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I am evaluating drivesnapshot (www.drivesnapshot.de) for backing up and restoring disk images for Vista PCs. I have drivesnapshot backups working on 2 Vista PCs, but on the x64 PC, I cannot get a boot disk working that allows me to see/access the hard disk so I can restore to it.

Here is what I have tried and the results: - Restore disk that came with PC: goes into a custom utility which does not allow me to get to a command prompt. - Restore disk that came with and worked with the Vista x32 PC: can access external drive, can run snapshot.exe, but C drive is not mounted, so I cannot restore to it. - Vista x64 recovery disk, burned from HP PC: can access external drive, can run snapshot.exe, but C drive is not mounted, so I cannot restore to it. - Vista x64 recovery disk, burned from iso from neosmart.net: can access external drive, can run snapshot.exe, but C drive is not mounted, so I cannot restore to it. - Windows XP recovery disk: BSOD - Norton Ghost 9 rescue disk: BSOD

It seems like I'm so close. There must be a way I can mount the hard disk after booting with one of these disks.

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Do the boot disks you are using support NTFS? –  Joseph May 29 '09 at 14:14
    
Yes, and they do mount the external (USB) hard disk I am using, which is formatted as NTFS. –  Dennis May 29 '09 at 14:16
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3 Answers 3

So, Tom Ehlert, author of DriveSnapShot, figured out a solution: the BIOS on this PC has multiple SATA disk access settings, the default being RAID. By changing it to IDE (legacy mode), I can use a boot disk and see the hard disk. Then, I can run snapshot.exe from the boot disk, or even from the external drive.

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I use a WinPE boot CD. This is actually based on Vista, and has drivers for most modern hardware built in. The WinPE boot CD is created using the Windows AIK, see http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=94bb6e34-d890-4932-81a5-5b50c657de08

There is also a version of the AIK for Windows 7, although obviously that's only beta at the moment.

Making the boot CD is easy, though the AIK itself doesn't have a simple walkthrough. You can find walkthoughs by Googling, or I have one I can dig out if necessary.

I used to use BartPE, which is based on XP or 2003, but these days that needs so many drivers adding that it all becomes a bit of a pain.

JR

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Is that harddrive on a raid controller or non-standard hdd controller? If so you will need to load the drivers for it before you will see it as a mounted drive.

It looks like most of these disk image programs support loading external harddrive drivers, make sure to download the driver from the motherboard manufacturer.

You can also boot to the recovery console and press F6 at the beginning to install the necessary driver.

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The PC is RADI-capable out of the box, so I believe the answer is yes. So how do I do that -- can I do it once I get to the command prompt? –  Dennis May 29 '09 at 14:17
    
Go to the motherboard manufacturer's website and find the raid drivers. they probably provide a dos driver that can be loaded when booting from a floppy. –  Jack B Nimble May 29 '09 at 14:35
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