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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Restoring an image backup

    It's a long story, but my boot partition is no longer a primary partition - Windows is now installed in a logical partition.
    I would like to get this corrected without starting over totally from scratch.
    I have an image of by new c:\ drive and another image of my installed programs partition (f:\)
    Can I reformat my drive and then restore these two partitions and have everything continue working from where I left off?
    This is scary to me - I don't want to have to reinstall Windows and all my other programs.

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    It all depends on how your set up was when the backups were made.
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    If these are truly Images then you should be able to restore them and get your PC back to exactly what it was previously. I have restored Images many times. Never failed. Did you make Boot Media for your Imaging app and ensure it will indeed boot your PC to the Imaging app.

    I use Acronis to create my Images. In Acronis I had to make a Boot CD which I insert and Boot to. This boot media loads the Acronis app. I then attach the device that holds my Images (I have my Images stored on an Ext USB HD) and restore my PC. Works every time. The first time is the most nerve wracking.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigtb View Post
    I have an image of by new c:\ drive and another image of my installed programs partition (f:\)
    Can I reformat my drive and then restore these two partitions and have everything continue working from where I left off?
    Craig,
    Hello....First the most important question is..

    1. Where are the "Images" Stored ?

    2. What program did you use to make them. Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    I made the images with Acronis True Image and they are on an external hard drive.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I am presently working in Win 8 CP and do not have Acronis installed here (so I cannot give you a screen shot), but make sure you have created the Acronis Media Builder (There is a link in the app). This allows you to boot into Acronis when you boot your PC even if it will not boot.

    Insert the Acronis Boot Media, connect your Ext HD with the Image, boot to Acronis and follow the directions to restore your Image. If you don't follow the instructions properly, don't worry, just start over, your Image is still there and your boot Media is still there. Acronis first asks where the Image is located you wish to restore (This is the Image location). It then asks where to restore to (your C Drive), then asks if you wish to proceed. That's basically all there is to it.

    Fred, did I miss anything here?
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  7. #7
    Gold Lounger
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    Craig,
    As Ted states ..make sure that you have a "Recovery Disk" and that it works. Try booting from it, and run through the screens...Make sure that you can see the Image,Just don't "Pull the trigger' yet. Also that your PC will boot from a CD\DVD Sometimes your "BIOS" Needs to be set to ...On my PC you enter BIOS at boot time by entering <F10=Setup>.. find your boot order and select (up\ down arrows) "CD ROM group" to be before the "Hard Drive Group", save and exit.

    PS: On my PC you can (in Disk Management) right click on a "Logical Drive " and change it to " Mark as Active" (Primary) As long as yo have the Image if this messes up something ...no problem ..just proceed doing the recovery thing.Worth a try Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Fred, Two heads are always better than one, especially when they are old heads!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    If Acronis True Image program made an image of your whole Hard Drive then the restored image should include your whole drive including (with my Toshiba Laptop) the hidden partition, and any other partition on the drive when you first backed up your computer on installing Acronis. If you did that, then that's what it will put back.
    After starting the image restore Acronis will format the drive and plonk the image onto it, it will put in exact detail copied at the time the image was made.
    Any changes made since the time the image was made would be lost, unless you have been running weekly image backups, if restoring that type of image then in that case Acronis will put back in exact detail the state of your hard drive as at the time the last image was made.

    I some times use Paragon software (paid) to change or recover partitions.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    When you restore with Acronis, each partition has to be restored separately even though they are all included in one compressed file. When we say the Image file includes everything on the HD, what that means is everything you tell it to include.

    For example. I just created an Image of my complete HD. This one Image file Included all 3 partitions (Win 7, Win 8 CP and Data Partitions and the MBR) If I have to restore everything, I would be required to restore the 3 partitions one at a time. I can also specify to restore only one partition and choose which one partition to restore and where to restore it. These are the features I like with the 3rd party Imaging apps.

    I create new Images when I make changes to my system. This generally is once every 3 to 4 weeks. My data on the other hand gets backed up much more often than that because the data changes much more often. This is one of the reasons why I choose to isolate my data to a separate partition from the OSes.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    Clarification and description

    I thought everything was clear until robplum's comments, so perhaps I'd better describe the situation a bit more carefully.
    On my Disk Management screen, the partitions are laid out like this:
    - D: (non-working partition that used to be C:\)
    - E: (empty partition of space that I have freed up from D
    - F: (program partition. Used to be D:, but I lost that drive letter assignment when the old C: became D
    - H: (data partition that I back up real-time with Carbonite)
    - I: (data partition that I back up real-time with Carbonite)
    - C: (my new boot partition)

    I have made image files of both C: and F: and my desire is to restore them as the first two primary partitions. Then I can follow them with two logical partitions for my data and restore them from Carbonite.

