Windows 10 Pro, System Image Restore error “Element not found (0x80070490)”

I was adding a new 1TB SSD into my Dell Inspiron 3668 Desktop, and making this drive the C Drive, where Windows 10 Pro and all applications sit. And I have a previous System Image Backup ( SIB ) taken from the same system, which I wanted to restore after installing Windows.

Original configuration

There were two existing hard disks:

C drive: 1TB HDD — Windows 10 Pro and applications drive.

D drive: 128GB SSD — working drive.

There is also a read/write DVD drive.

The System Image Backup ( SIB ) was taken in this configuration.

New configuration

DELL Inspiron 3668 System Board Components.
DELL Inspiron 3668 System Board Components.

Adding a 1TB SSD, connecting it onto SATA 0 connector on the motherboard.

The existing Drive D, 128GB SSD is connecting onto SATA 2 connector.

The new 1TB SSD was initialised to GPT partition, and was partitioned into two partitions and were assigned Drive E and Drive F — assigning Drive letters at this point is rather irrelevant.

Installation Windows 10 Pro

Disconnected both 1TB HDD ( existing Drive C ) and 128GB SSD ( existing Drive D ).

Reconfigured the BIOS to boot in UEFI mode via USB “Windows 10 UEFI boot media”.

Installed Windows 10 Pro onto the first partition on the new 1TB SSD ( the only Drive that was connected. )

Windows 10 Pro was installed successfully.

The partition where Windows 10 Pro was installed became Drive C by default, the other partition was not yet active.

Restore the previous Windows 10 Pro System Image Backup ( SIB )

This SIB was on an external USB drive.

Windows 10 Pro was able to recognise this SIB, but it refused to restore, it wanted the machine to be booted up via USB “Windows 10 UEFI boot media” and restore from there.

After booting, selecting the time zone, and on the next screen, select “Repair Windows” instead of “Install”, then follow the appropriate option to restore from the mentioned SIB.

But it just simply refused to restore, reporting the error “Element not found (0x80070490)”.

— That was about 1:00 in the morning.

Searching Google gave a few results, most are from Microsoft, but none were useful!!

About an hour into the search, I came across this one post, from a site which I had not seen before, whereby they exercised their Backup and Recovery procedure for VMWare machines, and they had the same error, what they did was mounting another very small virtual drive, around 20MB and they were able to proceed.

I do apologise for not remember the site, I tried to relocate it, but could not.

So I reconnected the existing 128GB SSD to SATA 2 connector, and keeping it as Drive D as was before.

The restoration process was successfully ran.

BUT: AFTER THE SIB WAS RESTORED, the unused, inactive partition on Drive C ( the new 1TB SSD ) was removed! It now had only a single partition: but using Windows Disk Management I was able to shrink it down and made another partition as was before.

AND this does raise a concern: next time, will the restoration process remove this partition again? And so, all data will be lost!