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  1. #1
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    Question Imaging Sony laptop running Windows 7 64-bit with a GPT hard drive

    A friend called me over to help him set up his new Sony laptop.

    I had already convinced him the necessity of doing system images and he has invested in Acronis TrueImage.

    But then I find out his shiny new Sony has UEFI and the drive is GPT.

    Oops...

    A quick visit to Acronis forums informs me that only TI 2012 supports GPT disks and they say it can create a system image and restore it, but it's not bootable! And besides, Acronis TI tends to be buggy for a while which is why I'm still using TI 2011 on my own system.

    So I ended up having to settle for using Windows Image Backup to make a system image (and I'm definitely not happy about the limitations that involves.)

    And my plan to move his user folders to a data partition (I've read bbearren's excellent Set 7 Free article though I haven't got quite that far yet) was placed on hold.

    SO..... here's my question:

    Any suggestions on imaging software that will reliably handle doing system imaging for Windows 7 64-bit on GPT drives?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I can't answer your question unfortunately. I will be interested in the answer however!

    The method to move data folders to a new partition is well documented (You probably already know this but many others reading this might not)
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    jelson (2012-06-16)

  4. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Have a look at Image For Windows from Terabyte Unlimited. It is advertised to handle GPT. I've used Terabyte Unlimited software since the mid-'90's, and have never had a reason to look anywhere else. I've found it to be completely reliable; I've never had an image fail to restore (and I routinely test my images).

    There is a fully-functional 30-day free trial download. Give it a try; if it works, the price is only $38.94, and all future updates of the same release series (such as 2.xx) are free. Their support is via email, and they always have the correct answer in less than 24 hours.

    Oh, and if you do decide to use my Set 7 Free method, I'm available for questions and support via the "Contact Me" link.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    jelson (2012-06-16)

  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I can't answer your question unfortunately. I will be interested in the answer however!

    The method to move data folders to a new partition is well documented (You probably already know this but many others reading this might not)
    Thanks Ted!

    Yeah, I've read that Lincoln Spector article. Frankly, I believe it's the best (article / guide) on moving user folder by the "Microsoft approved method."

    Of course, there are a couple of problems with the "MS approved" method.
    1. A bit tedious; you have to do it for each folder to be moved.
    2. The moved folders' permissions are not copied: they will inherit the permissions for the drive-folder they are moved to.
    3. Junctions for "legacy" folders like "My Documents" still point to the old location, not the new one.


    What I've tried so far is to use a Modular Script (Vista & Windows 7) to change the locations for specific user folders for the "Default User": any new user accounts will have the specific folders in the new locations automatically with proper permissions and junctions in place.

    The modular nature of the script is nice: you can pick and choose which folders you want moved. Also, the process is reversible.

    It was originally written in French, but you can find an English translation HERE. There's also a script to move the Public Folders as well (see reply #2)

    So far, this script works well, but it does not move the %userprofile%/AppData/Roaming folder a la the Lincoln Spector guide.

    I'm debating about this since I'm aware that some apps, like iTunes & Adobe products, can write a tremendous amount of data within their Roaming folder.

    My question is, for the sake of seamless system restoration, do the Roaming folders need to be on the system partition or not?

    I came to love have the user data folders moved in XP. Made it very simple to restore an earlier system image if an install went wrong or simply regretted installing some apps.

    Do a system restore and voila... the only thing I need to do is do Windows Update, and do any updates or reinstalls any apps that I had done after the restored image was made.

    Simple, elegant and highly efficient and reliable.
    Last edited by jelson; 2012-06-16 at 16:53.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Have a look at Image For Windows from Terabyte Unlimited. It is advertised to handle GPT. I've used Terabyte Unlimited software since the mid-'90's, and have never had a reason to look anywhere else. I've found it to be completely reliable; I've never had an image fail to restore (and I routinely test my images).

    .... all future updates of the same release series (such as 2.xx) are free. Their support is via email, and they always have the correct answer in less than 24 hours
    We have a winner here. Thanks bbearren!

