Image for Windows/DOS & Dell PC

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TheKid7, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Dell PC - Imaging and Restoring C: drive without the hidden Restore Partition

    For Future Reference:

    If you wanted to image only the C: drive (without the hidden Dell Restore Partition), how would you restore the image (either from Bootable DVD or from file) and have the restored image at the beginning of the hard drive? Are there any other steps that I need to know about if I ever perform this procedure?

    Thank you.
     
  2. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Probably, depending on your comfortability level. Here is where to start learning about this: http://goodells.net/dellrestore/index.htm

    NOTE: Dan says this does NOT apply to Vista systems.
     
  3. rlong

    rlong Registered Member

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    I recommend using a LiveCD with the dd and gparted utilities for imaging/restoring. These two utilities are very easy and very powerful once you learn them. A LiveCD such as Knoppix is also about as platform independent as you can get.

    Imaging works as follows:
    Code:
    sudo -i 
    dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/sdb1/backup_img.dd
    This assumes that sda is the HDD device you want to image and sdb1 is the primary partition of your removable storage. The HDD must be unmounted. This will backup the entire drive (all Windows and Linux partitions, swap, etc.) which is desirable to running separate backup apps within each OS. If you want to backup just your main Windows partition then you would use the above command with the partition number after the device such as sda3, or sda4. You can confirm the partition # with gparted, a great utility with a simple GUI for creating & editing partitions from a LiveCD. You can also use it to easily resize the primary partition to encompass unallocated space if you restore a drive image to a drive that is larger than the original.

    If you are restoring an image of a single partition, you can write it directly to the beginning of the drive by default as follows:
    Code:
    sudo -i 
    dd if=/mnt/sdb1/backup_img.dd of=/dev/sda
    dd writes to the first block by default. For example, if it is used to restore an image to a partition, such as sda1, the first block of the image will overwrite the first block of the specified partition unless you specify otherwise. Likewise, if you write an image of a single partition (or an entire drive) directly to an unmounted drive such as /dev/sda, the first block of the image will overwrite the first block of the drive. Just make sure you've prepared the disk first using gparted so you're not going to be overwriting important data or corrupting existing partitions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    TheKid7,

    Easy. If you know in advance there is a Dell diagnostic partition you simply tick "Update BOOT.INI" in the restore options. That's all you need to do.

    If you didn't choose this option the restored OS wouldn't boot. But it can be fixed in a minute by editing boot.ini with BING, EditBini, BartPE, VistaPE etc. A typical Dell boot.ini references partition(2) as the WinXP OS partition is second in the MBR partition table. The Dell diagnostic partition is first. When you restore the WinXP partition to another HD without restoring the Dell diagnostic partition as well, the WinXP OS partition becomes the first partition in the MBR partition table. The boot.ini then needs to reference partition(1).

    Note, boot.ini doesn't reference the physical order of the partitions on the HD. It references the order of the primary partitions in the partition table. This order is usually, but not always, the same as the physical order. For example, in my Dell I have edited the partition table order with BING so that WinXP occupies the first slot. So my boot.ini is partition(1) even though WinXP is the second physical partition on the HD, preceded by the diagnostic partition.
     
  5. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Sure, it's easy to put that partition where you want. In fact it's a trivial exercise with BING. But, OP didn't say that they wanted to or didn't care if they trashed the functionality of the Dell System Restore partition or the intended manner of accessing it... not the way I read it at least. Goodell's info is usfeul if you want to maintain or restore that functionality, whether you use diskedit, part-info, BING or whatever.

    From the tone of OP's question, I just thought looking over Goodell's info could provide more complete answers on possible "other steps that I need to know about if I ever perform this procedure."
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Hi crofttk,

    We have different interpretations of TheKid7's question. Hopefully he'll correct us.
     
  7. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Yep, not a problem.
     
  8. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the answers.

    My Goal: If needed, I want to know how to image only the System Partition and properly restore it at the beginning of the hard drive without anything that is not needed (i.e., Dell Restore Partition) in the future.

    Questions: Is there a separate (from the Restore Partition) Dell Diagnostics partition? If yes, is there a way to keep the diagnostics and not the Restore Parition?

    Thank you.
     
  9. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Yes, diagnostics partition is separate and usually first on drive (reiterating Brian K) and only 10's of MB in size or so - I think mine's 40 or so. You would just restore them in the correct order and make sure boot partition (2nd partition in this case) is marked as such.

    Usually, I just image the whole drive with IFW including MBR and then restore the whole thing as is. I took my restore partition off but recorded it onto a DVD first. I restored it for grins last month so I could create an FD-ISR archive snapshot of it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I misread the thread title. Apologies.

    Restore the OS as we discussed in the previous thread. Ignore the Restore partition. There will not be any boot problems.

    As crofttk outlined. There will not be a boot.ini issue.

    One of the first things I do with a new Dell is to delete the Restore partition.


    Edit: I meant crofttk's first paragraph. Restore the Diagnostic partition image and then the WinXP image. Both restores are to unallocated space.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  11. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    The first thing I do with a new Dell is image the entire drive, restore partition and all. As of last year, I know that Dell required it be there or it invalidates the warranty. Keeping an image "out of the box" that can be slapped on in a few minutes is nice insurance and keeps Dell happy. Second image: the newly sized (much smaller) system partition tweaked to my secure and user-friendly state.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's good advice.

    By the time I've created about 15 primary partitions and replaced the Dell boot code with a custom MBR, the Dell Restore partition would no longer work. That's why I don't keep it but I accept it is a very useful partition.
     
  13. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Well, silly me, I said I did it for grins but, IN FACT, Gerard reminds that I actually did the restore partition restore for a reason: There were various mechanical things wrong with my Dell laptop and a malfunctioning CD/DVD. The Complete Care and hardware warranty were due to expire this month and so I restored the original config for purpose of the call-in getting everything fixed - now all is good and it "only" cost what I paid three years ago. :)
     
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