UrBackup Plugin- Client Image Restore Report #2 - GPT/UEFI Client

  • As a continuation of the first restore report, due to the direction that hardware and firmware is taking, I believed that it was important to do a bare metal restore on a GPT/UEFI client. However, due to not having proven backup in advance, it took awhile to actually do the test.
    (For details on some of the nonsense involved in GPT/UEFI client drives, see the addendum below.)

    The purpose of this 2nd test was to verify that UrBackup can do simple, easy to perform, bare metal GPT/UEFI Client restorations.

    The test was performed using;

    OMV 3.0.81
    Core i3 - 12GB RAM - USB boot drive
    Urbackup Server 2.1.19
    Urbackup Restoration CD 2.0.3(2) AMD + 64bit
    1GB NIC

    Windows 8.1
    Intel Celeron 1017U @1.60Ghz
    4GB Ram
    120GB HD
    1GB NIC

    The drive image was approximately 47GB and was restored to an erased unpartitioned hard drive. Drive partitioning, prior to restoration, was not required.


    Since this particular client did not have an optical drive, I used a USB powered ext CD/DVD drive to boot onto the restoration CD.

    The restore CD boot and loading process took roughly 5 minutes. Both the wired and wireless NIC's were recognized so it was necessary to select the NIC to be use for restoration. After the wired NIC was selected and the DHCP server issued an address, the remainder proceeded as it did in the first test with the UrBackup server discovery process, logging onto the UrBackup server (user name "admin" and password), and selecting the appropriate image for restoration. With the NIC selection, the "OK's" and dialog box choices, about 6 operations were required to start the restoration.
    Again, very straight forward.

    Including roughly 5 minutes to boot and get the process started, the entire restore operation took a bit less than 20 minutes.

    The restoration CD software simply stated that it was "complete" and prompted for a reboot. That was it. There were no issues.
    Windows 8 booted on the first try with no errors indicated.

    **It should be noted that Windows Home Server 2011 would not back up this client. Further, this was the second client restored with physically different hardware. In both cases, the restoration CD had enough in the way of generic drivers to operate 3 different NIC's, without the necessity of providing the OEM's specific NIC drivers. Windows Home Server is not capable of this kind of simplicity. WHS requires the collection of various client device drivers before a restoration can begin.**

    Again, this was a very simple, very straight forward bare metal restoration that required nothing more than a CD.


    Addendum - Adventures in dealing with GPT disks.

    The only client I have that is GPT/UEFI is a Lenovo Ideacentre Q190 mini PC (Win 8.1) mounted on the back of a Smart TV. Unfortunately, to be prepared if UrBackup failed in the restore, the only recovery mechanism provided by Lenovo was to backup the contents of the existing drive to several DVD's. 10 or more DVD's didn't seem practical so I decided to duplicate the original drive, but found that 2.5" 500GB drives were a bit on the expensive side just to do a test. After examining the contents of the existing drive, I found that roughly 47GB was used. The initial thinking was, it should be relatively easy to copy the actual data contents of a 500GB drive onto a smaller one (a 120GB HD bought used on E-bay) using standard tools. That assumption was "wrong". The process became lengthy.

    1. I tried to shrink the C-drive partition, on the 500GB drive, using Windows 8 drive management. But even with only 47GB in the C-drive partition, the minimum it would shrink the volume to was roughly 200GB. This wouldn't fit on a 120GB HD.
    2. At the suggestion of a friend, who believed that the unmovable page file might be holding the partition open, I deleted the page file. No help.
    3. With time and effort invested, I bought a new/old stock 320GB 2.5" HD on Amazon. At the partition level, the 200GB partition would easily fit in 320GB.
    4. I used the latest 64 bit version of Clonezilla, however, it refused to do a "drive to drive" copy with the destination being smaller than the source. (The amount of actual data didn't matter.)
    5. I tried doing a partition by partition copy, since each would fit in the space available on the destination. That's when I discovered that this GPT disk had 6 (six) partitions. One of them was a propriety partition for encryption and there were a couple more that, while Clonezilla recognized them, it wouldn't or couldn't copy them correctly.
    6. After searching extensively for open source tools that would copy a GPT drive to a smaller physical drive, I came up empty handed. The only utility out there that I found, that would do this particular job, is a commercial drive copy utility - Paragon Migrate OS 5. It was designed to migrate installations from a larger drive onto a smaller SSD "if" the data on larger drive would fit on the smaller SSD. It will do the same for spinning drives as well. At $20, to as low as $15 with a searched out on-line coupon, the utility is reasonably priced.
    7. Paragon Migrate worked. It copied the GPT partition from the original 500GB drive to the 302GB and dropped the encryption partition in the process.
    8. With no need to risk the original HD and having a working clone in hand, I used Gparted to "brute force" resize the C-drive partition down to 90GB and copied Win8 from the 320GB HD to the 120GB HD from E-bay. In both of these cases, after using Gparted and after the second disk copy operation, chkdsk /f was required to correct drive errors.
    9. I finally ended this protracted process with a working Windows 8 GPT installation on a 120GB drive.

    If I was to characterize the above, the word would be "unbelievable". While GPT may provide for more partition flexibility, one would have to question the need for six (6) partitions, to launch a simple (single) partition OS installation. Equally obvious is that robust drive utilities for dealing with GPT disks are seriously lacking, despite GPT having been in use for a number of years.


  • Nice, glad paragon ended up working for you! Thanks for the write up.

    The drive copy was just a PITA. (And I do mean a real "PITA".) On the other hand, UrBackup is proving to be an outstanding open source backup package. It does a better job with Windows backups than M$ does.

    I'm hoping write ups of various kinds catch on. (Plugin's, hardware, etc.)

    BTW: I think you did a good job, pic's and all, with your NUC platform. In your use case, it seems to be working fine, and if someone can pick one up on E-bay and do the same - your write up will have helped a user of the forum save a few bucks and get a nice functional NAS.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!