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Success, Restore C: with DriveImage


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#1 dcrujator

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:22 PM

Hello Bootlanders!

This is my story.
I did a backup of C on my new laptop with Vista after a large tweaking. That was a year ago.
I was following the discussion at the VistaPe forum since I acknowledge there was a little issue restoring in Vista.
When I got back my laptop from the service with an unexpected new hard disk last October, I decided to find the answer.
In another forum I found a long interchange between somebody with a similar story and a woman explaining the restore process using VistaPe.
http://www.howtogeek...e-primary-drive
For some crazy coincidence the writing stopped when was the time to delete C.

Anyway, that page inspired me to persist.
I started reading the Winbuilder [074] tutorial by Ispy.
Loaded a lot of programs.
Run the builder. [GOTO Anyway,] :(
Finally the VistaPe v11 was ready in a pen drive, with essentially Disk Partitioner and DriveImage. The backup was in the hard drive in a partition.
I followed this sequence:
1-Delete C: (NTFS)
2-Add C: (RAW)
3-Restore C: (NTFS)

There were something wrong. When using Disk Partitioner I had to restart the computer in order to refresh the disk information.
But finally continue to see C: like RAW. For a disk manager C was not accessible.

4-Run WindowsRE and Startup Repair

"The system volume is damage. Repair of the system (chkdsk) complete successfully"


http://neosmart.net/...er from the DVD


The system restarted automatically 2 times and suddenly I found my one year ago old fashion desktop.
And my recently acquired happy ending smile.
:)

Technical data
HP Pavilion dv6500 series
Windows Vista Home Premium
Hard Disk 160GB, C: 90GB (thinking in the future)
2GB RAM
VistaPE v11 with AIK on a 1GB Pen drive

Thank you so much to the community!
Enjoy, dcrujator.


#2 TheHive

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:44 AM

Thats some weired results.

#3 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:27 AM

Which "Driveimage" program did you use?
With which parameters/options?


I did a backup of C on my new laptop with Vista after a large tweaking. That was a year ago.


This appears to be the problem:

I followed this sequence:
1-Delete C: (NTFS)
2-Add C: (RAW)
3-Restore C: (NTFS)

It seems like you re-created a RAW C: - in other words you created a partition entry in the MBR - that not necessarily was of the same size (and with the correct Disk Signature) and later added just the partition data.

There were something wrong. When using Disk Partitioner I had to restart the computer in order to refresh the disk information.

This is perfectly normal.

But finally continue to see C: like RAW. For a disk manager C was not accessible.

This may also be "normal" if the data in the MBR partition table entry is different from the data in the restored filesystem.

4-Run WindowsRE and Startup Repair

Thus EITHER (cannot say :)) repairing the MBR using the data of the filesystem or repairing the filesystem using data in the MBR.

From what you report, you backed up just the partition and not the MBR, see this for a quick explanation:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21768

jaclaz

#4 dcrujator

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:37 PM

I found this report browsing the backups. The first one is the original and the second is after restore and some updates.

DriveImage_info.jpg


I tried to use MBRFIX under VistaPE but didn't work at all. I decided to use Disk Partitioner just because that was the only one I found that work.
There were several scripts not working. VistaPE v12 didn't work for me.


Thus EITHER (cannot say :( ) repairing the MBR using the data of the filesystem or repairing the filesystem using data in the MBR.

From what you report, you backed up just the partition and not the MBR, see this for a quick explanation:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21768

jaclaz


When reading DriveImage website time ago, I didn't find it is necessary to do MBR backup. Reading the link you sent I prefer not to get involved with that. :)



#5 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:15 PM

I found this report browsing the backups. The first one is the original and the second is after restore and some updates.

