Jump to content
CCleaner Community Forums
bartholomewking

Problems restoring from Macrium disc image (Dell and SSD issue?)

Recommended Posts

Hello there,

I was hoping that somebody may be familiar with this problem.

It’s been a while since I have been on this forum, and since the last time my systems have changed considerably.

My main machine is a Dell Latitude E6410 (i5-520M) laptop with the latest BIOS running 64bit Windows 10 (pro), with a Qumox (Maxmemory X100) 256GB SSD. There appear to be no special drivers for this disc.

I am running Macrium Reflect (free edition 64bit v7.1.3317) as backup software.

I use a weekly turnaround, full system disc image on a Sunday, differential every weekday and Saturday, each verified during that process.

Like many others I downloaded and installed the now notorious W10 October update.

This installed without serious incident, however I ran into a few irritating problems afterwards. The most significant was performance related (Dell - Intel Chipset?), and there were others that banged my OCD bone beyond tolerance. When it became apparent that there was not going to be a fix soon, I decided to restore the final image I made prior to all this.

On attempting to restore:

I used the Macrium Boot Windows PE from the boot disk.

I then tried the USB stick with the PE environment.

I then tried a CD

All of the above booted as expected and the restore ran,  but only partially.

In each instance the restore proceeded as expected, but then after a while the disc activity light stopped, and no further activity took place. The PE environment still seemed to be active, but did not finish the restore. I may have given up prematurely, but it looked to me like nothing further was happening.

I installed the SSD disc in another (desktop) machine and removed the partitions from it entirely.

I returned it to the laptop and tried again. The same symptoms. Restore ran with constant disc activity, then apparently ceased anywhere from approx. 9 – 40%. I waited a while, but after several minutes gave up, this being pretty time consuming and not without stress.

Eventually the solution I chose was to connect up the SSD in another (desktop) machine and run an image restore of the same backup but on that other machine while it was running full Windows 10 (again 64bit). That was successful and without incident.

The laptop is back up and running perfectly with the previous 1803 version of Win 10.

I think this is likely to be some sort of foible with the Dell Laptop and SSD discs, the machine is quite old.

I have succeeded in the past with this scenario on this same machine, but did have difficulty with the SSD .. taking a couple of attempts before success. Before I had no difficulty restoring to a 7200rpm 250GB HDD that it replaced, and did this on a number of occasions when the HDD was installed.

There does not appear to be a problem with any of the hardware involved, and the system works pretty well and passes every test I can think of.

I have an inkling that having Speedstep being turned on in the BIOS may be a factor, but just got too fed up to test that theory.

I’m pretty sure that I tried to do the whole restore thing with nothing other than an external USB disc and the laptop undocked and other external  and internal discs removed. Next time, I’ll be more circumspect, but for the time being I don’t want to go through the exercise again without good reason.

The 'good reason' of course, is likely in the pipeline with the re-issue of the Windows 10 October update, which this time I have deferred in the update settings for as long as possible as a configurable screen grab and paste buffer really aren't worth that much trouble.

Any thoughts on this matter would be very gratefully received, especially experiences of any similar experiences.

Kind Regards and thanks in anticipation.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou for that, I tried Macrium, but it asked for my serial and said it was not valid. I guessed that just for the Free version they don't allow forum access.

I'll have a look at the Wilder's one.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where you able to fully restore the system using just a standard disk image that backs up all of the Windows partitions, or was it a disk clone? Also did you have the laptop plugged into the power brick when attempting the restore?

----------------

Perhaps before making any future disk images run chkdsk /f on the SSD first, I always do that before making any backup image.

On an old laptop with an HDD maybe two or so years ago that I couldn't get Macrium to successfully finish creating a disk image on was because of some disk error(s). However on that laptop chkdsk /f didn't help either, I instead had to run chkdsk /r to perform a full surface scan which corrected errors, and only then did Macrium finish without issue. I know this is the exact opposite because you were trying to restore, however I wonder if a disk error could cause a restore to fail. I had read online a few months ago that SSD's can have bad blocks too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andavari said:

Where you able to fully restore the system using just a standard disk image that backs up all of the Windows partitions, or was it a disk clone? Also did you have the laptop plugged into the power brick when attempting the restore?

----------------

Perhaps before making any future disk images run chkdsk /f on the SSD first, I always do that before making any backup image.

