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  • Prepare For The Inevitable

    Posted on bbearren Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Questions – Maintenance and backups Prepare For The Inevitable

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      • #1876966 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        One of the good things that occurred during my Xfinity-imposed offline status was taking care of some maintenance chores that I needed to get done. Without the distraction of internet access, I turned my time to cleaning up my to-do list.

        Foremost on the list was getting caught up with my full-drive image set. I have a couple that were fairly recent, but not a complete set all the same age. I ran my extended Disk Cleanup, then launched Image for Windows and created a full-drive image for each of the four drives on my daily driver desktop (there are actually five, but the fifth is a 2TB single partition for my drive images).

        My 2TB drive would not be able to hold the full set, so as one was completed and I launched the next, I ran a Robocopy script to copy the completed drive image to a 3TB HDD plugged into the drive dock on my NAS.  Once that copy was complete, I deleted the image from the 2TB drive, freeing up that space. The plan was to get all images on that 3TB HDD, then unplug it and store it away for safe-keeping.

        It took a couple of hours all together; those four drives hold 748.9 GB of files/data, and I was running everything single file rather than via Task Scheduler. But I did get it all done, copied to the 3TB HDD, and have it stored. When I lose any of those drives in the future (I say “when”, not “if”, because it’s always “when”) I can replace the bad drive with a new one of like kind, retrieve and plug in that 3TB HDD, restore that drive’s complete image with its partitions in the right places and the correct sizes, then use my latest partition/logical drive images to update any pertinent partition.

        I’ve used this procedure a few times in the past for pooched HDD’s, and it saves a lot of time and effort as far as getting back up and running normally.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1877918 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        I thought you did your backups with BootIt Bare Metal, or am I conflating 2 programs for different purposes??

        Zig

      • #1878206 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I ran my extended Disk Cleanup

        You can create a desktop shortcut (no batch file needed) :
        Create a shortcut on the desktop
        copy : C:\Windows\System32\cleanmgr.exe /cleanmgr /sageset:01
        or
        C:\Windows\System32\cleanmgr.exe /cleanmgr /sageset:65535 & /sagerun:65535

        Name the shortcut.
        save.
        Select shortcut properties > advanced > run as administrator.
        apply. save.

        • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Alex5723.
      • #1878537 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I thought you did your backups with BootIt Bare Metal, or am I conflating 2 programs for different purposes??

        BootIt Bare Metal didn’t have the imaging software when it replaced BootIt Next Generation.  That’s when I got Image For Windows.

        Drive imaging has since been restored in the BootIt Bare Metal and BootIt UEFI tools.  I have BootIt UEFI, but Image For Windows allows imaging without having to boot into the BootIt UEFI environment, and I can have Task Scheduler run it for me on a schedule.

        Image For Windows also has a script for adding it into the Windows Recovery Environment, which is also quite handy.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #1878578 Reply
          Zig
          AskWoody Plus

          I figured out the source of my confusion. I thought that by the name “Image for Windows,” you meant the built-in (inbuilt for our UK friends) Windows disk imaging feature. I now see that I4W is another Terabyte program. Sorry for leading you off into an unnecessary sidebar.

          Zig

      • #1878560 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        You can create a desktop shortcut (no batch file needed) : Create a shortcut on the desktop copy : C:\Windows\System32\cleanmgr.exe /cleanmgr /sageset:01 or C:\Windows\System32\cleanmgr.exe /cleanmgr /sageset:65535 & /sagerun:65535

        I guess you didn’t check the link.  Sageset has to actually be “set” in order for Sagerun to use the settings.  And 65535 is not a magic number, it’s just the highest number allowed for Sageset.  I use 01; works just fine.

        And no, I don’t use a batch file, just a simple desktop shortcut.  Check the link in the OP for the details.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #1954669 Reply
        WSRolandJS
        AskWoody Plus

        “…Image For Windows also has a script for adding it into the Windows Recovery Environment, which is also quite handy…”

        I never figured where that scrip is, how do I add IfW into the Windows environment?