..which shows, as expected, that you did not manage to have an actual "image" or "clone" of the entire disk, but just that of the partition, and that somehow you managed to restore it at a non-standard address. (the "normal" number of hidden sectors on a disk with nxmx63 geometry is a whole head, i.e. 63 sectors, the fact that you now have a "strange" 2048 number of hidden sectors, while it should not cause any problem in "standard" operation, may cause problems when using "low-level" utilities - particularly your partition does not start on a cylinder boundary, as 2048/255=8.03137...)
Though it is recommended to always use the most possible "standard" setup, it's up to you evaluating if this can be a risk for your data in the future or not. :)


When reading DriveImage website time ago, I didn't find it is necessary to do MBR backup. Reading the link you sent I prefer not to get involved with that. :(


Yep, it's not particularly clear on the site, though this is a good hint:

The program allows you to:
Backup logical drives and partitions to image files

(bolding is mine)
What you need to clone a drive is to image the physicaldrive (or the logical drive(s) + the MBR).
Believe me that if you had saved (and restored) the MBR properly you would have not had the "something wrong", and you would have now a "standard" placement of the partition. :)


Mind you I am not telling you that you did a wrong thing or somewhat criticize your success :), it's just like you came here claiming that you managed to cut a wooden plank with a hammer and a screwdriver, I feel compelled to tell you that if you had used a saw you would have saved some time and that the cut would have somewhat less jagged edges. :(


jaclaz

#6 JonF

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:22 PM

I tried to use MBRFIX under VistaPE but didn't work at all.

Most of the versions of MBRFix that are floating around do not do a Vista MBR. You need v1.0.9. http://www.sysint.no...US/Default.aspx. I think that v1.0.9 comes with VistaPE.

It seems like you re-created a RAW C: - in other words you created a partition entry in the MBR - that not necessarily was of the same size (and with the correct Disk Signature) and later added just the partition data.

He had to delete his C partition and re-create it as a non-NTFS partition. Vista (and VistaPE) use Transactional NTFS. The significance here is that they always have a file open on any NTFS partition, therefore a NTFS partition can never be locked, therefore DriveImage XML will refuse to restore to any NTFS partition. It will restore just fine to any other kind of partition of equal or greater size than the partition from which the image was taken. It will refuse to restore to a partition smaller than the partition from which the image was taken.

I should qualify "just fine" I have restored around two dozen Vista boot partitions, using both DriveImage XML and Ghost 11. The ones restored by DriveImage XML always failed to boot after restoring, requiring startup repair (and the startup repair in VistaPE almost always failed to fix the problem... I had to boot from the Vista DVD to run startup repair). The Ghost restorations booted right up. So Symantec knows something that Runtime Software doesn't. OTOH, every time I've made an image with Ghost I get a scary message about "ERROR: encountered an NTFS volume with a Logfile that has not been flushed" and have to run chkdsk /r.

#7 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:40 PM

I should qualify "just fine" I have restored around two dozen Vista boot partitions, using both DriveImage XML and Ghost 11. The ones restored by DriveImage XML always failed to boot after restoring, requiring startup repair (and the startup repair in VistaPE almost always failed to fix the problem... I had to boot from the Vista DVD to run startup repair). The Ghost restorations booted right up. So Symantec knows something that Runtime Software doesn't. OTOH, every time I've made an image with Ghost I get a scary message about "ERROR: encountered an NTFS volume with a Logfile that has not been flushed" and have to run chkdsk /r.


Sure, GHOST is besides a partition backup/restore ALSO a cloning program, driveimage XML is a partition backup/restore program. Though apparently similar, they have NOT all the same functionalities.

To stay in the Freeware realm, applications with similar functionalities to GHOST are:
SELFIMAGE:
http://selfimage.excelcia.org/

dd for windows (FAU edition):
http://gmgsystemsinc.com/fau/

More listed in these threads:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=16534
http://www.msfn.org/...re-t100299.html


Using Vista (and transactional NTFS) is of course a way of asking for troubles, the safest is to boot to a "simple" OS, and then copy bytes, rather than mounting and accessing the filesystem of the drive to be imaged/cloned (and later restored).

jaclaz

#8 dcrujator

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 12:37 PM

.. the fact that you now have a "strange" 2048 number of hidden sectors, while it should not cause any problem in "standard" operation, may cause problems when using "low-level" utilities - particularly your partition does not start on a cylinder boundary, as 2048/255=8.03137...)
Though it is recommended to always use the most possible "standard" setup, it's up to you evaluating if this can be a risk for your data in the future or not.

