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Macrium Reflect for netbook users (recovery on a USB stick!)

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For the curious ...

 

I use Reflect on my netbook, which of course has no optical drive. Whilst I have an external USB DVD drive I don't carry it out and about. I started messing around with the notion of a Macrium system restore that didn't require an optical drive.

 

After following this article ... http://www.pendrivelinux.com/boot-multiple...-multiboot-usb/ ... I now have a USB memory stick loaded with several iso images for bootable recovery CDs, including the Reflect Linux iso image.

 

I can now boot my netbook from the USB stick and happily restore my system partition Reflect image from my data partition ... which is rather nice :)

 

I imagine most netbooks come with their own restore utilitity on a recovery partition (this one does), but I'd prefer to stick with Reflect.

 

Note that not all isos that you might want to use may boot properly - I'm still experimenting at this stage. Certainly the Reflect Linux one is fine.

 

Edited to add: Check out Anomaly's post below which gives a link to this Macrium-specific method for creating a USB boot stick ... http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/09/23/How...uxUSBStick.aspx

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Thats a nice find, and I'll be checking that out.

 

Like the Rescue CD it's something to test right through the restore process as some computers may not boot from USB. I've never tried with mine so I'll learn something.

 

Thanks for the link.

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Like the Rescue CD it's something to test right through the restore process as some computers may not boot from USB. I've never tried with mine so I'll learn something.

No I hadn't ... just a case of shuffling the BIOS settings to get the machine to boot from USB.

 

This post is kinda starter for ten ... like everything else recovery-wise it needs to be tried out on your own machine. Most users will be quite happy doing a restore from a CD boot.

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I'm gonna go off and check this now as I've a feeling my computer won't boot from USB. Something in the back of my mind about this.

 

I'll post what I find either way.

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If you have a spare USB there's a sample ISO (memory test) on the initial install. So once you have run the 'install' against your USB stick that's taken care of as a 'test' USB.

 

Just a case then of seeing whether the machine will boot off the USB. I think that must be BIOS dependent so I'm guessing that the newer the machine the more likely it is to support it. So for the netbook users, which is what this experiment was particularly aimed at, most should be okay.

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Couple things here.

 

First there is a very simple to understand tutorial right on the Macrium site on how to create a bootable thumb drive with the Macrium recovery disk ISO. It is basically a 5 minute job. Surprised all the Macrium fans haven't seen it yet. http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/09/23/How...uxUSBStick.aspx

 

Secondly, as for weather your PC can boot from a thumbdrive there is a few things to consider. Most people go into the BIOS and look for the boot order in the settings. Many find that there is no USB to select and they think they can't boot from the USB because of this. Well they are wrong. What you want to do is look for the key combo that launches the BIOS boot menu not the BIOS settings menu. You will see the keys to use when the machine is booting. You should see a key combo for "settings" and one for "boot menu". Once you get the proper key/s plug in the bootable thumbdrive and reboot the machine and hit the key/s for the boot menu when you see the bios screen. If you do this the boot menu appears and the plugged in thumbdrive will be an option to select to boot from.

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First there is a very simple to understand tutorial right on the Macrium site on how to create a bootable thumb drive with the Macrium recovery disk ISO ... Surprised all the Macrium fans haven't seen it yet.

Me too ... maybe some have ;)

 

Though I suspect the mechanism that I found allows you to boot from multiple isos from the grub menu (I haven't looked at the Macrium post yet) ... which is just a bit of a bonus.

 

Secondly, as for weather your PC can boot from a thumbdrive there is a few things to consider ...

If I understand your post correctly, I believe I can do both from the same menu. I could re-sequence the available boot items, but I could also add into that mix other options that weren't part of that sequence.

 

Edited to add: I had misunderstood. And I've now found the BIOS boot menu I see what you mean. In fact that method is discussed in the article I mentioned originally too; although I happened to resolve it by changing the BIOS boot settings.

 

Many thanks for the info Anomaly.

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Couple things here.

