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I use Clonezilla with success for many years to make images from partitions that host Windows 7 or smaller and Ubuntu and other operating systems. Making images and restore them was easy for me.

But now with the advent of UEFI I‘m not sure how to make images with Clonezilla and how to restore them in a correct way.

I am running Windows 7 and Ubuntu on the same GPT disk. Both using UEFI.

The questions are:

  • If a want to make a restoreable image of the partition hosting Windows 7 or 8 with Clonezilla, do I have to make also an image of the „EFI System partition“ and the MRP?

  • Or is it not required to make images of the partitions „EFI System partition“ and MRP, because it is possible to rebuild these both partitions (maybe with a Windows installation disc or with an Linux tool) after restoring the images of Windows and Ubuntu on a new disk?

  • What is a easy way to restore an Windows 7 or 8 (UEFI) image on a new disk (e.g. with Clonezilla) - do I have to create the other partitions („EFI System partition“ and MRP) manually before restoring the image?

I know that it is possible to clone the hole disk and not only one single partition, but this is not what I want.

1

When you clone the disk you will want to copy all of the partitions.

If you just copy the data partitions without the boot partitions, the reimaged computer will not boot.

If you create the EFI partition from scratch you will need to recreate the Windows boot loader and all of the settings for it. Same with any other operating system that uses the EFI partition to boot.

The easiest way to clone partitions is to clone all partitions rather than only the data partition. If you do only the data partition then you have to recreate all of the partitions and any configurations needed within each partition.


Boot partition (EFI)

The EFI partition is used to hold the boot loader and configuration for the boot loader.

You will want to copy this as it usually holds necessary data for the successful booting of the system.
It is possible to rebuild the partition but it is rather difficult and I would not recommend it for the faint of heart. the best option is to image the entire disk (or all of the partitions) and restore it (or all of them).

If you want to manually create the boot partition, here is the diskpart command:

create partition efi [size=<n>] [offset=<n>] [noerr]

MRP Partition

Based upon my research for this partition, it is just a buffer space that windows may or may not use.

The best bet is to copy and restore it because it appears that it could hold partition metadata that you may not want to lose.

If you want to manually create this partition, here is the diskpart command:

create partition msr [size=<n>] [offset=<n>] [noerr]

Windows Boot Loader

You will need to use bcdboot to make the Windows Boot loader files required to boot the Windows system. Use bcdboot with the /f UEFI option to specify that you need to set up a UEFI set of the Windows Boot Loader files. Make sure that you customize the command as I left out a bunch of options that are system specific. See bcdboot /? for more information. There is also a link to the technet article below.

After the windows boot loader files have been recreated then you will need to configure the BCD database. You can do this by using the bcdedit command.

I am not going to go into detail about this command as it is huge, just run bcdedit /? for more info or read more at technet. There is also a link to the technet article below.

It is even easier to use EasyBCD as it has a nice interface you can use to edit the BCD database and it is free. (see link below)


Tl;Dr

Always migrate all partitions for Windows systems that the system creates (E.G. EFI, boot, MRP, system, recovery, etc...).


Links

What is the MRP?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Reserved_Partition

What is the EFI partition?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFI_system_partition

How to create the MRP:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770438(v=ws.11).aspx

How to create the EFI Partition:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725927(v=ws.11).aspx

How to use BCDBoot:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg577238(v=ws.11).aspx

How to use BCDEdit:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731662(v=ws.11).aspx

Neosmart EasyBCD:
http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

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