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Windows 7: Macrium Reflect (Free 5.0.4118): need help on "recover partition"


04 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 
Macrium Reflect (Free 5.0.4118): need help on "recover partition"

I'm trying to recover just my WinXP partition (O, when viewed from Windows 7) out of a "system image" produced by Macrium Reflect Free (5.0.4118). That image copied both Windows 7 (C) as well as WinXP (O) in my dual-boot environment, because it is O which is the "active" partition and C where Windows 7 lives. I was running WinXP originally and installed Windows 7 as a second OS, hence my partitions and configuration.

Anyway, the creation of the "system image" went fine (two weeks ago).

I now have a need to restore just my WinXP partition, which is something I had believed was possible. I don't want to restore both WinXP and Windows 7. I only want to restore WinXP.

So I booted to the standalone Rescue CD and tried to follow the wizard. I had previously looked at (and had printed) the "how to recover your PC using the Linux Rescue CD - Part II" article on the Macrium Support Knowledgebase, so I thought this would be easy. Wrong.

(1) First problem... all of the screenshots in the article are NOT what the free 5.0.4118 program produces. Maybe the article was written for a prior program version or the for-money version, but it certainly is not what the program looks like now.

(2) I was able to extrapolate what the article told me I would see and what I was to do, to the current dialog screens put out by the current program, without too much trouble. However the results of doing what it told me to do were not what I would have expected.

(3) I was able to "locate image", by navigating their Explorer view to the proper drive and folder in which my "system image" lives. I then selected that file in the upper-right corner of the presentation, and sure enough in the lower-right corner of the presentation I saw the two partitions which were contained in the backup... namely both C and O. Perfect.

However I didn't know whether I should select the O partition in that lower-right corner, or if selecting the partition (from within the image) that I am wanting to restore will come on the next screen. What should I do here? The article suggests I should not do anything except except select "the correct partition image in the right window and click 'next'" but that wording is terribly vague.

Nevertheless I decided simply to select the image file itself (in the upper-right corner) and not select the O partition from the O and C shown in the lower-right corner. Then NEXT.

(4) I was then shown the "partition selection" screen, which for some reason only showed O listed... even though both O and C were actually in the image file, and I hadn't selected just O in the lower-right corner. So why was only O shown and not both O and C? I would have then un-checked C, but I still want to know why both partitions which are in that image file are not shown in this selection list for me to choose from???

Anyway, since O was presented and that was the partition i wanted to restore, I left it checked and pushed NEXT.

(5) I was then shown a "target selection" screen, which listed two of my three hard drives. I don't know why the third drive was not shown.

Nevertheless, the true location of O (which is where I wanted this restored system image to go, right over the existing O partition in exactly the same place on exactly the same drive) was on one of the two drives that were listed.

So I checked that drive and pushed NEXT. Again, I simply want to restore the O partition from that image file to exactly the same (and still current) O partition on exactly the same hard drive that it was and is still resident on. No change to anything... just restore that O partition.

(6) Well, the next screen gave me something else than what the tutorial article showed me I would receive. In fact it seemed to suggest that the target drive for the restore was NOT the drive I'd just checked... but instead was a different drive. In fact, it happened to be the very drive on which the Macrium backup folder lives inside of which is this image file that I'm trying to use to recover from.

Surely this is wrong. Something is very very wrong here, and is certainly not helped by the completely different screenshots in the tutorial article than what the program currently puts out.

Anyway, I decided to cancel my way out of this... since something was seriously wrong. I'd already gone through this very process earlier in the day and not noticed the inconsistent contents of screens, and just blindly went ahead. Well, it ended up destroying two of my hard drives (including the one with my backup and image files) before I discovered the disaster.

Fortunately, I was able to use Partition Wizard ("partition recovery wizard") to recover the three partitions on one of the destroyed drives. And the other drive had somehow been forced "offline" because of a "signature collision with another disk". This time I was able to use DISKPART to bring the drive online, and thankfully there was no data lost in the five partitions on that second drive.

So... miraculously... the super-damage done by [my misuse of] Macrium Reflect trying to restore just my O partition actually caused me zero loss of data. Thankfully.

And that's why tonight I found that knowledgebase article, and decided to try it a second time... being very careful to look very closely at everything, and not to let it go ahead unless I was sure.

Well... it seems to be a 100% total failure. Was I supposed to first delete that O partition from the drive, to make it unallocated free space, before specifying that drive? Is that why even though I checked that drive it didn't show me that drive in the next screen which seemed to be a "confirmation" dialog screen?

