Longtime Terabyte user here, first time I've run into a brick wall with IFW. Please pardon any oversights in my narrative here. I have spent 2 days with Google and YouTube trying to fix this and I've lost track of the rabbit trails I've gone down.
Target system: wife's Win 8.1 ASUS GL551JW-DS74 laptop. Computer is UEFI. Boot drive C: is a 128Gb SSD. Data drive D: is a 1Tb traditional HDD. OS and programs are only on C:\. D:\ is only for data. Note that when I say "C:" here, I mean all the partitions on the SSD:
- SYSTEM (100MiB) FAT32
- Microsoft reserved partition (128MiB) GPT
- OS (106505 MiB) NTFS [the 'real' C:]
- Recovery (15370 MiB) NTFS
Backup history: faithful IFW backups of the SSD partitions ("C:"). Faithful backups of D:\ with a simple mirroring program (SyncBackFree). HOWEVER now that I'm in a crisis I realized I didn't make a recovery boot DVD on her laptop, I thought I could use the one from my Win7 laptop.
Failure event: her laptop wouldn't boot, came up with error messages about not having a boot device. Isolated the problem to a failed SSD. I bought a replacement 128Gb SSD and a simple adapter to allow plugging a SSD into a USB3 slot (for troubleshooting). The old SSD won't show up but the new one shows up fine, so I figure the original SSD died.
Restore effort: on my good Win7 laptop, I plugged in the new SSD (via the adapter) along with the external HDD that has the IFW backup images of C:. I tried to restore my IFW image of the old SSD to the new SSD. IFW insisted that the new SSD was too small, though both are 128Gb. So in desperation I un-checked restoring the Recovery partition and the restore went through. But once I installed the new SSD into her laptop, it would not boot, although it was recognized by the laptop. Windows gave an error.
I downloaded the Win 8.1 x64 install disc ISO and booted on it. The built-in repair options didn't work. Based on Google searches, I got a command line and tried to repair and then rebuild boot things (can't recall the terms now) without success.
I then spent hours researching and messing around with the SSD partitions, UEFI fixes, on and on. I'm good with the old MBR technology but new to the UEFI technology, safe boot, etc.
I used Partition Wizard Free to wipe off all the partitions on the new SSD and it showed as a single unallocated space of 111.79Gb. I understand the difference between Gb and GiB.
I found the IFW advice to use the "Compact Data" option for squeezing down the restore, but my IFW was version 2.9 something. So I bought and installed the V3 suite upgrade. Tried the restore again, using "Compact Data" and IFW still says the target SSD is too small. This time even if I un-check 1 or more of the source partitions it still won't do the restore.
So here is my current situation:
1) I don't have the OEM restore DVDs because I was relying on my IFW backups if a big failure happened
2) The target laptop's original SSD is dead and the laptop won't boot, so I can't access the built-in restore capability
3) I didn't realize that I should have made a IFW boot DVD on the target laptop back when it was healthy
4) I can't get IFW to restore the image from a partially used 128Gb SSD to a new, blank 128Gb SSD.
I can't restore my backups, and I can't reinstall Windows.
I realize I've made mistakes and I'm likely not using IFW properly. The complexity of dealing with a failed SSD in a UEFI environment is wearing me down, and I'd be very appreciative for any direction or options.
At least the good news is that her data was always on a separate drive, and I have multiple direct mirror backups of that.