error restoring the MBR

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by Cosmin3, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. Cosmin3
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    Cosmin3 Registered Member

  2. Robin A.
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    Robin A. Registered Member

    I tried to do the the same using Hard Disk Manager, and found the same problem.
  3. Cosmin3
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    Cosmin3 Registered Member

    So, it seems that it's a bug :(
    I hope it will be fixed soon.
  4. ocular
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    ocular Registered Member

    Tried the same with HDM Server12 using winpe boot cd and same error,

    So how does one restore the MBR?

    The reason I ask is that restoration of the MBR has been proposed as a workaround for the change of boot configuration files that occurs with ?all HDM volume/disk backups. The change to the boot configuration files is not an issue for most with standard windows setups, unless you have a customised boot configuration. The customised boot configuration is changed back to a basic windows configuration by default. I thought that this could be turned off by unchecking "automatic bcd update".

    But during the restore process at the end of the progress report "Updating Boot configuration data in BCD Hive on Hard Disk 0, Partition 0" happens when using winpe boot cd with automatic bcd update" checked or unchecked" and my non standard bcd does get changed. No difference if backup is Raw or not. So what difference does unchecking (default) "automatic BCD update"actually do?

    I actually have come across this problem as have a new HP Proliant ML350G6 server that comes with a preinstall of SB2011. Wanted to make a disk image of HDD before bootup so that I could return to its pristine state if required. It obviously has a non standard boot configuration setup because restoration of the Raw backup image confused the installation of SBS2011. Fortunately I had an Acronis back Recovery 11 Image I had taken as well that was able to recover the HDD back to its pristine state with the correct boot configuration.

    This manipulation of BCD was raised by Raza007
    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=2031000&postcount=180

    And a workaround was proposed by Paragon MA
    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=2035148&postcount=236
    which is to do a separate MBR backup and then a separate MBR restore after disk restore to get the customised boot configuration back to its original form.


    Which is to do exactly as the Cosmin3 and Robin A. have tried. Back up and restore MBR separately.

    I couldn't continue with that thread as no replies for some time.
    Grateful for some direction , otherwise will have to ditch HDM.
  5. Robin A.
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    Robin A. Registered Member

  6. ocular
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    ocular Registered Member

    OK MBR Restore doesn't seem to work under HDM winPE boot disc, but can be performed when boot into linux boot CD. When get to hard disk restore there are three options 1. Hard Disk 2. MBR 3. First Track

    Fortunately the linux boot disc is able to see the HP P400 raid controller de novo!

    says it has successfully completed MBR restore, now to go and sort the rest of the problem......
  7. Raza0007
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    Raza0007 Registered Member

    Hello ocular,

    I got your PM. Unfortunately I have not used HDM 12 after I installed it as a trial during your above quoted thread. I noticed the problem and mentioned it on the thread and as you probably read, there was no resolution. I believe the product has an option of "automatic BCD update" for this very reason, but unfortunately it does not work.

    I see that you managed to get the problem solved using the Linux CD, so it is basically as bug in the WinPE environment. I am not optimistic that folks at Paragon will fix it.

    I was going to suggest that if you plan on using Paragon's WinPE disk, you can always backup your MBR and BCD separately using EasyBCD, so you can restore the mbr with EasyBCD after you have successfully restored your partition with Paragon. I have not tried it myself as I use Macrium, but it should work fine.
  8. Raza0007
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    Raza0007 Registered Member

    I do not know what you can do in Paragon to make it work, but you can always use the freeware EasyBCD to backup and restore the MBR separately.
  9. Robin A.
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    Robin A. Registered Member

    Could you explain how to backup the MBR using EasyBCD?
  10. SIW2
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    SIW2 Registered Member

  11. Robin A.
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    Robin A. Registered Member

    BOOTICE reports that the "Current MBR Type" in this computer is "Windows 98 MBR". I didn´t know it was so old. It´s a Dell computer that I bought 3 years ago with Windows 7 x64 installed.
  12. SIW2
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    SIW2 Registered Member

    It is possible Dell is using an mbr which will boot any windows - but they may also have in there some kind of hook to their recov partition.

    Might be a good idea to back it up for safety.

    After you have backed it up - if you are adventurous (like me ), you could replace it with nt6 mbr and see if that makes any difference to accessing their recov partition.
  13. wptski
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    wptski Registered Member

    My Dell W7 x64 purchased 11/10 shows Windows NT 6.x MBR
    .
  14. Raza0007
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    Raza0007 Registered Member

    On closer inspection it appears that EasyBCD only backups and restores the bootloader, not the MBR. But it will still help if you have a custom bootloader in place that allows you to boot into multiple OS or Wim files. You can at least get that part back. As I mention in my previous post that I have actually never used EasyBCD to backup and restore MBR, but I briefly looked at it and thought that it backed up the MBR, the boot sector and the bootloader. It actually backs up the bootloader only. Keep in mind that most people usually only modify the bootloader with custom entries and not the MBR or the boot sector, so in most cases they only need to restore the bootloader.

    However, SIW2 has mentioned a software to backup the MBR, make sure it backs up all three, MBR, boot sector (first sector) and the bootloader.
  15. Raza0007
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    Raza0007 Registered Member

    Did you never reformat and reinstall windows by yourself on this computer?

