Image for DOS – Restoring a Full Drive Backup

This tutorial walks you through restoring a backup when the backup file resides on an external hard drive connected to your computer through a USB port. The tutorial uses the options most people select when restoring a backup. You can restore from other types of devices and use other options; please see the Image for DOS manual for complete details. Using Simple Operations mode is not shown in this tutorial. Image for DOS does not support booting on systems configured for UEFI/GPT booting (use Image for Linux, TBWinRE, or Image for UEFI).

You can restore a backup to the same drive you used when you made the backup or to a different drive altogether. When you restore a backup, Image for DOS completely overwrites the target drive—the one receiving the backup—and replaces its contents with the information stored in the backup image. The image file you use when restoring cannot reside on the target drive. In addition, the target drive must be large enough to accommodate the data from the backup image you are restoring.

While this tutorial shows using Image for DOS GUI, the steps are basically the same if using the CUI version. In Image for DOS GUI you can use both the mouse (if supported) and keyboard to interact with the program. In Image for DOS CUI use Tab and the arrow keys to select the desired option and then press Enter to display the next screen. You can press the Esc key to undo menu selections and move back to the previous menu. Even if you press the Esc key, Image for DOS remembers the selections you have already made throughout the Image for DOS session.

  1. Attach the external hard drive containing the backup image you intend to restore to a USB port on your computer. While most systems will need to have the USB drive connected before booting the Image for DOS boot media, some systems may support connecting the drive afterwards (Step 3). An internal drive can also be used for backups and may be faster.

  2. Insert your Image for DOS boot media into the appropriate drive or USB port and boot your computer. If booting from CD/DVD and your computer contains more than one CD/DVD drive, please make sure that you insert your Image for DOS bootable disc in one drive and no other CD/DVD drive contains a bootable disc.

    To boot your computer using this boot media you might need to edit your computer’s BIOS settings to reorder your drives and permit your media (CD disc, USB flash drive, etc.) to boot your computer before the operating system. As your computer begins to boot, you should see a message—before you ever get to Windows or your operating system—that tells you what key to press to enter Setup—typically the Delete key, F2, or F12. Once in the BIOS, follow the instructions provided in your BIOS to reorder the boot sequence and permit your boot media (or drive) to be examined for boot information before your hard drive. If your system starts by offering you the option to select a boot menu, you can use the boot menu to identify the drive you want to use to boot.

    Note: If your computer tries to boot from the external hard drive verify the boot order is set correctly to boot the boot media first.

  3. On the Image for DOS Select Operation screen shown below, select Restore and press Enter.

    Note: If your external hard drive isn’t attached, attach it, wait about 10 seconds, and then select Restore and press Enter. If the drive doesn't show up in the later steps you'll need to connect it prior to booting Image for DOS (Step 1).

  4. On the Restore/Select screen that appears, select an option to determine how Image for DOS handles the selection of the target drive and options:

    *  Choose Automatic if you want Image for DOS to attempt to choose the target drive and options automatically using information stored in the backup files. If Image for DOS cannot identify the target drive and options or you don't accept the suggested target drive, Image for DOS will use the Normal option and ask you to select the target drive and options.

    *  Choose Normal if you want Image for DOS to ask you to select the target drive and options.

    If you made the backup you intend to restore using Image for DOS and you're restoring back to the same drive, you can select Automatic and you won't need to perform Steps 12, 13, or 15.

  5. On the Restore From/Select File Access Method screen shown below, select File (Direct) and press Enter.

  6. On the Restore From/Select Drive Interface screen shown below, select USB and press Enter. If restoring from an internal drive or if the USB drive doesn't show up when using the USB method, select one of the BIOS options. After making your selection, press Enter.

  7. Image for DOS displays the screen shown below while searching for your external USB drive. If Image for DOS can’t find your external USB drive, see the following Knowledge Base article for suggestions: USB Drive is Not Found or has Errors when Using Image for DOS

  8. Select the USB drive and press Enter when Image for DOS finds your external USB drive and displays the screen shown below.

  9. On the Restore From/Select File Location on HDn screen shown below, select a partition on the hard drive if it contains partitions and then press Enter. If the hard drive contains no partitions, press Enter to select the drive.

  10. On the Select the backup file to restore screen shown below, browse to the backup file you want to restore and select it (if using the keyboard, use Tab to navigate to the list and then use the arrow keys to highlight the backup file). Press Enter to continue.

  11. On the Restore From/Select Item To Process screen shown below, select the drive and then press the Spacebar (or check the box) to select it. If using the keyboard, use the Down or Up arrow keys to highlight a drive or a partition to restore and press Spacebar to select the drive or partition. Press Enter to continue. Note that selecting a drive automatically selects all partitions on that drive.

  12. On the Restore To/Select Drive Interface screen shown below, select BIOS or BIOS (Direct) and press Enter.

    Note: Selecting BIOS (Direct) is faster in most cases, but, if you encounter problems using this choice, try selecting BIOS instead.

  13. On the Restore To/Select Target Drive screen shown below, select the hard drive onto which you want to restore the image you selected in Step 10 and press Enter.

  14. On the Warning screen shown below, confirm the drive or partition to replace when Image for DOS restores the image and select Yes and press Enter (or click Yes, if using a mouse).

  15. On the Restore Options screen shown below, press Enter to accept the default options and continue. For an explanation of each option on this screen, see the Image for DOS manual.

  16. Select Next to display the Summary screen, which summarizes the parameters of the restore operation you're about to perform.

  17. When you select Start, the imaging process begins, and a progress bar appears on-screen. A message appears when Image for DOS finishes, informing you that the Restore operation completed successfully.

  18. Press Enter to redisplay the main menu for Image for DOS shown below.

  19. Select Exit.

  20. When prompted, remove the Image for DOS boot media and press Enter to reboot your computer.