Macrium Support Forum

Is it necessary to include the non C: drive partitions in an image (see screenshot)

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic44578.aspx

By geronimo1958 - 18 February 2021 2:52 AM

I currently have two Samsung 250GB SSD's in a RAID0 configuration using the Intel RST built into my ASUS Maximus V Gene (UEFI AMI BIOS).  This configuration is getting rather old.  I have made images (stored on an external USB disk and on my FREENAS server).  But I have only been including the C: drive.  Is the other partition needed?

Also.  If I were to clone this array to a single SSD would the system have enough info run without RAID (since it will be only one disk).
By Beardy - 18 February 2021 5:35 AM

Is the other partition needed?

In the normal course and on an MBR setup, not strictly, although if you ever have boot problems you'll be very glad it's there, since it's where the (Windows) recovery tools live. Occasionally it's also the active partition, why Windows can't be consistent I'm not sure, in that case leaving it off will require fixing boot issues after a restore.

On the other hand it's small, so including it has little penalty.  Windows can be made to function without it, or even installed without, though feature updates are quite likely to re-create it by shrinking C to make space if you do waste the effort forcing the issue, at least, unless you have enough partitions defined Windows can't make a new one. Under which circumstances it finally proves it actually can live in one partition on a BIOS/CSM - MBR system.

Also.  If I were to clone this array to a single SSD would the system have enough info run without RAID (since it will be only one disk).

If you clone it to a non-raid disk, Windows will *usually* have drivers to run normally in AHCI mode, it's going the other direction that usually causes issues (switching *to* RAID) if there are issues, usually you can set the controller to RAID mode regardless of not creating an array, boot & fix the situation. Alternatively using re-deploy (in the paid reflect version) will often sort such issues as may arise going either direction.

If you clone then such a clone will obviously still be an MBR disk, meaning you'll have to boot in CSM/BIOS mode rather than native UEFI, unless your motherboard has a strictly BIOS mode which hides that it's UEFI capable, Microsoft are either actively blocking or threatening to block future feature updates, so you'll ideally be wanting to convert to native UEFI boot.

Personally rather than cloning I'd image, then restore to a GPT disk & fix up booting in UEFI mode, as outlined in the Knowledgebase here that does involve extra (but small) partitions ahead of the system one which are required, I'd also stage the restore adjusting the properties (size) of the system (C) partition before dragging down the recovery partition after it, that way you can avoid wasted space at the end of the drive.
By jphughan - 18 February 2021 5:39 AM

That other partition is the Windows Recovery partition.  It's essential if you're using BitLocker, which you're not, and it can be useful for other purposes.  Given the fact that it's small and doesn't change often, I'd suggest including it.  Systems that boot in UEFI mode have multiple hidden partitions that ARE boot-critical, and some systems that boot in Legacy BIOS mode have a different partition layout that includes a System Reserved partition before the Windows partition.  Yours has the older layout that doesn't.  But my general guidance for capturing images of OS disks for system restore purposes is that you should start by including all partitions and only omit the ones that you have a specific reason for excluding -- such as a Data partition that you created and may be backing up separately -- rather than starting with only the partitions that you think are needed.  It's just good risk management strategy.

Incidentally, Reflect helps with this by offering the button that says "Create an image of the partitions needed to back up and restore Windows".  You'll find it in the upper-left corner of the interface under "Backup Tasks".  That will open the imaging wizard with that partitions that fit that description pre-selected.  That should be considered your minimum viable backup for system restore purposes.  You can add partitions/disks to that if you want, but I wouldn't subtract anything that's selected upfront.

In terms of your RAID question, yes you can restore that onto a single SSD.  You might need to run ReDeploy if you no longer have a RAID controller active though, since Windows will need to be set up to load a different driver at startup.  But if you keep the Intel RST controller active by leaving your motherboard in RAID mode -- which is perfectly fine to do even when using a single disk -- then you wouldn't even need to do that.  Just restore onto the single disk and you're good to go.
By Seekforever - 18 February 2021 2:49 PM

I always include the other partitions to avoid the "wonder if" syndrome.  You know, when something doesn't work the first thing that you think is, "I wonder if I need the others?". They are small and are not really much of a penalty as was said.
By geronimo1958 - 20 February 2021 11:10 PM

Beardy - 18 February 2021 5:35 AM
Is the other partition needed?

In the normal course and on an MBR setup, not strictly, although if you ever have boot problems you'll be very glad it's there, since it's where the (Windows) recovery tools live. Occasionally it's also the active partition, why Windows can't be consistent I'm not sure, in that case leaving it off will require fixing boot issues after a restore.

On the other hand it's small, so including it has little penalty.  Windows can be made to function without it, or even installed without, though feature updates are quite likely to re-create it by shrinking C to make space if you do waste the effort forcing the issue, at least, unless you have enough partitions defined Windows can't make a new one. Under which circumstances it finally proves it actually can live in one partition on a BIOS/CSM - MBR system.

Also.  If I were to clone this array to a single SSD would the system have enough info run without RAID (since it will be only one disk).

If you clone it to a non-raid disk, Windows will *usually* have drivers to run normally in AHCI mode, it's going the other direction that usually causes issues (switching *to* RAID) if there are issues, usually you can set the controller to RAID mode regardless of not creating an array, boot & fix the situation. Alternatively using re-deploy (in the paid reflect version) will often sort such issues as may arise going either direction.

If you clone then such a clone will obviously still be an MBR disk, meaning you'll have to boot in CSM/BIOS mode rather than native UEFI, unless your motherboard has a strictly BIOS mode which hides that it's UEFI capable, Microsoft are either actively blocking or threatening to block future feature updates, so you'll ideally be wanting to convert to native UEFI boot.

Personally rather than cloning I'd image, then restore to a GPT disk & fix up booting in UEFI mode, as outlined in the Knowledgebase here that does involve extra (but small) partitions ahead of the system one which are required, I'd also stage the restore adjusting the properties (size) of the system (C) partition before dragging down the recovery partition after it, that way you can avoid wasted space at the end of the drive.

Thanks for the info.