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Restore image of C-drive


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#1 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 10:09 AM

The C-drive on my Dell Dimension 4500 holds the Windows XP Home operating system and some programs but all other my data is on a D-drive. I am in the process of backing up an image of my C-drive to an external hard drive and will use Easeus ToDo Backup program to create the image.

Problem: how can I restore the image at a future date?
I presume that it isn’t possible to use a program that is stored on the C-drive to restore the image to the C-drive because that program would be writing over itself while it is in use. I cannot create a bootable disk because I only have a restore/recovery disk for Windows XP that came with the computer.

I have thought of three possible solutions:

1. Boot the computer from a DVD that holds MS-DOS or other small system and restore from there.
a) Would this DOS command work: Copy G:\Backupimage.xxx c:\ ?
I know that this works for ASCII files but does it work for an image?
:thumbsup: How would I find or create such a disk?

2. Boot from the restore/recovery disk that came with the computer, launch the Recovery Console and try it from there.
Again, would the copy command work? And if so, would this work on my wife’s computer which came without a disk?

3. Load the program Easeus ToDo on to my D-drive or a flash drive and run it from there. (Close eyes, hold breath and hope hard on this one ).

Are these feasible solutions and are there better methods of doing this?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

Some open source or freeware tools are available to do that. Read the manuals, help files or instructions of respective tools for more details.

PING : http://ping.windowsdream.com/
PartImage : http://www.partimage.org/
CloneZilla : http://www.clonezilla.org/

All of these allow you to boot froma linux CD (of this software), make an image of your disk partition (which you can store on hard disk or possibly a DVD if fits). Similarly, you can restore the image back.

#3 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 04:36 PM

Hi, Romeo29

Thank you for your reply. I took your advice and read the instructions for all the packages that you suggest.

1. I decided to use Ping first to create a bootable disk to permit copying over the OS. I downloaded Ping.

2. I then burned an ISO file, ‘Ping-3.00.iso’ to a DVD using Nero. The Ping disk did not work so I copied a second file called ‘Copy of Ping-3.00.iso’ to the same disk using ‘Free Easy Burner’ (in case there was something wrong with the way Nero was burning the disk.) The DVD now has both files but this also did not work.

3. I then checked the boot loader section of the BIOS and made sure that the choice ‘CD-ROM’ was situated above ‘HDD’ so that the computer would first look there and then I tried again. In each case, the computer ignored the Ping disk and loaded Windows.

4. I then tried this with a different computer, a Dell laptop, but with the same result.

5. I then inserted the disk that came with a book on Linux, and found that the computer immediately recognized the Linux disk and offered me choices to install Linux. It did not load Windows. It appears to me that the problem is not with the boot loader but that, for some reason, the Ping disk is not bootable on my computer.

If I cannot get Ping to work, I will try the next on the list, but I an curious to know:

i). Was there is anything wrong with the way I burned the DVD. Using Windows, I simply burned the iso file to the DVD, first with Nero and then with 'Free Easy Burner'?

ii). I could boot Ubuntu Linux from my DVD drive using my Linux disk and run it from there. Do you know if Ubuntu Linux has a program that could make an image of the c:-partition?

iii). I had set up a dual boot system with Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. Is there a Linux program that I could download from somewhere that would permit me to copy my C:- partition containing the Windows OS to an external drive or a DVD? I am using NTFS file system for the Windows section?

Hope you will be able to help.

Regards,

Thoughtful Skeptic









decided that I would try Ping first. I have not been able to get it to work and I am wondering if there is anything that I did obviously wrong.

#4 Platypus

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 05:12 PM

If the drive is a Seagate/Maxtor or Western Digital you can use their free imaging software - it's a feature-limited Acronis TrueImage:

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/d...oads/discwizard

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.as...606&lang=en

TrueImage makes the imaging process very easy and enables you to create a recovery boot CD/DVD for restoring an image.

Top 5 things that never get done:

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#5 Romeo29

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:00 AM

2. I then burned an ISO file, ‘Ping-3.00.iso’ to a DVD using Nero. The Ping disk did not work so I copied a second file called ‘Copy of Ping-3.00.iso’ to the same disk using ‘Free Easy Burner’ (in case there was something wrong with the way Nero was burning the disk.) The DVD now has both files but this also did not work.


If your DVD has both files then you are just copying the ISO files onto your DVD which is not how an ISO image is burned. An ISO file is an image file (byte by byte copy of actual cd/dvd). You should burn an ISO in a special way. The easiest way to burn an ISO image to CD/DVD is using freeware program ImgBurn.

- Download ImgBurn from http://www.imgburn.com/ and install it on your computer.
- Insert blank CD in your CD writer drive
- Run ImgBurn. You would see main ImgBurn window with 6 big graphical buttons. Click on button Write image file to Disk
- Select the ISO file you downloaded. (use File open button to select it)
- Select the correct CD writer drive (if not auto selected)
- Select the writing speed from MAX to slower one (so that CD writes perfectly). But this is optional step.
- Click on the big graphical button at the bottom indicating start writing to CD.
- Wait when the CD is burned and ready, you would listen a musical tone.

For a graphical step by step tutorial : http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=61

PS: Why waste a DVD when you can burn the Ping (27 MB) on a CD ?

#6 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 02:09 PM

Hi Platypus,

Thank you for those suggestions. It so happens that I do have a Western Digital drive, so that software will probably do the trick.
However, I am currently exploring the Ping route and I want to complete that path. I am very interested in the Acronis TrueImage reduced software, so I will take a look at that when I am finished.

It's very exciting to learn new things so I greatly appreciate your response.

Thanks!

Thoughtful skeptic

#7 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 02:49 PM

Hi Romeo29,

Thank you so much for your detailed response. I followed what you said exactly and indeed my new PING DVD does now boot. I have tried it on two different computers and on both, it boots the computer and I see the PING screen.

