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Windows 7: Image your system with free Macrium

13 Oct 2013   #1231
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.2 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Cloning and Macrium PE?

Cloning doesn't seem to work from inside Windows if your VSS service is broken/corrupted.

Does anyone know if the Macrium PE disk can bypass that issue?

My friend's laptop has power problems and his SSD has become corrupted as a result.
Various functions don't work on his machine (SFC can't fix it).
Strangely enough, almost everything works on his install, except for a few Windows tools and Adobe CS5.

We couldn't clone his install to the new SSD, using:
  • The Samsung tool
  • Macrium Reflect (inside W7)
  • The "dd" command in Linux (from a Live DVD)
We tried re-registering the VSS components (as per the Macrium site's instructions regarding the error message we received).

We wasted so much time the other day.
I probably could have reinstalled W7 SP1, updated it and installed a few programs in that time.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Oct 2013   #1232
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

I don't think that Macrium will use VSS in the PE disk, after all the reason for using VSS is to allow you to image while doing other work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1233
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.2 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Thanks kado897

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
I don't think that Macrium will use VSS in the PE disk, after all the reason for using VSS is to allow you to image while doing other work.
I was hoping that might be the case.

I didn't get to try the PE disc the other evening, as my friend had removed his DVD drive and replaced it with his new SSD.

Also, since his install is corrupted, should we be using "Forensic" imaging instead of "Intelligent" imaging?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Oct 2013   #1234
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Forensic imaging will copy every sector including empty ones. CHKDSK /r should correct any filesystem errors it can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1235
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

Forensic imaging is a waste of time unless you intend to restore all the deleted files in their deleted state so that you can subsequently use data recovery utilities.

@Scoop.
Most malware is unlikely to look for external drives and corrupt them, but I too have a similar fear.

I make image backups in an internal SATA connected Secondary HDD.
Subsequently I use TeraCopy to copy those backups to an external eSATA connected HDD,
and TeraCopy then reads the duplicates and compares the hash checksums and warns me of any data transfer errors.

Only when copying to the external is that connected up - so it is mostly off-line and not accessible to malware.

NB
Never had data transfer errors with eSATA, but did suffer when using USB2 externals.

NB
At any time you can validate an image backup, and Macrium will warn if any data corruption has occurred because it incorporates hash checksums. You can validate immediately before you restore.
Plugging in a clone is an act of faith - there are no checksums or other means of validating.
(If hash checksums were incorporated in a clone then the clone would be unbootable)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1236
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.2 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Forensic imaging will copy every sector including empty ones. CHKDSK /r should correct any filesystem errors it can.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alan10 View Post
Forensic imaging is a waste of time unless you intend to restore all the deleted files in their deleted state so that you can subsequently use data recovery utilities.
I'm aware that "Forensic" will copy everything including "empty" sectors.

CHKDSK won't run on his machine.

After "dd" refused to run from the Live Linux DVD, we scheduled a disc check in W7 and then rebooted.
CHKDSK "spat the dummy".
I should have paid more attention to the message (I can't remember what it said).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1237
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alan10 View Post
@Scoop.
Most malware is unlikely to look for external drives and corrupt them, but I too have a similar fear.

I make image backups in an internal SATA connected Secondary HDD.
Subsequently I use TeraCopy to copy those backups to an external eSATA connected HDD,
and TeraCopy then reads the duplicates and compares the hash checksums and warns me of any data transfer errors.

Only when copying to the external is that connected up - so it is mostly off-line and not accessible to malware.

NB
Never had data transfer errors with eSATA, but did suffer when using USB2 externals.

NB
At any time you can validate an image backup, and Macrium will warn if any data corruption has occurred because it incorporates hash checksums. You can validate immediately before you restore.
Plugging in a clone is an act of faith - there are no checksums or other means of validating.
(If hash checksums were incorporated in a clone then the clone would be unbootable)
for the info. I had a guess about your point about malware mostly acting as you mentioned, being unlikely to seek out and target external HDD's.

I'm not familiar with checksums as it relates to cloning. I read a little about it after reading your post and it's interesting info.

When I clone, I have a routine that (I think) validates my newly-cloned HDD:

- Install my Target HDD (via hot-swap SATA racks, no tools required, no accessing internal PC needed). Boot up with "Gparted", a Linux CD bootable HDD utility tool. I do this to format my Target HDD outside of Windows prior to starting the cloning process.

- Format the original HDD. I do this to make it easy to determine the "Source" and "Target" HDD's in the software gui, or with Conezilla, etc. That way, my Target HDD will display an empty bargraph, etc within the software tool. It eliminates human error, selecting the HDD's in reverse.

- Clone the HDD outside of Windows, usually with my Acronis CD.

- Remove the Source HDD and install the Target HDD. This prevents Windows from seeing 2 identical bootable HDD's in my PC.

- Boot up on my Target HDD and insure that it's a working spare HDD. I launch several programs, my Outlook, IE10, etc.

- Re-install my Source HDD. Insure that it's working ok. Resume everyday PC use until I clone the next time.

Since I also have a 2nd spare HDD that was also tested to work ok, I'm not vulnerable in the event that a cloning process goes south.

- I've been cloning every 4-6 weeks since Sept '11 without issues.

I'm definitely going to learn more about imaging and will soon launch my own imaging activity on a scheduled basis since I like the idea of covering all of the bases with backup tools.

Thanks again for your info
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1238
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alan10 View Post
Forensic imaging is a waste of time unless you intend to restore all the deleted files in their deleted state so that you can subsequently use data recovery utilities.
I'm aware that "Forensic" will copy everything including "empty" sectors.
Regardless of what you might be aware of,
You specifically ask
"should we be using "Forensic" imaging instead of "Intelligent" imaging?"
and I answered your ignorance of what you should be using by telling you that it will facilitate data recovery of what were "deleted files" at the time that you create the image.

If you intend to use something like Lazesoft Recovery to resurrect files deleted from a corrupted install then use Forensic imaging.
If you wish to only retrieve NON-deleted files from what you image then Forensic will give zero benefit.
Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Free Download
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1239
alan10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
I'm not familiar with checksums as it relates to cloning. I read a little about it after reading your post and it's interesting info.
Macrium Image backups consist of blocks of compressed data which can be decompressed into sector clusters.
Each data block is a few Megabytes (documented somewhere) and a hash checksum is recorded for each block.
Every block must match its hash or it is not valid.
When the image is restored only the data blocks are decompressed to the target sector clusters,
the hash values are not written to the target.

This sort of checksum validation is not feasible for a clone - Its sector clusters need to hold the system data and there is no space for embedding hash checksums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #1240
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

With Macrium you need to manually do the validation before a restore. There is nothing automatic and there is no prompt to remind you. The Linux restore disk doesn't have that feature.

Image your system with free Macrium-screenshot277_2013-10-14.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Image your system with free Macrium




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