Requesting advice on which Restore option to use


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Cliff_G
Cliff_G
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I need some help navigating the options to copy some files between computers.

So far I have used Macrium for just image backups and the occasional restore.  I now have to send my newer (Win 10) computer away for repair and use my old backup (Win 7) computer in the interim.  I have Macrium licences for both.

They both have the OS on C: partition, current data on E: and archive on F: (E: and F: are partitions of the same single hard drive on each computer, E: and F: are empty on the old computer and large enough to hold the data amount E: and F: from the new computer)

I can't copy C: drive across (by Re-deploy?) as the old machine's hardware will not support W10, but anyway it has a functional Win 7 and all needed apps on it and can serve in the interim.

So I simply want to copy the data from E: and F: drives from my backups to the old computer E: and F: drives.  They are all slightly different sizes.

As a relatively basic user of Macrium, as far as I can see (and have tried):
1.  I cannot use image restore, unless there is some "by file" option I cannot find. (If I try I get "Nothing Copied: Too many primary partitions", which I don't quite understand)
2.  I cannot use File and Folder restore as my current backups are in image format
3.  I could use File and Folder restore but would first need to create a File and Folder type backup
4.  I could mount the backup images and do a file/folder copy in Windows Explorer.  I am not sure if I can Verify this.

I am concluding 3. at present, mainly due to the Verify capability.  I will also need to do the reverse when I get my W10 computer back, hopefully changes will be confined to just the E: drive.

Does anyone more familiar with Macrium have any pointers?

Many thanks




jphughan
jphughan
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Mounting the image backups and copying files would work, but if you truly want to restore the full contents of those partitions onto the other system, then it definitely isn't an efficient choice.  In terms of the optimal solution, if you're encountering that error it sounds like you're trying to restore the entire disk image.  There isn't a "by file" option in the image restore wizard, but there is definition a "by partition" restore option to allow you to restore only your E and F partitions from your image backups.  (The error about too many partitions is likely because your new PC's disk is set up using the GPT partition layout style to support UEFI booting and also has more than 4 total partitions, counting hidden partitions.  That's perfectly fine for GPT disks, but your older Win7 system is very likely set up using the older MBR partition style, and MBR has a limit of 4 total partitions unless you jump through some hoops.)

To restore only your E and F partitions, click Restore Image, then at the first step of the wizard, instead of simply clicking Next, drag the E partition from the Source row down over the existing E partition on the destination that you want to overwrite, and then do the same for F.  This assumes that the existing partitions on the Destination that you wish to overwrite are already larger than the total USED size of the E and F partitions in the image backup.  If so, then this drag and drop method will restore only the partitions you want, overwriting all data currently on the target E and F drives.  Then you could do the exact same thing when you get your other PC back by restoring an image backup captured from this older PC you'll be using in the interim.

If you're still stuck, it would probably be helpful if you posted a screenshot of the first step of the restore wizard while it's showing your Source disk (the image you're restoring) and the CURRENT state of the Destination disk that you want to restore onto.  You can use the Snipping Tool in Windows to capture easy screenshots.

Edited 3 April 2021 8:50 PM by jphughan
Cliff_G
Cliff_G
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Thanks for your reply.

Your explanation in para 1 makes sense, there are indeed a bunch of partitions, >4, on the new machine

Re. para 2, I thought I had tried that but will check again tomorrow and come back here to say whether it's successful or to ask further

Cliff_G
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OK, that worked fine, partition restore currently running. Not sure why it didn't when I tried first couple of times I tried. User error no doubt.

Thanks.

Cliff_G
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Cliff_G - 4 April 2021 10:28 AM
OK, that worked fine, partition restore currently running. Not sure why it didn't when I tried first couple of times I tried. User error no doubt.

Thanks.

So, after testing as above, I went ahead and did the production transfer at known status, so I can send my new computer away, and ran into a problem.

The E: and F: drives (only) restored from new Win10 to old Win 7 machine OK by the above drag and drop method.

However, and this is reproducible and happened on the testing but I ignored as a fluke, whilst E: and F: are restored fine, the Win 7 machine receiving them then will not boot. It goes through the initial boot from BIOS but then goes looking presumably on the C: drive for the next bootstrapping element and cannot find it.  The screen sits there, black and blank, with only a flashing underline cursor about 3 lines down, keyboard and mouse completely unresponsive, just before the Starting Windows splash screen.  Needs a long-press power switch to get out of that.  However, if I then restore a C: drive backup for that old computer, it boots OK.

