Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.

26 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 
Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.

Hi,

I am new to these forums but hopefully I’ve posted this in the correct spot.

I have set up a dual boot configuration containing two Windows 7 64-bit operating systems (OS) - one specifically geared for “Audio Use”, no internet, antivirus, etcetera, and the other for “General Use”, internet surfing and has antivirus protection enabled and all the other bloating programs and services running on it.

Each OS is installed on its own partition, on its own dedicated hard disk. When booted into each one, it sees itself as the C: drive and the other one as the D: drive. The three hard disks also contain other partitions dedicated for data storage (music, pictures, videos documents).

To clarify:

Disk 0 – System Reserved partition (100MB) created automatically after the dual boot was setup, and one created data / documents partition.

Disk 1 – Win 7 64 OS partition, and one documents partition.

Disk 2 – Win 7 64 OS partition, three other documents partitions.


See Disk Management Screengrab below.

Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.-disk-management.jpg

I have spent a very long time getting everything customised the way I want (all working fine currently), and even longer searching for image backup software that is reliable for handling and restoring a dual boot system, without failing, ruining the MBR, boot order, etc.

I find it difficult to find the answers from searching this topic online because most people are dealing with one Win 7 OS or if they multiboot, its typically with an older Windows version such as XP, or Linux. The boot handling I believe is different in those scenarios.

I have almost settled on using Macrium Reflect, free or paid version (or maybe Paragon) and have extensively read the Macrium help forums, guides and your own dedicated pinned topic but they all deal with a simpler scenario of one operating system which seems straightforward and much less prone to boot problems upon restore.

How would one best go about backing up the type of dual boot configuration I have described?

I realise Macrium doesn’t support “cold-imaging” so the backup has to be performed from inside the operating system. Since this is dual boot, would it make significant differences which OS I make the backup from?

Would I be better selecting both OS partitions (and the system reserved and MBR) all together for backup, from inside one of these operating systems (e.g. my “General Use” Windows 7 OS), which one?, or should I back each operating system independently as a separate image, from inside its respective operating system, for example, taking backup of the “Audio” partition from inside the “Audio” Windows 7 OS?



I hope I have made that clear but if not I’ll try and describe it better. Does any of this make any difference to the success of a backup / restore in reality?

I am concerned with how to do this all correctly because there is a third “System reserved” partition on the other disk and I’m not sure how this fits into the proposed backup methods described above, especially if I opt for the independent OS backup method?

Again I have read thoroughly about the Macrium restore process with the free version and Linux Boot disc, or using the paid version with a Windows PE boot disc, but I am still unclear about how to specifically restore two operating systems to their corresponding partition spaces / disks, so that after restore and reboot, I am able to still select which OS to boot into, just as before.

Would I need to restore the first OS as the first step, then boot into this, then restore the second after that, or would I restore them both at the same time?

I’m convinced there is more complexity to all this and that one false step will render the whole backup prone to failure if I do not understand it correctly beforehand. What I am trying to avoid is a scenario where I try to restore the images after a catastrophic event but nothing then boots up, the MBR gets messed up and everything is a confused, in which case I’d likely have to reinstall everything (Win 7, updates, drivers) from scratch TWICE! (shudders ).

I apologise for the VERY long post but any help and clarification regarding all this - multiboot systems of the same OS and the image backup process would be appreciated a lot! Who knows, this topic may help alot of other multibooters with backing up their systems.


Thanks guys.

J.




My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

With separate HD's the cleanest dual boot method is via the BIOS, unplugging the first OS HD during install of the second, so that when you plug the first back in you'll set the preferred OS as first to boot in BIOS setup, then boot the other using one-time BIOS Boot menu key.

This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please.

This avoids the mess such as you have with the boot partition, first OS and Second OS on three separate HD's.

You can take a Macrium Image of either OS but it would have to be repaired once reimaged, by marking it Active then running Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots to write the System boot files to the partition.

You could configure it correctly now by unplugging DISK0 temporarily along with one of the OS HD's, set the remaining OS HD first to boot in BIOS (after DVD drive), mark Windows 7 partition Active then runn the Startup Repairs. Partition - Mark as Active
Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

Once Windows 7 starts on it's own, power down to unplug it, plug in the other OS HD and repeat the process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #3

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrJWilson View Post
Hi,

I am new to these forums but hopefully I’ve posted this in the correct spot.

