Active@ Disk Image v5.6.2 and Windows 8.1 on UEFI/GPT with secure boot

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by oliverjia, Feb 23, 2014.

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  1. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Dear All,

    Did anyone use Active@ Disk Image v5.62 to backup and successfully restore a Windows 8.1 OS (UEFI/GPT with secure boot)?

    I just tried this version of Active DI and it appears quite impressive in terms of speed and compression (on par with Acronis and IFW/IFL).

    However there was a warning in the log file, that related to could not open one of the 4 GPT partitions. When opened the backup image using image explorer, only the EFI partition and Windows partition were seen.

    In the change log of the current version, it said "Windows 8.1 backup/restore support with BCD correction". What does it mean by "with BCD correction"?

    I was about to move to Active Disk Image but was not sure if it fully support Windows 8.1. Please share your successful/failed backup and restore on a UEFI/GPT with secure boot computer.

    Regards,
    oliverjia
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  2. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    I tested Active DI today with one of my Windows 8.1 computers (UEFI secure boot). I ran Active DI as a portable program in a Windows8.1 PE to back up 4 partitions: 3 UEFI/GPT partitions (Recovery, EFI system partition and MSR partition) and C: partition. The backup was done with some warning regarding the EFI partition "GetVolumeNameForVolumeMountPoint(1) for "\\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolume3\" failed. Error = 1 (<Unknown error code>)". The rest appears normal. What impressed me is its speed and compression - on par with Acronis and IFW.

    However, the disaster occurred when I tried to restore the image to its original disk. To test the restore reliability of Active DI, I deleted the UEFI/GPT partitions and C: partition using AOMEI partition assistant. I then tried to resotre the image to the disk. The program threw out some error message (memory could not be read) then crashed. Tried multiple times and same story. The bad thing is Active DI apparently deleted the whole partition table so now my whole disk (including 2 extra data partitions) were now "unformatted" raw disk.

    I then used Terabyte BIBM to "undelete" the partitions. fortunately BIBM found the lost partitions however the system is now un-bootable "PC Needs to be repaired, File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe, Error Code: 0xc000000e". I restored an good image made by IFW before, however same error message upon reboot. After a quick google, it appears to be Windows BCD (Boot Configuration Data) is corrupted. Googled a way to make bcd correction and finally the system is on again.

    Now I understand what the change log of Active DI means: it would corrupt your BCD data for Windows 8.1 therefore you need BCD correction. However on my system the image restore did not even happened.. So in conclusion, Active DI is not really ready if you are using a Windows 8.1 system with UEFI/GPT with secure boot.

    Although I like the speed and compression of Active DI very much, unfortunately I have to let it go at this time, unless they fix this BCD problem on Windows 8.1 to fully support it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    oliverjia,

    Interesting test. Which partitions did you restore with IFW? I don't have a UEFI system at present to test.
     
  4. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    I restored all 4 GPT partitions: Recovery, EFI, MSR and C: partition.

    Yes I was very surprised also because I thought by restoring all 4 partitions, any boot related problems should have been solved. It appears Windows 8.1 BCD store has some lower level than disk imaging and restore.

    Anyway, Terabyte saved my butt again this time.



     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  5. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    And BTW, when I tried to "undelete" the partitions after my disk was rendered "unformated", ONLY Terabyte Boot It Bare Metal can correctly restore all the deleted partitions to their original state, including the MSR partition, in a few seconds.

    All other partitioning programs I tried, Paragon, AOMEI partition Assistant, MiniTool Partition Wizard, could only restore some partitions but NOT MSR partition (128MB). Many of these programs took close to an hour to search for lost partitions but could not find MSR. Instead, they found many pieces of separate small partitions (~2.5MB-5MB each), which are useless.

    In other words, only Terabytes BIBM would be able to restore all partitions correctly on a GPT/UEFI with secure boot, based on my test. I used to recommend Paragon HDM when it comes to partitioning work, but from now on I recommend Terabyte Unlimited products to anyone who is looking for a hard disk imaging and partitioning software.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  6. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Isn't the recovery environment Win PE 3.1 for Active@ Disk Image 5.6.2? Doesn't it take Win PE 4.0 minimum for UEFI/Secure Boot support?
     
  7. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Good question.

    I ran Active Disk Image from a customized Windows 8.1 PE (PE5.0) x64 recovery environment, not run its own boot disk.

    from my 2nd post: " I ran Active DI as a portable program in a Windows8.1 PE to back up 4 partitions: 3 UEFI/GPT partitions (Recovery, EFI system partition and MSR partition) and C: partition."



     
  8. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Ahh! Missed that.

    But it might explain why it's still not working. Maybe LSoft just doesn't have it truly ready for Windows 8/UEFI/Secure Boot... even though they say so.

    I like LSoft products. But they (and unfortunately a few others) are at the back of the pack in the up-to-date imaging program race. :(
     
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