Can I boot from a partition image??

Discussion in 'Other Paragon Disk Utilities' started by ralws277, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. ralws277

    ralws277 Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boston
    Hi...

    My understanding is that the usual use of partition images is to either replace a damaged partition with the (good) backup partition image, or to transfer or copy the partition image to a NEW hard drive, but I'm wondering if, in case of un-repairable damage to my hard drive, if I would be able to just boot off the image of the system partition (which is also my boot partition) that I have stored on my external USB drive, if I just used the Paragon software (or some other utility) to mark that backup partition as the active partition in the MBR of the external drive.

    When I copied ("cloned", I guess) the partition from my hard drive to the external USB drive, I placed the backup partition in un-allocated space on the USB drive, NOT inside an already existing partition or "backup capsule" on the external drive.

    Would the backup copy of the partition be bootable if I just marked it as the active partition in the external drive's MBRo_O

    Thanks in advance for a (knowledgeable) answer to this. I haven't experimented with this yet because as of this point, I still have to overcome my [very old] BIOS's lack of a "boot from external USB drive" option, and overcoming this limitation is going to be bit involved (tho possible), but if booting off a saved partition image isn't possible anyhow, then I won't go thru the hassle (and possible screw-up of my only backup) by trying to do that...

    [To make this a little clearer, I did NOT do a "file backup" of the system partition -- I placed an image of the partition onto my external USB drive...]
     
  2. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Posts:
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    Hello ralws277,

    Interesting idea you have and certainly a common interest by most, including myself. I've tried to clone Windows partition onto USB flash drives, external hard drives and tried various methods to update MBR, mark partitions active, and edit boot.ini's.

    However, unlike Linux and Mac where it's possible to run an operating system from a flash drive, usb external HD, or firewire, Windows won't allow it for a number of reasons:

    1. External medias are recognized as "removable drives" and Windows will not boot from these.

    2. There are difficulties with the page files on the removable device.

    A few places to start:

    http://www.usboot.org/

    http://www.911cd.net/forums/

    Good Luck
     
  3. ralws277

    ralws277 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Posts:
    31
    Location:
    Boston
    ParagonTommy...

    Thanks so much for your rapid reply, it's greatly appreciated. Yes, this is a frustrating situation, seems like it should be a simple enough thing to be able to boot off a backed up image of a boot/system partition.

    I did run across a new program that many are saying actually CAN allow for boot off of USB for even older computers that don't have that capability. It's called PLoP, info on it is at http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html, seems pretty promising.

    The situation with there being problems with the page files is a different matter tho, I guess. Hmmm... seems like if a system can revive from hibernation, then similarly there should be a way to do an image of the system and have it "revive" itself when booted (whether from USB or local hard disk)...

    Thanks for the links you provided, I'll check them out. The help pages info for PLoP looks promising to perhaps aid in all this...

    Thanks again....
     
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