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Bootable restore program restores to wrong drive

 
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mart



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Bootable restore program restores to wrong drive Reply with quote

I attempted a restore using the boot disk (actually on a USB stick).

I was restoring a complete Win7 installation including both the boot partition and main system partition.

The backup files were stored on an external USB drive.

The destination was a new 3TB hard disk which I had already set up with a 100MB partition for the boot partition and the rest for the system partition, both freshly formatted with NTFS. This disk was installed internally.

The result was an error saying the disk is full half way through the restore.

When I checked how the new disk could possibly be full I found the new disk had only a directory structure in it, while the actual files had restored to the external USB disk containing the backup.

This is obviously a bug as AIS put the directories in the right spot, so it wasn't a problem with me specifying the wrong destination.

This is the latest in a long series of bugs I've encountered trying to restore using AISBackup. I'm using a boot disk to restore because the main program crashed half way through the restore when I tried to use that.

Despite the aesthetically challenged and complicated UI I love the actual backup technique employed by AISBackup and have not been able to find any other backup program that has the same ability to automatically maintain the backup files.

Unfortunately without the ability to restore backups it is all pointless.

Could I ask you to look into this problem urgently? Let me know if you need more details about the configuration. I was using the latest version.

In case it's relevant, when the destination full exception occured it also spat out the following:
Exception: EAccessViolation: Access violation at address 0040401C in module 'AISBackup.exe'. Read of address 7A3CF546 Component: fAquariusBackup

Thanks
Martin
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Barry
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Joined: 20 Aug 2002
Posts: 1491

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Drives over 2TB Reply with quote

AISBackup has been tested many times restoring multiple partitions at the same time without this error; but this time thee was obviously there is a bug as the folders were restored to the correct drive and the files were not.

As the boot partition has been set-up would it be possible for you to retry the windows partition on its own?

The problem may be owing to the dive been larger than 2TB and this will be tested over the next few days.

I assume you made the boot flash drive using the current version of AISBackup.

Barry
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Barry
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2002
Posts: 1491

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Drives over 2TB Reply with quote

I forgot to ask: Which version of AISBackup you are using?

I guess you have read about the problems booting from drives over 3TB and that you operating system and PC meet the requirements. Many people just use drives over 2TB for storing data - We run Windows from an SSD to get a big performance increase.

As soon as more information is available for AISBackup and drives over 2TB the information will be posted on the AISBackup website.

I am going re-check Windows 8 ADK to see if the USB3 problem is resolved (with the PC here at least). I do know there were problems restoring over a network with Windows 8 ADK, that's why Windows 7 WAIK is still used.

Barry
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mart



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Bootable restore program restores to wrong drive Reply with quote

Hi Barry,

I just had this problem again.

I tried to restore a Windows 7 system partition onto a new SSD. I pressed the button to create the GPT partition which seemed to work, then restored the system partition onto the remaining space.

The result however is that the files were restored onto the external backup drive, just like last time. Again, the backup drive was assigned the drive letter C: by the AISBackup boot disc restore program.

There is a lot more information about this issue in our email conversation August 2013 subject "Drives over 2TB". Of special note is the following I wrote on 18/8:
The problem occurs when the destination partitions haven't been assigned drive letters. AISBackup creates folders on the correct destination partition (although I think there's a problem with that as it creates some directories in the root when they should be further down the hierarchy). After the folders are created however it restores files to C: drive, which is whatever drive the boot disk finds first. In my first test it was the external drive containing my backup files. I tested it again and the C: drive was the USB stick because I didn't have the external drive plugged in to start with. I'm not sure why it chooses C:, but that is the drive letter of the original files.

So luckily I didn't set the restore to automatically delete files that were there before restore, otherwise it would have deleted my backup files and I would have been totally stuffed. This is a very dangerous bug!

To resolve this problem I only had to reboot and do the restore again. Because the first attempt created a partition on the correct destination drive, and assigned it a drive letter, the bug didn't occur and the files were restored to the correct destination instead of the drive marked C:.

However once the restore was finished the drive didn't boot, so it seems the GPT partition wasn't created properly the first time around, even though it seemed to have the correct files in it. I got back into the AISBackup recovery program and deleted the GPT partition, thinking I'd try recreating it, but then discovered it only provides the facility to create the GPT partition if the entire drive is empty, and I didn't want to delete the freshly restored Windows partition and have to restore it for a third time. Not sure why you can't allow it when there is an empty 100MB partition in the correct spot? I also tried restoring the GPT partition I had included in the backup into the 100MB space but that didn't boot either. Windows just didn't recognise any partitions as being bootable. I eventually got it working by deleting the partition again and booting the Windows 7 installation DVD and doing a repair on the drive, telling it to fix boot problems. That recreated a working GPT partition and it was all good. If I had to rely only on AISBackup's restore DVD I would have been in trouble. I know you've spent a lot of time implementing and testing support for GPT, so I'm not sure whether the failure to boot was a side-effect of the bug that restored to the wrong partition or something completely unrelated.

