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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    One for the experts: failed ToDo Backup restoration!

    My wife had an HP Mini which originally should have come with Win 7 Starter. We were going to Indonesia, I was to be the sole tech suport, I knew nothing about Win 7 so opted to have XP installed. All went well, until MS decided to kill off XP support. So I contacted HP and bought the upgrade disks to get Win 7. So far so good, or so I thought.

    I made an image of system and files using TodDo Backup, then started into the upgrade. All went well until it didn't, I got a message, quite simple, "Installation failed." And that was it. I contacted HP, their "support" team wouldn't not, or could not, understand the problem let alone come up with a solution. I sent them the log file that their setup disk had created. They wrote back asking if I knew what program could open the log! At that point I realized that I was dealing with real experts! Still I had the image, right? Yes, I still do, but when I tried to restore I got another error message, I forget the wording but it essentially it was that the drive layout had been changed. Looking at the layout in ToDo Recovery I saw that the one and only drive had been partitioned into D: (around 40GB) C: 400MB, and the rest of the 150GB was unallocated. And yes, D was before C. Todo has not been able to come up with a solution either. So now I had a Mini paperweight.

    I dug out an old XP installation disk, I thought it would simply format the whole disk before installing. I booted up with the disk, everything went smoothly, but not for long. "Unable to install Windows." I decided to format the C drive and start over, made a Win 7 repair disk, booted from it, got into ye olde DOS, that brought back memories, even had to find the Volume name before I could format. So now I have a newly formatted C:...of 400MB.

    There is no OS on the machine, however, I do have a USB optical drive, and the DOS prompt. Is there a DOS command to delete D:, and allocate the whole drive to C? I feel sure there must be, but it's been so loooong since I got down and dirty that I have forgotten most of these arcane commands.

    Hoping for enlightenment,

    David.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Why not install the Windows 7 version that you purchased as a clean install? That would be better than installing XP, unless you prefer XP over 7. And the Windows 7 that you bought is likely better than Windows 7 Starter. But regardless of whether you choose XP or 7, the following steps should solve your problems.

    Wiping the drive and starting over with a clean install should clear up all of the issues you have experienced. Therefore, do the following:

    Have your XP disk handy in case it asks you to put it in (to verify that you are, in fact, eligible to install the Windows 7 upgrade).

    Insert the Windows 7 disk that you purchased, and then turn on the computer. Let it boot from the DVD. Early in the process, tell it that you want to do a custom install.

    Soon it will ask you which drive you want to install it on. At this point, you can delete all of the partitions, then create one new partition (the new partition will use the entire hard drive). Then format that new partition, and then install Windows 7 on the new partition.

    Hopefully your ethernet card will be working; if so, you can get on the internet and go to HP's web site and download / install all other drivers needed for your laptop.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Since you in essence have a paperweight anyway, I would format the entire hard disk using the method you used for the C drive. This would give you unallocated space of approx. 190Gb if my math is correct with only one large partition. Then you can install Win 7 from the disk you purchased.

    Afterward you can partition the disk to gain a data partition if that is your wish, or keep one large HD.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for both replies. I don't have any problem with Win 7 now, I've been using it myself for the past year or so. I should have made it clear that the disks that I bought came from HP. They are "recovery" disks to restore the Mini to what would have been factory default rather than store-bought MS Win 7. I do have a Win 7 Ultimate installation disk which I bought for my own machine, and which I used to make the repair CD. But the Mini has only 1GB of RAM which cannot be increased, so Win 7 Starter is as much as this machine can handle. It was in fact none to nimble with XP Home installed.

    I have formatted D: as you suggested, Medico. I now have the vestigial C: of 400MB, and a D: of 60GB (40GB was a typo in my original post). So then I tried the restore disks again. There are no options with the restoration, it just runs. And it ran again. "Formatting the hard drive..." was the first step. No indictation as to which drive was being formatted. "Copying files" again, and again, and again. through all three disks. And it ended up the same way, "This recovery has failed."

