Print | Rate this content

HP Notebook PCs - Recover Windows 7 Operating System Using Microsoft Windows Backup and Restore

This document covers how to recover a Notebook PC originally configured with Windows 7 Operating System by using native Windows functionality.
To use the HP recover function on notebooks originally configured with the Windows 7 operating system, see Recover Windows 7 Operating System Using HP Recovery .
For notebooks originally configured with the Windows Vista operating system, see Recover Windows Vista Operating System Using HP Recovery
For notebooks originally configured with XP or any other operating system, to verify that you are using the proper recovery procedure, see Overview Of Recovering Or Reinstalling The Operating System .
See FAQ On Repairing Or Reinstalling The Operating System for answers to frequently asked questions.

If Windows is damaged, or your hard drive is corrupted, or your computer is infected by a virus, you can restore your computer to its original condition using a native Windows functionality. The Windows 7 Backup and Restore function can help you protect and recover your computer by doing the following:

Windows 7 Backup and Restore is similar to the HP Recovery Manager. To use the HP Recovery Manager, see HP Notebook PCs - Recover Windows 7 Operating System Using HP Recovery .

Back up your files

You should back up your files periodically in case your hard drive becomes corrupted or you accidently delete a file. You can back up your files at any time, as many times as you like to any external storage device such as a CD, DVD, external hard drive, USB drive, or network location. Windows does not recommend that you back up your files to your internal hard drive because you risk losing your files if the hard drive becomes corrupted. Storing your backup copy in a safe location away from your computer will allow you to restore your files to your computer once your computer is repaired.

To back up your files using Windows 7 Backup and Restore, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start , enter Backup into the search field, and click Backup and Restore when it becomes available in the list.

  2. Click Set up backup .

  3. At this time, connect your external storage device or insert your blank media into the computer. Select your device or media when it becomes available in the storage location list, then click Next to continue.

  4. Select the option to have Windows choose which files to back up for you or if you would like to select it yourself.

    • If you select Windows choose the files automatically , click Next to begin the backup process of all your files.

    • If you select Let me choose , click Next to open the file selection window. Browse the folders and select the files or folders of files you would like to back up, then click Next .

  5. A window of your selection opens. Review your backup location and the summary of the specific files you have chosen. Click Save settings and run backup to begin the backup process.

  6. Wait for Windows to finish backing up your files. The progress bar may appear to be stopped, though you can click More information to see what is happening.

    If prompted, label and insert a blank DVD, USB drive, or external hard drive, then click OK to continue saving your files.

Wait for a message to display indicating that the backup process is complete. Be sure to store your backup in a safe place. You should perform another backup to add any new, important files periodically. If it has been a long time since you have performed a backup, you may want to create a new, full backup .

Create a new, full backup

It is important to update your backup files over time as you add new files. If it has been a long time since your last backup, you can create a new, full backup to replace the last one.

To create a new, full backup, follow the steps below.

  1. To open Backup and Restore , click Start , enter Backup , and click Backup and Restore when it becomes available in the list.

  2. Click Create a new, full backup in the left column. A window displays and allows you to back up your files again just like the first time.

  3. Click Back up now to begin backing up your files onto your storage device.

    If prompted, insert a blank media into your computer, and then click OK to continue the backup process.

Perform a new, full backup any time that you add important files. To learn how to restore your files from a backup, see Restore your files from a backup .

Create a system image

A system image can restore your drives, programs, files, and system settings should your hard drive become corrupted. You would use a system image if you have a new hard drive and want to transfer all your drives, files, and system settings from your old hard drive. Since a system image is a complete copy of your hard drive, you cannot select what goes into the system image. To select individual files to back up, see Back up your files .

To create a system image, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Create a system image on the left column of the Backup and Restore window.

  2. Select a storage location to save the image to, and then click Next .

    You can save your backup files to your internal hard drive, though it is not recommended. If your hard drive becomes corrupted, you could lose all of your backed-up files. Save your backup files to a safe, external location such as a DVD, USB drive, external hard drive, or network.

  3. Select which drives you want to include in the image, and then click Next .

  4. Review your backup settings, and then click Start backup to begin creating a system image.

    The backup process could take multiple DVDs.

  5. Wait for a message to display indicating that the backup is complete before continuing.

    If prompted, label and insert a blank media bigger than 1 GB, such as a DVD, USB drive, or external hard drive into the computer, and then click OK .

Store the system image in a safe place away from the computer, and use it when you need to restore your computer with all of your files, drivers, and software.