        "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin, revisted

      • #1954830 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        “…Image For Windows also has a script for adding it into the Windows Recovery Environment, which is also quite handy…” I never figured where that scrip is, how do I add IfW into the Windows environment?

        Creating a TeraByte Recovery Environment, WinRE Boot Disc, or UFD Containing Image for Windows (TBWinRE)

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2084733 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        This past weekend I was piddlin’ with my HP All-In-One printer software for “Scan to computer” settings. The settings are set and stored in the printer’s memory, and using the Web Interface, when I changed from one menu to another, my saved settings on the first menu would revert to default. Basically I was trying to set the default for the level of scanning detail (dpi, brightness and contrast) to suit my preferences and not have to go through the settings every time I want to scan.

        I wasn’t having much success, so I decided to uninstall/re-install the HP software on my PC and reset the printer to factory defaults. My printer is on an Ethernet connection. In my experience HP printer software is notorious for not uninstalling completely and proving to be an obstacle on re-install. I used Revo Uninstaller, then opened regedit to search for and eliminate any lingering traces. Once that was finished (or so I thought), I restarted the PC and re-installed the software. During setup, connection to the printer continually failed. I could see via my router that it was indeed connected with the correct “friendly name” and MAC address.

        I went through the entire process of uninstall/re-install again, only to receive the same results. So I did something that I always advise others to never do; I downloaded and installed CCleaner and ran the registry cleaner on its default setting. When that was completed, I restarted the PC and began the re-install. It failed. I went through the troubleshooting suggested by HP, and the installation still failed. I tried one more time, same result. I decided that I had had enough.

        I rebooted into the B side of my Windows 10 dual boot. From Restart to the B side desktop took 1:10. I opened Image For Windows, acknowledged the UAC with my Administrator PIN, selected Restore, Normal, selected my image location, the image I wished to restore, and the partition to which I wished to restore it, and clicked Start. That took 0:46. The restore was complete after 2:58. Reboot to the A side was another 1:10, and I was back to where it had all begun before my piddlin’, in 6:04. Having already reset the printer to factory default, I opened the Web Interface and was able to customize the default scan settings to my preferences. Success! And I didn’t even have to uninstall CCleaner, because it was not installed in the drive image I restored.

        The printer OS is Linux.  Apparently a storm-related power interruption at some point (in central Florida that’s a frequent occurrence) had discombobulated the printer OS.  It was still printing, copying and scanning as usual, but the settings menus had gotten a bit scrambled.

        For the image restore, I could have booted my TBWinRE rescue thumb-drive, or I could have gone to All settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now and then selected Troubleshooting, which would have allowed me to open Image For Windows from there. Terabyte includes a .cmd script that can incorporate Image For Windows into winre.wim in the Recovery Environment and/or build the TBWinRE rescue thumb-drive.

        The reason for this long preamble is this: I’m not intimidated by Windows Update, for two reasons. I’m not an IT manager for a small business running business-specific proprietary software or anything of the sort, just a home user with a home network, and I have never had a Windows Update pooch a PC in all my years of running Windows. If, for whatever reason a future Windows Update should possibly pooch my PC, I’m only six minutes away from getting it un-pooched.

        Being prepared in this configuration, I don’t delay updates, I don’t block updates, I click Check for updates on a regular basis. I am a seeker/cannon fodder type, right here on the front lines.

        I urge everyone to formulate and use a regular drive image regimen; there’s virtually nothing an up-to-date drive image restoration cannot cure, even hardware failures. I have replaced a number of failed hard drives through the years just by removing the failed drive, installing a new replacement, and restoring the image I have of that complete drive, partitions and all.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2137353 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I have my 3TB Storage HDD docked in the top of my NAS, and my Robocopy batch file is copying my drive images that Task Scheduler made for me in this morning’s wee hours from my internal SSD to my Storage HDD.

        When the copying is finished, I’ll un-dock the Storrage HDD and tuck it away until next week.

        Have you created your weekly drive images yet?

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2142013 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        My weekly early Sunday morning drive images have been created, copied to my 3TB storage drive, and it has been safely stored away.

        Have you created your weekly drive images yet?

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

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