AOMEI Backup and Restore in Multiboot EasyBCD environment

Hello,

Have Multiboot Win 7: Win 7-2 and XP[SP3] in that order. PC self built. All  OS reside on single SSD. EasyBCD is my Boot Manager. Cloned this configuration with AOMEI. Only the first Win 7 was Bootable. Corrected in EasyBCD the Win 7-2 and it is now  bootable. The XP launches to "MS Logo" and freezes at the "Name log on screen ". Have used Acronis for Backup/Restore in past but it does not currently support multiple OS. I want to use AOMEI to create a Backup System drive (either SSD or HDD) as a "spare". When I  Backup the first partition: I utilize "System Backup". with High Compression: and Sector by Sector and I verify. When done it Boots.

I want to Backup ONLY.the Win 7 -2  [the 2nd System partition].  If I use "Back up System Drive" it by Default INCLUDES the first Win 7 partition.....so they BOTH get backed up. I 'd like EACH OS separately backed up. There is no Option to "Reject" Win7's inclusion in the backup. So I have to choose "Partition Backup". I back this up as an .ADI file . (also use SAME SETTINGS with sector by sector) but the MBR and Boot Manager are really controlled by Easy BCD so I'm not sure if this is the correct way to Backup and Restore this partition to "insert" into the Multiboot environment......or I might just want to utilize the Backup as a SINGLE OS on a different HDD/SSD. In this situation I would want the Win 7-2 partition to be backedup as a System Backup but WITHOUT the Win 7. How can I resolve this problem.

And is there any information about the "System Backup" and how it "handles" the MBR and Boot Manager when backing up. How that might differ from how the Partition Backup handles the MBR and Boot Manager particularly if it might not be present or is "linked " to the first Sector ot the Win7-2 partition.

I understand that most of this site's questions aren't in multiboot and don't usually cover 3rd party software. I'm in contact with EasyBCD and have that somewaht squared away....but I'm really not comfortable with AOMEI backup and restore functionality.

Here any information would be greatly appreaciated.  I have corresponded with tech support  previously and there are

considerable language problems. I have tried to make this as concise and strait forward as possible. And I will be patient for answers.

Thank you

Jason




Sorry Tried to EDIT the line spacing but to no avail








Comments

  • edited July 2016

    Sorry for the inconvenience. Currently Backupper does not support multiple boot in one disk. When you click system backup,Backupper will only backup the runing system.

    You could first boot from win7 and back it up. After that, boot from win7-2 and back it up. Finally boot fromXP and then back it up.

  • edited July 2016

    Give you built the computer yourself, you would best learn how booting in Windows 7 (actually Windows Vista and later) works. And I suggest you learn some basic BCD facts, and learn to use BCDBoot command. After a restore of relevant partitions, you have to fix BCD somehow yourself.

    The effect of system backup are twofold.

    1) it backs up any hidden partition belonging to the OS, specifically the SYSTEM partition on the computer.

    2) it links on restore the OS partition properly into the restored SYSTEM partition, and if necessary into the UEFI FIRMWARE variables. Reason for 2 is that a simple bitwise restore of partition contents is not enough. By design of booting of Windows since Vista, and of booting in UEFI firmware, it is more tricky that bitwise restoring partitions (firmware variables and partition metadata in the partition table are changing).

    When you do multiple restores, then you loose what has been fixed in SYSTEM partition with every next restore.


    Additional tools to learn BCD, beside EasyBCD, are BootIce and VisualBCD.


    EasyBCD is not a boot manager, but a tool. Boot Manager is provided by Microsoft in the hidden SYSTEM partition, using BCD contents. EasyBCD shows and configures said Boot Manager, that is BCD contents. This Boot Manager also handles legacy, Windows XP in multiboot situations.


    On UEFI systems there is no MBR. On MBR systems, MBR is always the same and is part of Microsofts Boot Manager. Is your firmware UEFI or BIOS/MBR style?


    There is no need to do sector-by-sector usually, but it would help to back up the full SSD only. Better would be understanding of multi-boot of Microsoft Boot Manager.

  • Thanks for the "hard thoughts and comments". I'm not IT and built the system with someone who had much more knowledge than I had had. Making the physical hardware/ driver connections, after the Booting process, is fairly strait forward and easy. Learning to configure the system [I'm a retired dentist and musician] for audio and video was the learning curve most required. Only now after a major crash and attempts of hardware upgrade to ssd' s, am I getting a "grasp" of the complexity of the "handoff" process from the BIOS. to proceed thru to loading of the OS thru Boot Manager.  And Multiboot increases that complexity.

