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Windows 7: System Imaging as Additional Protection

25 Aug 2010   #41
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My guess would be that the problem came from the fact that you declared the partition as Active and not as Primary.




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System Imaging as Additional Protection-2010-03-25_1805.png 
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25 Aug 2010   #42
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Of course there is one other alternative to this hidden partition debate.

If you use diskpart to create a single partion when initially installing Windows, the hidden partition will never be created.
It will be created as a hidden folder on the OS partition instead.


Going this route, this eliminates the need to back up or restore the MBR at all doesn't it?
The single partiton should also be active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2010   #43
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
My guess would be that the problem came from the fact that you declared the partition as Active and not as Primary.
Please bear with me, but I am trying to understand the many and varied differences in using Macruim Reflect to restore Vista and Win 7. Every one of the dozens of times I used Reflect to restore an Image in Vista I did so with it as an active partition with 100% success.

Are you saying that with Win 7 the Image that the OS is on must be restored as a Primary partition all by itself without restoring the MBR or the 100 MB active boot partition and that jimbo45's admonition:

"If you image the system (or at least the OS partition) using non MS software such as Acronis / Macrium etc. etc. there is often a hidden small SYSTEM partition. On restore you might get a BSOD on booting up the system. The problem is caused by a change in W7 to the boot manager" is baseless and should be ignored?

Again, please bear with me because I need to know precisely what to do next time I'm in the PE and at the moment I'm getting two opposite sets of instructions of how to restore an Image with Macrium Reflect in Win 7. Thanks for your patience.

~Maxx~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Aug 2010   #44
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

If you have the 100MB partion:

The 100MB hidden partition is the Active partition.

The partition Win7 is installed is a Primary


If you install without the Hidden partition, The entire partition is "Active" just like Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2010   #45
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post
If you have the 100MB partion:

The 100MB hidden partition is the Active partition.

The partition Win7 is installed is a Primary
Wishmaster- Thanks for all of your help! This quote from Nick over at the Macrium Forums brought what you've said into crystal clear focus regarding how to use Macrium Reflect to restore a Backup Image in Win.7...

"Some, not all, Windows 7 installations include a hidden, 100MB 'System Reserved' partition. If this partition exists then it is the 'Active' partition on the system and contains the Boot Configuration Data (BCD).

If your PC has a 'System Reserved' partition:

1. When restoring back to the original disk restore your 'C' partition as 'Primary' not 'Active'. It isn't necessary to restore the SR partition.

2. If you are restoring to a new/different disk then you should first restore the SR partition as 'Active' then 'C' as 'Primary'. Do not increase the size of the SR partition.

3. If you take the fix boot problems then make the SR the 'Active' partition.

If your PC doesn't have a 'System Reserved' partition:

1. Restore 'C' as the 'Active' partition.

2. If you take the fix boot problems then make 'C' the 'Active' partition."


Hope this helps

Nick - Macrium Support

~Maxx~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2010   #46
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post
Of course there is one other alternative to this hidden partition debate.

If you use diskpart to create a single partion when initially installing Windows, the hidden partition will never be created.
It will be created as a hidden folder on the OS partition instead.


Going this route, this eliminates the need to back up or restore the MBR at all doesn't it?
The single partiton should also be active.
I've often recommended this as it makes backup / restore far simpler.

After you've installed Windows 7 the first time you can then use something like GPARTED (Free download) to "shrink" the partition to say 60 or so GB and then partition the rest of your disk how you want it -- I have one partition for Data, one for Web related stuff and one for multi-media (audio / video).

If you have more than one HDD use a SEPARATE disk for Windows paging area and any photoshop scratch files. Moving photoshop scratch files on to a separate disk from the OS will improve performance.

Cheers
jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2010   #47
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Maxxwire, I think Wishmaster clarified the "Active" question. If you mark a partition (e.g. C) as Active, the BIOS will be looking on that partition for the MBR. But if the MBR is on the 100MB partition, it will not find it and you get the error that you have seen.
In your Vista examples you did not have that 100MB partition and the MBR was on C. So it was the active partition by default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2010   #48
Dave76

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Excellent article Wishmaster.

This should be sticky'ed here and on several other forums.

This is good information that everyone should know about.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by G1LLY View Post
Excellent Post

I had a look at Macruim the other day but there doesn't seem to be a bootable USB option, unless I'm not looking hard enough (only saw CD/DVD creation available) which is my main reason for using PDB, I can do a backup & restore all from the bootable USB.

Use it with my Netbook as well.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
With free Macrium you can image to a USB stick, but the recovery CD must be a CD. There is no stick option.
Macrium Reflect has a Linux based rescue CD, which comes as an ISO file.
This can be put on a USB memory stick when you use a bootable app on the root of the USB memory stick.

It's quick and easy to do, you can add many helpful apps to the bootable memory stick.

The Seven forums tuts are good.

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create

Install Windows 7 from USB Pen Drive Using Grub4Dos

Using the same source and Grub method mentioned above, the Corsair site has a nice version:

How to Create the Ultimate Bootable USB Flash Drive.

Info on editing the menu: The Ultimate USB Flash Drive — Advanced Features

Quote:
Select the utility you wish to use and it will be loaded. The versatility of this tool is apparent once you begin to use it. The two default utilities, Memtest86+ and FreeDOS, are invaluable during system builds and trouble shooting.

Your flash drive can become a virtual toolbox of utilities that you can carry in your pocket as opposed to carrying archaic floppy disks or bulky CDs and DVDs. You also have the option of far greater storage capacity when using a USB flash drive. Your USB flash drive will still be fully functional as a removable storage drive. This is a great tool for testing memory or running programs from a DOS prompt such as firmware or BIOS updaters. The only real limits are the drive size and your creativity.
After the bootable USB memory stick is prepared just add the program ISO file and do a quick edit of the menu, you'll have a menu list to choose from when you boot from it.

You can add ISO files, edit the menu so they are listed.
Add any files/folders and still use you USB memory stick as you would normally.

I used this last method and added Macrium Reflect's rescue CD ISO (Rescue ISO - Disc Image File) file and it runs perfectly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2010   #49
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Maxxwire, I think Wishmaster clarified the "Active" question.
Yes, that is clear now. What was not completely clear to me was whether or not it is necessary to restore the SR partition in a Macrium Reflect Image Restore involving a Win 7 computer which has that 100 MB partition as mine does. Thanks to the advise I've gotten here I am confident that my next Reflect Restore of my Win 7 x64 computer will be a 100% successful one.

~Maxx~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2010   #50
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Wishmaster- Earlier this evening I put the advise you gave about restoring the Macrium Reflect C Drive Image in Win 7 as a Primary Partition and not only did it worked like Gang Busters, but the complete Image Restore took only 4 minutes and 36 seconds for the 22.6 GB partition!

The only remaining question I have is about whether to replace the MBR during the Image Restoration like the program recommends?

~Maxx~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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