The How-To Geek Forums Have Migrated to Discourse


How-To Geek Forums / Windows 7

Taking image of computer operating drive

(39 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by glrsj
  • Latest reply from plotter
  • Topic Viewed 2265 times

glrsj
Posts: 50

When I bought my Sony Vaio 14" laptop 2 years ago (VPCEA13EN, having 3GB memory and 320 GB hard disk drive) it had C drive of 40 GB and Drive of remaining 280 GB. The factory installed windows 7 Home Basic, I got removed and asked the shop to install windows 7 ultimate which I bought. When I asked them to divide D drive into 2 more smaller units they said it could not be done. But some months later when I asked our usual computer repairing shop they said it could be done and made 2 more divisions. So I have 4 drives clearly shown on the computer. On 3 of these drives I have stored a total of about 140 GB data.

Recently someone said it is a good idea to take image back up of C drive (operating drive) and keep it for emergencies. I used his Image taking program and started the process of Image copying. But after proceeding a few steps the process stopped saying there is no partition and that there is only one volume and so no Image is possible. I asked some computer experts about this. One person suggested that I copy all the data on an external disk and then only can do proper partitioning. Another said I should have got my laptop registered with Sony when I bought it and they would have given some help. I thought the shop registered my computer when I bought it since they had asked my name to put on the computer. Further this second person told me not to disturb the computer and do a re-formating as it is a long and complicated process.

With all this almost contradictory advice what should I finally do? I am confident that Geeks will give me the best advice since Geeks recently solved 2 of my very irritating problems.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Hi glrsj,

Sounds like something we should be able to clear up :)
First go to disk management (enter diskmgmt in Run) and post a screenshot here of what your drives and partitions look like.
Secondly do you want to store the image on a partition you have made or do you use an external drive?
Thirdly what imaging software do you use?

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

Hi SarahJames,
Thanks for taking interest in my new problem. Our internet was out for over 2 weeks. Only from night before last it has been sometimes working and may go off any time. So if I do not write a reply it doesn't mean that I have lost interest but it only means that internet is out again.
I am not a computer expert but am slowly learning more things. I just learned how to take a Screen Print and next how to create a URL, save it and send it. I hope I succeed in sending what you are asking for.
Regarding the question you asked: Where do I want to save the Image? My C drive, the Operating drive, is about 40GB full. My D drive is empty and is about 80 GB. I don't have so much space in my external HDD, only about 25 GB. But I heard that Image is highly compressed.
Second question: What program am I using? I was using my friend's program "Hiren's Boot CD - 10.1" and "Acronis" program from it.
Hope this little information will help you. I will have a few more questions for clarification later.
Thank you.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

An image of a 40GB OS partition may just barely fit into a 25GB space. Matter of trying. I suggest you use free Macrium because it is a lot more reliable and easier to handle than the standard Windows imaging facility. And do not forget to also image the 100MB System Partition. That you have to do only once because it never changes. This is important because this System Partition contains your bootmgr which you will have to recover in case your disk fails.

Here is a comprehensive tutorial that should get you started.

If your C partition is already 40GB, there must be user data on it. One option you have is to move that user data to the D partition in order to make the C content smaller. The easiest is to define folders for Documents, Music, Videos and Pictures in the D partition and move the data there. Then you right click on each of these new folders and INCLUDE them into the appropriate library (you'll see). That way they will show up in the left pane of Explorer under the libraries.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

Many times I tried to download Macrium from the sight you suggested as also the Tutorial. But never succeeded in both. I don't know what more I can do.
Besides, I have one more question to ask. When I bought my Sony Vaio laptop it had OS Widows Home Basic (64-bit). Since at the same time I bought the bigger version Windows 7 Ultimate, I asked the shop technician to install the Ultimate version. Since it was nearing the closing time he asked me to come the next day because he said it would require more time to do all the necessary savings. I am from far away place from the shop, so I told him I might not need the Basic program and to go ahead and install Ultimate. He must have done that. Now I regret that decision. If I want to get rid of this laptop I don't want to give away my Win 7 Ultimate which I bought separately. In the HDD there is only 100 mb reserved space which is shown only when I open Disk Manage. Is there any chance of recovering the factory installed Basic program? There is a serial number printed on the back of the laptop, which I suppose is meant only for this laptop. It is 2 years since I bought the laptop and it is beyond the guarantee period. Is anything possible? In the extreme case if i download a pirated version of Win 7 Basic and use the genuine serial number will it work? I would be very happy to get answers for my problems.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

1. If you are unable to download free Macrium, try to download the Macrium WinPE .iso from my Skydrive. Burn this .iso to CD (e.g. with ImgBurn). Boot the PC with that CD which allows you to make images and recover from images - just the same as if it was an installed Macrium.