On an old laptop with an HDD maybe two or so years ago that I couldn't get Macrium to successfully finish creating a disk image on was because of some disk error(s). However on that laptop chkdsk /f didn't help either, I instead had to run chkdsk /r to perform a full surface scan which corrected errors, and only then did Macrium finish without issue. I know this is the exact opposite because you were trying to restore, however I wonder if a disk error could cause a restore to fail. I had read online a few months ago that SSD's can have bad blocks too.

Hello there. It was a standard disc image + a differential.

i.e. i restored from the latest differential. I have done this lots of times before (but mostly to HDD).

I tried restoring the partitions separately ( there were 3 on the disc ). but that didn't work either.... that is two of the partitions did restore, but they were small.

they would be the boot and recovery partitions. the system partition seemed to be the one in which the freeze took place, but this obviously is the bulk of the size, the other two being < a Gig in total.

The machine was on power throughout.

The SSD is pretty new (approx 4mths) I will give it a chkdsk /R at some point soon just to be certain. that's a good point. I did however at one stage wipe the thing with mini partition tool. no guarantee that would have picked up anything dodgy though.

I regularly chkdsk all discs  (/F), no problems.

the intersting point is that it will restore on the other machine without apparent issue. The only time I see an issue is under the circumstance I described.

 

will run the chkdsk /R soonest and see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if it was because it was a standard image instead of a clone, and I'm surprised actually that a standard image would work to fully restore it. I've been wondering that myself such as what if at some point my boot M.2 SSD failed, all I have to restore from are standard images I've made created using Macrium Reflect Free, and the disk imaging built into Windows 10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Andavari said:

I wonder if it was because it was a standard image instead of a clone, and I'm surprised actually that a standard image would work to fully restore it. I've been wondering that myself such as what if at some point my boot M.2 SSD failed, all I have to restore from are standard images I've made created using Macrium Reflect Free, and the disk imaging built into Windows 10.

The backups are run on a schedule each day at about 5.00am. I did this for a long time before the SSD. the only time I've had a problem is with the SSD. There is of course all the oddness of Trim on an SSD, and I notice that Reflect gives the option of Trim or not to Trim on restore. I must admit I didn't try all the permutations . I just wanted to restore, not wear the damn  thing out. It took about four attempts before I suceeded. :lol:

You can mount the backups while in Win 10, find all the files you want and restore them en mass or individually without issue., the Boot and Rescue partitions are there.

Like I said, I can only not restore it when it's mounted in the Laptop itself running from the Macrium Boot PE environment (irrespective of medium, eg USB/Disc/Recovery Partition), and this worked just fine with HDD. When I mount the disc in another machine, I can restore the very same backup fine, but that machine is up and running in Windows 10 and not Windows PE. also of course it's a different machine with different hardware. It's a Dell XPS 430.

Clone does work, as that is how I transferred the operating system in the first place. i.e. HDD cloned onto SSD. SSD is a little bigger so had to move the partitions around a little afterwards, but it all  worked without any issue that I noticed.

Clone would not be useful for me as a daily backup regime however as it would consume too much data and time.

I'm erring towards thinking it being a hardware/firmware foible of the Dell Laptop. I made a comment in the original post about Speedstep. I've had some wierdness with this technology on this very same laptop. The Dell Latitude series is notorious for strange fan behaivour and throttling. It gets more peculiar with a docking station, or e-port as they call it. The machine is actually not supported as such under Windows 10, just a little too old. Last supported windows is Win 7 64bit.

It's pretty much unusable without running Throttlestop, and I use HWinfo64 to control the fan. Speedfan just fights with the BIOS and it starts to sound like an anonymous nuisance telephone caller. If you don't use Throttlestop the throttling will set in and the machine will perform very poorly, to the point that it becomes unusable. . There are pages and pages about that sort of thing on Dell forums.

The Bios is updated to the latest available. Contrarywise, it has worked (i.e. restore) in the past reliably with HDD.

Mentioning Windows 7 above makes me think that a trial of a Windows 7 based PE might be a good idea.

I'd do an experiment of disabling Speedstep and trying the restore when I get the inclination or necessity. It's just very time consuming, and of course as it's my main machine a nuisance to do so.

