How to use Image For Windows

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by dueceswild, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    After a lot of research, I purchased Image for Windows. I hesitated initially because it was a little more complex than I wanted, but I was drawn to it from the recommendations of so many respected members here. I gathered it was among the most reliable. And, I figured if I needed help I could always find someone here to help me.

    So, here is what I want to do. I currently have an Asus laptop running Windows 7 (64). The drive has 2 partitions, one for the OS and one for Data. then entire drive is 640gb. I also have the rescue partition (which technically makes it 3 partitions I guess.) I run NOD32 V.5, and use the built-in firewall. I also use Rollback Rx; and this is where it gets tricky.

    I have poured over the threads about imaging with Rollback Rx, and there are points and counter points which I find provoking and valid. But sometimes a little confusing. Also, in the discourse a question gets lost.

    I would like to know the settings to use for Image For Windows to backup the portions of the drive so if necessary I could pop this one out and put another one in, restore, and go. I am not concerned about the data partition; it is all synced to SugarSync.

    How would I most reliably do this? Uninstall Rollback, then image? I ask because I don't know how the Rescue Partition and MBR work. I would simply like (for now) my current OS to be backed up so it can be restored if necessary on a new drive. Same hardware, new drive. I am not necessarily concerned with positioning IFW drivers in upper parts of registries, or saving each image from Rollback RX. I also don't care if I have to uninstall/reinstall Rollback when the image is restored.

    I simply want to back up what I have now in a reliable manner, for peace of mind when it comes to restoring.

    I also don't know how to restore when it comes to the MBR; should I make an image without Rollback RX of the MBR alone (with BootIce or similar), or should I allow IFW to restore and standard MBR, or what?

    I know there is a lot here, and I have probably not expressed my thoughts well, so any clarification needed will be happily given.

    Thanks
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    dueceswild,

    I'm a keen IFW user but I don't use Rollback as I can restore my OS partition in 3 minutes.

    To give you proper advice about image/restore I'd like to see a screenshot of Disk Management. I know you have described your partitions but the screenshot is still necessary.
     
  3. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Sure. I am new to Window 7; how can I get you the info you need? Thank you for the help.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    OK. Right click Computer, then left click Manage, Disk Management. Use the Snipping tool to cut out the desired area.

    You can either post the image in the forum or post a link to the image in PhotoBucket etc.
     
  5. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Let me know if this isn't what you need. Thanks again.

    Capture.PNG
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's great. Looks easy. Your booting files are in the Win7 partition and not in a SRP so you only have to image one partition. Win7. Just use the default IFW settings.

    You can image the rescue partition once if you like. I wouldn't bother unless you plan to restore the factory image at some time.

    If your HD ever dies you would replace it with a blank empty new HD. Then boot from an IFD or IFL disk and restore the Win7 image to the unallocated space on the new HD. It will go in as 238.47 GB by default but you can make this smaller or larger. Your choice. I wouldn't bother restoring the rescue partition but you can if you want it. Remove the IFD/IFL disk, boot into Win7 and create a DATA partition. Copy your data files into the partition. Easy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  7. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Thank you very much. I really appreciate the help. Now, what about MBR options? I know you said you don't use Rollback RX, so what about in general terms? I mean take Rollback out of the equation; say I uninstall then image. Do I need to do anything special? I know at least one restore option involves replacing the MBR.

    I also notice you reference IFD or IFL specifically. Any reason I couldn't use the WinPe I made with IFW?
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I didn't realize you had one. Yes, use the WinPE as it is easier and faster.

    I did omit to mention three Options to tick when restoring your Win7 image to a new HD. Choose Restore Disk Signature, Set Active and Restore First Track (AUTO). This takes care of the MBR on the new HD. (But if you didn't tick them the restore would probably work anyway). When restoring your Win7 image (over the top) to the same HD you wouldn't choose these Options as they are already present on the HD.

    No idea about Rollback.
     
  9. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Great! Thank you very much. Actually, the quantity and quality of your assistance to others about this program was one of my deciding factors.
     
  10. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    While I am not an IFW user, the easiest and most reliable way to make a complete backup of your Rollback Rx partition is by creating a Raw (all sectors) image after booting-up with your WinPE disk. While this method takes more time and results in a larger file as compared to creating a normal image, it is 'bullet-proof'. The resulting image will contain your entire RB system environment including all RB snapshots as well as the RB-modified MBR. When restoring this raw image restore the MBR as well.

