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Ghost + Windows 7 Questions! (Read 30298 times)
Dan Goodell
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #30 - Nov 13th, 2009 at 8:40am
 
Brian wrote on Nov 12th, 2009 at 5:35pm:
I assume Dell Win7 computers don't have the 100 MB System Reserved partition. Is there any advantage in having this partition? I make sure it is not present.

Well, now that you mention it, I'd better check again.  Dell's Vista systems have the typical tiny DellUtility partition at the front of the disk.  I took a look at two Dell Win7 machines for customers recently and the partition layout appeared to be identical to the Vista layout.  I had forgotten about Win7's System Reserved partition, so didn't look too closely and just presumed the tiny partition was DellUtility.  I'll be prepping another new Dell/Win7 box for another customer next week, so will take a closer look.

To the best of my knowledge, the System Reserved partition has only two purposes: to allow BitLocker to be used on the Windows partition, and to provide a "safer place" for the Recovery Environment files.  (That's where you get to if you press F8 at boot time and choose "Repair my computer".)

In order to encrypt the Windows partition with BitLocker, you understandably have to have unencrypted access to some place from which you can load the BitLocker driver/program.  IOW, you can't encrypt the entire hard disk ... hence, the minimalist System partition.  In a BitLocker'd system you would begin booting from the unencrypted System partition, it would load the encryption driver, and you'd then have access to the encrypted Boot partition.

The rub is that BitLocker is only available in the Ultimate and Enterprise versions of Windows 7.  So for 99% of us, BitLocker isn't an option--and thus isn't a legitimate excuse to saddle us with a System Reserved partition.

As for the Recovery Environment argument, note that you'll still have a RE with or without a System Reserved partition.  The RE files are put on the System partition, so if you do not have a separate System Reserved partition you can still press F8 and boot into the RE, be the RE files will end up coming from the same partition as Windows.

It's possible the RE might be slightly less vulnerable to corruption or viruses if it's on a different partition--especially when that partition has its drive letter removed (as is the case during a normal Windows 7 bootup).  But I doubt it's really much of an advantage because it's a lot more difficult for a virus to infect the RE than it used to be.  The RE is no longer a bunch of files sitting on your hard drive, it's actually a partition image (another .wim file).  In essence, when you boot the RE I believe you're booting into a virtual drive that is "restored" on demand from the .wim image.  I think it would be pretty difficult to infect the operating system contained in that image.

And of course, for frequenters of this forum the RE is even less useful because we make backup images of our OS ... who needs a RE when we can just restore our OS from a backup image?

So, the advantages of having a System Reserved partition are, IMHO, minor or insignificant, while the disadvantages are:
  • it takes up a slot in the partition table,
  • to backup your OS you have to capture two partitions instead of one, and
  • if you restore to a different DiskID or different partition layout it becomes a lot harder to control the drive letter of the Windows partition (because the System partition may want to become "C").




 
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #31 - Nov 13th, 2009 at 2:04pm
 
Dan,

Many thanks. We are on the same wavelength.

I've installed Win7 (several times) into unallocated space so I could play with the SRP. I've been using the following methods to successfully remove it.

1. Use a VistaPE boot CD to COPY, not move, the contents of the SRP to the Win7 partition. A BartPE CD can be used instead.
From a BING CD, delete the SRP. In View MBR, set the Win7 partition active. Win7 then boots normally.

2. Delete the SRP from a BING CD (it can't be deleted from Windows). In View MBR, set the Win7 partition active. When you try to boot you will see a "BootMGR is missing" message.

Do two repairs from the Win7 DVD. It is only on the second repair that you will get to a large menu where you can choose "Startup Repair". Win7 then boots normally.

 
 
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Bill Mullin
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #32 - Nov 16th, 2009 at 9:18am
 
It's the 16th, Ghost 15.0 is supposed to be out today - please let me know if/when anyone sees copies for sale.

- Bill
 
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Bill Mullin
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #33 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 8:42am
 
This is interesting - Symantec's web page still has no information about Ghost 15, but there is one seller on eBay that is selling the product.  Click here to see his ad.  FWIW, I was going to send him a message asking if he actually had the software in stock, but in drilling down through his canned answers to questions, I found that he is not accepting questions at this time!

- Bill
 
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Brian
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Pleonasm
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #35 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 7:20am
 
The Symantec website for Norton Ghost 15 lists this feature...

Quote:
Windows® 7 support including support for Bitlocker™ provides enhanced data protection through drive encryption and integrity checking.


