Windows 7 System Image Recovery: How to Deal with error 0x80042412

So tonight my hard drive in my home theater PC decided it was a good time to crash during a movie the girlfriend and I were watching. I heard a whirr, some nasty scratching, and a few minutes later the screen just went blank. After taking the machine apart, the drive wouldn’t power up, it was clearly dead.

So like a good computer user, I have all of my systems backing up to a Windows 2008 R2 server (this previously was a WHS box, but I wasn’t too impressed with WHS and it’s streaming performance, especially when the drive extender was running and migrating data to the other drives). The drive in the HTPC was a 400GB Western Digital that was about 5 years old. I didn’t feel like going out and buying a drive, so I wanted to use an old 74GB Western Digital Raptor (probably a little overkill for an HTPC, and probably a little loud, but so what, it was available).

So the next step was to pop in my Windows 7 DVD and initiate the system recovery, which by the way if you’re using a 32 bit OS you must use a 32 bit DVD, and if you’re using a 64 bit OS, you must use a 64 Bit DVD. When I did the recovery, I looked towards my network and went through the wizard. Everything went well until it came time to lay the OS down on the drive. That was when I got an error, and a box that brought up some steps to try and had an error code of 0x80042412

This error message equates to the size of the disk being recovered to as smaller than the original disk. If you have access to the VHD and another Windows 7 PC, you can utilize disk management to mount the vhd and shrink the volume. I was able to do this, to an extent, but unfortunately there was unmovable data in the vhd so I could only shrink the vhd down to 200GB (down from 400 GB). I still needed this to be at 74 GB. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to waste the time screwing with it any longer, and since it’s just an HTPC there isn’t any data on the drive, just an install of Boxee and some codecs.

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