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View Full Version : Very confused with imaging ONLY primary partition on same physical drive! - G53JW



kimiraikkonen
04-15-2013, 09:52 AM
Hi guys,
You all know that majority of Asus notebooks are shipped with one physical drive (usually Seagate ones) including 3 partitions, C: (primary OS partition), D: (data, personal partition) and a factory-recovery partition which doesn't have a letter and hidden.

I'm a bit picky about installing Windows updates and new programs due to having some serious problems in the past. Because of this, i want to ONLY take image of drive C:, without breaking, or altering the current partitioning structure even after restoring the image. What i want is to take image ONLY primary partition, drive C: either with backup utility in Windows 7 or with 3rd party imagers like Acronis, DriveImage XML or with any alternative you may recommend.

When i see Windows 7's "backup and restore" applet through control panel, i see 2 options like "create system image" and "backup - set backup". That confused me because i DON'T want to re-backup/delete/change recovery partition and D: (DATA) partitions. But i don't know what partitions they both includes and mean? I only want to take image of drive C: and want to successfully restore only parition C: withouth breaking recovery partition node, or D: partition. I heard most of imaging utilities tend to take image of entire physical drive whereas i want to take image partition-specific, drive C:.

I attached some screenshots described current situation, but i'm very confused about a healty imaging against C: which includes Windows 7. Or do i have to use another professional imaging software like Acronis instead of Windows's built-in feature? Is there are recommendation or clarification about the issue?

Best regards,

Onur (kimiraikkonen)

xeromist
04-16-2013, 01:50 AM
If you click on that "Set up backup" you can choose what you want Windows to backup. One of the options is a system image of the C drive. I've never had to restore from the Windows backup though so I'm not really sure what the restoration process entails but at least it seems to let you exclude your data drives from backup.

billyray520
04-16-2013, 01:57 PM
1. The restoration image/hidden partition.

I would ditch the restoration partition if you plan on making image backups of your system. First of all it's hogging 21 GB of disk space. I've restored from one of those restoration backup partitions and it is VERY laborious and tedious. About the only thing it saves you from is having to re-install the correct (original) drivers -which can always be downloaded from the Asus Website.

Also, the restoration partition may become corrupt or inoperable and you would never know it until you go to restore from it. But by that time it may be too late. Better to have your own system images.

2. Windows backup and image backup.

This solution requires that you have the standard Windows Repair partition (which you don't) or it requires a bootable Windows repair DVD/CD.

This solution isn't too bad, but it is very prickly about the way you save the image to partitions. I have used this solution myself on my G73. I had the correct hidden Windows repair partition (of 100 MB) which I could boot into and then restore the images of my partitions. On the plus side, Windows somehow uses very little room in creating SUBSEQUENT image backups, but does not compress the orginal image. You need a dedicated primary logical disk partition to backup this stuff to.

3. Third party Image solution.

This would be the best choice for you. My recommendation is to download and use Paragon 2012 Free as your Imager. This is truly outstanding software and is free, although you have to register your email address to obtain the download. With Paragon installed you have several options available to you as your system currently stands.

A. It compresses images automatically so they use less room.
B. You can create a backup "capsule" on your data partition that will hold your image files.
C. You can restore INDIVIDUAL FILES from the partition image you created if you need them, as all images can be browsed. (Not possible with Windows Backup)

1. I bought my G73SW off of ebay and it had the same sort of setup on the one and only System drive of 640 GB. It had a 21 GB restore partition and a Data drive partition also. Unfortunately, what I had to do was start from scratch to setup my laptop the way I wanted it.

