Restore image and not modify BCD data

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by unclebump, Oct 22, 2011.

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  1. unclebump

    unclebump Registered Member

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    Is there any imaging software that will not modify the BCD data after restoring backups onto a hard drive. I'm trying to isolate a multi-boot system so the partitions are hidden from each other. Currently they are all linked in the BCD files and for booting. When I take some spare hard drives and just one OS on it, they all boot fine. If I make a backup of these partitions individually, then restore onto a single hard drive, Paragon HDM 11 Pro overwrites the BCD data so all of the partitions are shown in the BCD. I want to keep them separate and use a boot manager to select which OS to run. Trying to use BIBM as the boot manager. Tried Image for DOS but it won't recognize my usb hard drive for storing the partition backups. Haven't tried Image for Linux yet. I would prefer to keep my existing partitions and not reinstall everything.

    Do all of the imaging programs overwrite the BCD when partitions are restored?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The amount of "auto-fixing" that takes place when restoring an image varies between programs. Most do not play that nice with multi-boot setups, especially if the system isn't "just right" when the restore takes place (correct partition Active, correct partitions hidden, etc.).

    You should be able to do what you want with BIBM since (from reading your post in the TeraByte Forum) it sounds like they still boot correctly (except for the one that gets the multiple entries).

    If you're planning on using non-TeraByte imaging programs I would suggest that you stay with the standard MBR type drive and use partition hiding. Otherwise, I would suggest you convert to EMBR and take advantage of unlimited primary partitions. This is what I use and I really like it. IFL shouldn't have a problem seeing the USB drive. For IFD, make sure you have USB support enabled in BIBM. You may need to disable USB 2 support if it causes problem. Does the USB drive show up in BIBM when you select to view USB drives?

    You can perform BCD repairs directly with BIBM so you shouldn't have to run the Windows repair and get the multiple entries. However, if you do run the Windows repair you need to make sure that the correct partition is set Active (this would be the booting partition for the Windows being repaired -- in this case, the Windows partition itself), and that the other Windows partitions are hidden.

    To do this with BIBM, setup a boot menu entry for each Windows OS. For each, set the correct partition as the boot partition and set the other partitions as hidden. Now edit the BCD to be correct using the BCD editor. Or, if you prefer, do a simulated boot of the entry that needs fixed and then boot to the Windows disc and do the repair. To do a simulated boot, go to the Boot Menu (like what shows when you boot into BIBM), select the desired item, hold down Shift and click Boot. You should hear a beep. This loads the partition settings for that entry without booting it so it will be correct when you boot to the Windows disc.

    More specific instructions can be provided if you need them.
     
  3. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    Excellent response...learn something new everyday! :)
     
  4. unclebump

    unclebump Registered Member

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    Thanks Mudcrab. I'll try to get to it this weekend. Too much time during the week with the kids football and homework. Paragon tech support suggested using copy partition rather than the backup and restore method. I need to pickup another drive or two to be able to do that. I'm leaving the original one intact until I'm done with this setup. I've tried the restore operations with the other partitions hidden, and paragon still goes out and modifies the BCD data on hidden partitions after the restore is complete.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    unclebump,

    I'd like to second MudCrab's suggestions. If you use BootIt BM with unlimited primaries you could have dozens of Win7 OS and there would be no BCD conflicts as no single Win7 would know about the others.
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    J_L,

    EasyBCD is nice but it doesn't support dozens of Win7 in primary partitions. With BIBM each Win7 has its own BCD. There is no dependency on a common system partition containing booting files so you can add or delete OS whenever you like.
     
  8. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  9. unclebump

    unclebump Registered Member

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    I finally managed to get things mostly like I want them. I took each OS and put it on a hard drive by themselves. Deleted the boot folders on each and used a DART 7.0 recovery disk to make each one boot properly. Booted each drive to make sure they worked. Computer launches right into the OS with no option for selecting which OS to run. I made a backup of the BCD using enum all and sending it out to a text file.

    Then I copied the vista partition onto the disk that had win7 64 bit. I made the win 7 64 bit partition hidden and not active before doing the copy. After the copy was done, using the HDM11 Pro linux bootdisk, the BCD files were modified on both partitions. I have screenshots and the text files if you would want to see them. I really don't agree with the software modifying files on a partition that was marked as hidden. At least it should ask if we want that done before it makes the modifications. Will it make this modification across multiple hard drives that could be in the system?

    Then I saved the BCD files again and copied the win7 32 bit partition onto the same drive. BCD files for all partitions were modified again. Saved these modifications in text files as well.

    Booted into each OS and made sure the three partitions showed up in each one. Went to the win7 64 bit OS and ran the HDM11 Pro software to enable the paragon boot manager. Selected the option to hide other OS.

    Now each OS will open from the boot manager program selection and the other OS partitions are hidden properly. However, when each OS is started, I get the windows OS selection screen and it lists all three OS options. Now I need to go back and edit the BCD files to remove the extra items. Or just hide the OS selection on startup. Then save them again, because any partition that is restored or copied in the future will overwrite them again. I can live with it since I have a workaround, but I don't like how the software forces the file changes on us.

    Does BIBM modify the BCD files in all partitions after restoring and copying an image onto a hard drive?

    Almost forgot, I made a backup of each partition after all of this was done. Might even do a full disk backup, since I have all of these extra hard drives now.

    Time to grab the old drives from my laptop that were upgraded when Vista and win7 were released. Run the Adjust OS option for new hardware and see if they will work on the desktop.
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    BIBM will update the BCD when it exists on a partition that is copied. For example, if you copied the System Reserved partition the BCD file section for the boot manager would be updated to point to the new partition, but the Windows entry would still point to the original partition.

    When using the imaging programs, the BCD file of the restored/copied partition is updated to be correct for the partition. It doesn't make any changes to any other Windows partitions. Also, if you do need to change the BCD for some reason, you can do it directly with BIBM.

    I looked briefly at the Paragon Boot Manager some time ago and found it greatly lacking in features and way to restrictive. I didn't play with it long enough to discover that it modifies the booting files of "other" Windows, but would have removed it at that point if I had. I prefer OS isolation and having a boot manager make those kind of changes doesn't fit well with that.
     
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