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Restoring Win7 Pro from Macrium Reflect disk image


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#1 hedera

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:24 PM

Last November I bought an HP Pavilion s5280t with a 750GB hard disk, running Win7 Professional 64-bit. Last week a routine hardware diagnostic run showed a FAIL on the SMART Short Self Test:

Test Started 12/31/2010 10:02:41 AM
Error Message: The device reported the following status: The previous self-test completed having the read element of the test failed. 12/31/2010 10:02:52 AM
Error Message: The first failing LBA value is 0 and the failure occurred after the device had been operating for 4900 power-on hours. 12/31/2010 10:02:52 AM
Test Finished: Failed (Error code: HD521-2W) 12/31/2010 10:02:52 AM

Googling the error showed the hard drive was at risk, so I called HP, who told me to run the BIOS Extended SMART self test, which also failed. So we arranged for them to send a replacement hard disk which I now have.

The above is background. My real question is is about restoring from disk images. I have good backups; but the "failing" drive (which never ACTUALLY failed - in fact it passed chkdsk!) made me wonder if I could avoid the whole rebuild-the-box routine by capturing a disk image of the hard drive and then restoring it onto the new drive. The tech that HP sent out (I paid them for home service) thought it should. I looked around and decided on the free version of Macrium Reflect (I'm thrifty), and I made regular image backups of the C drive until the installer came to swap it out. I made them to a 500GB HP Pocket Drive which I bought with the machine, an external USB drive that has its own little socket on the front of the Pavilion. I also burned a Linux restore CD which would read USB drives and bring up the Macrium product.

I'm not a hardware guru. My first image restore failed (I think) because I told it to restore to the Primary partition - should have been Active, I now know. So I tried the restore again today, specifying restore to the Active partition. The restore said it completed correctly; and when it rebooted I got this:

BOOTMGR IS MISSING
Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart

And that was all it would do. I hauled out my Recovery Disks and tried to run the Startup Repair Utility, but it failed to repair the problem. I called HP, and they said, oh, you should have called us to talk you through it, you have to reset the box to factory spec and then restore your data. So I've run the factory restore. I'm now going to reinstall Macrium and try to restore the disk image again. If that fails I'll have to restore again and then do the manual rebuild. Sigh.

Was I crazy to expect to restore a working O/S and installed product suite from a disk image to a new hard drive? Is this something I ought to have been able to do and I'm just ignorant? (I am pretty ignorant of hardware.) What should I have done?? Does an O/S install do some low-level stuff to a hard drive, to make it bootable, that restoring from an image won't do? I'd really like to know.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 11:43 AM

There is no general answer...to using recovery/restore software...since each program functions according to the rules developed by the...developers :).

I've not used Macrium Reflect, but I would always check the support pages for any program before I ever considered using it for backups, data recovery, or cloning.

The fact that different versions may exist...with different idiosyncracies...also tend to mandate this sort of examination.

I suggest taking a look at the FAQ for whatever version you used, as well as reviewing any forums which may exist for said product.

Louis

FWIW: When trying to resolve doubts about drive functionality...chkdsk is inferior to hard drive manufacturer diagnostics. And the short diagnostic is inferior to the long diagnostic, if both a long and short are available.

Edited by hamluis, 08 January 2011 - 11:47 AM.


#3 hedera

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 12:58 PM

Thanks for your response, Louis. It looks like I leaped to some unjustifiable assumptions. I did SO hope I'd be able to restore my box without the extremely tedious process of reinstalling and reconfiguring everything. But when I tried to do the restore this morning it was clear that it's just not gonna produce a usable system. :thumbdown:

Back to the drawing board, and a week or so of trying to get back where I was. I will never buy another H-P box. Two hardware failures within a year (power supply died in July), and impossible tech support. I've been using computers with hard drives since the PC XT in 1982, and this is the first time I've had a drive fail, or a power supply for that matter.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 02:33 PM

Well...I'm no expert but it cocurs to me that PSUs and hard drives are the two most likely components that I would expect to fail, over a period of years. It's not the end of the world when human artifacts prove to be less than immortal or free of failure when one considers the expected useful life of such.

Louis

#5 hedera

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 03:02 PM

You're right of course; the absence of drive failures all these years probably means I was lucky... Guess it's my turn in the bucket.




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