System Image Recovery

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  1. mjf
    Posts : 5,969
    Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

    You do need to temporarily change the BIOS boot order to boot from the DVD.
    Good luck. Check to see how went tomorrow.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 13
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.

    So I Booted from the recovery disc (the Repair Section on the original Windows disc does the same thing) No BIOS setting needed changing the BIOS detected and booted from the disc.
    The First screen was the usual System Recovery Options but on NEXT
    I got an overlay - Searching for Windows Installations
    then a screen I'd never before seen showing

    WINDOWS 7 Partition 476837 F:Local Disk

    there were two radio button options - Use recovery tools that can help etc......
    and - Restore your computer using a System Image - which I buttoned

    on Next I was back to the - Select a system Image Backup screen in tutorial step 5A but unfortunately again no image was showing or could be found by clicking - Select a system image.

    I do not understand why the Windows Installation reported above shows local disc F: the only data on that drive is the copy of the Image Backup. My Windows 7 installation is obviously on C:

    At this point I decided that my OS was so screwed up the only option was to re-install. All data was aready backed up and I was surprised how painless it was, in about 2 hours I was back to a functioning 7 system with email, Firefox and anti Virus installed together with about 60 Windows updates. Just 30 programs to go !

    It will be interesting to see, when I have time, whether the old Windows Backup Image Folders will be detected on my two drives now that Windows is clean. I'll let you know.

    Thanks Again for all your help and you too Brink
      My Computer

  3. mjf
    Posts : 5,969
    Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

    My comment about changing BIOS order was for the System Repair disk not the original install DVD.
    When you boot into repair mode you are booting a Winre OS and drive letters are generally not the same as in a normal windows boot. However, C: often is C: in both.

    We would be interested to see if a reinstall allows you you see the existing images. But also move an old image to a folder and make a new one and see if it can be seen. This info helps others which is why we give our time for free.

    Note: In your old images the core of the information is on large *.vhd files. Unless they are corrupt you can extract info using 7-zip as Brink suggested. You should be able to attach them as virtual HDD under disk management without the restore image (locate) fuss and pull off whatever you like.

    Windows imaging has never let me down but it has let others down. I never trust any single piece of software including Windows Imaging. I also keep images using a free imaging program which is strongly supported by many members of this forum.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 13
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.

    Hi mjf,

    As you requested here's the results of my reinstall(s). After the first one, which I told you about, I checked to see whether Windows would detect the original Images which were still sitting on separate internal and external drives. No luck, exactly the same results as the old OS.

    I did not have a chance to re-image in this OS because as I was continuing to load software to bring my system back to normal my Motherboard crashed due to a power module failure !

    So after getting that fixed I was back to square one of yet another complete reinstall. Once I got to the basis of a complete system I took another Image, saved it to my internal HD, then started Windows Recover from Image Backup and this time it found the image. I can only assume that the original image became corrupted or damaged when I had problems with my corrupted user account. Although after all my problems I don't know whether I would trust MS to correctly re-install from an image.

    Just one last question, I downloaded Macrium Reflect as you suggested, whilst it is free for use with Linux systems it appears that to image Windows systems it requires an add on module which has to be paid for. Is this correct?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 6,349
    Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

    I use the System Imager in windows and use Macrium to make an image also.
    That gives me a double backup.

    If the Windows doesn't work then maybe the Macrium will or the other way around. I'll get you a link for the Macrium tutorial.
    Be right back.

    7 forums Macrium tutorial.
    Imaging with free Macrium

    Of course you use Windows7 to restore a Windows System Image and the Macrium software to restore a Macrium Image.

    I have two hard drives. One for storage so I have plenty of extra room. You only need a new one if you make major updates.
    So you can delete an old copy if storage capacity is limited for you. I keep 2-3 copies of each.

    Hope that helps.
      My Computer

  6. mjf
    Posts : 5,969
    Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

    Re: Macrium
    The free version is totally functional and totally free (I use it). The linux element is simply the OS used on the boot recover disc that's all. Even though the recovery environment is Windows 7, linux is used because it's a simple light weight live boot environment. If you have an old version of XP you can build a BartPe recovery disk but if the linux disk is booting I personally wouldn't be bothered.
    With Macrium Imaging you select which partitions you want to image in one hit and a SET is made. In recovery you select which partition to recover from the SET, one at a time. So while in Macrium Recovery (linux OS) select a partition, it is recovered then if more than one partition in the set Macrium goes back and asks if you want to select another until you say no and exit.
    Macrium (even free) is more flexible in that if it's a partition (eg. recovery) you can image it and recover it). W7 is more restrictive.
    The paid version has added capabilities which I can live without. I'm a bit of a sucker when using really good free software. I might buy the paid version (not much $).
    RE: W7 Imaging
    I use it for most routine images and Macrium as a safety net. But I understand your reticence to use it after being let down. MS only need to do a little more work to make it more robust!!!!!
      My Computer

  7. mjf
    Posts : 5,969
    Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

    When to select reformat

    I have used Windows imaging to make and restore many images.
    If I understand it correctly, in step 2, Part 7 the recommendation is to tick the reformat box unless it is grayed out.
    System Image Recovery-reimage1.jpg
    I cannot recall ever voluntarily selecting this option as I have a 456GB data partition which I want to remain untouched. I also know that the partition structure is exactly the same as it always was including when the image was made. This approach has never caused me a problem. Sometimes the option is deselected and grayed out.

    When I have restored an image to a brand new disk there is no option to deselect as you would expect. You want the action carried out.

    I have a dilemma providing advice because it appears to run contrary to this part of the tutorial. When people reimage back to the same disk after selecting the format option they sometimes report losing their data partitions.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 72,283
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter

    Hello Michael,

    You have it right about checking the format box and then clicking on the Exclude button to select disks not to be formatted in the image recovery. I have added a screenshot at that step to help. :)
      My Computer

  9. mjf
    Posts : 5,969
    Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

    I get presented with the following two screens.
    The one below is when I image C: (separate 100MB included by default)
    System Image Recovery-dsc_0054r.jpg

    This one is for an image of C: + D: (data partition)
    I rarely image both.
    System Image Recovery-dsc_0055r.jpg
    The second check box just gives me the option to exclude the D: (data) partition from the reimage.

    In both cases I have the option to select the format check box. In the first case I never check the format box because I don't want D: formatted.

    Any comments?
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 72,283
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter

    That's what I get as well.

    You could leave only the Only restore system drives box checked, or only check the Format and repartition disks box, click on the Exclude disks button , and check the D: drive. Either way should work to exclude the D: drive for example from being formatted.
      My Computer

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