Whitout knowing about MBR I didn't like that "strange" 2048 number. After reading about MBR I decided to have a backup like you suggested.
Do you know how to repair the MBR at this point? I didn't find any clue on that.

Mind you I am not telling you that you did a wrong thing or somewhat criticize your success :) , it's just like you came here claiming that you managed to cut a wooden plank with a hammer and a screwdriver, I feel compelled to tell you that if you had used a saw you would have saved some time and that the cut would have somewhat less jagged edges. :(

jaclaz

Absolutely agree with you. I know is not the best scenario in the emergency go without plan walking in the dark.
There should be other people without knowledge like me trying to find the answer for this situation.
Many of them probably get frustrated with a fresh installation.
But I'm still happy with my still working system. :(



Most of the versions of MBRFix that are floating around do not do a Vista MBR. You need v1.0.9. http://www.sysint.no...US/Default.aspx. I think that v1.0.9 comes with VistaPE.

I should qualify "just fine" I have restored around two dozen Vista boot partitions, using both DriveImage XML and Ghost 11. The ones restored by DriveImage XML always failed to boot after restoring, requiring startup repair (and the startup repair in VistaPE almost always failed to fix the problem... I had to boot from the Vista DVD to run startup repair).

I'll try the link you've put. I've read you can run it from the pendrive, no need to change the project.
I couldn't find your revelation
before, that's why I posted my story.
Did you find any trouble over the time after restore in this conditions?


#9 was_jaclaz

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:22 PM

Whitout knowing about MBR I didn't like that "strange" 2048 number. After reading about MBR I decided to have a backup like you suggested.
Do you know how to repair the MBR at this point? I didn't find any clue on that.


Well, you cannot "repair" the MBR at this point. (as it would involve "moving" the partition to where it "should" be).

In this moment you have "valid" CODE in the MBR, but "strange" DATA in it.

If you are willing to fix it, you need to:
1) Fix the DATA in the MBR
2) restore again the image taken with DriveimageXML (i.e. create a new image with your current system with DriveimageXML)

Try looking at your current MBR with Beeblebrox:
http://students.cs.byu.edu/~codyb/

From the data you have posted you should see:
07-80-0-32-33-1023-131-50-63-184320000
or
07-80-0-32-33-1023-254-63-63-184320000

Your "original" data was either:
07-80-0-1-1-1023-122-49-63-184321417
or
07-80-0-1-1-1023-254-63-63-184321417

Both your original and new data appear to be not compliant with the "cylinder boundary" requisite, which, though not compulsory, is a good idea to always respect.

Thus suitable data should be:
07-80-0-1-1-1023-254-63-63-184329747
(i.e. a partition slightly bigger than original one respecting cylinder boundary)

Play a bit with this:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=2959

in order to understand the above numbers and how they come out. :)

jaclaz

#10 Lancelot

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 04:16 PM

@JonF

, every time I've made an image with Ghost I get a scary message about "ERROR: encountered an NTFS volume with a Logfile that has not been flushed" and have to run chkdsk /r.


I started to get this message after i played :) with "..:\System Volume Information" , i gave permission to access, looked inside, I did nothing but the error you wrote started. For now i use -NTIL switch with ghost for a loooong time. (-NTIL: Ignores NTFS log file check)

#11 dcrujator

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:29 PM

When I did my successful restoration there was an issue using Disk Partitioner.
After deleting C:, the first recreation was a little small and DriveImage refused to work.
Then I had to delete it and redo it again. This part was troublesome.
Could be there the origin of the bad number?
Another detail, You can see in the DriveImage report that the second image have c: a little smaller.

