Solved Win7 Image Missing Folders

June 6, 2014 at 08:20:56
Specs: Windows 7, Pentium 4 3GHz / 3GB
I have some questions related to Driveimage XML Win7 partition images in regards the folders "Documents & Settings" (missing) and "Program Data" (partially included).

My concern is whether my Win7 image restore to the Win7 partition will get me back to that setup I tried to image. I've read that sometimes there's an boot issue when DIXML restores a Win7 image, but I can deal with that separate problem. Specifically for the image restore itself, does anyone know from personal experience (or specific info they can point me to):

1. When the restored Win7 boots up, are the Docs & Settings and Program Data folders automatically reconstructed in total by Win7, and if not, what are the consequences of that, and/or what should one do?

2. Is (are) there specific imaging program(s) that work differently than DIXML by including the Docs & Settings and Program Data folders in total into their images?

Any comments, advice, or places I can get more info about the above questions would be greatly appreciated.

Background:

Computer has WinXPSP3/Win7SP1 dual-boot, set up during Win7 install to an empty separate partition on the existing WinXP HDD. Both systems boot up OK. Single HDD has 4 partitions configured as listed below.

Partition As viewed in WinXP As viewed in Win7
1 (WinXP) Drv C Drv D
2 (Progs) Drv D Drv E
3 (Data) Drv E Drv F
4 (Win7) Driv F Drv C

I've used Driveimage XML 1.21/2.44 successfully for years to image and restore my computers' Win2000/WinXP partitions, so I used Driveimage XML 2.44 (or 2.50) to image Win7 partition from within WinXP, Win7, or UBCD4WIN. All the DIXML image operation ended with a success message upon completion.

After doing several images, noticed that images do not include the "Documents & Settings" or "Program Data" folders. When I took "ownership" of the Docs & Settings and Program Data folders and also went through the procedure for the subfolders, got an image with the Program Data folder but without some of the subfolders (ApplicationData/Desktop/Documents/Favorites/SartMenu/Tempplates), still no Docs & Settings folder. I thought that all imaging programs attempted to copy all files/folders, ignoring any Windows hidden/system/etc. or ownership settings.

I do understand the Win7 Docs & Setting folder is not a real folder, it's a "junction point", and the profiles are now really in the Users folder. I think that anything that older software or I put there is automatically shown (actually located?) within the Win7 Users folder profiles.

My perception from my Internet readings is that the Program Data folder contains software settings from what would have been in the pre-Win7 Docs & Settings "All Users" profiles, but not sure my understanding is totally correct here.

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#1
June 6, 2014 at 11:22:18
1. When the restored Win7 boots up, are the Docs & Settings and Program Data folders automatically reconstructed in total by Win7, and if not, what are the consequences of that, and/or what should one do?
They are not. You're missing the junction points, which means technically your backup program has always been Doing It Wrong™. It also means it has been obviously broken since Vista.

As for the consequences, any program that has hard coded those shell locations will fail. The junction points allows those programs to run, despite their glaring bug. Windows itself does not rely on them.

2. Is (are) there specific imaging program(s) that work differently than DIXML by including the Docs & Settings and Program Data folders in total into their images?
Anything advertised for Win7 should work. DIXML's page says it'll back up Win7, so it's either lying or the newer versions do back up junction points. In theory, you could just remake the junction points, but the security setting are kinda screwy. (Everyone has read access, SYSTEM and Administrators have full access, and Everyone is denied List Folder, all of this applied to 'This folder only'.) It's also another post-restore step you need to remember to do.

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#2
June 8, 2014 at 11:58:54
Thanks, Razor 2.3, for your timely and helpful reply. It's refreshing to have someone actually directly address in a useful fashion the questions one asks Unfortunately, there's too much unhelpful/irrelevant/one sentence advice by too much posters in various forums.

I don't necessary think that Runtime (DIXML's provider) is lying in the sense that it's deliberate, but since they don't support the free version of DIXML, they may not be providing even the minimal documentation to allow people to make it work successfully with Win7. Or it may be I'm missing something in the way I've try to use it or there's some setting that I've missed in the few settings that are there.

Anyway, I can understand that DIXML may not image a Win7 partition correctly when run from WinXP (or BartPE or UBCD4Win that are basically forms of WinXP). WinXP does not seem to recognize the Win7 "Documents and Settings" as a legitmate folder (gives file/folder name error) or all the "Program Data" folder subfolders, so it can't include in an image what it doesn't recognize. However, even running the latest DIXML v2.50 within Win7 (shadow copy) does not include the problem folders, so something is amiss.

I got a copy of Macrium Reflect 5.2, and it's Win7 image (when I use browse feature) does include "Documents and Settings" and "Program Data" folders and at least the next level subfolders (have not completely checked all subfolders and files). Will have to figure a way to test this image and boot somewhere without restoring to (and possibility mess up) the partition it originally came from.


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#3
June 9, 2014 at 13:50:45
✔ Best Answer
WinXP does not seem to recognize the Win7 "Documents and Settings" as a legitmate folder
Junction points have been in NTFS since Win2000. WinPE probably recognizes them, as Explorer does list them. Chances are, the error is because the "List Folder" privilege has been denied to all. Then again, this is WinPE we're talking about, so it's entirely possible the functionality isn't included in the PE image.

I got a copy of Macrium Reflect 5.2, and it's Win7 image
If it has the option, make sure it's set to back up the definition of the Junction Point, and NOT to follow them. Otherwise, your software will find itself in a near endless loop of backing up the same stuff over and over. If it's truly drive imaging, this shouldn't be an issue; blocks are blocks and any file system features are a level of abstraction above the backup.

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#4
November 7, 2014 at 16:21:34
11/6/14 As the originator of this thread I want to post a final update on my situation. I've given up trying to get DIXML to image a Win7 partition (even though the vendor website says it's suppose to be able to), got the free version of Macrium Reflect 5.2 and have used it on a regular basis to image/restore my Win7 partitions without any problems.

- Macrium Relflect has not work right under under WinXP to image Win7 images. Thus I have not tried to incorporate it into the general computer rescue UBCD4Win setup on my YUMI-based flash drive. In addition Macrium Reflect is not portable-type software like DIXML, so t would be a bit of work to do this anyway.

- In regards to the Macrium Reflect recsue CD needed to restore an image, found the Linux-based version created by Macrium Reflect to be less useful than the WnNPE-based version. The Linux-based CD is suppose to have only restore capability, but have not tried it since I've had trouble trying to get it to boot on any of my computers. The WinPE version can do image creation, restores, check image integrty, provides some file management capabilities, etc., and I've had more success with this version in booting on all my computers, and use to both create and restore images. In addition I've been able to run some Windows portable software under WinPE. I've also been able to use the WinPE CD ISO to boot and use from a YUMI flash drive. One problem I've had is that an ISO with WinPE v5.0 will not boot on all my computers, but the WinPE v3.1 ISO will, and the latter is what I used for my rescue CD and on my YUMI flash drive.


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