Restoring a system image

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by Garyd, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. Garyd

    Garyd New Member

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    I am replacing a Surface Pro 3 with a new Surface Pro 3 (original was physically damaged-broken screen). I took a system image of the original - that was easy enough - but how do I apply the image to the new Surface. I go into Recovery>Advanced>Restore System Image. I plug in the external drive that has the image - I pick the correct image - then I get a message that I need to boot from a System Image boot disk - OK - fair enough - I have tried booting from a USB DVD drive with the actual System repair boot CD - no luck. I made a bootable USB flash with a copy of a Win 7 System image boot disk - but it just won't boot from it. Yes - I am holding the Volume down button and the pressing power, etc. The USB boot device works fine on my laptop and desktop - so my boot USB flash drive is not the problem. I have tried:
    • Going into PC Settings>Recovery>Advanced and select boot from USB device
    • Disabling secure boot
    • Redoing the USB boot device with Fat32 instead of NTFS
    I tried making a Surface recovery Boot USB drive - which works - but that is no different than going into PC Settings - recovery options. When you create a system image there is no option to create a system repair disk at the end (like there was in Win 7)
    So what am I missing??? Why can you create a system image of a Surface when there seems to be no way to apply it.
     
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps the image is bad. According to this you should run DSIM to verify before creating the image.
    https://www.winhelp.us/system-image-backup-in-windows-8-1.html

    You may be able to use DSIM to repair the image you have ... haven't tried it... might not be as easy as falling off a log http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824869.aspx

    Or maybe you can fix the source and recreate the image...

    There's a command for checking an existing image as well but I wonder if the boot files are in your image. Might have to be added... I'm just thinking aloud here...
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Then you might try one of these:
    http://disk-imaging-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
    I have seen people here using Acronis and Macrium
    I have heard several good reports on Macrium ... its on my list to try.
    Something to check is their support or non-support for UEFI. Though its just another step if it doesn't.

    It'd be nice if MS could consolidate some of their efforts and make something really nice that worked on RT too instead of five incompatible half assed ways but then... everyone would cry foul.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  4. ProOrNo

    ProOrNo New Member

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    Normal Windows will not boot from a USB drive. You need the the Windows PE version for that.

    Start here...
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc709626(v=WS.10).aspx

    That should then let you restore the image. BUT, and I know this is too late, the windows image recovery process is overly complicated and buggy at best. It is better than it was, but still is a disgusting piece of software for anyone but technical people. That's why you have to pay msoft to fix things. :)

    When/if you get it running, invest in something like Macrium Reflect and use it to make images and the associated recovery drive. Four or five button clicks, wait 20-minutes and you are working again. :)

    I suggest "invest," as the Pro version automatically adds in all appropriate drivers for your installation whereas their free version only uses generic drivers and only suits the installation about 50% of the times. It is a hell of a time to find out when you are trying to reinstate a repaired device and the drivers are incorrect.
     
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  5. Garyd

    Garyd New Member

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    Thanks - but my issue is that I can't get the Surface to boot from a Windows 7 system repair disk - whether I use the actual disk in a USB DVD drive or make it into a bootable USB flash drive. The flash drive works - I can boot my other computers from it - just not the Surface.
     
  6. guymalloc

    guymalloc Member

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    Your real issue is the windows license key doesn't match between the uefi one and the system image you're trying to re-store. That's why it's asking for a recovery dvd, when you create a recovery dvd in windows 8 or 8.1, it matches your software key. This is a limit designed by Microsoft, I believe, to prevent illegal software transfers.
     
  7. Brent212

    Brent212 New Member

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    So wait... the system images I'm creating aren't usable if I get an identical surface replacement? I have to have some sort of recovery dvd made as well? (so I need a dvd drive now to connect to my surface??) If this is true, what a pile of crap. Why would I use am image for the same machine? I'm far more likely to need it if my machine suffers physical damage and I get a new one (same model).

    Edited for language issues.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2014
  8. guymalloc

    guymalloc Member

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    I suppose you could enter the bios on your surface and disable uefi, and protected boot, it might work then, but if you turn uefi back on to get rid of the red boot screen, you will run into the license problem again. Also could have issues if the new replacement surface has any different hardware inside, I.E. ssd model, or wifi/bluetooth adapter, but those issues can be fixed with device manager.
     
  9. Brent212

    Brent212 New Member

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    Got any recommendations for getting the most complete "system" (programs, settings, etc) backup possible, that can be restored to any hardware?

    So after writing that, I'm thinking it'd be best to have it *not* back up all OS settings... hardware settings I guess would need to be skipped. So it'd be restored onto a fully installed OS, and just OS settings like, for instance, keyboard repeat rate, would be restored by the backup and then of course all applications and their settings.

    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  10. guymalloc

    guymalloc Member

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    I know there are ways that pre-install images can be created using microsoft's free deployment software for IT experts. You can set up an image to install Windows and some extra software can be included in the .wim file. It will need to have the necessary drivers, on top of the ones provided with a retail copy of Windows. I've never used this, as my systems are all so different in terms of hardware and end use. A generic install COULD be created, with your specific software included. But you'd still need a license key for each install, and a uefi key can only be circumvented using a pid.txt file on a custom install dvd. That would make the dvd only legal on 1 PC. Like I said, this is a limit created by Microsoft to help prevent images from being installed on multiple computers, except in the case of volume license deployments, where all the pc's are virtually identical, and the licensing is funneled to a microsoft server for authentication.
     

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