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Windows 7: Restoring different partitions back to hard drive


24 Jun 2011   #1

Win 7 Professional 64
 
 
Restoring different partitions back to hard drive

Good day everyone,

I need some advice on backing up HD on laptop (as images using Macrium Reflect) and restore back if needed.

Partitions on 500 GB hard drive
#1) system Reserved 100MB
#2) Windows 7 (C) 100GB
#3) Factory Image (D) 10GB
#4) Data (E) 320GB
#5) Misc (F) 30GB++ (remaining total of 500GB = 465.66[Actual capacity])


Assuming I've 5 partitions on a 500GB Hard drive.
a) First I create an image on all 5 partitions as 1 image (say I named it as Image1)
b) Create 1 image for partition# 4 and 5 every week (say I named it as Image2)
c) Create 1 image for partition# 2 if I've install/remove any new applications from this (say I named it as Image3)

My question is that, if my system crash, which images should I restore first.
I was thinking of restoring in the following sequence. (btw planning to use Macrium Reflect bootCD for this process)
1) restore Image1 (choose all partitions)
2) restore Image3 (choose partitions#4 and 5)
3) restore Image2 (choose partition#2)

Can these be done? or any alternate way?

When restoring, can I choose which partition that I wants to restore?

Sorry for all the noob questions. Appreciate your help.

Thanks you
Boon

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jun 2011   #2
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

You should post a Disk management screen shot to confirm your partition types.
Assuming no linux partition you either have a dynamic disk (generally bad) or an extended partition with logical drives.

As a general answer to your question it depends on the nature of the "crash".
With Macrium Reflect free you restore one partition at a time.
Generally if your OS became unusable with Macrium you would try restoring just C: #2. Say no to MBR replace.

If you needed to replace the whole disk this is the order:
1) #1, System Reserved. Say yes to MBR replacement. Say No for subsequent partitions.
2) #2, C: OS.
3) Boot system. If system fails to boot try running repair up to 3 times from a system repair disk or install DVD.
4) Data Partitions
5) Factory image partition, D:.

Then go part way through a factory recover to ensure your recovery partition is working. Then exit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #3

Win 7 Professional 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
You should post a Disk management screen shot to confirm your partition types.
Assuming no linux partition you either have a dynamic disk (generally bad) or an extended partition with logical drives.

As a general answer to your question it depends on the nature of the "crash".
With Macrium Reflect free you restore one partition at a time.
Generally if your OS became unusable with Macrium you would try restoring just C: #2. Say no to MBR replace.

If you needed to replace the whole disk this is the order:
1) #1, System Reserved. Say yes to MBR replacement. Say No for subsequent partitions.
2) #2, C: OS.
3) Boot system. If system fails to boot try running repair up to 3 times from a system repair disk or install DVD.
4) Data Partitions
5) Factory image partition, D:.

Then go part way through a factory recover to ensure your recovery partition is working. Then exit.

Hi mjf,

Thanks for your reply and suggestions. Sorry for the late reply as I've just completed the backup, partitioning and installing apps on my laptop.

As you can see, I've 5 partitions on my laptop.
Partition#1 = System Reserved (102MB)
Partition#2 = Recovery (21.39GB)
Partition#3 = OS (100GB)
Partition#4 = Data (300GB)
Partition#5 = Misc (44.28GB)

Partition #4 and #5 are being Logical. I've tried to make #4 to primary and the system does not allow me to create more partitions. So, I changed the #4 to Logical. I'm ok with it with 3 primary partitions and the remaining as Logical.

In case I need to perform (Full) restore on the laptop. Are the following steps correct?

1) #1, System Reserved. Say yes to MBR replacement and choose active. Say No for subsequent partitions. [Do I need to execute the restore process before continue to next step?]
2) #3, C: OS.
3) #4, E: Data.
4) #5, F: Misc.

Note: What about partition#2 as this is for Recovery from vendor and it's a "Active" partition

or

1) Restore all the partition at one go.
Eg.
#1, System Reserved. Say yes to MBR replacement and choose active
#3,4,5, mark as "Primary", No to MBR

Questions: In my case, for partition 4 and 5, it's created as "Logical". Do I still make these as "Primary" ?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks again.


