TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

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TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby KennethNC » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:40 am

Some assistance please... New machine, Win10 X64, BitLocker encrypted primary partition (of 3 total, with EFI System & Recovery), running TBwinRE from USB flash drive. Long time user of older version of IFD for back up & restores on Vista/Win7 machine. I intend to use the TWwinRE environment for key backups (full disk at minimum) and all restores.

Issue 1: IFW prompts for license information every time it executes from the UFD. I ran the first build immediately after installation and before running IFW from Win10. I re-ran the TWwinRE build process after starting IFW from Win10 and entering the license information at the prompt. I have also updated the TBwinPE.ini file to include the name & key. How do I make the TBwinRE IFW load stop prompting for license information?

Issue 2: IFW under TBwinRE will not obtain a lock (attempting a full disk backup, the only type so far) unless I check "aggressive lock on retry. I am using the TBwinRE environment for this process specifically to avoid lock issues. Any idea why it has lock issues and what steps I might take to avoid them?

Issue 3: Grossly excessive space consumed by the (aborted) backup. Total space (per Disk Mgmt) for all 3 partitions is 38.8 GB. I aborted the full disk backup after it consumed 92.2 GB of space on the external USB drive (out of space). The only options I selected for the backup were Validiate and Byte-by-Byte, Unused Sectors was NOT selected. I believe "Enhanced Speed A" was selected for compression. Is this a consequence of BitLocker encryption? If not, ideas about the cause?

Thanks for your insight...
KennethNC
 
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Re: TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:39 am

Issue 1:

I assume you're using IFW 3.12 (note that V3 keys are a different format that V2 keys).

After booting to the TBWinRE UFD, what license data is in the IFW.INI file located in the IFW folder (X:\Program Files\TeraByte Drive Image Backup and Restore Suite)? Is it correct?

It shouldn't be necessary to update the TBWinPE.ini file manually. One of the steps of the build wizard prompts for the license info. Does it show the correct info there?

Issue 2:

A normal lock won't work if anything is using the partition. This can be because of BitLocker or could just be an open file, Command Prompt open on it, etc. Is everything closed when you start the backup?

Issue 3:

If the partition is encrypted and it's not unlocked then the backup will be the size of the partition (it can't see the data to only back up used space). With BitLocker, you would normally unlock the partition and then create the backup using the "Read from Volume" option. See this KB article: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=616
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Re: TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby KennethNC » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:49 pm

Paul...Thanks.

Issue 1: Yes and No. The license key is correct, the user name is NOT correct. I updated the user name in the TBwinRE environment, started IFW and was still prompted. I exited the environment and the correction remained. I restarted the TBwinRE environment and the incorrect value reappeared. I corrected the value from Windows, recreated the UFD, restarted the environment and the INCORRECT value was present. Where is IFW storing that value and how do I get it corrected?

Issue 2: I completely shut down the machine before booting to TBwinRE. As soon as the launcher is present I start IFW. The only things running at that point are TBwinRE and BitLocker(?). Is there any conclusion that can be drawn? The image process proceeds after I check "aggressive lock on retry". Is there any downside at all to having to take that action?

Issue 3: BitLocker?!? It's a new machine and that's new technology. I discovered that BitLocker is not yet activated so I don't know what impact that has. I read and re-read the KB article. Very helpful but leaves me significant uncertainty, especially vis-a-vis full disk backup & restores. Here are the steps I need to take, perhaps you can provide some enlightened guidance.

== a. I want a full disk image of the machine as it sits (minimal setup, factory partitions) as a recovery point and want to feel confident I can get that restored if necessary.

== b. I want to split the Windows partition (BIBM? for which I have a license) so I have a large block of space for data that will not change frequently and can be excluded from the routine image process. I am not sure how the presence of BitLocker affects this activity.

== c. I want another full disk backup as a recovery point before I start loading the machine for normal use.

When I reach the point of backing up and/or restoring the Windows partition (BitLocked or not), I think the KB article will provide sufficient guidance.

Thanks again for your insight.

Ken O.
KennethNC
 
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Re: TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:23 pm

Issue 1:

Can you verify that you're using TBWinPE/RE Builder to create the TBWinRE build? You didn't say if, when you recreated the build, what Builder showed for the license was correct. Is this step of the wizard turned off? There is an option in Settings, General tab, "Skip license step if license format appears valid" -- is it unchecked? For the Builder build, the license is copied from TBWinPE.ini (Name-V3, Key-V3). For the script build, the license is copied from the LicenseV3.ini file.

Can you try a default build? Download the tbwinre.zip file and extract it to a new folder (e.g. C:\TBWinRE). Then run TBWinPE.exe and create the TBWinRE build. Check the license details and don't change any options.
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downlo ... bwinre.zip

Issue 2:

If BitLocker isn't currently turned on (no encryption on the system) then it shouldn't be getting in the way on the lock. In my experience, using the aggressive lock in this type of scenario does cause any issues -- it's not like a running system. Does the issue go away if you wait a few minutes before trying to start the backup?