Still, knowing the answer would be a good thing. When the machine is in the PE environment, the restore just appears to stop. It could be ( after considering what I just wrote) the throttling coming into play. One of the weird things that happens is that the machine Restarts increadibly slowly compared to a cold start when Speedstep is enabled. I'll admit the Speedstep thing only came to mind after all this, and I didn't try a restore with it disabled.

Just too many variables and too little time. Plus I don't want to wear out my shiny new disc, people get paranoid about where to put the swapspace when they have an SSD! I don't want to be repeatedly re-formatting it to get an answer. On the other hand I don't want to lose my data.

what a conundrum.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's a heat issue why not get one of those laptop stands with little feet on the back. I've had one of those since day one, it raises the back of the laptop about 1 inch off the table for more air flow. It also helps prevent the laptop from getting heat-soaked on the bottom and prevents throttling since it isn't technically sitting directly on the table surface it's just the little feet on the stand that are, so it prevents the table absorbing heat and then releasing it right back into the laptop bottom casing. A good free quick and cheap way to test that would be to use some water bottle caps taped onto the bottom of the laptop, then have the laptop do something taxing to see if it throttles or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Andavari said:

If it's a heat issue why not get one of those laptop stands with little feet on the back. I've had one of those since day one, it raises the back of the laptop about 1 inch off the table for more air flow. It also helps prevent the laptop from getting heat-soaked on the bottom and prevents throttling since it isn't technically sitting directly on the table surface it's just the little feet on the stand that are, so it prevents the table absorbing heat and then releasing it right back into the laptop bottom casing. A good free quick and cheap way to test that would be to use some water bottle caps taped onto the bottom of the laptop, then have the laptop do something taxing to see if it throttles or not.

Hi,  I don’t believe it’s a heat issue so much, the machine runs within thermal specs. the references I made towards throttling may be relevant, but aren't an issue generally. the use of Throttlestop and HWinfo64 cure it to all practical purposes.

The cause of the throttling is the way that the Dell machines of this series (circa 2010) deal with different capacity power supplies, e-ports and thermal control. It's just plain buggy!  A google search on the subject will find thousands trying to solve the problem.

I use Throttlestop and HWinfo64 to alleviate that. HWinfo64 may seem odd to mention in this context, but it has fan control that works for the Dell, it doesn't fight with the built-in fan control. Speedfan (I mentioned before) fights with the built-in control I found, so the fan is constantly revving up and down. Speedstep slows the fan, system increases and so on. This then sounds almost like heavy breathing and leads to neurosis and paranoia. It is also a poor accompaniment to music recording with a microphone.

These factors are not so much of an issue, if the machine is run on external power, but with all peripherals disconnected. i.e. bare bones, just enough to do the required restore task, 1 external USB drive with the backup on it, no e-port, additional discs and all other USB stuff disconnected.

Of course, in PE neither Throttlestop or HWinfo64 are running.

But, I think all that is a digression from the restore issue. It could be contributing, but the system doesn't exhibit extreme throttling symptoms. e.g. you can still move the mouse about, other items in the PE environment seem to be working. I've since found out, that Task Manager or a variant thereof, can be run from within the PE environment. I would certainly have used that had I known at the time to get a better idea of what was going on.

Speedstep on the other hand may be significant, but a significance yet to be tested. This involves the control of the idle states in the processor. It can be configured on and off in the BIOS.

Generally, I have it on. When it is I get event viewer messages complaining that the Bios is controlling the processor state i.e.

Event 37: The speed of processor X in group Y is being limited by system firmware. The processor has been in this reduced performance state for 71 seconds since the last report. (these come in groups of 4, one for each logical processor)

I think this is a symptom of an older BIOS, a newer Windows 10 and a misunderstanding between the two. Hence Dell does not "support" these older machines under Win 10.

The processor can burst up to its max state and also be throttled by the Firmware/Hardware when Speedstep is enabled. For most things Speedstep doesn’t make a lot of difference, but I'm sure for games, and certainly for realtime audio it can be beneficial.

While writing the previous paragraph I found a link entitled "Slow Backup or Restore under Windows PE Rescue Media with Intel SpeedStep" the content of which looks uncannily familiar!

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic22409.aspx

This only goes to show that GI(not always)YF

OK .....

TESTING TESTING TESTING.

