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Bootable Macrium recovery drive

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mc2fool
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Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335275

Postby mc2fool » August 23rd, 2020, 3:16 pm

My NAS has the ability to make copies of the NAS to a connected USB drive, on an automated schedule, of which I've just brought one for the purpose. The main purpose of the NAS itself is for where the Macrium backups of my W10Pro desktop and W10Home laptop go. So, the USB drive will contain copies of those backups.

Of course, I have Macrium rescue media (CDs) for both PCs and have, indeed, successfully restored backups from the NAS before, using the CD, when the drive on my laptop needed replacing (twice in fact), and I could use those CDs in conjunction with the USB drive.

But if possible I'd like to also set up the USB drive to be a bootable device, booting the Macrium rescue media, so I could just boot and restore directly from the USB drive.

So, presumably I create ISOs and put them, somehow, on the USB drive, but what's the ins and outs and hows of that? I'd also presumably need to be able to choose between the desktop ISO and laptop ISO in order the get the right drivers for each? And could I also put windows itself on the USB drive, to be able to boot that too?

There may be a gotcha in that the NAS manual says, only the first partition of a connected USB drive is mounted. Additional partitions are not recognized. The USB drive currently has a single NTFS partition, which I could shrink, but whatever I end up with has to have the partition the NAS will be copying to first.

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335300

Postby Breelander » August 23rd, 2020, 5:31 pm

mc2fool wrote:...But if possible I'd like to also set up the USB drive to be a bootable device, booting the Macrium rescue media, so I could just boot and restore directly from the USB drive.

So, presumably I create ISOs and put them, somehow, on the USB drive, but what's the ins and outs and hows of that?

Whether you want the rescue media to be on a separate USB stick or a partition of the USB HDD the process is the same. You need a Fat32 partition for the rescue media, 1GB is sufficient. Mark the partition as Active. Mount the ISO (or insert your CD) then copy all files and folders to the Fat32 partition. This makes a USB partition that is bootable on any machine, UEFI or Legacy bios.

However, the easiest way by far to make rescue media on a USB stick is just to plug it in then run Macrium's rescue media builder from its 'Other Tasks' menu. Only when a USB is present will it be one of the options available to you.

I'd also presumably need to be able to choose between the desktop ISO and laptop ISO in order the get the right drivers for each?

The Macrium Rescue media, depending on how you made it, is built on either the WinPE or WinRE boot environment. WinRE/WinPE contains basic MS drivers for most of the commonly found hardware. Unless you have some specific exotic hardware one USB should work for all. I've never yet found a machine that won't boot from my one USB.

And could I also put windows itself on the USB drive, to be able to boot that too?

No, Windows cannot be installed to a removable drive. There are however 'windows-like' bootable rescue environments built using Windows PE, such as:
https://www.tenforums.com/software-apps ... -disk.html

There may be a gotcha in that the NAS manual says, only the first partition of a connected USB drive is mounted. Additional partitions are not recognized. The USB drive currently has a single NTFS partition, which I could shrink, but whatever I end up with has to have the partition the NAS will be copying to first.

That restriction used to apply in Windows too, but not now. The ability to see and mount all partitions of a connected USB drive was added to Windows 10 three years ago, starting with version 1703.

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335503

Postby mc2fool » August 24th, 2020, 1:49 pm

Thanks. I'll give it a go. :D

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335511

Postby Infrasonic » August 24th, 2020, 2:29 pm

Breelander wrote:
mc2fool wrote:
And could I also put windows itself on the USB drive, to be able to boot that too?

No, Windows cannot be installed to a removable drive. There are however 'windows-like' bootable rescue environments built using Windows PE, such as:
https://www.tenforums.com/software-apps ... -disk.html


Just for clarification Bree are you talking about restoring a Macrium backup to an external USB drive and making it bootable not being possible?

(AFAIK it is possible to run W10 persistently from a USB/Thunderbolt drive via third party software like Win to USB/Rufus, even though Windows to Go is no longer supported by MS...).