    I was looking around and read some very high praise for IFW on WildersSecurity forums. My take-away impression is that IFW is the imaging solution for the uber-geeky. It'll do exactly what you want it to do once you overcome the learning curve.

    And then, your experience with IFW is quite convincing and seals the deal in my mind.

    I'm thinking IFW installed on WinPE rescue media is likely to be what I'll need to use for GPT disks like my friend has. What do you think?

    Oh, and if you do decide to use my Set 7 Free method, I'm available for questions and support via the "Contact Me" link.
    Thanks, man!

    I'm considering "setting 7 Free" on my personal machine. It's a bit intimidating, but I'd definitely learn a lot in the process.

    However, for friends machines as well as the ones I maintain --for free-- at a small non-profit, I'm just looking for a solution that's makes for seamless and easy to maintain system restores. I'm really tired of getting frantic calls where the primary concern is user data loss when they have system problems. Thus, my question about the Roaming folders in my response to Ted.
    Last edited by jelson; 2012-06-16 at 18:20.

  8. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    There is a bit of a learning curve for Image for Windows, (anything Terabyte, actually), but their support is superb. Once you get the hang of it, it is virtually painless; it remembers your preferences. Their user forums are quite handy, as well. IFW using PHYlock can make a full drive image without rebooting, and it's fairly snappy; snappy enough that I don't use incrementals, just full images. I have BootIt Bare Metal and Image for DOS installed on my hard drive; IFD can be used to restore an IFW image file, if I manage to screw Windows up enough that it won't boot. That's a handy little utility.

    As for the Roaming folders, I've never used "Windows System Restore"; I have it turned off. I've read too many horror stories, I guess. But using drive images and my Set 7 Free method, it doesn't matter where the System folders are. The only System Folder on my C: drive is Windows. Everything else is on separate partitions and/or hard drives. Microsoft wants them to stay on the System drive, but that's a support issue, not an operational issue. My entire Users folder and ProgramData folder are on another partition on another hard drive. My installation is rock solid (except for my own intentional tinkering).

    So long as you leave the WinSxS folder in the C:\Windows folder, all updates and service pack installs work seamlessly. If you move the WinSxS folder to another partition, it will break most (but not all) Windows Updates, but Windows will still run just fine. MSE will update just fine. I found that there was no noticable performance gain with the WinSxS folder on a different hard drive, so I've moved it back into the C:\Windows folder and left it there.

    Should you decide to try Set 7 Free, I suggest that you print out all the instructions (there's a printer-friendly css) and read them over carefully. About one third of the questions I answer for users are already there in the instructions; they've just been overlooked. The key to success is to make full drive images after each successful step; that way you don't have to start all over from the beginning.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    As for the Roaming folders, I've never used "Windows System Restore"; I have it turned off. I've read too many horror stories, I guess. But using drive images and my Set 7 Free method, it doesn't matter where the System folders are.
    Yeah, I turn off System Restore as well. I don't see the point of needlessly eating up drive space when I have a solid system imaging strategy in place.

    Thanks for the advice bbearren! Just bought the IFW - BI BareMetal bundle. Let the learning and experimenting begin.

  11. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I don't think you'll be disappointed. The folks at Terabyte are very good, and they're very dependable.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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  13. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Getting back to your other question, the "roaming folders" that have been moved do not need to be in the OS partition to have a seamless Image. In fact, I back up my data separately by other means. When I Image, I just include the OS partitions (Win 7 and Win 8 RP at present) in the same Image file. Then I can restore either or both OS's, one at a time of course from the one Image file. Since all my data is kept and backed up separately, I do not have to worry about the data when I have to restore either OS.

    I do use Acronis for my Imaging, but v2010 for my wife's laptop, and v2011 for my laptop. Both work fine for me, but then again I have older non-UEFI and the drive is not GPT. I suppose if I buy a more up to date PC I will have to explore other options.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-06-16 at 20:06.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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