Oct 29, 2012
HobWebsAdmin

Recovery of Toshiba Laptop using .SWM files

Machine: Toshiba Satellite L450D-11V

Problem: Faulty hard drive, new drive to be installed. Customer has no recovery discs and Windows COA label with product key is worn out so would like to find a way to reinstall Windows 7 without buying a new license.

Solution:

The recovery partition contained eight ‘.swm’ files which we managed to save to a USB hard drive.

The files were:

10739XSP.swm
10739XSP2.swm
10739XSP3.swm
10739XSP4.swm
10739XSP5.swm
10739XSP6.swm
10739XSP7.swm
10739XSP8.swm

Booted up with Windows 7 DVD disc, chose Repair and Command Prompt.

At this point, USB drive was D: and blank hard drive was C:

The executable file ‘ImageX’ (the tool for working with .wim and .swm files) was also on the USB drive. If you don’t have ImageX, Google it – it’s available for download.

Changed command prompt from C: to D:

Ran the following command to merge all .swm files into a single ‘.wim’ file:

imagex /ref 10739XSP*.swm /export 10739XSP.swm 2 boot.wim

This created a 6.5GB .WIM file which was the whole Windows 7 preinstalled partition.

Then ran the following command:

imagex /apply boot.wim 1 C:\

This applied the image to the partition C:\

At this point it would not boot so we ran StartUp Repair from the Windows 7 DVD

Then we ran the command:

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

At this point Windows 7 started and began setting up all the other preinstalled software that Toshiba includes.

Several reboots later and all is running perfectly!

The following is from a comment below this post from Frank K. It is very detailed and shows how he was able to use a similar method to restore his Asus laptop:

“I had the same problem and your solution worked for me.
Another solution was to copy the recovery-partition to the new disk and let it do the restore, but the partition copied with Acronis did not boot. Therefore, I was happy to see your solution how to restore a system with swm-files and without booting from a disk with the recovery partition.

For an ASUS notebook I had to made some minor changes, I changed
imagex /ref 10739XSP*.swm /export 10739XSP.swm 2 boot.wim
to
imagex /ref asus*.swm /export asus.swm 1 boot.wim

Asus-Files are named asus[1-3] and contain only one image (C:)

Your command
imagex /apply boot.wim 1 C:\
then worked fine for me, too.

What I did in detail:
1. I took a new HD (500GB), connected it to a working Win7-PC via USB, created two “classic” partitions (MBR, not GPT), C: 400 GB, D: 100 GB.
2. I copied the contents of the Recovery-Partition (all swm-files and Imagex.Exe) from the original HD (I was lucky so far, the C:-Partition showed drive errors already) to D:-partition on the new disk.
3. I created the boot.wim – file, see command line above.
4. Then I installed the new HD in the Notebook and booted with a Win7x32-DVD.(It has to be x32, Imagex did not work for me with x64.) Select Repair Options and Command Prompt. (The Selection “Restore from a Win-Image doesn’t work, it can´t find the boot.wim)
5. Select drive D: at the prompt and start the image restore with ImageX’ apply-option (see command line above).
This takes some time.
6. When finished, I entered
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
but this did not work for me, the computer didn’t boot.
I started with the Win7x32-DVD again, go to repair options and select the item “Fix startup problems” (I do only have a german DVD, so I don’t know the original english name for this function, but there is one selection that fixes startup problems.).
This did correctly activate the partition and the MBR-Information. It shows a log when the mbr is fixed.
I rebooted the machine and it started perfectly, initiating the standard Windows welcome at first start.
Now I’m installing updates etc.
At a later time I deleted the now no longer needed D-Partition and extended the C-Partition to use the whole disk via Disk Management in Administration.
Normally, I have a C-Partition for the OS and D: for Programs/Data, but most of the users mess these things up, so for those who don´t care I create a C-Partition only.

I looked at many descriptions on the internet, complicated, not working, frustrating – your fix is the only one that worked for me, THANKS!

Sorry for my poor English, but I hope many other people can benefit of your solution with these extra hints.”

 

We fix laptops everyday at our laptop repair shop in Kent. Hopefully this site has helped you!

14 Comments

  • hello, can u help me by sending me a video about how to do this just to make sure that i do ur instruction .,.,., please …

    • Sorry Adiyan, I have already given the customer back their laptop. If I get another one in with a similar issue and I have some spare time I will make a video.

  • … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: hobwebs.com/windows-issues/recovery-of-toshiba-laptop-using-swm-files/ […]…

  • will these .swm files also make new recovery partition files? thanks

  • Hi,

    If we can recovery without create big wim file, we can use:
    imagex /ref 13777xsp*.swm /check /apply 13777XSP.swm 2 c:\
    where “c:\” is new and clean partition for system.

  • Thanx , TOP!

  • Great tip! Worked wonderfully for my Toshiba with minor adjustments (name of the files and on the Windows Startup repair part).

    Just in case anyone needs the Imagex executables, can be get at http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=2525084&kbln=en-us

  • Thanks very much for your tips – we have had a bit of a nightmare today whilst running a Toshiba factory reset the power dropped and the build did not finish – so the drive was left in a mess.
    Going to try what you’ve suggested by booting from Hiren boot USB/CD and running ImageX.
    As yet I’ve not found the ImageX .exe file – do you have any records/memory of where you found it?
    Alternatively I’d be grateful of a reply or email with the exe ;-)
    Thanks for taking the time to post this

  • I have a toshiba L650 when doing chkdsk i deleted all handles to the d drive with the recovery swm files , how can i bring back to default in order to use hot key in cecovery?

  • Thank you very much!

    I had the same problem and your solution worked for me.
    Another solution was to copy the recovery-partition to the new disk and let it do the restore, but the partition copied with Acronis did not boot. Therefore, I was happy to see your solution how to restore a system with swm-files and without booting from a disk with the recovery partition.

    For an ASUS notebook I had to made some minor changes, I changed
    imagex /ref 10739XSP*.swm /export 10739XSP.swm 2 boot.wim
    to
    imagex /ref asus*.swm /export asus.swm 1 boot.wim

    Asus-Files are named asus[1-3] and contain only one image (C:)

    Your command
    imagex /apply boot.wim 1 C:\
    then worked fine for me, too.

    What I did in detail:
    1. I took a new HD (500GB), connected it to a working Win7-PC via USB, created two “classic” partitions (MBR, not GPT), C: 400 GB, D: 100 GB.
    2. I copied the contents of the Recovery-Partition (all swm-files and Imagex.Exe) from the original HD (I was lucky so far, the C:-Partition showed drive errors already) to D:-partition on the new disk.
    3. I created the boot.wim – file, see command line above.
    4. Then I installed the new HD in the Notebook and booted with a Win7x32-DVD.(It has to be x32, Imagex did not work for me with x64.) Select Repair Options and Command Prompt. (The Selection “Restore from a Win-Image doesn´t work, it can´t find the boot.wim)
    5. Select drive D: at the prompt and start the image restore with ImageX’ apply-option (see command line above).
    This takes some time.
    6. When finished, I entered
    bootrec.exe /fixmbr
    but this did not work for me, the computer didn’t boot.
    I started with the Win7x32-DVD again, go to repair options and select the item “Fix startup problems” (I do only have a german DVD, so I don’t know the original english name for this function, but there is one selection that fixes startup problems.).
    This did correctly activate the partition and the MBR-Information. It shows a log when the mbr is fixed.
    I rebooted the machine and it started perfectly, initiating the standard Windows welcome at first start.
    Now I’m installing updates etc.
    At a later time I deleted the now no longer needed D-Partition and extended the C-Partition to use the whole disk via Disk Management in Administration.
    Normally, I have a C-Partition for the OS and D: for Programs/Data, but most of the users mess these things up, so for those who don´t care I create a C-Partition only.

    I looked at many descriptions on the internet, complicated, not working, frustrating – your fix is the only one that worked for me, THANKS!

    Sorry for my poor english, but I hope many other people can benefit of your solution with these extra hints.

    Again, thanks a lot –
    I will donate some Euros immediately so you can get yourself a good cup of tea and a piece of cake :-)

    regards.

    FrankK.

    • Thanks so much Frank. Much appreciated and glad to help.

  • Many thanks for an excellent article! helped a lot, much appreciated,

  • Hi Guys,

    E:\AIO\install.swm

    E:\AIO\install2.swm

    This is the path of my 2 swm files, could you please help me with the exact command i should type to combine all of them to one WIM file (? I’m weak in dos, :)

    I currently can see “C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>” in the command prompt.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Donations

This site is a labour of love and it exists only through the kindness and generosity of visitors like you. We welcome and deeply appreciate your donation of any amount to help towards our running costs. You can securely make a donation using the PayPal button below. Thanks!