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335514

Postby mc2fool » August 24th, 2020, 2:40 pm

Breelander wrote:Windows cannot be installed to a removable drive. There are however 'windows-like' bootable rescue environments built using Windows PE, such as:
https://www.tenforums.com/software-apps ... -disk.html

Hmmmm ... Defender stops the download of Win10XPE halfway through, says it has Trojan:Win32/Vigorf.A and quarantines the .part file. :(

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335649

Postby mc2fool » August 24th, 2020, 10:52 pm

Infrasonic wrote:(AFAIK it is possible to run W10 persistently from a USB/Thunderbolt drive via third party software like Win to USB/Rufus, even though Windows to Go is no longer supported by MS...).

Does that have any licensing/activation issues?

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#335653

Postby Infrasonic » August 24th, 2020, 11:11 pm

mc2fool wrote:
Infrasonic wrote:(AFAIK it is possible to run W10 persistently from a USB/Thunderbolt drive via third party software like Win to USB/Rufus, even though Windows to Go is no longer supported by MS...).

Does that have any licensing/activation issues?


For a multi machine use scenario I would imagine to be fully legit you'd need a full retail (transferable) W10 license.

I run multi boot W10 home from an internal SSD and HDD (one feature update behind for redundancy) on my desktop PC and don't have any issues running either install under a single non transferable OEM license (it just swaps it all over at boot). No issues with activation, updates, MS account logins or anything else.
I'm operating on the basis that I've only ever got one 'active' install instance on the go at any one time... :D

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#336584

Postby mc2fool » August 28th, 2020, 12:55 pm

Breelander wrote:Whether you want the rescue media to be on a separate USB stick or a partition of the USB HDD the process is the same. You need a Fat32 partition for the rescue media, 1GB is sufficient. Mark the partition as Active. Mount the ISO (or insert your CD) then copy all files and folders to the Fat32 partition. This makes a USB partition that is bootable on any machine, UEFI or Legacy bios.

Easy and works fine, thanks. :D

However, I'd still like to figure out how to put and have a choice of two (or more) bootable systems on the same drive. E.g. I have Windows recovery USB (which on examination is as above, a single FAT32 partition marked as Active) and it'd be nice to be able to also put the Macrium rescue stuff on it too, and have the PC give me the choice on booting.

Infrasonic wrote:AFAIK it is possible to run W10 persistently from a USB/Thunderbolt drive via third party software like Win to USB/Rufus, even though Windows to Go is no longer supported by MS....

I gave that a try (twice, note to self: PC doesn't see drives with "MBR for BIOS", use "GPT for UEFI" instead), rather nervously when the Windows setup seemed to be insistent on wanting a Microsoft account, as I was worried about it potentially buggering up the activation for my PC. (Although I don't use an MS account for that either, but anyway solved it by unplugging the ethernet cable, at which point it let me create a local account.).

All ok on that front but first thing I notice when its up and running is that my PCs disk isn't there and on checking in Disk Management it said something along the lines of the drive being offline by group policy. Well I suppose I could find out how to fix that but actually Windows to Go isn't really what I'm after, but rather a comprehensive graphical rescue environment to be able to poke around and fix stuff if needed. It is just a thought though....

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#336609

Postby Infrasonic » August 28th, 2020, 2:15 pm

https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/displ ... t+recovery

https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/ (free option is bottom right and you can download and use it without registering your email if you want)

Only found out about these USB SSD/HDD + virtual ODD drives the other day, look very handy for multi OS multiboot and recovery/repairs, although I'm still investigating their flexibility limits before buying one (probably get the IODD Mini).
http://en.iodd.kr/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
https://www.zalman.com/EN/Product/Produ ... tegory2=89

Free multi boot apps for creating single USB multi OS bootable drives, quite a few caveats, which is what lead me to the IODD drives.
https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALe ... ent=psy-ab

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#336623

Postby mc2fool » August 28th, 2020, 3:23 pm

Infrasonic wrote:https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Adding+a+boot+menu+option+for+Reflect+recovery

That adds a boot menu with Windows/Macrium Recovery onto the C drive of the PC (and not on the recovery USB)! Not what I wanted .... undone now.

Thanks for the others, I'll take a gander....