    I have just managed to "fix" the system but your absolutely correct. If I want to understand and

    eliminate the "psychic pain" that goes with "being uninformed"....no one to blame but myself.

    Not everyone who drives a car can rebuild it....I'm somewhere in between and need to take your suggestions to "heart" and I will, now that the 2 machines are back up again. 


    The system is BIOS/MBR   Until this happened I never heard of UEFI .

    2 systems built 6 years ago....legacy software...legacy hardware and Moore's Law.

    Only one of the PC had the separate "System partition" the other had the system partition "flagged" within the "System OS. They installed differently and I don't know how much harder that would make things. Both systems built exactly same and same time.


    Would or could you back up the SSD....thru cloning via some mechanical cloner.

    The first "clones"  I did were from mechanical HDD to SSD. Task accomplished. There was the Sector 0 offset problem. So I thought sector by sector might handle the "offset better".

    Then I backed up the 3 OS on the SSD's via  3 separate partitions to HDDs .I returned to Acronis 2016 to do the Backups ....Comfort level was greater [6 yrs use]. Backup/ Restore from HDD to SSD my first line of safety. "Cloned SSD to HDD"  correected boot thru Easy BCD. That was my 2nd line of safety.

    To "clone" SSD to SSD" my 3rd and last option. For me "it's been a long and winding road". .My guess is that there are no "perfect clones" so no getting past "repair" without the understanding.. At 75 with no real training it gets hard to know what's important and what's not.


    Thank you for your input and info. A good reality test


    Jason


  • Peter,


    <<When you do multiple restores, then you loose what has been fixed in SYSTEM partition with every next restore>>


    This is very interesting. Is the loss due to "dead spots on the disk" or in reading the "0's and '1'

    the optical head misses a few or is it that the "platters" just lose their "magnetic" capabilities.

    Or all the above. Or are you making reference to something very different.


    Thank you

  • edited July 2016

    no, it is not dead spots, or any hardware. All the multiboot information goes into file BCD which resides in the SYSTEM partition. On a multiboot scenario, this must be a separate partition. The issue would go as this: restore system A, make it bootable (which adapts SYSTEM), restore system B (which overwrites adapted SYSTEM!).

    I suggest after any restore of any OS partition, when it does not boot, then from a bootable media do the command:

    bcdboot c:\windows /L en-US

    where <c:> is the drive letter of the just-restored partition, as seen in the bootable media in the command prompt.

    To find the drive letter, one does dir c:, dir d:, dir e:, and so on until you know the drive letter of the desired OS partition. To find it properly, one has to have a distinctive file in every partition (otherwise you can't distinguish the partitions from dir command). And it is not X: .

    bcdboot is on every bootable media and it does all the required magic to add the respective OS partition <c:> to BCD in an orderly way, and does not remove other OS partitions that might already be registered there.


    May be I did not read right, and you want to back up the whole SSD disk. And restore in case of emergency the whole SSD disk with partitions unchanged. That would work.


    bcdboot would be needed when you restore individual partitions, or change partition positions, because this scenarios would break BCD slightly (boot complaining device not found! and device meaning partition) and need fixing with bcdboot.


    +When you do have one working OS, then you can influence and fix BCD entries of the other OS using EasyBCD from the working OS, instead of relying on bcdboot from the bootable media.

  • Peter,

    I haven't yet done my homework. But I just printed the articles and am about to "dig in". But I'd like to pick your mind about the "original source of my problem and confusion". I do have some Command line "remnants" but they are hazy. Once again I'll refresh.


    <<The issue would go as this: restore system A, make it bootable (which
    adapts SYSTEM), restore system B (which overwrites adapted SYSTEM!).>>


    Question: is System A the  100MB System Reserve which is its own partition and the System

    B is the Partition without the BCD store and Boot Manager.

    When Win7 installs without the created separate System Reserve, it is appropriatedly incorporated into the "first" 512MB of the Sector "0" of the "active" sytem which is to boot. So both installed OS contains all the necessary BCD store but in different fashion.. Either in separate [system reserve] partition or incorporated within the active system partition.

    Now add several more OS....when each new OS is installed does each "replicate" the BCD storage info similar to the "Active system partition" into each particular installation. It's just never utilized.  What I understand is  that it is not really  utilized because the info is "re/backcoded" into the BCD store of the first system partition. And when it's "flagged" byte does not point to the "first" OS  it allows a different choice from the "original BCD store via its boot manager..


    The reason I ask is two fold. If my thoughts are correct [and not too many of them are] then

    a Backup of a 2nd or a 3rd OS of a multiboot could conceiveably "stand on its own" if

     it was RESTORED to a different HDD/SSD as 1st "Active system partition". Yea or Nay.

