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  1. #16
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    Clint:
    I think you are missing the point here. In this whole discussion of imaging raised by the OP - look at reply #3. He asks, in his struggle to learn about this area, what "mount" means. That's what I responded to in #9.
    Dick

  2. #17
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I saw that, thanks...
    I just didn't want the OP to get the wrong idea, being totally new to imaging, that he doesn't have to physically test
    his image backup and restore setup by not restoring an image.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
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  3. #18
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    I agree with CL1NT, here. The only way to be 100% certain of a drive image is to actually restore it.

    Print out the step-by-step instructions (since they won't be available during the restore), boot your recovery disk and restore your image.

    It is much less stressful to do it now, when you don't actually need it, than after a failure, when you truly need it, and all this prep work you've been doing is sometime in the past, and a bit fuzzy in your memory.

    There is greater comfort in saying to oneself, "I've done this before," than is saying to oneself, "I think I can do this." You are best serving yourself by getting to , "I've done this before."

    I image regularly and frequently, have been for years, and I still run a trial restore from time to time, just for that certainty.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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  5. #19
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    Hi all - as a noob to the forum, first let me thank you for the great info.
    I'm about to try imaging for the first time, and the issue of mounting popped something into my head. What about multiple external hard drives... would having a couple of data drives plugged into USB ports during a backup cause problems if they are NOT plugged in during the restore process, or vice versa? Or is this a moot point?

  6. #20
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There should not be any problem with multiple external drives plugged in while creating your images.

    Restorations of images, especially a test, should always be done via the bootable restore disk you made.

    First think about creating an image, then you can worry about "mounting" it and viewing it's contents.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-11-10 at 02:21.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  7. #21
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    I know this is implied in the above, but for the sake of precision . . .
    First think about creating an image; then test recovering with that image; and then you can worry about "mounting" it and viewing its contents.

    Dick
    Last edited by Dick-Y; 2013-11-10 at 08:44. Reason: typo

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    I know this is implied in the above, but for the sake of precision . . .
    First think about creating an image; then test recovering with that image; and then you can worry about "mounting" it and viewing its contents.

    Dick
    I would actually change the order you have chosen. If you can view the image contents and mount the image, then you will have a achieved a "lesser of evils" goal - at the very least you will be able to recover your data, if things go bad. If you try to restore the image and that fails, then you risk losing everything. Personally, I would never restore an image to the same disk, just for testing purposes, because of this.

    Dick, my reply is not directed at you. I am just sharing my opinion over a practice that is recommended by other Loungers and I quoted you, since yours is the most immediately available reply to quote on this subject .
    Rui
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  10. #23
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    If you try to restore the image and that fails, then you risk losing everything. Personally, I would never restore an image to the same disk, just for testing purposes, because of this.
    I keep multiple copies of my data, my emails, my financial records in multiple places. Critical files are also copied to DVD's. I also have backup installation copies of the software I install and use. I can reconstruct my system from a simple set of drive images, or a more complex and time consuming complete reinstallation of OS and all else. I don't have all my eggs in one basket, by any means.

    So I don't have any hesitation to do a restoration of a drive image to the same drive from which I just created it. If that fails, most likely the image is bad or the drive is bad, which is something I'd rather know sooner than later. For me, there is no greater certainty that an image is indeed viable, just as there is no greater security than in having multiple copies of critical files in multiple places.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  11. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    I keep multiple copies of my data, my emails, my financial records in multiple places. Critical files are also copied to DVD's. I also have backup installation copies of the software I install and use. I can reconstruct my system from a simple set of drive images, or a more complex and time consuming complete reinstallation of OS and all else. I don't have all my eggs in one basket, by any means.

    So I don't have any hesitation to do a restoration of a drive image to the same drive from which I just created it. If that fails, most likely the image is bad or the drive is bad, which is something I'd rather know sooner than later. For me, there is no greater certainty that an image is indeed viable, just as there is no greater security than in having multiple copies of critical files in multiple places.
    Bruce, don't get this wrong, but it's not you that I am really worried about. I don't have issues restoring my images either, because if things go south, I can always recover from that. I also keep at least 3 images of my work computers, in two different external drives and my works files are backed up online through Cubby. Plus all my dev work is now maintained at Microsoft's source control system, online.
    What worries me are the regular, less experienced users, who, if they do that and the restore goes bad, will find themselves probably unable to recover from it. We should have them in mind when we advise a test restore. Also if images are corrupted, most likely they won't mount properly, so mounting and browsing is a rather safe bet, test wise, as is verifying - this one definitely detects corruption.

    In this respect, I am finding myself more inclined to value Windows based backups or backups done in apps that can convert their formats to .vhd or the new .vhdx formats (I know True Image allows it). Why? Because in Windows 7 and 8, you can not only mount such files, but you can actually configure Windows 7 and 8 to boot from them. This means you can test the boot process without destroying nothing in your system and this is quite a big advantage, especially for less experienced users. With Windows 8, in newer machines, you surely will even be able to load such an image in Hyper-V, which means that most likely you will be able to run a virtual version of your system even in newer hardware, if your older hardware fails, for any reason.

    Anyway, I should probably rephrase the wording in my previous post. It's not that I would never restore an image for test purposes (though I actually don't do it), but I should have said I cannot advise it if the users do not feel that they could recover from a recovery test failure.
    Rui
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  13. #25
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Verifying an image by mounting it within the OS and checking the files are all fine and dandy. But there is
    no better way to verify the integrity of the entire process by restoring an image from the boot disk.

    There must be an echo in here
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
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  14. #26
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    So I don't have any hesitation to do a restoration of a drive image to the same drive from which I just created it. If that fails, most likely the image is bad or the drive is bad, which is something I'd rather know sooner than later.
    Mounting the image and checking a few files should catch these errors. But we all do what we are comfortable with.

    Jerry

  15. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Verifying an image by mounting it within the OS and checking the files are all fine and dandy. But there is
    no better way to verify the integrity of the entire process by restoring an image from the boot disk.
    I don't disagree. I would even say it's the only way to verify the integrity of the entire process, if there was not the possibility of booting from a virtual disk, with Windows based imaging. All I am saying is that less experienced users should probably refrain from going that far, as the test can render their systems useless, unless they feel they can easily recover from that. For those who feel they can't, verifying the image's integrity, mounting the image and browsing it, is decent enough testing, IMO.
    Rui
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  16. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyBatty View Post
    I'm about to try imaging for the first time, and the issue of mounting popped something into my head. What about multiple external hard drives... would having a couple of data drives plugged into USB ports during a backup cause problems if they are NOT plugged in during the restore process, or vice versa? Or is this a moot point?
    It will be a simpler process to locate source and destination if you are using a program that offers those options if you don't have extraneous drives attached at the time, especially if there is more than one drive or partition of the same size. It's not so important with imaging but I do a fair amount of cloning as well and there it is critical so it's just a good procedure to follow in general.

  17. #29
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    In the vast majority of instances simply "mounting" an image will show you NOTHING in terms of potential issues.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  18. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    In the vast majority of instances simply "mounting" an image will show you NOTHING in terms of potential issues.
    Don't forget the verifying part. I have all my images verified, after creation.

    I haven't found a corrupt image, yet, though, so I don't have the personal experience to state that there are images that cannot be restored and yet can be mounted, due to corruption.
    Rui
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