace any existing files with the ones in the .BKF version. There were several error messages along the way, and it complained of not being able to load certain files because they were already running.

But after a restart, it is completely back to normal, with no apparent problems, despite using my XP Home CD as the basis for restoring my XP Pro computer.

Such a relief to have a working computer again. Hope this helps someone!
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