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  1.    21 Aug 2017 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

    Win 7 image restore breaks ability to see Win 10 image backups


    I have a multi-boot system, XP Pro (32 bit), XP Pro X64 (64 bit), Win 7 Pro (64 bit), Win 10 Pro (64 bit). Each OS is on a separate hard drive and partition. The C: partition is boot only (no operating system on it).

    I did a system image backup from Win 10 and also from Win 7. Once I do a Win 7 image restore using Win 7 repair (dvd), the Win 10 images backups no longer appear in the list of backups if I later run Win 10 repair or Win 7 repair.

    The workaround for this bug is to do a system image backup from Win 7 and include the Win 10 partition in the Win 7 image backup (to Win 7, the Win 10 partition is a "data" partition). The the Win 7 repair will restore the Win 10 partition unless restore to "non-system" partitions is turned off. I confirmed this works by formatting both the Win 7 and Win 10 partitions before doing a repair / restore test.

    What I don't understand is what the Win 7 restore changes to my system that prevents the Win 10 backup system images from appearing in the list of image backups. The Win 10 image folders are still present on my hard drive(s).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    21 Aug 2017 #2
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,873
    Windows10

    MS have announced the System Image Backup is a deprecated feature (ie going to be dropped) and advise use of 3rd party tools.

    I recommend you use Macrium Reflect Free which is this forum's favourite tool and there are excellent guides in the tutorial section. You will have no problems as above.

    One thing to remember is that you cannot store an image backup on same partition as that being backed up. Also, not a good idea to store it in a different partition on same drive in case drive fails.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    21 Aug 2017 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    MS have announced the System Image Backup is a deprecated feature (ie going to be dropped) and advise use of 3rd party tools.
    WIn 7 image backup is working for both Win 7 and Win 10, so at least I have something that works.

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    I recommend you use Macrium Reflect Free
    Thanks for the info. I'll check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    One thing to remember is that you cannot store an image backup on same partition as that being backed up. Also, not a good idea to store it in a different partition on same drive in case drive fails.
    Each backup I do is to a different hard drive. In addition to the issue of drive failure if a backup to a different partition on the same drive, the random access overhead would make the backup process extremely slow and put a lot of stress on the hard drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    21 Aug 2017 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,488
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by rcgldr View Post
    Each backup I do is to a different hard drive. In addition to the issue of drive failure if a backup to a different partition on the same drive, the random access overhead would make the backup process extremely slow and put a lot of stress on the hard drive.
    I like to keep a system image on a second partition for the convenience, it's my equivalent of a 'factory reset' partition. I use it regularly for my test machine (System Two in my specs below) which has images for all editions of W10 plus a W7 image. In my experience using another partition on the same physical disk has little or no impact on speed.

    One thing I learned very early on is that the W10 recovery environment can only see and restore W10 images, and the same goes for W7. Plus saving a W7 image to a WindowsImageBackup folder that holds W10 images destroys the W10 environment's ability to see the W10 images. I segregate my images in two folders: WindowsImageBackup.W10 and WindowsImageBackup.W7. I rename the appropriate one to WindowsImageBackup when I want to save or restore an image. If you forget to do this before booting to the restore environment you do it in WinPE's Command Prompt.

    For disaster recovery I then make a system image that includes all partitions (including the system image one) to an external drive. Even my backups have backups
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    21 Aug 2017 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bree View Post
    Plus saving a W7 image to a WindowsImageBackup folder that holds W10 images destroys the W10 environment's ability to see the W10 images.
    I had the impression that the W10 images were still visible to both W7 and W10 repair disks until I did a W7 restore, and that it was running W7 repair that caused the W10 images to become unlisted, but maybe the loss of visiblity occurred during the W7 backup as you've posted, instead of during the W7 restore, which I thought was the problem. The W10 backups are still there, so I can test this by creating a ...W10 directory and moving the W10 backups, then renaming the directories as you've posted. I haven't seen this explained before. To avoid issues in identifying the backups, I use a different computer name for Win 7 and Win 10, such as NAME-7 and NAME-X.

