Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Windows 7 Backup with DriveImage XML

Recently go a new Dell Latitude E5420 and wanted to use the machine with dual boot option (XP and Win 7) . Have already been using DriveImage XML to take full system image backup (and restore) on Windows XP for a couple of years now, so wanted to see if you can do the same thing with Windows 7.

Turns out, in Windows 7 you can create a system image and restore the whole system with the windows 7 installation disk.

There are problems though:
  • In Home Premium edition ( the one that came pre-installed on my laptop) , you cannot exclude your windows xp partition from your system image, which makes my backup size more than double and takes twice as much time too.
  • "Restore" from the the installation disk will wipeout all the partition and recreate the partition map to what it used to be whne you created the system image. That means, any other OS partition will be completely gone/over-written.
These are major issues AFAIAC, hopefully, Microsoft will make their process better in subsequent Windows OS.

Anway, creating a System image using DriveImage was easy enough.
Run something like this will create an image on an external USB drive:
"C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe" /bc /tG:\Images\KAUSHAL /r- /s- /c /v

And then used the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows to restore the Windows 7 partition.
Did run into "boot error" after the restore, then, runnng the following fixed the issue:

Boot with Windows 7 disc, Choose "Repair Option", Click on Command Prompt.
  • Type C: ( or drive where Windows 7 is installed ) and press <Enter>.
  • At the C:\ prompt, type cd boot and press <Enter>.
  • At the C:\Boot prompt, type the following commands and press Enter after each command.
bootrec /RebuildBcd
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
That should fix boot problems.