Windows 7 is either unbootable or has wrong partition order

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by justparanoid, Mar 22, 2012.

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  1. justparanoid
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    justparanoid Registered Member

    Hi, I need some help using Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free to image a Windows 7 64 bit hard drive and move it to a smaller hard drive.

    Here's what I've done: I installed the program successfully, went through the process of backing up, saved the image to an external. I then burned a Paragon boot disc to a CD, then used the CD to boot into the smaller hard drive (which was empty).

    This is where things got confusing. I first restored the .PBF file, but applying the operation took only about 2 seconds. I knew this was way too fast to be possible, but I rebooted anyways. After failing to boot into Windows, I booted into the Paragon boot CD again and noticed that the partitions were properly listed, but I guessed that the data hadn't been copied for some reason. I decided to see if there were any other Paragon files in the folder. There were: 2 files with .000 extensions. Based on the size, I guessed that each one contained data for one partition. So I used Paragon to restore the first smaller .000 file to the 100 MB partition that Windows 7 makes. I also restored the bigger .000 file to the bigger partition created by the .PBF file.

    Success! Or so I thought. Windows 7 at least booted properly at that point, and all my data was there. But I was curious about how the restoration process went, so I used Gparted to view the partition structure of my hard drive. I noticed that the 1 MB of unallocated space that Windows 7 typically places at the end of the drive was now between the 100 MB partition and the bigger partition containing all my files! How strange that it would boot despite this. I used Gparted to move the unallocated space to the end, and thought I had fixed everything. But upon rebooting, I again got the same error that I got when I had restored only the .PBF file but not the partitions:

    Status: 0xc0000225
    Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.

    So basically if I don't move the 1 MB unallocated space to the end where it's supposed to be, I appear to boot fine, but if I do, then it fails to boot and I'm as worse off as if I had not written any data to either partition. But since Paragon is supposed to be drive "imaging" software, I expected an exact copy, even if my destination hard drive was smaller than my source drive (I have enough free space that the smaller hard drive can easily hold all the data). Am I doing something wrong or is this just a bug of some kind? I don't know what else I could have done.
  2. seekforever
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    seekforever Registered Member

    I don't know why Paragon set up your disk as it did but to presume imaging software restores exact images of the source is risky unless you are doing a complete sector-for-sector raw image of the entire partition and restoring it. Paragon is not the only program that restores images according to its algorithm rather than the original location of all the sectors.
  3. justparanoid
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    justparanoid Registered Member

    Is it even possible for me to do a "sector-by-sector raw image" with Paragon if I'm restoring to a smaller hard drive? I didn't use that option because the hard drives were not exactly the same size.

    But what do you mean by "algorithm"? What other differences are there between the source and destination drives besides partition order?
  4. seekforever
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    seekforever Registered Member

    AFAIK you can't do it unless the target disk is big enough to hold the entire source partiton.

    By algorithm I mean whatever methodology the program uses to determine where it puts things. One thing you may find is that the sector located at address ABCD in the source may not be located at address ABCD after the restore. The programs put the data in the sectors they want then the filesystem is adjusted where necessary to reflect the changes. I don't know how Paragon rates but some versions of True Image used to do a reasonable job of defragging when restoring.
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