    The only options were "Save Log", or "See Details". I saved the log, again, on a USB drive. the file is called HP_SSRD_LOG.SRD. No option to save it as a text file, but HP support cannot read .SRD files. Does this seem strange? Or is it me? Free File Viewer can 'sort of' open the file, at least it shows the hex code that the file contains, but there is no text that is readable.

    Clicking "Details" brings up a short text file maybe 20 lines, which opened in Notepad. This seemed curious considering the restore had failed. So I tried "Save As" under the File Menu, and to my surprise there is what looks like a whole Windows installation on D drive. And a D:\Program Files with a slew of the junkware that laptops come stuffed with.

    Also under the "Save As" subheading"Computer." Clicking on this icon produced another window showing three drives. They are:
    SDV(C) 112MB free of 396MB
    Local Disk(D) 34GB free of 58GB
    Boot(X) 28.8MB free of 31.2MB.

    So I tried to reboot. I got a progress bar across the bottom of the screen, "Windows is loading files..." Things looked good, a couple of small DOS screens flashed by, then a splash screen, gray with some swirling lines which I assume is an HP screen, then nothing. As far as I can tell the installation is complete except for the Desktop and Start Menu.

    I have a feeling that if there was some way of re-partitioning the drive, from a USB drive perhaps, so that I had one blank unpartitioned drive maybe, just maybe, the restore might work. Or is that wishfull thinking? My wife already has a replacement, not HP! The only reason I'm trying to do this is to get the pesky thing running so that I can give it to some deserving charity. But maybe this wouldn't be an act of charity?

    David

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    As the disk appears to be screwed and the notebook is a doorstop now, perhaps trying Darik's Boot And Nuke http://www.dban.org/. This will completely clear the hard disk of all partitions and data. Then you could try installing whichever OS you want. Or you could try a flavour of Linux (one of the lightweight ones like http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=puppy perhaps). This may well give you a usable notebook, and Linux can grow on you!

    I used Dban to rescue a hard disk where I couldn't recover XP or install Linux (long story). However, I was able to install Linux Mint on the PC after using Dban. I suspect that I could have used the recovery disk to reinstall XP, but I had got so fed up with it that I didn't bother.
    Last edited by access-mdb; 2013-11-28 at 04:31.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I agree, you need to clear the entire HD, leaving unallocated space. The Win 7 (HP version) Restore disks may work to restore the factory image (were they Restore disks or Recovery disks?) Theoretically Win 7 HP (Home Premium, not Hewlett Packard) should run on 1 Gb Ram. May not be a "roadrunner", but should work. I am not sure if the Ultimate version will do well with that.

    Unfortunately this is the problem with mini's, they just do not have the resources to play with too many options for OSes.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  7. #7
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    Thanks again for the inputs. The disks are called Recovery Disks, supposed to restore the machine to factory default. I updated Easeus support asking them about deleting all partitions and starting over with a blank disk. The response was that I wouldn't need to do that, the ToDo restore will take care of all that and put the machine back together again. An old story about an egg comes to mind! Well I'd already tried that, but to be sure to be sure I went through it again, and ended up with a blank, black screen, again.

    I will certainly try the Dban rescue disk, sounds like the answer to my prayer! I only have one copy of Win7, the Ultimate, which I am using. If I get it running I'll give it away, the HP Recovery disks were a good deal, or would have been if they'd worked. However, I'm reluctant to spend a couple of hundred on the MS version of Win 7 of any flavour. So yes, maybe Linux is the way to go.

    David

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    David,
    You asked a few posts back about the DOS method of clearing up a hard drive.

    It's what this old boy does on every new hard drive that comes my way.

    Many years ago now, I made myself a DOS Utilities CD, so I can partition and format any hard drive.
    The first program I run on a new drive (even if that new drive is a used drive) is the DOS "FDISK".
    With that, I first remove any existing partitions, either DOS or NOT-DOS. Then I just let FDISK create
    one (1) partition and set it to active. That takes care of the partitioning.

