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Windows 7: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

11 Mar 2014   #30
Wazzbler

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Kari,

I had previously posted how well this tutorial worked.

Your tutorial worked flawlessly when restoring the Macrium Image to an old HP6830s "test" laptop. Total restore process with ALL updates, programmes etc. in less than 8 minutes.

However, when I tried to do the same on my newer MSI laptop, I constantly got a BSOD when windows first starts after the Recovery. I tried several times, with different BIOS settings, but constantly had a BSOD. It seemed that sevenforums.com was offline for the past few days, so I looked elsewhere for advice - with little success. One of the sources suggested that the problem was due to my main hard drive being partitioned, and I should first use a Hard Drive Partitioning tool to delete and format the drive before doing the image restore.

Does this make sense, or is there something else I am missing?

Regards,

Wazzbler.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
11 Mar 2014   #31
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wazzbler View Post
Hi Kari,

I had previously posted how well this tutorial worked.

Your tutorial worked flawlessly when restoring the Macrium Image to an old HP6830s "test" laptop. Total restore process with ALL updates, programmes etc. in less than 8 minutes.

However, when I tried to do the same on my newer MSI laptop, I constantly got a BSOD when windows first starts after the Recovery. I tried several times, with different BIOS settings, but constantly had a BSOD. It seemed that sevenforums.com was offline for the past few days, so I looked elsewhere for advice - with little success. One of the sources suggested that the problem was due to my main hard drive being partitioned, and I should first use a Hard Drive Partitioning tool to delete and format the drive before doing the image restore.

Does this make sense, or is there something else I am missing?

Regards,

Wazzbler.
First, the Seven Forums has not been offline, I have been online several hours each day. Try clearing your browser cache.

Second, the suggestion you got might make sense, in two different ways:
  1. Your new laptop's HDD is partitioned so that the C: drive is smaller than the C: drive in image, in other words the C: drive on the machine you used to create the image, or the laptop only contains one drive or partition and your image is using sysprep to relocate Users and ProgramData folders to another drive
  2. Your new laptop is using UEFI instead of BIOS; an image created on a BIOS based machine can naturally only be used on other BIOS machines, and an UEFI image on machines with UEFI
Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2014   #32
Wazzbler

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Kari,

I hope I am not trying your patience, as I probably come across as a noob, even with about 20 years of messing up computers and then fixing them under my belt! I am not sure what the problem was, but I constantly got a "page cannot be displayed" message until today, and my cache is cleaned frequently - irrelevant really, as I can now communicate with the "Master"

Maybe I should have given a bit more info:
  1. Image was created on my MSI G Series laptop using the PE mentioned in your tutoial. Image size was just shy of 20GB.
  2. Image Restored PERFECTLY on a relatively old HP Laptop
  3. Attempted a restore on my MSI (where I created the image) but got a BSOD at first boot
  4. The C Drive on the MSI is always left as one partition (a 300GB SSD) This obviously excludes the system hidden 100MB partition
  5. Please elaborate on your UEFI or BIOScomment - I cannot fathom how this would affect the recovery to the identical machine where I did the install, audit mode, sysprep etc. in an Oracle VM and created the image, but restored without hitch on another (older) machine.
I am simply trying to figure out why it BSOD'd and what suggestions anyone may have to do this your 8 minute way instead of the 3 plus hour way when I reload all the other computers in my office soon.

Regards,

Wazzbler
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2014   #33
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wazzbler View Post
1. Image was created on my MSI G Series laptop using the PE mentioned in your tutoial. Image size was just shy of 20GB.
Image file size and image size are two different things (the real, absolute image file size and the minimum size of HDD it can be restored to).

In fact, a system image file has three different sizes: the compressed image file size, uncompressed image file size and size of the HDD it was created from.

Let me give you an example. Here's a basic Windows 7 Ultimate x86 image I have created with Macrium Reflect:
Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep-2014-03-11_11h49_04.png
You can see that its compressed size on disk is 14.3 GB. Let's explore the image:
Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep-2014-03-11_11h55_51.png
Now we can see that the uncompressed image file size is 21.1 GB (#2 in below screenshot), and that the actual image size is 250 GB (#1 in screenshot, drive C: size when image was created = minimum size of HDD it requires to be restored to):
Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep-2014-03-11_11h57_01.png
The only size you should keep in your mind is the capacity of the partition C: on the machine used to create this image, at the moment of image creation. That will be the minimum size of the drive C: you need to restore this image.

