A small bit of Guidance for a newbie, please


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GunnySpook
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My motherboard died. Since I was going to be buying/building a new system with a new MB, I decided to update everything, including the boot drive. It's now a 1TB NVME drive.
Fortunately, I had been making regular backups to my Synology NAS. I also was able to uncolver a Rescue disk. It was dated 4/29/16. Clearly I wasn't as diligent about updating the rescue media....

Sooo... new system build, with nvme disk, plus the other 2 disks I had in the old system. Those 2 drives were unchanged.

I was a bit 'anxious' about the recovery process, due in part to the age difference of the rescue media, plus I could never access the NAS from the PE environment. Here's what I did:

1. I accessed the NAS using a laptop connected to the network and copied the full backup (there were a couple of daily incrementals after that, but nothing of consequence on the dailys). onto a 1 TB external USB HDD.
2. I ran the rescue media on the new system with only the nvme drive connected. The other drives were disconnected. I didn't want to overwrite anything on them.
3. The nvme drive took the recovery data OK and worked!. However../..
4. When I connected the other 2 drived, they only appear as basic drives - none of the data is visible. Sad Shortcuts fail, directory searches find nothing. There's the problem,!

So I'm guessing that I should have had the additional drives connected when I did the recovery to the boot drive?

How do I rectify this? (I REALLY need the data on those drives!)

Do I just launch a new recovery directly on the current drive? If I do that, can I just restore the boot drive (with the other two drives connected) or do I now need to recover ALL the drives in the system in a new total recovery?  (I'm assuming this would still be a recovery to new hardware)

Is there any other path I should take?

Hope this is clear.

The Gunny

jphughan
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Not having those other 2 drives connected when you used your Rescue Media would not have created (or avoided) the behavior you're seeing now, and if you don't need to restore those drives in order to recover from an incident like drive failure or accidental deletion, then definitely don't run a restore to them -- although if you do in fact have backups of their contents, that could be handy as a last resort.  But before going there, what do you mean they only come up as "basic" drives?  Basic drives as opposed to what?  Did you perhaps have those drives configured as a RAID array on the old motherboard?  If so, you'd need to boot into your new motherboard's RAID controller setup interface, where it will probably recognize those drivesas "foreign disks", which means it can tell they were part of a RAID array that was configured on another system.  In that case, the RAID controller will usually give you the option to import the array and start managing the disks properly, at which point your disks will act as you expect.  If your controller doesn't have that option or your new motherboard doesn't support RAID, then to my knowledge there isn't a way to access those drives.  Maybe if it was a RAID 1 and you only had 1 disk connected you might be able to read it, but I've never tried that.

If you didn't have RAID enabled at all, please post a screenshot of how Reflect sees all of your disks under its "Create a backup" tab.  Knowing how your system sees these disks will help diagnose and hopefully resolve the issue.  To capture a screenshot, use the Snipping Tool included with Windows.  To post it here, click the Insert button under the box where you write your post and click Insert Image.

Edited 21 December 2017 3:28 AM by jphughan
jphughan
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In addition to the above, And if after solving this you want to resolve the issue about accessing your NAS from Rescue Media, I'd be happy to help with that.  First off, since this recently came up here, be aware that the Rescue environment does not support WiFi; it only supports wired Ethernet adapters.  This is a limitation of Windows PE, not Reflect.  If that's not the issue, then it still shouldn't be too difficult to figure out what's going on once this more pressing issue is resolved. Smile

GunnySpook
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jphughan - 21 December 2017 3:24 AM
Not having those drives connected when you used your Rescue Media would not have created (or avoided) the behavior you're seeing now.  But what do you mean they only come up as "basic" drives?  Basic drives as opposed to what?  Did you perhaps have those drives configured as a RAID array on the old motherboard?  If so, you'd to boot into your new motherboard's RAID interface, where it will probably recognize them as "foreign disks", which means it can tell they were part of a RAID array that was configured on another system.  In that case, the RAID controller will usually give you the option to import the array and start managing the disks properly, at which point your disks will act as you expect.  If your controller doesn't have that option or your new motherboard doesn't support RAID, then to my knowledge there isn't a way to access those drives.  Maybe if it was a RAID 1 and you only had 1 disk connected you might be able to read it, but I've never tried that.

If you didn't have RAID enabled at all, please post a screenshot of how Reflect sees all of your disks under its "Create a backup" tab.  Knowing how your system sees these disks will help diagnose and hopefully resolve the issue.  To capture a screenshot, use the Snipping Tool included with Windows.  To post it here, click the Insert button under the box where you write your post and click Insert Image.

Never had Raid, and connection to network was always hard-wired Ethernet.

Note Drive D and E were the 2 drives not originally connected.  Drive 'D' is essentially empty, but seems to have a few fundamental folders with no content.  Drive 'E' seems to have survived.

Drive 'C' is the new nvme boot drive.

(Thanks for the help!)

