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Windows 7: Can you restore an image to a "smaller" partition?


04 Apr 2011   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 
Can you restore an image to a "smaller" partition?

Can you restore an drive image that was taken of 30GB of actual data originally on a 235GB partition to a resized partition of 100GB?

I think I know the answer, but I've got that nagging doubt going on. I've restored many images of drives that have not changed in size, but never as mentioned above.

I set up a laptop for someone last summer and when done took a "fresh" disk image of the C: drive and System Reserved partitions. At that time the C: drive was 235GB. The used space was only 30GB.

I just installed SP1 for the same laptop, and also re-sized the C: drive to 100GB. I took a new disk image, of course, after this.

But now I'm wondering: what would happen if I attempted to install that original image?

Using Acronis TI Home 11.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Yes you can do that with Acronis TI Home 2011.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

If you have done it, does it go without a peep, or do you get any warnings or messages? Just curious.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Whenever I have restored a system image, a image of the boot drive along with the MBR (Master Boot Record), which you have to do if you want the PC to boot to the OS. Acronis, all version as far as I know, deletes any existing partitions and recreates the paritions as they were when the image was made.
With Win 7 when restoring you need to restore the System Reserve partition, the main partition (the one that has the OS install on it) and the MBR and any other partition on that physical drive. In other words the whole drive. That is if you want the OS to boot.

I'm going to do a test and post back in about 20 minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Just finished my test.

Connected another drive to my system. Booted from a Mustang PE boot USB stick with Acronis TI 2011 home with plus pack and Disk Director 11 on it.
My main system drive is a 250GB HDD with 3 partitions. 100MB Sys Reserve, 82GB BOOT C drive and a 149GB D partitions. the drive I connected is als the same with the same partitions on it.
I deleted the C partition and then made a new volume of 60GBs, 22GBs smaller then my normal C partition. Made another volume of the remaining 22GBs left over from resizing the C partition.
Close Disk Director and opened Ti 2011. Selected restore whole disk and partitions. When asked what to restore, it gives you the option to select the partitions and the MBR from the list of partitions in the image, I selected the 82GB C drive partition and the MBR. I had left the 100MB sys reserve and my D drive intact on the drive when in Disk director.
It then asks where do you want to restore the select items. I selected the new 60GB partition and for the MBR the ROOT of the drive.
Click OK and the image loaded.
When it was done I rebooted to a black screen with Windows Failed to start. Insert system disk to recover.

So as I stated above when restore the system you must restore the whole drive. All partitions and MBR.
Now you can restore the system drive to a smaller physical hard drive. What TI will do if you present system drive is all one partition with the smaller sys reserve partition is just create the sys reserve partition, 100MB, then use the rest of the drive as the other BOOT, OS, Pagefile partition.
And if you have another partitoin on the boot/system physical disk what TI will do is create the sys reserve, at the same size as on the image, the C boot partition of the same size as on the image then the rest of the drive as the other partition. That is if the new drive is smaller. If the new drive is bigger you will end up with Unallocated space at the end of the drive.

I hope all this is clear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Wow. What great information (and what a lot of work!) Thank you very much for that.

And yes, I get the picture now, very clearly.

One other curiosity, maybe you know this (or maybe you answered this already):

If the hard drive has one 100MB SR partition, one 100GB system partition (C:, Boot (MBR), Page File, Yada-Yada), and one user files partition (D:, Extended)

And no partition sizing has changed.

And you restore the image of C: only (not the SR partition too), would the box boot?

Or do you have to restore both every time?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

You can restore only the C: partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

If there is a System Reserved partition and that is the system volume where the "System" boot files are stored and that is not added and consequently restored, no the 'new' image will not boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Thanks Bare Foot.

So whether imaging or restoring the rule is always: Both.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Thanks Bare Foot.

So whether imaging or restoring the rule is always: Both.

You're welcome; correct, whatever partition has the "System" flag when viewed in Windows disk management must be included and restored.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can you restore an image to a "smaller" partition?




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