I recently had a complete failure of my OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD.
It was only 6 months old!
When I tried to restore the image of my C Drive to a replacement Crucial M4 SSD, Norton Ghost was unable to succeed.
I tried everything I could think of but to no avail.
Does anybody know why SSDs present a particular problem to Ghost (or any other backup software)?
And has anybody a proven solution?
SSD Failure gives problems with Norton Ghost 15(56 posts)
I recently had a complete failure of my OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD.
Yes it is Ghost 15, and the SSD is the same size.
The error messages initially complained of their being no MBR.
I tried every method I found on the net of solving this but things just got worse.
Eventually It would not even allow me to select a destination for the recovery.
I tried installing a clean Windows 7 on it and then trying again, but I still got error messages.I was trying to restore the main 58Gb image, but had no more success when I tried to restore the 100Mb partition that was described as "system reserved"
I was able to do it, with some problems, about 9 months ago, see HERE. Funny thing is reading this I'm not sure what I did now?
If you look HERE there could be some help. MBR is mentioned and should have been marked for restore it seems.
The SSD's might not be the same size though? It is the partition size that counts? I have a 115GB Corsair, but the partition size is only 107.13GB's. Should be more if you use the 1.024 divisor to get to real GB's. Each SSD might have different 'spare' space include in the size specifications. However, as long as the used space is below it, it should work?
Here is an alternate way of doing it, http://thessdreview.com/Forums.....t/1702.htm, and I know at one point I was going to try something else. There is also a program from PARAGON and for $20 I was within an inch of buying, until I discovered the disk ID problem.
Let me know if these help you are not?
Like I said, I did it, it wasn't easy, and it took some searching, but in time I've forgotten the full steps I took.
I don't think that there is anything special in restoring images to SSDs. I do that all the time (OCZ Vertex, Crucial M4, Intel). I do, however, use free Macrium and not Ghost. I had Ghost 14 for Vista where I also restored to SSDs (with great difficulty if I remember right), but Macrium is so much better and does not cost anything that I decided to switch.
Have a look whether the Ghost image is a VHD and can be mounted (I do not quite remember how the Ghost image file looks). If it is a mountable VHD, I would have an idea on how to get it to the SSD.
Too bad you kept the 100MB partition and did not move the bootmgr from there to the C partition. That 100MB partition is going to complicate our life a bit.
WHS, read my links... DELL seems to do it differently with respect to the MBR? Reason didn't make sense to me though, has to do with a 4th partition, but they only had 3 on the drive? At least on my VISTA they did, a 71NB 'unallocated' one that I'm sure they use for their utilities (marked with a FS unknown to Windows), the C: and the D: recovery. Maybe for W7 they added the 100MB one? My C: SSD is the only partition on the SDD, no 100MB W7 one.
Not even SURE why I'm keeping the 15GB D: drive around. Seriously doubt I'll ever restore the system from that (do have a Ghost image) but the space is so small I'm not going to bother with it. I don't even know if I can boot to it or the Utility partition that is now on the other drive, not the boot one? If I should need to boot to the utilities can move the boot drive to that one that has it though.
The PROPER procedure is to do a Secure Erase, "null out", the the SSD to bring it back to Factory Specifications BEFORE restoring the backup image.
What you did was "over fill" the the container before trim could take effect.
Using HDD4ERASE to Secure Erase the SSD requires "Hot Plugging" the SSD during the procedure to overcome the "Frozen Bios Lock" condition so is a bit hard to explain in short tutorials.
BOTH SSDs can be easily fixed. :) :)
Your saying one requires a "Hot Plugging" and a secure erase everytime you want to recover your "C" drive from a stored image? Seems like a lot of work for recovering an image.
Notice I said PROPER way.
With an SSD, the drive is already filled with one system so the image is placed in the un-filled space on the drive because the drive does not know that the filled space is not needed any more.
For the drive to know that the old filled space (old System) can be reused again, the old space must freed up by erasing (trimming) it so the restored image can be written to the old space.
