Cautionary Tale

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by rvwilliams, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. rvwilliams

    rvwilliams New Member

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    My hard drive was showing up as having a lot of Seek errors so I decided to do the SMART thing (sorry!) and replace it before it failed completely. I took a full backup and created a system image that I then restored to a new disk using a rescue DVD. On restart the system wouldn't boot, reporting 'No bootable partition in table'. This had me puzzled and so I tried the Startup Recovery option but this didn't do any better. I even tried wiping the new drive and doing the restore again. Then I found out about the bootrec command (support.microsoft.com/kb/927392). Taking the ScanOs option I found that Windows was now installed on drive F: not the expected drive C:. Then the penny dropped! I'd forgotten to remove the ReadyBoost USB stick plugged in at the back of the PC! When I put in the new hard drive it wasn't formatted so the only formatted drive was the USB stick and this became drive C:. The restored boot table said boot from C: but this didn't have Windows on it - hence the error message. I removed the stick, did the restore for a third time and Bingo! - everything back to normal again.

    The moral of this story? Do what it tells you in the instructions and remove all USB devices before starting the image restore!
     
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Thanks for the story - we all do it don't we - if at first you don't succeed, try reading the instructions!
     
  3. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    I use Clonezilla Live to make images of my system OS's (I have 5 linux installs in a multiboot arrangement with Win 7).
    I store these images on a thumb drive and Clonezilla Live can restore from there.
    Clonezilla Live is a Linux based imaging tool that runs from a bootable CD (or in my case a bootable thumb drive).


    I recently purchased a 500 GB Seagate Momentus to replace my old (but not failing) 320 GB drive.
    My plan was to migrate all my OS's to the new drive using Clonezilla Live.

    I first prepped the new drive using Gparted live, another "live" tool used for partitioning.

    My old drive had 9 partitions on it, the 6 OS partitions plus a small linux swap for the linux OS's to share and two data partitions.
    The data partitions were a Fat 32 and a NTFS partition respectively.

    I prepped the new drive by duplicating my OS partitions (both exact size and location) and using the remaining free space to grow my data partitions.

    The resulting partition arrangement was the same as my old drive except that the data partitions were much larger.

    I then manually copied my data files over to their respective data partitions on the new drive (I used a sata to USB adaptor to do this).

    I then used Clonezilla to restore the OS images to their respective locations on the new drive.

    Using a tool called SuperGrub CD I restored the GRUB bootloader needed to boot my Linux installs.

    I now had the exact same arrangement on my new drive as before with all OS's booting from the GRUB bootloader as before.
    Of course my data partitions were much larger.

    This method can be used to migrate to a new drive following the failure of an old drive as well.

    I regularly back up my data partitions to an external 1 TB drive and keep my images up to date, I always have at least 3 images of each OS archived to a folder on my external drive.
    In addition I have base images made shortly after initial install of each OS in case something "really" goes wrong.
    The latest images are on two USB flash drives.

    In the event of a drive failure I can be back up and running in about 50 minutes (not counting the time waiting for a new drive to arrive).

    Actually I have several unused drives laying around so I could press one of these into service while waiting for the new drive to arrive.

    As long as the OS partitions are exactly the same size and location as the original I can do the above with any drive.

    Below is my partition arrangement.
    click thumbnail to view

    View attachment 7696

    sdax is the linux designation of each partition.
    It is most important that the sdax numbers remain consistent for everything to boot.


    The only variables are the sizes of the data partitions.
    When creating the partitions on another drive the OS partitions must be the same as on the old drive.

    The sdax numbers are important because that is where GRUB is expecting to find all the OS's.

    The OS partition sizes are important because Clonezilla Live cannot restore an image to a smaller partition than the one it was created from.
    Although Clonezilla only creates an image from the used space of a partition, the target partition on a new drive must be exactly the same size as the source partition (to the bit).

    All the tools I used are Live tools and run independent of any installed OS.

    I thought this info might be relevant to this thread as it shows an alternate method of migrating from one drive to another.
     
  4. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

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    Useful posts..
     
  5. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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    I'll just quote others, good posts and thanks for sharing. : )

    Clonezilla looks interesting and I'm going to try it at some point. For now I quite like DriveImage XML :

    - you can browse the image and restore individual files and folders from it.

    - the backup image can be split into multiple files, which is useful if you want to store images on DVDs or on several small hard drives.

    - cross platform and completely freeware
     
  6. TorrentG

    TorrentG Banned

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    Clonezilla is great because of its ability to handle all sorts of scenarios such as different SATA modes, RAID, PCI disk controllers etc...
     
  7. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    Just checked out DriveImage. One thing not available yet in Clonezilla is the ability to browse images or extract individual files.

    Something of interest maybe:
    Clonezilla and many other Live distributions can be installed on a USB thumb drive using a neat tool called Multiboot USB.
    Multiboot let's the user install a number of these line .iso's on a thumb drive and provides a GRUB style boot menu that allows the user to select the live distribution to boot.

    I have Clonezilla Live, Parted Magic, SystemRescueCD and Gparted installed on an 8 GB thumb drive along with 2 Ubuntu live releases.

    Parted Magic is primarily a partition manager but it has a bunch of programs bundled with it including Chrome browser.
    A desktop shortcut connects the user to the internet.
    The partition manager supports NTFS, Fat 16 and 32 as well as the different Linux file systems.

    SystemRescueCD contains another imaging program, partimage.
    Not as versatile as Clonezilla but capable.

    I tried it with the Win 7 .iso but it wouldn't boot, probably because Multiboot requires the drive be Fat 32.

    Easily Create a multiboot usb stick | OMG! Ubuntu!

    No windows version available yet but I you are using a linux distro it can be installed and run from there.
    Once installed in linux it will can be updated through the distros package manager.
     
  8. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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    Good info, fjgold. I'll certainly give Clonezilla next time I need to backup something. Thank you for sharing.

    You say you have Win 7 + 5 linuxes, this sounds like a whole bunch to me. : )




    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Just something I forgot to mention about DriveImage XML, RAID support and its amazingly small size less than 2 Mb. It doesn't install a service to your system. This backup tool may not be the best, but it's certainly an alternative.


    DriveImage XML Data Recovery Software FAQ - Runtime Software Products


    Data Recovery Software Products - Runtime Software Products


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Free backup and restore software for system backup and restore, partition or disk backup and restore, disk clone and disk image under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7/2003/2008..
     
  9. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    What I like about Clonezilla is that it is not installed on the users computer.
    It runs entirely from a CD or in my case my USB Flash device.
    It runs completely outside of any OS, in ram only.
     

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