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Windows 7: System Image Recovery


13 Nov 2010   #150
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Images and file/folder backup sets are totally different from a technical point of view. Like mentioned Images are .vhd files (one per partition imaged) and these are typically very large. File/folder backup sets are stored as one or more .zip files. Each .zip file is generally substantially smaller than the .vhd file.

If the recovery programs that Brink mentioned can recover the large .vhd file then there is a good chance it can recover the image file folder. In this case you could make a new existing image of your system for safety. The recovered image folder may be able to be reimaged if it is renamed back to [WndowsImageBackup] in a root directory of a partition.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #151
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 
One more addition to step 1

Brink
Some people like to move their images to folders for keeping multiple Windows images. You may want to add something to step 1 along the lines:

.....in addition to the renaming stuff....

If you have moved your image into a folder called say "wstore" you need to will need to move it back to the appropriate root partition/volume. Say the volume has been assigned E: then

>cd e:\wstore
>dir {only to check the image is there}
>16/11/2010 9:00AM <DIR> windowsimagebackup
>move windowsimagebackup e:\

This of course can be used with renaming as well if the user chooses a combination of both folder and rename storage.

I know it's pretty simple but your decision of course.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #152
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Good idea Michael. Added.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #153
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Good idea Michael. Added.
Brink your addition
"If you moved the WindowsImageBackup folder to another partition or drive, then you will also need to move it back to the original partition or drive letter it was created on."

suggest this mod

If you moved the WindowsImageBackup folder within another folder or to another partition or drive, then you will also need to move it back to the original partition or drive letter it was created on.


ie. they don't need to be stored in the root but packed away in sub folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #154
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Sounds good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #155
BrodyBoy

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 
Hoping to avoid disaster (or at least a lot of work)

_______________________________________
UPDATE: I've narrowed the problem to a failure during image creation, not a file location/integrity issue as I originally thought
I re-installed the bad drive and (keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't completely fail at any second) have tried to re-run the back-up. It freezes at exactly the same spot each time....at a little under 25% completion on the green progress bar. Windows itself freezes, and upon restart, the "bootmgr is missing" error occurs until I do a cold boot.

Is it possible to create a system image from outside Windows? Any suggestions? I'm very keen to get at least one usable image of this drive before disaster strikes.
________________________________________

TIA for any help. Her system is using Win 7 Home Premium 64bit.

(Great thread, BTW.....very helpful & friendly!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #156
eldinv

DOS^
 
 

Macrium Reflect Free Edition?

Macrium Reflect Imaging- Tutorial
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #157
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BrodyBoy View Post
_______________________________________
UPDATE: I've narrowed the problem to a failure during image creation, not a file location/integrity issue as I originally thought
I think I see what happened with her back-up. I re-installed the bad drive and (keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't completely fail at any second) have tried to re-run the back-up. It freezes at exactly the same spot each time....at a little under 25% completion on the green progress bar. Windows itself freezes, and upon restart, the "bootmgr is missing" error occurs until I do a cold boot.

Is it possible to create a system image from outside Windows? Any suggestions? I'm very keen to get at least one usable image of this drive before disaster strikes.
________________________________________

Original Post:

The Seagate HDD in a single-drive system I recently built for a friend began to issue S.M.A.R.T. warnings a couple days ago. I immediately went over there, installed a secondary back-up HDD, and used Backup & Restore to create a system image of the C drive. I also set it to create a separate back-up of her libraries. I formatted the secondary drive first, so there's nothing else on it.

It was progressing normally and I left with the backup still running. She confirmed a little later by text that it was done.

Now the Seagate drive appears to have failed. I've installed a new HDD to restore the image to, but Windows Recovery says it finds no available System Image. Neither that secondary back-up HDD I installed, nor the files on it, has been moved or renamed. From the command prompt, I confirmed that there is a folder named "WindowsImageBackup" on that drive (which Windows is calling "C" now).

So, my question: How do I determine whether this is a "locating-the-image" problem, or a "there's-no-system-image-and-you're-going-to-spend-the-rest-of-the-weekend-rebuilding-her-entire-installation" problem. Obviously, I'm REALLY hoping it's the first, but when I called to ask exactly what message she saw when back-up completed, she said she doesn't actually remember any such message (gulp!) and she doesn't know whether it was done before she saw a "bootmgr is missing, press CTL+ALT+DEL to resart" message and rebooted. (double-gulp!!) I should have stayed til it was done......

TIA for any help. Her system is using Win 7 Home Premium 64bit.

(Great thread, BTW.....very helpful & friendly!)
I need a clear statement of the current situation ie. right now. The above is too confusing.
What disks have you got and what is on the disks?
Do you think you have a valid image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #158
BrodyBoy

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I need a clear statement of the current situation ie. right now. The above is too confusing.
What disks have you got and what is on the disks?
Do you think you have a valid image?
Yeah, sorry....I should have just edited out the original post. There was no valid image to find, so that was not the problem.

Currently, I have the original drive that's failing, a 1Tb Seagate. Though I can boot into Windows, it's triggering SMART errors, and diagnostics programs confirm that there are "irreparable errors." I have a new WD that I want to replace it with.

I tried using Windows Backup several times to create a system image. It would consistently hang at the same point (~25% complete) and I'd have to reboot, always getting a missing boot mgr message. So Windows Backup never produced a valid image.

I installed Acronis True Image and tried to create an image. I used a freshly-formatted 400Gb Hitachi as the destination drive (as I did with Windows Backup).

Acronis sputtered for awhile, but at least it sent error messages. It was running into unreadable sectors, in this pattern:
6,126,592
6,126,600
6,126,608
6,126,616
...

I told it to ignore these sectors, but eventually, I got a fatal error: "Connection to the service is refused. The operation was terminated unexpectently."

SO.....the disc is damaged or defective, but apparently not in areas that affect Windows significantly. Upon back-up attempts, however, these sectors cause the backup programs to fail.

I still do not have a valid image. Though I'm concerned about the drive really failing at any moment, should I run some sort of disc repair program first, to mark the bad sectors, and then try one of the back-up programs again? I could rebuild her installation, but I want to exhaust every possibility before doing that. Since it can still boot and function pretty normally, I figure this installation can't be too badly damaged. I just want to replace the bad disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #159
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

It looks to me that the disk is definitely on its last legs. Both Windows and Acronis are baulking I doubt anything like Macrium will perform any magic.

At this stage your first priority should be to get all her personal data off the disk onto some storage media. Ideally an external HDD.
(1) Can you do this?

(2) You say every time you you boot (presumably the failing disk) you get boot manager missing - what do you do then?

(3) Do you have the OS disks and apps to rebuild the system? Is the OS retail or OEM?

(4) You attempted to reimage to a 400GB HDD - Yes? How big was the partition the images came from?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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