Or, should I have been able to restore O from the image directly over the existing O on the same drive, and not have to first delete it?


I've never had any problem in the past two years using Windows 7's "system image" functionality, either creating the image or restoring the image. But since I'd read Macrium Reflect could selectively restore partitions from within the image file it took, and also compressed its output to use less space, and also allowed an "ID" in each image file so that I could have more than one image on a drive... I decided to give this product a try.

But so far, this first attempt at trying to restore a partition from within that image file has been a 100% total disaster!!! The program simply does not work as documented and described. Or, I'm making the wrong assumptions in trying to adapt the old documentation to the new program.

Can somebody who's an "expert" on this latest 5.0.4118 please help me? Macrium has a policy that the free product is NOT SUPPORTED, so I can't ask them for help. And I'm certainly not going to buy a product which is dangerous and not functioning correctly in its free version, so I'm in a Catch 22.

I can easily revert to using standard Windows 7's "system image", despite its inflexibility and lack of versatility... because IT WORKS!!! I would certainly like to restore my O partition from the Macrium image if I could, but I can live without it if I can't.


Can someone please tell me how to use this program???

Many thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Hello dsperber, welcome to SevenForums.

I'll admit that was a bit much to read, so I might not have caught every detail. But two points I'd like to touch upon:
  1. You mention that the tutorial you tried to follow was for the Linux-based rescue disc. Is your disc the Linux one or did you you create the WinPE-based disc?
  2. I assume you're already aware of this, but just to make sure: The rescue disc has no knowledge of what the drive letter assignments on either of your Windows systems are, so the letters will be different while you're in the rescue environment. (Of course, the drive letters stored within the image file aren't affected by this, but they're only a reference at this point.)
You should definitely be able to restore your O: partition and simply overwrite the existing O: without any need for deleting or reformatting it. Nor should "cherry-picking" partitions out of an existing backup image be any problem.
At the moment it's hard to say where things are going wrong unless I did miss a detail while reading your post.

Would you be able to provide screenshots to illustrate your problem further?

EDIT: I just looked at the tutorial (should've done this first) and it's for the now-discontinued v4.2 version of Macrium Reflect. v5 would be rather different, unsurprisingly...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

DSPerber:

Good writeup and explanation.

I'm not the expert you need. That version is relatively new--I think most here are still on the earlier version, so I wonder if you will locate a qualified expert.

I have free 5.0 installed myself and have made images---I just have not attempted to restore any and hope to never have to do so.

One question: your image file contained 2 partitions:C and O.

Do you have any suspicion that you would not be in this situation if you had made 2 separate image files: C alone and O alone? I have long wondered if combining 2 partitions in a single image can lead to complications.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


04 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
You mention that the tutorial you tried to follow was for the Linux-based rescue disc. Is your disc the Linux one or did you you create the WinPE-based disc?
It's the Linux one, which is the one which is produced by the "free" version. The WinPE version only is available via the purchased product.


Quote:
I assume you're already aware of this, but just to make sure: The rescue disc has no knowledge of what the drive letter assignments on either of your Windows systems are, so the letters will be different while you're in the rescue environment. (Of course, the drive letters stored within the image file aren't affected by this, but they're only a reference at this point.)
Sure. Same story using Partition Wizard standalone boot CD... there are no drive letters, but the partitions are clearly identifiable via their "label" values (which I have for each of my partitions).


Quote:
You should definitely be able to restore your O: partition and simply overwrite the existing O: without any need for deleting or reformatting it.
That's what I would have thought. I was really only kind of scratching my head trying to figure out why when it asked me to pick the target disk for the restore of the partition which I'd also already picked, why the next screen showed a completely different target drive (or so it appeared), since I actually have no free unallocated space on ANY drive. But the desire to simply restore a partition from within a source image file, onto a target partition with no change of any other parameters... this is precisely what I thought the product could/would do.

Anyway, hence my confusion. And this is no doubt also why I'd unwittingly destroyed two drives earlier in the afternoon when I apparently wasn't paying close enough attention. Thankfully, no true destruction was done, and I was able to recover all eight partitions on the two drives without losing a single bit.


Quote:
Nor should "cherry-picking" partitions out of an existing backup image be any problem.
Well the only confusion here is that it actually WAS possible to select (and thus highlight) the individual partition(s) in the lower-right pane of the first dialog screen, with the source image file selected in the upper-right pane. It wasn't obvious whether I should have selected my O partition here, or on the next screen (as the tutorial kind of implied)... but I was even further perplexed when the next screen didn't show both C and O, but rather only O.