    Maybe some minor commands to BCD store. Thoughts appreciated.


    Alternately : I have almost exclusively utilized Full Partition Backup/Restore [clone fx in Acronis was "fraught with MBR errors]....since I'v had to consistently reconfigure applications....install 2 iteratations of the same audio app [eg. Cubase 3 + Cubase 6, etc] or video software [because I cant learn them fast enough before the upgrade or new edition comes out]. There are always shared DLL and Common PATHS for separate applications sharing samples etc. . Incompatibility causes frequent crashes...I then Full PartitionRestore to a previous point and rebuild. In this multiboot environment when I Restore the active system partition I always

    include restoration of the MBR + Sector "0". However when I restore any of of the othe OS

    partitions I do not restore MBR and Sector "0".[AOMEI distinctiguishes System Partition Backup and merely Partition Backup] Assuming that would in some way "Override" the "primary functionality" of the first active system partitions BCD Store.....with subsequent

    Errors/malfunction.


    Thoughts in both scenarios would be appreciated.


    Yes, Paranoia wants me to also "clone" SSD to SSD for a quick recovery.And that is with no partitions changed [exact duplicate/mirror/clone]. AOMEI seems to be much better with the clone procedure. They both appear strait forward ,however Acronis's results are fraught with MBR errors. No OS will boot. AOMEI gives you a much softer landing since the Active system partition boots, providing opportunity for correction. 


    AOMEI Backup/Restore functions at OS level and that concerns me...about it's ability to carry

    out that function from within the OS it is backing up. Additionally not clear if AOMEO function with  XP....Acronis has a Tools Boot Rescue disk option that has its TRUE Image Backup/Restore + DisK DIrector for Parititioning/renaming all available from BIOS level. So far I've been able to use both without "conflicts", but I've just started with the upgrade of Acronis from 2011 to 2016 and the installation of AMOMEI. If your aware of any incompatibility issues please advise.


    Thanks so very much for your thoughts and efforts in my regard, It really is greatly appreciated.

    There are few sources to turn to in my old age.




    Jason



  • edited July 2016

    >>>>> Question: is System A the  100MB System Reserve which is its own partition and the ?questionable expression:?System?. B is the Partition without the BCD store and Boot Manager.

    Answer: I would have directly written if it were so... Also you are in a multiboot scenario, you have a bootable A and a bootable B.

    The disk contains three partitions: SYSTEM (or system reserved), OS A (its C:, its c:\windows), OS B (its C:, its c:\windows). System backup for System A includes SYSTEM and OS A. System backup for System B includes SYSTEM and OS B. That's how this part of my post is to be understood.


    >>>>Question: AOMEI Backup/Restore functions at OS level and that concerns me...about it's ability to carry

    Answer: yes, this part works reliably, the magic is built into Microsoft Windows 7 and higher.


    >>>>Question: Additionally not clear if AOMEO function with  XP....

    Answer: I would not do a system backup from within XP. However you may do a backup of the XP partition from one of the Win7 running. And Boot Editors, like EasyBCD handle XP. This is again built into the SYSTEM partition, into BCD and Windows Boot Manager both residing in SYSTEM. EasyBCD has just to apply it. (I did not verify but can't imagine that EasyBCD doesn't do it right).


    >>>>Question: AOMEI distinctiguishes System Partition Backup and merely Partition Backup]

    Answer: no. it distinguishes System Backup and Partition Backup.

    (to your explanation, System backup catches every partition required for its OS. It tells them before the Proceed button. The number of partitions is from 1 to three. On your computer, most probably it is two partitions, as written above in 1st Answer, 2nd absatz).


    >>>>Question: When Win7 installs without the created separate System Reserve, it is
    appropriatedly incorporated into the "first" 512[MB] of the Sector "0" of
    the "active" sytem which is to boot.

    Answer: no, it did not do, and partly the text does not make sense. It incorporated into SYSTEM (aka system reserved) partition, into its BCD there, as there was already a SYSTEM partition from the earlier installation.

    Win7 installation (setup) of OS B recognizes the situation, and after setup complete you got SYSTEM (aka system reserved), OS A, OS B, and a choice at boot time. All is automaticly done by Win7 setup. Issue is of course to preserve it across backup and restore - that's why you ask.


    >>>Question: System Reserve

    Answer. the word is system reserved, or SYSTEM. It depends a bit, as both names can be seen in different tools.  Another name, on UEFI systems only, is ESP. It is where BCD (boot configuration data) resides. It is also the active partition on your computer. There is also MSR, microsoft reserved partition, but it is something completely different.


