9 Replies Latest reply: Jun 13, 2010 9:55 PM by johne53
johne53 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Back in February I bought a Mac Mini and I installed Windows 7, via Boot Camp. So ever since then I've been able to dual boot into either OS-X or Windows 7.

Since I installed Windows I've been looking for a utility that can backup the (entire) Windows partition and restore it successfully (i.e. so that both OS's will still be bootable). Believe it or not, there isn't a single application available (for either OS-X or Windows) which can achieve this without some kind of major drawback (and believe me, I've tried loads of apps that all claimed they could do it!)

The least troublesome is a Windows utility called Active Disk Image. It can back up partitions to a compressed image file and it can restore them without screwing up other things on the drive BUT when restoring a Windows partition, it 'forgets' to mark it as active - and consequently, the boot manager refuses to see it as being bootable.

Is there any utility that can be run on the OS-X side which can show me the partition table and let me select one partition to be the 'active' partition? I've tried Apple's Disk Utility and also Coriolis's iPartition but neither of them seems to offer this feature.

Message was edited by: johne53

Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,490 points)
    Cross-platform is out probably unless there is a linux CD.

    To make a backup system image or clone or backup files on Windows, I'd suggest you look at Casper 6.

    Windows 7 has its own backup and system imaging that works, and will copy to another hard drive with MBR and NTFS. But it can get messed up thanks to Apple's HFS drivers, part of the Apple 3.0/3.1 chipset (I refuse to call it Boot Camp anymore, which is inaccurate and should be limited to Boot Camp Assistant).
  • johne53 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    The hatter wrote:
    To make a backup system image or clone or backup files on Windows, I'd suggest you look at Casper 6.


    Ah - that's one that I haven't tried yet but I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks.
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,425 points)
    Hi,

    after the retirment of Mike Bombichs Netrestore there seems to be only one left.
    DeployStudio http://www.deploystudio.com/Home.html
    Although poking around the Netrestore Forum http://forums.bombich.com/viewforum.php?f=11 could be quite interesting.

    Regards

    Stefan
  • kittikatt60 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey folks,

    Similar situation here, and trying to correct and praying someone might have the answer.

    I have a Macbook Pro running dual boot for Leopard 10.5 and Windows 7 and accidentally compressed the C drive in Windows, and ran into the bootmgr issue on a restart.

    Unfortunately, I tried a restore from an image backup done with Windows 7, only to find it wasn’t an updated image, but for a clean install. So none of my data.

    I could see the old original partition in my Mac side of the system, but couldn’t do anything to change it without possibly making matters worse since I was running out of space on both sides of the system, both on Mac & W7.

    Took my system to Mac/PC specialists, and they really didn’t help, they put in a much larger drive, tried backing up my data, did a poor job of it, but thank God I have my original drive that was in my Mac, and threw it into an enclosure, plugged in the USB and I can see that original partition for Windows, that is compressed.

    So here’s the question…
    Any possible way to un-compress the C drive on what is now an external HD, or get instructions on how to uncompress that partition from the Mac side, which was my original C drive for Windows 7 that has all my data, including my monsterous 2.53GB Outlook.pst file that I can’t get to due to the compression?

    Any advice or recommendations on doing this would be tremendously appreciated, I do have a 4TB External, partitioned as well, waiting on standby for solid backups too.

    Thanks so much!
  • johne53 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    What did you use to compress it with? Surely the software has some means of reading a compressed drive, so you can still retrieve the data?? Otherwise, what would be the point of compressing it?? Or do you mean you 'defragged' it?
  • kittikatt60 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi and thank you for responding.

    I accidentally compressed the C drive in Windows, by checking the box under properties, that is for compressing the drive and ran into the bootmgr compression issue on a restart.

    I'd thought I was in the G drive, an external, and not in my C drive, which was for my original windows, so no compression software involved.

    Unfortunately, I tried a restore from an image backup done with Windows 7, only to find it wasn’t an updated image, but for a clean install. So none of my data.

    I could see the old original partition for Windows 7 in my Mac side of the system, but couldn’t do anything to change it without possibly making matters worse since I was running out of space on both sides of the system, both on Mac & W7.

    Took my system to Mac/PC specialists, and they really didn’t help, they put in a much larger drive, tried backing up my data, did a poor job of it, but thank God I have my original drive that was in my Mac, and threw it into an enclosure, plugged in the USB and I can see that original partition for Windows,that is compressed and I can also see the original MAC HD.
  • johne53 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I've been trying to read up on this but there seems to be a lot of conflicting information. However, the general consensus is that it's safe to compress a boot drive (assuming you didn't abort, half way through).

    I'd recommend that you visit this forum:-

    http://www.sevenforums.com/#seven-forums

    I've found it to be a good place for getting answers to Windows 7 issues. If you can reinstall Windows on the new (larger) internal drive and mount the (old internal) drive as an external drive, I'd assume that Windows should be able to read it - but this isn't something I've ever done, so I'd recommend that you try that forum and see if anyone can help.
  • kittikatt60 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for responding.
    I've been looking on that link, some great information and I have found some instructions, if the partion for windows was the one I originally compressed was still on my internal drive. I do have a new, much larger internal drive, but need instructions on how to get the windows 7 partion that is now on an external drive, to be placed onto the new partition that is created for windows 7.

    Once I have the old Windows 7 partition back onto the internal drive I think I can get it decompressed correctly from there, from the instructions I've found.

    Thanks again
  • johne53 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Offhand, I can't think of a good reason why it would need to be on the internal drive and I'd be tempted to ask on the forum if that's really true.

    If it is true you'll need to use a partition cloning utility to make the transfer. Be very careful though - because most cloning utilities are simple file copiers which won't be much use to you. They wouldn't be any use, even if the partition wasn't compressed because you cannot 'clone' a Windows partition by simply copying all the files to some other partition. Windows is a bit more complicated than that. You need a 'sector level' copier - not a file copier.

    But here's the caveat.... at the time of writing there is NO sector level copier that's safe to use with a Mac GPT drive. It's rumoured that Paragon's Drive Backup 11 will address the issues but it isn't scheduled for release yet. Don't use Drive Backup 10 unless you know what you're doing. It will screw up the partition table (though not irreversibly).

    But before doing anything, sign up with SevenForum and try to find out if it's really necessary for the compressed partition to be on your internal drive. I can't think why that's necessary.