2. Are you sure that there is no recovery partition on your Sony. With that you could reinstall the Win7 Basic. If not, get a hold of any Win7 Basic installation disc (e.g. from a friend) and install with that. You then activate it with the key that is on the COA sticker on the bottom of the PC.

3. In case you find the recovery partition on your system, this is the reinstallation procedure:

Turn off your computer.
Restart your computer.
When the VAIO logo appears on the computer's screen, briefly press the F10 key on the computer keyboard.
The VAIO Recovery Wizard appears.
4. Click Next.
5. Select one of the available menu options.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

I tried to download Macrium from your site. A small rectangle appeared and when I clicked on the top right hand corner a small menu appeared. I clicked on Download. Then the trouble began just like in my previous attempts. It asked for my Microsoft ID and then for my password. i have three or four IDs. I tried every one of them and each time it was rejected and agagin and again the same 2 boxes asking for microsoft IDs appeared. I don't know what I am supposed to enter. Please tell me what this microsoft Id is. You see I am not an expert.
Regarding the Vaio partition I shall look into it a little later. I 'll try one thing at a time.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
Xhi
Posts: 6298

Clicking on that small rectangle then download did nothing for me. However clicking on the large rectangle itself caused the download to begin with out delay.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

The .iso on the Skydrive can show either as a text line or a rectangle. Just right click on it and 'Download'. That should work.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
nosparks
Posts: 148

Every thing I did to try and get your .iso also took me to the Skydrive sign in screen.
After signing in tho double clicking your .iso initiated the download, even tho right clicking and selecting download didn't.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

dear whs,
At last I managed to download Macronium from your site. it is not as iso file but a zipped or compressed file. Do I burn it to CD as it is or do I uncompress it and then burn it to CD? Actually I copied it to a folder and used "Extract here" command to uncompress it. Even after that there are still two files that are zipped. What should I do?
Secondly, how do I get your Tutorial? Is it a printable file?
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
vistamike
Posts: 10945

glrsj, the image has to be burned to disk as whs pointed out above, with the following software

http://filehippo.com/download_imgburn/

It is not an exe

Mike

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

My tutorial is an on-line video tutoriasl with a lot of links (includes also a video tutorial from a friend describing the recovery process). Printing it makes no sense - just watch it on-line. http://www.sevenforums.com/tut.....html?ltr=I

PS> The zip folder you downloaded you have to unzip.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
Fhirkin9
Posts: 179

@nosparks I believe we could upload whs's Zipped folder (with whs's permission of course) to another filesharing site so you can get the files. Are you still unable to get the extremely helpful download? I could upload it to depositfiles, which is free and needs no account or log-in to download a file. Please let me know if this is reasonable whs!!!

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

@Fhirkin9, go ahead, no problem.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
Fhirkin9
Posts: 179

http://depositfiles.com/files/opgzrn0es

You have whs to thank for this, not me!

GO to regular download and fill out the Captcha, there you are.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

i have been going to the site/s showing macrium tutorial, quite a few times. It is supposed to be a video file. I see a black video screen but nowhere cal i find any play button. How do I play the video tutorial/ Any clear and detailed instructions will be very helpful and appreciated.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

Maybe it helps if you go directly to the YouTube link. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....Y0Dlf837Vw

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

I tried everybody's suggestions to open the tutorials, reached the mentioned sites, saw the headings of video clips,clicked on them resulting in a bigger black screen, but that was all. Could not open anything, saw no play button. I don't know how it can play with no play button. I now havew the program but without knowing how to use it I am to square one. The past few days i have been trying all permutations and combinations without success. Usually I work at something till I find a solution. But this time no luck. Any other help?
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

dear whs,
It has been a month since I wrote anything here. I had tried everything anybody said but without success. I finally gave up in despair. I could download Macrium winPE from you site but could never play any of the video tutorials, which I could find but not play. Yesterday I was just checking somethings on the internet when I found that I could not play small video files not only yours but of anybody else. That is when I asked Google some questions about this and found that others also were facing the same problems, namely, clicking on any small video file a black screen would appear which should have played the video, but the screen had no play, pause, or stop buttons. In fact no buttons of any type except the black screen. If you or anyone can solve this mystery some solutions to the old problem may still be possible.
Thanks in advance. If I get an answer ot would be nice, but if I don't I still appreciate your help so far and wish all of you A Very Happy Christmas and A Peace Filled New Year 2013.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

If you cannot play videos from the net, it could be a Flash player problem. Make sure you have the latest Flash player (V11 active X) and the Flash player plug-in installed.