I have now used PING to make an image on my external hard drive. There were some differences from what I expected from the documentation.:
The listing of my drives was different from what I see when I use Windows. I partitioned my hard drive into a C;\ drive for my system and programs 7GB, a D:\ drive for data, 3GB and left about 30 unused space on which I installed UBUNTU Linux as a dual boot system.

PING showed the following drives:

1. hda1 Dell Utility
2. hda2 (HPFS/NTFS) this is my C:\ drive
3. hda3 W95 Ext'd (LBA)
4. hda3 this is my D:\ drive
5. hda6 (Linux) (home, system, mnt, boot, . . . )
6. hda7 (Linux) Swap / S.
7. sda1 (W95 FAT 32 Western Digital recycled
8. sda2 W95 Ext'd (LBA)
9. sda5 Second partition on external drive
10. sda6 third partition on external drive
11. sda7 . . . etc. for third and fourth partitions.

So the new drives were hda1, hda3, and sda2. I deduce that Dell makes partition for some utility software but
I do not understand the last two of these.

New questions that I did not see in the documentation were:

1. Others have had difficulty imaging the Dell utility so I should omit that and image only the c:\ drive. I did.
2. Should I store file details so that future incremental image creation is possible? I chose NO.
3. Choose gzip or gzip2? I chose gzip2 first time and it took 1hr 16m.
I chose no compression the second time and it took about 8 minutes.
4. Choose Partimage, zsplit or Tarball? I chose partimage.
5. Do I want to minimize the file system? I chose NO.

I now have two images of the c:\ drive: one using gzip2 and the other without compression.

That is where I am up to at this moment. My next step will be to try to restore the c:\ drive

Thanks again, Romeo29 for the detailed instructions.
It is so easy when I know what to do and yet almost impossible when I do not.

Regards,

Thoughtful Skeptic.

#8 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 12:50 PM

Hi Romeo29

This is a follow-up on using PING to create a backup of my c:\drive.

I had created a C-partition for Windows and a D-partition for my data and left about 25GB unallocated on which I installed the Ubuntu Linux operating system. I carefully followed the instructions given in the documentation (including data back-up) and rebooted the computer from my PING disc. The C-partition drive was successfully restored and I was able to run Windows with the new files.

However, all the other data on the disc was lost. Since I had previously backed up all data, this was not a problem. But Ping also removed the D-partition and also the Linux area. I then tried to reinstall the Linux in the unallocated space but this went wrong (my mistakes). After a few attempts, I decided to reinstall Windows and start again by repartitioning the disc.

My thoughts are that PING did do the job and is very satisfactory when my hard drive has only one partition. However, I was really looking for tool that would enable me to restore just the C-partition and leave all else unchanged.

I am planning to explore whether your suggestion of www.partimage.org will do that. I can afford to be more adventurous now that I know that I can restore my Windows operating system easily.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

Thoughtful Skeptic

#9 Romeo29

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:17 PM

I have restored C: on my computer using PING many times and I have D: and E: containing data too. PING never touched them.

In your previous post you say your C: drive is hda2. So I am going to refer to hda2 as your C: partition.

1. Did you select only C: (hda2) when creating image? Select only hda2.
2. Check in your backup folder(where PING stored backup images) you should have only files related to C: (hda2) like these for example :
bios
hda
hda2.000 or hda2.001 etc
hda2.first_sectors

If you find any file not beginning with hda2, like hda1.000, hdb1.000 etc delete them because they belong to other partitions.
bios stores your bios settings (if you chose to back it up)
hda stores the first sector of hard disk
hda2.000 etc store the actual data
hda2.first_sectors stores the 20 first sectors of partition C: (in your case)

3. Read carefully the WARNING page displayed before the restoration (before you type YES and press Enter). It tells you what is going to be restored.

#10 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 03:20 PM

Hi Platypus,

I explored the Western Digital software as you suggested and I found it excellent. It certainly does what I was trying to do, is easy to use and the user documentation is very good. So a big thank you for that suggestion. :thumbsup:

My objective is not only to back up the operating system but really to learn stuff about computers, so I still like Ping because it is open source and not tied to particular manufacturer.

I do have one question. I searched the Seagate website but I could not find anything resembling the Acronis-WD. My daughter has a Seagate external hard drive and I'd like to explore that too. Do you know the name or where on that site I could find the item that you mentioned.

Thanks once again.

Regards

Thoughtful Skeptic

#11 Thoughtful Skeptic

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:05 PM

Hi Romeo29

Thank you for your most helpful feedback. You were quite right: what I was calling the C: drive should have been called the C: partition. I also appreciate your explanation of the various files in the backup folder.

I checked the backup folder, as you suggested, and found that I had made a mistake. I had backed up hda1, not hda2 so that was the cause of the problem.

I reinstalled Windows (and my data) and also created 3 partitions. This time, I gave each partition a unique name to avoid confusion (instead of relying on the letter assigned by Windows.

To my surprise, PING did not see a Dell utility partition this time and my C: partition was now referenced as hda1.

I restored this hda1 partition and everything worked perfectly. The other partitions were not changed.
I then used PING to save an image of the two Linux partitions (which are invisible to Windows) and then proceeded to restore them. Again, PING worked perfectly.

I’m still planning to look at partimage and clonezilla because I want to learn about the good things that are available, so there may still be some questions to come. But I seem to be on my way now with this problem. I would not have succeeded without your suggestions and the feedback on ImgBurn and the backup folders.

So, thanks once again.

Best wishes for the future.

Regards,

Thoughtful Skeptic
(a little less skeptical than before :thumbsup: )

#12 Romeo29

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:36 AM

You are always welcome to ask questions on BC :thumbsup:




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