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Making a bootable CD containing DriveImage XML data to restore primary drive

(61 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by dreamcatcherco
  • Latest reply from jmxfield
  • Topic Viewed 38972 times

dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

Gosh, I wish I'd have seen a discussion/question on this forum from 2-3 months ago when SaraJames was looking for a utility to make a mirror image copy. I, too, had finally gotten my C drive the way I wanted it because I had done a lot of tweaking, disabling, adding, modifying, freeware downloading, etc. that changed the drive signifcantly over factory condition (I thought by far and away for the better. Way, Way better.) I started with a C drive that was freezing a lot and very very slow. So slow on the internet using Internet Explorer it just wouldn't go anymore & the only thing I could do was shut it down (frequently) and start over. I changed the browser to Firefox and optimized that so that the difference was like night & day. Also just lots of details like getting rid of the pesky user control "do you want to continue" screen while still leaving user control on. I didn't want to lose all that so I search & searched for a freeware utility to make a mirror image of the drive without the benefit of the info. discussed on this forum. I finally found DriveImage XML and made a copy of my boot drive using it. The program said I had created it successfully & I stored it on my external drive. I also have backups from Windows and Quicken there. I did not make a bootable CD with the data on it to be used for emergency restoration of my C drive. Unfortunately, now the emergency has arrived. I am not absolutely certain that I do have usable data, although as I said, the Drive Image program said so. I am stuck at putting in the correct information in the BartPE program because the directions are for Windows XP & my OS is Vista. I don't consider myself very techie and I need step by step instructions. I don't have a clear image in my mind about the technical aspects of this process so it’s hard for me to trouble shoot what I'm not getting right & do it differently--I haven't gotten a hold on this yet. The things the tutorials are saying are just not computing for me--shall we say? SarahJames are you still out there in cyberspace somewhere? Or the people SarahJames talked with about this? Does anyone know how to give this Bart’s PE program what it wants in order to create a disk or in some other way achieve the end goal of getting the image of my C drive restored? Maybe I should explain when this all happened. I had a windows update that was repeatedly not installing. So I looked at the update installation history to see if anything else had not restored. I noticed that SP1 said it had failed to install. I assumed that it might need to be reinstalled so I attempted to uninstall first. In the process, I lost the whole windows OS. The computer just seemed to get stuck & not progress with the uninstall. Now, since I had no CD, and I needed to find some people like the ones on this forum, I just restored C drive to factory condition. It appears to be operating typically for the way it was before any changes (arrghhhh!) so the hard drive seems ok. I cannot afford to have a tech do the restoration of my C drive for me, so I will need to be able to follow instructions to do so myself.

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Ok, I'm here - first I'm going to read all you've written and then we'll see if I'm able to help you or someone else is more capable:)

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Here you find how to make a VistaPE bootCD:
http://www.howtogeek.com/forum.....?replies=6

That's what I did recently, because I couldn't figure out BartPE ;-)
If you want I have a ready made iso you can burn to a cd and then you have a readymade VistaPE bootCD with DriveImage XML on it. The only thing is I don't know how to get a 344 Mb file to you. Email won't work with a file that big and I don't have a place where to upload it yet.
So either you got to follow my tutorial on the link above or wait a couple of days till I have found a way to split and upload the iso:)

As long as you keep your external drive with the image on it safe, you're good.
We'll figure this out:)

I've tested the bootCD I made and I was able to get DriveImage XML to work with it, but I have never restored an image (yet - and hopefull won't have too LOL), so I hope one of the 'big boys' of this site will have a look and tell you what the best way is to go about it.

Don't worry!
Sarah.

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Edit: if you don't have Nero, you can use the isoburner that comes with WinBuilder (see link above for VistaPE) or download a free one - there are plenty alternatives (and Vista has a built in option to burn cd's and dvd's, though I've never used that).

Secondly, I don't know if you need to clean your harddrive before restoring an image or that you have to format the drive - please don't do anything like that till someone like Lighthouse or whs or The Geek himself have given you more info on that!

goodnight for now,
Sarah.