 

First there is a very simple to understand tutorial right on the Macrium site on how to create a bootable thumb drive with the Macrium recovery disk ISO. It is basically a 5 minute job. Surprised all the Macrium fans haven't seen it yet. http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/09/23/How...uxUSBStick.aspx

 

Secondly, as for weather your PC can boot from a thumbdrive there is a few things to consider. Most people go into the BIOS and look for the boot order in the settings. Many find that there is no USB to select and they think they can't boot from the USB because of this. Well they are wrong. What you want to do is look for the key combo that launches the BIOS boot menu not the BIOS settings menu. You will see the keys to use when the machine is booting. You should see a key combo for "settings" and one for "boot menu". Once you get the proper key/s plug in the bootable thumbdrive and reboot the machine and hit the key/s for the boot menu when you see the bios screen. If you do this the boot menu appears and the plugged in thumbdrive will be an option to select to boot from.

OK now I'm a little stumped Anomaly, you may be able to head me in the right direction. I now have a "bootable USB stick" (not yet able to tested).

 

It seems not to matter if I use F12 when posting or alter the boot sequence in the BIOS I am unable to boot from the USB stick.

 

I have disconnected the USB FDD for the exercise, next do I disconnect the 1TB USB HDD which contains my Macrium Reflect backup image? This I have not done yet, thought I would ask first.

 

I am aware that some BIOS see the USB stick as USB FD or USB ZIP. My Gigabyte MB 12 months old (F12 or BIOS) shows the following USB boot choices:

USB FDD, ZIP, CD, HD - I have tried USB FDD & ZIP with the USB stick connected - did not work. I then used UNetbootin process with the USB HD, thought if that works I can always place the backup image on another HDD if need be. That did not work either.

 

No matter what I do the PC simply boots up in the normal fashion. Do have any ideas?

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No matter what I do the PC simply boots up in the normal fashion.

For what it's worth, using the method outlined in the first post produces a drive recognised on my netbook as USB HDD.

 

I take it when you see the BIOS menu (I'm assuming this is what your F12 key raises) you don't see your USB flash drive listed at all?

 

Having sorted out the BIOS boot menu key, I can now boot via either that or by BIOS settings, where the only things I have ahead of the actual HDD are USB CD and USB HDD. But then I'm not using the UNetbootin method.

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OK now I'm a little stumped Anomaly, you may be able to head me in the right direction. I now have a "bootable USB stick" (not yet able to tested).

 

It seems not to matter if I use F12 when posting or alter the boot sequence in the BIOS I am unable to boot from the USB stick.

 

I have disconnected the USB FDD for the exercise, next do I disconnect the 1TB USB HDD which contains my Macrium Reflect backup image? This I have not done yet, thought I would ask first.

 

I am aware that some BIOS see the USB stick as USB FD or USB ZIP. My Gigabyte MB 12 months old (F12 or BIOS) shows the following USB boot choices:

USB FDD, ZIP, CD, HD - I have tried USB FDD & ZIP with the USB stick connected - did not work. I then used UNetbootin process with the USB HD, thought if that works I can always place the backup image on another HDD if need be. That did not work either.

 

No matter what I do the PC simply boots up in the normal fashion. Do have any ideas?

 

The point I was trying to make is NOT to alter the boot sequence. Plug in the properly set up USB flash drive. Reboot the machine. Press the key/s that bring up the boot menu. In the boot menu you will see several options including your plugged in flash drive. Select it and let it boot. I would remove all other drives you might have plugged in so there is no confusion. Once booted you can plug in the external HDD that contains the Macrium back up image.

 

What key/s you use to bring up the boot menu will vary depending on the manufacturer of the PC. You can find out what the key/s are the same way you found out what key/s to use to get into the BIOS settings. Watch for them on reboot. When the BIOS load on reboot you will see the settings and boot menu options with the key/s to use to get them listed beside them.