I created the restore DVD using the latest version of AISBackup 3.3.0.446, but from a Windows 8 laptop instead of the Windows 7 desktop I was doing the restore to. Would that possibly have been a factor? I assumed the CD would be the same regardless of where it is created, but I noticed when booting up the restore CD it shows the backup job from the Windows 8 machine.

I also noticed the AISBackupRestoreCD.dat file the program downloaded today is dated September 2010. I assume that only contains stuff for the portable windows environment and not the AISBackup program itself, as the program definitely did have features that were introduced since 2010.

I hope you can get to the bottom of this issue as it has cost me a lot of time today, not to mention the fear it creates when a backup program doesn't restore reliably and even attempts to destroy the backup media as well. I still recommend AISBackup to people and bought another licence for my tablet earlier this month. Do you think you'll be able to investigate?

Regards
Martin
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Barry
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Joined: 20 Aug 2002
Posts: 1491

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:40 pm    Post subject: Transfer to SSD Reply with quote

Quote:
There is a lot more information about this issue in our email conversation August 2013 subject "Drives over 2TB". Of special note is the following I wrote on 18/8:
The problem occurs when the destination partitions haven't been assigned drive letters. AISBackup creates folders on the correct destination partition (although I think there's a problem with that as it creates some directories in the root when they should be further down the hierarchy). After the folders are created however it restores files to C: drive


When I recently upgraded to SSD on a GPT booting laptop I actually used the copy option from Windows as opposed to using the restore CD - using the steps you showed. However this operation should also work from the restore CD using the restore from backup option. Were you only restoring the 'C' drive or did you select multiple drives to restore in one go?

I will make a restore CD using a laptop that is running Windows 8.1, this should mirror what you did, please confirm.

AISBackupRestoreCD.dat is updated with the latest version of AISBackup when the restore CD / USB is made.

Is the following the same as what you did?

1: Make a restore CD using a PC running Windows 8.1

2: Run a backup of all partitions to an external disk drive from the PC to be upgraded.

3: Install a new unformatted SSD into a laptop.

4: Boot using the AISBackup restore CD.

5: Connect the backup external drive (after boot).

6: Make GPT disk on the SSD with EFI partition.

7: Restore the 'C:' drive to unformatted disk space on the SSD (This should then make the folders but restore to the wrong drive - Yes/No?)

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Barry
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mart



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:16 am    Post subject: Transfer to SSD Reply with quote

That's pretty much the procedure but I'll write it out again with some more notes:

1: Make a restore CD using a PC running Windows 8.1
- The restore DVD (not CD) was made using a LAPTOP running Windows 8 (not 8.1)

2: Run a backup of all partitions to an external disk drive from the PC to be upgraded.
- Correct. This is a desktop PC with Windows 7 Ultimate. There are two partitions, GPT boot partition and the main Windows partition.

3: Install a new unformatted SSD into a laptop.
- No, the SSD is going into the same desktop PC, not a laptop, but yes it was installed into the desktop and the original drive removed.

4: Boot using the AISBackup restore CD.

5: Connect the backup external drive (after boot).
- No I connected the backup external drive before boot as I have previously had problems seeing drives that are connected after boot. Not sure if those problems still exist as it was an earlier version, but I always connect it before boot now. When AISBackup fires up it shows the external drive as the first in the list and allocates it the drive letter C.

6: Make GPT disk on the SSD with EFI partition.

7: Restore the 'C:' drive to unformatted disk space on the SSD (This should then make the folders but restore to the wrong drive - Yes/No?)
- Yes. I didn't confirm this time whether the folders were created in the correct partition, but it definitely restored to the wrong drive.
- When doing this, AISBackup prompts to format the empty disk space, asking for volume name and also a drive letter. I entered drive letter S because C is already taken by the backup drive. I assumed this drive letter is only used during the restore operation and it will revert back to C when the disk is booted, but it is confusing for the user that AISBackup prompts for a drive letter.
- I excluded some large data folders from the restore operation as the SSD in much smaller than the original HDD.

I can confirm I was only restoring the C partition, no other partitions. I only tried to restore the GPT partition later in the process after restoring to the correct location didn't boot properly, but that isn't relevant to recreating this bug.

I hope you can recreate the problem from this.

Regards
Martin
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Barry
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Joined: 20 Aug 2002
Posts: 1491

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: GPT restore problem Reply with quote

Hi Mart

Thanks for the information, I should have enough now to recreate the problem.

This may be of interest, but I want to upgrade a GPT booting PC to an SSD in any case.

I think you mean EFI boot partition rather than GPT? and as you stated I also think that it should be allowed to create an EFI partition on a GPT disk if it has been deleted.

Cheers

Barry
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