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Windows 7: Can multiple "image backups" on one drive be accessed?

04 Jun 2011   #11
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
If you're saying that you have a Windows managed dual boot and the XP partition is the "System" partition system volume you could mark the Windows 7 partition as the Active partition and do the 3 separate startup repairs outlined in this tutorial at the link below to (re)create the "System" boot files to the Windows 7 partition if you wish.
You're right... marking the Win7 hard drive as "hard disk #1" in the BIOS, and making its partition be the "active" partition on that drive, would probably eliminate the other WinXP partition from the "system image", since it's no longer really part of the boot process.

But I have no real problem with having it just the way it is... with the WinXP partition being "active" on HD#1, where the Win7 boot manager files are, and then selecting Win7 (which is the default item on the menu list) for booting. I only want to avoid always including the WinXP partition in the Win7 "system image" if it's possible... using either Macrium or some other Win7 functionality.

If reversing the "active" partitions, and making the WinXP partition just the second bootable OS on the boot manager menu accomplishes that, and that only the Win7 partition would now be auto-included in the "system image", then that seems like an excellent action to take.

I guess until I try it, I won't know for sure that all secondary OS's (i.e. their bootable system partitions) on the boot manger menu are not auto-included as part of the "system image", but it sounds like it would not be. Again, if the Win7 partition is now the "active" partition on BIOS HD#1, and the WinXP partition just is a second bootable OS and thus not "crucial" to system integrity and thus would not be auto-included in a "system image", then that would be a good thing in my opinion.

My probable approach to accomplishing this would be to use EasyBCD (which is already my replacement for the Win7 boot manager, and BCDedit) to simply plant the Win7 boot manager files on my Win7 partition in one step, rather than using the 3-repair method. I'd still need to get into BIOS to swap "hard disk #1". If EasyBCD doesn't mark that Win7 partition as "active" at the same time as it plants boot manager files on that partition, I could just use Partition Wizard to make that partition "active" on that drive. I much prefer to use "visual" programs to do significant things, using GUI dialogs and wizards... to maintain complete manual control over the results and fully see what it is exactly that I'm doing.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jun 2011   #12
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

I have been using Acronis and have not found it buggy. I create an image of my laptop at least once every 3 days, more when I am installing some software that might mess things up. I use acronis 2010 and 2011. It has saved my bananas many times. for $25 it is a pretty versitile backup software. I get mine from the ugr.com user groups store.
cheap and well worth the investment. User Group Store is their website and they have several tutorials on backup strategy.
I personally have several external usb/sata hard disks that I use to store the images.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2011   #13
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
If reversing the "active" partitions, and making the WinXP partition just the second bootable OS on the boot manager menu accomplishes that, and that only the Win7 partition would now be auto-included in the "system image", then that seems like an excellent action to take.
If you do this it would be interesting to know if Windows imaging leaves the XP partition alone. I think it would???
One of the OS partitions will still need to carry the BCD and therefore, one OS partition will always depend on the other for booting. Alternatively a system reserved partition will cleanly separate the two W7 and XP OSs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jun 2011   #14
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
If reversing the "active" partitions, and making the WinXP partition just the second bootable OS on the boot manager menu accomplishes that, and that only the Win7 partition would now be auto-included in the "system image", then that seems like an excellent action to take.
If you do this it would be interesting to know if Windows imaging leaves the XP partition alone. I think it would???
I plan to do some experimenting tomorrow, once I take an official current "system image" with things just the way they are.

I want to experiment not only with this reversal of active/HD#1 partitions but also to learn about Macrium Reflect (free).


Quote:
If you do this it would be interesting to know if Windows imaging leaves the XP partition alone. I think it would???
I'm almost certain it will, intuitively.

In my experience, the partitions auto-included in the "system image" and which are grayed-out so that you cannot even un-check them are (1) the active/HD#1 partition, since that is crucial because that's where the BIOS goes to get things started, and (2) the Win7 system partition, since you're taking a Win7 "system image".

The active/HD#1 partition can either be the "system reserved" 100MB partition, created by the Win7 installer on a brand new empty drive when installing Win7 in a 1-OS environment. In this case, the Win7 boot manager files are planted here, auto-booting to the Win7 system partition because it's only a 1-Windows environment.

Or, it can be say the current WinXP boot partition when Win7 is being installed as a second Windows into an existing WinXP environment. In this case, the Win7 boot manager files are placed in the WinXP partition, along with a boot manager menu showing "previously installed Windows" along with the new Win7 (which is pre-set to be the default OS to be booted).

