Drive Snapshot,restore to new disk

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by linp, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    I am a long time user of DS,but, another WD disk is biting the dust ,a 640 black edition.(and a 1tb green disk as well)
    I bought a ssd and am going to put a fresh install on it.
    But i want to dual boot to my old windows for the time being,i also bought a 500 gb samsung F3 to replace the broken 640.
    i never restored windows 7 to a different disk ,so this is what i plan to do:

    1. partition the 500 with 4 partitions ,like the 640 but different sizes.

    2. restore each individual image (which i have made already).
    win 7 does not have the small system partition preceding .
    do i have to choose the option: "restore mbr" to avoid boot problems?
    I can't use: "Restore Partition Structure" because of the smaller size of the new disk.
    These are the options,:

    Restore Partition Structure: deletes the existing partitioning, and repartitions the disk like the original one; includes restoring the MBR

    Restore MBR: restores just the first sector of the disk

    CheckBoot: unfortunately, even 2007 some boot sector still use CHS addressing. If the original CHS translation is different from the new one, these leads to a non-booting disk. Detects and corrects some problems with not booting disks.

    Clean Disk: effectively erases the complete disk by cleaning the disks first sector (MBR).

    Clean Disk Signature/Restore Disk Signature: a 32 Bit number in the MBR, which is used by some Windows components to re-identify disks. initialised to some random number by disk manager.

    any ideas? thanks
     
  2. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    i was in a similar situation as you in that i wanted to keep an older windows 7 available for the time being and my backup/restore utility was drive snapshot. here's what i did:

    1. made a backup of the old system partition (C: ) before reinstalling windows 7 over it.

    2. installed virtualbox on the new windows (vmware should also work), created a VHD the size of my old C: partition (or a little bigger) for a new virtual machine, and then installed windows 7 on it (this way you get the structure right, including the hidden 100 MB boot partition).

    3. booted the virtualbox windows from an emergency disk (Win7PE boot.wim file) and restored my old system partition to it with drive snapshot.

    ok, so now i could boot my old windows in virtualbox, which was cool, but you wanted to dual boot so here's the final step:

    4. window 7 supports booting from VHD natively, so I used a free program called EasyBCD to add the old win7 VHD to the boot menu of my new windows 7, so now I can boot to it directly as well (actually, i also used EasyBCD earlier to add a boot reference to my boot.wim file so i could also boot directly to a Win7PE).

    additional notes:

    --you have to reboot the old windows 7 a few times after restoring it to a VHD because it detects the VHD disk as new hardware. also, i had to re-register and re-activate it.

    --you can also mount the VHD if you have win7 ultimate or enterprise or a 3rd party utility like ImDisk that allows mounting VHD, and then restore the old windows snapshot directly to it, which is a lot faster, but afterwards you may have to boot to windows 7 recovery environment and do windows 7 boot or startup repair to make the restored image bootable. you can find instructions on how to restore to virtual disks on drive snapshot's homepage, the thing for dual booting though is to restore it to VHD and to use EasyBCD or some other similar utility to add it to your new win 7 boot menu.

    --i keep my VHD files on a second hard drive (or second partition) of my laptop so that they don't take a huge amount of space on the new system partition, but it doesn't matter where they are located in terms of booting to them. if you use virtualbox, just remember to specify the location for virtual systems and vbox snapshots to be on the drive or partition you want to use for them (i think by default they get put in your user files which is a bad place imo). (also vbox currently doesn't support USB 3.0 and you may need a install a vbox usb extensions pack to get it to recognize external hard drives... vmware workstation or vboot may easier, but they aren't free.)

    --as for non-systems partitions, if i need to transfer them to another hard drive, I just use FastCopy to copy them to an external hard drive and then over to the new partition. this does not include the 100 MB boot partition, which i do backup with drive snapshot, but i generally don't restore those images... I just let windows 7 create a new one during an install of it, or I use windows 7 repair to repair an old boor partition with defunct references.
     
  3. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    Thanks for the input, i didn't make myself clear; i don't want to restore win7 in place of the old one, i want to restore to the new hd, so if that is possible i wouln't need a vhd.
    or am i misunderstanding something? what i need to know is what option/switch to apply when restoring.

     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    linp,

    I understand you want to do this...

    replace a failing 640 GB HD with a 500 GB HD
    partition the 500 GB HD with 4 smaller partitions than the 640 GB HD
    restore your 4 images to the 500 GB HD

    Ideally, when you restore an image to a new HD you should restore the MBR and the Disk Signature. But practically it doesn't matter in most cases. I have a test computer where I simulated your setup and restored a Win7 image to a smaller partition on a different HD. It made no difference if I restored the Disk Signature or not. The new Win7 booted. There seems to be a bug in DS because if you try to Restore the MBR you get the same outcome as choosing to restore the Partition Structure. All your new partitions will be deleted. So you can't restore the MBR. No problem.

    Also, the partition offset of the partition on the new HD doesn't matter. Win7 boots even if the partition offset is different from the offset on the old HD.

    When you run through the restore options you have to answer "Yes" to Resize the filesystem to match the partition size.

    I suggest you remove the 640 GB HD and replace it with the 500 GB HD. Don't have both in your computer for the restore or the first boot from the new HD.

    Any questions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  5. linp

    linp Registered Member

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  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    One thing I forgot to mention, make sure the OS partition on the new HD has the same alignment as the partition on the old HD. Both mine were 2048 sector aligned partitions even though the offsets were different.

