Restoring images to fix Windows 10

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Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby tooney » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:56 pm

I have questions about restoring images.
I have used Image for Windows for years to backup images on my Windows 10 computer. I have never needed to restore an image.
I have created a recovery boot disk on CD using TBWinRE. The backups I have created are full backups of the entire hard drive. The backups are made with the validate option.
I have read the IFW manual.

I have never manually changed partitions on the disk drive. The partitions are either what was on the computer when I bought it, or created by Windows upgrades. The computer was upgraded over the years from Windows 8, to 8.1, to 10. The partitions that exist are EFI, primary windows partition (C:), and four OEM partitions including Windows RE tools and Recovery.

My questions concern how to choose which partitions to restore in order to repair Windows 10.

1. If I encounter problems with the Win 10 operating system on the computer and want to replace it with a good version from an image backup of the same Win 10 version number such as v1909, what partition(s) should I restore?

2. Is it better/safer/more reliable to restore just the Windows system partition, or all partitions on the drive from the image backup?

3. Any reason to restore the EFI partition along with the primary windows partition?

4. Do I need to worry about or take action to deal with partition size differences between what is on the image backup and those on the drive, or will IFW take care of that?
tooney
 
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:50 pm

1. You would normally want to restore the following partitions: EFI System, Windows partition, WinRE/Recovery partition (the most current one if multiple exist). Since your backups are of the entire drive, the easiest restore would likely be to restore the entire drive.

2. Often it's fine to just restore the Windows partition. It really depends on what happened that caused the restore to be needed. If the drive is being replaced then you'd want to restore the entire drive. If you installed a program that caused issues and you want to roll back then restoring the Windows partition is usually sufficient.

3. The EFI System partition contains the booting files. It would be required if not already existing, too old, corrupted, etc. If you're restoring to the same drive (or an empty drive) you can usually select to restore both the EFI System partition and Windows partition in one restore operation.

4. If you restore the entire drive image, the restored partition sizes will be the same as when backed up (assuming no scaling) -- existing partitions will be deleted. If you restore single partitions, the default is to restore as the same size, but some may resize if required. For example, if you want to restore an older Windows partition that is larger than the existing one because Windows upgrades have resized it smaller for new WinRE partitions, that will usually work okay (a message is displayed if it won't fit). However, for those types of changes it may be best to restore the entire disk image so the partitions and their contents match the Windows being restored.
Paul Purviance
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby tooney » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:41 am

Paul:
Thank you for your reply.
In reading other posts on the forum, I saw some discussion about using validate and validate byte for byte options during backups and during restores.
In the past I have made backups using the validate option only.
The post I read recommended using both the validate and the validate byte for byte options when doing a restore. I think the idea was that using both would somehow prevent or warn about corruption during a restore operation before the target files were overwritten.

What are the differences between the two validation options?
What is the advantage/need for using both at the same time?
If I validate when creating a backup, is it good practice to also validate (and validate byte for byte) during a restore from that image?

Not having experience with the reliability of restores, if I need to do one I want to do whatever gives me the best chance of success. Thank you.
tooney
 
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby TeraByte Support » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:23 am

https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=350


On 1/16/2020 7:41 AM, tooney wrote:
> What are the differences between the two validation options?
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby fairlane32 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:49 pm

I'm going to echo tooney's question but in my case my problem is trying to backup an image from a Dell AIO Optiplex. In the past I've used (dare I say it, Ghost :shock: ) and have been for years, but recently, a colleague of mine and myself have determined that Dell must have done something different with their BIOS because trying to restore an image to a new Dell, taken from another Dell, broke something with the partitions because upon reboot I get an error 'no bootable media found.' After trying different settings within the BIOS (turning off UEFI etc) and enabling Legacy ROMs etc, it still doesn't recognize the NVMe drive in the machine, even though during the restore process Ghost told me it was successful in laying down the image. Even contacting Dell the technician told me because of Windows 10, I have to leave UEFI enabled, the Boot Sequence should list Windows Manager (it doesn't) on both machines, and then try to back up the image again. Naturally, they told me since they don't know how third party backup and imaging software works, they don't support those apps, because they can sometimes break during the restore/backup process. Now I'm stuck with a dead Dell AIO that doesn't boot unless I have an external bootable USB stick of Windows 10 on it. I'm hoping that IFW won't cause these corruptions if I break it out and attempt to clone these Dells I have. :(

