Making an image copy of a partition

October 11, 2015 at 23:38:49
Specs: Win 7
In another thread, Fingers suggested making an image copy of a partition.
Does a new partition need to be created first and then the image is copied to it?
Or is the new partition created by making the image?
Do hard drive recovery programs generally handle this partition creation
more-or-less automatically when a partition image copy is wanted, or does
it need to be done before using the recovery program?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#1
October 12, 2015 at 06:05:16
"Does a new partition need to be created first and then the image is copied to it?
Or is the new partition created by making the image?
"

When creating a disk image, the destination drive must already have a formatted partition on it, otherwise the imaging software won't be able to write the image to it (obviously).

As regards the second part of your question, if I understand you correctly, when you use an existing image for recovery, it doesn't matter if the destination drive has partitions on it or not because the image itself contains the partition information as well as the partition data.

So you could, for example, write an existing image to a brand new, blank hard drive without having to first partition that new drive.

message edited by phil22


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#2
October 12, 2015 at 07:27:58
Your question is a little hard to understand.

Is the partition you wish to create for an image of the OS or just for storage? If for storage you would have at least three partitions on a particular HDD.

In either case storing an image of a partition in another partition (on the same HDD) isn't a good idea if a hard drive fails. There is no absolute recovery from that which an image is supposed to provide.

In any case you can also create an image on any external media. It doesn't have to reside on the same drive.


message edited by btk1w1


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#3
October 12, 2015 at 07:52:03
"When creating a disk image, the destination drive must already have a formatted partition on it, otherwise the imaging software won't be able to write the image to it (obviously)."

No, the image will create the partition, you can use a completely blank drive with no file system on it.


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#4
October 12, 2015 at 09:40:18
The last three lines of my post are essentially a re-phrasing
of the questions asked in the previous lines, just in case they
weren't clear. But to be as clear as possible ...

I have a partition in which files were accidentally deleted.
I want to recover those files. The first step in recovering them
is to make an image copy of that partition somewhere else --
whether on the same drive or a different one. I was asking
whether I first create a new partition, and then create the
image copy of the partition I want to recover in the new
partition I just created, or if the creation of the new partition
and copying of the old one occur as a single step.

Once I have made the image copy of the partition, I will use
the recovery program to recover the deleted files.

The partition *was* the OS partition, and many essential OS
files were deleted. But a few data files were deleted too, and
those are the only files I want to recover.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#5
October 12, 2015 at 12:17:19
Note: a back up or manually copied files can be recovered in partial but a drive image can only be reimaged back to the drive or to a new drive as an entire unit.
Windows Back up can do both. If you make a back up of your personal files or even of the system, then those files (assuming the system is able to operate) can be restored as a whole or individually as needed. Windows Back up can make a drive image as part of the back up or as a separate step entirely. This as explained needs to be on an entirely different drive for safety reasons. External hard drives are popular for this and many use DVD's (often a number of them so they need to be labeled and numbered), I use when possible a separate internal hard drive. You can use Windows back up to restore files form a back up, the entire back up, or restore the image to a new hard drive. In the case of a corrupted operating system you can use a Windows Repair Disk (Windows 7) made also from the back up section to boot from and it will let you reimage the hard drive. The repair disk will also let you do a start up repair when only the boot sector is corrupted and a System Restore from outside of Windows when the damage is too bad for a start up repair but not bad enough to need complete reimaging. It is a very important tool you should have.
To store the image you will need to have a partition already formatted and it is stored in a compressed form so it will take up less room than the original drive. When you restore an image I do not believe that you need to format it but it cannot hurt to do it. In the case of a badly corrupted system, especially one that was corrupted by a virus, or other malware, I would delete the original partition and create a new one in its place to make sure that all is clean.
I hope that this and the other above comments will help you.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
October 12, 2015 at 15:29:58
When you said "image copy of a partition" in the other thread, I thought
I recognized it as being the same as what I had read should be the first
step in recovering files from the corrupted partition. It has been quite a
while since I read it, but I know they were saying to make an exact copy
of the partition and then recover the files from the copy rather than from
the original.

The fact that the "image copy" you are talking about is used as a backup
suggests that it would be compressed. If so, then it is definitely not what
I'm asking about. I think of an "image" as being identical to the original,
including the exact layout of the file directories.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#7
October 12, 2015 at 18:15:22
Yes you can create an image (clone) of a partition that's identical to the original. It's called a sector by sector back up. You would then need a media space that is equal or larger than the partition you wish to create an image of.

Bear in mind any corrupted files will be cloned also.

In case you haven't decided yet, there are quite a few freebies which can do the job for you. I have used macrium reflect with 100% success when I have cloned (functioning) drives in the past.

