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Restoring OS only image to new HDD (Read 43061 times)
NightOwl
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #45 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 2:02am
 
ckcc and Brian

Based on your responses--my Ghost 2003 is not acting like your Ghost 2003--been daydreaming of what could be the difference, and suddenly Dan's comment about not knowing for sure what variables are being controlled popped into my head.

Did either of you start a disk editor in DOS and look at the MBR Sector--i.e. Absolute Sector Zero?  After using GDisk to zero out the whole HDD, I did, and sector 0 was definitely all zero's--if your HDD's had the former copy of the Partition Table--or at least some remnants of it, perhaps that explains it. 

Maybe if Ghost detects any evidence of a previous Partition Table, it will allow for using *Local > Partition > From Image* even if the Table now says all space is *unallocated*. 

Maybe an existing Partition Table that *states* that all space is unallocated is different than an all zeroed out Partition Table in the MBR!

I will have to check that option--may be a few days before I get to it however.
 

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NightOwl
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #46 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 2:08am
 
Brian

Quote:
Can't be done I'm afraid. There is no option to not backup the MBR. You only have an option at the restore stage of restoring the MBR or not.


Okay, I see where I didn't understand--you never have to ask Ghost to make a backup of the MBR which includes the Partition Table--but you do have to (well, actually *can*) make the choice when restoring an image.

So, don't have to do that first step in testing the results of attempting to restore a single partition along with a MBR of a multi-partitioned HDD!
 

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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #47 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 2:22am
 
NightOwl,

I think we have a cultural clash. Aussies usually regard “tick off” as “untick”. Not all of us, but I didn’t click with your intention. It reminds me of John Cleese’s, “The three differences between American and British people”

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Cleese



Also http://www.weblink.com.au/login/login_problems.asp?GroupID=902 ; for Tick off.

Enough semantics. I’ll try your test.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #48 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 2:42am
 
NightOwl wrote on Aug 21st, 2006 at 2:02am:
Did either of you start a disk editor in DOS and look at the MBR Sector--i.e. Absolute Sector Zero?  After using GDisk to zero out the whole HDD, I did,


No, I didn't zero the MBR.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #49 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 3:23am
 
NightOwl,

I used the same HDs as in Reply #19.

Using Ghost 10, I imaged the OS partition (5005 MB partition) writing the image to the second HD. I removed the HD and replaced it with the 20 GB HD. Using MBRWork I "Reset MBR to zero". I checked with Dan's de.exe and the MBR was all zeros. From the RE the image was restored using the usual settings including Restore MBR. The OS booted normally but there were no other partitions on the first HD.  Using a PM CD, on the first HD there was only a primary partition and the remainder was unallocated space.

I took the opportunity of again zeroing the MBR (and checking for all zeros). I tried to restore the Ghost 2003 image to Unallocated Space and as you found, it was greyed out. Clever.

 
 
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Christer
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #50 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 6:10am
 
Hi guys!

Very interesting topic which took me half an hour to read (trying to understand some of it) but I may have missed out on some details.

I use Ghost 2003 from DOS, never from the Windows GUI.

When doing a fresh installation of a system, I always create images along the way. They are created at certain stages to have an "escape route" if something should go wrong. Then I can restore the most recent image rather than starting over from square one.

In my own system, there are two hard disks:

Disk0 with C: - D: - E:
Disk1 with F: - G:

C: = boot and system partition (including program files)
D: = data partition
E: = backups of vital Ghost Images on G:
F: = backups of the data partition
G: = Ghost Images of C: ("partition to image")

If Disk0 dies, it can be restored from the contents on disk1. If Disk1 dies, it can be restored from the contents of Disk0 (except a few non-vital Ghost Images). The beauty of my "strategy" is smudged by the MBR issue but I have thought about it and came up with this simple solution:

During the installation, I only have Disk0 connected. I only create and full format C:. When the installation is finished, I shut down and connect Disk1. Next, from WinXP Disk Management, I create and full fomat the remaining partitions on both hard disks.

Now, it's time to create the first image and if that one is "disk to image", all subsequent images can be "partition to image". (The difference in size between a "partition to image" and a "disk to image" at this stage is negligible.)

With this initial image, if Disk0 should die, I would have to restore the initial "disk from image" and I have the option to adjust partition sizes (if the new hard disk is bigger or smaller or for whichever reason). Next, I would have to restore the most recent "partition from image".