Attached Thumbnails
Restoring different partitions back to hard drive-screen20110626_explorer_new.jpg   Restoring different partitions back to hard drive-screen20110626_partition_new.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jun 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I have a Dell that came set up similar. The 100mb partition is not system reserved, it is what they call an OEM partition and I really have no idea of it's function. The boot files usually found in a system reserved partition are in your case on the recovery partition. There can only be 1 active partition on a disk, and that is where the boot files reside. I back up my data with Microsoft SyncToy and occasionally by simply copy/paste. I don't image my data. That way I have a 1to1 copy of it. The other partitions, I image seperatly and then together. That way I can restore any way I need to. The reserved partition should not change and you should need only 1 good image of it.

There a lot of imaging stratigies and programs to use. Everyone has their own technique and preferred program(s) to use. I use at least 2 and usually 3 programs. Even the best programs can fail occasionally. If you asked 10 people on this forum what program they use and theur backup stratagy, you would get 10 different answers. And probably none of them would be wrong. You have to decide for yourself what program(s) you feel most comfortable with and develope your own stratagy. I would recommend however that you test whichever programs you decide to use. Backups are great, but you only know how good they are until you have to restore. You will find that some work for some people and not for others. If you haven't already, take a look at this tutorial. I hope I didn't confuse you. here are several backup tutorials to give you different stratagies and programs to consider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #5

Win 7 Professional 64
 
 

Hi essenbe,

Thanks for your comments and and some insight. Appreciate it.

I was planning to image the system partitions (in my case, #1, 2 and 3) seperately and for the data I'll do a normal cut/paste to an external drive.

My only concern is that, if I were to restore only 1 partition (the OS, partition#3). Do I only restore just partition#3 OR partition#1,2 and 3 together since my boot files are on the recovery partition (partition#2)

I've not much concern on the strategies or tools to be used. I just wants to understand the relations between all the partitions. I believe it's not as simple as restoring any partitions we like. Unless all the updated on the "OS partition, #3" are independent. Eg. If I install any new applications, all the updated on the registries will not be updated to where the partition has "Active" status or where the boot files reside.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

If I'm wrong, I am sure MJF will correct me. It is my understanding that the boot files on the recovery do not change (or should not) The files and registry are on the C partition. When you start your computer the active boot partition begins the boot. It gets to a certain point and hands the boot process over to the C partition. In that process, the Boot files on the active partition should never change. The only thing that should change is the C partition. This is normal operation and there are exceptions. If you dual boot with another OS, the boot files will change to accomidate the other OS. But other than a situation like that, boot files never change. I operate that way. I just don't have the recovery partition. But, I normally only restore my C partition, unless you have some reason to believe the recovery has been corrupted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boon1 View Post
My only concern is that, if I were to restore only 1 partition (the OS, partition#3). Do I only restore just partition#3 OR partition#1,2 and 3 together since my boot files are on the recovery partition (partition#2)

I've not much concern on the strategies or tools to be used. I just wants to understand the relations between all the partitions.
Given your machine is a Dell and the Partition structure, the Recovery partition performs the dual roles of the system active (reserved) and Factory recovery.

So similar advice applies, except the recovery (system, active) partition along with the OS partition is required before you can boot.

Normally I would restore and image the OS (#3) more often. Keep some images of #1 and #3. They will be needed if those partitions get corrupted or you need to install a new main HDD.

In terms of relationship between partitions etc. this may help
reflect updates

PS: Just seen essenbe's comments - I agree.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2011   #8

Win 7 Professional 64
 
 

Hi mjf and essenbe,

Thank you so much for the explanations. It's clearer to me now.

Since I've created a full backup (all 5 partitions) on 1 image, I'll do another set of individual images for partition#1, 2 and 3. Subsequently, I'll only backup for Os (#3) often. In case I need to restore, I'll use image OS (#3)

I wish I've another machine to play around

Thanks again guys
Boon
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

You are more than welcome. Glad you have it sorted out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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