An SSD has no way of knowing your intentions so until you erase or delete something, it assumes all memory that has been written to should not be written over until you erase (delete) it so trim can take place and then it knows that space is available again.
Analogy: Quickly dumping (1) pound bag of stuff into a filled (1) pound bag without emptying the bag first. (LOL)
Rick, Ghost doesn't work that way, that is copy raw files (and if it did, it would be using the same names if you replaced an image on top of another). Any disk would be as you say, and then you could not replace and image, SSD or not. I am pretty sure ALL image restore programs (not file back up programs) work by either 'formatting' first or doing a sector write which gets translated by the SSD into memory writes.
Using your analogy and you imply a DELETE doesn't happen (and it doesn't on FAT or NTFS FS's) until TRIM is run on an SSD, you'd fill an SSD up if you copy large files before a TRIM occurs. I don't think so.
Check on how an IMAGE restore program, I am quite sure none work by files but raw disk writes by sector.
Thanks for all the input, guys.
My PC is a Dell, although only the motherboard is left of the original 530S
I am assuming that this 100Mb chunk that Ghost has been saving as well as the 58Gb C image, is in fact some Dell specific area that Dell use to recover windows.
My basic assumption is that if Windows 7 can find the new SSD, format it in whatever way it requires, and install a working OS on it, then Ghost should have been able to do much the same with whatever it had been backing up for me for the last 6 months.
I had also tried installing Ubuntu onto my new M4 SSD and despite the fact that this has worked fine with 2 other PCs (non-Dell), the SSD caused Ubuntu to fail, with reams of error messages saying disk sectors were unavailable.
[ and yet it was fine as far as Windows 7 was concerned which installed faultlessly]
The only thing different was the fact that I had let Ghost do its thing and restore my 58Gb image..
I am wondering why, if ghost thought it had saved all the information it needed to restore the image, that it failed to find a MBR after the successful (as reported by Ghost)image restore.
The fact that it did it initially and then subsequently refused to even let me specify the M4 SSD as a destination for a restore,shows that something about how the SSD presented itself had changed.
And it must have changed in such a way as to prevent
a) Ubuntu from installing,and
b) Ghost from doing a 2nd recovery.
I can't help feeling this is something Dell specific.
The trouble is that as I needed the PC working, I have by now re-installed most of my software.
A combination of using Dropbox to store a lot of data, and having relocated all the usual My Music, My Pictures etc. onto my 1TB D: Drive meant that this has been quicker than if everything had been stored on C:
I am loathe to try and have another go at restoring my saved images in case it still doesn't work and I will have lost where I am now.
I just need to know what to change before I start a new backup regime so I avoid this problem in future.
I could give Ghost the boot (pun intended)
I could investigate macrium as suggested above.
I could get rid of the "system reserved" partition (if I knew the correct way to do this)
I could get rid of the last bit of Dell and buy a new Motherboard.
The advice I get on here will help me decide.
I will now go away and follow up each of the links quoted above by members and see if these throw any light on the problem.
I think the problem is either you didn't tell Ghost to restore the MBR or the MBR is pointing off to a different partition? Read the links I posted, since you now confirm it was a Dell, that sort of helps in that the old Dell setup of the drives could be a problem.
What I plan to do is buy another M4 64GB SSD
REstore the C: Drive 58Gb image.
Restore the 100Mb System Reserved.
Copy the MBR from the 100Mb to the C Drive using Bootit BM.
Then try a reboot and hope it all goes OK
Thanks for all your suggestions and links, everybody.
It gave me a lot of reading, most of which I understood.
It seems that before using Ghost to backup in future I need to get rid of the system reserved after having grabbed the MBR from it.
I'll report back how I got on.
"" get rid of the system reserved after having grabbed the MBR from it. ""
Just for clarification. The MBR is NOT in the 100MB partition. It is the bootmgr and the BCD(s). The MBR sits on the first 512 bytes of each disk (not partition) and points to the active partition - that is the partition with the bootmgr (or designated for it).