Create a system repair disc

Another option in the Windows 7 Backup and Recovery is to create a system repair disc. A system repair disc is a bootable disc that contains Windows recovery tools. These tools can help Windows start again if there is a serious error that prevents you from starting Windows. For example, if a virus corrupts your system and prevents you from starting Windows, the system repair disc will open a repair tool menu with options to fix the problem.

To create a system repair disc using Windows 7 Backup and Restore, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Create a system repair disc in the left column.

  2. Insert a blank DVD into your computer, select your drive, then click Create disc to begin uploading your files onto the DVD.

Now that you have created a system repair disc, store the disc in a safe location away from the computer. Use this disc when you cannot access Windows to try to resolve the problem.

Restore from a system restore

System restore is like an Undo button. If you recently added or removed a file or program from your computer that causes some problems, you can go back to when the computer was operating properly. This option does not affect any of your personal files. It will undo the most recent update, driver, or software installation that may be causing problems.

To restore your system, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Recover system settings or your computer .

  2. Click Open system restore .

  3. Select the option Recommended restore , and then click Next to continue.

  4. Click Finish to proceed with the system restore.

  5. Click Yes when prompted if you want to continue.

After logging back into Windows, there will be a message stating that the system restore completed successfully. You may now use your computer normally.

Restore from a system image

If a system restore cannot resolve your problem or you have a new hard drive, then restoring your hard drive from a system image is the next step. When you restore your computer from a system image, you cannot choose individual files to restore, and all of your programs, system settings, and files are replaced with those on the system image. If you perform a system image to restore your computer, you will only need to replace the programs and files that were added after you created a system image.

To restore your hard drive from a system image, follow the steps below.

Choose the appropriate method of restoration based on the condition of your computer:
  • If you have access to Control Panel in Windows or wish to restore the system image onto another computer, follow the steps below.
    1. Click Start , enter Backup into the search field, and click Backup and Restore when it becomes available in the list.

    2. Click Recover system settings or your computer .

    3. Click Advanced recovery methods .

    4. Click Use a system image you created earlier to recover your computer , then follow the on-screen instructions.

  • If you cannot access Control Panel in Windows, and you do not have a Windows installation disc or a system repair disc, follow the steps below.

    1. Restart the computer using the computer's power button.

    2. If your computer only has Windows 7 installed, hold the F8 key down before the Windows logo appears. Redo these first two steps if the Windows logo appears.

      If your computer has more than one operating system installed, use the arrow keys to highlight the preferred operating system, then press the F8 key.

    3. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Repair your computer , and then press Enter .

    4. Select a keyboard layout, and then click Next .

    5. Select a user name, type the password, and then click OK .

    6. On the System Recovery Options menu, click System Image Recovery , and then follow the on-screen instructions.

  • If you cannot access Control Panel in Windows, but you do have a Windows installation disc or a system repair disc, follow the steps below.

    1. Insert the installation disc or system repair disc.

    2. Restart your computer using the computer's power button.

    3. If prompted, press any key to start the computer from the installation disc or system repair disc.

      If your computer is not setup to start from a CD or DVD, you may need to change your computer's BIOS settings. Before the Windows logo appears, hold the F9 key down to access the Boot Option Manager. Use the arrow keys to highlight Internal CD/DVD ROM Drive , then press Enter .

    4. Choose your language settings, and then click Next .

    5. (Only if you have a Windows installation disc. If not, continue to step 6) Click Repair your computer .

    6. Select a recovery option, and then click Next to continue.

Your computer should now be restored to the system image that you created. If you are missing some programs and files that were added after the system image was created, reinstall the programs or restore your files from a backup that you created.

Restore your files from a backup

After performing a system image, you may be missing some of your files. Assuming that you backed up your files to an external location, follow the steps below to restore your files on your computer.

  1. Click Select another backup to restore files from .

  2. Select the location that you saved all your backed up files to, and then click Next to continue.

  3. Select the checkbox for Select all files from this backup or manually choose the files or folders of files to restore. Then click Next to continue.

  4. Select the option to restore your files In the original location , or manually choose a new location In the following location . Then click Restore to begin the restoration process.

  5. After the files have been restored, click Finish to complete the process.

Your files should be restored onto your hard drive in the location of your choosing.

It is important to back up your files whenever you add new, important files, or if it has been awhile since you last backed up your files. As long as your files are saved in a safe, external location, you can restore your files to your hard drive at any time.

Provide feedback

Please rate the information on this page to help us improve our content. Thank you!