The Gunny
GunnySpook
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Here are the current contents of Drive 'D'.  Previously it was almost full.


jphughan
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This is bizarre for a few reasons.  First, it looks like GPT Disk 3, the disk you're booting from, is using a slightly older version of Windows, somewhere between 7 and an early release of Windows 10 -- correct?  I'm basing that on the 300MB size of the Recovery partition.  (Unrelated, you may want to extend your C drive to fill the new space on that larger SSD, by the way).  GPT Disk 2 uses the standard partition configuration for a data-only disk, i.e. not a disk configured to host a Windows installation.  But GPT Disk 1 is configured as an OS disk, and it has a 500MB Recovery partition, which didn't become the standard until the very latest release of Windows 10, Version 1709 (aka the Fall Creators Update) -- did you try to install that release of Windows 10 to that disk at some point?  But something has still clearly gone wrong there because you've got user profile folders like Documents, Music, etc sitting right on the root of the drive.  Did you maybe have a custom Windows configuration that redirected the user profile folders (aka shell folders) to a non-default location, perhaps your D drive, which is the letter currently assigned to the GPT Disk 3 partition that's missing a bunch of data?  Or do you maybe have some sort of background file syncing utility that was configured to sync to your D drive and perhaps wiped out that whole partition when it was assigned letter D, potentially unexpectedly?

In any case, I have no idea what exactly has gone wrong here, but if you previously had a lot more data on GPT Disk 1, then it does in fact seem to be gone, as opposed to this being an issue with the disk simply not mounting correctly, for example.  In that case, if you have an image backup of that disk, restoring it really would seem to be the only option at this stage.  But if you have any custom Windows configurations or applications that target specific drive letters, now would be the time to make sure those letters are still assigned to the partitions you expect them to be.

GunnySpook
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jphughan - 21 December 2017 4:01 AM
This is bizarre for a few reasons.  First, it looks like GPT Disk 3, the disk you're booting from, is using a slightly older version of Windows, somewhere between 7 and an early release of Windows 10 -- correct?  I'm basing that on the 300MB size of the Recovery partition.  (Unrelated, you may want to extend your C drive to fill the new space on that larger SSD, by the way).  GPT Disk 2 uses the standard partition configuration for a data-only disk, i.e. not a disk configured to host a Windows installation.  But GPT Disk 1 is configured as an OS disk, and it has a 500MB Recovery partition, which didn't become the standard until the very latest release of Windows 10, Version 1709 (aka the Fall Creators Update) -- did you try to install that release of Windows 10 to that disk at some point?  But something has still clearly gone wrong there because you've got user profile folders like Documents, Music, etc sitting right on the root of the drive.  Did you maybe have a custom Windows configuration that redirected the user profile folders (aka shell folders) to a non-default location, perhaps your D drive, which is the letter currently assigned to the GPT Disk 3 partition that's missing a bunch of data?  Or do you maybe have some sort of background file syncing utility that was configured to sync to your D drive and perhaps wiped out that whole partition when it was assigned letter D, potentially unexpectedly?

In any case, I have no idea what exactly has gone wrong here, but if you previously had a lot more data on GPT Disk 1, then it does in fact seem to be gone, as opposed to this being an issue with the disk simply not mounting correctly, for example.  In that case, if you have an image backup of that disk, restoring it really would seem to be the only option at this stage.  But if you have any custom Windows configurations or applications that target specific drive letters, now would be the time to make sure those letters are still assigned to the partitions you expect them to be.

These are legacy drives, and have generally been in use since they first came out.  So it is very possible that at one time they may have had previous versions of windows installed on them.

Also, I went through a full WEEK of ASUS support folk looking for reasons why I couldn't boot - probing throughout my system before they finally conceded that the MB was bad.  Sad Sad

Soooo...  I'm semi at the starting point again.  I don't have a problem scrubbing the C & D drives and restoring them again from the backup I have.  Since 'E' appears fine, I am inclined to leave that alone in the restore selection, while at least leaving it connected.

Does that make sense?  Then at least see what we come up with.

Also, can I initiate a restore from Reflect running on this this machine that will over-write the boot drive?  Or does it need to be distanced from the drive it is restoring to?  Then there is the issue of not seeing the NAS.  I still have the rescue disk from 4/29/16 I can boot PE to.  Of course, I also have the full image file backup on the external US B HDD that I can use with the rescue disk.  Probably slower than the direct network/NAS connect, but.....

Focusing on the end-state I need to get to, what do you think is the most effective way to get there?
jphughan
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If the disk that contains your E drive seems to be fine, then there's no reason to run a restore onto it; just leave it as-is.

As for the other disk (GPT Disk 1), I would run a restore onto that disk, but there's no need to boot into Rescue for that.  While you're booted from GPT Disk 3, that other disk is treated as a simple data disk even if it does contain an actual bootable OS, so you're perfectly free to overwrite it within "real" Windows, so especially if your current Rescue Media is having network connectivity issues, that's what I would do.  You can't restore onto a disk that contains the instance of Windows you're currently booted from, but you can certainly overwrite other disks that contain other Windows installations.

Edited 21 December 2017 4:32 AM by jphughan
GunnySpook
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So I'll just restore 'D' then?

Will that also restore the program and data links in the shortcuts?

(And I'm happy to kill off some of those legacy partitions.
GunnySpook
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jphughan - 21 December 2017 4:31 AM
If the disk that contains your E drive seems to be fine, then there's no reason to run a restore onto it; just leave it as-is.

As for the other disk (GPT Disk 1), I would run a restore onto that disk, but there's no need to boot into Rescue for that.  While you're booted from GPT Disk 3, that other disk is treated as a simple data disk even if it does contain an actual bootable OS, so you're perfectly free to overwrite it within "real" Windows, so especially if your current Rescue Media is having network connectivity issues, that's what I would do.  You can't restore onto a disk that contains the instance of Windows you're currently booted from, but you can certainly overwrite other disks that contain other Windows installations.

And I *DO* have NAS visibility now, complete with the full image plus the incrementals.  I'll read up on how to restore the incrementals.

Thanks for your help!

The Gunny
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