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Windows 7: Image your system with free Macrium

15 Nov 2013   #1291
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Diddlededum View Post
Can I throw in two random questions please. If my hard drive fails so I get a new harddrive but a different make or model, would a simple restoration of the Macrium image onto it work or would I have to reinstall Windows (I'm using an SSD for my operating system disk by the way; all my personal files are on a second drive that I backup separately).
My old drive was replaced by brand new empty drive from an alternative maker.
It was 4 times the size of the original.
I plugged in the Boot Rescue CD and restored my old system from an image backup of the old partitions on the old drive.
I rebooted and it started up running without problems or needing any redeploy fixes,
and the main difference from the old was that 75 % of the new drive was now "Unallocated Space" waiting for my allocation and use.

My experience was with an HDD and new new drivers had to be installed.
I assume that SSD's may also work with the same drivers.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2013   #1292
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

If you really look at it, that is one of the main purposes for macrium. To be able to reinstall the OS in case of hard drive failure. Yes, it is the way it works with no drivers needed. The drivers are in the image. The only reason that I know of that new drivers would need to be installed is if you were restoring to dissimilar hardware. Of course, if restoring to dissimilar hardware, there is a good chance the restoration would not work. For instance if you were restoring to a computer where the motherboard had been changed. The image would be using drivers from the older motherboard which may not work on the new motherboard. In a situation like that Sysprep would be a better option.

As far as restoring to an SSD, it would work the same. The only concern would be SSD alignment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1293
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Diddlededum View Post
I would certainly recommend soon after installing your PC and getting it to a condition you like making an image AND THEN restoring it to check that it restores.
NOT a good idea - it can only lead to tears

If your test successfully proves that something is wrong you will NOT be able to fix it until you reinstall Windows plus applications.

I have always been cautious and rewarded with good luck.

Macrium failed a few years ago when USB3 was a new possibility.
When running under Windows it was able to write the image to an USB3 HDD, and to read back and validate.
When the Boot Rescue CD was in use it did not have the relevant driver to be able to read from the USB3.
Had the Boot Rescue CD been used to validate the backup it would have found the problem and not deleted C:\.
I do not know what happened to users that restored without having the Boot Rescue validate,
but I guess that with a missing C:\ they had no Internet complaint capability
I remember that Macrium issued a new release within a few days that fixed that issue for WinPE Boot CD's.
Their developer support is excellent.
I guess that the Linux Boot CD may by now have USB3 capability.

My approach for first time use when I do not know if anything will work :-

Have unallocated spaces (perhaps on an external drive) for test partitions;
Create TEST_1 partition and fill with a files and create an image backup;
Change the Volume Label from TEST_1 to TEST_B ;
Close Windows and use the Boot Rescue CD to restore the TEST_1 backup into remaining unallocated space;
Boot into Windows and compare the contents of TEST_B with the restored TEST_1.
This will show if your Boot Rescue CD has what it takes to read your image backups and to restore them.

I DO NOT KNOW if the above proves that the Boot Rescue CD will correctly write to my System Drive.
I have developed paranoia after a 30+ year career using computers and suffering inevitable BSOD's.

To experts on this forum - your comments could be useful on the following :-

I understand that Windows uses drivers for all the hardware,
and ASSUME that the Boot Rescue CD's always have all the drivers that are needed,
but just in case I ALWAYS have available an old Boot Rescue CD that I know has all it needs for my hardware.
To prove that CD has all the drivers I restore an image backup of TEST_1 to the internal HDD/SSD,
and if there is no space for restoration I would use Windows Disk Management to shrink C:\ and get some space.
Windows will still work for me when it is shrunk - it will not work if C:\ is deleted and restoration fails.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2013   #1294
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Diddlededum View Post
If my hard drive fails so I get a new harddrive but a different make or model, would a simple restoration of the Macrium image onto it work or would I have to reinstall Windows (I'm using an SSD for my operating system disk by the way; all my personal files are on a second drive that I backup separately).
I believe the question has been answered. The answer is yes.
In fact I would recommend getting a new HDD as a standby and/or auxilliary drive and perform a system image restore to it with the original HDD disconnected. This is the safest test that you can reimage with confidence. I think spinners are back down to sensible prices now.

If you wanted to use your strategy of clean install of the OS plus apps then doing an image restore just make sure you deactivate paid software first in case you need to go through the complete install again.

A number of people report a lack of confidence in Windows inbuilt imaging. It still remains my primary OS partition imaging tool but I use Macrium as well. I would agree that if you wanted to pick only one imaging package it would probably be Macrium over Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1295
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Novice Macrium (Free ver) user update:

I've run a couple of images (all images are full-disk mode) and so far, smooth sailing.

I tested the image recovery to a spare HDD and all worked ok.

Laptop: I ran into one of those things where I forgot about Drivers so I had to burn another ISO using my Laptop PC instead of the Desktop PC. I'm using the WinPE 3.1 version burn.

I perform all of my images from the boot CD, outside of Windows.

