Unbootable Rescue media -- a VM to the rescue

  1. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 11,007
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #1

    Unbootable Rescue media -- a VM to the rescue


    Hi folks

    I needed to restore a "broken" Windows SSD on a laptop - normally I use Macrium bootable rescue media - but I'd lost my set of 3 USB sticks I had the rescue media on. !!!!! (Or I'd left them at home).

    However I had a Windows Virtual machine on a Linux system from an external SSD.

    So attaching the "Broken system SSD" as an internal RAW physical drive (you must add the whole drive as one unit - not as a partition) and the backup image (on another external USB - just attached normally to the VM) I could run the restore from within the VM to the "Broken Disk". Linux systems boot easily from external devices so I could run the Windows VM too.

    After restore - system booted from the internal Windows SSD with no problems at all --I couldn't create the bootable rescue media from within the VM as I'd lost / left at home my 3 USB sticks !! so didn't have anything to store it on.

    So even if all seems lost don't give up --there's always plenty of ways of recovering a system.

    Note --you need to attach the internal HDD/SSD to the VM as a RAW physical device -- otherwise the system will use the "default Virtual disk format" for the Virtual machine software you are using -- and the result is that the device after restoring won't be bootable. Using a RAW device means the file system of the OS --in this case Windows -- will be used so the boot rec and windows partition(s) are restored successfully from the image.

    For EXTERNAL devices attached via a USB device the VM will use the HOST USB driver which detects the relevant file system.

    Maybe people don't (or hopefully will not) need this method -- but was it the Boy Scouts motto "Be Prepared" -- used to love the Boy Scouts when I was young -- I suppose too many people these days are on Social media to even be aware of what the Scouts were !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 02 May 2020 at 09:37.
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