Performing a Recovery Using Complete PC Restore

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 25 Nov. 2008 / Last Updated on 29 Aug. 2008]

Here's a simple tip to make sure you are able to properly recover a Vista system from a backup you made using Complete PC Backup.

The other day I tried recovering a Vista computer from backup. I had previously used Complete PC Backup to back up my entire system drive to a removable USB hard drive. Then yesterday the hard drive on the Vista system failed, so I tried the following procedure to recovery my system from backup:

1. Replaced the failed hard drive with a new unpartitioned hard drive.

2. Plugged in the USB hard drive containing the backup.

3. Booted the system from a Vista DVD.

4. Selected the Repair Your Computer option.

5. Selected the Windows Complete PC Restore option from the System Recovery Options dialog.

Unfortunately I then got the following error message: Element Not Found (error code 0x80070490)

What went wrong? Here's what I should have done:

1. Replaced the failed hard drive with a new unpartitioned hard drive.

2. Booted the system from a Vista DVD.

3. Plugged in the USB hard drive containing the backup.

4. Selected the Repair Your Computer option.

5. Selected the Windows Complete PC Restore option from the System Recovery Options dialog.

At that point I was able to continue with the restore process and recovered the system.

Why did the first procedure fail? It has to do with the BIOS of the computer trying to boot up first from the USB drive, failing, booting from the DVD, and then never finding any system drives to restore to.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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