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Solved Windows 8 - Windows 7 file recovery - System Repair Media


Theo

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#1
Having recently purchased an Ultrabook, with Windows 8 (64), without a CD/DVD writer/reader, I have been investigating means of backing up my operating system.

I have tried out the most popular programs, such as Acronis, and Paragon, which are reported as being compatible with Windows 8; but have found that they do not work, with Secure Boot enabled!

Furthermore, even with Secure Boot disabled, I have not been able to boot, using a CD, via an external USB CD/DVD writer/reader!
I can boot with Acronis, from a Flash drive, but only with Secure Boot disabled.

My preference is not to play around with the BIOS - Enabling/Disabling Secure Boot!

Given this, after further investigation, I have discovered the ability to produce an image, using the inclusive Windows 8 facility; namely, the inappropriately named "Windows 7 File Recovery"!

Accessed via the Control Panel, this gives you the ability to create a "System Image" and a "System Repair Disc"; but not a "System Repair Flash Drive"!

Having created a "System Image", and a "System Repair Disc", using this facility, I have discovered that my Ultrabook will not boot from the "System Repair Disc"! NOT even with "Secure Boot" disabled!

Given that Acronis would only boot from a Flash Drive, I was wondering whether there was a method for creating the Recovery Media, for "Windows 7 File Recovery" on a Flash drive!

I would be grateful for advice on this matter!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
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    Chillblast.com
    CPU
    Intel i7 2600K Processor (3.4 GHz - no over-clocking)
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z68-V LE
    Memory
    16GB Corsair PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (4x4 GB sticks
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    NVIDIA Quadro 600 1024MB Professional
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theog

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#2
I have tried out the most popular programs, such as Acronis, and Paragon, which are reported as being compatible with Windows 8; but have found that they do not work, with Secure Boot enabled!

Paragon 12 has support for Windows 8 uEFI, GPT & Secure Boot enabled.

PARAGON Software Group - partition manager, drive backup, hard disk partitioning


Having created a "System Image", and a "System Repair Disc", using this facility, I have discovered that my Ultrabook will not boot from the "System Repair Disc"! NOT even with "Secure Boot" disabled!

That sounds like a bad burn, as the System Repair Disc will boot with Secure Boot enabled.
 

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theog

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#4
Windows boot manager should be first boot device.
 

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Theo

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#5
Thanks for your comments!

Windows Boot Manager is the default boot setting - Normally top of the boot sequence.
I have tried setting the BIOS, such that CD/DVD is the first boot device
Changing the order, makes no difference!

The recovery CD created from the HP Spectre Ultrabook boots works OK, irrespective of the BIOS settings (Secure Boot enabled/disabled and irrespective of boot order settings).

However, CD/DVD Recovery media created by
Windows 8 (Windows 7 File Recovery)
Acronis 2013,
Paragon Image Backup for Windows 8.
Paragon Backup & Recover 2012.
Do not initiate a boot into their respective programs - That is with Secure Boot Enabled and disabled!

Acronis have admitted that that Secure Boot must be disabled, before their media will work.

However, I can only boot with the Acronis Recovery Media installed on a Flash Drive - Secure Boot disabled

My first thoughts were that there must be something wrong with the external CD/DVD writer/Reader, but since the HP Recovery CD works, I think that this must not be the case!

The strange thing is that the
Acronis Flash Drive DOES initiate boot up (with Secure Boot disabled)
and that
The Windows 8 media, created with Windows 7 File Recovery (Available, via Control Panel) DOES NOT

Hence, my original question!

I was wondering whether there was a method for creating the Recovery Media, for "Windows 7 File Recovery" on a Flash drive!:)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Chillblast.com
    CPU
    Intel i7 2600K Processor (3.4 GHz - no over-clocking)
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z68-V LE
    Memory
    16GB Corsair PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (4x4 GB sticks
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Quadro 600 1024MB Professional
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Internet Speed
    68Mbps
    Antivirus
    Norton

steveb

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#6
Weird, I created a recovery disk with Windows File Recovery in Windows 8 and it boots. I don't use secure boot so it wasn't enabled when I created it or booted from it.
Must be a quirk in your system.
If you make the flash drive bootable then copy the files from the recovery CD will it work?
 

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    Win 8

Ray8

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#7
If you're able to access the hard drive in your ultrabook, I'd say that the best thing you could do is get a second hard drive and do a complete image of your system. That way if anything goes amiss, it's far easier to recover and then re-image the corrupt hard drive. I use this 'swap and go' method with both my tablet and PC; hard drives are cheap, as are USB Disk Docks. I also use Paragon, as I found Acronis a pain.
 

