Restoring Image to Smaller Volume

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Cruise, May 23, 2012.

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  1. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    I know this has been 'bandied about' before, but I would appreciate learning of any image backup programs that are able to restore their image to a much smaller volume than the volume originally imaged.

    The reason I need to do this is that I recently purchased a new laptop and I want to shrink C: considerably. Even after disabling System Restore and Windows' Pagefile neither Win 7 or Paragon HDM allow me to shrink the volume to any significant extent - apparently because of unmovable metafiles!

    Cruise
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Paragon HDM working from the WinPE medium can move files and should resize the system partition without problems. I have used it to to this several times. In any case, it is good practice to create a backup of the system partition before resizing it.
     
  3. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Robin, as mentioned in my original post, I tried Paragon HDM (using its boot disk) and it will not allow me to resize C: any smaller than Win 7's Disk Manager did.

    Fwiw, I have also tried several defrag tools to no avail. So now my plan is to image C: with a program that can restore to a volume that's considerably smaller than the original volume size. I would then delete the partition, rebuild it to a much smaller size, and finally (and hopefully) successfully restore the image to my new smaller partition. :doubt:

    Cruise
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Paragon programs can restore images to smaller partitions, within limits. This option is part of the restore parameters.

    ShadowProtect does not restore to smaller partitions, even when the difference in size is very small.
     
  5. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Robin, thanks for trying to help. Let's see if I get any other suggestions.
     
  6. jonyjoe101

    jonyjoe101 Registered Member

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    from my experience acronis true image is one of the few imaging software that can do this even from it first releases. And I always test imaging software to see if they can do this task, and was surprise that not too many if any can do it, especially the free software. To me it's always been a deal-killer if the software can't restore to a smaller partition.
    I've use it to restore a 30gb partition (10gb of use data) into a 20gb partition. It does this very well. As long as the use data will fit in the new partition it will restore it and will be bootable.
     
  7. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Thanks for that info jonyjoe! Although I've read a lot of negative comments about ATI that feature may be a compelling reason for me to reconsider it.

    Cruise
     
  8. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    I believe Image For Windows can do this too! When making an image use the "Compact" option this being the size of the smaller disk.

    Also, first try to install Acronis Disk Director 11 as a trail and see if you can re-size the hard disk.

    Best regards,

    KOR!
     
  9. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Hi KOR,

    I did try ADD 11 and it gave me an error when I attempted to shrink C: o_O

    Thanks for the tip about IFW being able to restore to a smaller volume than the one from which the image was created. I'll definitely check that out.

    Btw, when backing up C: do I need to also image Win7's small (200MB) 'SYSTEM' partition?

    Cruise
     
  10. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Yes, you do need to image the WIN7 small (100MB or 200MB) partition. I don't like this partition, and I usually get rid of this, so than I need not to image it. This partition is only for WIN7 Enterprise/Ultimate, if you want to use BitLocker. With other WIN7 flavors BitLocker is not available.

    This partition is easy to get rid off, and here how it is:

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=409

    Best regards,

    KOR!
     
  11. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    That's strange, my laptop has W7 Home Premium 64bit (NOT Enterprise or Ultimate), yet it still came with that special 200MB 'System' partition. o_O

    Thanks,
    Cruise
     
  12. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Any WIN7 flavor you install it will install the 100MB-200MB 'System' partition.

    Remember, Microsoft always want you to upgrade to the higher flavor and pay them more money. It is there in case if you want to upgrade to Enterprise/Ultimate and then use BitLocker.

    Best regards,

    KOR!
     
  13. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    KOR,

    In that case I'll follow your suggestion and get rid of it - if for no other reason, that by doing so makes image backups/restores simpler!

    Thanks again,
    Cruise
     
  14. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Why not use EaseUS Partition Manager to shrink the partition first and then image it? Afterward you can just go into the Windows Disk Management and stretch it back to the original size. An alternative would be to try the PerfectDisk defragger which can move metafiles that are at the end of the partition preventing Windows Disk Management from shrinking. PerfectDisk will also enable you to identify the specific "stuck" files.
     
  15. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    IMO, use a file-based imaging tool like imagex by microsoft is the best option for the OP. Boot a WINPE and use Gimagex to capture the image, check bootable option. Then delete your current partition and resize. after that apply your captured image back to the new system partition you just made. Imagex does not care how small your new system partition is, as long as it's larger than the file size of your windows system.
     
  16. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Wow, I never even heard of those - but I'll google them and start the learning process! :blink:
     
  17. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Be careful if you have the 200MB windows 7 boot partition: Imagex might not be able to copy the BootMGR from that partition.


    "apparently, using the win 7 install cd, if you create a partition and proceed with the installation, it also creates a boot partition which imagex does NOT copy over! this partition (200 megs) is created in case you want to use bitlocker. additionally, the bootmgr file (that is usually on the c drive) gets moved to this partition.

    since i am deploying a ton of machines and dont plan on using bitlocker, i want a single partition (C that is the size of the entire disk. so how can i make it so the windows installation does NOT create this extra boot partition?

    the fix is this:

    1-using windows pe, boot to a dos prompt, delete all partitions and create a single partition however large you would like.

    2-then when installing windows 7, select that partition you created in step 1 and windows will NOT create the additional 200mb partition for bitlocker. windows will use this single partition and will put the bootmgr file on the root of your drive.

    this is such a trivial thing but windows never did this before. i think i am one of the few that had this hurdle during win 7 imaging.

    i hope this is making some sense. ^_^ thanks again for your help, serrated."

     
  18. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Thanks, but I beilieve the most direct approach for me (at this point) is KOR's post #10. Once that's done I think I'll be using IFW for my imaging.

    Cruise
     
  19. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Great decision!

    Best regards,

    KOR!
     
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