Rescue Media installation options


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adrian5683
adrian5683
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Hi all, I've been using MR for some time now with the Rescue Media on a USB stick and an external drive for backup images. I just purchased a 1TB external SSD and was wondering if I can reserve a small FAT32 partition (to keep EFI compatibility) for the rescue media and have the rest as an NTFS partition for my images. Is that possible or is it not recommended in general? In which case, why is the argument against it?

Thanks.

jphughan
jphughan
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It's definitely possible, but:

- Some PCs only support booting from USB removable storage class devices (flash drives) and do NOT support booting from USB fixed disk class devices (spinning HDDs and SSDs).  Even if your PC works with it, if you ever think you might need to use that Rescue environment to migrate onto a new PC, possibly after an unexpected failure of your current PC, it may not work there.

- If you want Rescue Media Builder to support building to a hard drive like this directly, you'll need to initialize your disk using the older MBR partition layout scheme rather than GPT.  If you want to use GPT instead, you'd have to build and update your Rescue Media file set on that FAT32 partition manually (which in fairness isn't very difficult).

- In terms of whether this is recommended, the benefit is obviously convenience, as long as your PCs can boot from it.  One drawback in addition to the ones I just mentioned is that if you intend to keep this drive connected on a regular basis, that means your Rescue Media will be online on a regular basis.  That isn't really ideal, because it increases the chances that something might go wrong with it, either due to user error or something like malware.  The whole point of Rescue Media is to be there to rescue you after a potentially catastrophic event, so there's an argument to be made that Rescue Media should be kept offline and therefore safe from incidents as often as possible.  Of course there's nothing stopping you from having a Rescue Media partition on that drive and having separate Rescue Media on a flash drive that's mostly offline, though.

Edited 17 January 2019 8:41 PM by jphughan
adrian5683
adrian5683
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Thank you for the helpful comments. Any way I can determine whether my PC supports booting from fixed devices? Also, would 2GB for the RM partition be sufficient?

I believe I will take your advice and keep a RM flash drive on hand as well.

jphughan
jphughan
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Happy to help!  Right now Macrium is saying 1GB is sufficient for Rescue Media on its KB page here, although builds can often be significantly smaller than that.  If you want to test your system, set up your 1TB SSD as you would a normal external hard drive, then shrink the main partition by 1GB, create a new FAT32 partition in that freed up space, and have Rescue Media Builder create Rescue Media files on that device.  It should choose the FAT32 partition, in fact it will have to if you have the BIOS/UEFI multi-boot option selected.  Then try booting your PC from that device and see what happens.

adrian5683
adrian5683
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One last thing, I had to copy the prior images I had to this new drive and edited the XML files to reflect the new directory. Now when I open MR it won't find the images on its own, I have to browse for and open the newest images, do an incremental and everything will be back to normal again?

jphughan
jphughan
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No, just go to the Restore tab and click the “Folders to search” link at the top of the main interface area, then add the path to the new location. Or just wait for Reflect to add it automatically. If you run a backup to a destination that isn’t already in that list, Reflect will add that destination to that list automatically, regardless of whether the job was run by a definition file or the backup is a Full, Diff, or Inc.
Edited 20 January 2019 12:40 AM by jphughan
adrian5683
adrian5683
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Thank you, that did it. Actually after restarting MR a couple of times it came up with the new destination on its own, I just had to remove the previous locations from the "Folders to search" section to get rid of the load errors.

Thanks again.

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