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

Hallaluh! Thanks for your response!!!!!! I can't express my relief that you are there and have considerable more knowledge about this process than I do so far. At least you've climbed what to me has been seeming an insurmoutable mountain--making a bootable disk to restore C drive images. Yes, I hope you won't ever need the disk you made. Of coarse, it would be great to have a pre-made iso DriveImage file but I don't know how difficult the transport would be. I'll look to see if I think the process you used looks within my capacity to accomplish--I haven't looked yet. My brain normally works fairly well, but I when I read the BartPE tutorials it seemed like it got stuck & couldn't progress/process--just like my computer had done with SP1! I think it blew out my brain's operating system-maybe the tutorial link you gave me above will reformat it!! No--I won't do anything before we find out if I need to prep my (computer's) hard drive in any way.

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

I don't have Nero. I have not burned a CD on this system. Looks like I have Windows Media Player or Cyberlink Power to Go for that.

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

I've had a chance to read your post about making a VistaPE boot CD. Wow! That's great that you had already posted that. Here's a potential road-block for your consideration. I quite innocently bumbled into learning that at the present time, many new computers in the USA do not come with either Vista disks for Vista reinstall/repair OR recovery disks. Had no idea until I got my computer home. The prior one lasted for about 5 years & came with an OS disk. Since needed my computer when it crashed, I didn't spend a lot of time researching the fine points of what I'd get with my new one. I was gnashing my teeth about the gaping absence of the Vista disk so I discovered that NeoSmart Technologies had a free Torrent file download X86 that could be used to repair/recover Vista. Just before downloading DriveImage XML and storing the mirror image copy on my external drive, I had made a Vista recovery disk using the Neosmart download. I can't vouch for the CD, because when I restored C drive to factory condition just recently, I didn't use it. I will grant you that I was not really calm when I was trying to see if the whole hard disk had crashed or just the OS but I had the disk in briefly--didn't get it working & took it back out. Before the crash, I had my computer set to autostart media--maybe it didn't autostart. Is there a way to check the recovery disk without having to return Vista to factory condition AGAIN? I think you mentioned a way to do that--w/ a program--in your post. Do you think that program would work for this purpose--its a CD-RW disk I put the Vista recovery data on. If the Vista recovery disk becomes too time-consuming to get working correctly or doen't have what is needed on it to restore my C drive, I will find the option of getting your large VistaPE boot disk here more interesting to pursue. At least I'd want to check the option more thoroughly & know how much of a pain in the rear it would be for you to do it. I know absolutely nothing about this sort of thing, but are there free accounts for people who do a lot of media sharing--big files--so that they have a "storage box" online to access for up & down-load? I just saw a free download for Nero--one day only--wonder if its got spyware/malware attached? Don't know what the catch is.

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

Oh. Those free Nero downloads are because its a trial period. Or they want you to buy or order info. from a certain number of companies.
Do you know anything about CDBurnerXP (which does work on Windows Vista)? BurnAware looks interesting. I'm seeing that it is light on resources, w/ an "intuitive" interface & fast because it burns directly onto the medium, instead of waiting for "hard disk staging". ImgBurn is supposed to be advanced with lots of features. If lots of features means confusing or time-consuming to use, don't think that would be the best choice for this purpose.

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

I don't understand why you would have to set Vista to factory defaults when you run the bootCD.
When I insert the CD and the computer is running Vista I can access it like any other data CD.
When I restart I get a dos screen with the option to boot from the CD (and if I don't do anything that's what will boot after a minute or so) or from the hard drive (plain Vista as it is before you push the restart button).

When I have booted from the CD I can access my C drive (and any other drive attached to my PC) and all files on it, just like I access my external D drive from Vista.
So I can choose to format C (don't do that yet - we don't know if it is necessary to do so yet!!!) and I can access the DriveImage XML backup of my C drive, which is placed on my D drive.
Since the program DriveImage XML is also installed on the bootCD I can start the program, select 'restore image', browse to the file on my D drive and order it to restore it (that last part I haven't tried out, because there was no need to do so, but I see no reason why it shouldn't work, while all the rest of it worked;-D).

I have looked at those sites where you can storage large files, but the maximum size for upload is 50 MB for each file. I have a LiveSkyDrive which allows me to upload up to 5 GB for free, but I need to split the iso first. I'll look for a program that can do that, but since one of the files on the CD is 177 MB I'm not sure it is wise to split it.

