NTBACKUP Restore of a Bootable Partition RRS feed

  • Question

  • HELP!!!  I'm in trouble.

    I am confused, totally lost, don't have a
    weak little hollow hint of a tiny clue
    about some just crucial points about
    NTBACKUP and XP Professional.

    Twice now in the last 12 months I have had
    a bad virus ruin my main XP installation
    (bootable XP disk partition).  After the
    first virus infection, I started using
    NTBACKUP to make backups of that bootable

    After the second virus, I discovered that
    using NTBACKUP to restore any of those
    earlier backups would not yield a bootable
    partition.  I was SHOCKED.  My backups
    appear to be totally useless.  All that
    promise of 'volume shadow copy' (VSS)
    appears to have been for nothing.

    Now I'm just guessing, and I don't have a
    second computer to run some long list of
    combinatorial experiments to see what does
    and does not work.

    In more detail, my PC has an EIDE hard
    disk for drive 0 and, in addition, has two
    SATA drives.  Drive 0 has partitions C:,
    D:, and E:.

    Since my copy of XP Professional is an
    upgrade from Windows 2000, I have Windows
    2000 installed on partition C:.

    I try to keep a good installation on XP on
    each of partitions D: and E:.

    In January, E: was my main XP
    installation, that is, the one I usually
    use, and then I got a virus that ruined my
    installation on E:.  Then I spent three
    months, more than full time, getting E:
    back to ready for work again.  Then in
    April, with E: booted, I used NTBACKUP
    with VSS to backup all of E: to a BKF file
    on I:.

    Then recently a second virus again ruined
    my installation of E:.  [With great
    effort, I restrain remarks about system
    security architecture, ACLs, sand boxes,
    browser plug-ins, etc.]

    So, I booted XP on D:, formatted E: back
    to empty (and for NTFS as it had been),
    and used NTBACKUP to restore the April
    backup of E: to E:.  The number of files
    NTBACKUP reported as restored were two
    fewer than the number NTBACKUP had
    reported as being saved; I do not
    understand the difference.

    After this restore, E: would not boot; an
    error message said that file ntoskrnl.exe
    was missing.  With D: booted, on D: I
    found such a file, of the same size as had
    been on E:, and copied it, as a binary
    copy, to its standard directory in the
    file system directory tree on E:, and E:
    still would not boot; this time the
    message had to do with some
    DLLs missing.

    With D: booted, I formatted E: to empty
    and for NTFS (as usual), installed XP on
    E: and, with D: booted, used NTBACKUP to
    read the April backup and restore it to E:
    WITHOUT replacing files with duplicate
    names.  Then E: booted but showed only the
    what was from the XP installation and
    nothing more from what I had on E: at the
    time of the backup.  Then I used NTBACKUP
    to read the April backup and restore to E:
    WITH replacing files with duplicate names.
    Then E: booted but again showed nothing
    more from what I had on E: at the time of
    the backup.  As far as I can tell, my
    April backup was just a total waste of
    time and effort and yielded a big file
    that is just useless for anything.

    Okay, apparently (I'm guessing) when I did
    the April backup of all of E:, NTBACKUP
    refused to backup ALL of E:, omitted some
    files, and didn't tell me.  Bummer.  So,
    apparently the backup I got in April
    cannot be used to create a bootable
    partition.  Bummer.  Difficult way to

    So, I'm guessing:  In the run of NTBACKUP,
    to get a backup that can be restored and
    result in a bootable partition like I had,
    I must backup the whole partition and ALSO
    ask to backup 'system state'.  Well for
    the April backup I just asked to backup
    the whole partition and did not also ask
    to backup system state.

    My guess in April was that asking to
    backup 'system state' would result in
    backing up ONLY 'system state' and not the
    whole partition while asking to backup the
    whole partition would backup everything,
    including system state.  I was guessing.

    Q 1:  Is there any way now I can make good
    use of my April backup of E:?

    Q 2:  For the future, suppose either D: or
    E: is booted with XP and I run NTBACKUP to
    backup all of E: AND system state.  Can I
    later boot D:, format E: (for NTFS as
    usual), use NTBACKUP to restore E:, and
    have E:  bootable again and as it was?

    Q 3:  Suppose I use the 'automatic system
    recovery' (ASR) process to get a backup of
    E: and an ASR diskette and then use the
    ASR diskette and the backup to restore E:.
    The ASR documentation is less clear than
    mud turned into rock and implies that this
    restoration would repartition my drive 0,
    reformat partitions C:, D:, and E:, and,
    thus, destroy what I have on C: and D:.
    Is this true?  Or could I use the ASR
    process to restore JUST partition E:
    without changing partitions C: and D:?

    Q 4:  The ASR process documentation seems
    to imply, but is not at all clear, that
    the backup process would necessarily make
    copies of my system state on ALL of my
    bootable drives, C:, D:, and E: and, in
    any restore, restore system state on all
    those drives.  Is this true?

    Q 5:  Also the ASR documentation seems to
    imply, but is not clear, that the ASR
    process would restore only a minimal part
    of a bootable partition and not restore
    the partition fully as it was at the time
    of backup.  Is this true?

    Net, what I would like would be to be able
    to use NTBACKUP to backup my usual
    bootable partition E: and later boot D:
    and use NTBACKUP to restore E: back to
    where it was, yes, as a bootable partition
    and in full as the partition was at the
    time of backup, and do so without doing
    harm to partitions C: and D:.  How can I
    use NTBACKUP to do this?

    This system management struggling is
    seriously hurting my development project
    and my ability to become a very good
    customer of high end copies of Windows
    Server and SQL Server.  Net, this year I
    will have spent fully one-third of my time
    JUST wrestling with reinstalling XP.  This
    time I want to get this wrestling BEHIND

    HELP!!!  I'm in trouble.

    Friday, October 22, 2010 8:03 AM