    I was hoping that I after formatting the drive, I could create a C: partition of any size (save for F and then restore the images to those two locations (which will be the same letters, but different physical locations than previously on the drive.) And as I stated previously, I was looking for reassurance that by doing that, all applications would work immediately without any need to reinstall any of them.
    I appreciate the comments and help you folks have offered.
    Craig

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigtb View Post
    I thought everything was clear until robplum's comments, so perhaps I'd better describe the situation a bit more carefully.
    Craig,
    Hello....You lost me around "F" ...Maybe a screen shot with a simple description of what it is that you trying to do Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  13. #13
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    Image of Disk Management screen

    Fred,
    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope this helps, though I tried to limit my description above to less than a thousand. It should match up for you with what I described.

    On Disk 0 (the one we are discussing) the first two (in dark blue) used to be C:\ (my boot partition with the OS) and D:\ (my installed programs).

    You see that they are now D:\ and E:\ and C:\ is clear over on the right side. I would like to have C:\ and F:\ (the new letter forced on me for my installed programs) as the first two partitions.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigtb View Post
    Fred,
    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope this helps, though I tried to limit my description above to less than a thousand. It should match up for you with what I described.
    Craig,
    OK I'm "on board" This is do-able ...However if you haven't done "disk imaging" before this might be a little ...."Yikes!"..First a Question..Do you have a Imaging program ? Free type or pay for?... If So...this is how i would proceed..

    1. Make a Full Image of the entire Disk..Save it to your other HD..Verify it, also and make sure that you can see it (mount )

    2. Make individual Images of the partitions that you want... do the same as above. Just to be extra safe.

    3. Make sure that your "Image Recovery Disk" is working ...Boot from it and make sure it "sees" your Images, and that you can boot from a CD.

    4. Use a 3rd party Partition Manager ( there are many free ones) Load the partition manager disk and boot into it.

    5. Take a deep breath ( adult beverage is recommended at this point) and formant (NTSF) the Disk 0 ..Set up (Partition the Disk as you want now)

    6. Shut down and load the Image Recovery CD ... Using the Imaging program recover you Images (stored on other HD) to the new partitions

    7. At this point you could just recover you OS. ( Position 0... C: ) and do the rest after ..from within windows......

    Post back with your questions ( and Info) Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  15. #15
    4 Star Lounger
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    Craig, first of all, your current D: partition is not 'non-working': rather, it's where your boot code runs from (the 'system' partition, in Microsoft's somewhat backward terminology, whereas the 'boot' partition is, as you said, where Windows itself is actually installed). When you did whatever you did to reinstall your system in its current logical partition, the initial boot code was left in what became the D: partition (since it has to reside in a primary partition).

    Whether a copy was also retained in the new C: (system) partition you'll have to check: if not, if you want to restore your system to having a single combined primary boot/system partition you'll either have to merge your current C: and D: partitions (I wouldn't count on just being able to merge E: with D: and then simply adding the content of C: to D: and then deleting C: so that on boot that drive letter would be available for the newly-merged partition, but you could try it) or (probably better) delete D: and E: then use a bootable imager to image and then restore the current C: in their place as a primary partition and then use the installation disk to repair the boot support in it.

    (As Fred suggested, it would be wise first of all to make an image of the entire disk, just in case anything goes wrong...)

    You should be able to leave the current F:, H:, and I: partitions in place (and may not easily be able to change F:'s drive letter back to D:, since if that's where your programs are installed they're now all known to the system as being on F - though since they only total 120 GB this won't save you as much time as it would if they were very large. While Vista and Win7 use a more robust method in BCD than XP and earlier systems used in boot.ini to locate the 'boot' partition in a system, I think they still use XP and earlier mechanisms (disk signature and partition start location) to remember drive letter assignments, so making sure that these partitions stay in their current locations should prevent their drive letters from being reassigned when your new configuration boots.

    Fred's suggested procedure may work just fine, but the above may be useful if it doesn't. If you do use it, in case a full disk format wipes the current disk signature in the MBR you should be prepared to restore it (a small utility called MBRWizard claims to be able to from your cloned disk copy) to help preserve the partition identities. It's possible that Vista will decide it needs to be reactivated unless you also restore the Volume Serial Number of its 'boot' (or possibly 'system'?) partition (the small SysInternals VolumeID application supports this) - though this probably won't be necessary if the rest of your system hasn't changed much since original activation. These cautions also may be unnecessary, but I'm mentioning them just in case...

    Good luck.

    Edit: Hmmm. As long as you image your original disk (rather than make a byte-for-byte copy to another physical disk) you should not run into the problem that if you let Windows see both your original and your cloned disk it will assign a new disk signature to one of them to resolve the conflict (which could create problems - e.g., if the clone's signature is changed, then if you later booted from it its Registry would not recognize the known partitions and would reassign drive letters). Acronis True Image (in its various guises) includes the MBR track when it images any partition on a disk, so you should be able to retrieve the original disk signature from that if necessary (I assume other imagers do something similar) if you don't first obtain it using MBRWizard.
    Last edited by - bill; 2012-03-13 at 18:38.

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