Cant get ANY Image backup software to work - new win 7

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by DarkPhoenix, Aug 3, 2011.

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  1. DarkPhoenix

    DarkPhoenix Registered Member

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    This may be more of a windows 7 problem than a security problem but I thought i'd give this a shot in the general forum to see what you guys can come up with. (I'm wordy bear with me)

    I'm a long time fan of Norton Ghost having used it to make image copies of my whole drive ( no matter how many partitions it has) so I can simply reinstall windows with all my apps and updated drivers intact. This is the Only way I back up my system aside from filling up dvds with stuff that I want to keep. I have no need or desire to make daily, weekly or monthly backups using a backup program. If I need to reinstall I use the ghosted image then add whatever apps I need from my dvd's. I use an image like this for about 6 months to a year then when my taste change I make another with fresh drivers and new/different apps I currently use.

    Norton Ghost didn't support win 7 in 2009 so I either used Acronis True Image or the free version of Macrium Reflect. Macrium Reflect became my best go to app of choice because of it's speed and compression, Acronis was overkill having backup options I never used. Macrium Reflect Free Edition let me make a image of my whole drive and back that up to multiple dvds, then when I needed to reinstall, I could use a rescue disk to boot and use that to install the images from my dvd backups giving me my whole windows os with partitions, apps, new drivers already installed. Thats all I wanted, nothing more, it was Perfect.

    A year ago I got a new laptop and of course made an image with macrium reflect after I customized it. This worked flawlessly, always like it had on my desktop win 7 pc. Now, I got hit with a nasty virus that didn't cause much harm, just hijacked my browser, nothing I did could remove it, spybot or malwarebytes or anything else, so it was time to rebuild a new OS. I used the factory install disks that came with my laptop, a Compaq Presario CQ61 411WM model with windows 7 64 bit. I removed some HP bloatware, updated the drivers, windows updates and installed a few critical apps like browsers movie players, iso burning software and some tweak utilities.

    The tweak utilities I used are S.M.A.R.T v2 based on Black Vipers services configurations. I used the medium settings tweak. Info here: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/smart-a-utility-for-tweaking-windows-7-vista-xp-services.

    I also use MZ7 Optimizer and tell it to auto optimize then re-check the settings for any recommended tweaks I want to undo. . Info here: http://www.mztweak.com/mz7optimizer.html

    Both of these programs make backup copies of your registry or set restore points before making changes so you can roll back if needed. Together they make my system lightening fast and I have never had any problems after they were applied. I use them because i'm a big believer of only letting windows run those processes and services I deem necessary to run when I want them to run, and not letting windows make choices for me. Nothing is different from my system setup in the past except for windows 7 service pack 1 being installed but that should not have caused anything to break that i know of.

    Now here is where we get down to the problems. Marcium Reflect Free Edition latest version would work but during backup it would not write to disk number 2 even though the drive light blinked and the progress indicator looked like it was writing to the disk. Numbers 1 and 3 dvd's did have data on them. ( my image backups always take 3 dvd's) I tried again. This time disk 1 did not have data written to it even though the progress indicator said it was working and the drive light blinked, Disks 2 and 3 were written to fine.

    next I tried Acronis true Image Home 2011 and it got through all 3 dvd's but with errors on them. Could not find info about the error with a google search.

    I then tried EaseUS ToDo Backup, and it did not even finish getting through all 3 disks without giving me errors.

    Last I tried Paragon Backup and Restore 2011 advanced edition, and it made all 3 disks and said there were no errors BUT, I get errors when trying to restore by testing on a virtual machine or another 80 gig hard drive that has been wiped clean.

    I would really prefer to get Macrium Reflect working good because I really liked it and it worked great every time. In the past 10 years of making drive images, I have Never has such problems making or restoring an image backup, but sadly they dont give support for the free edition not even on the forums. You cannot even join the forums unless you buy the full version.

    Altogether between image backups and restore dvds I have wasted 19 dvd now. This is driving me crazy. I have also tried rolling back the changes made by my two tweak utilities and this does not help.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    DarkPhoenix,

    I hope you realize you are using the most unreliable of all backup media. DVDs. Great for movies though! Most people use another HD.

    As you only backup once or twice a year there is no need to have the imaging app installed in your OS. Create an image from one of your boot disks.
     
  4. claykin

    claykin Registered Member

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    DarkPhoenix

    Please post your PC hardware specs. Have you installed all Windows updates for Win7? Are you running x86 or x64 Windows 7?

    Have you checked to see if new firmware exists for your DVD+R drives? What blank discs are you using?

    Have you considered trying RW discs so you can re-use them?
     
  5. DarkPhoenix

    DarkPhoenix Registered Member

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    TheKid7, Wow. I have been using win7 for 2 years and never knew it had a built in disk image tool that lets you back up and restore from dvd. Awesome.. I'm gonna try it after I read through those pages. Thanks!

    BrainK, Most of the recovery CD's I have had to make do not give you the option of backing up from a recovery environment. I'm on a budget and I find DVD's great cus they are cheap and work great with no problems - as long as you keep them safe and protect them. I have cd/dvd that are still working back from when I had windows 95. I see no reason to put out money for an external drive or USB drive when it's not a necessarily expense. Sure i do have other hard drives laying around but not made for a laptop.

    Someone should make a way you can use a regular ide or sata hard drive with a usb port or other means to plug into a laptop.