So now that you do have a copy of the Vista installation disk, I think it is easiest if you follow my description and make your own iso using WinBuilder. With WinBuilder also comes a little free app called Iso Burner that you can use to burn the iso to a CD.

You can also download it here: http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm

If you're not sure your Vista installation disk is ok (you need to copy the data to your hard drive - WinBuilder has it 'easier' that way) WinBuilder will let you know, and even if that wouldn't happen you can check the iso before burning with the virtual environment an so errors would be clear.

However, since your system apparently doesn't have as much resources as mine and this might be rather taxing for you on a system that doesn't function optimal, I'm off to look for a splitting device and I'll upload my iso in split form to my Windows LiveSkyDrive.

Hopefully splitting won't be a problem.
If it doesn't work out you may have wasted an empty CD, but there won't be more harm than that, so it's worth the risk:)

I'll post the links here when I'm done.

And we'll see what needs to be done after that. Hopefully Lighthouse or someone else with knowledge about these things can tell us how we actually need to go about restoring the image.
I know the steps for Win98 SE, but Vista might have requirements we need to see to, so I'd rather be safe than sorry ...

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Ok - first result in google is Free File Splitter and it seems to do the job.
I have now 8 files with a maximum size of 49 MB LOL.

You need to download this to put them back together again:
http://www.filesplitter.org/

I'm off to upload the files - link follows.

It says time to upload 2:46:45 ...
So patience is adviced, LOL.

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

Thank you so much for checking into this--I am so grateful.

I also have done some checking since last posting--this is what I found:

I found a Life Hacker review saying their choice for large file email service was GigaSize. They say in the review it lets you upload and share files up to 1.5 GB for free. One person who commented said it doesn’t work with Firefox and if I had my C drive in place, it wouldn’t work for me because I use Firefox as my browser. But my factory condition drive at present is using Explorer so now it’s ok for me. BUT their review was dated in 2006. When I went to the site the free account allows unlimited files at 600 megabytes per file. Files are stored for 45 days.
Pando is software that allows you to e-mail large files. There is a free version. It says it‘s size is only 4MB and takes seconds to install! Can be used with Windows or Mac OS but sender and recipient have to use the same version as I understand it. Requires 256MB RAM, & a Broadband Internet connection. Can e-mail files up to one GB (I think that’s for the free version) using your existing e-mail. It tells you when files are downloaded. You don’t have to be online when recipient downloads.

I had wondered if I could directly access the file containing the image of C stored on my external drive without having to have made an intermediary stop at C drive factory defaults. BUT I didn't know if that was possible & I didn't want to risk losing the external drive image (if in fact I have it)--I knew I could restore to factory & try to find some help so I just didn't attempt restoring directly from the external drive. That's probably how this would be intended to be used in the event that you had storage on your external disk as opposed to a partion on C--seems way risky to me--or if you had no external drive & just made a recovery CD. It seemed like that minute went pretty fast & I didn't have time to study/think about it before doing something. I'm out of my league on the options at the point of boot up in recovery mode. I've never been in the position of needing to boot from a recovery disk or use a recovery console, so I'm pretty clueless but apparently also pretty lucky until recently. My other question about restoring from the external drive is whether it is too connected to the C drive. You can't restore C if you're on it, so do you have to use C if you restore from the external disk as opposed to from a CD with its own copy of DriveImage? I'm in over my head on that.
Oh, while I was writing this your next post came in. Looks like you've got it!! I'll send this real quick in the event that you're not at a point of no return & just want to finish what you've started.

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

You can download the chunks here - just put in a folder together, run Free File Splitter - assemble and you should have your iso :)

http://cid-77f24068d2c96cec.sk.....spx/Public

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Yep, already was uploading and couldn't browse anymore. That's the disadvantage of LiveSkyDrive - you can't browse away from the window and it is incredibly slow. Bút it is free and I can leave the files on there, so if someone comes by months away from now he can probably still download the chunks of iso:)

For now, you can assemble the chunks and burn your bootCD. I've got to run. Probably back tomorrow, then we'll talk about what to do next:)

Goodnight!
Sarah.

