DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image  

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
  1. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,166
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    cereberus said: View Post
    I mounted the vhdx file as a drive in normal Windows and it looked perfect. I created a boot entry using bcdboot so I could dual boot to the vhdx file.

    That is when things just did not work. I tried to boot into restored image and it just booted to a black screen.
    Only reasonable use for a VHDX file which contains an applied FFU image is to use it as an existing disk on a virtual machine.

    FFU images are meant to be applied to physical disks. Although when attached to system at boot, a VHD or VHDX file is handled as "physical" disk, it still is just a virtual disk and can't boot if it contains an applied FFU image. Hyper-V, however, will see the VHD file as a physical disk.

    I am sorry, Martin, please do not take this wrong, but I simply cannot see any other point in capturing to virtual hard disk file than to use that file as existing disk on a VM, or apply the image from VHD to a physical disk.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #11

    Kari said: View Post
    Only reasonable use for a VHDX file which contains an applied FFU image is to use it as an existing disk on a virtual machine.

    FFU images are meant to be applied to physical disks. Although when attached to system at boot, a VHD or VHDX file is handled as "physical" disk, it still is just a virtual disk and can't boot if it contains an applied FFU image. Hyper-V, however, will see the VHD file as a physical disk.

    I am sorry, Martin, please do not take this wrong, but I simply cannot see any other point in capturing to virtual hard disk file than to use that file as existing disk on a VM, or apply the image from VHD to a physical disk.

    Kari
    Firstly, MS documentation says you can restore ffu images to vhdx files. There cannot be any reason why you cannot boot a vhdx natively if it boots in Hyper-V provided you set up native booting of vhdx file.

    Secondly, my reason for applying to a vhdx file is so I can have an identical native instance of my main installation drive on my larger secondary drive to test things without mucking up main installation. I find this very convenient.

    In the end, FFU's limitation of only being able to restore to a similar sized or larger drive limits it's usefulness anyway.

    This even applies to vhdx files of type expandable as they will not work if free space on physical drive is less than the nominal size of the vhdx files.

    With good old Macrium Reflect, I can restore to smaller drives provided the contents fit on said drive.

    In the end (I stress here - for my personal use) FFU is not that useful to me as you have to boot into winpe mode to use it anyway and Macrium Reflect is simply more convenient as you can do it whilst running Windows.

    Having said that, it is always a good plan to use an alternative image backup method additionally to your main backup plan (in case primary backup method fails), and the FFU method allows that without installing a second imaging program (I never use the crappy "W7 backup and restore"built in to W10).

    One area where FFU is potentially very useful is for users who use S mode where you cannot install tools like Macrium Reflect (you can of course use a Reflect WinPE drive still). For those users, FFU may be more convenient.

    Of course, I fully accept FFU's main strength is for deployment of sysprepped installations.


    To avoid any misunderstanding, I think this is a GREAT TUTORIAL, and a useful tool in the right circumstances.

    I certainly intend to use it as a SECONDARY backup tool but, due to its limited capability, it will never replace Macrium Reflect for me personally as the PRIMARY backup method.

    I have already set up a simple batch file that I will run periodically.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 576
    trying to install win10
       #12

    That is when things just did not work. I tried to boot into restored image and it just booted to a black screen.
    It is a clone. Failure to locate the boot disk. Possible disk signature collision?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,166
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #13

    cereberus said: View Post
    Firstly, MS documentation says you can restore ffu images to vhdx files. There cannot be any reason why you cannot boot a vhdx natively if it boots in Hyper-V provided you set up native booting of vhdx file.
    Martin, could you please link to any MS documentation mentioning that FFU image can be deployed to a virtual hard disk file. I do not find nor have I ever seen that being mentioned.

    Documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...sh-update--ffu

    Under same main article, clicking navigation pane item Boot to a virtual hard disk: Add a VHDX or VHD to the boot menu, you are told the following:

    Prerequisites
    • A technician PC with the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) tools installed on it.
    • A generalized Windows image (.WIM file). To learn more, see Sysprep (Generalize) a Windows installation.
    • A bootable Windows PE drive. To learn more, see WinPE: Create USB Bootable drive.
    • A destination PC or device on which to install the VHDX. This device requires 30 gigabytes (GB) or more of free disk space. You can install the VHDX to a device already running other operating system installations, or as the only operating system on a device.

    Anyway, as I have tested the same than you, my point was to tell it won't work. I do not know why. One thing I have not tested yet is to remove EFI, MSR and Recovery partitions from FFU image captured to VHDX, add remaining Windows partition to boot menu and boot to it. Theoretically, it might just work.


    SIW2 said: View Post
    It is a clone. Failure to locate the boot disk. Possible disk signature collision?
    That might be the explanation.

    This article is an interesting read about what FFU image is: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...u-image-format

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #14

    @Kari


    /Apply-Image

    For WIM, this command applies a Windows image file (.wim) or a split Windows image (.swm) files to a specified partition. Beginning with Windows 10, version 1607, DISM can apply and capture extended attributes (EA).
    For FFU, this command applies a full flash update (.ffu) image to a specified drive. It doesn’t support applying an image from a virtual hard disk (.vhdx) file, though you can use this command to apply a full image to a VHD. FFU applies to Windows 10 only.
    This option doesn’t support applying an image from a virtual hard disk (VHD), though you can use this command to apply images to a .vhdx file that's been attached, partitioned, and formatted.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,166
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #15

    I am still unable to find that documentation. Could you pleasepost a link?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,166
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #16

    OK, I tested now to capture FFU image to VHD, then removed EFI, MSR and Recovery partitions with MiniTool Partition Wizard, leaving only the Windows partition.