If you predefine a primary active partition on a disk and install into that partition, then the installer will not create the 100MB partition (because you can have only 1 active partition per disk). That is one way to avoid the 100MB partition. But you have to be careful. If there are other internal disks attached during the installation - especially disks on lower ports, then the installer has the habit of grabbing one partition on those disks to place the bootmgr. There are plenty of pitfalls. LOL
Thanks for making that clear WHS.
I was unsure about the difference between MBR and Bootmgr.
So that changes my method of attack given earlier, in that I will NOT use Ghost to restore the "System Reserved 100Mb" image.
I think I will remove ALL other disks whilst setting things up.
I will take a factory SSD and format it with one partition only, and then use ghost to restore the C Drive.
Will that now Boot?
or do I need to do something further after restoring the image, given that my first attempt reported "No MBR"
Should the MBR be created by the action of formatting that single partition?
and is there any risk that the C Drive image restore will overwrite that MBR?
The MBR is never overwritten. Don't worry about that. Sometimes it gets corrupted though. But that is another story.
If you do not restore the 100MB partition, you must move the bootmgr to C before you take the image - else it will not boot.
If you format the SSD with a partition (or two), you must make a primary, active partition for where the bootmgr resides (the 100MB or C).
I had made a tutorial about the whole subject. Maybe it helps you find your bearings: http://www.sevenforums.com/tut.....ystem.html
Don't forget that I now have no option but to use the image I have which was taken while the bootmgr was on the System Reserved. (presumably)
Is there any way I can restore this image AND THEN get a bootmgr onto it from somewhere?
David (about to read your tutorial)
Yes, you restore the image you have to the NEW SSD. Doesn't matter how you do it, but do select MBR on Ghost as part of the restore.
Now the 'tricky' part. Depending on the Dell system and time bought, that MBR can be almost anything, but possibly NOT work when you do another drive. It SHOULD since you are replacing a once running SDD and I'd assume that one had a 'good' MBR.
Anyway, if you get the MBR error upon boot, you'll need the OS install CD that should have come with the Dell. It must be a FULL install CD, not the 'fake' ones some systems have you create. Even if you don't have those, on the web are ISO's from MS you can burn. If you do NOT have the full CD, get the one that matches your system, W7 version and with bitness (32 or 64) from HERE.
Then you need to get to a command prompt from that CD. This should PROVIDE GUIDANCE on how to do that.
I don't quite remember how Ghost works. Do you have a possibility to restore the 100MB partition and the C partitions seperately.
If yes, then you can define those partitions on the SSD (with cmd) as described in my tutorial and dump the images in there. I would think that this is the safest method becaus I am not sure whether Ghost would make a proper alignment of the SSD.
WHS, yes, if you've saved away the 100MB partition, Ghost can restore it, but you must create the partition first. That partition might not be needed either. Only if one is doing BitLocker is one reason it is needed that I know of?
If one had partitioned the drive using the Windows DVD then it might have created the 100MB anyway. I don't think the contents would need to be put back though, but as I said, not sure it is used anyway? Alignment again I'd think would have been a problem either, as he had imaged the SSD that went bad (assuming it was aligned OK) and Ghost restores to the pre-defined partition which he'll create using W7.
Irv, I know that you do not need the 100MB partition. I always move my bootmgr to C or install into a predefined active partition.
But the OP has not done that and made the image when the bootmgr was still in the 100MB partition. Now he has to restore that partition too.
Regarding the alignment, I take your word for what Ghost does. In Macrium you can chose whether you want the old alignment ot whether you want Macrium to make a new alignment. http://www.macrium.com/help/v5-free/reflect_v5.htm Look under 'Advanced Topics > Partition Alignment'.
WHS, no, that isn't ALWAYS the case, especially with Dell...
This is MY Disk Management :
The DISK 2 is the one shipped from Dell. It had 3 partitions originally, the first is for the Utilities and managed from Boot Manager or the BIOS, probably the BIOS, I forget and have never used that partition. The D: is the RECOVERY, and X: was C: before I transferred it, using Ghost, to the SSD. Once I got the system I shrunk that C: (now X:) and created a logical data drive L:. I never HAD from Dell that 100MB partition.
