ReDeploy


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Caledon Ken
Caledon Ken
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I doing some investigation into having a system hard down and how I would recover. This morning I asked about Macrium licensing, lots of good discussion, thanks. 

So the next issue then is how to restore an image on new hardware. I was reading the Redeploy instructions and would like to ask the following.

In the ReDeploy instructions it talks to adding drivers. I was wondering would it not be easier to complete the install of Windows on the new hardware, create new Macrium Rescue media with the appropriate drivers and then boot the rescue media and Select the ReDeploy option to restore the image?

A follow up question - as the Windows licensing servers won't acknowledge the new hardware with the old license from the Image how does this work. Will windows just be smart enough to look in UEFI Bios and pull the new machine license?

As always thank you. Always good information
jphughan
jphughan
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I'm not 100% sure on this, but I don't think that auxiliary drivers loaded into Rescue Media can be used for "injection" into the Windows environment that's being ReDeployed.  To my knowledge, ReDeploy will search the driver library of the Windows environment that's being deployed to see if it has native support for the new hardware, and otherwise you'll be prompted to supply said drivers.  However, ReDeploy also only concerns itself with boot-critical hardware.  The idea is that you'd ReDeploy your system just to get Windows to start properly, and once you're in Windows you'd install all other appropriate drivers for you new hardware within Windows.  So if you're dealing with Windows 10 (rather than trying to ReDeploy an old Windows version onto modern hardware), you may not need to provide any drivers for boot-critical devices at all.  As to whether it would be easier to just build Rescue Media on the new PC prior to restoring the backup you intend to ReDeploy, that may vary from person to person.  That sounds like a lot of extra time to me, but then again I'm perfectly comfortable downloading driver packages from vendor websites and extracting them to folders.

In terms of licensing, that can be an issue, and Reflect makes no attempt to deal with it (nor would they likely be allowed to for Microsoft licensing reasons).  If the new PC has a license for the same version and edition (Home vs. Pro) that you just restored, you should be fine since Windows will see that that hardware contains a license.  If there's an edition mismatch, that won't work.  If however the Windows license you ReDeployed was linked to your Microsoft account, then you can reassign that license to your new PC, at which point the old PC would fall out of activation if it's still running.  But if you had an OEM license on the old system and no license at all on the new one, perhaps because you built the new one out of parts rather than buying from a vendor that included a license, then you'd probably have to buy a new license, since the source system's OEM license would not be transferable.

Edited 21 September 2020 8:14 PM by jphughan
Caledon Ken
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Thank you. 

I'm not as comfortable as a lot come as exe and so where would I run the routine not wanting to mess up another device. Would you mind sharing how you handle an exe type driver install package? 

I thought the drivers were so the rescue media could actually find the device you intend to boot from so you could restore Image to it. What you called boot critical. 

On two occasions I've just taken disks from one W10 machine and installed in another, goofing around. Assuming  they are both booting the same, say legacy, it has booted and windows has filled in the blanks. 

I guess I was using the cheap and dirty ReDeploy. My new goal is to have a well document process that I know would work. I'm recommending Macrium to one person shops like accountants and don't want to have to reinstall years of software. 

Your answer, as always is very informative, no short cuts, thanks.


jphughan
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If your drivers are provided as EXEs, then you'd need a way to extract the actual INF files out of them.  Some vendors like Dell and Lenovo provide driver packages as EXEs but include the option to simply extract the driver packages, in which case that's what you would want.  If your EXE installers don't offer that, it becomes rather more difficult.

There are two completely distinct cases where drivers and Rescue Media come into play.  One is to allow Rescue Media to see and work with the necessary hardware on your system.  Those drivers are loaded and used within the WinPE/RE "mini-OS" environment that Rescue is running, for the specific purpose of allowing Reflect to work with that hardware in that environment.  That has nothing to do with ReDeploy.

The second case where drivers come into play is for ReDeploy.  The purpose of ReDeploy is to allow the restored Windows environment to boot on your new hardware.  That environment is of course completely separate from the WinPE/RE environment that you're running Reflect on.  ReDeploy runs within WinPE/RE, but what it's doing is reconfiguring the (currently offline) full Windows located on the hard drive so that IT will be able to boot properly on this new hardware.  Sometimes it's possible to just transplant a hard drive or image backup into a new PC and have Windows boot on that new hardware without any fuss.  But that isn't a guarantee.  Basically, when Windows is first installed, it performs a full hardware enumeration and records some details about what devices are there and therefore what drivers need to be loaded to allow it to boot.  And then to save time on all subsequent boots, it just assumes that all of that hardware will still be there and that those drivers will still be the correct ones to load.  In most cases, that's a valid assumption since relatively few people transplant whole Windows environments to different PCs.  But of course that's exactly what you'd be doing here, and in THAT scenario, Windows might blue screen trying to start because it's loading an incorrect/incomplete driver set for the hardware it's now trying to start on.  Windows does NOT automatically correct itself in those situations.  That's what ReDeploy is designed to deal with.  So when you run ReDeploy, it looks at the hardware of the system it's running on and then reconfigures the Windows environment installed on the target drive to load the appropriate drivers for that new hardware.  If that Windows environment already has drivers appropriate for all of that hardware in its library, then it's easy because ReDeploy just says, "Make sure you load this driver at startup now, instead of this other driver for your previous hardware environment."  But if Windows does NOT currently have appropriate drivers for your new hardware in its library, then ReDeploy will ask you to provide them.  In this case, the drivers you're providing are NOT so that the Rescue environment can work with your hardware, but rather so that ReDeploy can inject them into the restored Windows installation to allow IT to work with that hardware properly.

Does that clarify things?

Edited 21 September 2020 10:07 PM by jphughan
Caledon Ken
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Very clear, thanks. 
Rootman
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I had a rather length posting with someone on this forum before on a similar request. I've restored Win 10 image taken from different hardware using Macrium reflect and another image software at work and had amazing luck with them working just fine as is.  Windows 10 provides an amazing array of drivers.  Once up and running I visited the manufacturers site and got more up to date or hardware specific drivers.  

The last one I did was my media server.  It's a bear to setup again so I was not looking forward to doing it.  The original was like 8 years old and was getting a bit old to do what I needed it to do.  I had a Win 10 1909 on it that was updated from Win 7 years ago.  It was time to replace it, so I created a MR image, swapped the hardware out, booted to the same MR recovery ISO and it saw the disk.  The old OS was legacy boot and thankfully the new hardware still could do that.  I restored the image, Windows came up after setting up some new hardware and started up fine. I then used a program to change it to EFI booting so next time I would be all set  I seriously doubt my next new hardware will do legacy boot.

EDIT: I just remembered, I had an issue with the primary partition being activated.  Seems that MR didn't do it on the new hardware. The disk was previously used as GPT / EFI and swithing it to legacy just didn't work.  I manually activated the boot partition and it came up fine.  

As long as the recovery media can see the disk it should be able to write the image and Windows 10 is amazing at running on dissimilar hardware and coming up. This is unlike Windows 7 and earlier versions.  Of course being different hardware I had to reactivate Windows.  There you had to stick pretty close to the same 'family' of processors or it would BSOD on boot.  

I've used another imaging software at work and actually put the exact same image on old desktops and laptops, some of a different brand and all came up well enough to get online and update drivers.  So, I'd give it a try and see if it works. .  
Edited 23 September 2020 6:17 PM by Rootman
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