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338141

Postby mc2fool » September 4th, 2020, 5:18 pm

mc2fool wrote:
Breelander wrote:Whether you want the rescue media to be on a separate USB stick or a partition of the USB HDD the process is the same. You need a Fat32 partition for the rescue media, 1GB is sufficient. Mark the partition as Active. Mount the ISO (or insert your CD) then copy all files and folders to the Fat32 partition. This makes a USB partition that is bootable on any machine, UEFI or Legacy bios.

Easy and works fine, thanks. :D

However, I'd still like to figure out how to put and have a choice of two (or more) bootable systems on the same drive. E.g. I have Windows recovery USB (which on examination is as above, a single FAT32 partition marked as Active) and it'd be nice to be able to also put the Macrium rescue stuff on it too, and have the PC give me the choice on booting.

Infrasonic wrote:https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/ (free option is bottom right and you can download and use it without registering your email if you want)

Only found out about these USB SSD/HDD + virtual ODD drives the other day, look very handy for multi OS multiboot and recovery/repairs, although I'm still investigating their flexibility limits before buying one (probably get the IODD Mini).
http://en.iodd.kr/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
https://www.zalman.com/EN/Product/Produ ... tegory2=89

Free multi boot apps for creating single USB multi OS bootable drives, quite a few caveats, which is what lead me to the IODD drives.
https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALe ... ent=psy-ab

Having spent quite a while downloading various such tools and faffing about with trying to get two bootable "recovery" systems on one USB, all with various problems and ultimately no success, I got somewhat frustrated at how difficult it seems to be to do that, especially when it's so simple and easy to create a single boot one. :( Then I had a wild thought...

I created two FAT32 partitions on a USB stick and copied the contents of a Macrium recovery ISO to one and a Paragon recovery ISO to the other (I didn't bother to mark either as Active), and lo and behold, when I boot my PC and press F12 to get the boot device menu, the list it offers includes USB Partition 1 and USB Partition 2 and both boot up fine. :D

Wish I'd tried that to start with! The only disadvantage is I don't get a pretty Macrium/Paragon menu, just the partition numbers, so I have to note what's on each (or just try it), but that's not a big deal.....

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338152

Postby Infrasonic » September 4th, 2020, 6:06 pm

Cool.
I knew you'd get there in the end!

It does require a bit of lateral thinking sometimes to get around issues with single drive multiboot.
There's some very advanced users over on the Ten Forums site who have all that and way more down to a tee, although I freely admit some of it is far beyond my basic understanding.

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338161

Postby Infrasonic » September 4th, 2020, 6:41 pm

You should be able to rename the drives and partitions?
I always rename my internal drives/partitions and USB drives/partitions to avoid confusion.

I think I used EasyBCD for my multiboot menu naming and I think I just did the rest in W10 Disk Management.
I've got free minitool partition wizard as well, pretty certain that can do it too, (it generally has more options).

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338180

Postby mc2fool » September 4th, 2020, 7:51 pm

Infrasonic wrote:You should be able to rename the drives and partitions?
I always rename my internal drives/partitions and USB drives/partitions to avoid confusion.

I think I used EasyBCD for my multiboot menu naming and I think I just did the rest in W10 Disk Management.
I've got free minitool partition wizard as well, pretty certain that can do it too, (it generally has more options).

I think you must have misunderstood; the list that includes USB Partition 1 and USB Partition 2 is that offered by the PC's boot device menu. The partitions are already named Macrium and Paragon but the PC's boot device menu doesn't show the volume name, I don't think I've ever seen one that does, IME they always look something like https://easywebfixes.com/wp-content/upl ... t-menu.jpg

EasyBCD was one of the tools I gave up on. I used BCD Deployment in it to create a BCD on the flash drive and then added the two ISOs to its boot menu. All looked good from within EasyBCD and, indeed, it created a bunch of stuff on the USB, including a (hidden) x:\BOOT folder with a BCD in it. However, when I booted from the USB it didn't give me any choice but just my regular full Windows came up.

After several retries and much faffing around I found that it had also created a x:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD, and that contained a single entry to load Windows from my C drive, and obviously that was what my PC was using. So, I then tried adding the two ISOs to that BCD and, indeed, then booting from the USB gave me a pretty(ish) menu with the (named) choices of Macrium and Paragon recoveries, but the loader barfed on both saying files were missing and giving a 0xnnnnnnn error code that I couldn't, at that stage, be bothered to look up.