Ghost does a sector by sector restore, by Relative Sector count... 0 up...
It is possible that the original SSD had no 100MB partition. Then even with the same size SSD and W7 created that 100MB partition when the drive was formatted, well, the restore size might be too big? I think there is a way NOT to copy free space, but I've forgotten that too.
My two Dells had no 100MB partition either. They put the bootmgr into the recovery partition - which is actually smart (no extra primary partition) unless you want to move C to a SSD. I did, of course, move the bootmgrs to C.
Other people fell on their nose when they removed the recovery partition after burning the recovery DVDs. But that's OK. If people don't know what they are doing, they should not have an OS.
Uh, WHS, I don't know what boot process you are talking about? W7's was changed, but even older versions of Windows (and OS/2 and DOS) all booted about the same. BIOS loaded the first sector of the disk and that had the location of the OS's bootstrap loader which varied by OS. It booted in parts getting more 'power/features' as it loaded, until it could go and load the real loader for the OS.
W7 is no different. If, as you said it was on D:, then the Boot Sector pointed to D:. You would have had to rebuild the MBR to handle C: and then use BCDEDIT to create what you wanted, and more.
Might want to review THIS LINK.
Dell left me ONE PARTITION, they used 3. If they put the 100MB in I'd have had a problem. Only 4 partitions allowed on a disk. Because they left me one I was able to shrink the C: and create the Extended to add more partitions.
BTW, I'm not doubting you had a boot process in D:, but that was in case you selected the RECOVERY partition. It too is bootable.
Irv, I think you misunderstood. On my Dells, the Recovery partition was the "active" partition - which means it contains the bootmgr and the BCD. With EasyBCD I moved the bootmgr to C because I did not want the recovery partition on my SSD - I have no need for that.
If you do this move, there is no need to touch the MBR. EasyBCD updates it. Only if you cleanout the MBR, then you have to rebuild it as described in steps 4 and 5 of my tutorial..
WHS, the 'active' bit can only be on one partition. It directs the BIOS to look in that partition for its boot files. One active partition per physical drive, as you'll note I have 2, on 2 different drives, because my X: is bootable from a menu. May not be, I never really tested that, but if I take out the SSD and put that drive at first bootable in BIOS it should work (may not even have to remove the SSD?).
I can not even think of why Dell would have declared that one bootable? I do think if you use Dell's menu (F12) and boot to that recovery drive (D:) it may change the active bit (again not tested by me)? Different drive letters are involved here and the booting process at first isn't 'smart enough' to look for files on another drive I'd suspect?
Irv, I don't really know why we are arguing. On my 2 Dells the recovery partitions were the active partitions. That is actually a smart setup because that way they save an additional 100MB primary partition on the drive. And I do know that you can have only 1 active partition per drive.
I did though move the bootmgr from the Recovery partitions to C before I made the image for the transfer of the OS to my SSDs. I did not want that recovery partition on my SSD.
Apologies for the delay in trying to have another go at restoring to the (2nd) new M4 SSD that has now arrived from Amazon.
My excuse is that I am busy in the garden and so PC stuff has taken a backseat temporarily.
But thanks again for all the useful info coming from you gents. I am slowly feeling a little more confident about how it all hangs together.
If this 100MB partition is a new feature with Windows 7,it created confusion in my mind with Dell's extra partion(s).
What was Microsofts's reason for introducing it?
Was it to make having multiple OS's easier?
Well I am close to admitting defeat! I took my new M4 SSD and created a duplicate of my existing M4 (The one that replaced the original OCZ and which by now has a pretty much manually restored copy of windows and all my apps)
I then used ghost to restore the "system reserved" 100Mb partition.
Ghost reported complete success.
And yet when I looked at the disk using both Windows Disk Management and MiniTool Partition Wizard, the disk shows as completely free space!
i.e. my existing two partitions (100Mb and 58.3Mb) have dissappeared, despite Ghost reporting "Restoring to existing partition" while it was recovering.
I am at a loss as to how to proceed.
By now I have pretty much got my system back to where it was before the loss of the OCZ SSD.