I would also have to "restore" D: from the backups on F: and backup the vital Images on G: to E:.

The next time I do a fresh installation on new hardware, this small change to my strategy will be implemented and ... Lips Sealed ... I am confident that it will work.

Christer
 

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If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #51 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 6:58am
 
Couple comments on NightOwl's reply #36:

(BTW, the third link in NightOwl's index erroneously links to a description of an NTFS partition boot record instead of an MBR description.)

"The MBR used in Win95b through WinME by Fdisk was changed to function under the FAT32 file system"


I think that's technically misleading.  The MBR boot code was changed to support Int13 Extensions.  Win95b did coincidentally introduce the FAT32 file system, but the thing that makes a Win95b MBR different from earlier MBRs is its Int13 Ext support.

Int13 Extensions is a patch that manufacturers began incorporating into the bios, and which supplemented the standard Int13 functions--the set of bios routines responsible for disk drive operations.  Standard routines only addressed disk sectors in CHS (cylinder-head-sector) terms.  Int13 Ext added LBA, in which sectors are addressed by absolute sector number.  Since cylinder values can only be in the range of 0-1023, CHS terms would not allow a MBR to hand the boot process off to a partition boot record if the partition began beyond the 1024th cylinder.  In contrast, a Win95b MBR could check if the bios supported Int13 Ext, and if so, it could switch from CHS to LBA in order to load the partition boot record.  This enabled the booting of partitions beyond the 8GB barrier (1024 cylinders corresponds to about 8GB).  Note the OS and particular file system on the partition being booted is not the factor here.

Aside: whatever operating system is on the partition being booted could be designed to use LBA if the bios supported Int13 Ext, but you can't even get the OS started if the MBR can't reach it.  Read between the lines here, and you'll notice this means the pre-Win95b MBR did not limit disk sizes to 8GB, it only limited the starting point of the partition being booted to the first 8GB.  IOW, if a pre-95b MBR could use CHS to pass the boot process off to the first sector of the partition, then as the OS loads it could switch to LBA to be able to access disk space beyond 8GB.  (Incidentally, this is the source of the Partition Magic warning that a partition beginning beyond Cyl 1023 might not be bootable.)  Since the Win95b MBR could itself switch to LBA, it eliminated the requirement that a boot partition had to begin below the 8GB boundary.

"Starting with Win2000, a new MBR code was introduced with the advent of the NTFS file system."


The NTFS file system was introduced with NT.

Although this statement doesn't assert there's a cause/effect relationship here, as worded I'm afraid readers might infer there is.  The new MBR wasn't due to NTFS.  Microsoft was just streamlining and compacting the code a bit, and introducing the DiskID area.  (I've seen early references to the DiskID as the "NT Serial Number".)  The DiskID is necessitated by the NT/2000/XP operating system, not by the NTFS file system.

"Have to wonder, though, what, if any functionality is missing when using an NT system with a Win98 MBR code loader"


None.

NightOwl quoted:
"One of the first things that any PC user should do ... is to make a copy of its MBR; especially if you have more than one partition on the disk! Why? If you accidentally overwrite this sector, or are infected by a Boot sector virus, you may never be able to access some or even all of your disk again! Even the most expensive HD utility might not correctly restore the Partition Table of a multi-partitioned hard disk!"


FTR, any partition table can always be recontructed manually, as long as the partitions themselves are still intact.  And if the partitions are not intact, a backup of the partition table won't fix that.

Backing up the partition table is a good idea nonetheless, but it wouldn't be right to think you'd be left dead without it.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #52 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 7:47am
 
Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2006 at 3:23am:
using the usual settings including Restore MBR.


NightOwl,

I repeated the Ghost 10 test after zeroing the MBR with MBRWork and confirming with de.exe. But this time I didn't tick Restore MBR. The OS booted normally.

Ticked or unticked, you still get a MBR.
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #53 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 9:35am
 
Brian, based upon Reply #52, the functional conclusion is that the restoration of the MBR – when recovering the PC with a Ghost 9 or Ghost 10 image/recovery point – is not a concern, with the application handling the required actions.  In other words, in the world of Ghost 9/Ghost 10, it’s all a non-issue.

