Does a rescue disc/media have to be made on the target computer


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M MacKenrick
M MacKenrick
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I'm trying to help my brother with a problem with his computer.  His computer will not boot to windows, (gets a blank screen after inputting his user name).  He now wants to try to restore his computer using his latest backup but his rescue media (usb flash drive) is apparently damaged and does not work.  Is there a way of downloading the files to make a rescue media or does the rescue media have to be made on his computer?  As you can see we are both not very knowledgeable about how to use Reflect.  He is using a Dell desktop computer with Windows 10 (upgraded from Windows 7) and Reflect 7.  Thank you.
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The answer is a bit complex.  Rescue Media should be made on the computer its intended to be used on.  This has the highest degree of making Rescue Media that loads all the necessary drivers for your system.  However, it's possible to use Rescue Media made on a different PC on another machine.  Yet, there may be problems.  For instance, I tried using Rescue Media on a new Dell XPS 8930 that was made on an older Dell XPS.  This 8930 was the first one I had with an SSD and the old Rescue Media, when booted, would not recognize the SSD as being connected.  Once I made new Rescue Media on the 8930, the SSD was recognized.  And when I tried booting this Rescue Media on the 2nd generation of Dell's 8930, it recognized the SSD.


So, here's what I'd try in this situation.  I'd try installing Reflect (Possibly Free Edition.) on a 2nd PC and create Rescue Media on it.  Then, I'd try booting that Rescue Media on the old machine.  If it boots, make sure Reflect recognizes all attached drives.  All mechanical HDD's, SSD's, flash drives, USB drives, and optical drives.


This does present a new opportunity worth exploring.  When you create new Rescue Media to flash drives, you might want to think about creating ISO files of the Rescue Media, too.  This way, you can burn new optical media with existing Rescue Media files or use something like Rufus to "burn" the Rescue Media ISO to a bootable flash drive.  And you can keep an archive of ISO's, or at least the most recent one, on hand for cases like this.


If you update to Reflect 8, it has the ability to image bootable flash drives, like Rescue Media.  As long as the Rescue Media isn't too full, keeping an archive of Rescue Media flash drive images would also help in a situation like this.

M MacKenrick
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dbminter - 21 November 2021 12:42 AM
The answer is a bit complex.  Rescue Media should be made on the computer its intended to be used on.  This has the highest degree of making Rescue Media that loads all the necessary drivers for your system.  However, it's possible to use Rescue Media made on a different PC on another machine.  Yet, there may be problems.  For instance, I tried using Rescue Media on a new Dell XPS 8930 that was made on an older Dell XPS.  This 8930 was the first one I had with an SSD and the old Rescue Media, when booted, would not recognize the SSD as being connected.  Once I made new Rescue Media on the 8930, the SSD was recognized.  And when I tried booting this Rescue Media on the 2nd generation of Dell's 8930, it recognized the SSD.


So, here's what I'd try in this situation.  I'd try installing Reflect (Possibly Free Edition.) on a 2nd PC and create Rescue Media on it.  Then, I'd try booting that Rescue Media on the old machine.  If it boots, make sure Reflect recognizes all attached drives.  All mechanical HDD's, SSD's, flash drives, USB drives, and optical drives.


This does present a new opportunity worth exploring.  When you create new Rescue Media to flash drives, you might want to think about creating ISO files of the Rescue Media, too.  This way, you can burn new optical media with existing Rescue Media files or use something like Rufus to "burn" the Rescue Media ISO to a bootable flash drive.  And you can keep an archive of ISO's, or at least the most recent one, on hand for cases like this.


If you update to Reflect 8, it has the ability to image bootable flash drives, like Rescue Media.  As long as the Rescue Media isn't too full, keeping an archive of Rescue Media flash drive images would also help in a situation like this.



M MacKenrick
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Thank you for the information.  I'll send him your reply.  I'll suggest he try making rescue media from his laptop and try it on the desktop he is having problems with.  He lives in Virginia and I'm in Missouri so I'm trying to help him over the phone and email, which isn't making it any easier.  If the rescue media made from his laptop doesn't work, is there some other way he can restore his computer?   I forgot to mention that the Reflect image is on an external hard drive in case that makes any difference.
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If the Rescue Media doesn’t work, you might have to manually add drivers to the Rescue Media, which would involve identifying which devices need drivers and where to get them. To help with that, click the Restore menu and select View Unsupported Devices. Then grab a screenshot of that by clicking the camera icon in the taskbar and choosing to save it to your flash drive.