...but the User Guide says...

Quote:
If you use Microsoft's BitLocker Drive Encryption to encrypt the data on a data drive (any drive that does not have the operating system installed on it), be aware that Norton Ghost does not work with locked data drives. Instead, you must unlock the bitlocked drive before you can backup it up.


So, does Symantec support the backup and restoration of an encrypted system drive?  For a non-system drive, is Symantec saying that the drive must first be "mounted" before the backup occurs?

More information on this feature would be appreciated by any in this forum community....
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Bill Mullin
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #36 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 12:10pm
 
Brian - thanks for the links!  Here's the another one, a $20 saving for those upgrading to 15.0:

http://shop.symantecstore.com/DRHM/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayProdu...

- Bill
 
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John.
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #37 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 2:19pm
 
Norton 15 is available today, according to Symantec:

http://www.symantec.com/norton/ghost

Some of the new features:

  • NEW! Cold Imaging lets you back up files without installing Ghost.
  • NEW! Blu-ray Disc support lets you to back up large amounts of data to high-capacity Blu-ray Disc — up to 25 GB per disc (50 GB dual layer).
  • NEW! Windows® 7 support including support for Bitlocker™ provides enhanced data protection through drive encryption and integrity checking.
  • NEW! Symantec ThreatCon integration leverages intelligence from Symantec’s industry-leading security research organization to automatically backup files whenever ThreatCon reaches a specified threat level.

 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Bill Mullin
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #38 - Nov 24th, 2009 at 12:54pm
 
I downloaded the trial version of Ghost 15 and have spent the last 4 hours putting it through its paces on my new Win7 PC.  So far it is working great!  The only problem I have is that an ISO file is required in order to make a bootable CD.  The trial version did not include this ISO file, so I can't test this aspect of the software.  If anyone has a link to the ISO file, please post it here.  OR - if you have the file and will make it available for download, I'd greatly appreciate it.  FWIW, I don't think this violates the trial license as the program will still go belly-up in 30 days!   Grin

Thanks, Bill
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #39 - Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:01am
 
Dan,

I looked at a Dell Win7 (64 bit) computer today. There was an OEM partition, around 70 MB which I assume is the Dell Utility partition. Next was the Restore partition, around 7 GB, which in Disk Management showed as Active, System. Next was the OS partition. This looks like a backup nightmare with the boot files in a 7 GB partition.

I'm going to clone his HD and experiment with the new HD to see how to safely move the boot files into the Win7 partition. Any suggestions?
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #40 - Dec 1st, 2009 at 2:07pm
 
OK. It is easy to copy boot files from the Recovery Partition and make the Win7 partition as System, Active.
 
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #41 - Dec 2nd, 2009 at 8:23pm
 
Brian wrote on Dec 1st, 2009 at 2:07pm:
It is easy to copy boot files from the Recovery Partition and make the Win7 partition as System, Active

So which files did you copy, Brian?  Was that all it took (that, plus marking the Win7 partition 'active' in the partition table)?  Did you have to edit the BCD store?

BTW, I did take another look at Dell's Win7 configuration and confirmed what you said -- Dell is indeed making the Recovery partition the 'System' partition, although 'C' is the Win7 partition!  So it's not the same way they did their Vista systems, even though the partition sizes and layout appear similar.

Boy, that's really going to mess up a lot of people.  Dell has come up with some real blunders in the last few years when it comes to the design of their factory recovery system, but this one takes the cake.  A lot of tech-savvy users simply blow away the factory recovery partition, figuring they don't need it because they've got their own partition imaging program (Terabyte Image, Ghost, TrueImage, et al).   These are the users who generally know what they're doing around computers, but a lot of them won't realize that was the System partition they blew away.

Even if they notice the split System-Boot partitions, I wonder if it's even going to be enough to backup the pair.  If you're copying to a new disk, or readjusting partition sizes, or any of a number of other actions that may cause the partition signatures to change, Windows has to rebuild the partition signatures.  The System partition normally becomes 'C' by default, not the Win7 partition, and then all he** would break loose.

I suppose it's just a matter of time before we see forelorn visitors wandering into this and the Wilders forums, looking for answers why their time-tested backup/restore technique failed them on their new Dell/Win7 computers.




 
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #42 - Dec 2nd, 2009 at 9:13pm
 
I tried various methods but this is the easiest. David from TeraByte was most helpful. I'll include small details in case others would like to try.

