Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 06, 2016, 10:07:09 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Win7, disk imaging, vmware  (Read 14337 times)

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« on: May 12, 2009, 04:47:36 PM »
Here goes...

I'm (hopefully!) getting hold of a nice SSD tomorrow, which means reinstalling Windows (the main reason for getting an SSD is fast application loadtime et cetera). While I don't usually like running bleeding-edge OSes, Win7-RC seems pretty nice & stable to me, so I'll give it a go. It's basically either that or Vista, and Win7 does have some neato improvements as well as being ~4GB freshly after install (my vlited Vista on the laptop is ~6GB).

Win7 part
First, does Win7 need it's BCD in that little 100meg-or-whatever hidden partition it creates by default, or is it possible to have the BCD on the system partition? If it can go on the system partition, is there any advantage whatsoever to keep the two partitions separate?

Disk imaging part
Next, I'd like a recommendation for disk imaging software. I used to use ghost and then TrueImage, but haven't been into system recovery by disk image for some years now (I've used DriveImage XML for the purpose of picking out individiual files that I might have forgotten to backup before a format, but that's it). So, what some good (and preferably free) disk imaging software today that...

1) can handle partition bootsector and perhaps MBR (ie, restore an image to a blank harddisk and then boot from it)
2) can be booted from a DVD or (preferably) USB keyfob
3) has windows software to extract individual files from it's image (not a requirement, but would be nice).

Acronis TrueImage probably fits the shoe, but I don't have a license for it anymore, and frankly all the different versions listed on their site leaves me damn confused.

VMWare -> hardware part
And, finally - what about creating an image from a vmware virtual machine and transferring it to real hardware? I believe this is possible, but does it require any special trickery, and would there be any downsides from doing this? I have nicely working vLited Win7-RC setup disc, but it's impossible to disable pagefile and hibernation on that disc, which thus has to be done post-install... and frankly, it's nicer doing setup & testing in a VM before going to real hardware.
- carpe noctem

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 10:50:47 PM »
Regarding Disk Imaging:

What about Paragon Drive Backup 9 Personal Edition ?
The above is a comparison between the Special Edition, (same as Personal), version and full version as well as registration page.  If you can live without updates, support or WinPE based recovery disk then they're the same.

Available free from a post on GHacks, 32 and 64 bit available.

I've just recently installed it to see how it compares to TI Home 11 and it seems to be not that bad.  In fact if it weren't for the fact that I need TIH11 installed so I could include it on my Win/VistaPE CD I'd probably switch.

During the last week, (cleaning/upgrading a pc for someone), I've used the bootable Rescue disk to image/restore a system approx. 5-8 times without a problem.  As part of it's basic options it also ignores pagefile.sys, (not sure about hiberfil.sys), so it's not included.

It can restore individual files, do incremental file and differential partition backup, it's FREE.

Here's a grab of the interface:

capture_05132009_133838.jpgWin7, disk imaging, vmware

Wrt. backup a virtual drive and restore to real drive - doesn't Win7 install all drivers during a normal install ?
If so, when you booted it would it not just reinstall all the "new" drivers for the real PC from it's CAB, (or whatever), files ?

I might try it, I've got Win7x86 running under VirtualPC.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 10:54:36 PM by 4wd »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 01:38:50 AM »
4wd: thanks for the suggestion. I recall grabbing a copy of the free drivebackup, and for some reason not being super impressed with it (can't recall why, though). You say it has a rescue disk, but I assume that's strictly for restoring a backup - it would be nice being able to backup from the bootmedia as well. But if the boot media can restore backup from, say, a network location, I could live with the boot media only being able to restore.

Btw, does the Paragon app do a raw partition dump sector-by-sector, or will be backup file be limited to the used partition size?

Wrt. backup a virtual drive and restore to real drive - doesn't Win7 install all drivers during a normal install ?
If so, when you booted it would it not just reinstall all the "new" drivers for the real PC from it's CAB, (or whatever), files ?
Very good question! That would definitely solve a lot of problems. And since I will be installing to a SATA drive, there hopefully shouldn't be any boot device driver problems. I guess there could be other problems, though - like, the location of the boot device being different between the VM and the physical hardware you try restoring to. I don't know supermuch about how the BCD works, but it's probably fixable like boot.ini was, but would the registry also contain some invalid entries?

