So are you saying, you can backup, no problem, because you are volume locking when backing up inside Vista, but if you try to use VistaPE to restore, it might not restore properly because it's not locking properly because those files aren't included in VistaPE.
I'm saying that right now there's no reliable method for making a DriveImage XML backup of an NTFS partition under VistaPE, because it will not be possible to lock the volume and nobody has figured out how to get VSS going in VistaPE. So you should make your backups in your regular booted-from-the-hard-disk environment.
AFAIK nobody's really tested restoring under VistaPE. How to do that is a really interesting question because, if you do
need to restore your usual boot drive, you must
do it while booted into some other system, and VistaPE is a very convenient platform for that (as you know, it's especially convenient for those with SATA drives, which are pretty durned common nowadays). But I think that there may be issues there due to lack of volume locking, and those issues may be avoidable if you preformat the drive as FAT32. I hope to test that in the near future. But right now restoring from VistaPE is untested and iffy.
If you have Vista Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise it has a facility for making a complete image-type backup. Some others and I just got the facilities for restoring such backups running under VistaPE 12 (it probably works under 11 also), and I can post it if you are interested. Perhaps you have to build from a Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise source to get that restoring facility, and restoring is untested; but IMHO it's pretty likely to work. (It also can do a system restore on the target system, and that probably works with any Vista DVD build source)
Also, last time I tried a XP based boot CD, probably BartPE, I was unable to see my SATA drive because I guess it didn't have the correct SATA drivers.
Has that situation improved any? Any suggestions?
It hasn't changed any ... but you never reported on any attempt to use the BTS Driverpacks
. That's allowed me to see many a SATA drive from BartPE. Have you tried that? I can help if you are having difficulty getting it going.
So, if I could get an XP based boot CD to recognize by drive and get DriveImage XML installed under it, I should have no problem restoring my Vista based system?
Certainly should. I haven't restored a Vista system, but I've restored several XP systems.