    I'll do a test with restoring to a cylinder aligned partition.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just restored the Win7 image to a cylinder aligned partition. I didn't restore the Disk Signature. To my surprise, Win7 booted normally. It seems it's hard to make DS fail.
     
  8. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hi Brian,

    I'm confused by your statement (above). Since the MBR contains a partition table, restoring an MBR replaces the pre-existing partition with the one embedded in the MBR. I believe DS' Partition Structure is a misnomer and actually means the entire first track, which obviously includes the MBR, so in most (but not all) situations either selection would produce the same result.

    Aaron
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Aaron,

    There is a thread somewhere, I think Markymoo was involved, where a bug in the DS Restore MBR was discussed. I've forgotten the fine points. What you said above is correct. Sort of. The MBR is LBA-0 and contains boot code, disk signature and partition table. The First Track is LBA-0 to LBA-62. Most imaging apps restore the First Track when you choose Restore MBR. But it's not the full First Track. The disk signature and the partition table are not included in the restore and really that's appropriate. You don't want your new partitions deleted and replaced by the old partition table. I think DS is the odd man out with how it restores the MBR.
     
  10. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Brian, you may be referring to Pandlouk who did find a bug in a prior build of DS in that selecting Partition Structure did not restore the entire first track. He brought that to their attention and it was fixed in the next build.

    I don't have a lot of experience with various disk-imagers. Mostly DS and more recently, as you know, IFW (which I really like btw). But I must say that over the years that I've been using DS I never had a problem restoring a DS image of my system (with and without restoring the MBR)!

    Aaron
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Aaron,

    I agree DS is awesome. But the Restore MBR choice doesn't work in the situation Linp presents. Restoring MBR would wipe out the new smaller partitions.
     
  12. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    An update:
    i did the restore,with no switches, reboot after disconnecting the 640,and setting the 500 active.
    blinking cursor.
    i opened DS, "check boot" : this drive seems to be bootable"
    i then restored disk signature, reboot, now i got the win bootmenu,but: "winloader.exe problem".
    Went into recovery mode, repair option, "repair startup"
    i did this 3 times.
    log:
    "rootcause found:"the part. table does not have a valid system partition.
    "repair action: part. table repair.
    result: completed succsesfully".
    rebooted ,same problem, now i went into command prompt,did"fixmbr,and "fixboot" and command "scanos",windows found a valid install.
    still not booting so i am out of options.........
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Weird. Now I'll have to pin you down on hardware details.

    How were you running Drive Snapshot? From DOS or a WinPE or from Win7 on the 640 GB HD?

    Was the 640 GB HD in the computer during the restore to the 500 GB HD?

    Is the 500 GB HD plugged into the same SATA port that the 640 GB HD was previously using?

    Which app was used to create the partitions on the 500 GB HD?

    What do you mean by "and setting the 500 active"? How did you do this and when?

    Where was the 500 GB HD during the restore? Internal or connected by USB?

    "Blinking cursor" is often a geometry issue related to unusual technique rather than a software issue.

    What brand is the computer?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  14. linp

    linp Registered Member

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  15. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    I finally got it working, for the benefit of others i'll outline what i did:
    i put the 500 on port 1 ,this is the port the 640 sat on; this did not work.
    I then went to the new install on the ssd, got a copy of Easybcd

    in "view settings"there where 2 entries,entry 2 had a generic name,

    x2scrap26.png


    in "add new entry"i changed the name of the second entry to"500-7",location was D:/

    x2scrap30.png

    then on tab "backup and repair"i ticked "re-create/repair bootfiles"

    x2scrap28.png

    Reboot,ntldr missing, went into recovery mode,repair startup, windows found 2 entries, asked if i wanted these.
    reboot: windows starts up with the ssd install, this has now a bootmenu which works fine, i am working from this windows now ( the 500 drive).
    My data partition on the 500 was empty, probably caused by the partition work and the fixmbr command.
    I could probably get this data back with a partition rescue tool, but i opted for copying the data from a backup (50 gb)

    This is one of the rare instances DS hasn't worked for me,i possibly did something not quite right myself.
    thanks,lin
     

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Lin,

    That is great news. I'm glad it is working.

    My first concern about your technique is running a DS OS restore while still in Windows. This can produce some quite bizarre results. My method would have been..

    Have both HDs mounted internally
    Partition the 500 GB HD, making sure the partition alignment is the same in both HDs (eg 2048 sector or cylinder)
    Remove the 640 GB HD (also remove the SSD if it is installed) and plug the 500 GB HD into the SATA port the 640 GB HD had been using
    Boot from a WinPE CD and run the DS restores
    Boot into Windows

    Aaron, any comments?
     
  17. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    @Brian,
    I guess you are right,i figured restoring from windows would be no problem since the restore target wasn't active ;but who knows,windows might do something while shutting down.....
    Anyway this isn't the first time Easybcd has helped me (or others i'm helping) out.
    If i have time i might do a test on another disk using the method you mentioned.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Lin,

    If you have the time I'd be very interested to hear the result.

    I just tried a DS restore while in Win7. The image was restored to a smaller partition on HD2 (my third HD). BootIt BM is installed on the computer and I didn't remove any HDs so it is not the same as what you did. I tried to boot HD2 from BootIt and received a Windows Boot Manager error. BCD Edit (in BootIt) was used to correct the BCD settings from HD0 to HD2 and Win7 on HD2 booted.

    I was surprised it worked but I don't think it is correct technique.
     
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