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Windows 7: Clonezilla Open-Source Image Backup

10 Jan 2010   #21

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by park220 View Post
I have been using Clonezilla regularly for a while now for my XP machines and its worked great. I have been working in the IT field for 5 years or so and over this time friends and family have found out that they can get cheap PC help/repair out of me. My question about Clonezilla is this, if I create an image of say an XP media center edition version of windows on a Gateway laptop. Is it possible to restore that image to a separate say Dell inspiron laptop. I'm just trying to find a more efficient way of reloading friends laptops rather than reformatting the HD and starting with a barebone installation, applying updates, install freeware application and so on.

Thanks,
Hello park220, and welcome to Windows Seven Forums!

The issue you are facing is placing an "Image" on computers of different make, model, and hardware. Any Operating System needs the hardware drivers specific for the hardware in use, so placing an "Image" made on one computer might just be a borked installation on another machine. A business with 100 identical computers, for example, can create one image and transfer that image to all 100.

You might be able to create a driverless, generic OS Image using "Sysprep -clean"? I haven't experimented with this much, but it is intended to prepare "an installation of Windows for duplication, auditing, and customer delivery."

Sysprep Technical Reference

This link applies to Windows 7, but you can find similar links for XP as well.

Other than storing "Images" of all your friend's and family's computers (perhaps on a 1 or 2 TB hard drive?), at times I have collected all the necessary files to restore a computer to a current condition on a CD so I don't have to go looking for them every time.

Like you (and many others here!) I have done a lot of work for apple pies and chocolate chip cookies. Maybe we need a better paying job?

Cheers!
Robert

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Jan 2010   #22

Windows7
 
 

Robert,

Thanks for the quick reply. At this point I'm just trying to successfully copy an image from one PC to another. I'm sure I'll have a whole new batch of problems getting the image to boot and function properly after the re image. Right now I'm just playing around with my personal PC and my gf PC. I have made an backup image of both PCs so if anything goes haywire I have a restore point for both. Each PC is setup with a C and D partition. I'm trying to restore the C partition from one PC to the other but the re image fails when using Clonezilla. I get the error listed below.

"Target partition size(52428 MB) is smaller than source (62916 MB). Use option -C to disable size checking(Dangerous).

I understand the source partition is larger than the target partition but the source partition only contains about 7GB of data. I'm not sure how to use option -C within Clonezilla. I went through the advance setup and saw the option -c listed but i tried checking and unchecking it and the above error still occurred. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

L
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #23

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by park220 View Post
Robert,

Thanks for the quick reply. At this point I'm just trying to successfully copy an image from one PC to another. I'm sure I'll have a whole new batch of problems getting the image to boot and function properly after the re image. Right now I'm just playing around with my personal PC and my gf PC. I have made an backup image of both PCs so if anything goes haywire I have a restore point for both. Each PC is setup with a C and D partition. I'm trying to restore the C partition from one PC to the other but the re image fails when using Clonezilla. I get the error listed below.

"Target partition size(52428 MB) is smaller than source (62916 MB). Use option -C to disable size checking(Dangerous).

I understand the source partition is larger than the target partition but the source partition only contains about 7GB of data. I'm not sure how to use option -C within Clonezilla. I went through the advance setup and saw the option -c listed but i tried checking and unchecking it and the above error still occurred. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

L
To make it easier for an "Image" to fit on 'unknown' computers, I would suggest you temporarily shrink the partition to a much smaller size before saving the "Image". The partition mentioned, 7 GB, could be shrunk to say 15 or 20 GB and then it would fit in more situations. You can return the original partition to its original size after creating the "Image". And you can extend the smaller "Image" into what ever size is available after it has been restored. Then you have less to worry about the "target partition size being smaller than source."