    As for backing up all partitions, I wrote a utility to copy folders and files, along with security, reparse, and owner info to a folder on another partition. It works on all the partitions Win 7 and probably Win 10 partitions. (The boot partiion C: needs an image backup to backup the partition and boot sectors.) It runs under XP or XP X64, which may explain why there's something in Win 7 and probably Win 10 that XP doesn't recognize. It almost works on Win 7, but some linkages, probably related to reparse stuff isn't quite working. The advantage of the utility is that I can do selective restores, or I can "backup" and "defrag" a partition by doing a backup / verify (a second utility) / format / restore partition volume id (a third utility) / restore / verify sequence.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    21 Aug 2017 #6
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,488
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by rcgldr View Post
    To avoid issues in identifying the backups, I use a different computer name for Win 7 and Win 10, such as NAME-7 and NAME-X.
    Yes, I do something similar for my main machine. I name it after the build number (eg 15063-540) before taking a system image. That way I can keep several easily identified images, should I wish to go back to a previous build. I revert to its proper name after making the image, or restoring one.

    Bitter experience has taught me that strict segregation of W10 and W7 images. each in their own WindowsImageBackup folder is the only reliable way to ensure all images are restorable.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    21 Aug 2017 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bree View Post
    Yes, I do something similar for my main machine. I name it after the build number (eg 15063-540) before taking a system image. That way I can keep several easily identified images, should I wish to go back to a previous build. I revert to its proper name after making the image, or restoring one.

    Bitter experience has taught me that strict segregation of W10 and W7 images. each in their own WindowsImageBackup folder is the only reliable way to ensure all images are restorable.
    Yet another issue occurred when I restored a prior instance of a Win 7 image before I installed Win 10. This restored the C: boot partition to it's pre Win 10 state, and in this case there's no option to restore "Windows 10". I'm wondering how the Win 10 restore is supposed to work or if it would work if a backup of all partitions was done, and then a restore all partitions to a new blank hard drive was attempted. The Win 7 backup / restore seems like it would work in this situation.

    I noticed that at the end of a system image backup, there's a "shadow copy" operation done, but it's not clear where that information is stored.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    21 Aug 2017 #8
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,488
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by rcgldr View Post
    Yet another issue occurred when I restored a prior instance of a Win 7 image before I installed Win 10. This restored the C: boot partition to it's pre Win 10 state, and in this case there's no option to restore "Windows 10". I'm wondering how the Win 10 restore is supposed to work or if it would work if a backup of all partitions was done, and then a restore all partitions to a new blank hard drive was attempted. The Win 7 backup / restore seems like it would work in this situation.
    Yes, any Win10 WinPE (from 1507 to 1703) can restore an image made by any other version. I have made a bootable USB with each of the Win7 (x86 and x64) and Win10 (x86/x64) recovery environments in four separate sub-folders, and a batch file to move the one I require to the root of the USB so I can boot into it. I use this to restore Win10 images to a machine currently running Win7 (and vice versa).

    I noticed that at the end of a system image backup, there's a "shadow copy" operation done, but it's not clear where that information is stored.
    It's stored in the hidden System Volume Information folder on the same drive as you stored the system image.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    21 Aug 2017 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bree View Post
    Bitter experience has taught me that strict segregation of W10 and W7 images. each in their own WindowsImageBackup folder is the only reliable way to ensure all images are restorable.
    I can confirm this now. I renamed WindowsImageBackup to WindowsImageBackup.W7, created a WindowsImageBackup.W10, moved the W10 backups to that folder and then renamed it to WindowsImageBackup. Win 10 restore still didn't see the W10 backups, so the issue is doing the Win 7 backup after a Win 10 backup. Doing the Win 10 backup after the Win 7 backup doesn't seem to keep Win 7 repair from being able to see Win 7 backups, so the bug only seems to affect the the Win 10 backups not appearing if the sequence is Win 10 followed by Win 7 backup. I don't see any files in WindowsImageBackup, only the folders NAME-7 or NAME-10, which should imply no common files, so it's not clear to me what the actual root cause of this problem is.

    What's different in my case is that from Win 10 repair, I see the Win 7 backups, but I'm not going to test restoring them. In addition before the bug, the Win 7 repair was showing the Win 10 backups.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    21 Aug 2017 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,488
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by rcgldr View Post
    ... from Win 10 repair, I see the Win 7 backups, but I'm not going to test restoring them...
    You can't, restore will complain that there's an operating system mismatch if you try. You can't even restore an x86 image with an x64 restore environment (or vice versa) even if it's the right OS. For success, everything has to match.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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