How to use Image For Windows

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

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  1. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    No, you should choose all three options. My shortcut might not work on all computers.

    For restoring to the same HD, no options need be selected apart from the default ones already ticked.
     
  2. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Got it. Also thanks Jo Ann for the answer on differentials.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    dueceswild,

    Can you do me a favour? Open IFW, select Backup, Next, click to select your Win7 partition (don't put a tick in the box), click Information.

    What are the top 3 numbers?
    MiB Used
    MiB Free
    MiB to Restore

    Just interested. I'll explain.
     
  4. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Brian,

    34976 MiB Used
    209216 MiB Free
    131481 MiB to Restore
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Interesting. You have 34976 MiB Used in a 244192 MiB partition. But the 34976 MiB is spread over the first 131481 MiB of the partition.

    IFW does sector based restores so if your original partition was....( * is sectors in use, - is free space)

    [---**----**--]

    then the target partition to restore into can not be smaller than...

    [---**----**]

    You could restore your image into a 131481 MiB partition. But if you restored your image into unallocated space of at least 131481 MiB in size you could choose a figure as low as 34976 as the restored partition size. IFW restores the sectors in use and then resizes the partition.

    It is quite flexible. Regarding the data spread of 131481 MiB. Nothing unusual in that.

    Folks are frequently asking how to restore into a smaller partition now that SSDs are becoming popular.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  6. andylau

    andylau Registered Member

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    Generally, using IFW to restore to a smaller partition is possible. Just compact the source partition before imaging. But I do not know if it will affect Rollback RX or not.

    Rollback RX is a pain:D
     
  7. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Hey Brian,

    I am not sure I understand all of that. I have the first and last part. Kind of lost on the middle. But not averse to learning.

    Bottom line, I could restore to a same size or larger partition, correct? Not really interested in smaller.

    I am thinking with a little work, I could really come to like the flexibility of IFW.


    Edit: Just got it. I could restore minus the free space at the end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  8. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    I am starting to see that, but I still like using it. I have found it indispensable in the short time I have had it. I normally only keep a couple of images due to an insatiable desire to try new software and totally FUBAR my system.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It is a great feature too. I was just describing what can be done in the absence of compaction.
     
  10. andylau

    andylau Registered Member

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    If you are using Win7 Enterprise or Ultimate edition, you can use VHD to instead.

    for testing software, you can also use Virtual Machine, for example, VirtualBox, which is free.
     
  11. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Unfortunately I am not using those versions of Windows 7. I believe, however, my next purchase or upgrade will take that into consideration.

    On a side note, after a few days of using IFW I am very pleased with function and support.
     
  12. andylau

    andylau Registered Member

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    If you are not used Win7 Enterprise or Ultimate edition, I think Virtual Machine is the best method. Many people are using this method for testing their software, such as AntiVirus and imaging software.

    Win7 Enterprise or Ultimate edition these two editions are quite expensive.:ninja:
     
  13. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I will give that option a try.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    dueceswild,

    With your TeraByte WinPE, are you using a CD or USB flash drive?
     
  15. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Glad you asked. I am using a CD, but I have to burn the image to ISO to get it to boot. Then, it boots more often than not, but not always. My BIOS is configured correctly.

    If I don't use the ISO, the WinPE CD I make indicates it burned correctly, but NEVER boots.

    The other boot CD's I have used boot without issue.

    That seems to be the only problem I have with IFW.
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    As you know it only takes a few minutes to make an ISO and another few minutes to burn the CD. But you have to do this every time a new IFW version is released as imagew.exe is in the boot.wim and isn't easily accessible.

    You can make a USB flash drive with you own imagew.exe in a separate folder. You never have to make another TeraByte WinPE as when a new IFW version is released you just replace imagew.exe in the folder.

    In addition you can put plugins in the folder and run a File and Folder Explorer such as A43. Many portable apps work from the folder. You can use Firefox to surf the net and get your email in a computer without a HD.
     
  17. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Would you mind explaining how to do this? That seems interesting (and more efficient). Especially adding Firefox to that mix. I saw how you referenced your ability to surf the net with Firefox from that environment, but I can't find where you explained how you did that. Well, at least not in terms I understood.

    In light of the (small) problem I have booting the CD, this would help me sleep better.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    dueceswild,

    I've made notes on this so here goes...

    In the tbwinpe folder find startnet.cmd. Right click and Edit. Delete these 2 lines...

    cd \program files\ifw
    start imagew

    Replace with these 10 lines (copy and paste)...

    set target=latest\junk.txt
    for %%A in (C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z) do (
    if exist %%A:\%target% set drive=%%A: & goto finish
    )
    :finish
    echo.
    %drive%
    CD latest
    start imagew.exe
    start a43\a43

    Right click TBWinPE.cmd and Run as administrator
    when asked to run MAKEDISK plug in a USB flash drive and press any key
    Accept No Partition, Default

    The WinPE flash drive might not be assigned a drive letter (you can't see it in Windows Explorer) so open Disk Management, right click the flash drive rectangle, Change drive letters and paths, Add, etc.

    Create a folder in the root of the USB flash drive called "latest"
    copy imagew.exe, imagew.ini and ifw.ini to this folder
    create a new text document called junk.txt in this folder
    copy the a43 folder to the "latest" folder. Make sure its name is a43. (http://www.alterion.us/a43/)
    don't have a copy of the "latest" folder in the root of any HD partition

    If the flash drive doesn't boot in your computer, double click makedisk.exe and make another WinPE flash drive but choose the Partition Ex option.

    Boot from the flash drive and IFW and a43 will both open. You can juggle the windows.

    You can get Portable Firefox from here...

    http://baltagy.blogspot.com/2011/12/mozilla-firefox-v901-portable.html

    The folder can be copied to the "latest" folder at any time. Browse to firefoxportable.exe in a43.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  19. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    If I understand correctly, once you have the "latest" folder set up, I can then place whatever portable app I would like to run in its own folder inside the "latest" folder. I can then use a43 to select/run whichever app....
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Correct!!!!
     
  21. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Good! Time to experiment around a bit tonight then *smiles* :cool: ...
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    puff-m-d,

    I'll be interested to hear about your experience.

    junk.txt is a marker to let the 10 line script find the drive letter of the flash drive. If the drive letter isn't known imagew.exe and a43.exe won't auto run from the folder. The flash drive can have a different drive letter in other computers.
     
  23. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    I have made the tbWinPE drive with the addition of Firefox and MBR Backup. I put MBR Backup in its own folder under "latest" and can also store the backups in that same folder. The creation of the USB drive went smooth and easy. It will be later tonight before I can do a reboot to test it all, but I am fairly sure it will work fine.
     
  24. dueceswild

    dueceswild Registered Member

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    Brian,

    FYI I haven't abandoned this thread, I have been tied up with school. And I have discovered that flash drives are like car keys: you can't find'em when you need'em. I will locate one and post back my results. Knowing your expertise, the results will be "thanks" I am sure.
     
  25. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hi Brian,

    Just as I thought, the process went well. For some reason the "MBR Backup" app would not save a MBR, so I guess I need to look for one that will work completely in Win-PE. Also I did not have internet access. I use a 4g hot-spot for all my devices, so on my desktop I use a wireless USB adapter. I think what I need is to figure out how to add that driver to Win-PE so I can access the internet.

    Thanks for your help as I really appreciated your knowledge on this subject.
     
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