    I do have a network with another computer in the house I can use for storage of images but I cannot access that network from a recovery environment that I know of. ( it's on a win xp machine networked through a DSL 2wire modem/router) If you know of a way to do that, I'd like to know it for future reference.

    Thanks.. for now... i'm going to try the built in imaging tool. I will report back when i'm done to let you guys know if it worked.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    DarkPhoenix,

    You can use your spare HDs with this...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002

    As far as accessing a network share is concerned, that can be done from an imaging recovery environment. In fact it can even be done using a wireless network. I don't use any of the free imaging apps so I don't know if they support networking.
     
  7. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    If you later change your mind about Imaging to an USB drive, I have heard that Windows 7's built-in imaging program will not allow you to backup the Images to the USB drive unless the USB drive is formatted with the NTFS file system. This is because of the file size limitation of the FAT32 file system.
     
  8. DarkPhoenix

    DarkPhoenix Registered Member

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    Well, I gave you the model number and told you it was a windows 7 64 bit but if you think more details will help, here they are:

    Product Number WA980UA#ABA
    Microprocessor 2.1GHz AMD Sempron Processor for Notebook PCs M120
    Microprocessor Cache 512KB L2 Cache
    Memory 2GB
    Memory Max 4096MB (I have the max installed)
    Video Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Graphics
    Video Memory 128MB Display Cache Memory (up to 1022MB total graphics memory )
    Hard Drive 250GB (7200RPM)
    Multimedia Drive LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support
    Display 15.6" Diagonal High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1366x76:cool:
    Fax/Modem High speed 56k modem
    Network Card Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN
    Wireless Connectivity 802.11b/g/n WLAN
    Sound Altec Lansing
    Keyboard 101-key compatible with full-size keyboard with integrated numeric keypad
    Pointing Device Touch Pad with On/Off button and dedicated vertical scroll Up/Down pad
    External Ports
    3 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0
    1 Headphone out
    1 microphone-in
    1 VGA (15-pin)
    1 RJ-11 (modem)
    1 RJ -45 (LAN)
    Other Devices
    Dimensions 14.89" (L) x 9.93" (D) x 1.38" (min H) -1.62" (max H)
    Weight 5.90 lbs
    Security
    Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
    Power-on password
    Accepts 3rd party security lock devices
    Power 65W AC Adapter
    6-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery

    ~~~~~~~~

    I have installed all updates including service pack 1 plus all the recommended driver updates from the HP website. I do not have any problems with my dvd ever when burning iso's or data normally with any burning software.

    DVD's I am using are Memorex DVD-R. Have not used re-writable dvds before because they are more expensive and normally I never waste them because usually they always work.

    Just a personal note: If your on a budget I highly recommend this laptop because video memory is 1 gig shared and I can play Crysis 1 and 2 and other new games at least on medium settings with no problems. It comes with 2 gigs of ram and another ram stick will cost you 50 bucks, for 400 dollars total at wal-mart. I have been very happy with this laptop. Laptop was 350 at wal-mart and extra memory was 50 bucks online from amazon.com
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  9. DarkPhoenix

    DarkPhoenix Registered Member

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    Awesome tool. Since I have an 80 gig and a 500 gig laying around, that will be worth spending the money for to use with this laptop. Thanks.

    You say I Can acces the network from a recovery boot? Hmm I'm gonna have to try that.. what recovery dvd do you know it works with? I assume you have to configure the software to see the network like you do in windows? I use both wired and wireless so I should be able to get either one to work.. just need the right recovery environment.
     
  10. DarkPhoenix

    DarkPhoenix Registered Member

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    Thanks, I understands that and it's good to know. I wonder if I can use the tool Briank mentioned above with my 80 or 500 gig HD, and use a partitioning tool ( I like to use Mini Tools Partition Wizard) to format the drive to NTSF and then use it.. or will it not then work with the usb converter tool? ( large usb drives are not cheap yet so i'd rather go this route if possible)
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    DarkPhoenix,

    Your 80 and 500 GB HDs will work fine with the USB adapter.

    I use Image for Linux and Image for Windows to image/restore over the network. We have 6 computers on our home network. My computer stores all the image backups. I can image and restore the OS partition on any of our computers from my computer. I don't have to physically access the other computers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  12. DarkPhoenix

    DarkPhoenix Registered Member

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    Thanks again Brian K and TheKid7 for all the great info. I'm happy to report that the built in Win 7 image tool worked flawlessly where 4 others ( Paragon Backup & Restore, Macrium Reflect, EaseUS ToDo Backup, Acronis True Image 2011 home) did not !

    I actually made & backed up the image to 3 DVD's and bit the bullet - used the system restore disk to restore the image to recreate Windows and it worked with no errors or any problems. I knew if there were gonna be problems i'd lose my windows installation altogether but I took the chance and am very happy now I know I have a good working image to restore from. The whole backup and restore process took a little over an hour!

    Most of the apps listed above that failed for me use the VSS shadow copy technology that Win 7 uses to make the images so I realize now those programs are little more than front ends for the tools already in windows 7. No need to buy those at all if the same or better functionality is already in Windows 7. It is quite likely that the extra other features of those programs were interfering with the windows processes that created the images and caused it to fail. Since they are using the windows built in process anyway, they themselves broke the windows functionality by mixing in extra features. Just an opinion but I think it's possible.

    THANKS !!!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
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