Conclusion: although the compressed image file size in this example is under 15 GB, this image cannot be restored to a partition smaller than 250 GB.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wazzbler View Post
2. Image Restored PERFECTLY on a relatively old HP Laptop
Meaning the HP laptop had drive C: big enough, and is using older BIOS instead of newer UEFI (see my answer to your question 5.).


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wazzbler View Post
3. Attempted a restore on my MSI (where I created the image) but got a BSOD at first boot
See my answer to your question 5.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wazzbler View Post
4. The C Drive on the MSI is always left as one partition (a 300GB SSD) This obviously excludes the system hidden 100MB partition
Does your image relocate Users and ProgramData folders? Does your HP laptop have two HDDs or one HDD partitioned to two drives? If the answer on both questions is yes, then there's your culprit, the MSI HDD must first be partitioned so that the folders which will be relocated have a target drive.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wazzbler View Post
5. Please elaborate on your UEFI or BIOScomment - I cannot fathom how this would affect the recovery to the identical machine where I did the install, audit mode, sysprep etc. in an Oracle VM and created the image, but restored without hitch on another (older) machine.
Your image was not created on an MSI laptop; instead it was created on a VirtualBox virtual machine. These are two totally different things.

If I create an image on a BIOS based vm (as your VirtualBox vm) on an UEFI based computer, the image is of course BIOS. The host system and it's system specifications are totally irrelevant, only the machine which you use for creating the image - in this case a VirtualBox vm - matter.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Mar 2014   #34
Wazzbler

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Kari,

Thank you for your patience!

Now that you got me to understand that a VM is NOT the same as a real Hard Drive (DUH), I feel like a right royal IDIOT! Maybe I should have realised that Virtual Life and Real life are not the same thing, but there you go.... As one of my bosses said to me years ago:

"You are pretty slow to catch on, but when you do get it, you are quite fast!"

I also did not originally get the whole Image Size and C drive to restore to bit, but you have made me see the light!

So, to answer your questions:

I did not set the image up to relocate User data etc. and the HP has only one HD - not partitioned
The MSI has 2 Hard Drives, and C is not partitioned - so reading your mail makes me think that this might just be where some of my problems arise...

Thanks again for your patience and clear explanation - I will try the whole process again IN REAL LIFE instead of Virtual, and see what happens.

Regards,

WAZZBLER
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2014   #35
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Create a system image of your MSI laptop first before starting to play with it so you can restore it if something does not work!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2014   #36
Wazzbler

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Create a system image of your MSI laptop first before starting to play with it so you can restore it if something does not work!
Hi Kari, Thanks for the advice. Fortunately, imaging is something that goes without saying... I always make an image when the basics have been loaded- Windows, Drivers, basic Software etc. stored in two separate places, and then another image or two when joining the domain.

Another thought (dangerous as it may be!): On one of your other tutorials, Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer you post a warning about RAID:

"I do not recommend to use this method on RAID systems. All experiments on RAID I know have failed."

As my MSI C drive is actually 3 SSD drives in RAID format, do you think this may have caused the BSOD problem with the image restore process, or am I seeing problems that might not even exist?

Hopefully, I will not harass you after this!

Regards,

Wazzbler
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #37
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

With today's fast HDDs and SSDs and fast & easy imaging methods, I have since long seen no reason for RAID setups. Not for security reasons, not for speed. That's why I although having quite a many advanced computers I have not a single RAID system, have not had in many years.

That being said, I have tested sysprepping a RAID setup a few times and it has always failed. I have also tried to restore an image created in a normal (no RAID) setup to a RAID setup a couple of times, without success. Theoretically there's no reason why it should not work and I have not an idea why it fails, I'm simply saying that I have tried it but it didn't work for me.

Sorry I can't give you a better answer.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2014   #38
Wazzbler

Windows 7 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Kali,

Thank you so much for the valuable input and advice. I bought my MSI preconfigured with the RAID setup, so am now wondering if it possible to change it to a "normal" setup. This is something I have never even tried before, so was wondering if anyone has any comments on the idea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2014   #39
nkaufman

Win-7 Prof 64bit
 
 

Hello Kari,

Excellent tutorial. Still going over it. I do tend to go over the steps a few times to ensure that I have all that is needed.

Was wondering about 2 things:
(1) Is there a reason why you chose to partition/manage the drives after win-7 installation? Will it impact anything if I format/partition during the win-7 install? Please let me know.
(2) Regarding updates that require Genuine copy - There are many updates that seem to require a genuine copy of windows and I was a bit confused with your earlier response on this topic. I can enter my key since I will be the only one using the image for my current laptop, I was wondering at what step can I enter this.

Thanks again for your help, time and effort.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep




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