Nonetheless, I wonder:  With the Restore MBR setting “Ticked or unticked, you still get a MBR” – but, is it the same MBR?  For example, in the unticked case, Ghost 9/Ghost 10 might be installing the ‘generic’ or ‘standard’ MBR; whereas in the ticked case, the application may be designed to restore the original MBR contained in the .V2I file which (depending upon the PC’s unique configuration) might not be the same as the ‘generic’ or ‘standard’ MBR.  Could this be how it works?

One way to test this hypothesis is to repeat your procedure, but first manually add a unique byte sequence ‘signature’ into an unused segment of the MBR before creating the Ghost .V2I image/recovery point.  After setting the MBR to zero, the restore can be performed (A) with the Restore MBR ticked and (B) without that option ticked.  In the former case, your new and unique signature should be present; in the latter case, it should be absent.
 

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Dan Goodell
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #54 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 2:59pm
 
Pleonasm wrote:
With the Restore MBR setting “Ticked or unticked, you still get a MBR” – but, is it the same MBR? . . . One way to test this hypothesis is to repeat your procedure, but first manually add a unique byte sequence ‘signature’ into an unused segment of the MBR before creating the Ghost .V2I image/recovery point.


Right, that's part of what I meant earlier about controlling all variables.  But you have to be careful about what you decide is an "unused segment".  Just because a group of bytes are zero doesn't necessarily mean they're unused or optional.

The technique I often use in examinations of this sort is to change the text of one of the messages.  Most disk editors, including de.exe, show you ascii text on the right side of the display, so for example I might change the text of the "Missing operating system" msg to "Mixxing operating system".

 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #55 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 3:13pm
 
Dan, a good recommendation concerning the marking of the MBR for test purposes.

Brian, the world awaits with bated breath the results of your continued investigation . . . .
 

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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #56 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 5:18pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Aug 21st, 2006 at 9:35am:
In other words, in the world of Ghost 9/Ghost 10, it’s all a non-issue.

I agree.


Quote:
One way to test this hypothesis is to repeat your procedure,

When can I go fishing? I'll do the test today. Fishing tomorrow.

Last night I zeroed the MBR and then made a non-formatted primary partition with Partition Magic. I then checked absolute sector 0 and it was full of code. So creating partitions with PM does create a MBR. Something to remember with these tests.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #57 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 6:19pm
 
Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2006 at 3:23am:
I took the opportunity of again zeroing the MBR (and checking for all zeros). I tried to restore the Ghost 2003 image to Unallocated Space and as you found, it was greyed out.


Dan Goodell wrote on Aug 19th, 2006 at 3:55pm:
I just ran a test in which I zeroed out the MBR and then restored a Ghost 2003 partition image.  The partition table (at the bottom of LBA-0) was adjusted, but the boot code portion remained zeroes.


Dan, were you able to restore the image to Unallocated Space with the MBR zeroed?
 
 
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ckcc
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #58 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 6:44pm
 
I just realized that even though I had created my image with Ghost 2003 booted from DOS CD... I have been restoring it using Ghost 8 from Bart PE CD from a USB HD. So I repeated my tests restoring from a slave IDE drive and using 2003 from boot CD.

Local / Partition / From Image  restoring to unallocated space:

Ghost 2003: greyed out, only allows restore to existing partition
Ghost 8: will restore, but will not boot

Local / Drive / From Image  restoring to unallocated space:

Ghost 2003: restores and boots
Ghost 8: restores and boots

I also used de.exe to verify that the MBR was zeroed each time. Cool program by the way and easy to use.
 

If anything can go wrong, it already did, and you just now noticed it.
 
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Brian
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Re: Restoring OS only image to new HDD
Reply #59 - Aug 21st, 2006 at 7:50pm
 
With the original HD installed I used de.exe to edit the ascii text of the MBR. I edited "Missing" to "Mixxing".

A Ghost 10 image was taken (recovery point)
de.exe was used to confirm that the MBR was still marked
The HD's were swapped
MBRWork was used to zero the MBR and EMBR
de.exe confirmed all zeros
Ghost 10 restore with Restore MBR ticked
The OS booted normally and de.exe confirmed that the marked MBR
was
present
MBRWork was used to zero the MBR and EMBR
de.exe confirmed all zeros
Ghost 10 restore with Restore MBR not ticked
The OS booted normally and de.exe confirmed that the marked MBR was
not
present

So if you don't tick Restore MBR then you get a generic MBR. If I understand Dan correctly, this doesn't matter.

 
 
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