 

The flash drive must be properly formatted and the ISO must be bootable or you won't boot no matter what you do. The flash drive must be Fat 16. You get the Macrium ISO from within the Macrium program. Than simply tell UNetbootin to put the ISO on the flash drive and let it do it's thing. Than follow the instructions I gave. I have booted 6 different machines this way no problem. Most of them had different key/s combos to get the boot menu up so you will have to find the proper one's for your machine.

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The point I was trying to make is NOT to alter the boot sequence.

If you can boot by changing the BIOS settings, what are you suggesting is the disadvantage of altering the boot sequence?

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For what it's worth, using the method outlined in the first post produces a drive recognised on my netbook as USB HDD.

 

I take it when you see the BIOS menu (I'm assuming this is what your F12 key raises) you don't see your USB flash drive listed at all?

 

Having sorted out the BIOS boot menu key, I can now boot via either that or by BIOS settings, where the only things I have ahead of the actual HDD are USB CD and USB HDD. But then I'm not using the UNetbootin method.

 

On several machines I have tried this on there was no option in the BIOS settings boot sequence for a flash drive. There was the HDD, the optical drive, and some others but no flash. This is why you need to plug in the bootable flash and than reboot and find the boot menu not the BIOS settings. Than the flash drive should show and you can boot form it. You will have to do this every time you want to boot from the flash drive. Many people just go into the settings and set the boot sequence so the optical drive is first and than it will boot from CD/DVD when ever there is a bootable CD/DVD in the drive on reboot. Using the boot menu lets you pick what to boot from that one time without changing the default sequence

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On several machines I have tired this on the there was no option in the BIOS settings boot sequence for a flash drive. There was the HDD, the optical drive, and some others but no flash. This is why you need to plug in the bootable flash and than reboot and find the boot menu not the BIOS settings.

Okay so that was enforced by the lack of a BIOS settings option.

 

If you are able to boot using either mechanism then it's just down to user choice as to which mechanism they employ.

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If you can boot by changing the BIOS settings, what are you suggesting is the disadvantage of altering the boot sequence?

 

The point is many people will find that when they go to the BIOS settings to change the sequence they will not find the option to use a flash drive. They than assume their machine will not boot from a flash drive because they don't see the option for it in the boot sequence.

 

If they plug in the flash than reboot and access the boot menu they will see the flash drive as an option now and can boot from it. If your machine has a flash drive option in the boot sequence menu in the BIOS settings than great you can set it once and forget it.

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The point is many people will find that when they go to the BIOS settings to change the sequence they will not find the option to use a flash drive. They than assume their machine will not boot from a flash drive because they don't see the option for it in the boot sequnce.

 

If they plug in the flash than reboot and access the boot menu they will see the flash drive as an option now and can boot from it. If your machine has a flash drive option in the boot sequence menu in the BIOS settings than great you can set it once and forget it.

As you have correctly stated, people that can't access this option via the BIOS boot settings may well be able to do so via the BIOS boot menu. And that's fine.

 

However other people may be able to access this option via the settings and find that they prefer to do that. And that's equally fine. This thread is simply a way of conveying the options available to people.

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For what it's worth, using the method outlined in the first post produces a drive recognised on my netbook as USB HDD.

 

I take it when you see the BIOS menu (I'm assuming this is what your F12 key raises) you don't see your USB flash drive listed at all?

 

Having sorted out the BIOS boot menu key, I can now boot via either that or by BIOS settings, where the only things I have ahead of the actual HDD are USB CD and USB HDD. But then I'm not using the UNetbootin method.

Yes, the F12 at post gives one access to the Boot Menu (only) the default "first boot" device is marked, (a reflection of BIOS information) one can now for this boot only select any of the other boot functions listed. What appears at the F12 boot menu and within the BIOS are the same, and unfortunately USB flash drive is not shown as an option, only USB FDD, ZIP, CD & HDD. Other options listed are the normal ones: Floppy, LS12, HD, CDROM, ZIP & Legacy LAN.

 

Following our discussion the other day on USB speed, bandwidth etc, perhaps I need to disconnect all USB's devices (2 printers, HDD, business card scanner etc.) who knows and maybe just maybe I need to locate the 1 and only "Enhanced USB port".

