John,

What you say is true. However, I had used this drive before so I didn't worry about it too much. That was some time back and my suspicion is that the bad sectors on the boot drive didn't copy on my last image (user option in Ghost). That might explain the missing information.

I do have the user data on another drive as well as the original data drive for the PC so that should be covered. I really don't want to restore all the apps though.

Rick

-----Original Message-----
From: pctech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:pctech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John Jones
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:58 AM
To: PC Technical Discussion for iSeries Users
Subject: Re: [PCTECH] Disk crash - Trying to install Ghosted backup

"I thought ghosting the boot drive would have prevented all of this but I guess I was wrong."

There's the lesson for the community. With both PCs and midrange systems, we need to test/restore our backups on occasion.

While not done as a restore test per se I've validated my ability to restore systems from my Windows Home Server a few times as part of hard drive upgrades. I had also taken a Windows box, installed Linux over it, and used the recovery CD to revert back to the prior Windows install. The only 'gotcha' I've found so far is it won't restore to a smaller drive, most likely due to the nature of using VSS to track file/disk changes. When I went to an SSD on my desktop I had to resize my partition to what would fit on the SSD, do a fresh backup, swap drives, then do the restore.

A free & easy option for backup if you don't mind reinstalling the OS & apps is to use Windows Easy Transfer (built in to Vista & 7 under Accessories - System Tools; free for XP at
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=2B6F1631-973A-45C7-A4EC-4928FA173266&displaylang=en)
to back up your files, user settings, Outlook mailbox, Favorites, etc.
WET's purpose is to transfer your stuff to a new PC but it can also be used for basic data backup. It creates a series of 2GB files that hold all of your stuff sans OS & apps. Put those files on a thumb drive, USB HD, network location, or wherever. Once you've reinstalled or upgraded Windows, run WET again to restore. Largest downsides are it isn't very fast at backing up and there are no incremental/differential backups of user data; just full.

Final note: After restoring, if your HD setup has been changed, don't be surprised if Windows wants to be validated again.

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