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

I have never heard of LiveSkyDrive before now. Sounds like it has some things to recommend it.
Goodnight? What country are you in? I think I was eating lunch when you were saying goodnight. Isn't the world a wonderous place??
I'm not as good w/ snapping up my e-mail on weekends--because that's when I can spend time with my husband. I will be making it a point to check for when you are back online through, because I want to keep moving this along whenever you are able--whether that's weekend or work week.
I will see what happens with this split file & iso & let you know how it comes out.
As you pointed out, there will no great loss on this end if it doesn't work--just a CD that didn't turn into the .iso needed to do this job.
--dreamcatcher

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Hi there again:)

I'm in Holland and it is now almost one o'clock in the afternoon. When you had lunch it was early evening here, about nine.
Don't worry about when I'm here, I check regularly and computers can wait, you know. They are very very patient LOL.

I thought about the split file some more. Added Gigasize as a link, because that looks good too.
If the split version doesn't work (I hope it does, because then someone else might also profit from the iso now posted here) I have another option. Do you use MSN messenger?
http://get.live.com/messenger/features
It has a 'shared folder' function, so if both parties have their computer connected to the internet you can send files across and I think also the big ones:)

have a nice weekend!
Sarah.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

dreamcatcherco, I use LiveSkyDrive all the time. It has the advantage that you can upload most anything. Music, pictures, powerpoint presentations, documents, PDF's, Word files, etc., etc. Most other sites are specialized in one think (e.g. Photobucket is only pictures). The only thing you have to know is that whatever you upload, the "viewer" has to download in order to see it. Here is a small example of what I uploaded https://cid-475a0a48ca6d4035.skydrive.live.com/home.aspx?provision=1&ref=3

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

If the iso works, these are the next steps (I'm not as patient as a computer, so I started figuring out what to do next already LOL):

So the procedure to follow is:
- securing any personal files dated after making the backup
(I would secure áll personal files, just to be safe)
- boot from VistaPE bootCD
- check if driveimage xml can find and access the image on the external harddrive (using browse window)
- if alright select drive C and format
- run driveimage xml again, select restore, browse to the imagefile and wait till it's done
- restart and eject the cd
- hope and pray it has worked alright :)

I started another post for it here if you want to read all of it.

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

http://www.runtime.org/driveimage_faq.htm

Interesting to read! You might want to print this out for the instructions when you have trouble booting from the restored Vista:)

Posted 6 years ago
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dreamcatcherco
Posts: 15

I think I looked too quickly & without enough focus when I looked at the Live SkyDrive files yesterday. I came to the conclusion that SkyDrive probably wouldn't let me download until I registered. When I tried to register, I got a message that SkyDrive was having some technical difficulties with signup. And all afternoon it still wasn't repaired. So I thought I had to wait. I was able to get registered this morning, but then I saw how to use SkyDrive--looks like I wouldn't have had to register with SkyDrive to download from it. Its really easy to use--I just was making it too hard & wasn't focussed in. Oh, well, not a problem--Regardless of my delayed start, I now have the downloads of all chunks & the 2 compressed files unzipped in a file folder. There is also a joined file there with all the chunks. Did I need to join the 2 files that were zipped to the chunks?--I don't know what I'm doing here so I don't know if that makes any technical sense. I'm glad you are thinking ahead--I'm way behind at this point. I think the next thing I need to do with this project is download WinBuilder (which has IsoBurn included) to burn this iso to CD. And go see what my husband wants to do today. Later,
--Dreamcatcher

Posted 6 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Rush rush, hurry hurry - now that's familiar! LOL

Read this first, all of it!, get yourself a nice cup of thee and focus - save yourself some time:)

The 2 zipped files have nothing to do with the iso - they're just files I put up some other time! LOL

You only need the chunks (all the files that begin with the name Vistape Basic).
Put them in a folder together and use Free File Splitter to put them together as one iso again:
http://www.filesplitter.org/

It's best if you create another empty folder where Free File Splitter outputs the iso.

Iso burner is also for download here as a standalone app : http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm
Download the zip version, unzip to a folder of choice and dubble click to start.
Browse to the iso and burn.

That's one part done.

I hope you and your husband had a nice weekend:)

Sarah.

Posted 6 years ago
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