I guess I could try messing around with my current vm install of Win7, since I haven't put much time into tweaking it yet.
- carpe noctem

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 01:53:15 AM »
this won't be too helpful as i can't remember the version number BUT...

i'd been using Paragon rather than Acronis, i started to recommend Paragon to people i know. they used it, backed up their main drive, all seemed fine.

the problem was/is that two, possibly three, people i know could not restore the Paragon image when they tried (i think i had the same problem but i can't remember now).

Paragon would appear to restore but on rebooting the machine the system would be corrupt somehow - to the extent that typical fixes didn't sort it out. the only way to restore their system was to find alternative image backups... by Acronis.

now, i know Paragon must work, and i know it did work. this particular version just didn't - it might have been a linux boot disk version.

what i recommend (and it will sound extreme - but it's safe, you can't deny that), is to do two backups of your system using two different products and then test them both out. that's the only safe way of knowing if you've got a backup that isn't going to work.

no point leaving it until you need your backup image restored only to find it doesn't work - AND that's the only backup image you have.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 02:21:15 AM »
4wd: thanks for the suggestion. I recall grabbing a copy of the free drivebackup, and for some reason not being super impressed with it (can't recall why, though). You say it has a rescue disk, but I assume that's strictly for restoring a backup - it would be nice being able to backup from the bootmedia as well. But if the boot media can restore backup from, say, a network location, I could live with the boot media only being able to restore.

Using the Recovery Media you can:
capture_05132009_172423.jpgWin7, disk imaging, vmware
I'm pretty sure that what you want is covered in that lot :)

Quote
Btw, does the Paragon app do a raw partition dump sector-by-sector, or will be backup file be limited to the used partition size?

You can specify Raw processing under the Advanced tab during a backup which is what you want I believe.

You can also specify the whole HDD, the MBR or just track 0.

Quote
Wrt. backup a virtual drive and restore to real drive - doesn't Win7 install all drivers during a normal install ?
If so, when you booted it would it not just reinstall all the "new" drivers for the real PC from it's CAB, (or whatever), files ?

Very good question! That would definitely solve a lot of problems. And since I will be installing to a SATA drive, there hopefully shouldn't be any boot device driver problems. I guess there could be other problems, though - like, the location of the boot device being different between the VM and the physical hardware you try restoring to. I don't know supermuch about how the BCD works, but it's probably fixable like boot.ini was, but would the registry also contain some invalid entries?

Doesn't most of the registry refer to locations as the Volume, (eg. C:, D:, etc) ?

With only the boot.ini, (or BCD thing), referring to rdisk and partition, etc.

Who knows, maybe the Boot Corrector on the PDB9 Rescue disk will fix any boot problem ;)

I'm just about to do a backup of my VirtPC W7 and then I'll restore it to something, possibly my old Acer laptop, and see what happens.

EDIT: Changed the list to a pic because it looks nicer :)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 02:31:38 AM by 4wd »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 02:38:07 AM »
Quote
Btw, does the Paragon app do a raw partition dump sector-by-sector, or will be backup file be limited to the used partition size?
You can specify Raw processing under the Advanced tab during a backup which is what you want I believe.
Actually I'd prefer only backing up the used part, getting a 12gig file for 4gig used is silly - but if the raw dump is an option then it's all cool. If the tool supports restoring to a different partition size, it'd be even cooler.

Doesn't most of the registry refer to locations as the Volume, (eg. C:, D:, etc) ?

With only the boot.ini, (or BCD thing), referring to rdisk and partition, etc.
I think the registry contains mappings between drive letters and partitions, but I'm not sure!

Who knows, maybe the Boot Corrector on the PDB9 Rescue disk will fix any boot problem ;)
Soooounds interesting!

I'm just about to do a backup of my VirtPC W7 and then I'll restore it to something, possibly my old Acer laptop, and see what happens.
Thanks for doing this!

Well, sounds like the Paragon tool might fit my needs after all - that'd be quite nice. The rescue image interface looks nice... can it be put on a USB stick, and can it access network locations? :P

(I ask too many questions instead of trying myself  :-[, but I'm currently quite busy with school exam programming project)
- carpe noctem

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2009, 03:13:44 AM »
Quote
Btw, does the Paragon app do a raw partition dump sector-by-sector, or will be backup file be limited to the used partition size?
You can specify Raw processing under the Advanced tab during a backup which is what you want I believe.
Actually I'd prefer only backing up the used part, getting a 12gig file for 4gig used is silly - but if the raw dump is an option then it's all cool.