You could also try another browser. If you use FF now, that may be the problem.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

Dear whs,
I tried everything you suggested and some extra experiments too. I have failed totally. Installed the latest flashplayer. The video clips are as dark as before. A black screen appears as before and ther are no play/pause/stop buttons seen anywhere. I know the tutorials are there but I just don'ty reach them.
I thank you for your patience but I think you must be as frustrated with me as I am frustrated with this problem. The best thing would be to quit this whole affair, though it is not in my nature to quit easily. These kind of difficulties tickle my curiosity till I find a solution. I shall continue with my search though I can't give too much time for this since I have many other jobs to do. So if you plan to remain patient I may trouble you now and then. On the other hand,if you are fed up with helping me, I wouldn't trouble you any more.
Happy new year.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

Hmm, I am out of ideas too. If you are looking for a Macrium tutorial, a while ago I had uploaded a different written tutorial to my Skydrive. You can download that from here: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=475a0a48ca6d4035&provision=1&ref=3&wa=wsignin1.0&sa=412485191#cid=475A0A48CA6D4035&id=475A0A48CA6D4035%21275

Just right click on the Skydrive file > Download

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598
 
whs
Posts: 17584

I just saw this. Maybe this is your problem: http://ask-leo.com/why_cant_i_.....3V1J3ZdfbL

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

Dear whs,
After a long time I once again tried to solve my problem of copying an image of my OS drive usung Macrium. I downloaded your latest tutorial. I copied the Macrium program to dvd, inserted the dvd into the cd rom drive, restarted the computer, got the message "please press any key to continue", did that, got the screen as shown in your tutorial and then the problem began. When I clicked on Other Tasks nothing happened, except a small message "network config" which when I pressed opened a panel too complicated for me to fill up.Then i went back to the screen and pressed Other Tasks button many times. Nothing happened. That is my maximum progress.
Have I missed something somewhere? or Am I an unlucky person not meant to solve this problem at all?
An answer would be appreciated. If no answer I will understand your frustration just as I am frustrated. Yhank you.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

You are clicking on the wrong thing. You apparently did not study my tutorial thoroughly enough. I am going to help you out but I would appreciate if you get your own neurons working because a posting like this is a lot of work.

Follow the numbers on the 3 pictures and things will work. (click on the pictures - they are hyperlinks)

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

I understand whs's irritation with my questions. The fact is, I consider, from all that I read that whs's simplified Macrium WinPE. ISO to be the best and the easiest, if it would work for me. I downloaded that program from his Skydrive twice and followed all the instructions. I unzipped the downloaded program, burnt it to CD with Image burner, rebooted the computer with the CD. Then problems begin. Nothing new happened. I tried various combinations possible.like - burnt CD withour ubzipping program; burnt CD with after unzipping program and adding rescue CD and many other combinations. No success.In one of my tries I succeeded in reaching "press any key" and then a picture appeared which is not what is shown as the first picture in whs's tutorial which has lots of details. I have spent many many hours and many days to solve this problem. I am still convinced that whs's program is going to be the best one for me.
If it helps somebody to understand where I have gone wrong here is a small detail. Not to waste too many CDs with mistakes, I burnt my program each time on Rewritable CD. Is my problem because of that? Can anyone explain to me in detail evry step (however insignificant it may seem to others) on how to get that all important bootable CD which will show the full first picture of the Tutorial? I would really appreciate that help from anyone. Thank you.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

Did you try to install free Macrium on your system and work from there rather than using the CD with which you apparently have all the problems.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

I did not install from the program on the computer since there was no place where the zipped or the unzipped files mentione anything saying "Install". So I had to work only from my CD. Even after sending my las message, again I copied the unzipped files to my CD on my desktop, this time using Nero burner and burning the files as data bootable CD. Then brough the burnt CD to my laptop and booted the laptop. It opened with a lot of DOS commands. I don't know anything about working with DOS. So I deleted evything from the CD. And now I am back to square one.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

You cannot install the program from my WinPE .iso. You have to download and install it e.g. from here: http://filehippo.com/download_macrium_reflect/ The download will take a while. It is a 32MB file. Make sure you save the file someplace where you can find it. Use the IE and go to 'Save as'. There you can select the folder where you want it. Then double click on it for the installation.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