P.S. Forgot to mention that I think the reason the pc "broke" is because at one point I said let's try to start from scratch, do a clean install of windows, from the usb stick, and when the Windows Setup displayed, I deleted all the partitions (that I've always done in the past) because I like to use the whole drive when imaging a pc. I believe that Dell's EFI partition got deleted and that's why I can't boot normally from the internal NVMe drive.

Philip
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby TeraByte Support » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:59 pm

Maybe a brief description of how UEFI is supposed to boot will make
help. Presuming normal UEFI system with GPT.

UEFI looks for the EFI System partition type (normally FAT32), and boot
the file found at \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI (EMT64T/AMD64/x64) or
\EFI\BOOT\BOOTIA32.EFI (x86) or \EFI\BOOT\BOOTIA64.EFI (IA64) (etc..)

That is the basic spec which should always work and why your backup
better contain that partition and why you should just do an entire drive
backup/restore unless you know what you're doing.

Beyond that UEFI allows "Boot####" items or as I call them "Boot Items"
(sound familiar), anyway, those can point to their own file in whatever
partition (or can be firmware specific paths). That feature isn't
required to be supported.

In practice, many UEFI implementations are flawed and don't work right
handling BOOT#### entries, but in the end, the basic boot method should
always be available.

Once the \EFI\BOOT\XXXX.EFI file takes over, which is typically OS
specific (other then shims which just point to a OS specific .EFI file),
it handles booting the OS and each OS can have unique requirements, MS
uses the BCD to point to what it should boot (this can be GUIDs or IDs
and such so where not unique can cause confusion, which is why in the
Win10 versions it will set one "offline", bringing it online will change
the GUIDs/IDs making any BCD references invalid, which is why you have
those options to change them when restoring (in case you plan on both
drives being attached at the same time)).





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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby fairlane32 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:13 pm

Well, as I suspected, using IFW to backup an image from a Dell and lay it down was successful, according to IFW. But upon reboot, the new Dell still tells me there's no bootable media. I don't understand why this PC won't boot. the NVMe drive is seen in the BIOS under Drives, and IFW sees it in the program, so why upon reboot am I getting this error? If anyone has any idea feel free to let me know before I call on Dell to replace this AIO, that's brand new, out of the box. If you need screenshots, can I post them here? Is that allowed?
fairlane32
 
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby TeraByte Support » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:44 pm

Go to the BIOS and ensure booting UEFI mode if using GPT and select the
device to boot from the list. If it's not there, choose option in BIOS
to reset to defaults.


On 2/3/2020 2:13 PM, fairlane32 wrote:
> Well, as I suspected, using IFW to backup an image from a Dell and lay it down was successful, according to IFW. But upon reboot, the new Dell still tells me there's no bootable media. I don't understand why this PC won't boot. the NVMe drive is seen in the BIOS under Drives, and IFW sees it in the program, so why upon reboot am I getting this error? If anyone has any idea feel free to let me know before I call on Dell to replace this AIO, that's brand new, out of the box. If you need screenshots, can I post them here? Is that allowed?
>
>

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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby fairlane32 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:07 am

TeraByte Support wrote:
> Go to the BIOS and ensure booting UEFI mode if using GPT and select the
>
> device to boot from the list. If it's not there, choose option in BIOS
>
> to reset to defaults.
>

I've tried that. Resetting the BIOS to defaults does nothing to fix it. I don't recall if I created the image using GPT. I believe it was MBR. What's bizarre is when I attempt to do a clean install from a USB stick, I do NOT get the windows 10 setup screen, I actually get the internal drives image to pop up. What the hell?
fairlane32
 
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Re: Restoring images to fix Windows 10

Postby Brian K » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:33 am

fairlane32,

When using the Win10 UFD, in the BIOS Boot Menu do you see one or two entries for the UFD? Is one entry preceded by UEFI?
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