Backup restore testing


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ajhollaus
ajhollaus
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I am in the process of trying to do backup restore testing on a guest machine on an ESX host. When I created the guest machine I gave it more than enough allocated HDD space to be able to backup both images to the same virtual disk.
Why is the circled part greyed out/unusable as a destination to test the backup?


jphughan
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The gray space just means unallocated space, not unusable space.  Your selected destination disk appears to be a 1TB virtual disk that has only a 375GB partition on it at the moment, with the remaining capacity unused.  Therefore if you're trying to restore the Data partition from your image backup into that unused space on the destination disk, you should be able to just drag that Data partition from the Source row down into that unused space on the destination disk.

Just as a tip, if the existing E: partition on the destination got there as a result of a previous restore from another image backup, then if you wanted to have that partition occupy more of the destination's capacity, you could have clicked the "Restored Partition Properties" link after you moved it down to the destination but before proceeding with the actual restore operation.  Lastly, when you said, "When I created the guest machine I gave it more than enough allocated HDD space to be able to backup both images to the same virtual disk," did you perhaps mean to say restore where I bolded "backup"?  The reason I ask is that based on your post and screenshot, it seems that you captured image backups of two separate source partitions/disks and are now trying to restore both of them together onto a single destination disk -- is that correct?  If so, that's certainly doable.

Edited 25 April 2018 5:17 AM by jphughan
ajhollaus
ajhollaus
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jphughan - 25 April 2018 4:51 AM
The gray space just means unallocated space, not unusable space.  Your selected destination disk appears to be a 1TB virtual disk that has only a 375GB partition on it at the moment, with the remaining capacity unused.  Therefore if you're trying to restore the Data partition from your image backup into that unused space on the destination disk, you should be able to just drag that Data partition from the Source row down into that unused space on the destination disk.

Just as a tip, if the existing E: partition on the destination got there as a result of a previous restore from another image backup, then if you wanted to have that partition occupy more of the destination's capacity, you could have clicked the "Restored Partition Properties" link after you moved it down to the destination but before proceeding with the actual restore operation.  Lastly, when you said, "When I created the guest machine I gave it more than enough allocated HDD space to be able to backup both images to the same virtual disk," did you perhaps mean to say restore where I bolded "backup"?  The reason I ask is that based on your post and screenshot, it seems that you captured image backups of two separate source partitions/disks and are now trying to restore both of them together onto a single destination disk -- is that correct?  If so, that's certainly doable.

Thank you for responding!
I didn't mention this explicitly, but I am unable for some reason to drag and drop the image into the grey unallocated space and that's what I am trying to figure out. And I did mean to say restore instead of backup, so yes. I am trying to restore both of them onto a single destination disk.

jphughan
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Hmm ok, in that case I'm not sure what to tell you because I recreated a similar setup and didn't have a problem dragging and dropping.  I created a new 500GB VHDX file, created a 200GB partition inside it, and then I opened the Restore wizard for one of my images.  I selected this VHDX file as the destination and I was able to drag my C partition backup down into the unused space of that VHDX file just fine.  Out of curiosity, what happens when you try to drag and drop?  Can you not even "grab" the source partition, or does it grab but not allow you to drop it into the unused space, or do you see an error, etc.?

ajhollaus
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jphughan - 25 April 2018 5:22 PM
Hmm ok, in that case I'm not sure what to tell you because I recreated a similar setup and didn't have a problem dragging and dropping.  I created a new 500GB VHDX file, created a 200GB partition inside it, and then I opened the Restore wizard for one of my images.  I selected this VHDX file as the destination and I was able to drag my C partition backup down into the unused space of that VHDX file just fine.  Out of curiosity, what happens when you try to drag and drop?  Can you not even "grab" the source partition, or does it grab but not allow you to drop it into the unused space, or do you see an error, etc.?

My co-worker and I are facepalming at each other right now lol. It works perfectly when we click and drag it, no idea why we haven't tried doing that. Thank you so much.
jphughan
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Excellent!  But in that case, what were you trying to do before when you said that "I am unable for some reason to drag and drop the image into the grey unallocated space".  We you going out and grabbing the image file itself from somewhere?  Anyhow, glad you're all set! Smile

ajhollaus
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jphughan - 25 April 2018 5:51 PM
Excellent!  But in that case, what were you trying to do before when you said that "I am unable for some reason to drag and drop the image into the grey unallocated space".  We you going out and grabbing the image file itself from somewhere?  Anyhow, glad you're all set! Smile

What I was trying to do instead of dragging and dropping was to click "Copy selected partitions", because that's what I did initially when I restored (E:\).
jphughan
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Ah ok.  As it happens, I actually learned something about Reflect myself when I was tinkering with that option after reading your original post.  I had assumed that using that option would work as well, but it doesn't, and after experimentation prompted by some seemingly bizarre results, I finally figured out why.  "Copy selected partitions" does not automatically copy partitions to the first available free space on the destination; it copies them to the destination maintaining the same start and end sectors as existed on the source.  For typical image restore scenarios where you're restoring to the same disk from which the image was originally captured, this consistency means that any selected partitions will restore precisely on top of the current "instances" of those partitions on the destination, which is what you want.  But in customized restore scenarios like yours, that may NOT be what you want.  In your case, your image file contains a single partition that starts at the beginning of the disk, so selecting "Copy selected partitions" would cause Reflect to "stage" the restore such that the selected source partition would be placed at the beginning of the destination disk -- and when any partition staged for restore overlaps with an existing partition on the destination, the existing partition gets slated for deletion.  You see this when the destination disk's partition map changes, and you would also get a warning before the restore proceeded that listed the partitions that would be deleted if you chose to proceed.

But before I figured this out, I was wondering why selecting an alternate destination disk, then selecting my C partition and choosing "Copy selected partitions" caused some (but not all) existing partitions on the destination to be slated for deletion and for a small bit of space to be left unallocated to the left of the copied partition -- answer: because some but not all partitions overlapped with where the C partition would be placed based on its original starting sector, and the unallocated gap was the distance between the end of the last non-overlapping partition and the starting sector of the C partition.  I also noticed that selecting a very small partition from the end of my source disk and clicking "Copy selected partitions" triggered an error about insufficient capacity, even though the destination had plenty of unallocated space.  The reason there was that the original source disk was 500GB, but my virtual disk was only 300GB, so even though the latter had plenty of free space, it didn't have a sector range high enough to place the source partition in the same location.

Anyhow, drag and drop is definitely the way to go whenever you have customized restore needs like this.  Good luck! Smile

Edited 25 April 2018 7:34 PM by jphughan
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