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Restoring a windows partition - switching drive letters and getting it to work


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#1 MC_Kejml

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:40 AM

Hello,

 

due to a recent Windows 8.1 update, my boot partition C: was rendered unusable. Luckily, I had a backup from a month ago on an external drive. I tried restoring it by Easeus ToDo backup, but it got stuck at 68% several times. I managed to salvage all the data from the backup by partial restores, so I have the whole partition back on my hard drive.

 

Meanwhile, I installed a fresh Windows 8.1 instance on my C drive. I had the restored backup of my old Windows on drive E. I was able to boot into it, but it did not let me use my profile I used before the crash - files there was mapped to a C: drive, including the users directory (when I moved the E:/users directory into C:/Users, I was able to sign under my profile, but everything else, it being mapped to the C:/ drive, didn't work).

 

So, I was thinking about switching the drive letters. The C: letter can not be switched using diskmgmt, and I also tried to work with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices. While I was able to switch some drive letters around on non-bootable partitions, changing the letter on my E:/ drive caused it to not boot anymore, serving me a "Critical device failure" error.

 

I am at the end of my rope here. I was thinking about installing windows to a new partition, and forcefully copying the whole backup there, I dunno. Could someone help me out, please?

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:57 AM

Have you checked the drive itself for errors?

 

Personally, if you have your data backed up to another device I would wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. This would require you to reinstall all your programs and this may not be an option for you. Trying to change drive letters in a Windows install leads to a lot of problems. There are just too many registry entries that go back to the original drive letter.

 

I managed to salvage all the data from the backup by partial restores

 

How did you manage this. Usually there is one disk image file to restore. It either restores successfully or doesn't. You can mount the disk image as a virtual drive to pull off data but I never did that to restore a partition.


Edited by JohnC_21, 06 July 2018 - 10:02 AM.


#3 MC_Kejml

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:21 AM

Have you checked the drive itself for errors?

 

Personally, if you have your data backed up to another device I would wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. This would require you to reinstall all your programs and this may not be an option for you. Trying to change drive letters in a Windows install leads to a lot of problems. There are just too many registry entries that go back to the original drive letter.

 

I managed to salvage all the data from the backup by partial restores

 

How did you manage this. Usually there is one disk image file to restore. It either restores successfully or doesn't. You can mount the disk image as a virtual drive to pull off data but I never did that to restore a partition.

Hello,

 

I did that as the first thing and ti seems to be alright. I am mainly trying to prevent reinstalling everything, because I had a lot of custom configurations.

 

As for salvaging the data, I just recovered part after part of the backup, as a virtual drive, like you say.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:30 AM

I know your pain. It's too bad Easeus was not able to recover the image. Do you verify the image after creation? Hopefully somebody else can provide an answer regarding drive letters but from my experience trying to do it only leads to more problems. 

 

If you have reinstalled I would definitely check your hard drive using Seatools for Windows. Do the short and long test. It would also be a good idea to check your memory with memtest86. I would also use Seatools to check the drive you created the Easeus image to.

 

https://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/seatools-win-master/

 

https://www.memtest86.com/

 

There is a free version of memtest.



#5 MC_Kejml

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 03:20 AM

I know your pain. It's too bad Easeus was not able to recover the image. Do you verify the image after creation? Hopefully somebody else can provide an answer regarding drive letters but from my experience trying to do it only leads to more problems. 

 

If you have reinstalled I would definitely check your hard drive using Seatools for Windows. Do the short and long test. It would also be a good idea to check your memory with memtest86. I would also use Seatools to check the drive you created the Easeus image to.

 

https://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/seatools-win-master/

 

https://www.memtest86.com/

 

There is a free version of memtest.

I did not verify the image, I thought it would be alright. Well, lesson learned.

 

I checked the external disk and while it succeeded on the short test, the long got stuck at 18%. Bad news.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 06:51 AM

Failing a long test is bad news. I would backup any important data on the USB external first.

 

I forgot to mention if this external is a WD they have their own test.

 

https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?h=p2&ID=940&lang=en&p=236

 

If a Seagate you can use GsmartControl and run the program. Look for any red rows under the Attribute tab. Run the short and long tests.

 

https://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.io/home/index.php/Downloads

 

You may want to try a different USB cable if available. Some externals allow you to pull the drive to test as the USB bridge card could be defective but many portables now have the USB bridge card integrated into the drives PCB with the USB connector soldered to the PCB. And even with some of the WD external desktops it's not possible because of a proprietary bridge card that encrypts the data.


Edited by JohnC_21, 07 July 2018 - 06:52 AM.


#7 MC_Kejml

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 05:46 AM

Failing a long test is bad news. I would backup any important data on the USB external first.

 

I forgot to mention if this external is a WD they have their own test.

 

https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?h=p2&ID=940&lang=en&p=236

 

If a Seagate you can use GsmartControl and run the program. Look for any red rows under the Attribute tab. Run the short and long tests.

 

https://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.io/home/index.php/Downloads

 

You may want to try a different USB cable if available. Some externals allow you to pull the drive to test as the USB bridge card could be defective but many portables now have the USB bridge card integrated into the drives PCB with the USB connector soldered to the PCB. And even with some of the WD external desktops it's not possible because of a proprietary bridge card that encrypts the data.

I will definitely try another cable. And the WD tests (the external is a WD). I will reply here once I know more.






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