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Feb 2010   #24

windows 7 ultimate
 
 

I really need help.
I followed all the steps described in first post and when i restore my image after "starting windows" screen my computer reboot. I've tried several times to do the image file but i'm hitting this wall again and again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #25

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by soso View Post
I really need help.
I followed all the steps described in first post and when i restore my image after "starting windows" screen my computer reboot. I've tried several times to do the image file but i'm hitting this wall again and again
Hello soso, and welcome to Windows Seven Forums!

So sorry you are having issues. Could you provide some more detail? What did you backup? How many partitions and what size? Where did you restore them to, and did you make the partitions before hand or allow Clonezilla to restore to an empty hard drive?

Any additional info and what you did would be of great help.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2010   #26

windows 7 ultimate
 
 

I have 2 computers with the same hardware and i made my backup on first computer where i installed win 7 ultimate and several software on 30 GB partition and 100MB windows hidden partition, on the second computer i installed windows and formatted just the same (30GB and 100MB) and i want to put my backup from first one. i choose in clonezilla both partitions (30GB and 100 MB) on backup and restore. The second computer keep restarting at "starting windows" screen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2010   #27

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by soso View Post
I have 2 computers with the same hardware and i made my backup on first computer where i installed win 7 ultimate and several software on 30 GB partition and 100MB windows hidden partition, on the second computer i installed windows and formatted just the same (30GB and 100MB) and i want to put my backup from first one. i choose in clonezilla both partitions (30GB and 100 MB) on backup and restore. The second computer keep restarting at "starting windows" screen.
Thank you soso, this information is very helpful.

It does seem strange that Clonezilla would restore a hard drive image successfully and yet not be able to "start windows." Did you get any error messages during the Clonezilla restore?

If I understand you correctly, you installed Windows 7 Ultimate on computer #2, identical to computer #1, then tried to restore the image you made from computer #1 to #2?

I would suggest to you to eliminate some possibilities. Please verify that Ultimate installs an works OK on computer #2? Can you remove the hard drive from computer #1 and put it in computer #2 and start Windows successfully?

I would also suggest you could use the Windows 7 Image Utility to create an Image of computer #1 and restore it to computer #2 and see if Windows will start correctly?

Please let us know how it goes.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2010   #28

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by soso View Post
I have 2 computers with the same hardware and i made my backup on first computer where i installed win 7 ultimate and several software on 30 GB partition and 100MB windows hidden partition, on the second computer i installed windows and formatted just the same (30GB and 100MB) and i want to put my backup from first one. i choose in clonezilla both partitions (30GB and 100 MB) on backup and restore. The second computer keep restarting at "starting windows" screen.
I agree with iseeuu... it should have worked fine! I've used Clonezilla for several years now, its a great way to move all data and os over to a new larger hdd.

soso... are you positive the 2 PC's are identical? If you are sure then one way to determine if it was an image issue caused by Clonezilla would be to swap the hdds. If the good hdd works in the other PC then you had some error or issue during the hdd clone. If not...???

Please let us know...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2010   #29

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I registered just to say thank you for this great, well written guide and supporting info. Although I've been researching how to use Clonezilla for a few days, I have not seen a Windows specific guide as comprehensible as this one, so thanks again. Now that I'm here....

I like the idea of temporarily resizing the Windows partition for a smaller image, however, I have not been able to figure out how to reverse this process and return the Windows partition (C: drive) to its original size. There is much Microsoft support documentation about shrinking the partition etc., but can you give tips/resources on reversing this operation? (I actually found a guide using third party freeware, GParted, but this failed and caused me other problems)
Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2010   #30

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kajko View Post
I like the idea of temporarily resizing the Windows partition for a smaller image, however, I have not been able to figure out how to reverse this process and return the Windows partition (C: drive) to its original size. There is much Microsoft support documentation about shrinking the partition etc., but can you give tips/resources on reversing this operation? (I actually found a guide using third party freeware, GParted, but this failed and caused me other problems)
Thanks
Never mind, I was over thinking it didn't realize I can simply expand the Windows partition again using the Disk Management Utility... sometimes you can't see what's right in front of your face...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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