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Windows 7 64-bit Professional can't boot after restoring image

Created: 22 Jun 2012 | 16 comments

Hi,

When I did a restore image for Windows 7 64-bit professional, the laptop couldn't boot up ? There wasn't any error message and 

there was just a cursor blinking at the left hand top corner ? Please advise, tks.

 

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EdT's picture

Did you create the image as a disk image or a partition image?  From what you are describing, I would surmise that you created a partition image, and are unaware that Windows 7 creates TWO partitions when it installs, and both are needed to boot. The partition that is usually missed is a small "system" partition of around 100-200Mb that is the first partition on the disk.  You should be able to get the machine booted by running a repair from a Windows 7 installation DVD.

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jacksb68's picture

Hi, 

I did a restore disk image. How do i find out whether I have missed the small "system" partition ?
Please advise, tks.

 

EdT's picture

Ghost will normally show the different partitions on a drive. You can also do this from WinPE by running DISKPART.

Type LIS DIS to view the disks on the system.

Type SEL DIS X where X is the disk number you want to examine.

Type LIS PAR to view the list of partitions on the disk number you selected in the previous step

Type EXIT to get back to the WinPE command prompt.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

EdT's picture

If posting again, please include the exact version and build number of the Ghost utility you are using.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

jacksb68's picture

Hi, 

We have managed to resolve the issue via the following steps:

 

  • Boot up from the windows 7 64 bit DVD
  • Run from command prompt
  • Type      bootrec.exe /fixmbr
  •                     bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
  •                     attrib -h -s C:\boot\BCD
  •                     del C:\boot\BCD
  •                     bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

Just to share. 
Thank you.

 

EdT's picture

Thanks for sharing the exact process you used.

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Captain Chaos's picture

I've been tearing my hair out over this. Is there going to be a proper fix for this? I've got 10 PC's that I need to rebuild first thing every morning. Also this above fix doesn't work. Perhaps I'm being stupid but I can't get the W7 64bit DVD to boot to a DOS prompt. I've tried safe mode safe mode with command prompt everything brings me back to you can't install windows on here as it's GPT partition. Which is how Ghost deposited the Image.

I'm using Ghost 11.5.1  Build 2266. I create a whole disk image with and without the -NTEXACT switch

What I've noticed is that when you initally create a clean W7 64 bit installation, Windows creates 3 partitions. Ghost & Gdisk only see's two of the three partitions. I've got this get this fixed before the Olympics as that where the PC are going to be delpoyed. So no pressure

Captain Chaos's picture

The only way I can get it to work is to have the system partition in already place and just ghost the partition back. It's a lot of faffing about for a peice of expensive software that's meant to be compatible with ALL vesions of Windows. Sorry if I'm ranting but this shouldn't happen. This should just work. W7 64 bit is not new it's been around for as long as W7 has.

EdT's picture

To boot to a DOS prompt you need WinPE - this you can get in the Windows Automated Installation Kit download.

Win 7 actually only creates two partitions from a standard manual install. Is your third partition an actual partition or just some left over unpartitioned space caused by the drive geometry? Both partitions are necessary for a successful boot, but unless you are imaging each machine separately (eg to a second drive or partition) then you are going to get activation issues as the operating system will recognise it is on different hardware to that on which the image was created and require re-activation.

If you need to reset the machine each day, would it not be simpler to have a virtual machine running on the PC which is just rolled back to a snapshot each day?

By the way, are these machines part of a domain? If so, how are you managing the automatic password change that the workstation account undergoes every 7 days which will make your image "expire" at the end of this time and need to be manually rejoined to the domain each time, unless you create a fresh image?

What you may not be aware of, is that the Ghost development team were all laid off long before Windows 7 was released so any kludges to add Win 7 support came out of a small team of maintenance engineers in Pune, as the next version of Ghost was never finished.

Paragon Partition Manager is cheap and works, and it bang up to date, as is Acronis Trueimage. Issues such as these should not be arising this close to the Olympics - this should all have been tested and put to bed weeks ago......!!

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

Captain Chaos's picture

It looks as if I'll have to get Acronis Trueimage then. As for the issues arising before the Olympics yep I agree with you and I've been shouting at the procurement team to get their finger out for weeks. As is the life of a big company I can't just go out and buy something all of the bean counters have to get involved and it sits on thier desks for ages. I ordered thes PC's back in beginning of May. Unfortunately as is the way, the PC's turned up Friday afternoon and I had to sort out the usual o rat's the video drive BSOD's this doesn't work that doesn't work etc over a weekend  with a tight deadline to boot.

Unfortunately I didn't know about the Ghost guy's getting the elbow, shame it's really good product. I've been using it since before Symantec bought it out.

Cheers

Pete.

Captain Chaos's picture

Hi

I would just like to pick you up on the 3 partitions thing. This is a picture of the windows partition screen when you install W7 64bit (no SP's). Now let me explain how I got here

Destroyed all of the partitions with a gdisk32 1 /del /all & rebooted to the W7 disk. Got to this stage and created One partition of 460000Mb the remaining 16Gb is to store the ghost image in so that I can ghost it back in the morning. The windows DVD created 3 partitions 2 x 100 Mb partitions and a 449Gb partition. If I do a Gdisk32 or Ghost it only see's two of the three partitions.

Any thoughts?

Regards

Peter

Windows 7 3 Partitions.jpg
EdT's picture

May I refer you to this article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd799232(WS.10).aspx  ??

It looks like you have an EFI system.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

ShftyEyedGoat's picture

I encounter the same problem with my Win7 x64 Lenovo images. I use their base image due to all the custom software they have, and then I install to my specs.

I sysprep the image and boot into Ghost 11.5 but I think build 1953 and backup the disk to image. It backs up the two partitions to a single image file. When I restore this over a new system I have the same error of Windows not knowing where to boot.

To fix this I boot off a Win7 x64 DVD, go to the repair command line tools, run both bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot and reboot and I'm fine.

Not a huge issue but kind of a hassle overall.

EdT's picture

Sounds like your partition structure is not identical on the target machine compared to the source machine. With Lenovo using a non standard boot sector, it is common to use the -ib switch when imaging Lenovo machines. From experience, large users of Lenovo wipe their image completely and start again with a standard Win 7 install and then image that. Forget system recovery and all the other crap that Lenovo add in.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

ShftyEyedGoat's picture

Just tried the switch and it worked! Not sure if it's needed on image restoration but am testing it now.

The problem with a fresh install is we don't put OS or Office on our Microsoft EA, and save a ton of money each year sticking with OEM. So I pretty much have to use the stock OEM image Lenovo gives. There's some work outside to keep track of it all but it's easily doable. And  yeah most of the unneeded backup items, recovery partition, etc are removed pre-sysprep.

Thanks again.

EdT's picture

When creating an image or copying disk to disk, the -IB switch (Image Boot) forces a copy of the entire boot track; not just the boot sector.

Use this switch when applications, such as some boot-time utilities, use the boot track to store information. 

  • You cannot perform partition-to-partition or partition-to-image operations with the -IB switch.
  • Partition sizes cannot be altered when using the -IB switch.

So based on the above extract from the article at Ghost switches , the -IB switch should only be required when creating the image.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.