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Want to create a Bootable Image

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 22, 2011 7:55:10 AM

My RAID 0 recently failed, but I was able to recover all the files using 'RAID Recovery for Windows' software (Runtime Software).
I would like to try to reboot the recovered files from the RAID (it was an OS drive)

How can I go about doing this?

I thought if I created an image (.iso or .img?) of the files I could then boot from the image (say in a virtual machine), but I'm having difficulty doing that as I've never created a bootable image file before.

Am I going about this the right way?

Thanks in advance to any poster.

More about : create bootable image

a b G Storage
January 22, 2011 12:34:02 PM

Just to make sure I understand the situation right. Your OS partition was a RAID array that failed. You somehow managed to recover the data (to what medium?) and since it was your OS drive, you want to know if you can boot from it in a VM?

Is that right?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 22, 2011 12:55:27 PM

Zenthar said:
Just to make sure I understand the situation right. Your OS partition was a RAID array that failed. You somehow managed to recover the data (to what medium?) and since it was your OS drive, you want to know if you can boot from it in a VM?

Is that right?



Zenthar said:
Just to make sure I understand the situation right. Your OS partition was a RAID array that failed. You somehow managed to recover the data (to what medium?) and since it was your OS drive, you want to know if you can boot from it in a VM?

Is that right?


1. Yes, my OS part. was a RAID 0 whose controller failed. I was able to completely recover all the files (by using a RAID reconstructor program) to another computer. So right now I have all the files sitting on second machine.

Since I have all the files, I think I should be able to boot this data up, either on a VM or even on the original machine (doesn't matter to me). What I don't know though is:

How do I take the 95GB or so of files including the OS, and make it bootable? ( I was speculating I would be able to do this by making it an image, and then trying to boot the image somehow).

Thanks for coming out to help :) 
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a b G Storage
January 22, 2011 1:22:35 PM

I could be wrong, but I don't think it would be that easy to do if possible at all as Windows itself was never meant to be executed LiveCD-style.

Is there any particular reason why you would need to actually boot from it? If all files have been recovered, you could just copy files you want back on your new OS installation. If you absolutely need to boot it you could probably just copy them back on a HDD, plug that HDD in your machine as the only drive, put the Windows installation DVD and hope a repair can make it bootable again.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 22, 2011 1:54:43 PM

Thank you for replying!

Mainly, I was going to try to recover (just look) at all the app and OS settings I had tweaked since I don't remember the hundreds of modifications I made.

I will try what you said - when I put the Win7 disc in - I'm assuming it will ask if I want to repair it, and then I attempt to repair and boot off the drive - I will reply with results.

ALSO: This is the second RAID 0 array that has failed on me (this time because of the Intel controller)...

If price is not object, is there any way to build a (near) perfect storage solution?

i.e. If a drive fails, or a RAID controller fails, I want to be able to just hotswap a drive in, and keep going like nothing ever happened.

I know that RAID 1 and RAID 10 are somewhat like this... but if the RAID controller dies, these don't help to my understanding.

I hate having my OS drive die... I don't lose data since it's backed up... but all my app settings go down... and since I tweak settings a LOT.. this is a massive loss for me.

I've heard that you can just clone drives together but not have them in RAID, thus circumventing the controller issue - so if the drive dies... or the mobo dies for that matter... you just grab the cloned drive and boot it on a new motherboard - is this possible?

Commissar

a b G Storage
January 22, 2011 2:33:16 PM

Nothing is ever simple isn't it? I work closely with computers (software engineer) and IT people and it's always a compromise between data recoverability, storage size, performance and price.

When a RAID controller dies the only thing you can do is replace it with a compatible one. I heard the Intel on-board controllers are actually very good at this; if your ICH8R controller was to die, you could probably just plug it into a ICH9R or ICH10R and the array would be recognized (might need rebuild, not sure). This is simply what I heard, I never used RAID on my PC and truthfully don't really plan on ever doing so (except maybe RAID 5 for storage, but then it will be a dedicated network storage).

If you want to protect yourself against drive failure, then RAID1 is a solution, but you basically have 50% space loss and get no performance gain in writes. RAID5 is also a solution, the array would tolerate at most 1 drive failure (but performance in deteriorated mode is very low, unlike RAID1), would give a boost in both read and writes (but scaling is not as good as RAID0 and writes are much slower than reads because of parity check), but you need at least 3 drives and always loose the space equivalent of 1 (33% space loss with 3, 25% space loss with 4, 20% space loss with 5, ...).

Since RAID 1 is basically cloning, you can expect to be able to switch to single drive mode easily, but since many RAID controller add metadata to RAID arrays, you might have to "process them a bit". See here.

I'm not sure about the clone thing you are talking about, sounds like either a backup solution (therefore you might loose all changes since last backup if something fails) or a software RAID solution (which might eat-up some CPU cycles).

It all depends on your storage needs. Personally I just use a small SSD for my OS, a fast 7200RPM HDD for my bulkier programs and games and a bigger but slower 2TB HDD for my storage.
January 24, 2011 10:20:24 PM

Thank you! - it took a lot of time and finagling, but I managed to reconstruct the RAID 0 with software, push all the recovered files on a new HDD, run Windows 7 Startup Repair,

(The instructions should, I think, at least MENTION that you need to make the new drive partition ACTIVE before the OS will be seen by the OS installer environment , - good thing I read that somewhere beforehand)...

And the repair patched up the MBR (I believe) and I was able to boot the former RAID 0 on a single drive into Windows.

I wasn't at risk of data loss... (in an alternate universe I secretly wish I had been, since the euphoria would have been correspondingly many orders of magnitude greater) but I did love the fact that it worked.

--

I'm not further investigating the possibility of creating bootable backups. I don't see any logical reason why they shouldn't be possible.

If I discover more I'll post here for posterity.
a b G Storage
January 25, 2011 12:52:09 AM

If you simply clone a partition to another drive (not using RAID), I see no reason why this partition wouldn't be bootable, but creating a bootable functionning Windows OS could be very hard, but not impossible. You can always look at BartPE to start with.
!