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Windows PE query


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#1 zzzz

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:51 AM

Will I need separate Windows PE on three rescue media flash drives when I am imaging:-

 

HDD 1  Win 10, 64 bit

HDD 2  Win 10, 32 bit

HDD 3  Win 7,   32 bit

 

I have at the moment the three Windows PE on one rescue media flash drive which I am now worried about it being wrong.

 

I have the three HDD images on one external drive too - is OK?

 

Also apparently I need the Windows PE drive to be formatted to contain the MBR - must there be three of these for each of the three images or will just one, on a completely separate drive be OK? 

 

Advice appreciated.


Edited by zzzz, 31 January 2016 - 11:50 AM.
Moved from All Other Apps to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 12:08 PM

What program did you use to image the hard drives? These 3 hard drives are on three separate computer's?



#3 zzzz

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 05:39 PM

Thanks for responding.

 

I'm using Macrium Reflect and the 3 HDDs are on 3 computers with those differing OSs etc.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 06:07 PM

You only need the one Macrium WinPE disk you create in the program. You can image each drive to a separate folder on the one external drive. Name each folder so that you can easily recognize which computer it is for. When you boot the Macrium WinPE make sure it detects your hard drive including the external drive.



#5 zzzz

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 07:11 PM

Thanks. So only one Win PE is required for differing Windows OSs and bit sizes. This is good news.

 

Now what about formatting 'the' or 'a' flash drive so that it has a MBR to boot the WinPE? Will one MBR setup do for all 3 HDDs? Does it need to be on the same flash drive which has the WinPE or can it be on a separate one plugged in , alone, and the differing bit sizes will have no bearing?

 

The Macrium website instructions don't go into all this as they seem to assume that one is only imaging one computer but as I have 3 and wish to put away these images for possible future use I don't want to waste more flash drives doing nothing than necessary.

 

Perhaps I can put the WinPE and the MBR on the same external drive which has the 3 images? If so does the position order matter?

 

Hope this isn't getting too fiddly!



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 08:21 PM

I would qualify that if the CPU of the computer is only 32bit then I am not sure if the WinPE disk or USB created on a 64bit will boot. You should check how the PE disk boots on all computers.

 

Now what about formatting 'the' or 'a' flash drive so that it has a MBR to boot the WinPE? Will one MBR setup do for all 3 HDDs? Does it need to be on the same flash drive which has the WinPE or can it be on a separate one plugged in , alone, and the differing bit sizes will have no bearing?

 

I am not sure what you are trying to do. The program will automatically create the bootable WinPE USB or disk. There is no need to put a MBR on it. That is done by the program. When you create a disk  image with Macrium it automatically backs up the MBR (or GPT ) of the hard drive to the image. When you restore the image, the MBR is written to disk. That is why you can restore the image to a clean blank drive and it will boot.



#7 zzzz

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for those clarifications.

Now as you said:-

"The program will automatically create the bootable WinPE USB or disk." is interesting as during the imaging set up a message appears which gives an option to include this. I opted to do this but after the imaging a message pops up saying you haven't created the PE and do you want to! Thinking this may be a different thing I did so.

 

Also in the extensive Macrium user info it says:-

 

"To use a USB stick as a boot device, Windows requires a Master Boot Record (MBR) however some USB sticks are shipped without one and with just a single partition. The USB stick, therefore, needs formatting but the standard Windows format option does not prepare the disk correctly as it does not create a master boot record.  You therefore need to prepare the USB stick using other tools, for example, Windows diskpart." Well nor on an external drive but they don't mention that.

 

(Actually from this I should have known at least that if done it would work on all my HDDs so my query on this is irrelevant.) 

 

If I view the external HDD under Disk Management there is no MBR partition there altho there are the 3 images so I'll make one on a USB stick.


Edited by zzzz, 01 February 2016 - 10:15 AM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 10:53 AM

I am not sure why that is. You can create a bootable CD from Macrium and a USB flash drive too.

 

You can see from this link that Macrium will automatically create a USB flash drive that is bootable. Try it and see if you can boot. For Windows 7 you want PE 3.1

 

http://www.macrium.com/help/v5/How_to/Rescue/Create_a_Standard_Windows_PE_Rescue_Environment.htm



#9 zzzz

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 11:18 AM

Before I started this post I had already made a Win 10 Rescue PE 64 bit ( when I was imaging my 64 bit computer) on a flash drive and so wondered if that alone would suffice for all my other HDDs.

 

I also have a bootable CD made on my old XP computer somewhere but I won't try that.

 

Thanks again for all your input on my queries  - I think I can proceed OK and I'll test out the bootability of what I have. Perhaps I'll never need to use any of it! Insh'Windows. (Apologies to the Prophet.)



#10 zzzz

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 11:25 AM

Before I started this post I had already made a Win 10 Rescue PE 64 bit ( when I was imaging my 64 bit computer) on a flash drive and so wondered if that alone would suffice for all my other HDDs.

 

I also have a bootable CD made on my old XP computer somewhere but I won't try that.

 

Thanks again for all your input on my queries  - I think I can proceed OK and I'll test out the bootability of what I have. Perhaps I'll never need to use any of it! Insh'Windows. (Apologies to the Prophet.)



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 01:29 PM

I think I understand. You were talking about a Windows System Repair Disk. I would create one from the 64bit computer and one from the 32bit computers. You can use these to do a system restore if Windows does not boot.  The Macrium PE rescue USB or CD will work on both 32bit and 64bit if all CPUs are 64bit which you should have.



#12 zzzz

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 06:30 PM

I've dug out those old CDs. One is a year old 64 bit repair disk made on a present computer so that should be OK.

 

The others are - a rescue disk Win PE , nearly 2 years old so could be either XP or Win 7, must check and two 10 year old Acronis True Image bootable disks which must be XP, all never used.






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