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Theo

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#8
Thanks for your comments, Guys; food for thought - A lot to think about!

Think I will try re-burning a Windows 8 (Windows 7 File Recovery) media again; perhaps from my Windows 8 desktop, as well as from my Ultrabook!

I have never experience problems before, with restoring image; just with this Secure boot! Acronis, Paragon, and Windows 8, have all worked!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Chillblast.com
    CPU
    Intel i7 2600K Processor (3.4 GHz - no over-clocking)
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z68-V LE
    Memory
    16GB Corsair PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (4x4 GB sticks
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Quadro 600 1024MB Professional
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Internet Speed
    68Mbps
    Antivirus
    Norton

theog

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#9
Theo said:
However, CD/DVD Recovery media created by
Windows 8 (Windows 7 File Recovery)
Acronis 2013,
Paragon Image Backup for Windows 8.
Paragon Backup & Recover 2012.
Do not initiate a boot into their respective programs - That is with Secure Boot Enabled and disabled!
Are using the Paragon 12 WinPE bootable CD or the Linux bootable CD?

As the Paragon 12 WinPE bootable CD will boot with Secure Boot Enabled.

Theo said:
Think I will try re-burning a Windows 8 (Windows 7 File Recovery) media again; perhaps from my Windows 8 desktop, as well as from my Ultrabook!
Is your desktop uEFI?

As Windows 8 will only make a Repair CD that supports uEFI, GPT, Secure Boot from PC setup with uEFI.
 

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  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
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    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

Theo

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#10
Problem resolved! That is Recovery using Windows 8 method! "Windows 7 File Recovery"!

For some obscure reason, the failures only occurred, with the recovery media on a CD (I created two). In desperation, I tried creating the "Windows 7 File Recovery" media on a Sony DVD ROM (Two off again) and this time it works!

Sorry to trouble you guys
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Chillblast.com
    CPU
    Intel i7 2600K Processor (3.4 GHz - no over-clocking)
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z68-V LE
    Memory
    16GB Corsair PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (4x4 GB sticks
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Quadro 600 1024MB Professional
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Internet Speed
    68Mbps
    Antivirus
    Norton

jimbo45

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#11
Having recently purchased an Ultrabook, with Windows 8 (64), without a CD/DVD writer/reader, I have been investigating means of backing up my operating system.

I have tried out the most popular programs, such as Acronis, and Paragon, which are reported as being compatible with Windows 8; but have found that they do not work, with Secure Boot enabled!

Furthermore, even with Secure Boot disabled, I have not been able to boot, using a CD, via an external USB CD/DVD writer/reader!
I can boot with Acronis, from a Flash drive, but only with Secure Boot disabled.

My preference is not to play around with the BIOS - Enabling/Disabling Secure Boot!

Given this, after further investigation, I have discovered the ability to produce an image, using the inclusive Windows 8 facility; namely, the inappropriately named "Windows 7 File Recovery"!

Accessed via the Control Panel, this gives you the ability to create a "System Image" and a "System Repair Disc"; but not a "System Repair Flash Drive"!

Having created a "System Image", and a "System Repair Disc", using this facility, I have discovered that my Ultrabook will not boot from the "System Repair Disc"! NOT even with "Secure Boot" disabled!

Given that Acronis would only boot from a Flash Drive, I was wondering whether there was a method for creating the Recovery Media, for "Windows 7 File Recovery" on a Flash drive!

I would be grateful for advice on this matter!
Hi there
Acronis if fine with secure boot disabled. After the restore simply re-enable the secure boot back in the BIOS -- no problem at all.

All the secure boot does is to prevent an Unsigned (i.e non Microsoft) non Windows 8 OS system boot.

You'll find the same thing if you try and boot say Windows 7 / XP or any Linux systems.

Until the OS signatures are loaded into the BIOS you'll get this with any non Windows 8 OS you try and boot unless you temporarily disable the protected boot. Not likely to happen with some 3rd party software like paragon / macrium / acronis etc.

Acronis I KNOW does work with UEFI --you just have to disable the protected boot.

It's a little bit of a pain but if you disable and then re-enable secured boot then everything is 100% kosher and will work fine.

HP envy laptops are another brand that seem to go for protected UEFI boot too. I've had the problem as well with these laptops but disabling temporarily the protected boot allows you to boot the stand alone OS from a USB drive etc.