In either of these situations, since the Win7 partition is other than the active/HD#1 partition, BOTH OF THESE ARE CRITICAL TO THE BOOT PROCESS FOR WIN7. Thus the "system image" MUST include both of these, to guarantee that in the event of a total disaster if you restored both of these partitions from the "system image" you would absolutely be able to boot Win7 again (hopefully, you've guaranteed that any replacement hard drives during disaster recovery have been correctly set again to be HD#1 in the BIOS, and that the proper partition is correctly marked "active").

But... if instead you take a third approach and put the Win7 boot manager files inside the Win7 system partition itself (marking THAT partition as "active", and THAT drive as HD#1 in the BIOS), it seems like that one single partition is all that is crucial to restore in order to get a destroyed system back to operational in the event of disaster. So obviously that Win7 system partition must be auto-included in the "system image".

However the second WinXP system partition is not critical to Win7 booting, so why would it be auto-included in the "system image"? I would think it would not be. Yes, it's on the boot manager menu list... but so what? That's in no way critical to the proper booting of Win7 from the boot manager menu list?

In fact, let's say you're not recovering from a disaster, but simply destroy your WinXP partition or drive in some way. You can still boot all day long to Win7 from that boot manager menu from the Win7 partition where the boot manager files and menu list live. You would never even know you'd lost WinXP unless you accidentally try to select it from the boot manager menu list... and then boot manager discovers that the specified drive/partition from the menu list no longer is bootable, and you'd get either black screen with blinking cursor or a message requesting that you re-establish MBR or something.


Quote:
One of the OS partitions will still need to carry the BCD and therefore, one OS partition will always depend on the other for booting.
Correct.

Three options:

(1) "system reserved" primary partition marked "active" on HD#1 (per BIOS) and containing Win7 boot manager, Win7 installed anywhere else (any logical/primary partition on the same or other hard drive), only Win7 auto-booted from 1-Windows boot manager menu list. Both "system reserved" and Win7 system partition auto-checked in "system image", since both partitions are critical to boot Win7.

(2) WinXP marked "active" primary partition on HD#1 (per BIOS) and containing Win7 boot manager along with boot manager menu list, WinXP installed anywhere else (any logical/primary partition on the same or other hard drive), Win7 pre-set as default Windows on boot manager menu. Both WinXP system partition and Win7 system partition auto-checked in "system image", since both partitions are critical to boot Win7.

(3) Win7 marked "active" primary partition on HD#1 (per BIOS) and containing Win7 boot manager along with boot manager menu list (if WinXP is also present), pointing to both Win7 and WinXP installed anywhere else (any logical/primary partition on the same or other hard drive). NOTE THAT THE WIN7 PARTITION MUST BE "PRIMARY", NOT "LOGICAL" FOR THIS TO WORK. Probably only Win7 system partition auto-checked in "system image", since that's the only partition critical to boot Win7.


BCDEdit or EasyBCD can be used to get this all set up, but not surprisingly EasyBCD is "easier to use". The 3-repair approach can also accomplish (3).

Anyway, I'm currently set up as (2) with WinXP on a "primary" partition on one drive, and Win7 as a "logical" partition on a second drive (in fact, ALL of my other partitions are "logical" on all of my hard drives). The Win7 partition will need to be made "primary" (by Partition Wizard) in order for it to be the "active" partition on HD#1 to satisfy the BIOS, in order to go to (3)... if I wanted to, as part of the goal of removing my WinXP partition from the auto-checked group in Win7's "system image".

Or, just use Macrium Reflect (free) and image both Win7 and WinXP partitions separately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #15
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Here's an interesting option, at the link below.


System Reserved : Create for Dual Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #16
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Here's an interesting option, at the link below.


System Reserved : Create for Dual Boot
Certainly valid.

Note that you can also accomplish the same thing very simply when you add a new hard drive to an existing system in which there is already a pre-existing bootable Windows (e.g. Vista or WinXP), and want to install Win7 to the new drive such that you can eventually remove either Vista or WinXP. Same idea as your tutorial, but using a second drive.

In this case, you simply have to reset "hard drive #1" in the BIOS to be the brand new drive before you start the Win7 install, and then point to it at Win7 install. The Win7 installer will then create the 100MB "system reserved" partition on the new drive, mark it "active", and also create the actual Win7 system partition on the same drive. If you want to resize or create additional partitions, you can either do that at Win7 install or subsequently using Partition Wizard.

