imaging XP

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help and Support' started by lon_don, May 3, 2020.

  1. lon_don

    lon_don

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    Hello, just joined, need your help to check if what I plan to do makes sense.
    I use XP Pro SP2 and I think my primary HD (where the primary partition C: with the OS is) is about to pack up soon.
    So I am thinking about buying a new HD, then image my existing primary HD on it, then swap it out and use the new one.
    My questions are
    - Does the new HD needs to be exactly same size as the old HD (500GB) ? The old HD is actually partitioned into C: and D:, do I need to image the entire 500GB, or can I just image C: which is about 35GB ? (I don't know why C: was originally given 35GB, does it make sense to repartition and give C: a bit more space ?)
    - After reading on here the guide by ClippyBeer about Macrium Reflect 7 Free, I guess I will use it for the imaging unless there is a better/faster solution..?
    - I am also tempted to run the Unofiicial Cumulative Windows XP Update posted on retrosystemsrevival to upgrade to SP3 + get all the missing patches etc.. , will this mess up my existing installed softwares ? I lost the activation key+the original OEM XP CD long ago, WGA, Windows Update, etc.. were disabled long ago, will SP3 require anything like that ?
    I guess I can always try and if necessary can re-image again to get back the original SP2 image.
    Thanks for your help.
     
    lon_don, May 3, 2020
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  2. lon_don

    ClippyBeer

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    Yes you can image your old hard drive to a new one then boot off the new one. They don't have to be the same size but should be larger than the current drive. You would select the 'Clone this disk' option under the 'Create a backup' tab in Macrium. Yes you can clone just the C: partition not the whole disk. When you are cloning the partition to a new drive it should give you the option to resize it (I am not sure if Macrium Reflect Free has this option but other imaging tools I've used in the past e.g. Acronis and Ghost did). If it does make it larger at least 150GB since this is where any installed apps will go.

    I am not sure about updates I have SP3 but haven't updated since I installed it and no issues. Again, XP is not my main OS so your mileage may vary. Definitely image your XP install in any case since as you mentioned your old HD isn't too healthy. This will also provide you with a way to restore your OS in case updating etc. disables your XP Genuine status.
     
    ClippyBeer, May 5, 2020
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  3. lon_don

    lon_don

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    Thanks Clippy. So I ran into a few snags after proceeding. First the current Reflect Free 7 does not support XP SP2. Then I managed to track down Reflect Free 4 which does support SP2, but couldn't get a valid image: the backup would go fine, but the restore always failed, as the image file always turned out to be corrupt (I chkdsk'd the HDD and it reported no issue, no bad sector etc..). In the end I googled and found Terabyte Image for Windows, whose latest version still supports XP including SP2. It's not free but has a 30 day trial which is sufficient for me. Again I had a hard time imaging without the image file failing verification, but after several tries I finally got a good image. It seems running the imaging software from C: to image the C: partition might be tricky as the software has to be able to temporarily lock the disk/partition while it might simultaneously write stuffs on C:as well - well I'm not sure but I would assume. Image for Windows has an utility called PHYlock to lock the C: disk while it images C:, while Reflect does not say what it does to lock the partition/disk.

    The 2nd part (upgrade to SP3 via the Unofiicial Cumulative Windows XP Update on retrosystemsrevival) was unmitigated failure though. I left it to run overnight, had a few BSODs where it failed to reboot by itself (the utility had to reboot the system constantly to install its package), and by 10am next morning it was still not finished. So I just gave up and reverted to the original SP2 image. I don't really need SP3 anyway, having lived so long with SP2 with no major issue.
     
    lon_don, May 9, 2020
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  4. lon_don

    ClippyBeer

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    I'm glad you were able to find a working copy of Macrium for SP2 - I strongly recommend you archive the install file in case Macrium 4 disappears from the internet as so often happens with older versions of software. I also recommend you create bootable media and use that to create and restore images. I don't know if Macrium 4 has the option to create a bootable USB but hopefully it will at least allow you to create a bootable ISO. You can then use either YUMI or RUFUS to create a bootable USB flash drive with the ISO file. If your PC is too old and doesn't support booting from USB you can still burn the ISO to a CD and boot from that. Please note that even if Macrium 4 does create bootable USB you should also create the ISO file and keep it in a safe place.

    I have never imaged or restored any of my computers while the OS was running - you will always encounter the issues you did of locked system files etc and it takes longer to create/restore images. I have always used bootable media in the form of USB flash drives, CD/DVD and in the real olden days, bootable MS-DOS diskettes with Norton Ghost.

    In truth once you have created the Macrium bootable ISO you don't even need the Macrium software on your PC - uninstall it as the bootable media has all the same features as the installed software without the pratfalls of imaging a live OS.
     
    ClippyBeer, May 10, 2020
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