 

The reason for the exercise is that with 5 PC's on the network, 2 with DVD's attached (shared across the network) my main PC (the one refered to above) does not have any CD/DVD attached. So if this PC ever fails to boot from C and I need to "restore" my Macrium Restore image I simply need to fir the SATA CD/DVD unit from one of the other PC's. Hey I could always use a USB CD? Back to the drawing board.

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As you have correctly stated, people that can't access this option via the BIOS boot settings may well be able to do so via the BIOS boot menu. And that's fine.

 

However other people may be able to access this option via the settings and find that they prefer to do that. And that's equally fine. This thread is simply a way of conveying the options available to people.

 

I am sure there will be several people who will want to try using the bootable flash and go to the BIOS settings to change the boot sequence like they did for the CD/DVD and find that there is no option to set the flash drive in there. They will then assume their machine can't boot the flash drive. I just wanted to let them know that they probably can even though they don't see the option in the BIOS settings. They just need to use the boot menu. If they can set the boot sequence to the flash drive and thats what they prefer thats fine no problem there. I never meant to convey that there was a problem altering the boot sequence.

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The reason for the exercise is that with 5 PC's on the network, 2 with DVD's attached (shared across the network) my main PC (the one refered to above) does not have any CD/DVD attached. So if this PC ever fails to boot from C and I need to "restore" my Macrium Restore image I simply need to fir the SATA CD/DVD unit from one of the other PC's. Hey I could always use a USB CD? Back to the drawing board.

Out of interest ('cos I know you're the experimental kind ;)) you could try the pendrivelinux method - it's just as straightforward - you just need to run the install exe, copy the Linux recovery iso and alter the grub menu text file.

 

When I get chance in a couple of days time (and I have another USB to hand) I'll be trying the UNetbootin approach on mine. I'd be curious to know if they behave differently.

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The point I was trying to make is NOT to alter the boot sequence. Plug in the properly set up USB flash drive. Reboot the machine. Press the key/s that bring up the boot menu. In the boot menu you will see several options including your plugged in flash drive. Select it and let it boot. I would remove all other drives you might have plugged in so there is no confusion. Once booted you can plug in the external HDD that contains the Macrium back up image.

 

What key/s you use to bring up the boot menu will vary depending on the manufacturer of the PC. You can find out what the key/s are the same way you found out what key/s to use to get into the BIOS settings. Watch for them on reboot. When the BIOS load on reboot you will see the settings and boot menu options with the key/s to use to get them listed beside them.

 

The flash drive must be properly formatted and the ISO must be bootable or you won't boot no matter what you do. The flash drive must be Fat 16. You get the Macrium ISO from within the Macrium program. Than simply tell UNetbootin to put the ISO on the flash drive and let it do it's thing. Than follow the instructions I gave. I have booted 6 different machines this way no problem. Most of them had different key/s combos to get the boot menu up so you will have to find the proper one's for your machine.

 

Yes the USB 2.0GIG stick has been formatted as FAT16, Macrium created the rescue.iso saved to my HD. I then used UNetbootin to put the .iso file onto the USB stick.

 

Yes, the F12 at post gives one access to the Boot Menu (only) the default "first boot" device is marked, (a reflection of BIOS information) one can now for this boot only select any of the other boot functions listed. What appears at the F12 boot menu and within the BIOS are the same, and unfortunately USB flash drive is not shown as an option, only USB FDD, ZIP, CD & HDD. Other options listed are the normal ones: Floppy, LS12, HD, CDROM, ZIP & Legacy LAN.

 

Following our discussion the other day on USB speed, bandwidth etc, perhaps I need to disconnect all USB's devices (2 printers, HDD, business card scanner etc.) who knows and maybe just maybe I need to locate the 1 and only "Enhanced USB port".