I have set up a dual boot configuration containing two Windows 7 64-bit operating systems (OS) - one specifically geared for “Audio Use”, no internet, antivirus, etcetera, and the other for “General Use”, internet surfing and has antivirus protection enabled and all the other bloating programs and services running on it.

Each OS is installed on its own partition, on its own dedicated hard disk. When booted into each one, it sees itself as the C: drive and the other one as the D: drive. The three hard disks also contain other partitions dedicated for data storage (music, pictures, videos documents).

To clarify:

Disk 0 – System Reserved partition (100MB) created automatically after the dual boot was setup, and one created data / documents partition.

Disk 1 – Win 7 64 OS partition, and one documents partition.

Disk 2 – Win 7 64 OS partition, three other documents partitions.


See Disk Management Screengrab below.

Attachment 151428

I have spent a very long time getting everything customised the way I want (all working fine currently), and even longer searching for image backup software that is reliable for handling and restoring a dual boot system, without failing, ruining the MBR, boot order, etc.

I find it difficult to find the answers from searching this topic online because most people are dealing with one Win 7 OS or if they multiboot, its typically with an older Windows version such as XP, or Linux. The boot handling I believe is different in those scenarios.

I have almost settled on using Macrium Reflect, free or paid version (or maybe Paragon) and have extensively read the Macrium help forums, guides and your own dedicated pinned topic but they all deal with a simpler scenario of one operating system which seems straightforward and much less prone to boot problems upon restore.

How would one best go about backing up the type of dual boot configuration I have described?

I realise Macrium doesn’t support “cold-imaging” so the backup has to be performed from inside the operating system. Since this is dual boot, would it make significant differences which OS I make the backup from?

Would I be better selecting both OS partitions (and the system reserved and MBR) all together for backup, from inside one of these operating systems (e.g. my “General Use” Windows 7 OS), which one?, or should I back each operating system independently as a separate image, from inside its respective operating system, for example, taking backup of the “Audio” partition from inside the “Audio” Windows 7 OS?



I hope I have made that clear but if not I’ll try and describe it better. Does any of this make any difference to the success of a backup / restore in reality?

I am concerned with how to do this all correctly because there is a third “System reserved” partition on the other disk and I’m not sure how this fits into the proposed backup methods described above, especially if I opt for the independent OS backup method?

Again I have read thoroughly about the Macrium restore process with the free version and Linux Boot disc, or using the paid version with a Windows PE boot disc, but I am still unclear about how to specifically restore two operating systems to their corresponding partition spaces / disks, so that after restore and reboot, I am able to still select which OS to boot into, just as before.

Would I need to restore the first OS as the first step, then boot into this, then restore the second after that, or would I restore them both at the same time?

I’m convinced there is more complexity to all this and that one false step will render the whole backup prone to failure if I do not understand it correctly beforehand. What I am trying to avoid is a scenario where I try to restore the images after a catastrophic event but nothing then boots up, the MBR gets messed up and everything is a confused, in which case I’d likely have to reinstall everything (Win 7, updates, drivers) from scratch TWICE! (shudders ).

I apologise for the VERY long post but any help and clarification regarding all this - multiboot systems of the same OS and the image backup process would be appreciated a lot! Who knows, this topic may help alot of other multibooters with backing up their systems.


Thanks guys.

J.
Free Download EASEUS Todo Backup Freeware and Trial version. Complete Backup and Restore Software for Windows & Linux.

The freeware is more than adequate for most home scenarios.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Apr 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I use free Macrium and frequently image several partitions together. For Macrium it does not really matter what is inside the partition. You can very well image system partition2 from system1. You can also image them seperatly with or without the data partitions appended.

But when it comes to restoring, you have to restore each partition seperately. And that is a good thing because it is unlikely that all partitios go down at the same time.

The active 100MB partition you have to image only once and usually you do not restore it (unless the disk breaks and you have to migrate to a new disk). The MBR you never touch. If that breaks, you rebuild it with appropriate tools.

PS: I think what Greg suggests is the best setup. I was using that for a long time running Windows 7 and Vista on the same system.