I think I did everything possible and have failed miserably. I will mention all that I did:- (1) From the downloaded WinPE Rescue CD 5.0.4995 and also from 5603, unzipped file (download file here). Saw 9 folder & files. Tried to burn them to rewritable cd,wth image burn, in various ways. Only last 5 files were burnt not the first four folders. ( 2) installed Macrium free and got more or less the image shown in the tutorial. It asked me to make a recue disk saying PE is over 1 GB. I thought with downloaded recue disk this part was not necessary. (3) Put the above mentioned CD in the drive and restarted the computer. Did not notice anything new. (4) Macrium did not show a single drive from my laptop. But when i attached my 250 GB external hdd it showed only that drive with its capacity and free space. When I removed it again nothing of the laptop drive. (5) Reread the literature that came with the laptop. It says there is no partition, which I suppose means there is only one drive. But even that is not shown in Macrium. How do I ever be able to take an image of the OS drive?
(6) A short time ago installed the same free Macrium on my Desktop having XP os. When I opened the installed program, immediately it showed the C & D drives.
I think it is the end of the road. I thank everyone and especially whs for your help and patience. I could not reply faster because the internet does not work regularly here.
The next reasonable move, I think, is to copy everything on the laptop to an external HDD, through an expert reformat the laptop make at least 2 or 3 partitions, and then try again later to get an image through Macrium.
If anybody has some better practical advice I am ready to listen.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

Sometime ago I thanked all who helped me with the problem of using Macrium on my laptop and I said I give up in dispair. My friend, a computer expert, tried to help me take an image of my opearating drive with another image making program. That too failed. The message simply said that no image can be taken because there is no partition. Checking with the literature which came with my laptop there also it says there is no partition. So I copied evrything on my laptop to an external hdd and today asked my friend to reformat my laptop and create partitions. he tried every trick that he knew but did not succeed in the task and gave up in frustration. The computer shows 4 partions which were made later but image making programs say there is no partition so cannot take an image.

Once again I give some details of my laptop. It is 14 inch Sony Vaio E series which had factory installed Windows 7 Home Basic on it. I lost all this since I was in a hurry to go away from the shop as it was getting late at night. But I had bought windows 7 ultimate and the shop technician installed that program win 7 ultimate 64 bit,

So now I need your help badly on a few questions. (1) How to reformat my laptop and create partitions? (2) How to bypass whatever blocks Microsoft might have put in the factory installation and do a new clean format? (3) Is this exercise possible at all?

Anybody's immediate help will be highly appreciated, because I know that if I can take an image of a partioned drive, repairing that drive would be a child's play and very fast. I have seen it happening. If anyone is going to answer this I would appreciate a detailed answer with clear steps. Please remember I am not an expert and I will have to show your answer to my friend. Thanks
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

Although I had my troubles with a Sony Vaio myself, your problem is very strange. I would try this (assuming that is a HDD and not a SSD):

(But if you have any valuable user data on that disk, you should save that first.)

Load the Vaio with the Windows installation disk and find the Command Prompt. Then run these commands one by one each followed by Enter

Diskpart
List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your disk in List disk)
Clean
Create partition primary
Format fs=ntfs quick
Active
Exit

Then try to install into that partition you just created.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
ispalten
Posts: 6259

I would rather that the data displayed be posted here? Before the attempt to clean the disk... maybe we'll see something? Also post a DISKMGMT.MSC (Windows Key + R and enter that and take a screenshot and post via an on-line respository) output, it might shed some light on this.

Irv S.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
glrsj
Posts: 50

Dear whs,
I showed your instructions to my computer technician friend. He says you have assumed that I have HDD and not SSD. But, he says, I have SSD in my laptop and not HDD. So those instructions will not work for SSD. Could you, therefore, give fresh instructions on how to partition SSD? Thank you in advance.
glrsj

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
whs
Posts: 17584

Did not know you had an SSD. I explicitely said that this is for a HDD. But that is simple. You just have to add a parameter to the Create command. Your technician could have told you that.

Diskpart
List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your disk in List disk)
Clean
Create partition primary align=1024
Format fs=ntfs quick
Active
Exit

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 
plotter
Posts: 1

After reading through this post I suspect when Best Buy (or whatever store you bought the pc at told you that splitting the drives could not be done) simply said that because they didn't want to screw with the "recovery" partition. Almost all newer laptops include a "recovery" drive partition that during booting there may be an option that pops up alongside press F2/F11/ESC for BIOS or Boot menu etc. There may be an option that says Recovery F1 or some other key. If you are repartitioning a hard drive It would be best to backup this recovery partition, and if possible after creating a new partition table replace the recovery partition.

But on the flip side of things, the OP sounds like the "average" pc user which really shouldn't be screwing around with partitioning or any bios settings unless they have the time to xxx things up and than google their way back to a working system. There's really no need for the average windows 8 user to have a separate "home" partition aside from their system partition really. On my desktop I do have a separate hard drive for my home folder but I run Linux and theres upsides and downsides to doing this sort of multi partition setup with tmp/ var/ home/ and / all having their own separate part.

Anyways, Goodluck I'll follow this thread.

Edit by mod. Please watch your language. This is a family site.

Posted 4 years ago
Top
 



Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.