    After adding Windows on VHDX file to boot menu, I was able to boot it to login screen, but after signing in, it does not work. Desktop is black, only showing a blinking Taskbar. Click the animated GIF:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2019-05-30_14h20_39.gif 
Views:	15 
Size:	101.0 KB 
ID:	235541

    Don't know what to try next.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8.    #17

    I did not get even to login screen. I can only assume there is some kind of bug.

    Not really that big a deal as good old Reflect works fine for doing this (and allows restoration to smaller drives).

    Only minor issue is I am not sure if I can trust FFU restore to a physical disk without going having a Reflect image backup in place first (dumb not to anyway).

    Whilst I implicitly trust Reflect, I am disinclined to wiping hard drive by use of FFU unecessarily.

    I do have a spare disk but it is an HDD rather than SSD. Would that affect FDU restore as image is based on an SSD install - any idea?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #18

    SIW2 said: View Post
    It is a clone. Failure to locate the boot disk. Possible disk signature collision?
    I checked disk signature of vhd and it was same. I altered the disk signature with diskpart (no idea what I was doing really) but still failed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 16,166
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #19

    cereberus said: View Post
    I did not get even to login screen. I can only assume there is some kind of bug.
    As I told, I got to login screen only when I first removed EFI, MSR and Recovery partitions from VHD using a third party tool.

    Before writing this off as a bug, I really would like to see the link to official documentation stating the FFU can be applied to a VHDX file.


    cereberus said: View Post
    Only minor issue is I am not sure if I can trust FFU restore to a physical disk without going having a Reflect image backup in place first (dumb not to anyway).
    I have been using FFU images since it has been possible to create deployment images. I will customize image in Audit Mode on reference Hyper-V virtual machine, generalize it with Sysprep, capture that image to FFU, and apply it to any VM or physical image. It has never failed.

    Being much faster than imaging programs, both capture and applying it, FFU is a really good alternative. To test it, to get piece of mind, use Macrium to create an image backup before applying an FFU image first time.

    You can also test in Hyper-V; capture and apply FFU images from and to virtual machines.


    cereberus said: View Post
    I do have a spare disk but it is an HDD rather than SSD. Would that affect FDU restore as image is based on an SSD install - any idea?
    Disk type is irrelevant. An FFU image, regardless if it was captured from VHD, VHDX, HDD or SSD, can be applied to any SSD or HDD.



     Some interesting but totally trivial, off topic background info

    FFU imaging was originally used to deploy Windows Mobile images, and brought to Insiders early 2015 in Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (WICD):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WICD.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	23.0 KB 
ID:	235640

    In fact, in March 2015 I was making a video about using WICD, to show how to create WIM or FFU deployment images from scratch. Screenshot from that video:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FFU in build 10041.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	248.1 KB 
ID:	235637
    (Click to enlarge.)

    You could create various image types:
    Name:  ICD image choices.jpg
Views: 90
Size:  33.4 KB

    However, before getting my video ready, Microsoft removed the imaging part of WICD, and it was renamed to Windows Configuration Designer (WCD), dropping the word Imaging. I never published that video, as it became useless.

    We had to wait almost two and a half years, until version 1709 brought FFU imaging back.

    Microsoft has been a bit sloppy regarding the name of the tool. Although imaging is no longer included in tool and its official name, building images is not possible with it, its Start menu entry still uses old name (WICD). Also, although application titlebar today shows the current name, everywhere else you can still see references to old name and acronym:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WCD WICD.jpg 
Views:	8 
Size:	21.8 KB 
ID:	235639

    Windows Configuration Designer is part of Windows 10 ADK: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...ed/adk-install

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Tutorial Categories

DISM - Clone and Deploy using FFU Image Tutorial Index Network & Sharing Instalation and Upgrade Browsers and Email General Tips Gaming Customization Apps and Features Virtualization BSOD System Security User Accounts Hardware and Drivers Updates and Activation Backup and Restore Performance and Maintenance Mixed Reality Phone


Related Threads
I have a Dell XPS studio 9100 (close to 10 years old!). This afternoon I got a bluescreen of death. I rebooted and was greeted with a bios screen showing the SMART status of the 1.5TB boot drive is bad. I had to disabled SMART checking in the BIOS...
Can macrium reflect 6 create a clone image or does that capability only come with the paid version?
I would like to move my OS from a smaller 240gb SSD (running out of room) to a 512gb NVMe SSD. What is the better option-do I clone or image the OS and all its partitions to the NVMe? Are there any need to know pointers before I attemp it? Many...
Hi All, I've got some new DELL AIO Optiplex 3240s that are now running W10 Pro after successful clean installs. I am needing to set one up as a reference computer and then deploy that image to the rest of them. This is for the small library I...
System Disk Image/Clone in Backup and Restore
There's been some discussion on this in another thread & having previously not been too successful in the past, I'd like to seek some advice. When a disk is cloned it makes an identical copy to another HD; the idea being that if the one in use...
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:48.
Find Us