Don't worry about changing the BIOS when making a recovery from a stand alone restore -- it actually doesn't "contaminate your system" in any way whatsoever. Simply re-set again after your image restore.

I wouldn't rely 100% on the Windows image working properly either -- I've heard too many cases where it fails on restore. I have yet to encounter a single problem with Acronis restore.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Theo

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#12
Hi Jimbo

Thank you for this advice; I shall try this out!

For your information, I have been in discussion with Acronis about this subject! They have confirmed that you have to disable the Secure Boot!

I have pointed out to them that they are possibly infringing UK laws; specifically, the Sales of Goods Act, which does not allow false claims. On the Acronis UK site, they specify in system requirements that it is fully compatible with Windows 8 - All versions, not mentioning the fact you have to disable Secure Boot - Understand that they are looking into this - It is (or was, last time I looked) not even mentioned in Known Issues, or in the documentation.

Perhaps, I am wrong, but I think that it is a little unfair to expect typical non expert users to play around with the BIOS; unless the seller makes this clear in the sales literature!
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Chillblast.com
    CPU
    Intel i7 2600K Processor (3.4 GHz - no over-clocking)
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z68-V LE
    Memory
    16GB Corsair PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (4x4 GB sticks
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Quadro 600 1024MB Professional
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Internet Speed
    68Mbps
    Antivirus
    Norton

jimbo45

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#13
Hi Jimbo

Thank you for this advice; I shall try this out!

For your information, I have been in discussion with Acronis about this subject! They have confirmed that you have to disable the Secure Boot!

I have pointed out to them that they are possibly infringing UK laws; specifically, the Sales of Goods Act, which does not allow false claims. On the Acronis UK site, they specify in system requirements that it is fully compatible with Windows 8 - All versions, not mentioning the fact you have to disable Secure Boot - Understand that they are looking into this - It is (or was, last time I looked) not even mentioned in Known Issues, or in the documentation.

Perhaps, I am wrong, but I think that it is a little unfair to expect typical non expert users to play around with the BIOS; unless the seller makes this clear in the sales literature!
Hi there

I think the issue is really with Microsoft as one has to consider why they should have to get OEM's to WRITE to a Machine's BIOS before the customer buys it in order to provide a mechanism to prevent "Unsigned" I.e Non Microsoft approved O/S'es" from booting.

I don't have issues with Ms protecting their OS against authorized distribution or just plain pirating -- but IMO a far better way of doing this fairly would be for you at Windows Install time to have to enter the Machine ID (either CPU / MOBO serial number) or some other UNIQUE number generated by your actual hardware which could be hashed with your Windows Product key to provide a unique identifier which wouldn't work on another machine.

On a "Stand alone" restore of a Windows 8 system the system could prompt you at WINDOWS BOOT TIME for the unique serial number you entered when you installed Windows -- and if valid the restore would continue and restore your image.

It's not absolutely cast iron - but then nothing is - but this type of approach would resolve 99.9% of Piracy issues. -- It does need some UNIQUE hardware serial number to be provided by the components of your system that could be checked and verified by the validation routine before the boot continues.

Ms or any other manufacturer shouldn't be able to "Tamper" with Machine BIOS's IMO. There might even be a case here for "Anti Monopoly" legislation -- but of course you CAN disable the secure boot so the Lawyers again have "Wriggle room" --don't they always? !!

Note this is nothing against UEFI principle but the whole "Protected Boot" nonsense. UEFI with GPT is needed as Disks get larger and larger. 3 TB disks are quite common these days where you'll need GPT -- but that's another issue.

Acronis etc can't really be blamed for Ms's "little peccadillos".

Cheers
jimbo
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

theog

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#14
Secure boot: technical types spreading half-baked information

Linux distributions are making slow progress on implementing measures to ensure that their images available for download are bootable on hardware that has secure boot turned on.


Secure boot is a feature of the UEFI, the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, a replacement for the BIOS.

Microsoft has implemented this feature on hardware certified for Windows 8 in a way that requires the exchange of cryptographic keys; since the company controls the key-signing authority, anyone who wants to create a bootable medium has to necessarily obtain a key from Redmond.

Misinformation is rife about secure boot, simply because people confuse UEFI with secure boot and think that support for the former means support for the latter. Many so-called technical types are as guilty as others of spreading wrong information.
mjg59 | Secure Boot distribution support


“Microsoft's real aim is to kill the aftermarket in used computers that have Win 8 installed by not allowing you to install something other than Windows”
Microsoft could just have refused to sign UEFI bootloaders. They didn't. That doesn't really fit in with what you're claiming.
 

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