How does the GPT table fit into a backup/recovery scheme?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by floepie, Mar 19, 2013.

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  1. floepie

    floepie Registered Member

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    I will be receiving a new laptop shortly, namely the Yoga 13, whose SSD is partitioned into no less than 8 partitions from the factory. I suppose the first thing I'd like to do is backup the entire drive with all its original partitions before I start messing with it. I plan to use the boot USB method for backup to replicate the disk.

    Questions:
    1. Would I indeed be able to restore the factory SSD *exactly* the way it was prior to backing up the entire disk, partitions and all, from an external USB drive?

    2. How is a backup/restore related to the GPT table of the GPT disk? In other words, if I plan to wipe the disk and re-install Windows 8 from media, doesn't this Windows 8 install write to the GPT table? And if so, would a restore of the factory disk also restore that GPT table? Is this even something to worry about, or does the software (Paragon) deal with it somehow?

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    What Paragon program are you using? Be sure you use the latest version, the one that (supposedly) is fully compatible with UEFI and Windows 8. But I haven´t seen much feedback about how well Paragon manages these operations.
     
  3. floepie

    floepie Registered Member

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    Yes, the latest version is fully compatible with W8 and GPT disk with UEFI (BIOS). But, not entirely sure if would be able to restore to the factory unformatted SSD bit for bit to have it working the same way it was delivered from the factory, just in case I mess something up.

    On a side note, I have an old 80GB external USB drive which I intended to use as the destination. Is a bit-for-bit copy out of the question when the source is a 125GB SSD? There would be much less than 80GB to back up, but I'm not interested in just a back up. Or, is there way to have a set of image archives (shrunk down), which could be restored onto the unformatted SSD should I need to recover? Thanks...
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If you literally mean a "bit for bit" the only way is to do a RAW backup which means it copies every sector on the disk, used or unused, into the archive. This means a 120GB disk will result in a 120GB archive.

    Normally, this method is only used for making an exact copy if you are trying to do a recovery on a bad disk without fooling with the bad disk itself or if the file system is unsupported. Even though image programs operate at a lower-level than the file system they still rely on some of the file system info to determine things like the used/unused sectors.

    Normally, if the program restores a regular image archive it compensates for anything that is not put back exactly into its original location. This usually means file contents not things like partition tables.
     
  5. floepie

    floepie Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Well, certainly I'm not seeking to perform a disk clone for reasons you cite in which it is normally done, that is, for a failing disk or unsupported file system. Perhaps I'm just being overly cautious in my attempt to make a backup which can be restored so that the entire disk is restored exactly the way it shipped. Perhaps a combination of a partition table and image archives would do the trick?

    Specifically, this machine is a Lenovo, who supplies their notebooks with a program called OKR (one key restore (recovery?)). Probably similar to what other manufacturers do. I have just been reading that OKR balks upon a restore attempt if the system partition is altered in any way, which I certainly plan to do with a fresh install in combination with re-sizing of the partition, and in so doing, having the W8 install create the EFI-specific partitions on the GPT disk.

    So, to sum up, my main concern is more with the ability to restore from the set-aside factory recovery partition rather than a full disk clone. I had thought up until now that it would be easiest to simply clone the drive, restore it, and hope that it boots, but now I'm beginning to wonder about how to restore the GPT tables so the thing actually boots. So, perhaps I should be asking how to recover and restore that factory recovery from its partition.
     
  6. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    Paragon works great with efi/gpt, see here:

    http://www.eightforums.com/performa...have-luck-imaging-8-uefi-gpt-secure-boot.html


    Yes, you can do that with paragon. As long as the used space of the original is less than the size of the disk you are restoring to.
     
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