  • Peter,


    First let me thank you, for taking the time and trying to be "explicit" in your explanations. It seems I do not really know what the term "system" encompasses. I have by now read several specific articles on the Boot process. From the Bios off to the Boot manager (IPR : PBR and then to the BCD store then the flag to the OS which is to Boot via winload.exe or ntldr which.

    "boots' the OS. That area is a bit clearer. But "system reserve",or " system" [by itself], and what that might  mean is now even  more confusing. The language of 'every trade" has its many nuances, and its these that make or break the understanding. 


    If you could help me here, it would be greatly appreciated.


    A system backup in a multiboot means what in relation to what is backed up. The Boot manager + [ONE], the "flagged OS,  which is the one 'asked" to boot. Or the entire "system" for me seems like a "clone" of everything {the multiple OS and whatever Boot Manager they have residing in their first sector. 

    And then a Partition backup would back up what exactly [example if I were backing up the second or  Win7-2 partition.What might it include or not have that backing up the "system partition" would have.  I know this is a "fraught" question because I have also read that one can initially setup a multiboot system wherein each OS installation contains an IPL:

    [Initial Program Loader] + which could allow you to choose any  PBR {Partition Boot Record]

    on a separate OS installation. Making each OS install idependent. I don't have any of this sophistication. So my question is "generic" in the "dumbest sense".  So if I might I'd

    return you to the question of the differences in content of AOMEI "system Backup" and or Partition Backup" as it pertains to a multiboot set up by a "someone intellectually compromised"....Me.



    Thanks again for staying the course...



    Jason

  • edited July 2016

    >>>question: A system backup in a multiboot means what in relation to what is backed
    up. The Boot manager + [ONE], the "flagged OS,  which is the one 'asked"
    to boot.

    answer: yes

    >>>question: a Partition backup would back up what exactly [example if I were backing up the second or  Win7-2 partition.

    answer: it backs up exactly the partitions selected.

    >>>>question: IPR 

    answer: it is called MBR here . MBR is sector 0.


    >>>>question:From the Bios off to the Boot manager (MBR : PBR and then to bootmgr to the BCD
    store then the flag to the OS which is to Boot via winload.exe or ntldr.

    answer: this is correct and you know more than most people.



    >>>>question: because I have also read that one can initially setup a multiboot system wherein each OS installation contains an IPL: [Initial Program Loader] + which could allow you to choose any  PBR {Partition Boot Record]

    Answer: such could be done, but it is opposite to Windows, BCD, Easyboot and so on. Perhaps you read some theory. In addition, somehow IPL in some OS partition must be called from via BCD.


    >>>>question: the question of the differences in content of AOMEI "system Backup" and
    or Partition Backup" as it pertains to a multiboot set up

    Answer: Backupper does not support multi-boot system backup, that is multiple OS in coordination.

    Answer: partition restore does not handle BCD, i.e. does not fix BCD when restoring.

    Answer: system restore attempts to fix the BCD for the OS that is restored .

    Solution: do a disk backup. Be prepared to fix booting after a disk restore. Learn the command bcdboot on the bootable media, already given in #5 above. I always fixed non-booting computers, after restore, with bcdboot..

    Comment: when you need to restore just one OS, then restore just the one partition that contains it. Fix booting issues either with bcdboot from the bootable media, or with EasyBCD from a running OS.


  • Hi Peter,


    Thanks again. I got my PC's up and running....Made cloned backup of each PC...fortunately with AOMEI the first "system partition" aways booted up . So I was able to "repair" the next

    OS partition [Win7-2] with EasyBCD. But every instance of the 3rd XP partition was for

    me "unrepairable". It always "booted thru to the ntldr", i.e. the XP LOGO displayed but at the

    display of the "sign in " screen it froze. Happened 5-6 times exactly the same. Restored

    with Backup of the XP partition. So all works.But most procedures were "chance success

    + multple chance failures.  Normally, most people would just be happy about returning the

    "system" to normal but I can't do that without understanding the hows and whys. I seem to see myself as a "hoarder" of sorts. Clones, Backups of all partitions of each computer.....the time it takes is exhaustive and leaves my musicianship wanting. Reason for "fear and trembling" is

    the lack of understanding fully how the process works. Your input has been much appreciated.

    I'd like to approach the "process" with much less "fear". Fear is not one of my usual traits.


    As always I will continue my intellectual journey here. But am most greatful for your input

    and patient concern. 

    The referenced article:

    http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html


    Thank you...sincerely


    I hope some others get something out of this long detailed "drama".



    Jason

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