Testing is all that can be done now. But, understandably I'm not in a hurry to do that. I will inevitably have to at some point, and I have the backstop of a second machine. Should things go awry.

But I've found these additional things.

  • in the PE run a CMD shell, and type taskmgr. the link above to macrium also talks about powercfg.
  • Exploring the PE environment's command shell looks like a very good idea. however, "Help" and "?" don't work so it has to be RTFM i'm afraid.
  • There is a new version of Hirens Boot CD PE for WIndows 10. It has Reflect in it. To what extent and how it works at this point I don't know. I found it late last night, and got no further than buring the ISO. That by itself could be excellent news! The old Windows XP version was a life saver.
  • It's all horribly complicated and there are far too many variables.

 

Thanks so much Andavari and Hazelnut.

I don't consider this solved or closed, but now the next step seems obvious.

I will report my findings .....

If anybody else tries anything like it, it would be interesting to know.

Kindest Felicitations and Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I did successful a test demonstrating in this instance, i.e. my case that Speedstep is the problem.

I stress that, but in so saying it is likely to apply for others also. (yes, it's a disclaimer!)

I proceeded as follows:

FIrst, booted into BIOS (F2 in my case) and turned OFF Speedstep, and saved settings.

Restarted the machine.

I booted from the Macrium PE partition on my system drive (this is created from the Macrium Reflect application menu):

Other Tasks > Add Recovery Boot Menu Option ...

After this option is set the option to boot appears on a boot time menu when you reboot the machine.)

  • Start up the machine
  • I choose the Boot Menu option to go into the Macrium Reflect PE environment. (you can also boot from CD or USB stick from BIOS)
  • NB, partitions will be overwritten, so if something goes wrong, then a USB or CD is essential
  • once booted, (the DOS stuff optional) open a command shell (CMD), enter the commands below to change the power scheme i.e. make it run a little quicker. Worked for me
  • you can also run taskmgr from the CMD environment to see what the machine is actually up to.
  • choose the required partions for restore, press restore and there it is

DOS (CMD) commands:

to list the available power schemes ( i.e. performance)

X:\Windows\System32>powercfg /L

Existing Power Schemes (* Active)

-----------------------------------

Power Scheme GUID: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e  (Balanced) *

Power Scheme GUID: ce0fbd01-98fc-442c-b326-d8df81d29e84  (High Performance)

Power Scheme GUID: d82a8bef-8323-45c7-a201-45e5369f5b56  (Power Saver)

to change the power scheme, powercfg with the /S option followed by the GUID of the desired scheme

X:\Windows\System32>powercfg /S ce0fbd01-98fc-442c-b326-d8df81d29e84 

X:\Windows\System32>powercfg /L

Existing Power Schemes (* Active)

-----------------------------------

Power Scheme GUID: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e  (Balanced)

Power Scheme GUID: ce0fbd01-98fc-442c-b326-d8df81d29e84  (High Performance) *

Power Scheme GUID: d82a8bef-8323-45c7-a201-45e5369f5b56  (Power Saver)

The above change the power scheme. In my case at boot the default was the balanced scheme. I saw one report showing that the default was the High Performance, but in my instance this was not so.

Obviously the GUIDs may be different. Not sure, but possibly. These  steps aren't actually necessary but may speed things up a bit.

This restored my partitions in about 50 minutes with no problem.

Anadavari's earelier point about the chkdsk /R is also relevant I think. good and prudent.

The fact that Throttlestop exists at all, and that all hell broke loose not long ago when the version in the wild became unlicensed, and thus ceased to function, without notice proves that similar related problems exist on other makes and model of system. (Throttlestop is an excellent bit of software for controlling PC performance, and  is available at Techpowerup as a free download).

I guess that had I been more patient, that the restore would have succeeded but I did wait for 10 minutes or so staring at a darkened disc activity light before I decided something was wrong.

I mentioned in an earlier post about Hirens boot CD.

Well it turns out it's explicitly Not a CD, but A USB utility, and it looks great. It does include within its PE the Macrium PE. In other words, you can start up a Macrium Reflect session from within a windows environment with all the discs dismounted. There's also a plethora of useful utilities like the old XP version ... Every home should have one.

I consider this a solution for my problem and hope others may find it helpful. This is a solution for a Dell Latitude Laptop, but read between the lines ...

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×