I'm not sure if it will scan the other drive(s) and discover the bootable Vista/WinXP on the other drive or not (since they are not on "hard drive #1", although they would be marked "active"), and automatically add those OS's to the boot manager menu placed in the new "system reserved" partition. If it does, fine. If it does not, you can easily "add entry" using EasyBCD for the other Windows to the boot manager menu.

What's important is that by changing "hard disk #1" in the BIOS before installing Win7, you have avoided having Win7's boot manager going into the Vista/WinXP bootable "active" partition with that drive still being "hard disk #1", and instead made the new drive "hard disk #1" and forced the Win7 installer to create a "system reserved" partition for boot manager there. Now the old OS partition is just another bootable partition on some other drive which shows up in the boot manager menu list, and can later be removed (again using EasyBCD for maximum ease) and you're now down to a 1-Windows environment, with almost zero effort.

And of course, you STILL then have the later option (3) in my presentation, of now removing the "system reserved" partition and installing boot manager itself into the true Win7 partition on that drive (which is already "hard disk #1" in the BIOS) using EasyBCD, and marking it "active" using Partition Wizard (if EasyBCD doesn't already do that automatically when installing the boot manager files there).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #17
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Here's an interesting option, at the link below.


System Reserved : Create for Dual Boot
Certainly valid.

Note that you can also accomplish the same thing very simply when you add a new hard drive to an existing system in which there is already a pre-existing bootable Windows (e.g. Vista or WinXP), and want to install Win7 to the new drive such that you can eventually remove either Vista or WinXP. Same idea as your tutorial, but using a second drive.
Oh, you mean something like this tutorial, at the link below?


System Reserved : Multi Boot from Logical Partitions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #18
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Oh, you mean something like this tutorial, at the link below?

System Reserved : Multi Boot from Logical Partitions
Not really..., but only because I don't feel it's really necessary to have separate tutorials to deal with "primary" vs. "logical" partitions, or having the multiple bootable Windows partitions on the same or different hard drives. If you understand the primary concepts, and "primary" vs. "logical" partitions, and "active" partition and HD#1 in the BIOS, and boot manager, then all these variations are just variations on the very same underlying principles. You're the master, and the hard drives and partitions are your slaves.

Once the "system reserved" partition is created as the "active" and "primary" partition on "hard disk #1", Windows itself (in all varieties, WinXP, Vista, Win7) can be installed into either "logical" or "primary" partitions" on the same or different hard drive from the "system reserved" partition's drive. Of course, "logical"partitions are inside of an "extended partition" which is a form of "primary" partition on a drive, but logical vs. primary for multi-boot environments isn't really what I was trying to describe.

In other words, the multiple bootable Windows partitions can be either "primary" or "logical"... it really doesn't matter. What's important is that the "system reserved" partition is "active" and "primary" on "hard disk #1", and that's where boot manager lives, and the rest is simply the boot manager menu and the drive/partition numbers identified by the list items on that menu... be they "primary" or "logical" partitions, on HD#1 or any other hard drive.

Boot manager lives in that one "active" and "primary" partition on HD#1, and can either be supporting a 1-Win7 environment, or a multi-Windows environment. Certainly that "active" and "primary" partition can be the "system reserved" partition from a cold Win7 fresh install onto a brand new hard drive marked HD#1, but it can also be the original WinXP partition when adding Win7 as a second bootable OS, or it can be the real Win7 partition itself (using EasyBCD or 3-repair to make that happen), then possibly adding additional bootable OS's to the boot manager menu using EasyBCD... as long as the partition is "active" and "primary" and on HD#1. That's where boot manager is expected to be.

And EasyBCD is the easiest way to maintain the boot manager files and menu, no matter where they go, and no matter whether the bootable Windows partitions are on the same or different hard drives, living in "primary" or "logical" partitions. It's all the same to boot manager.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #19
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Or parhaps something like this one.


System Reserved : Create Using Disk Management
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #20
Frank1

Desk Top with Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit and Lap Top with Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Hello mate.


Why go through all that horse-hit when you could use a more reliable tool like Macrium or an excellent paid SW like Paragon for about 30 bucks?

Imaging with free Macrium


Please excuse my foul-ness.
I think you misspelled horse-hit--there's a letter missing in front of "hit".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can multiple "image backups" on one drive be accessed?




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