Edit: A link from Macrium I hope you might find useful:
http://kb.macrium.com/Knowledgebase...

message edited by btk1w1


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#8
October 12, 2015 at 19:59:00
Yes, Cloning (an exact image of the original drive sector by sector without compression) is what you are talking about but I am not sure how that would help you if the system is already corrupted. Had you made it prior then is might be useful but you would need to know exactly what files you needed to copy back over to the original. Cloning is usually used to move a fully functioning drive onto a newer, usually larger drive when adding a second drive is not possible or when moving to a faster hard drive or SSD drive. It also can be useful when a hard drive is beginning to make noises like it is going but is still functioning.
Are you sure that a System Restore will not solve your problem? It will roll back system files and your registry to a prior date before they were corrupted. This is much easier and more reliable than messing around with replacing system files with possibly out dated versions that might not work right after a number of updates.
Also look here to repair Windows system files:
http://www.tweaking.com/

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
October 13, 2015 at 05:36:11
No, I have no interest in trying to recover the OS. I just want to
recover the relatively small number of data files that I had saved
on the OS partition. Probably several thousand OS files were
deleted, and 30-100 data files. It was a stupid programmer error.
If I remember right, the batch file did a CD to the desired directory,
then a DELTREE *.* /Y. But I never took a class in that kind of
programming, and it didn't occur to me that it could be useful to
test for the existence of the directory. So one time I ran the thing
when the directory didn't exist, and the DELTREE *.* was executed
in the root directory. I realized what was happening and cut the
power, then disconnected the hard drive so the deleted files could
not be overwritten.

That was in Windows 98 SE, but I expect to use Windows 7 for the
recovery process.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


message edited by Jeff Root


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#10
October 13, 2015 at 06:00:59
I can't see the harm in creating a clone for the purpose of experimentation.

Create the clone, experiment with it and if it doesn't work re-image the drive and try something else. You would have a fail safe so to speak and preserve the original drive until it is figured out.

It is something I would try myself.


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#11
October 13, 2015 at 21:08:17
"That was in Windows 98 SE, but I expect to use Windows 7 for the
recovery process."
Not sure how windows 7 could help you with Win98SE
If you are trying to recover an exiting Windows 98 operating system then you would have to have an image copy of the Win98 machine from before the delete occurred.
If you did not have this copy already then you would need a Win98 SE machine of similar make and time frame to copy the file from and you would need to know exactly what files were missing (though side by side comparisons might be possible).
The suggestion in #10 makes sense (somewhat) if that is what you intended.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#12
October 14, 2015 at 07:30:39
I agree with your "If ... then", but as I said pretty clearly, I'm NOT
trying to recover the operating system. The computer that the
hard drive was in has been disassembled for over a year, and
will probably never be reassembled. So I'll recover the files on
my Win 7 computer.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#13
October 14, 2015 at 08:15:09
Why don't you slave the drive to your Windows 7 PC?

You were talking about imaging and we run with that.

If you slave the drive to your current PC you don't need to worry about all of that. You can work on it externally.

Put it in an external enclosure or use a spare port on your motherboard and as long as you don't write to it, it will remain intact.

You will be able to run recovery software from within Windows 7 targeting that drive explicitly.


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#14
October 14, 2015 at 19:35:11
YES!! I guess that is why I was confused. Since you just want to recover files from the drive then all you need to do is connect it internally as a secondary drive or externally. If the drive is good then it is a simple copy/paste procedure, if the files need recovering then running the software from the primary drive with the old drive as the drive being recovered and the recovered files saved to the primary drive or a third destination. No partitioning, imaging, or cloning required.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#15
October 18, 2015 at 08:13:54
What you said reminded me of another question about this same
operation. I get the impression that if I install the old drive with the
deleted files and folders as an internal drive in my PC, Windows 7
will create a Recycle Bin and possibly System Volume Information
folder on it, but if I connect it as an external drive, Windows 7 will
not create either of those folders. Is that correct?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#16
October 18, 2015 at 19:54:36
My current computer has three drives in it. One is my SSD drive which is my C drive with Windows and programs on it. Two is a 1TB WD Black drive and my storage drive. Three is an identical drive that is partitioned in two where on one partition I keep the original image of my SSD drive once it was set up exactly like I want it and the second partition is for my general back ups for my personal files. I have looked and I do not see either a recycle bin or a system volume folder on the other hard drives and my system is a scratch built Windows 7 machine (Devil's Canyon i5, GA-Z97X-UD3H, GTX750Ti, etc.) from a non-branded OEM purchased Windows 7 Pro Disk.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
October 18, 2015 at 21:01:28
The recycle bin on other drives works as a shortcut to the main recycle folder, a protected folder.

The system volume information holds the restore info for that drive.

Both are hidden & protected folders and can be made visible by changing the folder settings. of explorer.

Other drives , not part of the windows system permanently (removable) do not hold these folders, Deleting a file is a permanent action.


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#18
October 19, 2015 at 20:11:27
Ah, I should have thought of that.
Thank You
Note to OP: If you get these files and want to remove them there are programs that can do it but easiest is to boot to a Linux disk and delete them and they will be gone.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#19
November 16, 2015 at 23:11:31
Hi

Its not necessary to be so troublesome.all you need is just a "minitool partition wizard".it has a function-copy partition wizard.which could directly copy the whole partition to another HDD or a USB drive.and it can also copy whole HDD to another one.simple and easy.i am a fan of it .its totally free!


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