Here is a Macrium tutorial I put together a while ago: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Hey,

Thanks for all the replies. That was quick! I must confess I’m much of a computer novice so just to clarify a few things if I can.

I think I understand what you are saying Greg – so this method simply keeps both OS completely independent from each other, with their own dedicated system boot files, nothing is shared between the two OS, and for example, on computer power up it would boot straight into “General OS”?



Only if I needed to use the other OS, I would press F8/F12 (I forget which) for BIOS one time menu and select the “Audio” OS and boot into that without issue. It does sound like a more elegant solution, and one I assume has no disadvantages or potential issues compared to my current method of dual booting with the boot menu choice? Can I name these operating systems like they are when I select from the boot menu?


I’m to assume the dual boot method I have used is needlessly complex when I have multiple drives, and is typically used for people with a single partitioned hard disk then? Wish I had known about this sooner now


The backing up and restore procedure is where I’m still a little confused. In this scenario I’m to assume I could use the free Macrium Reflect (no need for pro version then?) installed on each independent OS/drive and I just create the image of its System partition independently, like you typically would do with a computer running a single OS, and this would entirely bypass the potential issues I first questioned regarding taking multiple images at the same time and from which OS perspective. Is that all correct? Thank you very much whs for the clarification on Macrium and dealing with multiple system partitions, still useful to know.

I am very keen to switch to the method you have outlined Greg as this appears the simplest to restore in the event one drive breaks and needs replacing. This way it would not render the other OS/drive unbootable. This is because boot files are not being shared between the two right? Complete independence.


Could I migrate from my current dual boot configuration to this way without a massive headache i.e having to install from scratch the operating systems or without messing up both currently functioning OS? I am not sure what would happen to the system partition that is on DISK0 after doing all of this?

If you wouldn’t mind giving me a very brief step by step tutorial or clarifying mine, it would be of massive help as I’m very new to all of this area and do not want to ruin my current system.

_________________________________________________________________

So is this method, described in complete laymens terms, correct?

1. First things first, I would make sure all files, documents are backed up, and I would use Macrium to create two separate OS images (just in case...), keeping in mind what WHS mentions about dual boot system image partitioning.

2. How do I actually "uninstall" a hard drive? Do I just unconnect it? I would want to make the “General Suite” OS (DISK2) the default to load on system start up so I would power everything down and unplug both Disk 0 (contains the shared system reserved partition) and Disk 1 (contains Audio OS, and is the one I want to boot from the BIOS one time F8 menu). I would then set in BIOS, Disk 2 General OS to boot automatically after CD/DVD drive. Is that the right order or do I connect DISK 1 first and connect DISK2 and DISK 0 last?


Doing this step I assume means that on power up I can at least boot into one of the OS(whichever drive is connected) and everything should function correctly?

3. I would then, once booted into this OS, use disk management is mark the Win 7 system partition as active, or use the other methods outlined in the linked tutorial in the case it won’t boot in the first place.

4. I would then run my Windows 7 repair disc and run the start-up repair three times, rebooting after each one. This would, at this point in the process be the exact equivalent of a single boot system right? Disk Management would not display a separate system reserved partition and the boot menu would no longer have the OS choices like it currently does (I renamed them using EasyBCD after both were installed)?

5. I would then power down the computer and plug in both Disk 0 and Disk 1. Can I do this at the same time or will it confuse BIOS? DISK 0 does not contain an OS. How would I boot into Disk 1’s operating system if by default the system boots immediately into DISK2 General OS?

6 I boot into this Disk 1 Audio OS and mark as active, then run WIN 7 repair disc's start-up repair three times then reboot.

From this point, where exactly does this leave my system? Are the two OS now both entirely independent from each other with no separate “system reserved partition” on Disk 0? Do I need to do anything to enable Disk 2 General OS to boot by default? From here on could I select F8 to boot into the one time BIOS menu and load the Audio OS?

Are both OS the way I left them or are they like a fresh Windows install where I need to install all Windows updates? Am I confusing start-up repair with system repair or similar?

Can I rename these OS using EasyBCD and is there a way to make longer, the option to press F8 after power up? When in each OS, can I see the other drives and partitions? This is important for me to be able to do?

In the case of backing up, I would just install Macrium in each OS and backup the corresponding active system partition to an image, giving me two images in total. From here this would simply be a case of using the Linux boot CD to restore the system partition, one at a time and following the unplug drive, mark active and 3 start-up repair steps in the exact way outlined above.