    Again, I'm not an IFW user, but I'm sure that Brian can answer any procedural questions you may have as to accomplishing a Raw backup with IFW from your WinPE disk.

    JA
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Jo Ann,

    Even though I'm not a Rollback user I enjoy reading your posts. You express yourself very clearly.


    dueceswild,

    To make IFW create a Raw image, choose the Backup Unused Sectors option. At restore time, to restore the entire First Track (includes the MBR) choose Restore First Track and replace AUTO with 0 (a zero numeral). A zero restores all 63 sectors.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  12. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Thank you for commenting as well Jo Ann. Rollback is an important part, but not necessarily essential. Although, I have followed posts (including yours) in other threads regarding this issue. I think the jury is somewhat still out on imaging with Rollback. Although not a programmer by any stretch, I would think the makers of Rollback would make compatibility with their own imaging app a priority and put the issue to bed (at least in one respect)

    Nevertheless, I gather that a reliable image with Rollback installed may be achieved by various imaging programs and methods. The sticking point lies in the treatment of Rollback's images. As of now, I am more concerned with stability and reliability. I am also not comfortable with the tweaks necessary in the registry to allow IFW to image the disk and all snapshots. So, as I only keep a couple snaps from Rollback on my system at a given time, it is no loss if I don't restore them. As long as the OS and boot options/manager restore successfully, I will be happy.

    Feel free to correct any misinterpretation or misconception, I am (actively) still learning.

    Edit: Brian, you posted as I was typing. Am I correct in that some sort of "tweak" has to be applied to sucessfully account for the Rollback images? I know you don't use Rollback, but I thought you might be familiar with that concept.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    No tweaks. If I understand correctly, you don't have to make any Registry changes if you create cold Raw images.
     
  14. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    I was reading the other thread, and as I understand it, you are correct. No tweaks for RAW cold sector images, but tweaks for the RAW hot images to restore all snaps. Please, correct me if I am wrong.
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's my understanding too. If you want to create Raw images (to preserve Rollback snapshots) while Windows is running you need the Registry changes.
     
  16. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian. You and Jo Ann have helped immensely. I hated to break this out, but I thought the other thread(s) were getting a little cluttered.







    One more question: differentials (hot or cold) or new image each time?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  17. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Thanks for the compliment Brian - I would say the same about your posts!


    You are correct in that there is a lot of confusion (and discussion) about backing-up an RB partition. If you have specific questions in that regard, fire-away and I'll do my best to answer them.

    Happy New Year!
     
  18. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    That's both a matter of individual preference as well as the backup app's capability. Most image-backup apps can make hot-raw differentials, but cold-raw differentials are not supported by some of them. I use Drive Snapshot which does support hot & cold raw-differentials (I'm not sure about IFW). In any case, you won't save any significant amount of time making differential images (hot or cold), but most often they will be considerably smaller files!

    JA
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  19. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Thanks Jo Ann. I am starting to grasp it I think. I don't restore that often, but I believe in being prepared. Do you know how hot image differentials work with Rollback? Same as without it?
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    All my images are hot and created on a schedule so I don't know it's happening. I love differentials and I do two a day and keep two weeks worth of differentials. I've run tests on differential size. After a month of using my computer for web related activities but deliberately avoiding installing any apps, my differential size is only 30 MB. Base image is 5 GB.

    I run a base IFW backup image every month after installing apps, Windows updates, defragging etc. Then start the differentials again.
     
  21. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian. I am starting to feel good about IFW.
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Not quite correct about omitting the three options. I just ran a test and you have to choose Set Active. The IFW restore process must make adjustments for omitting the other two options. Win7 boots if you just choose Set Active when restoring to a zeroed HD. No boot code, no Disk Signature and no Partition Table on the new HD.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I probably restore my OS a few times a month (same HD). That is automated too.
     
  24. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    So to be clear when restoring to a new HD, ONLY select Set Active, correct?

    No change from the advice when installing an image from the current HD.
     
  25. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    As mentioned before I'm not an IFW user, but I can tell you that I have made (and successfully restored) differential images of an RB partition with DS using both the normal-hot & raw-cold methods.

    JA
     
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