    Then I run the DOS "Format" command, to format the entire surface of the disk. Format does not have
    enough digits available in the program to correctly display the entire size of LARGE hard drives. But not
    to worry, once it starts formatting, it will continue formatting right out to the end of the drive.

    I like the DOS format, because it totally clears every sector of the HD and also verifies those sectors as
    to whether they can reliably store data. Any sector not passing the verification test, will be blocked out
    and added to the "Bad Sector Map" and will never be used again.*

    *Every hard drive, has bad sectors, but you usually won't see them because the Low Level Format, done at the factory, blocks them out and puts them in the bad-sector map.

    So after running the DOS partition and format commands, I'm 100% sure that I have a drive onto which I
    can install any OS and know it's going to work. This formatting process can be somewhat time consuming, but I'm never in such a big hurry that I can't do the job RIGHT.
    In the above mentioned process, the drive will be formatted as FAT-32. No problem, as every OS installer has
    the ability to reformat the drive to NTFS or whatever format it requires.

    I never have any problem installing any OS, because I always start off with a CLEAN, Formatted and verified hard drive. Some wise old sage, once told me, "do a job right the first time, and you won't have to do it over again".
    I'm thinking, that must have been one of my parents. They were always giving me wise old sayings.

    Good Luck to you!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2013-11-29 at 10:40.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
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    Thanks for all that info and advice Doc. Easeus are still trying to work out why their ToDo Backup didn't work. HP still haven't found a program that can open the log file that their Recovery disk made. I've downloaded a copy of DBAN, that looks like it might do the job, although on the DBAN forum there do seem to be rather a lot of people that are having problems using it. FDISK has certainly been around long enough, and back to basics often works when newer glitzy programs stumble.

    One other possibility is to pull the drive out and run hook it up to another machine as an external drive then run a partitioning program on it. At least that way I'd be working with a good OS and a stand-alone disk.

    David

  10. #10
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    I'd like to know why ToDo didn't work as well, I use it all the time and haven't had a problem, just like any other imaging software it has the "record" of the disk layout contained with the image so as reported it should take care of all that, the only exception I can think of being a change in the disk type between when the image was made and when the attempt to restore takes place.
    DBAN is overkill by a longshot but might get the job done, Dr.'s method is very good if the disk is not huge (above 2 TB) and there is any question about drive integrity. I prefer using Parted Magic myself, a utility boot disc (as well as USB boot version-be careful if downloading anything from CNet) that contains GParted--simply use to remove any partitions, rewrite the DOS MBR (for drives under 2 TB) and quick format to NTFS. I've never had that fail to make any drive (again blah blah 2 TB) receptive to installing any successive mainstream Windows OS from XP forward (well, I'm guessing at Win 8 but I know it will accept and install on a MBR disk because UEFI and GPT might not be available).

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I agree Dban is overkill, but as nothing else seems to work... I had been told my disk was a doorstop when I asked for help on the lounge. But what I like about the lounge is the many suggestions that are made, some of which seem to have been triggered by someone making an extreme suggestion like mine. Rhinoceros now has many ideas of how to progress; I hope that one of the simpler ones work for him.

  12. #12
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    There are many good programs out there, in WWW land, that can wipe and reformat a hard drive, either IDE or SATA.
    I usually do the job in DOS, but I have other programs that can do the job too..... like EaseUs Partition Master, on a bootable CD. (or, Flash Drive)
    I've done it many times. Most importantly, "Is the drive still good, or is it failing?". Until that question is answered, everything else is just wasted effort. (possibly)

    I even have a Low Level Formatter that does wonders for any hard drive, that the self proclaimed 'Experts' will say either doesn't exist or can't work.
    If a drive still runs and can read and write data, a Low Level format will straighten it right out.

    SSD's are a whole different bucket of worms.

    Cheers Mates, and Happy Holidays!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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