This is what I did:

1. I downloaded the Version of Windows my laptop came with (Windows 7 Home 64 bit) from Digital River. (free)
2. Installed Windows in the normal way. (I had already removed the 640 GB hdd and installed a new 160 GB SSD in its place.)
3. Windows created the ordinary 100 MB hidden repair partition in the process.
4. Installed all of drivers that I previously downloaded and burned to a DVD from the ASUS website.
5. Made sure Windows Update feature was turned off while doing all of the driver updates.
6. Windows needed the Key (on the bottom of your laptop.)
7. In my case, the refurbisher must have installed a different key, so I had to call Microsoft to have the original key reinstated.
8. Reinstalled the original 640 GB hdd as a data drive, and erased all original partitions and junk on it.
9. Allowed Windows to do all of its updates.
10. Installed the software I use (like Paragon 2012 free)
11. Had 640 GB of space to partition for backups and data. :o
12. Later I backed up the data drive to an USB hdd and installed a spare 80 GB SSD I had to keep games working like lightning.
13. I restored the Data drive partition to the 80 GB SSD.
14. I put the 2.5" 640 GB hdd in USB 3.0 enclosure and use that as a dedicated backup drive. ( I do backups once a month.) It can hold quite a few entire system backups at one time.
15. I use Paragon free exclusively now, even on my Desktop.

Note: You should always backup both System and Data drives/partitions together. They are intertwined and need to be in sync with each other. Just backing up the System drive alone is not a good idea, unless the data drive only contains pure data of your own creation (like photos, music, videos etc), not data created by programs, or data like installed programs or profile data etc.

Note 2: Paragon can backup just partitions or whole disk drives, it's up to you.

Note 3: If Windows wants to create image files of both C and D partitions it is because they are already intertwined and have to be imaged together.

Note 4: The Windows Imager and Paragon both work while you are logged in Windows to do the backup image, but those images can only be restored while logged into another OS/drive partition. For that reason Paragon has a handy Boot CD it creates, just like Windows needs a boot CD or the Recovery partition.

kimiraikkonen
04-19-2013, 09:04 PM
Thanks billyray for your reply, i'll look into your post as possible as i can, soon. Thanks again :)

kimiraikkonen
04-27-2013, 04:51 PM
1. The restoration image/hidden partition.

I would ditch the restoration partition if you plan on making image backups of your system. First of all it's hogging 21 GB of disk space. I've restored from one of those restoration backup partitions and it is VERY laborious and tedious. About the only thing it saves you from is having to re-install the correct (original) drivers -which can always be downloaded from the Asus Website.

Also, the restoration partition may become corrupt or inoperable and you would never know it until you go to restore from it. But by that time it may be too late. Better to have your own system images.

2. Windows backup and image backup.

This solution requires that you have the standard Windows Repair partition (which you don't) or it requires a bootable Windows repair DVD/CD.

This solution isn't too bad, but it is very prickly about the way you save the image to partitions. I have used this solution myself on my G73. I had the correct hidden Windows repair partition (of 100 MB) which I could boot into and then restore the images of my partitions. On the plus side, Windows somehow uses very little room in creating SUBSEQUENT image backups, but does not compress the orginal image. You need a dedicated primary logical disk partition to backup this stuff to.

3. Third party Image solution.

This would be the best choice for you. My recommendation is to download and use Paragon 2012 Free as your Imager. This is truly outstanding software and is free, although you have to register your email address to obtain the download. With Paragon installed you have several options available to you as your system currently stands.

A. It compresses images automatically so they use less room.
B. You can create a backup "capsule" on your data partition that will hold your image files.
C. You can restore INDIVIDUAL FILES from the partition image you created if you need them, as all images can be browsed. (Not possible with Windows Backup)

1. I bought my G73SW off of ebay and it had the same sort of setup on the one and only System drive of 640 GB. It had a 21 GB restore partition and a Data drive partition also. Unfortunately, what I had to do was start from scratch to setup my laptop the way I wanted it.