Sorry, misread you - by default it only backs up the used portion as per TI.  You have to enable RAW if you want the whole disk including unused portions.
Also, as I mentioned above, by default it doesn't include pagefile.sys but you can tell it to include it, although I don't see the point.

Quote
I'm just about to do a backup of my VirtPC W7 and then I'll restore it to something, possibly my old Acer laptop, and see what happens.
Thanks for doing this!

No problem, backup just finished - I did Partition backups. The MBR and then the OS partition because I didn't know if a whole disk backup would let me restore to just the boot partition of the Acer.  Now I just got to copy them from the VirtPC to the real PC so I can copy them to the Acer so I can screw it up  :D

Quote
The rescue image interface looks nice... can it be put on a USB stick, and can it access network locations? :P

I don't see why not, it's just a Linux system with an initial LILO menu - there is plenty of info for making a flash drive bootable for Linux.   The worst that could happen is that you copy the ISO, (~55MB), to the flash drive and then boot it using GRUB4DOS which is child's play.

EDIT: Or you could just select to build the Rescue Disk onto Flash Device from the Rescue Media Builder........DOH!  :-[

While I think of it, here's the initial menu:
capture_05132009_181928.jpgWin7, disk imaging, vmware

Quote
(I ask too many questions instead of trying myself  :-[, but I'm currently quite busy with school exam programming project)

What else are us retired folk good for  :P

EDIT: Just in the midst of restoring Win7 to the Acer but I thought I'd mention this now:  DB9 can restore to different hardware, (Select it before initiating the operation - XP/2003 based only), this is normally something you have to buy from Acronis IIRC, Universal Restore?

And yes, you get the option to resize the partition you're restoring.

UPDATE: So far I've tried 3 times to restore to the Acer and all times it has locked up when it reaches the same file, (winhlp32.exe), at about 97% completed.
I tried once with 'Restore to different hardware' turned on but it still failed on the same file.  The backup verifies OK, so I'm just trying from another source, if that doesn't work I'll try another backup.

I tried booting the Acer even though the restore failed and Win7 displays a warning saying software/hardware has changed and requests the Win7 install CD.  So it looks like it might be possible if I can just get a full restoration to happen.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 08:24:12 AM by 4wd »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009, 08:22:28 AM »
Ah, all sounds very good, 4wd!

Today's java'ing is done, and FedEx got their fingers out of <wherever> and managed to deliver the SSD - I only have a few hours before work, so no OS reinstall today... but there's time to play around with the Win7 VM and DB9 (and a little speed testing).

For your envy viewing pleasure (yes, it's a 64GB SLC X25-E):
x25e-broke-cody.jpgWin7, disk imaging, vmware

...I need to get some superglue and fix poor Cody, and punish the girl_friend who broke him >_<
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 06:19:41 PM »
Hmm, a plane ticket to Denmark looks to be significantly cheaper than this particular SSD... I'm afraid it won't last too much in your hands! :P

Then again, I could get a completely new computer with that much money ;D. Tell us later how the little thing performs :)

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 06:39:41 PM »
OK, I've played around a bit.

First, SSD performance... wow :). HD-Tach rates it at 240MB/s read over the entire drive. Copying a 5gig file from my 2x74gig raptor raid-strip to the disk delivered a constant 113MB/s speed (gotta test with a ramdisk source to see whether it's the SSD or the raid that's setting the speed limit). Of course both of those speeds are relativel irrelevant, what's important is the random-scattered-read/write performance, which I don't have anything to benchmark... but it will be "subjectively tested" once I put an OS and all applications on it.

zoom_zoom_zoom.pngWin7, disk imaging, vmware

Next, for the disk imaging applications... I followed  the link to the Paragon Drive Backup site and registered for a license code. There was no download there, so I though I was supposed to grab the trial. Looked nice, features were good etc, but no place to enter the license code, and thus I couldn't test the backup functionality. Considered whether I had to grab the files from #2 site in 4wd's first reply (which doesn't feel 100% right since it's not Paragon's own site), but I only got ~20kb/s from there, so I uninstalled and rebooted... and then my system was hosed, because the uninstaller for some reason had removed the 32bit MS VC++ runtimes from my system, wtf? Fortunately I was still able to use explorer.exe to locate some random application that had decided to bundle the runtimes in it's own install folder and copy to %WINDIR%\SysWow64... phew.

So I think I've decided to play with Acronis TrueImage instead, even though PDB looked like it might be as good (or better, with SID changing and all). A shame both applications are so damn huge these days, all I really need is the recovery CD iso image, I don't need all the bloated junk :)

Anyway, tested in vmware: seems like Win7 has no trouble restoring an image from a disk at IDE0:0 to IDE1:1 (primary master -> secondary slave) - that rocks. And I did create an entirely new, empty disk to restore to, so bootloader etc. were restored just fine - rocks! Trying to restore a vmware image to physical machine won't be tested until I've made a new install and tweaked it some more. And I'll probably try it out on my testbox before I do it on my workstation on the SSD, just to play it safe.

Hopefully I'll be running Win7 off the SSD no later than friday :)

UPDATE: I still wonder what use the 100meg BCD partition is. For fun, I wiped virtual disk #2, and restored only MBR and the Windows partition (ie, not the BCD area). Gave "BOOTMGR missing" error when trying to boot. Booted from the Win7-RC ISO and choose a system repair (which created C:\boot, ie the BCD files) - still BOOTMGR missing. Copied BOOTMGR from the BCD-partition on vmdisk1, and... presto, things work! So it seems you don't need that partition, I still wonder if it's useful to keep it split that way, though.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 07:15:35 PM by f0dder »

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 07:25:41 PM »
Next, for the disk imaging applications... I followed  the link to the Paragon Drive Backup site and registered for a license code. There was no download there, so I though I was supposed to grab the trial. Looked nice, features were good etc, but no place to enter the license code, and thus I couldn't test the backup functionality. Considered whether I had to grab the files from #2 site in 4wd's first reply (which doesn't feel 100% right since it's not Paragon's own site), but I only got ~20kb/s from there, so I uninstalled and rebooted... and then my system was hosed, because the uninstaller for some reason had removed the 32bit MS VC++ runtimes from my system, wtf? Fortunately I was still able to use explorer.exe to locate some random application that had decided to bundle the runtimes in it's own install folder and copy to %WINDIR%\SysWow64... phew.

Must have been just the trial that does that because I've uninstalled the full PE version at least twice over the last 2 weeks, (trying to find whatever new program that hosed my NIC), and both times the system still kept booting fine afterwards, (oh, and it was some stupid network thing I installed for a look-see that hosed my NIC not DB9).

Now that I think about it, I believe I got DB9PE through GiveAwayOfTheDay, sorry my error.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 07:27:37 PM by 4wd »

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 11:38:53 PM »
OK, the results of restoring Win7 from a VM to a completely different real hardware configuration are: [Drum roll]..............Complete failure

I finally managed to get a full restore done after doing another backup in VPC using no compression.  The restore operation on the Acer took over 2hrs for some reason, (going from a VPC with a 2.7GHz Athlon7750BE to a laptop with a P4 2.4GHz), but it did fully work.  Although it would've have been faster to install from scratch.
I've got no idea why the earlier restores kept failing at the same file since the amount I was restoring is only about 1/8 the size of the backup/restore operations I was doing earlier in the week on a real PC.

Unfortunately, when I tried to boot the Acer into Win7 it complained of software/hardware changes and recommended inserting the installation disc and doing a Repair - which I did.
The repair searched for existing installations and found there was a problem with the Startup and offered to fix them - OK, I said.

After that, it just kept saying there was problems with starting Windows due to possible software/hardware changes whenever I tried to boot.

At that point I decided it didn't work.

So, as the nun said to the priest, "Bummer!"

Maybe the hardware config was too radically different for Win7 to cope with because there's bound to be the limit of how many hardware items you can change before copy protection kicks in.

Then again, I could get a completely new computer with that much money ;D

For that much money I could build two decent computers  8)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 11:42:36 PM by 4wd »

patthecat

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2009, 12:32:09 AM »
For the disk imaging part, try the offerings from  Terabyte Unlimited (www.terabyteunlimited.com) which I have been using for several years now.

Image for Windows (which includes Image for Dos/Linux createable bootable media if you buy IFW) is reasonably priced compared to other imaging programs, not bloated, and can also be installed on server OS.  Support forums are pretty active.  I know versions from the past few months introduced support for VM.


patrick

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2009, 09:08:56 PM »
And just in time to help in this endeavour:

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 Suite -

Adaptive Restore - A powerful and unique technology that allows you to restore Windows Vista to completely different types of hardware or even to virtual machines.

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,098
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2009, 11:06:48 PM »
@4wd:
Probably a year ago I downloaded and used a free tool from VMware that is able to take a normal PC and turn it into a virtual machine for VMware. The wizard that comes with this software really works. Would you be able to tell me which are the possibilities of conversion from the Paragon suite?

Since my experience with Virtual PC's is not that extensive and most of that knowledge is based on the (free) VMware server product, I cannot say if the VMware alternatives also supply a similar product or that these alternatives can convert/read a VM created by a different VM manufacturer (although I keep hearing good stories from VirtualBox).

[rant]
By the way, do not try the free VMware server 2.x, I did and besides losing 150MByte of RAM just to run the web-based server interface (thanks to Java's http server: Tomcat) it also states that if you change existing VM's to a higher version, rendering these VM's useless on anything lower than VMware server 2.x!  Although this VM "upgrade" is not required, it is recommended by the software.

None of my 8 perfectly functioning VM's (in VMware server 1.x) was able to initiate using VMware server 2.x. [/rant]

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2009, 02:57:11 AM »
Probably a year ago I downloaded and used a free tool from VMware that is able to take a normal PC and turn it into a virtual machine for VMware. The wizard that comes with this software really works. Would you be able to tell me which are the possibilities of conversion from the Paragon suite?

We were actually talking about going the other way, from a Virtual Machine -> real hardware.

As f0dder mentioned in his original post, it would allow you to set up your OS exactly how you want it and then transfer to real hardware.  You can experiment without the fear of doing an irreparable screwup that would require having to reinstall or restore an image - with a VM you could just turn it off telling it to ignore any changes made, (well in VirtualPC you can, I don't know about VMware, VirtualBox, Parallels Workstation).

I believe it will function much the same as Acronis' Universal Restore does, basically remove all reference to any installed hardware drivers and prompt you for replacements if it can't find what it wants during restore, (for IDE/SCSI/SATA devices so it can do the restore), after that, I believe, Vista (or Win7) should detect all hardware changes and install appropriate drivers from the CAB files.

But, never fear, having been convinced by a discount to purchase PDM2009Suite - the experiment continues as I try to get a recalcitrant basic Win7 install out of it's secure nesting place in VirtualPC onto a genuine 4 year old laptop :)

Actually I wasn't totally convinced by the discount, I've found over the last 2 weeks or so that I actually enjoy using Paragon products and their Rescue Media is just magic compared to Acronis' basic offering.

This is not an ad for Paragon but if anyone's interested, PM me for the link to a 30% discount until the 24th.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 03:04:45 AM by 4wd »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2009, 01:10:20 PM »
I've just tried restoring a vmware image of Win7 to my testbox, using Acronis... ~4mins both to create and restore image - which is imho slightly long, considering the .tib file is just 2.0GB and I'm storing the file across my gigabit LAN. But oh well, 4mins is acceptable.

Result BSOD: STOP ERROR 0x0000007B - iirc that's inaccessible boot device? (I verified earlier that Win7 had no trouble going from IDE0:0 to IDE1:1 in vmware, so the problem must be driver related. Burned the Win7-RC DVD and tried doing a repair, to no avail. I also flipped the BIOS settings for the SATA drive from AHCI to Compatible, since that could have been an issue (you really do want to run in AHCI mode if possible, though, so if this had worked I would've had have to look for a workaround).

Maybe the hardware config was too radically different for Win7 to cope with because there's bound to be the limit of how many hardware items you can change before copy protection kicks in.
I don't think this is the problem - first of all, the image isn't activated yet. Second, activation failure should result in nice usermode warning messages, not BSOD.

with a VM you could just turn it off telling it to ignore any changes made, (well in VirtualPC you can, I don't know about VMware, VirtualBox, Parallels Workstation).
Afaik you can't do that directly, but you can take 'disk snapshots' when you have your machine in a nice condition, and revert to a snapshot later on.

Anyway, I'm going to look into Sysprep - it might be what I'm looking for. It does, however, removes all user- and computer-specific settings and data which means I can't set up user accounts for the image. And iirc, sysprep'ed images need a configuration phase when booted... which is shorter than a full reinstall, but not as speedy-fast-cool as just an image restore. Oh, and I'm getting "A fatal error occurred wheil trying to sysprep the machine." :( - dunno if it's because of the RC, or because I vLited the system. (Or because I haven't made some necessary config files).

It would be cool if you could just remove the installed IDE controller, probably dropping chipset drivers "somewhere magical", and then have the thing just plain work...

EDIT: thinking of it, sysprep might be the best way to go after all - vmware emulates one set of hardware, so there's a bunch of specific drivers installed that you wouldn't have otherwise. Hmm.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 01:24:32 PM by f0dder »

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,098
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2009, 01:46:07 PM »
@4wd:
The thought behind my suggestion was that the Paragon software is not required (at least for VMware) to create a VM from a physical PC. So the Paragon software is only useful when converting the other way. To me it seems that the usefulness is kinda limited.

Having said that, what is the major advantage from the 'VM to real' conversion against a fresh install? Pre-installed software like an office suite for example? Or just because one can do it?

Above reasons are perfectly adequate and as long as you have fun with it, what\s the problem?  :Thmbsup: I'm just curious, because I have found out that it can be real lengthy crime sometimes to find and/or get the correct drivers from older hardware (from people who archived their driver CD's into oblivion).

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2009, 02:00:54 PM »
Shades: my reason is that I can spend a lot of time tweaking the system in vmware and get it just the way I want it. It's less painful to do this in a vm than on physical hardware for a number of reasons. First, you can create "drive snapshots" and quickly restore those if you fsck something up - less painful than working with disk images. Second, I'll be needing at least a few reboots while setting things up, which is also less painful in a vm than normal hardware.

And yes, installed software (and all those darn settings!), together with restore speed, is a big reason for me wanting to do this project. For XP64 (and XP32 before that) I used an unattended setup that did a lot of tweaks, but imaging is faster and nicer... if the driver problem can be solved :)
- carpe noctem

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2009, 04:54:40 PM »
OK, so I tried removing just about all devices from device manager, then deleting %SystemRoot%\inf\*.pnf (some cached files) - but apparently this wasn't enough (I think it's still a good idea, though, to get rid of devices that aren't going to be applicable for the physical hardware). But still getting the 0x0000007B BSOD.

So, I found this post. Replacing the HAL isn't necessary for me, but the thread has this interesting hint:
Quote
Now for the Mass Storage drivers it's more difficult. But basically comes down to: Detect the PNP-ID of the boot-device, find the correct .inf file on a driver distribution share mounted from BartPE and install the .sys, .cat files in the offline image. AND very important to import the proper entries in the CiriticalDeviceDatabase and Services section of the loaded hive so the pc will not get a bluescreen (7B error). To do this is too much to explain here in detail.

Some more googling led me to You receive a Stop 0x0000007B error after (...) at the microsoft knowledge base. This might have the necessary information, or at least bits and pieces of it. Note that I won't be needing any special mass-storage drivers for what I'm doing, as the machine has Vista-supported chipset and all. I just need to... ummm... do... something about... the boot device PnP ID?
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2009, 05:51:02 PM »
Having said that, what is the major advantage from the 'VM to real' conversion against a fresh install? Pre-installed software like an office suite for example? Or just because one can do it?

Even if you do get it to work you won't avoid activation issues in software that requires activation as the hardware machine ID will have changed significantly.

I have tried this in the past with Acronis Universal Restore and haven't had much luck - even though the product is sold specifically for this kind of thing.

Probably quicker (and with a better, more consistent outcome) to install from scratch on the hardware and then image a clean copy. At least you know what you have then and you don't inherit PITA issues in a months time that aren't instantly apparent.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2009, 08:26:56 AM »
Update: Migration of Windows 7 from VirtualPC to real hardware.

Status:      

I did it!!!!

The VM is just VirtualPC 2007 running an Athlon 7750 BE, running Windows 7 x86 Ultimate fresh install, (not activated).
The 'sacrificial PC' is one I just built for someone: E5300, 4GB, Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L, Gigabyte 8400GS and 320GB SATA HDD.

I installed Paragon Disk Backup 9 Personal Edition into the VM this time, (I was using a Rescue Media ISO image previously and booting the VM off of it - it shouldn't have made any difference but wtf), I made a full hard disk image of the VM drive, (basic install of W7 + PDB9PE), to another VM drive.  Then copied it to an external 2.5" and booted the sacrificial PC off of the PDB9PE Rescue Media CD.

I restored the image using the 'Restore to different hardware' option, when it had finished I entered Safe Boot, it detected and installed drivers for the hardware and then restarted.............

..........and came up running  :D

Device Manager shows no unknown devices and all the installed ones are correctly identified.

I think the reason I wasn't having much luck with the laptop is that I was just trying to restore the boot partition without screwing up a data partition - I'll have another look at this now I know it's definitely possible.

BTW, a post by someone on Wilders quoting Paragon support says that the 'Adaptive Restore' feature actually supports XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, (basically everything since XP), and Win7 was coming - I think I can say it's here :)

EDIT: The restoration took less than 10 minutes from Power On to Win 7 up and running.  A bit quicker than a full install from scratch.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 08:33:09 AM by 4wd »

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2009, 08:32:47 AM »
Probably quicker (and with a better, more consistent outcome) to install from scratch on the hardware and then image a clean copy. At least you know what you have then and you don't inherit PITA issues in a months time that aren't instantly apparent.

This also affords one the opportunity to rethink the tweaks that are being used and helps in remembering which tweaks were done why. I have had one tweak conflict with another (quite transparently) creating a secondary issue that took weeks to track down. ...So manually recreating a critical configuration to keep what was done and why straight in my head I look at as a good thing.

I do use various scripts to speed up the process, but I make a point of documenting everything so I know what the script will do, and why I wanted it done (at the time).

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2009, 11:27:33 AM »
Even if you do get it to work you won't avoid activation issues in software that requires activation as the hardware machine ID will have changed significantly.
Not much of a problem for me, since I (fortunately) have very little software is hardware-tied. I do worry about BattleField 2142, though, as it was a major bother getting to work in the first place.

I have tried this in the past with Acronis Universal Restore and haven't had much luck - even though the product is sold specifically for this kind of thing.
:/

Probably quicker (and with a better, more consistent outcome) to install from scratch on the hardware and then image a clean copy. At least you know what you have then and you don't inherit PITA issues in a months time that aren't instantly apparent.
I wonder if this kind of procedure causes that kind of trouble... apart from mass storage driver for your boot device, Windows is pretty good at detecting + installing hardware.

The things that have screwed me over have been being a bit overzealous with nLite or vLite, and the trouble from that can indeed show up several weeks after an install. Trick? Be a bit more conservative, especially wrt. removing minor size-impact stuff like services.
- carpe noctem

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Win7, disk imaging, vmware
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2009, 09:12:41 PM »
Just tried restoring an activated Win7 from the VM to real hardware.  Either Win7 reverts to unactivated due to the hardware changes or PDB9PE removes the relevant file/registry entry.

Re-activation worked without a problem which seems to imply the keys they're giving out at the moment are either time-limited VLKs or they distinguish a VM as being non-consequential and allow it.

EDIT: This time I didn't boot into Safe Mode first and there was no problem, W7 installed drivers and then asked for a Restart.

Now to get it into my old laptop  >:D

Even if you do get it to work you won't avoid activation issues in software that requires activation as the hardware machine ID will have changed significantly.
Not much of a problem for me, since I (fortunately) have very little software is hardware-tied.

Same here, the only software I have besides Windows that is 'locked' to the hardware is DaemonTools Pro Advanced - and they at least allow the users themselves to revoke the license on one machine to install it on another, something MS could learn from.

Update: It seems no matter what I try I can't get from a VM to my old laptop, (P4 2.4GHz SKT478 ATI chipset, 768MB, 40GB HDD), so I guess I'll class that as a flop.

Now to try a VM to my real hardware....after a full OS backup or two.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:44:39 AM by 4wd »