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Windows 7: Help with a complete system image restore from VHD files?

25 Oct 2011   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you can attach (mount) the VHD, you can image the attached VHD with free Macrium and restore that.

Note: the partition to which you restore must be at least the siue of the original partition.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Oct 2011   #12
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

If what Wolfgang posted above doesn't work, then.....

I suppose that in a worse case scenario, and if the VHD file for the image backup isn't corrupted, you may be able to use the tutorial below to be able to boot from the VHD file like you would any other OS in a multi-boot setup.

Boot from a VHD using Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #13
AriKona

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Booting from a virtual hard drive will not help as I want the system returned to the original configuration and all files back in their original place. Did I mention that there are over 214 Gbs of data? MS VHD has a 172 GB ceiling.

This time during an attempt I received the message that it couldn't find a file to restore from. Due to a forced restart I could not screen capture the error message. It suggested that I may have excluded a drive from the restore (which I didn't) or several other potential problems (it was a rather long message). The error message comes when I have gone all the way through to it actually saying the next step will reformat the drives.

Question: If I am restoring from D: to C:, will it attempt to reformat BOTH drives? I copied the files to D: to speed up the process.

Don
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Oct 2011   #14
AriKona

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
If you can attach (mount) the VHD, you can image the attached VHD with free Macrium and restore that.

Note: the partition to which you restore must be at least the siue of the original partition.
I currently have Virtual Box, which can attach a VHD and I can put the files on it. But, since the main problem is the restore program, will I be able to use the image to recreate an exact C: disc of what was originally a C/D: Raid 0 array? If it will
work, I am all for it.

Is there any advantage of using Macrium over Virtual Box?

Don
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AriKona View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
If you can attach (mount) the VHD, you can image the attached VHD with free Macrium and restore that.

Note: the partition to which you restore must be at least the siue of the original partition.
I currently have Virtual Box, which can attach a VHD and I can put the files on it. But, since the main problem is the restore program, will I be able to use the image to recreate an exact C: disc of what was originally a C/D: Raid 0 array? If it will
work, I am all for it.

Is there any advantage of using Macrium over Virtual Box?

Don
In the past I have imaged attached VHDs with Macrium and was able to restore those as non-VHDs. You have to use the Macrium Linux restore CD for that (easy to make). You should try to mount the VHD in a running Win7 or Vista system though (via Disk Management) and image it from there.

I fail to see the advantage of vBox being in the middle. vBox is not an imaging program.

The only problem you might run into is that you may not have an operational 100MB active partition that contains the bootmgr. In that case you will have to fix the bootmgr in C:. That one you have to play by ear.

Here is a tutorial about Macrium in case you never used it: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #16
AriKona

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

O.K., I have mounted the VHD files.
(See attached screen caps.) VHD is a picture of the two VHDs.
Main is the files in the first VHD and is the contents of Drive K:.
The other one (Drive L says it has 100Mbytes of data, but when I open it, it says it is empty.
Drive 6 (which is a virtual hard drive on a 931 Gbyte drive and contains main backup file) is showing 1862.80Gbytes, which was the original configuration.
I don't know how it can have that size when it is on a 931 GByte drive.

How can I restore these to a single (C drive?


Attached Thumbnails
Help with a complete system image restore from VHD files?-vhd.jpg   Help with a complete system image restore from VHD files?-main.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #17
AriKona

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Additional information: Drive K: has 193,771 files; 21,240 folders; 147,710,491,882 bytes of information. (However, when read as a single file it is 214GByte).
See why I want it back?

If it was safe to write over C: with the information contained in this directory (K and be assured that the files were there to recreate the former C: drive (and allow it to boot), I would. My problem is: Are ALL the files, including system, in that single directory (K? and would copying them to C: give me a bootable system back to the backup date?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #18
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. Drive 6 (K) is your image
2. Since it is so huge, shrink it as much as possible
3. Take an image of the shrunk K with Macrium
4. Restore the image to the biggest possible partition (Macrium has problems restoring to partition smaller than the original. But since this came from a Raid partition, I am not really sure of the implications).
5. If that does not work, we'll try Paragon. It can restore to smaller partitions.
6. Disregard the 100MB active partition for the time being. It may still be intact. Else we will have to deal with that too.

Note: If you restore K, it is NOT active and do not restore the MBR
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #19
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AriKona View Post
Additional information: Drive K has 193,771 files; 21,240 folders; 147,710,491,882 bytes of information. (However, when read as a single file it is 214GByte).
See why I want it back?

If it was safe to write over C: with the information contained in this directory (K and be assured that the files were there to recreate the former C: drive (and allow it to boot), I would. My problem is: Are ALL the files, including system, in that single directory (K ? and would copying them to C: give me a bootable system back to the backup date?
Windows 7 imaging (which I use!) can be fussy. Corruption of the small mediaid file will cause auto image location to fail.

I have been able to do the following:
(1) Like whs suggests Mount the main vhd (your K) shrink, image with Macrium then reimage to an appropriate sized partition. This may require you to temporarily create another primary partition on C:. I did it as an exercise quite some time ago and worked for me.
OR
(2) Simply copy your folders out of the mounted image (K in your case).
It could be that there are some hidden and system files not shown in the mounted VHD accounting for the size difference.
I would prefer to use another partition or external HDD (slow) but see no problems in copying out to a separate root folder on C:.
You only want to copy out data not OS or installed programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #20
AriKona

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
1. Drive 6 (K) is your image
2. Since it is so huge, shrink it as much as possible
3. Take an image of the shrunk K with Macrium
4. Restore the image to the biggest possible partition (Macrium has problems restoring to partition smaller than the original. But since this came from a Raid partition, I am not really sure of the implications).
5. If that does not work, we'll try Paragon. It can restore to smaller partitions.
6. Disregard the 100MB active partition for the time being. It may still be intact. Else we will have to deal with that too.

Note: If you restore K, it is NOT active and do not restore the MBR
So, let me get this straight:
1. K: is the "unbootable" image of what my C/D drives contained.
2. The image says it is 1,800+ GBytes, but is mounted in less than half the space of a 931 Gbyte drive. How do you shrink that? The files are only ~200 GByte in size.
3. I will when I know how to "shrink" it.
4. I assume you mean a partition created on a drive other than C: as it is already partitioned for maximum usage.
5. O.K.
6. Do I need the 100Mbyte (Sytem reserved) partition? It was set up when I first setup Windows 7 and I always wondered why it was there in the first place.

Is there not a way to make the contents of Drive K: bootable and simply copy everything on K: to C: and overwrite everything on C: or copy and then make it bootable?

The sad part of this whole debacle is that Windows 7 should have been able to backup and restore like it says it can. Just another reason not to believe the claims of MS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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