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 by a moderator: May 18, 2015 at 7:38 PM
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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?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015 at 7:38 PM
  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'.
     

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