Major hard drive failure on PC running Windows 7 Home premium

Last week the hard drive on my windows PC failed, I thought no problem I change out the hard drive and recover from the system image I took.  However things weren’t as straight forward as that, it took me three days to recover, but you can learn from my blog and do it much quicker.

I have a Dell N5040 and you actually have to take the key board out, remove a few cables and then unscrew the PC to get to the hard drive.  I don’t know if Dell have done this on purpose to make it complicated and stop PC owners doing it.   Luckily I found a great video on Youtube that showed me how to do it.

However when I put the recovery disk into the PC and connected the system image disk into the hard drive on my PC it didn’t work.  I think it was corrupted because I did more than one system image back up on the same partition, which confused it.

I then tried cloning my hard drive but it was totally corrupted and didn’t work when I put the new cloned hard drive back into my PC.  I did manage to clone another Windows 7 hard drive, but it wouldn’t work due to the hard ware differences on the PC’s.

The problem I now had was getting windows back onto my PC, because the PC comes with it pre loaded, however I managed to download a copy of windows 7 Home Premium for my 64K PC.

You should be able to download a copy here.  Create an ISO disk and ensure the bias will load from the DVD.

If this link doesn’t work, there will be a link some were on youtube that allows you to download Windows 7 Home premium for free.

When you come to download Windows 7 Home premium 64K, you need to put in the windows activation code which should be written on your PC.  Mine was on the bottom of my PC and had worn down, but I managed to activate the software ware with the code I had.  The activation code is now written safely in a book some where.  You can retrieve the windows activation code from your PC using software, but all the registry keys had been corrupted on my faulty hard drive.

The next stage is to download the hard ware drives for your PC, especially so you can connect to the internet and so the mouse will work correctly.  My PC came with all the drives on a DVD, if you don’t have a disk you maybe able to download from your computer manufacturer.

The next stage was to plug my old hard drive into an external caddy.  Luckily all my data was safe and I could load the user information into a new directory on my PC.  You should also be able to recover any emails if you go to the right directory on your old failed drive.  I then had to set up all my email accounts on my PC.

It took me about 3 days to figure out how I did all the above, but I now have a PC without all the other rubbish programs that are download when the PC is manufactured.  Instead of having 110 gig on my hard drive there is only 50 gig.

I have now done another system recovery disk and system image.  I have actually recovered from the system image onto my PC to ensure it works OK.  This time I will ensure that any system images are done on separate disk partitions.  I could still extract all my files from the corrupted system image I had on another hard drive, even if I couldn’t have done it from my faulty hard drive.

I have learned a valuable lesson from the above and will save time in the future.

All the best





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