But if you’re restoring onto a laptop and the backups are on an external drive as opposed to on a network device that would require Rescue Media to support the laptop’s network adapter, then there is a very good chance that “foreign” Rescue Media will work just fine here.
capair45
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Rescue media built on one PC is not necessarily guaranteed to recognize all the hardware on a different PC. When you create rescue media for one computer, files that are specific to that machine are copied over. These files may or may not be useful on a different machine.

Also, I'm wondering if there might be any EULA considerations here.  It's not entirely clear but if a user has the free (unpaid) version installed on a non-booting desktop and creates rescue media from a licensed (paid) laptop, should that rescue media be used on the non-booting desktop?  I would think that if both machines had paid versions of reflect then there would be no conflict.  Just curious.


Windows 10 Home (21H1)  Build 19043.1889
Macrium Reflect 8.0.6867
Windows Defender
Malwarebytes Premium 4.5.10


Edited 21 November 2021 1:02 PM by capair45
dbminter
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There is, also, one final nuclear option.  If Rescue Media created on one PC does not start properly on this PC that is being attempted to restore from, you can always use the Windows Media Creation Tool from Microsoft to make Windows installation media to a flash drive.  You can then reinstall Windows and then install Reflect.  Create new Rescue Media on the PC where Windows has been reinstalled and test it.  Then, if it works, restore the image you have of this PC.  Hopefully, you backed up ALL the partitions necessary: the EFI one, the MSR one, the Windows partition, and the WINRETOOLS one, at least.  So, be sure to restore all the partitions since you reinstalled Windows.  You may also have to run Fix Boot Problems after doing this, too.

dbminter
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M MacKenrick - 21 November 2021 3:46 AM
Thank you for the information.  I'll send him your reply.  I'll suggest he try making rescue media from his laptop and try it on the desktop he is having problems with.  He lives in Virginia and I'm in Missouri so I'm trying to help him over the phone and email, which isn't making it any easier.  If the rescue media made from his laptop doesn't work, is there some other way he can restore his computer?   I forgot to mention that the Reflect image is on an external hard drive in case that makes any difference.

I had a similar problem, only worse.  A friend of mine in Canada had to get a whole new PC because he couldn't get his working anymore.  He never took images or backups, so, for Christmas this year, I sent him a WD My Passport USB HDD.  I then directed him to the Free Edition of Reflect.  However, his bootable media never worked.  You can imagine the problem trying to fix boot problems from another country!  You can't see his screen and there's little way to get reliable screenshots other than a blurry smartphone.


I eventually gave up as he never tried to fix the problem, actually.  Despite my repeated attempts to get him to do SOME kind of backup, he hasn't done it.  I can't help that.  I made the effort.  He said he'd try to get his wife to troubleshoot the problem as she's better with computers than he is.  I mean, he never even wrote down any errors messages, if there were any, or explained precisely what "failed" meant.

M MacKenrick
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Thank you jphughan.  That's great information.  He can try that if he can't get the one made on his laptop to work (haven't talked with him yet this morning). 

dbminter, thanks for the information.  I'm really hoping he can find some way of getting the Reflect rescue media to work but as you say, as a last resort he at least has the option of reinstalling Windows and reinstalling Reflect.

capair45, Both his laptop and desktop have the paid version of Reflect 7 and since he's trying to fix a problem with a corrupt/damaged Rescue that he made on the paid version, to fix the same computer, I would think that there would not be any EULA issue, but that is just a guess on my part. 
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M MacKenrick - 21 November 2021 4:53 PM
Thank you jphughan.  That's great information.  He can try that if he can't get the one made on his laptop to work (haven't talked with him yet this morning). 

dbminter, thanks for the information.  I'm really hoping he can find some way of getting the Reflect rescue media to work but as you say, as a last resort he at least has the option of reinstalling Windows and reinstalling Reflect.

capair45, Both his laptop and desktop have the paid version of Reflect 7 and since he's trying to fix a problem with a corrupt/damaged Rescue that he made on the paid version, to fix the same computer, I would think that there would not be any EULA issue, but that is just a guess on my part. 

...Both his laptop and desktop have the paid version of Reflect 7 and since he's trying to fix a problem with a corrupt/damaged Rescue that he made on the paid version, to fix the same computer, I would think that there would not be any EULA issue, but that is just a guess on my part...

Yes, I would agree with that.

Windows 10 Home (21H1)  Build 19043.1889
Macrium Reflect 8.0.6867
Windows Defender
Malwarebytes Premium 4.5.10


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