Quote:
Would you be able to provide screenshots to illustrate your problem further?
Well not from the standalone rescue CD usage that I was actually running from. But perhaps I can try to use the installed program itself (from within running Windows 7) if it's possible to do this same thing that that way. If so, then I can surely take screenshots (but with my luck it will behave differently in this mode).


Quote:
EDIT: I just looked at the tutorial (should've done this first) and it's for the now-discontinued v4.2 version of Macrium Reflect. v5 would be rather different, unsurprisingly...
As I suspected.

Have you used the new version 5 to successfully selectively recover a partition from a multi-partition source image file as I'm trying to do?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
One question: your image file contained 2 partitions:C and O.

Do you have any suspicion that you would not be in this situation if you had made 2 separate image files: C alone and O alone? I have long wondered if combining 2 partitions in a single image can lead to complications.
Cannot do that. Both partitions are pre-checked, just as with Windows 7's "system image". You can't uncheck either partition, because BOTH are part of Windows 7's integrity (for me).

The O partition (from Windows 7's perspective) is the "active" boot partition on hard disk #1 (from the BIOS perspective), because that's where WinXP was installed many years ago. Then when I added Windows 7 as a second partition all that was required for the Windows 7 installer to do was to activate Boot Manager (installing the boot menu in that WinXP O partition, on which both OS's were identified) and install Windows 7 into my specified target partition (on a second hard drive, as it turns out). There's no 100MB "system reserved" ("active" boot, on a brand new drive if you install Windows 7 from scratch) in my case, because the WinXP partition was already the "active" boot partition, so there was no need for the installer to create that 100MB "active" partition.

So, just as Windows 7's "system image" will pre-check (and gray out so that you cannot un-check them) BOTH O and C when taking a "system image" (or BOTH "system reserved" and C if you have a 100MB "system reserved partition instead of a second bootable "active" Windows partition), Macrium did the same for me. So I cannot un-check O, as it's the "active" partition and thus required for a "system restore" in order to guarantee Windows 7 bootability integrity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Ok. I am able to invoke the same "partition restore from an image" function using the installed Windows 7 version of the program, although in the end it fails because that O partition is actually "in use" (I guess because it is the "active" boot partition, not because there's anything on it other than WinXP).

Not suprisingly, every screen produced by the installed version is different from the screens produced by the standalone Linux boot version, and seems clear and understandable and intuitive. Had I been restoring some other non-"active" partition I'm sure it would have worked just fine. It was only the standalone program's behavior that did not correspond, or perhaps I just misused it.

Anyway, using the installed version things went as follows:

(1) start the program and select the RESTORE tab. My one and only Macrium image file (from two weeks ago) is shown:



(2) click on the "restore image" button, and it presents both of the partitions contained inside that image file. There is no drive letter shown, but the other identifying information matches my C and O partitions:



(3) I select the "Disk 1" line, because that is the O partition. Then the next screen shows the source O partition (pre-checked) on top, and the destination drive on the bottom. Initially a different target drive was presented but I clicked on the "select a different target disk" and then selected the true target disk, which is what is now shown at the bottom of this screen:



(4) I didn't make any changes to what was pre-checked, and then I was shown the following confirmation screen (which is correct) for the restore:



(5) The restore starts, but immediately halts because the target partition is "in use":




Had the standalone boot disk shown me the same screens I don't think I'd be asking for help here. The whole dialog seems to flow as I would intuitively expect it to flow, and I don't need a tutorial to explain any mysteries... because there are no mysteries. But the screens from the Linux disk are NOT what is shown here, and the standalone program's behavior does not match the installed program's behavior.

Having now run through this using the installed program, I'm going to try the standalone version one more time and see if I missed something the first two times I tried it.

Maybe there's a true issue with this new v5 standalone program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
You mention that the tutorial you tried to follow was for the Linux-based rescue disc. Is your disc the Linux one or did you you create the WinPE-based disc?
It's the Linux one, which is the one which is produced by the "free" version. The WinPE version only is available via the purchased product.
Actually, disperser, you *can* create the WinPE rescue disk from the free version if you download the necessary files first. I did this and I much prefer it. Fortunately, I've not had need yet to perform a restore, but its UI and flexibility is a big step up from the Linux version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Ok. Just tried the standalone Linux version for a third time.

