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Windows 7: When your clone won't boot...and all else fails

06 Jun 2017   #11

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64


What do you use to make and restore your images?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2017   #12

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot

My utility of choice is Terabyte Image (which comes in various incarnations--Image for DOS, Image for Windows, and Image for Linux). Over the years I've also tested over a dozen competitors and found many others that also work well, such as Macrium Reflect (my favorite freebie), Ghost 11.5, Aomei BackUpper, Paragon Backup & Restore, and EasUs ToDo Backup.

None are as well-rounded as the Terabyte bundle, though. I mentioned that I multi-boot (true multi-booting, not Microsoft's dim-witted, pseudo multi-boot), and the best boot manager on the market, bar none, is Terabyte BootIt Bare Metal (aka, "BIBM"). It comes bundled with not only the boot manager, but a first-rate partition manager and a first-rate imager in Terabyte Image, so the bundle is ideal for my purposes. Its partition manager comes with a built-in BCD editor which makes it a snap to generalize the BCD, and a quick button to disable Fast-Boot in the newer OSes, which is known to hamper multi-booting if left enabled.

My main system is a two-disk laptop with two data partitions and 8 OS partitions, multi-booting with BIBM. (When I'm consulting with a client I like to be able to use whichever OS he/she is using.) Two of the OS partitions are for sandboxes--temporary, "throw-away" environments to work in if I need to do something risky.

All OSes are imaged after having their [MountedDevices] key cleared, BCD generalized, and FastBoot disabled. Images are stored on one of the data partitions. Whenever I want, I can launch the Image utility from the boot manager, grab any image stored on the data partition, and restore it to one of the sandboxes. It boots with no further tweaks or repairs, so I can restore, do what I need to, then toss it away.

"Generalizing" the BCD basically just means configuring the BCD boot entry to say, "boot from whatever partition I'm on, no matter where I am." (Note: you may also have to transfer the system files to the OS partition if your installation currently boots through a Reserved or Recovery partition.)

In the BCD's OSLoader section you change "Device" (aka, "ApplicationDevice") to "[boot]" and "OSDevice" to "[boot]", rather than pointing to a specific partition. I'm not sure if you can make that change with Microsoft's BCDEdit tool, but I know you can from Virtual BCD Editor and probably from EasyBCD Editor as well. BIBM's partition manager also has an easy to use, built-in BCD editor, which is what I use.

Attached Thumbnails
When your clone won't boot...and all else fails-bibm-menu-polipoli.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2017   #13

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

My utility of choice is Terabyte Image
Thanks for the reponse. Well known utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 When your clone won't boot...and all else fails

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