Problems restoring from NTFS Partimage

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Problems restoring from NTFS Partimage

Post by 5circles » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:27 pm

I've used partimage several times for creating image backups of Ubuntu systems. This time I wanted to create an image from a Windows Vista system as a final backup before rebuilding.

I used Ubuntu Live CD, and created the image of the main partition (about 112 gigs, NTFS) on an external USB drive formatted as FAT32. I saw the warning about experimental NTFS support, but thought it was worth a try (especially as my other backups were supposed to be OK)

Then I tried to restore, using a Ubuntu system booted normally. There was enough room on the USB external drive to create a partition big enough for all the space used, but partimage didn't work because the target partition wasn't big enough. So I copied the image files to a different hard drive and created/formatted a partition larger than the original. Then I ran partimage to restore. It appeared to work. But most of the files were not there as far as the Ubuntu system was concerned. I tried the drive on a Windows XP system to see if I could read it, but it wasn't accessible at all - even to run chkdsk.

I still have the image files, so I've tried various approaches to restoring the partition (different file systems, formatted on different systems), but always similar results. Is there any hope of recovering? I understand that there isn't any development for partimage, and I know that NTFS support wasn't complete - it is just disappointing, especially without an alternative.

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Last edited by 5circles on Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by feffer » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:27 pm

You might get some help from the log file. Also, some external usb drives use the GUID partition table. Simply reformatting the drive will not touch this, and it will be a problem for restoring. If that's the case here, you can change it using cfdisk. Then your partimage restore might work.

Clearly, it is disappointing to lose a system this way. While I have been using partimage for some time and "trust" it to restore my linux partition images (on ext3), it is clear that partimage is not totally trustworthy anymore. There are lots of posts from people using/trying it on ntfs systems. While some are using it successfully, many others have problems.

While it is of little comfort to 5circles, others should take note: don't use partimage when you need an indispensable clone. IE, when you have no other alternative, if it fails.

Both linux and windows have developed, but partimage is frozen. It will not handle ext4 or vista/win7. I sincerely hope that someone would restart the project. A few have said they would, but haven't produced anything yet. For some, clonezilla, fsarchiver or dd might be an alternative. Others take note: only use partimage in situations where you can test your results first.

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