This time I selected BOTH (a) the image file in the upper-right pane, AND (b) the O partition in the lower-right pane, as the source image file and then the selected partition within that image file that I want to restore. This is obviously the equivalent of the 2-screen dialog with the installed version of the program. Anyway, this looks right.

Then the next screen is for selecting the target drive. I selected the proper drive, for which O is partition 1 on that drive.

The next screen is the confirmation, showing the source and target disks. Well... this seems to be the "smoking gun" that there is a major defect/bug in this standalone version of the program. The source disk is properly identified in all ways, both its ID=83188EEB, partition number 1, drive number 1, drive label WDC320-P1 and letter (O), as well as the size of the hard drive 298.089GB. The starting (63) and ending (45,383,624) sector numbers are also correct and exactly match my screenshot above from the Windows 7 installed version of the program.

However the target disk is WRONG. It correctly shows drive number 1 and signature 83188EEB, but it incorrectly shows description "FUJITSU MAT3147NP" and size 136.985GB. In fact these latter two items are for the drive that contains the folder in which the source image file lives. It should not be the target drive for the restore... it is actually the source drive holding the input source image file.

I believe I didn't see this mistake yesterday afternoon, and I just then pushed the RESTORE button to let it start. I remember then seeing a message warning about the fact that the target drive had three partitions which would be affected (as is true, since this is the WRONG target drive for the restore, and the size of the O partition would definitely have overwritten partitions 1 and 2 on the drive as well as the start of partition 3), and I blindly let it proceed. This is clearly how I destroyed this drive yesterday afternoon, and saw these partitions corrupted (at least in the partition boundary table). Fortunately no actual damage to the contents of the partitions actually occurred, as the corruption also made it impossible to actually READ that source input image file. And that's clearly why I was lucky enough to subsequently be able to use Partition Wizard and its "recover partition wizard" function to completely recreate the three partition boundaries on this drive, without losing anything at all.

Anyway, the description and size of the target disk should not have been what I saw in the standalone usage. Instead, it should have looked like the SOURCE and TARGET descriptions in the screenshot above from the Windows 7 installed version, with both SOURCE and TARGET identical.


This clearly looks like a bug in the program. Even though Macrium claims "no support" for the free program, surely they would want to know about this MAJOR defect that not only makes the core functionality of RESTORE FROM IMAGE not work, but even worse will destroy user hard drives in the process (and apparently, that drive on which the input source image file lives).

I will attempt to report this bug to them.

For now, I will stop using the program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bruce73 View Post
Actually, dsperber, you *can* create the WinPE rescue disk from the free version if you download the necessary files first. I did this and I much prefer it. Fortunately, I've not had need yet to perform a restore, but its UI and flexibility is a big step up from the Linux version.
Thanks for this insight. I had seen the kind of complex multi-checkbox screen when creating the standalone media, and obviously didn't read it properly.

I've now re-run that builder program, and this time checked that box which results in the 1.7GB download of Microsoft's WAIK, in order to build the WinPE version of the standalone boot media.

I then built the new WinPE boot media, and tried again to do the selective restore of my O partition from the O+C system image file.

Well, sure enough just as you described, the user interface from the WinPE boot media actually is the same as that of the Windows 7 installed version, which as I mentioned previously, is very different from the standalone Linux version I'd had my problems with. This is what you must have been referring to in your own comment... and I agree, it is much superior to the Linux version.

Not only is it superior to the Linux version and the same as the Windows 7 installed version, but unlike the Linux version IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!! In other words, it actually did correctly produce the source and target disk drives in the confirmation screen. I even had the cojones to "let it go and restore"... and sure enough it ran, and did what it was supposed to, and finished successfully!!! And sure enough, my O partition was finally restored as I'd wanted all along.


So, I've opened a ticked with Macrium (and actually received a response, asking if it's possible for me to re-run the Linux version and send them photos of the source and destination and confimation screen).

But mostly, I thank you for suggesting I create the WinPE boot media. That turns out to be a solution that really works.

WARNING TO OTHERS: DO NOT USE THE LINUX BOOT MEDIA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

Great. Glad it worked. To be honest, though, I wasn't 100% sure the UI was the same as Windows 7's, since I've never done a restore. I only checked that I could boot from the disk and took a cursory look. But it looked pretty close, IIRC.

So I'm wondering if I can uninstall WAIK, or would I be needing it for something else? I've archived the original download, so I could always re-install. What other uses are there for it, non-Macrium?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Macrium Reflect (Free 5.0.4118): need help on "recover partition"




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