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Windows 7: System Image recovery from bootable WinPE flash/usb drive.


31 May 2011   #1
TCG

 
 
System Image recovery from bootable WinPE flash/usb drive.

Hi Everyone,

I have a bit of a peculiar issue going on here. While I somewhat understand what is happening, I'm still slightly confused as to why and if there is an alternative/workaround.

So I want to restore a system image from one of the workstations I have. I have a custom made WinPE flash drive with several bells and whistles added to make my life easier at work. If I boot to my WinPE OS and initiate the image recovery. All goes well until it tries to apply the image to the drive and then it immediately fails with the lovely 0x80070057 error code.

If I perform the exact same steps, however boot to a DVD rather than the flash drive, it works every time. I found a bit of info elsewhere on this and was hoping someone here could explain this behavior in a bit more detail as the post the guy made doesn't fully make sense to me....
Quote:
I called MS and they told me that you can't do an image restore unless ALL the drives are exactly as they were. Meaning when I was using my jump drive to initiate the recovery (because I can't eject the recovery disk to put in the image disk), it was counting that as a drive. So no go on using a jump drive to initiate the Windows Recovery Environment. That was what was the "the parameter is incorrect; 0x80070057" error.

I figured out a workaround that I should have seen INSTANTLY. All this time, it's been there. When you're selecting an image, Microsoft realized some people might have their images on external drives which require special drivers. You just go there and wala, you see a Browse icon. Go in there, right-click the optical drive, eject, put in the one with the image.
So basically I'm looking for a workaround to be able to perform an image recovery from the bootable USB drive. Not that I can't carry around a DVD version of it as well, I'd just prefer to have everything working from my swiss army PE drive...

(Note: it's not the custom PE that causes this. I've retried with a 7Ent DVD and USB created with the same iso, with the same result. DVD works, USB doesn't)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2011   #2
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Something may have been lost in interpretation here.
1) I always use my grub4dos based Flash drive with a bunch of utilities on it to restore a Windows image. Basically use the system repair disk iso on the flash drive.
2) The only drive constraint on restoring the image is that the drive you are restoring to must be larger than the the size of the imaged partitions. So if you had imaged a main Windows 7 OS partition of say 300GB the the drive you are restoring to must be at least 300GB (plus a little for a system reserved if you had one).

You can have images on multiple connected USB HDDs which were not connected when one of the images of interest was made.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2011   #3
TCG

 
 

Interesting. Booting to the mounted recovery iso in grub4dos works fine as you suggest. I guess I'll just initiate my image recoveries booting from there instead of PE. Thanks for the tip, simple workaround.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #4
jimbo45

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
not the answer you requested but a good get around is to have something like a FREE image backup and recovery program installed on your external USB. Then the image should restore just fine.

Acronis has a "BartpE" type of plugin. -- I'm sure you could find something for Macrium / Easeus / other backup / restore programs.

With the larger 32 and 64 GB USB sticks available these days you could probably even have the backed up image file on the USB as well - so you wouldn't even need any networking capability when restoring your image - boot directly from the USB and restore.

(I always separate OS from data so typically my W7 OS partition is only around 30 - 40 GB which compresses down to around 19 GB or so when backed up with a decent backup program -- this will easily fit on to a bootable 32 GB USB recovery stick).


Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
not the answer you requested but a good get around is to have something like a FREE image backup and recovery program installed on your external USB. Then the image should restore just fine.

Acronis has a "BartpE" type of plugin. -- I'm sure you could find something for Macrium / Easeus / other backup / restore programs.
Hirens Boot CD v13.2, v14.0 provide a Macrium pe capability. I have used it and worked fine for me. (doesn't matter if your OS is 32 or 64 bit).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image recovery from bootable WinPE flash/usb drive.




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