Rescue Media "tied" to system it was created on?


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dbminter
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I was wondering, is the Rescue Media that is created "tied" to the system it was created on?  I ask because I got a newer model Dell XPS PC in July and had some current Rescue Media created on my old Dell XPS PC.  However, when I booted from my Rescue Media to make a backup on the system before I started installing anything on my new XPS, the Reflect Rescue Media did not recognize my installed SSD.  Even though it was the latest WinPE 10 build created on the old XPS.  I installed Reflect as my first step and created new Rescue Media which did detect my SSD. 


I suspect this happened because my old Dell XPS PC did not have an SSD in it.  That when the Rescue Media was created on the old XPS, the SSD driver wasn't installed because the system did not have an SSD installed.  So, that has lead me to wonder if Rescue Media is "tied" to the system that created it?


Thanks!

jphughan
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There's no such thing as an SSD driver, except loosely in the sense that there's an NVMe driver, and NVMe is only used with SSDs, but that's still technically an interface driver -- and that's been built into WinPE since at least PE5, maybe even PE4.  The culprit in your case is probably the Intel RST driver.  Dell PCs ship by default with the "SATA Operation" BIOS setting set to RAID rather than AHCI, and despite the name of that setting, it affects how the NVMe interface is handled as well.  When RAID mode is enabled, the storage is abstracted from the OS by the Intel RST controller, which means you need a driver for it, and sufficiently new systems require a newer Intel RST driver version than is built into WinPE 10.  This incidentally means that you might have trouble installing Windows 10 from scratch without the necessary driver either supplied manually or injected into the installation media.

So you have two options, maybe three:
- Build Rescue Media from that system (or another system with similar hardware) so that the wizard grabs the RST driver from that system's host OS and includes it in the Rescue Media.

- (Maybe) Download the "F6 driver" from Intel, copy it onto a flash drive or something, and supply it manually in the "Unsupported Devices" interface within Rescue, although I haven't tried this option personally.

- Go into your system's BIOS and change the SATA Operation to AHCI mode so that the Intel RST controller is no longer active.  In most cases that's as good or better anyway.  The systems ship in RAID mode because when the driver IS included, it's the most versatile option and it's therefore easiest to standardize on.  For example, Windows 7 couldn't be installed on an NVMe SSD without RAID abstracting the NVMe interface.  Systems that are optioned with Intel Optane or the older "Smart Response" SSD caching modules need the system in RAID mode to use those features.  And it can be used for actual RAID in systems that have multiple proper drives.  So using RAID from the factory is just easier, because they just inject the driver at the factory.  But if none of the cases I just described apply to you, then AHCI is simpler and is even required in certain cases, e.g. for Linux and to use Samsung Magician if you have a Samsung retail SSD; Magician doesn't work with OEM Samsung SSDs regardless of this setting.  Note that if you switch this setting, your existing OS will stop booting.  This is normally meant to be changed prior to a clean install.  However, given that you have a paid Reflect license, you could switch that setting and thenuse ReDeploy to work around that.

Edited 31 October 2018 8:21 PM by jphughan
dbminter
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One weird thing I've noticed on this Dell XPS is the BD drive is set in RAID mode.  I didn't even know it was possible to set up an optical drive in RAID mode.  If I change the BIOS setting to AHCI for SATA Operation, will that affect my BD optical drive?  Not that it really matters.  It's a slim model and slim model optical drives are junk.  In fact, this one won't successfully write small image files (Less than the full size of a CD, for instance.) that will pass ImgBurn Verify after burns.  Plus, it doesn't read or write to the full maximum speeds of media, capping at like 6x for 8x DVD+RW.  But, Dell dropped the half height bays from their cases in favor of the slim model unit size.  I was really upset over that change, but what can I do?

jphughan
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I'm not sure what you mean that the BD drive is set to RAID mode.  Where are you seeing that?  If you have your BD drive plugged into a SATA port that is controlled by the Intel RST controller (when RAID is enabled), then I guess in that sense it could be in RAID mode.  But changing it back to AHCI won't affect the optical drive.  It only createsan issue with booting Windows, since switching that setting in either direction means Windows isn't loading the correct storage driver anymore.

dbminter
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ImgBurn, when it starts, displays the available optical drives in the system.  As part of this display, it lists what controller mode each drive is in.  It says the BD drive installed in my Dell tower is in RAID mode.


Example: I 16:33:57 -> Drive 2 - Info: HL-DT-ST BD-RE BU40N A102 (K:\) (RAID)  (A backslash was added to K: so a smiley face wouldn't appear.)


Do you mean if I switch the SATA Controller to AHCI, Windows 10 may not start?  I guess then just changing the BIOS setting back would resume Windows starting?

Edited 31 October 2018 9:35 PM by dbminter
jphughan
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That must mean it just sees it attached to a RAID controller.  I've never noticed that in ImgBurn, but then I hardly use optical drives anymore anyway.

Yes, as I said in my original post under Option #3, if you switch that setting in either direction, an existing Windows installation won't start -- but since you have Reflect, you could make the change, boot into Rescue, and run ReDeploy, which should then allow Windows to boot after that change.  Or yes, if you simply change the BIOS setting back, then Windows will start booting again (assuming you didn't modify it with ReDeploy), but then of course you're right back where you started.

dbminter
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Oh, actually, that feature of ImgBurn may only be in the latest beta.  I've been beta testing the software since its inception.


I've never actually used ReDeploy before.  What exactly does it do?


Thanks for putting up with me.  Wink

jphughan
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dbminter - 31 October 2018 9:43 PM
Oh, actually, that feature of ImgBurn may only be in the latest beta.  I've been beta testing the software since its inception.


I've never actually used ReDeploy before.  What exactly does it do?


Thanks for putting up with me.  Wink

ReDeploy: https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW7/Re-deploying+Windows+to+new+hardware+using+Macrium+ReDeploy

Edited 31 October 2018 9:53 PM by jphughan
dbminter
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Thanks!


Hm, after reading over that, I don't know if I'm necessarily comfortable doing that myself.  It involves some things I think could wrong that I don't know how to fix.  So, I think I'll just stick with my current scenario.  Or I may get adventurous one day and just throw caution to the wind and try it.  Smile
jphughan
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Well worst case, if you have a backup that was made just before you do this, you could always reverse the BIOS setting and restore that backup (which thanks to RDR will be quick) and then you're right back where you were, except for being a few minutes older.

GO

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