(BTW OCZ were very quick to accept my fault, give me an RMA and the ssd is now in their hands in the Netherlands!)
I just think I don't want to entrust Ghost with backing up my SSD any more, given my current problems.
The question is, what, if anything, will give me a reliable, easy to restore image of my SSD?
It seems as though the combination of Windows7 and Dell have between them created a format that is problematical.
If you can post your SSD setup using Partition Wizard I am sure it would help resolve some of the confusion.
If you have only one partition with the bootmgr on the same partition as your O/S and your Ghost image is made from that then when recovering an image using the Ghost recovery disk there is an "Edit" button that you can click on for some advanced options. You can select / deselect actual disk signature, MBR, make drive bootable.
My images were always mechanical HDD to mechanical HDD so never had a problem with Ghost until I installed my SSD. I kept getting a BSOD while trying to restore a Ghost image until I used the advanced options.
I used Diskpart to set my SSD up with proper alignment, then unticked disk signature in the Edit option and my image writes to my SSD without any problem. I then booted the system and made some minor changes mainly to see how the system is running then made a new image and again, used Diskpert to reset my SSD and again recovered my Ghost image. I have done this at least 4 times just to make sure if or when I really need to recover an image I "CAN DO IT". Each time I had to untick the signature box in the Edit options feature otherwise I got the BSOD relating to a hardware issue. I now have full faith in Ghost again.
Hope this helps
Why do you keep mucking around with Ghost. If you want to make your life really easy, use this program: http://www.paragon-software.co.....OS-to-SSD/ That does the job with 3 clicks.
But if you want to do it manually, you should first move the bootmgr from the 100MB partition to C. Then you need only image the C partition and can forget about the 100MB partition.
For the rest follow my tutorial: http://www.sevenforums.com/tut.....ystem.html
@whs, what were you using before you started using Macrium?
Ghost is a good imaging utility but with these new SSD's one has to get familiar with using ghost again.
Like Macrium I made an image and when I attempted to recover it Macrium said I didn't have enought space on my SSD. I have a 256gb and only have 50gb of data yet I couldn't recover it unless I checked another drive to complete the recovery. So I mucked around with Macrium.
The settings are different on most of the imaging software. So you have to muck around.
g-x, before I used Macrium I used Ghost 14 on Vista. In those days I was never able to get my OS from the HDD to the SSD using Ghost. I don't know whether you were around in those days, but ScottW and myself had extensive discussions to make it work - but we failed.
But for regular imaging Ghost was OK.
And you are right. Free Macrium cannot shrink an image. The imaged partition must not be bigger than the partition into which you restore the image. And that is independent on the amount of data that is in the partition. Only the Pro version can do automatic shrinking.
What you can do in that case is to either shrink the originating partition to the size of the receiving partition before you take the image or shrink the image VHD and reimage the VHD.
whs, The problem with Macrium I found out a little later is I imaged the entire partition instead of just sectors with data. I hadn't used Macrium except once so I wasn't very familiar with the program. Since I mucked around with Ghost I am able to make images and recover them to my SSD without a hitch but it was a little re-learning curve.
I do have one question: On an SSD if you want to recover an image do you just write over or do you clean your SSD first? I have been cleaning with diskpart before recovering an image.
@Rick, your mantra is always a clean install, however I 'question' this statement, "Clean the nand First." and may ask your logic behind that?
SSD's are not like hard drives. Neither are Ghost'ed images. NAND's run TRIM, much like defragging a HDD. If the SSD image is Trim'ed, putting an image back would still leave you 'trimmed' and negate the need to clean the NAND. If NOT trimmed, big deal, the next use would trim it anyway (the restored image).
Partition already exists, so it should be in the right place too.
Yes, clean installing an OS vs. a re-install over itself does have advantages (both ways, clean or keeping system setup and data), but restoring and image is not doing a clean install.