From Win7, open Regedit, under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, unload BCD00000000 from the registry by highlighting it, click File/Unload Hive, Yes - or the following boot files will be in use and won't copy.

In Disk Management, right click the Recovery Partition, click Change Drive Letter and Paths..., click Add, dot in Assign the following drive letter, OK.

In Folder and search options, View tab, put a dot in "Show hidden files, folders and drives". Also, remove the tick from "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)". OK.

In Computer, Recovery Partition, right click to copy the "Boot" folder and "bootmgr" and paste them into the C: drive. (Copy, not Move these files)

In Folder and search options, View tab, put a tick in "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)". OK.

In Disk Management, right click the Recovery Partition, click Change Drive Letter and Paths..., click Remove, Yes.
In Disk Management, right click the C: drive, click Mark Partition as Active, Yes.

Restart the computer with a BING CD in the drive. In BING, do a BCD Edit on Win7.

All fixed. Instructions for a BCD Edit are....

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=318
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #43 - Dec 3rd, 2009 at 12:17am
 
Dan,

TeraByte doesn't like the two partition setup either. He recommends creating an image of the System Reserved Partition or the Recovery Partition, once only. If you have to restore to a new HD, restore the Recovery Partition first (or the SRP) and then the Win7 partition but to use the /ubp switch.

"   /ubp     This option updates any references to the restored partition in the active boot partition on the target drive. This is useful for situations where the boot partition differs from the system partition. However, you typically wouldn't want to use this option if you're creating a copy of an existing partition you want to keep, unless the target drive will be independent of the original drive. For this to be useful, the active boot partition should already be on the target drive or part of the same copy or restore operation."

I don't think Ghost 15 has this option.
 
 
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Re: Ghost + Windows 7 Questions!
Reply #44 - Dec 5th, 2009 at 11:46am
 
@
Brian

Quote:
OK. It is easy to copy boot files from the Recovery Partition and make the Win7 partition as System, Active.

Well....*Yes* and *No*!

Many folks *freak out* as soon as the see:

Quote:
open Regedit, under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, unload BCD00000000 from the registry by highlighting it, click File/Unload Hive, Yes

And, if there's more than two steps--that's another *show stopper*  Wink !

Seems like there are more and more *confounding variables* that can create a *gotcha*!

This thread here:  Ghost 2003 and Windows 7/Windows XP Pro Dual Boot problem.  It sent me to this website:  A Guide to the Multiboot Process.  I then started reading about how Vista's (and I assume now Win7's) Master Boot Region (MBR) is laid out here:  Vista's New Partitioning Rules.

Quote:
For nearly 30 years there has been a standard to the way basic partitions have been organised and positioned on the common IDE/SATA hard drive. In coming years the continuing expansion of drive sizes is going to mean a change to hard drive geometry that will force the old standards of partitioning to be updated. Microsoft have agreed to help facilitate this change by making Vista ready for the new drives. Partitions created by Vista are using new rules that are not entirely compatible with all previous versions of Windows or most current third-party tools for partitioning, imaging and cloning. Some third-party vendors are trying to catch up and are releasing “Vista Compatible” versions, but at least two that I know of have been premature in this claim.


The above is the opening paragraph--the rest of the page is very informative and explains more of the issues involved in how the new Microsoft OS's will create boot problems depending on what your setup is and what tools (imaging software) you may use!

It looks like that unless an imaging tool preserves both the *disk ID* and the MBR layout, the new boot files will cause boot failure!

Brian, have you ever noticed if either Ghost or TeraByte's Image for Windows that are certified to work with Vista (and now Win7) have the capability of preserving both the MBR layout and the disk ID if the MBR was originally created by the current Vista (or Win7) partitioning tool, and you have created an image file, and finally you are attempting to restore that image file to a new blank HDD after a HDD failure?

I know that you usually pre-partition your new HDDs with older partitioning tools (or, at least I think I've seen that's your usual way of doing things) so as to not have that newer MBR that Vista's partitioning tool creates--initially that appears to automatically break Vista's and Win7's ability to successfully boot--will *always* have to do some type of boot file repair!

I've never seen a *new* version of PartitionMagic that can create the *new* MBR--do you know if any of the current imaging programs create partition offsets using those new standards?

Have you seen any discussions about this?

@
Dan Goodell

Feel free to jump in here if you have any insights or information!

I wonder at what size HDD these new standards will become mandatory?!

Or, is it going to be a change in the HDD geometry to improve HDD performance--and not so much the HDD size?



 

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No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are Wink !
 
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