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Bare Metal Restore - No Partition Table

Posted on 2013-02-01
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Last Modified: 2013-02-25
Experts,

I would like to get your thoughts on an issue that I encountered:

The drive explained in this is a non-bootable drive.  It is only a "data" drive.

Our backup program successfully backed up the "data", but not the partition table of a SSD.  The drive uses MBR (not GPT).

We needed to do a BMR of the SSD (block-based backup) to a SATA drive.

I formatted the SATA drive with the default partition table (since we don't have a backup of the SSD partition table) and then did a BMR of the SSD "blocks" to a SATA drive.

The BMR completed with no errors, but when trying to access the drive would come up with "needs to be formatted before using".  I knew this had to do with something regarding the partition table.

I used Gparted and could see it was NTFS with the GB's used / unused so I knew the data was on the hard drive.  Its the partition table that is preventing me from getting to the data.

I used the utility "testdisk" and could see there was a geometry mismatch on 3 items.

I used "testdisk" to extract the files off the SATA to external USB drive.

A lot of programs look for deleted partition tables or corrupted partition tables.  But what happens if you just don't have the partition tables.  What are the steps to manually creating the partition table.

Do you think going from SSD image to a SATA drive is possible?  Or is the geometry an issue when it comes to BMR to dissimilar hardware?

Thoughts on why I couldn't get it to work?  Extracting the data is not the ideal route.
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Question by:bdeback
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38846216
you can restore to dissimilar hardware with paragon's software :
http://www.paragon-software.com/business/adaptiverestore/
you can use it's migrate to SSD program to go from sata, to SSD, but i don't know if it supports the reverse :  
http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/

i hope it helps you in this case
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Expert Comment

by:Iamthecreator
ID: 38846328
You can dowload the Symantec System Recovery SRD (Recovery Disk) and use that to edit the partition table on your hard drive.
How to remove pre-existing partitions and wipe the first track of a destination volume in the Symantec Recovery environment.
      http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH56856
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by:noxcho
ID: 38846548
Curious to know which backup tool was used for backup and recovery. The problem is definitely in ths tool imho.
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by:nobus
ID: 38846578
probably this  :   www.terabyteunlimited.com/
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Accepted Solution

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bdeback earned 0 total points
ID: 38848642
How difficult is it to recreate the partition table for a hard drive?  In this case there was "no" backup of the partition table.  

This is the real answer I'm looking for at the moment.  Is the partition table between SATA, SAS, SSD different in terms of geometry values that would prevent it from working after a BMR?

Or is a backup without a partition table useless because it usually just won't work on the new drive since the partition geometry would be different?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38848672
Actually of backup was done on file level then you must be able restore it to any windows formatted partition.
You cannot recreate partition table because partition table needs accomodation with file system as well. In younvery case it could be that partition overlapping took place. Anyway, what software are you using?
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Expert Comment

by:NetRolller3D
ID: 38865916
I would recommend the WinHex Specialist software. Specifically, it can open both physical disks and disk images, and scan inside them for lost partitions.
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Author Closing Comment

by:bdeback
ID: 38925092
No one had a valid reason or really knew what the answer would be in this situation.
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