Bienvenido! - Willkommen! - Welcome!

Bitácora Técnica de Tux&Cía., Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BO
Bitácora Central: Tux&Cía.
Bitácora de Información Avanzada: Tux&Cía.-Información
May the source be with you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

cloning NT60 with Symantec Ghost 8.x

Ever since build 5231, I've found myself unable to use Ghost (8.0 or 8.2) "as I've always been able to".  By which I mean with 5219, XP, 2000, etc., I can just create a partition backup, restore a partition backup, no muss, no fuss, all successful.
(I have an XP-compatible boot manager, have four independant partitions that are always hidden from one another, and I restore just one partition based on what OS/test/scenario I need to create.)
Now with 5231 and later, creating a Ghost image of a partition always results in the "unable to access \windows\winload.exe" (or whatever that exact full-screen message from the Vista boot manager is).  Regardless of whether I'm restoring back to exactly the same partition as I backed up from, etc.
If I perform a DISK backup and then perform a DISK restore AND use the -FDSP switch, I can bring back my Vista 5270 image successfully.  But still cannot just bring back Vista into a single/specific partition.
What is the "unable to access \windows\winload.exe" error actually trying to tell me?  I've been scrolling through all the BCDEDIT data and options trying to put together a scenario that makes sense.  Is SysPrep going to get me out of this, or is there something more simple I could do given that I'm not restoring to a different machine or anything; just trying to bring back a partition that was working for me previously.
FWIW, I guess since Ghost has it, there is some scenario where -FDSP was necessary even previously.  In my own experience, I've never had to modify Ghost's default behavior.  I just perform a partition backup, restore the partition backup, without any special/additional switches, and this works great for XP, 2000, NT 4.0, etc.
Thanks for any insight.  Yes, I've been playing with XIMAGE too, but only concerned with what approach might work with Ghost in this thread.

Indeed this appears to be a condition specific to the new BCD-based boot manager.  i.e. It's the boot manager failing to find and execute the Windows boot files under circumstances where Windows itself can otherwise successfully boot, and not a change to the boot configuration/dependencies of Windows itself.
(Windows of course also keeps partition and disk information of its own, even prior to Vista.  But in my experience this never resulted in a boot issue for the situation described, and Windows automatically updated and corrected if a different partition / disk signature was used.)
The cause of the Vista load failure previously described, to the degree I understand it, is that by default all of the BCD entries use "PARTITION"-type device references where applicable.  In the BCD data stored for these "PARTITION"-type device references (visible in the BCD section of the registry, and in a BCDEDIT /EXPORT), both the drive signature and the partition number appear to be part of the information stored.  And based on the results, both must match the current environment else the boot manager will declare the OS loading application cannot be found.
(Even if I force the drive signature to be the correct signature, if I'm restoring to a different partition than the image was previously using, the restored partition will still fail to boot because the partition number stored in the BCD still doesn't match the current environment.)
The solution that appears to be most suitable (at least for the situation I previously described and was intending to solve) is to change the BCD entries to use "BOOT" device references rather than explicit "PARTITION"-based references.  Presumably thereby implying "whatever device/partition I booted from, that is the device/partition I want to use".
Preparing a Vista installation prior to creating the Ghost image then becomes a task of setting the DEVICE and OSDEVICE entries of the BCD entries you intend to use:
Logon as Administrator and from a command prompt invoke the following changes:
BCDEDIT /set {bootmgr} device boot
BCDEDIT /set {default} device boot
BCDEDIT /set {default} osdevice boot
Note you can "fix" a previously restored (and currently failing to boot) installation using a PE boot disc and executing these same actions against the restored partition's BCD entries.
There may be more entires that you need to fix if you intend to use them ({memtest}, {legacy}, etc.).  The above is just the minimum for my own scenario where there is just a clean Vista-only OS installation on the partition.
Once the BCD entries are no longer referring to specific disk signatures and partition numbers, there is no need to use -FDSP with Ghost anymore, either.  The disk signature can be reset as it is by default with a Ghost disk restore, and "nothing special" is required during image creation or restore (from a Ghost perspective).
Presumably this could have also been corrected by resetting/updating the "PARTITION"-type device entries with current information (current partition number and disk signature) post-Ghost restore, if for any reason the use of "PARTITION"-type references is needed.  For the purposes of making an image that can be restored via Ghost to any partition on my test box, the "BOOT" device reference appears most desirable by not being fixed to any one partition or disk signature.
----------------------------------------Sorry, my statement of "log on as Administrator" is definitely vague
To run BCDEDIT.EXE, indeed you need to have your full Administrators rights in effect.  You can do this with any Administrators-member account (not specifically "Administrator"), but you will need to right-click the Command Prompt shorcut and select "Run as Administrator" in order to subsequently run BCDEDIT.EXE successfully within that Command Prompt session.
(Or, as alluded to, if UAC is simply disabled altogether that would give you full Administrators right in any Command Prompt session too.  But simply right-clicking the Command Prompt and selecting "Run as Administrator" will suffice for the default UAC-enabled mode of Vista.)

1. I converted my Win7 8 gb HD partition to a .VHD file (MS Virtual PC 2007 SP1)
2. Installed VPC 2007 and configged it.
3. I made it dynamic because I had to make it bigger. (16 Gb)
4. I used a program called Vhd Resizer (from vmToolkit). It only works with dynamic disks.
5. Started up Win7. Working. Tested "". did not work.
6. In VPC 2007 I converted the HD to Fixed size.
7. Restarted Win7. Downloaded ""
8. Checked the texts from "kaspersky" and also the Forum at MydigitalLife "untermensch"
9. Then I did what I had to do.
There is a tool available that will prepare your Vista installation for cloning.  It can be found at:


You do have a bootloader and an equivalent to boot.ini called BCD in a directory called BOOT.
What follows does not affect Pqboot, you will still be using Pqboot.
Try this experiment:
Boot to XP and copy these to a USB flashdrive:
Note NTLDR loads XP, W7 is loaded by winload.exe
Boot to w7 and copy from the flashdrive to the system drive C:\
Download and install EasyBcd 1.7.2, free program, in W7
Open boot.ini and add c:\w7ldr="win 7" if using the Undermensh tool. With Hazar add C:\grldr="W7"
Make sure that the corresponding certs, ldr and bootmgr are copied to the W7 boot drive.
Run easybcd, you should see in view settings:
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {default}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Directory: \Windows

go to Add/remove entries and add:
Name: Earlier Version of Windows
BCD ID: {ntldr}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr
Click on SAVE

Note you can change the name if you like.
Go to Save Settings and make sure that W7 is te Default OS, it should be, but if not select it from the drop down list and SAVE Settings

Now reboot. You should see a boot menu with 2 entries. Select the default and it should boot W7 to verify all is working. W7 will not be ac*ti*vated.

Reboot and select "earlier version of Windows" then select win7 or W7 depending on which tool you opted for. Select that and it should boot to W7 via the grldr or w7ldr. Press winkey + break and check at the bottom for status.

Note, I have used easy BCD for 2 years and found it to be very safe. It allows saving a copy of BCD before making changes and has a restore function.

Then again, not being able to duplicate your setup with Pqboot, testing this method is not possible for me. I can say that I actually boot linux from the W7/Vista boot managers using Easybcd to add a linux mbr/bootsector.
Take a look at this link:

Must admit that I make a ghost or Acronis image bacckup to an external SATA HDD just in case.

Or just install a trial version of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (assuming the new hard disk is going back into the same computer with the same motherboard and CPU) and then image it.

No comments: