How to make a drive image of your Surface Pro 2

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by JoeS, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    So now that I've got this SP2 all set up, I'd like to make a full drive image in case disaster strikes. What's the best way to do this? Norton Ghost? EaseUS Todo Backup? Macrium Reflect? Passmark ImageUSB? Acronis TrueImage? Something else?

    I'm also curious if anyone has actually successfully restored from a drive image. I checked some older threads and this nifty service called google.com, but I didn't find any clear cut solutions.. yet.


    Edit: this looks promising, the included 'system image' option in Win8.1. From the wording though it sounds like I wouldn't be able to save modified files to the image, which would be nice. More info on system restore from a drive image here.

    System Image Backup.jpg

    Gotta love the warning message: "Found some problem files. Have a nice day!" I mean why tell people where the files are, if instead you can have them waste time figuring out what the hell this means.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  2. dellaster

    dellaster Scribbler - Standard Member

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  3. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Thanks, I was just reading through that link. I have to say, the comments on that article are kind of scary. Not many "I used it, it works!" comments. Zero, I think. There are some comments on how the restore process doesn't work because it still requires Win install disks.

    I'd still very much like to hear a first-hand story of anyone that did a successful restore form system image on an SP2.
     
  4. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Here's a thread where someone has made it work with Acronis TrueImage:
    Rescue Media Builder and ISO Builder still don't create bootable media on Surface Pro | Knowledge Base

    Solution by Olivier Renaud:

     
  5. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It does work. The Windows 8 (and 8.1) bootloader has an option to recover from a specific image. Of course, it's not that easy because you can't actually use the on-disk bootloader if you want to restore an image to that disk.

    Now, one major thing to keep in mind is that system image backup does NOT backup the contents of your recovery partition (the files needed to reset back to stock). After you recover from system image backup, the recovery partition will be there, but blank.

    So the best solution is to use two disks. Use a larger one for the system image backup, and then use an 8GB flash drive to "Create a recovery drive" and be sure to make sure the option to copy the partition to the drive is selected. That way, the flash drive will have the contents of your recovery partition on it, plus, the flash drive would also load to that same bootloader so that you can restore from that.
     
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  6. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I knew I should have used the signal.

    jhoffsignal.jpg
     
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  7. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ha, in this specific case, I learned the bit about the recovery partition the hard way. It's part of how my Pro 1 ended up with no recovery partition to reset to stock when I was preparing to ship it out after selling it. :D
     
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  8. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    CloneZilla or Redo Backup. Both are free LiveCDs. Both are reliable. The former can backup individual partitions, the latter backs up the whole drive.
     
  9. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing your pain.. :) OK, so after figuring out how to fix this horrible search pane freezing issue that I caused by changing the files to index (thanks MS..), I'm ready to save an image to my new 2TB backup drive.

    Followup question: If I turn on bitlocker on the backup hard drive and write the drive image to it, will the recovery mode (from the recovery USB stick) be able to prompt me for the Bitlocker password and read from the drive?
     
  10. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Followup followup question: I blindly went ahead and created a drive image on a bitlocker encrypted drive, so I hope I'll be able to restore from that.. When I try to open the generated drive image folder, win8 prompts me that I don't have permission to see the contents. I can give myself permission, but I wonder if that could damage the image / render it unrestorable. For now I just won't touch it, but I'm curious if the lack of access permission is 'expected'.
     
  11. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with a Bitlockered external drive, sorry.
     
  12. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Hey, can't know everything. Although I could have sworn you did!
     
  13. JimB

    JimB Scribbler - Standard Member

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  14. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    So many options! Still, have you done this successfully on the SP2? That would instill some confidence. What I really should do is try this myself, but if fails that's a lot of work to fix..
     
  15. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    OK, so thanks to a kind of tragic incident I had the chance to try this out. I was able to mostly restore from a drive image to a new Surface Pro 2. I did find that the default recovery data that Win8 writes to USB does not seem to be able to read bitlocker encrypted USB drives, meaning you need to decrypt the drive first. No biggie, can be done from any other machine.

    But now for the trouble: after an hour of restoring Windows gave me the pathetically worthless error info "The parameter is incorrect", and I was left with a mostly working system, but I needed to reinstall most Metro apps.

    My question is whether restoring a drive image onto a new machine is even supposed to work. Maybe certain file permissions and license settings are bound to physical hardware, meaning that it might be expected that certain things break after a restore. Does anyone know the details here?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  16. aherard

    aherard Pen Pal - Newbie

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    With the help of Microsoft Support, I did resolve my issue.

    But, for all other Acronis Users who will buy a Surface or a Surface Pro, or a Surface Pro 2, here is the STEP-BY-STEP procedure so that Acronis performs without problems (PLEASE INSERT THOSE INSTRUCTION INTO THE ACRONIS DATABASE):

    1) Copy the Acronis Set-up file on the Surface computer
    2) REMOVE the TOUCH or TYPE Keyboard (purchased with the Surface unit)
    3) Using the DOCKING STATION (IF YOU PURCHASED ONE FOR YOUR Surface) or use an external USB HUB
    4) Plug-into that HUB an external Mouse & Keyboard
    5) Plug-into that HUB the USB key you want to set-up as an Acronis USB boot USB (Recovery)
    6) Now, on the SURFACE or SURFACE PRO, Install ACRONIS
    7) Shutdown
    8) Restart HOLDING the VOLUME KEY UP
    That will bring you into the UEFI menu
    Disable the SECURE BOOT option
    SAVE SETTINGS - SAVE SETTINGS AND EXIT
    9) RESTART the SURFACE normally
    10) Start ACRONIS
    11) In TOOLS,create the Acronis Secure Zone and give it a confortable size (depending on the storage space you purchased)
    12) Next, ACTIVATE, the F11 (Acronis Start UP Recovery Manager)
    Note: For no. 11 and 12 above, if you did not disable the Secure Boot option in the UEFI, it will not work)
    13) Reboot
    14) Create your USB with Acronis Media Builder
    15) Disconnect the External Keyboard, et re-install the Microsoft TOUCH or TYPE keyboard into your SURFACE

    REMEMBER:

    If you need to activate Acronis with the F11 key, REMOVE the Microsoft TOUCH or TYPE keyboard BEFORE pressing the F11 key and install an EXTERNAL mouse & keyboard.
    If you need to use your Acronis USB recovery key, START your SURFACE holding the VOLUME key UP until you see the Acronis Boot menu and SELECT 1 (Acronis)
    NOTE: You will need an EXTERNAL KEYBOARD and a HUB (or the DOCKING STATION) where you insert the Acronis USB key AND the external keyboard AND mouse.

    I did all that on a SURFACE PRO 2 - 512 GB and everything works perfectly.
     
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