Resore system image from network storage drive

Hello - I have a HP Pavilion with Windows 7 Premium 64, and have my computer back up daily, with weekly system image back ups using the Windows back up utility. This backs up to a DLink DNS 323 network storage device. Last Friday my hard drive failed, and I didn't feel too bad becuase of my back ups. Yesterday after replacing the hard drive I tried using the System Repair Disc to restore the System Image, but couldn't locate anything on the network to restore. I checked with DLink support and they said this is a Windows issue. Hoping I can get some ideas how to proceed and get my data on the new hard drive.

THe DLink site suggested that I try everything out before I need it to make sure it all works as planned. I would have no idea how to try out the System Repair Disc and restore the System Image without having a blank hard drive or jeopardizing the data on my current drive. Any suggestions on that would also be appreciated.



Noob Whisperer
Hello and welcome to the forum. Hmmm.
I was under the impression that you needed Windows 7 Pro or higher in order to backup to a network location. Compare Windows - Microsoft Windows
Have you managed to follow the instructions for an image recovery from here Restore your computer from a system image backup
Did you previously have the location mapped as a network drive?
Can you browse to the location of the image(s)? Are they .VHD format? Can you mount one and browse it from the disk management utility?

Thank you fo rthe reply. 1st off, my mistake - I do have Windows 7 Pro 64. Sorry about that. I did find the Microsft page yesterday about restoring from a system image backup. Everything went as described until I had to put in the network address/location. That's where I hit the wall. When I installed the DLink storage device I did map as a network drive on all the computers in our house. I think I did it correctly as you can find the network drive on all computers through Windows Explorer. Using a different computer other than the one with the failed hard drive I am able to access the network device and the Windows Image Files. There are 3 files in .VHD format. Regarding your last question if I can mount one of the files and browse it from the disc management utility - I have no idea what that means and how to do. I did look in the control/config for the storage device and there were no utilities that sounded anything like that.


Noob Whisperer
A simple msdn blog post on how to mount a .vhd file in windows 7 using the disk management utility. Mounting VHDs with Windows 7 - Virtual PC Guy's Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Sounds to me like under your current boot scenario "System Repair Disk", that you network components are not supported. So unless you have a means to attach the drive containing your systems images locally (USB) or can somehow move or copy them to a local drive or partition, then you may have to reinstall Windows 7 to a point where your computer can access your network in order to be able to use those images on your NAS and then perform the image recovery.

I think I can handle that. I appreciate your help! Thanks for the thorough explanation.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
The device seems to have permissions set for local groups. If you are doing a re-image, not sure you would be in one of the groups to allow access.

Otherwise, it does appear to be set up with a network address, as long as you are not trying FTP access. When you start the re-image, do any network locations show?

No network locations show up, and when I try to type in the network address it comes back with invalid location. So that's as far as I got. I didn't proceed with the system recovery discs as I didn't want to have to reinstall all the programs and such, but it sounds like if I do use the system recovery option I can then restore the image files after the restore.


Extraordinary Member
I would use another PC and download the image file(s) to an external drive. Once you have the VHD, it can be used for recovery - even if Windows recovery fails (that is very touchy anyhow).

I'm having the exact same problem.

Created a Win System Image on my network share drive (Seagate GoFlex Home) withougt issue. Went to restore and Windows keeps asking for the device location in the usual \\server\share format. No matter what is entered, Win keeps giving the 'invalid location' message

Contacte Seagate but they say they don't support a Win System Image restore from one of their drives

Apparently the issue is that the Seagate can't present a location in a format that Win will understand.

I believe the GoFlex Home is not a 'dumb' drive but has some type of no-frills OS on it (Linux?). So there is probably some secret handshake at the OS level that lets Win 7 access the GoFlex home ..

I'm sniffing around for some third party tool that can do this ...

Thanks for the post

In this case the System Image is on a network drive. During the process Windows asks for the location of the network drive in the ususal \\server\share format.

Unforutnately, no matter what is entered, it returns an 'invalid location' message.

For now Win restore can even to get to the Image to see if it is corrupt or not ...


Extraordinary Member
Try to copy the image to a local drive - if you can. Messing with network drives and the cloud is too messy. The other day a friend ventured to upload a few TBs to the cloud. His system and line was tied up for over 1 week.

started to do that ... estimate was 20 hours for a 32G Image ...

Are you familiar with any 3rd party software that and do a Window System Image to a network drive .. Norton Ghost ?

Creating DVDs is a total pain ...


Noob Whisperer
It still seems to me that perhaps the Windows Recovery Environment is somewhat less than robust when it comes to networking, perhaps even to the point of not having native drivers for the network adapters being used.
I know that Acronis True Image seems to be a bit more network capable, maybe because of its' Linux underpinnings. I know also that it is purported to work fine with .VHD formatted images created by Vista and Windows 7 backup and recovery, when you boot from the Rescue Media CD. And finally I also know that you can obtain a free trial version of the software from here Complete hard disk recovery solution, backup, drive copy, clone and image computer software
Might be worth a try, doesn't actually cost anything unless you decide to buy it afterwards (which I would recommend), and who knows may even save some of the 20 hours.
Good luck


Extraordinary Member
For imaging, the only way to go is to external disk. DVDs and the cloud are no good because if the size of images.

With the network you will always be limited by the speed of your connection. Very few people have connections that are suitable for this approach.

I think you're right ... looking at that now

Back to the original problem ... what is Win restore looking for when it asks for \\server\share for the network drive?

Apparently it can 'physically' do a restore from a System Image on a network drive ... slow ... but it can do it

My network drive sees itself as \\GOFLEX_HOME\GoFlex Home Backup\


Noob Whisperer
Not sure, but often time "PATH" syntax that include spaces as yours seems to can be problematic.
You can try to encapsulate the path statement in double quotes (") like
"\\goflex home\goflex home backup\FolderThatContainsTheBackup\BackUpName.vhd"
and see if that might help.

First, thanks for all your help ! If you're even in NJ I definitley owe you a beer and a slice ...

I agree, in the day, spaces were are real no no. I tried some tinkering with single quotes but not exactly what you're suggesting ... so will give it a try

I'm a bit new to System Images and restores ... so here is what is on my network drive:


Under this directory there are two other directories and a file:

Directory: Backup yyyy-mm-dd
Directory: Catalog
File ....... Mediald

Therefore, my PATH would be: "\\GOFLEX_HOME\GoFlex Home Backup\WidowsImageBackup\computername\"

How close am I ?


Noob Whisperer
I am kinda flying blind here. Using Windows 8 not 7 and using Acronis for my imaging instead of the native Windows 7 utility.
Experiment. You may have to drill into the \backup folder and select the appropriate .vhd and include those in the path syntax as well. Not sure but you should be able to find out quick enough.

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