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v4: How to recover your PC using the Linux Rescue CD - Part II

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v4: How to recover your PC using the Linux Rescue CD - Part II

This is the second part of the fifth tutorial in our series on working with Macrium Reflect. Last time we created a Linux rescue CD. This time I'll show you how to restore your 'drive C' image using this Rescue CD and return your PC to exactly the same state as it was when the image was created.

Don't let the word Linux scare you! You don't need to know anything about Linux. The restore program uses an XP style wizard with familiar mouse and keyboard operation. 

I've included an FAQ section at the end to help those of you that may have issues with the restore process.

OK, let's begin...

  1. Put your CD in the CD tray and start your PC. After a few seconds the first introductory page will be shown. Click Next.

  2. The next page shows locally attached drives and partitions labelled as drive letters like Windows.

    These letters may be different to your Windows drive letter assignments. This is because Windows assigns, and remembers drive letters as you attach devices, the rescue CD assigns letters as devices are detected during start-up.

    Select the directory that contains the image you are restoring.

    Clicking the folder icon or the +/- icon expands the directory/drive node. You must click the directory name to select the contents of the directory.

    If your image is stored on a network share then click the 'Map Share' button.

    Simply enter the share and user name details to add a network share to the 'Network Neighborhood' tree node.

    Make sure your network share is using WORKGROUP as the Workgroup name.

    Once you select the directory that contains your image file, the right window lists all partitions in all image file in the chosen directory.

    Select the correct partition image in the right windows and click 'Next'.
  3. The next page shows the details of all partitions saved in the chosen image file. In our case we have only one, but you could have many partitions from different drives.

    Select (C:) and click 'Next'

  4. You are now presented with the contents of all locally attached hard disks.

    You can restore this partition anywhere, you can even restore to free space on any disk.

    For this example we'll restore our saved partition to the whole of 'Disk 1'. All we have to do is select both the tick boxes on the first hard disk. Hold down the 'Ctrl' key and select both boxes.

    Click 'Next'
    to continue.

    You must select at least the same size as the partition you are restoring otherwise the 'Next' button won't be available. If necessary use the 'Total Selected' value at the bottom of the dialog as a guide.
  5. The next page allows you to select the type of partition to create when you restore. This flexibility gives you the ability to create logical partitions from primary and vice versa. For most restores this isn't necessary and the default partition type will be the partition type you originally imaged. For your Windows system partition you should always select 'Active'. This will be defaulted for you so just click 'Next' to continue.

  6. Because we selected a larger size to overwrite than the original partition size we now have the opportunity to extend the restored partition to fill the selected space (the whole disk in this case).

    If you just restore to the original partition that you saved, then you won't see this page.

    Drag the slider to the right
    and click 'Next'.
  7. The next page allows you to verify the image before restoring. It is rare for an image to fail verification and this step can add a considerable amount of time to the restore process. The restoration will abort if any part of the image file is corrupt. However, if you are restoring to a new disk or if the partition you are replacing is already corrupt, then it isn't strictly necessary to verify.

    For this example click 'No' then click 'Next' to continue.
  8. The next page gives you options for restoring the Master Boot Record (MBR).

    The Master Boot Record a small program that executes when your PC starts up. If this program has become corrupt, perhaps due to a virus, then you may have problems starting your computer.

    Each backup contains a copy of the Master Boot Record which can be recovered by selecting 'Replace with the Master Boot Record from the backup'. This is the default option, so leave this selected and click 'Next'.

  9. Windows can run an automatic verification of your file system when it starts. The next page allows you to force Windows to run this check when you first boot after restoring.

    For this example select 'No' and click 'Next'.

  10. We're now at the final Wizard page. This shows a summary of all your selections. Click 'Finish' to begin the restore.

    Your restore will now begin. At the end you have the option to click 'Back' and restore another partition or click 'Cancel' to restart your PC.

    Click 'Cancel' then click 'OK' in the reboot message box.

All Finished! The time taken for the restore process may be slightly longer than backup process.

There seems to be a lot of dialogs here, but most options are defaulted for you and clear explanations are provided on the relevant wizard pages.

In the next tutorial I'll cover the Windows PE 2.0 recovery environment. This environment has many more options to help you, including image browsing to recover individual files.


  • How do I restore an incremental or differential image?
    Incremental and differential images are restored in exactly the same way. Simply select the image by date and the restore process will locate the relevant files and recover your image automatically.
  • Why is the 'Choose partitions to overwrite' wizard page empty?

    The Linux Rescue CD cannot recognize your internal hard disk(s) therefore you cannot select any destination partition(s) to overwrite.
    This is possibly because you are using an unrecognized SATA mode. Go to your BIOS settings for your main hard disk controller and check for an option like ‘Compatibility’ mode. If this doesn’t work or you can’t find any SATA option(s) to change then try the BartPE rescue CD or use Windows PE 2.0 rescue CD.

    Windows PE 2.0 is only available with registered version of Macrium Reflect.
  • I'm restoring an image from multiple DVDs but the restore wizard can't locate the image.

    You must place the last DVD in the CD tray first. The final part of any image contains the image index.
  • When I select the directory containing my image file nothing is displayed.

    You must click on the directory name to select the directory contents.
  • My computer won't boot with my new hard disk.

    This can be caused by XP not recognising your new disk. XP sometimes needs a driver for recent SATA disks running in AHCI mode. To fix this problem you may have to modify your BIOS settings to enable 'Legacy Mode', 'IDE Mode' or similar. When XP boots you should then locate and install the correct SATA drivers, then change your BIOS settings to match the driver.

Alternatively, your 'boot.ini' file may be incorrectly set up. This file is automatically adjusted during the restore process so you normally won't have a problem with this. However, to correct any errors with this file and other boot related issues you should locate your original XP installation disk and start the XP recovery console. Details about this can be found here:

The relevant commands for fixing boot related issues are:

fixboot: Replaces the partition boot sector
fixmbr: Replaces the MBR.
bootcfg /rebuild: Rebuilds the boot.ini file

Note: If you have the Windows PE recovery environment then there's an option 'Fix Boot Problems' that runs these commands and others automatically for you.

Last Modified:18 Dec 2012

Last Modified By:

Type: Tutorial

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