Dell Desktop Hidden Partition Restore Question

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Brigette, Nov 18, 2007.

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  1. Brigette

    Brigette Registered Member

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    I have a Dell XPS710, running MCE2005. I am backing up my entire 500gb SATA drive (102gb of data) and its 2 hidden Dell partitions (1st is 39MB FAT/EISA CONFIG. and 2nd is 4.64gb FAT32 Dell Restore) using ATI 10, to an external 500gb USB drive. My system drive is in the middle of these hidden partitions. I also have a 2nd 320gb external USB drive that I use for file backups with a Dantz Retrospect Express.

    My questions is this:

    If I wanted to restore my c: drive, would I have to restore the entire hard drive (including the hidden partitions) or just the c: drive? My concern is any confusion with drive letters being switched, or maybe that is not a valid concern for my simple setup? I've read SO many threads on this forum but I'm still not sure of the answer. I do know that if a restore of just the c: drive did cause boot problems, I could always go back and restore the whole drive, but I'd rather just do it right the first time.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Brigette,

    You can do it either way. You can restore 1, 2 or 3 partitions and your OS will still boot. I just restore the first two partitions. You no longer need the Dell Restore partition as you have your own backup images.
     
  3. Brigette

    Brigette Registered Member

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    Thanks for the speedy response, Brian.

    Does that mean if restoring just the first two partitions, I would tick the box to delete partitions and that Dell Restore partition (the 3rd partition) would be overwritten?

    Or would the first two partitions I'm restoring just go back to where they originated and leave the 3rd partition alone?

    I don't have any immediate need for the 3rd "Dell Restore" partition unless I want to sell the system. And, I have a reinstallation CD for my OS should I ever want to start from scratch. I'm just trying to figure out in my mind how a restore would work.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes.

    If you are restoring to the same HD in the event of an OS corruption then you only need to restore the C: drive image.

    If you had a HD failure and you were restoring to a new HD then you would restore the first two partitions and maybe the third if you wanted to keep it. But the restore partition wouldn't work unless you did this...

    http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/index.htm
     
  5. Brigette

    Brigette Registered Member

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    Ok. That clears it up. I'll read the article you linked me to.

    Thanks so much.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    In particular the section titled, "Troubleshooting the Restore Process."

    You only need to do this if you want a functioning Dell Restore partition. It's mainly intended for people who don't use image backup software.
     
  7. Brigette

    Brigette Registered Member

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    Brian, can you please explain further. I thought I understood, but then I read this:

    The Dell-specific Ctrl+F11 process is supposed to completely automate the restoration process, returning the hard disk to the state it was in when Dell shipped the computer. However, overwriting the MBR by using a boot manager, using the commands "fixmbr" or "fdisk /mbr", installing from a Windows installation CD, and assorted other tasks a user might do will inadvertantly break Ctrl+F11, rendering the system unable to boot the DSR partition. Furthermore, changing the partitioning by adding, deleting, or resizing partitions will cause DSRcheck to fail, so even if Ctrl+F11 works, the restore process will abort without attempting to restore the Ghost image.

    If I was restoring to a new hard drive, I would be restoring the whole disk, so wouldn't I be restoring the Dell MBR also? Would the Dell MBR be "broken" if I hadn't overwritten it by doing "fixmbr" or installing from Windows?
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    You are correct. If it's the same layout as the old HD then nothing will be "broken".

    I was referring to a situation where you are restoring in a different fashion to the original HD. For example if you didn't restore the first partition or you resized the partitions on the new HD as I tend to do.
     
  9. Brigette

    Brigette Registered Member

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    Thank you, again, for your time and patience.

    I am very grateful for this forum.
     
  10. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

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    Another question on Dell’s 4 partitions.
    Will this work, initial backup of all 4 partitions, then on incremental backup only the C partition? Then if I need to restore the complete disk, restore all partitions? Also, re D partition (restore), I notice that it appears to change. BTW, I am using a Inspiron 1720 that originally had Vista Business. Using Anytime Upgrade disk, I upgraded to Ultimate.

    Another idea, if I do a complete disk backup once to my external drive, then from then on do full and incremental of only C, would get into trouble?
    Becky
     
  11. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

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    Any thoughts on the last post?
     
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