Restoring the system from recovery partition is an easy process, with a few click, you got yourself a brand new computer. I had done that many times before, worked every time like a charm. This time, I wanted to replace my existing hard drive for my Lenovo w530 laptop with a new Samsung 850 PRO SSD.
When I tried to restore the system files to USB stick, it gave me an error message The files required by this system cannot be found. Hmm!
First, I looked around inside the recovery partition, everything seemed normal.
Then I ran
echo 0 > Q:\FactoryRecovery\RECOVERY.INI:Done to make sure I can make more than one copy of the Windows. Although Recovery Media Creator didn't give me You can have only one copy of the Microsoft Window Operating system. The Product Recovery Media Creator will exit now. error message, I did anyways. It didn't help either.
I spent time on the forums, nobody seemed to resolve the issue. So, I wanted to make sure there is no problem with my recovery partition. I backed up all my files then restored the system on my old hard drive, and it did with no sweat. Really?
So, I really confused, I could restore the system using Product Recovery option at the start-up (press F11 during boot) but on Windows. After numerous unsuccessful attempts, I decided to give a try to disk cloning option.
Clonezilla Backs Up and Restores Your Disks
I started to look for a reliable and free solution for disk cloning. I found Clonezilla, it is an open source, Linux-based disk cloning tool. It fits the bill. In a nutshell, disk cloning makes a copy of a data disk for future restoration.
I downloaded the software and wrote it on a USB stick. The process was very easy and straightforward. I booted up my laptop from the USB stick and followed the prompt. It asked me another external hard to save the data on. It took roughly 15 minutes to make the image of existing 256MB hard drive and almost about the same time to write it back to new hard drive. After successfully image cloning, I was able to start the computer with the old operating system.
I was curious if I could restore the system from Recovery Partition on my new HDD. So I fired to recovery with Product Recovery (press F11 during boot), it sure worked flawlessly.