Maybe I'm not understanding why one would 'clean' the NAND (and I assume you meant FORMAT or do you mean DELETE and then RECREATE the partition)?
g-x, the diskpart clean does not help. Clean alone just cleans the control records and Clean All writes zeros that you do not want on a SSD. If you want to do a real nulling job, use the Parted Magic program that Rick has linked. But even that is not necessary on SSDs with Trim in Win7. I do it sometimes on my SSDs that run with Vista, but that has no Trim.
If I recover from an image (which I do frequently because I make too many 'experiments'), I do nothing special. I just pull the image in. Latest was yesterday when I pulled a 45GB+ image in. Took 16 minutes from an external eSata disk.
Irv, when you 'clean' the nands, you nulll them so that there are neither zeros not ones in it. That makes the write operations faster because you cannot write to an adress that has zeros or ones. But Trim does the same - eventually when the garbage collector gets to it.
I know how SSDs work obviously.
What I used was SSD Forum "jargon" for doing a Factory Restore (NULL) BEFORE a Clean Install.
From all SSD Forums, the answer is always the same.
There are only a very few programs that can be used to Factory Restore an SSD to New Condition.
1. Secure Erase
2. Parted Magic
3. Some Program Written Specifically for a brand of SSD.
Sometimes "Hot Plugging" is required to over come a Bios Password Freeze Lock on the SSD
during the Restore procedure.
AFTER the procedure, a Clean Install of any O/S is Highly Recommended rather than an old Image restore.
IF you know of a better solution, write it on the SSD Forums and please don't "bird dog" my postings.
Thanks whs for helping to explain what a NULL is.
WHS, "But Trim does the same - eventually when the garbage collector gets to it.", yup, exactly my point. Again, XP and older SSD's, yeah, it is a good thing to do. W7 and newer SSD's, not worth it. Once Trim'ed, it is as 'good as it gets'.
Better check Rick's link too,
Step 3: Select "Internal:Secure Erase command writes zeroes to entire data area" then click Continue.
Hmm, I think 'electrically' you have only 2 states, off and on, or 0 and 1, true or false? Don't recall a NULL state?
Not listed as a state on this page :
A 'null' state would be between a 0 and 1... electrically I suspect each cell will flip one way or the other when the voltage nears the median state which could be different for each cell even? It would be very hard to maintain I suspect.
We differ on what is best Rick. If one has data and a lot of installed programs, a clean install although I agree is best, isn't always the best solution. Putting the SSD back to the 'state' when you first got it may not be the desired logical choice for some. For some it is restore (or make a copy of my HDD) an image of my latest save of my drive.
I'm not 'dogging' your posts, just asking a pointed question here.
As for the 'null', I still don't understand your 'jargon', and it isn't what WHS said either. SSD cells can only be in one of two states I believe. Not a third which is 'nothing'.
The third state is Nothing OR Neutral OR Null.
Since there is so much disagreement on our forum, I think this is what should happen when an OP asked
a question concerning SSDs.
Each Responder should give their own answer and let the answer stand without argument.
If the OP asked a question to a Specific Member, that Member should answer and that answer should stand without argument unless the OP asked another Member Specifically and then that answer should stand without augment.
This method would cut the confusion out and also let the OP decide what is better for themselves.
On the SSD Forums, one does not see the augments and tempers as displayed on HTG.
Rick, you seem a little touchy. All I've asked is why and you've not helped me learn at all.
Not tempers either, just asking for information.
I've googled SSD states and cell states. I do know memory as in RAM and USB Flash drives. Only 2 states exist.
Some links that seem to state this too :
http://www.crucial.com/support.....terms.aspx (see BIT)
Not one of those mentions anything but 2 states. If you have a link to the 3rd state, I'd sure like to know about it.
Xhi, not the way it was used here. Clearly stated there is a 3rd state it seems.
WHS might have meant that, his statement "when you 'clean' the nands, you nulll them so that there are neither zeros not ones in it." isn't that clear. "you nulll them so that there are neither zeros not ones in it.". Neither 0's not 1's in it??? Doesn't computer unless it mean it contains 0's and not 1's?
Rick however clearly states there is a 3rd state?
I'm confused and all I'd like is something I can read on this?
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