Using WinPE and ImageX to recover from a failed hard drive

The hard drive storing the boot and system volumes of my main home machine failed a couple of weeks ago. The drive first started making strange noises and occasionally the machine would hang or blue screen. The hangs, which usually were recoverable, were accompanied by errors in the system log.
Index              : 270720
EntryType          : Error
EventID            : 11
Message            : The driver detected a controller error on DeviceIdeIdePort0.
Category           : (0)
CategoryNumber     : 0
ReplacementStrings : {DeviceIdeIdePort0}
Source             : atapi
TimeGenerated      : 11.01.2009 20:47:12
TimeWritten        : 11.01.2009 20:47:12
UserName           :
Before the drive finally gave out I was able to use ImageX to make a backup in a WIM file.
The first replacement drive I received, a Seagate 250GB drive, was DOA. Go figure. The second one, a Samsung 300 GB drive worked. Here are the complete steps I followed to make the backup and restore my machine.
  1. Download and install Windows Automated Installation Kit
    This package contains WinPE, which I use to capture and apply the WIM image, as well as the utility used; ImageX.
  2. Create a bootable WinPE CD-ROM containing ImageX.
    ImageX.exe is the only file I neede to add that was not already included in WinPE.
  3. Boot the WinPE CD.
  4. Run ImageX:
    imagex /capture c: d:myvistabackup.wim “Emergency Vista Backup” /compress none
  5. Replace the failed drive.
  6. Boot WinPE again.
  7. Run Diskpart to create a new partition on the new drive and set it active:
    diskpart
    select disk 0
    clean
    create partition primary
    assign drive letter=c:
    active
    exit
  8. Format the new partition:
    format c: /q /y
  9. Apply the image:
    imagex /apply d:myvistabackup.wim 1 c:
  10. Update the Boot Configuration Database (BCD):
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partiton=c:
    bcdedit /set {default} device partiton=c:
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partiton=c:
  11. Reboot

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