    Because maybe Dell are using a custom built old MBR and did not feel the need to update it. If you clean install a fresh copy of windows after removing the all the special partitions created by Dell before the C partition, you should get the new Vista based MBR i.e. v6 MBR
  16. Robin A.
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    Robin A. Registered Member

    Yes, I suppose it´s an old custom Dell MBR. There isn´t really any problem with it, I just found the BOOTICE report curious.

    In this computer there are two special partitions (for diagnostics and recovery of the factory configuration) that I don´t use and may be inoperative. I think I could just update or “fix” the MBR using bootrec.exe /fixmbr from the Windows 7 installation or repair boot medium. Paragon and other programs also allow this operation. I may try this later, to see what happens.

    In fact, I have several backups of this computer´s MBR, included in images created with ShadowProtect. SP always backups the MBR and the first track when you create an image of the system partition. But to restore the MBR included in the image, is necessary to restore the system partition too. When restoring the image, it´s also possible to "update" to MBR.

    This thread was originally about the possibility of backing up and restoring only the MBR using Paragon HDM. It seems that this is not possible.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  17. wptski
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    wptski Registered Member

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  18. ocular
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    ocular Registered Member


    Thanks for explaining that. It would seem it is the bootloader that changes when paragon backup/restore does its own thing and updates the bcd hive configuration. Paragon MA says that backing up and restoring MBR will solve this bug. But tried restoring with original MBR (thru paragon Linux Boot Disk) and bootloader still not behaving. Will try saving/restoring the original BCD via command line from WinPE

    bcdedit /export C:\SAVEDBCD
    bcdedit /import C:\SAVEDBCD
  19. ocular
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    ocular Registered Member

    I have confirmed that when restore a HDD image with Paragon HDM 12 server and Paragon Backup & Recovery Free 2013 there is no way to turn the automatic BCD update feature. If you follow the progress log at the end of the restore it says "updating the BCD Hive configuration". Not sure what protocol is followed to do the updating but if there is a non standard bootloader it is likely that the non standard bootloader is changed to a typical windows 7/8/2008/2012 bootloader configuration and the non standard bootloader that is in the backup archive is not restored.

    Raza0007 originally identified this issue and a workaround was suggested that involved restoring the original MBR. However this has been confirmed not to work as the MBR does not contain the BCD file.

    It is possible to restore the original BCD file from the backup archive back to its original position using the Paragon transfer file wizard whilst still in the Paragon program. The BCD file will be in the boot folder in the active partition. This saves having to resort to a third party program to restore the BCD bootloader.

    In Summary there are 2 bugs
    1. Can't restore MBR under winpe boot disk. But can be done with Linux Boot CD
    2. Can't turn off automatic BCD update feature on HDD image restore. Also documented with Paragon Backup Recovery Free2013. If bootloader doesn't behave after restore then need to extract BCD file from archive and restore to original position.

    Over to Paragon.
  20. ocular
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    ocular Registered Member

    In My Googling I came across this from Active Disk Image User Guide

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, if you use a non-standard boot manager it might use a proprietary MBR code and extra code or data in sector 1 and below. If you make a backup of such a disk and later restore it as a whole disk, the whole first track (normally 63 sectors) will be restored automatically, so the alternative boot manager data will be restored.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After reading this thought that taking a backup of and restoring the First Track option with paragon HDM might restore the non standard bootloader to its correct form, but it didnt work. The BCD is not included in these 63 sectors.
  21. Raza0007
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    Raza0007 Registered Member

    So, I guess, for you EasyBCD will work fine.

    Has anybody opened a support ticket with Paragon? I am surprised that many people are not reporting this problem, as I am sure a lot of people have a modified or custom bootloader.

    The situation is like this. When the PC is started the BIOS is loaded.The BIOS loades the mbr and runs a code in the mbr of disk 0. This code looks for the bootsector and runs a code in the bootsector of the active partition. The bootsector code runs and looks for the bootmgr (Vista based) or NTLDR (XP based) in the root of its partition.

    So the actual BCD store is not present in the first sector, just a small code that loads bootmgr, that in turn loads BCD configuration data stored in the Boot folder of the active partition.
  22. ocular
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    ocular Registered Member

    EasyBCD may work havent tried it as can actually restore the BCD file from the backup archive while in bootup winpe/linux using file transfer to restore the original BCD file.

    Yes you noted it over one year ago. Many will not know about the issue if they havent restored. Its a bit presumptious to assume that an exact image will be restored.
  23. wptski
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    wptski Registered Member

    Below is a screen from MBRWizard purchased version. Just wondering as it has several different saving options, what advantage does each one offer to the user?

    MBRWiz.jpg
  24. Robin A.
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    Robin A. Registered Member

    I would backup all three MBR, track0 and boot record. There is redundancy, because track0 contains the MBR, but these are all small files. I suppose "boot record" refers to the boot record of the active partition.

    So, if a problem arises and one wants to follow the "restore backups" route to try to solve it, there are several options to try.

    I don't know what "GPT" means. An UEFI boot disk contains a "EFI partition" or "System partition" that I suppose should be backed up.
  25. SIW2
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    SIW2 Registered Member

    I think it means backing up the GPT header, roughly equivalent to the partition table on MBR.
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