This is what I did:

1. I downloaded the Version of Windows my laptop came with (Windows 7 Home 64 bit) from Digital River. (free)
2. Installed Windows in the normal way. (I had already removed the 640 GB hdd and installed a new 160 GB SSD in its place.)
3. Windows created the ordinary 100 MB hidden repair partition in the process.
4. Installed all of drivers that I previously downloaded and burned to a DVD from the ASUS website.
5. Made sure Windows Update feature was turned off while doing all of the driver updates.
6. Windows needed the Key (on the bottom of your laptop.)
7. In my case, the refurbisher must have installed a different key, so I had to call Microsoft to have the original key reinstated.
8. Reinstalled the original 640 GB hdd as a data drive, and erased all original partitions and junk on it.
9. Allowed Windows to do all of its updates.
10. Installed the software I use (like Paragon 2012 free)
11. Had 640 GB of space to partition for backups and data. :o
12. Later I backed up the data drive to an USB hdd and installed a spare 80 GB SSD I had to keep games working like lightning.
13. I restored the Data drive partition to the 80 GB SSD.
14. I put the 2.5" 640 GB hdd in USB 3.0 enclosure and use that as a dedicated backup drive. ( I do backups once a month.) It can hold quite a few entire system backups at one time.
15. I use Paragon free exclusively now, even on my Desktop.

Note: You should always backup both System and Data drives/partitions together. They are intertwined and need to be in sync with each other. Just backing up the System drive alone is not a good idea, unless the data drive only contains pure data of your own creation (like photos, music, videos etc), not data created by programs, or data like installed programs or profile data etc.

Note 2: Paragon can backup just partitions or whole disk drives, it's up to you.

Note 3: If Windows wants to create image files of both C and D partitions it is because they are already intertwined and have to be imaged together.

Note 4: The Windows Imager and Paragon both work while you are logged in Windows to do the backup image, but those images can only be restored while logged into another OS/drive partition. For that reason Paragon has a handy Boot CD it creates, just like Windows needs a boot CD or the Recovery partition.

Hi billyray520,
I looked into your post more precisely and got the point of Paragon. I'll give a try soon, i hope. So what you told is Paragon is able to backup only C: (system) partition and restoration with no hassle? Don't worry about my data partion, that is D: which only contains some ISO images, music, video etc. And i think even restoring partition C: would be re-link any content with D: (data partition) after restoration. Am i right?

nikosa43
04-27-2013, 05:52 PM
Hi guys, I also agree with all the the things about the third party image S/W. I wanted to add a small tip. When you have to restore an image, (that affects mostly to system partition), in Acronis home edition, I use, it gives some nice options. The first one is to make a universal restoration, that means that no system drivers specific for the hardware will be restored. So if you want to migrate to another mainboard and keep windows and file structure, it's easy to do it. The second feature is to restore the image as it is, also with another one addition. This to transfer and recover digital signatures of S/W and H/W. When I pick that method all S/W that requires a "bonding" with the H/W, including Windows are restored properly, so there are no issues with reactivation after restore.

billyray520
04-30-2013, 03:39 PM
Hi billyray520,
I looked into your post more precisely and got the point of Paragon. I'll give a try soon, i hope. So what you told is Paragon is able to backup only C: (system) partition and restoration with no hassle? Don't worry about my data partion, that is D: which only contains some ISO images, music, video etc. And i think even restoring partition C: would be re-link any content with D: (data partition) after restoration. Am i right?

As long as none of the data on the data drive has changed, then everything should be fine.

wotsupdoc
07-22-2013, 02:21 PM
Well, I called Microsoft (Netherlands), and they said that they will not change my Asus OEM Windows 7 Home key to one that works with a digital river ISO.
They told me that reinstating means that you have a working, activated windows version, and you change mayor components, Windows needs reinstating, you call Micro$oft and they allow you to reactivate your Windows version

I also asked them if upgrading to Windows 8 was an option, but they told me that if I wanted to buy an upgrade version (from Win 7 to win 8 to save money), I'd need a functioning version of Windows 7. And I can't do that, because the harddisk that is in my Asus laptop broke down.

I'm really stuped, I'd hate to pay for windows 7, as I already own an Asus OEM version of it.

xeromist
07-22-2013, 02:51 PM
The ASUS keys work, just make sure you are using an OEM ISO. A Retail ISO won't work.