 

The reason for the exercise is that with 5 PC's on the network, 2 with DVD's attached (shared across the network) my main PC (the one refered to above) does not have any CD/DVD attached. So if this PC ever fails to boot from C and I need to "restore" my Macrium Restore image I simply need to fir the SATA CD/DVD unit from one of the other PC's. Hey I could always use a USB CD? Back to the drawing board.

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I just wanted to let them know that they probably can even though they don't see the option in the BIOS settings. They just need to use the boot menu.

No worries - I didn't know you could do the latter until you posted; I'm glad you did. That's the whole interesting thing with this stuff - so many different ways of doing things.

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Yes, the F12 at post gives one access to the Boot Menu (only) the default "first boot" device is marked, (a reflection of BIOS information) one can now for this boot only select any of the other boot functions listed. What appears at the F12 boot menu and within the BIOS are the same, and unfortunately USB flash drive is not shown as an option, only USB FDD, ZIP, CD & HDD. Other options listed are the normal ones: Floppy, LS12, HD, CDROM, ZIP & Legacy LAN.

 

Maybe you should check for a motherboard bios update...

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Yes the USB 2.0GIG stick has been formatted as FAT16, Macrium created the rescue.iso saved to my HD. I then used UNetbootin to put the .iso file onto the USB stick.

 

Yes, the F12 at post gives one access to the Boot Menu (only) the default "first boot" device is marked, (a reflection of BIOS information) one can now for this boot only select any of the other boot functions listed. What appears at the F12 boot menu and within the BIOS are the same, and unfortunately USB flash drive is not shown as an option, only USB FDD, ZIP, CD & HDD. Other options listed are the normal ones: Floppy, LS12, HD, CDROM, ZIP & Legacy LAN.

 

Following our discussion the other day on USB speed, bandwidth etc, perhaps I need to disconnect all USB's devices (2 printers, HDD, business card scanner etc.) who knows and maybe just maybe I need to locate the 1 and only "Enhanced USB port".

 

I can tell you that when I use the flash drive to boot there is nothing plugged in other than a USB mouse.

 

Strange non of the USB options in the boot menu work for you. Did you try another flash drive? Maybe the one your using is just not working. PC's are flaky that way. Even try another USB port. I've seen a device work in one port but not another for no apparent reason.

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No worries - I didn't know you could do the latter until you posted; I'm glad you did. That's the whole interesting thing with this stuff - so many different ways of doing things.

How true, now I think I shall try disconnecting all the USB hanger-oners, and go through the boot menu options (F12 quickest way) one by one prefixed as USB?????, nothing to loose and everything to gain.........know how. Thanks for your interest marmite.

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I can tell you that when I use the flash drive to boot there is nothing plugged in other than a USB mouse.

 

Strange non of the USB options in the boot menu work for you. Did you try another flash drive? Maybe the one your using is just not working. PC's are flaky that way. Even try another USB port. I've seen a device work in one port but not another for no apparent reason.

"Try another USB port"...........yes that is a good idea, I shall give that a go i.e. bandwidth and power supply to USB ports are different. Unable to try another USB stick as the other sticks I have here with me are 8gig & 16gig, and from memory you can not format FAT16 over 4gig. I shall report back.

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I can tell you that when I use the flash drive to boot there is nothing plugged in other than a USB mouse.

 

Strange non of the USB options in the boot menu work for you. Did you try another flash drive? Maybe the one your using is just not working. PC's are flaky that way. Even try another USB port. I've seen a device work in one port but not another for no apparent reason.

Well I did try all available ports, disconnected all other USB devices and still no good. Even though a careful study of the MB documentation where under Integrated Peripherals - Legacy USB storage detect, which states "determines whether to detect USB storage devices, including USB flash drives, and USB hard drives during POST. (default: enabled). I have checked that this is enabled, still no go. I have to assume there is something amiss with the 2.0gig USB flash drive, what I am not sure as I can use it as one would normally do without any issues. I can only assume it is a MB issue (still under warranty) I shall look to updating the BIOS to see if that sheds any light on the subject. Thank you Anomaly for your input. :(

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