That being said, you stated that the backup you tried to do before was coming out very large. This seems to indicate that BitLocker may be enabled. Can you verify it one way or the other? When you're selecting partitions to back up in IFW, does it show "Bitlocker" on any of them? In Windows, does File Explorer show the "lock" icon on the Windows (C:) drive?

A screenshot of what Disk Management shows and one of what IFW shows might be helpful.

Issue 3:

a. If BitLocker isn't used, then just take a normal backup of the entire disk. This can be from TBWinRE or from Windows. If BitLocker is used, then you would want to use VSS in Windows or the "Read from Volume" option in TBWinRE.

b. If BitLocker isn't used, you can resize the partition with BIBM or you can shrink it using Disk Management in Windows. If BitLocker is used then you would want to do this in Windows (don't use BIBM).

c. This would just be another full disk backup created at that point -- same as "a".
Paul Purviance
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Re: TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby KennethNC » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:41 am

Once again...many, many thanks Paul.

Issue 1 (Repeated prompt for license in IFW under TBwinRE): Consider this resolved. I again recreated the boot image using the same process as before (Start Menu option IFW-Create Recovery Boot Disk). I unchecked the "Skip license step..." option, valid values were displayed during creation, and the resulting boot UFD no longer prompts for license information. I don't know why this got so sideways. The process seemed to ignore corrected values and revert to previous, incorrect values in TBwinPE.ini. Forcing it to display the license dialog during the build seems to have eliminated the issue.

Issue 2 (IFW unable to obtain lock under TBwinRE w/o "aggressive lock" option): Also resolved (?). A backup with the most recently created boot UFD did not display this issue. I did, for the first time, use the "Read From Volume" option for this backup. Yes, BitLocker is active for the volume (Disk Management verifies this status), although the BitLocker control panel applet indicates it is "waiting for activation", meaning no keys have been established. Again, this is a brand new machine.

Issue 3 (Grossly excessive backup size): Resolved, clearly the result of BitLocker being active in some form on the Windows partition. Using "Read From Volume" on the most recent back provided clear evidence as that being the cause of the problem.

I need to make a call about using or disabling BitLocker. It's usefulness is unclear and it seems to introduce significant complexity in when performing full disk restores.

Is the following true? A full disk restore under TBwinRE with one BitLocker protected partition, from a Type A backup (taken under TWwinRE using "Read From Volume"), will result in: (a) the BitLocker partition being present but the data being NOT encrypted, regardless of whether the partition was locked or unlocked when the restore starts (requiring the data to be completely re-encrypted); (b) BitLocker being completely absent on that partition if "Delete Restore Destination" is specified, requiring BitLocker to be re-enabled and the date to be complete re-encrypted.

Once again, I express my sincere thanks for your time and guidance.

Ken O.
KennethNC
 
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Re: TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:35 pm

KennethNC wrote:
>
> Issue 1 (Repeated prompt for license in IFW under TBwinRE): Consider this
> resolved.

I'm curious what the difference was with the incorrect "name" data. Was it a typo or typo-type issue (not something odd like invalid characters or garbage characters, etc.)? Depending on what state the saved data was in when you disabled skipping, it may have reimported it. Otherwise, I don't really see why it would change. I assume it asked the first time you ran Builder just after installing IFW since you hadn't run IFW yet and entered the key there.

> Is the following true? A full disk restore under TBwinRE with one
> BitLocker protected partition, from a Type A backup (taken under TWwinRE
> using "Read From Volume"), will result in: (a) the BitLocker
> partition being present but the data being NOT encrypted, regardless of
> whether the partition was locked or unlocked when the restore starts
> (requiring the data to be completely re-encrypted); (b) BitLocker being
> completely absent on that partition if "Delete Restore
> Destination" is specified, requiring BitLocker to be re-enabled and
> the date to be complete re-encrypted.

Both (a) and (b) restore types would be the same result. The partition would need to be re-encrypted after restoring if you want it encrypted. It's not possible to restore those types and keep the encryption intact so it doesn't matter if the partition was unlocked first or if "Delete Restore Destination" was used.
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Re: TBwinRE & IFW Multiple Issues

Postby KennethNC » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:04 pm

> I'm curious what the difference was with the incorrect "name" data. Was it
> a typo or typo-type issue (not something odd like invalid characters or garbage
> characters, etc.)? Depending on what state the saved data was in when you disabled
> skipping, it may have reimported it. Otherwise, I don't really see why it would
> change. I assume it asked the first time you ran Builder just after installing IFW
> since you hadn't run IFW yet and entered the key there.

The invalid name value was entered by me during the initial build of the TBwinRE UFD (yes, before running IFW under Windows for the first time), no garbage data just user error. As I said, at one point I realized my error and updated TBwinPE.ini, only to have the bad value reappear there after a build attempt ('skip' still enabled). I saw no pattern in the behavior. Before the final, successful build I checked the value in the .ini file and it was correct and was correctly displayed after I disabled the 'skip' option. No clue. It works now.

And to repeat....sincere thanks.
KennethNC
 
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