The method I found doesn't put any boot menu system on the USB, just using the PC's boot device menu for the choice, and doesn't require any third party software, using only mundane built in Windows tools, just Disk Management and Explorer. And it's really simple and easy! :D

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338199

Postby Infrasonic » September 4th, 2020, 8:39 pm

mc2fool wrote:
Infrasonic wrote:You should be able to rename the drives and partitions?
I always rename my internal drives/partitions and USB drives/partitions to avoid confusion.

I think I used EasyBCD for my multiboot menu naming and I think I just did the rest in W10 Disk Management.
I've got free minitool partition wizard as well, pretty certain that can do it too, (it generally has more options).


I think you must have misunderstood; the list that includes USB Partition 1 and USB Partition 2 is that offered by the PC's boot device menu. The partitions are already named Macrium and Paragon but the PC's boot device menu doesn't show the volume name, I don't think I've ever seen one that does, IME they always look something like https://easywebfixes.com/wp-content/upl ... t-menu.jpg


With you now.

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338214

Postby Infrasonic » September 4th, 2020, 10:05 pm

Back to your original query of putting the MR rescue and backup on one USB drive, here's a YouTube video where he shows how using Rufus and Minitool Partition Wizard.

As you've already got two bootable FAT32 partitions (MR+Paragon) set up, you should be able to just do the latter MtPW/NTFS partition + MR backup part of the instructional.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WugrISh ... e=youtu.be

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338220

Postby djpeck1 » September 4th, 2020, 10:59 pm

Hi.

I think one tool you should take a look at is Ventoy (http://www.ventoy.net). It makes creating multi boot USB drives a doddle.

You load Ventoy onto the USB drive and then you just copy .iso images of whatever you want to boot onto the USB drive. Ventoy takes care of the rest and it will generate a boot menu showing all the .iso that you've copied to the USB drive. It works with both MBR and EFI bootable systems and I believe that it will even boot .wim, .img and .efi files.

I have created a recovery USB drive that offers Macrium Reflect, Acronis True Image. Kaspersky Rescue and Linux Ubuntu live CD and it works perfectly.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338228

Postby Infrasonic » September 4th, 2020, 11:39 pm

Ventoy gets several mentions over on the Ten Forums, some comparisons with Rufus and Easy2Boot as well...https://www.tenforums.com/threadloom/th ... ery=ventoy

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338567

Postby mc2fool » September 6th, 2020, 2:53 pm

Infrasonic wrote:Back to your original query of putting the MR rescue and backup on one USB drive, here's a YouTube video where he shows how using Rufus and Minitool Partition Wizard.

As you've already got two bootable FAT32 partitions (MR+Paragon) set up, you should be able to just do the latter MtPW/NTFS partition + MR backup part of the instructional.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WugrISh ... e=youtu.be

Thanks, I'll check it out.

djpeck1 wrote:I think one tool you should take a look at is Ventoy (http://www.ventoy.net). It makes creating multi boot USB drives a doddle.

Well I was going to say what can be more of a doddle than my simple method, but you're right, Ventoy makes it a doddle! :D (At least, once setup and you've discovered and got through the secure boot stuff.)

I'll have more of a play with it later. Have you tried creating an ISO from Windows Recovery Media ("Create a recovery drive") and adding that to a Ventoy USB stick? And if so, what did you use to create the ISO from the Recovery Media USB?

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Re: Bootable Macrium recovery drive

#338718

Postby djpeck1 » September 7th, 2020, 11:20 am

Have you tried creating an ISO from Windows Recovery Media ("Create a recovery drive") and adding that to a Ventoy USB stick? And if so, what did you use to create the ISO from the Recovery Media USB?


To be honest I haven't tried a Windows Recovery ISO on a Ventoy USB stick as I personally just use a system image to recover from any serious Windows problems. Life is too short to try repairing Windows! According to the Ventoy site (https://www.ventoy.net/en/isolist.html) Windows ISO files are listed as working under Ventoy, but there is no mention of Windows Recovery ISO. Maybe just try it and see if it works. You've nothing to lose.

Sorry. I've never had to create an ISO from a Windows Recovery USB drive, but Googling found this https://www.alexpage.de/usb-image-tool/

Good luck.


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