Really sorry for all the questions but hopefully this topic could be quite a comprehensive one, what with the million questions in it . Thanks for the help.

J.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can use the bios boot key method Greg mentioned if you like.

I never do - but it's personal preference.

I have multiple o/s running - well over 30 items on my boot menu when you include wims , iso's and vhd's.

The way you have it set up already is ok.

Quote:
In the case of backing up, I would just install Macrium in each OS and backup the corresponding active system partition to an image, giving me two images in total. From here this would simply be a case of using the Linux boot CD to restore
Yes, that should be fine.

There is no option for making images offline - but you can manage without.

The free Paragon is very good, too.

Whichever you prefer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #7

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Couple of comments on Macrium ...

Strongly recommend purchasing it, if for no other reason, that to be able to create the WinPE boot disk.

With that, you can do the following:
1) Automatically add the drivers needed for your PC to the boot disk (MR has a free add-on for this)
2) Boot from it and backup/restore -- without needing a working OS on your PC
3) Run a Boot repair option from it -- which does the MS Startup Repair three steps in one pass.

I have found, unfortunately, if you also use the option to install the MR Boot to your hard drive, while the good news is that you don't need the boot disk anymore, the bad news is that if you then restore an image, the PC will no longer boot -- and you will need the WinPE Boot Disk (or your Windows 7 DVD) to repair the boot loader.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It seems the boot corrector - tho impressive in many ways, resets your o/s letters to C.

Fine for most people, but a touch inconvenient fo rme.

The couple of times I tried Macrium boot corrector, I had to fix it afterwards with Paragon boot corrector as I'm too lazy to do it manually.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Thanks for the tips on Macrium. Although I see the advantages in terms of convenience, for using the paid Macrium version, I may be able to do what I need with the free version (simple OS backup inside each one) if I follow Greg's method. I have Hiren's bootable CD (which contains Macrium) and I have the Windows repair disc too, so I believe I could use that for startup repairs. It would be great to get some more clarification on Greg's method before I attempt it, so that I don't make silly mistakes. Hopefully I have not alientated everyone with my long posts and questions about it.

Thanks guys, much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Here is how I'd do it: Boot into Windows 7 on Disk1, in Disk Management rightclick C to Mark Active. Or use free Partition Wizard bootable CD: Partition Wizard

Power down, open case to swap the data cable from Disk0 to Disk 2, leaving DIsk 0 unplugged until all repairs are completed.

Set the new Disk0 containing C drive as first to Boot in BIOS setup, boot 64 bit Repair CD, accept any offered Repair. If Windows 7 won't start up, boot back into Repair console to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times until Windows 7 starts on it's own.

Now power down to temporarily unplug Disk 0 (C), set DIsk1 (D) as first to boot in BIOS setup, boot into Repair CD, press Shift + F10 at first screen to open Command Line to mark D Active: Partition - Mark as Active. You can also use free PW CD to do this with a picture of what you're doing.

Close Command Box, select Repair Your Computer, accept any offered Repair, if Windows 7 doesn't start, boot back into run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots until Windows 7 starts on its own.

Once Windows 7 on D starts, plug back in Disk0, set preferred OS HD as first to boot in BIOS setup, boot the other using Asus F8 BIOS Boot Menu key.

If one OS starts up to old Windows Dual Boot menu, delete the other's listing in msconfig>Boot or using EasyBCD 2.02 to Edit Boot Menu.

You can now plug back in the original DISK0 with System Reserved to delete it in Disk Mgmt, or using Diskpart "Force Delete Override" command from Elevated Command Prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.




Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: Macrium Image Backup & Dual Boot Configurations.
Thread Forum
Dual Boot Backup using win7 image utility Backup and Restore
Macrium windows image backup aborted Backup and Restore
Load Backup Image to New Harddrive With Macrium Backup and Restore
Win7 backup not allowing choice of HD to image on dual boot system Backup and Restore
Image backup to RAID using Macrium on WIN 7 64 Backup and Restore
Dual Boot Image Backup? Anyone ? Backup and Restore
Sharing Paritions/Files with Vista Dual-Boot Configurations General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:52 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33