I just completed an Image from my 500 Gb HDD Laptop to my external HDD using USB 2.0 and a Seagate 4 Tb HDD. I'll test the Recovery with my spare HDD later.

Image time was about 1:30.

I'm interested in the Macrium Cloning tool and how it will compare to Acronis, which I've used to clone for a couple of years without any issues.

I prefer both approaches, cloning and imaging. I'm new to the imaging scene and I already see some of the advantages of storing images. I ran an image on my Mom's XP PC last week and have it stored on my 4 Tb Seagate external HDD along with my Desktop & Laptop images.

I use the cloning approach for a fast recovery from any malware / virus intrusions (or user mistakes) since I can plug/play and be running as normal within a few minutes after copying a few frequently-edited items from another HDD.

I like the imaging method for flexibility and the ability to store multiple PC/HDD files on one device.

I see diverse pov's about testing images here. I'm in the "testing" camp as I like to see my PC's fully recover / boot up, run my apps, e-mail client, etc to know that the image (or cloned HDD) is a verified working shelf spare if needed later.

I haven't used the "verify" option yet when imaging but will try that soon.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I believe the question has been answered. The answer is yes.

In fact I would recommend getting a new HDD as a standby and/or auxilliary drive and perform a system image restore to it with the original HDD disconnected. This is the safest test that you can reimage with confidence. I think spinners are back down to sensible prices now.
I have a couple of spare HDD's for my PC's for that reason. I also like it for the "peace of mind" factor. I can test clones, download something and not be concerned about the "C" HDD with those tested shelf spares available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1296
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If your image completes successfully and the WinPE CD is working, then there should really be no problem. The WinPE CD is really the weak part. I test that one on a small 2GB partition with some odd data. That only takes a couple of minutes.

For the integrety of the images it is best to make images frequently. Then you always have multiple recent choices. I used to make 3 per week, but since I have never been disappointed by free Macrium (in 4 years), I am now down to one image per week.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1297
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
If your image completes successfully and the WinPE CD is working, then there should really be no problem. The WinPE CD is really the weak part. I test that one on a small 2GB partition with some odd data. That only takes a couple of minutes.

For the integrety of the images it is best to make images frequently. Then you always have multiple recent choices. I used to make 3 per week, but since I have never been disappointed by free Macrium (in 4 years), I am now down to one image per week.
Good idea. It's hard to beat redundancy. That's my plan as well, to compile a few images for both PC's.

Thanks for the reliability info with Macrium. That's good to know. Four years is a lot of validation info for this tool.

I forgot to mention that my WinPE Rescue CD queries me for a couple of missing drivers when it's loading. Since my images have all tested good, I guess that it's not an issue and that the drivers are only needed for WinPE to communicate with the PC's hardware.

I did check the "update to licensed" query when the ISO builder was preparing the ISO file. I'm guessing that the paid version contains most drivers required for various hardware on the majority of PC's.

For my Desktop PC's Rescue CD, there's only one "missing driver" dialog message when I boot the WinPE CD.

My previous image recovered and tested good so I'm guessing that the missing-drivers messages aren't an issue with the actual image that's created.

My Laptop's Rescue CD displays a couple of "network/Ethernet" drivers missing messages.

I haven't tested the recovery yet on this one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1298
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Rather than running the images from the WinPE disc, I recommend to install Macrium and run it from the system. That has the advantage that you can run it in the background (hide) and do other things during the imaging. Then a long running image becomes a no-brainer.

And yes, I also saw that call for addl. drivers when running with the WinPE. I always ignored that and never had a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1299
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Rather than running the images from the WinPE disc, I recommend to install Macrium and run it from the system. That has the advantage that you can run it in the background (hide) and do other things during the imaging. Then a long running image becomes a no-brainer.

And yes, I also saw that call for addl. drivers when running with the WinPE. I always ignored that and never had a problem.
Thanks for the info It always helps when a symptom or observation is observed by another user, particularly an experienced one, which I certainly am not

I forgot to mention that I installed the Free version on both PC's. I guess it's old habit, booting from media when cloning, etc.

That habit started during my early cloning days with Acronis 2011. I was experiencing Windows boot issues, struggling to load to the desktop and had thought that the issue was related to cloning from my Acronis installed platform in Windows and not booting from the Acronis CD.

It turned out that the cloning process wasn't related to my issue. I have fixed that issue.

How does Macrium work when launching from within Windows? Does it restart the PC, and then boot up to RAM via a Linux platform when actually performing the imaging or cloning?

Is this what is known as "Volume Shadow Copy Service" in Windows?

I'm curious since that's what Acronis appears to do, when I used to launch from the HDD within Windows. After I had set up my cloning user-input's, Acronis would then restart the PC and then the cloning process would begin, from a screen that looked similar to most Linux-based boot/RAM screens that I've seen with other rescue/boot media.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #1300
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
How does Macrium work when launching from within Windows? Does it restart the PC, and then boot up to RAM via a Linux platform when actually performing the imaging or cloning?

Macrium runs like any other program under Windows. No reboot or any specials.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Image your system with free Macrium




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