So something in the E: and F: drive restore seems to be messing with the MBR or similar?

Anyone seen this / user error? / or should I report it as a bug?

jphughan
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When you restore the C drive backup, are you performing a drag and drop restore to bring back only the C partition, thereby preserving the E and F partitions you had already restored?  Or do you mean you're restoring the entire image backup of the disk that contains your C partition, thereby overwriting everything currently on disk?  Maybe screenshots of your disk's partition layout in its bootable and unbootable states would be useful here.  I can't immediately think why restoring data partitions would render your Windows environment unbootable unless maybe it had some low-level dependency on an application that was installed on the partitions you overwrote when restoring E and F.  Did you try running the Fix Boot Problems wizard in the Rescue Media environment?

Cliff_G
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jphughan - 8 April 2021 5:18 PM
When you restore the C drive backup, are you performing a drag and drop restore to bring back only the C partition, thereby preserving the E and F partitions you had already restored?  Or do you mean you're restoring the entire image backup of the disk that contains your C partition, thereby overwriting everything currently on disk?  Maybe screenshots of your disk's partition layout in its bootable and unbootable states would be useful here.  I can't immediately think why restoring data partitions would render your Windows environment unbootable unless maybe it had some low-level dependency on an application that was installed on the partitions you overwrote when restoring E and F.  Did you try running the Fix Boot Problems wizard in the Rescue Media environment?

I am not restoring the C: drive at all, since the new machine (which I have to send away for repair) is Win 10, and my old, backup machine is Win 7 and not capable of W10 (I've tried).  As above, on both machines, I have OS on C:, current data on E: and archive on F:  So I only need to (/ can) restore the new machines E: and F: drive, all the apps on my old machine are the same. Copy email profile folder across and I have a fully and identically working machine.

Each of E: and F: on the old machine had a restricted folder System Volume information on them before I restored.  Maybe these contain C: drive info as well.

Didn't try Fixboot, I'm not that familiar with all of the Macrium / recovery tools, but can look at that if it happens again.

jphughan
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First you said that if you restore a C drive backup of the old computer, it works fine. Now you’re saying you’re not restoring C at all?
jphughan
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To clarify, here is my understanding of your setup and your scenario:
  • Before you had to prepare to send your Win10 system back, you had two systems.  One was a Win7 system with C, E, and F partitions all on the same physical disk.  And the other system was a Win10 system with its own C, E, and F partitions all on the same physical disk.  For disambiguation, from this point on I'll call those partitions Win7C, Win7E, Win7F, and Win10C, Win10E, and Win10F.
  • Since your Win10 system had more recent data and you had to get ready to send it away, you restored your Win10E and Win10F partitions onto your Win7 system.  So after that operation, your Win7 system contained Win7C, Win10E, and Win10F.
  • Above, you noted that after you performed that restore, your Win7 system would no longer boot.  But then you said, "if I then restore a C: drive backup for that old computer, it boots OK."
  • So here is my question.  Which of the two scenarios below accurately describes the restore operation you performed?
    • You used the drag and drop method to restore ONLY an earlier backup of Win7C partition on top of your existing, unbootable Win7C partition, leaving the Win10E and Win10F partitions on the disk?
    • OR, you restored your entire Win7 system image backup to your Win7 system, overwriting ALL existing partitions on the disk, including the Win10E and Win10F partitions you had previously restored?
I realize that you did not try to restore Win10C onto your Win7 system.

But if what you did was Scenario #1 above, then I don't see the problem.  You've got your Win7 OS running again and still have the Win10E and Win10F partitions available.  If on the other hand you had to go with Scenario #2 to wipe out the entire Win7 system's disk to get a working system, and then it broke again after you restored Win10E and Win10F over the corresponding, Win7E and Win7F partitions that you had just restored again, then once again I'm not entirely sure what's going on there.  I thought that maybe Win7C had some dependency on some data that exists in Win7E or Win7F but does NOT exist in Win10E or Win10F

Cliff_G
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jphughan - 8 April 2021 5:56 PM
First you said that if you restore a C drive backup of the old computer, it works fine. Now you’re saying you’re not restoring C at all?

What I am trying to achieve was described in my topmost post above.
I am not trying to restore the C: drive from the W10 machine to the W7, only the E: and F: drive images, which comprise data only.
The way I recovered from the problem is I restored a (previous) C: drive backup from the W7 machine (to the W7 machine)

Edited 8 April 2021 6:49 PM by Cliff_G
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