First consequence:
I found under System Restore that the selected disk is "(C:) (missing)" and the actual C: system is not tagged.
Then I don't have a restore point.

If you are willing to fix it, you need to:
1) Fix the DATA in the MBR
2) restore again the image taken with DriveimageXML (i.e. create a new image with your current system with DriveimageXML)

What is Fix the DATA?

Playing with the program. MBR_2.jpg


Some questions:

When Vista fail the recovery partition start. Where is that on the MBR?
From this partition I can do a fresh install. The MBR is going to be recreated, right?
It's an option to delete the Recovery partition. Could be expected a big change in the MBR?

Supposedly it's allowed to create 4 primary partitions, but when I created the last one (X:), the only option was logical. Why?


_________
dcrujator

#12 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 08:20 PM


What is Fix the DATA?


The DATA is what you can change through Beeblebrox, i.e. the Partition Table entries:

Thus suitable data should be:
07-80-0-1-1-1023-254-63-63-184329747
(i.e. a partition slightly bigger than original one respecting cylinder boundary)

Play a bit with this:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=2959

in order to understand the above numbers and how they come out. :)



Some questions:
When Vista fail the recovery partition start. Where is that on the MBR?
From this partition I can do a fresh install. The MBR is going to be recreated, right?
It's an option to delete the Recovery partition. Could be expected a big change in the MBR?


It's rather obviously in the MBR CODE, however, there is something else that is not "normal" usually recovery partitions are hidden and special CODE is in the MBR allowing to press F10 or F11 to get to them.
Cannot say in one of your operations you installed VISTA "standard" MBR instead of the "HP recovery enabled" one.
Usually a new install checks if there is ALREADY a valid MBR and leaves it AS IS.
You need to "wipe it clean" with 00's if you want to "start from scratch".
No, deleting a partition deletes just one entry of the four ones in the partition table (the DATA) of the MBR.

Some questions:
Supposedly it's allowed to create 4 primary partitions, but when I created the last one (X:), the only option was logical. Why?

Supposedly? From where you get that? :(

jaclaz

#13 dcrujator

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 11:37 AM


Thanks, now I'm getting the idea.

Some questions:
Supposedly it's allowed to create 4 primary partitions, but when I created the last one (X:), the only option was logical. Why?


Supposedly? From where you get that? :(

jaclaz


It's here http://mirror.href.c...PartTables.htm

Thus, disks using this standard table can have no more than four Primary partitions, or as we'll describe in the next section, up to three Primary partitions plus one Extended partition.

But a footnote says :)

NOTE: Neither the "Dynamic Disk" partitions of Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/2003 (rather than the more usual "Basic Disk" partitions), nor the special Posted Image GUID Partition Table used by Microsoft Windows Vista (part of the new Posted Image EFI spec) employ the MBR partitioning scheme described on this page.




#14 was_jaclaz

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 04:58 PM

Yep :(,
the point is a bit different:
  • in a standard MBR there is space for 4 partition entries
  • the above does not imply that any tool will allow for making them
:)


DOS win9x/ME FDISK won't allow you to make more than 1 (one) Primary partition and 1 (one) Extended Partition.
Particularly, DOS and Win9x/Me are known - in some instances - to be "confused" by more than one Primary Partition (unless the partition is formatted with a filesystem they don't know/ignore).

From what you report, Disk Manager "tops" at 3 (three) Primary and 1 (one) Extended Partition.

I am not aware of the possibility to make more than one Extended Partition.

But the whole point is that there is NO reason, or at least no rational reason, to have more than one Primary Partition, unless, a second Primary partition is used as "Recovery Partition" and it's normally in "hidden" state.

FYI, find in this post (and links therein) some of the reasons why Logical Volumes inside Extended Partition are considered to be better (by me at least):
http://www.boot-land...?...=5274&st=31

jaclaz

#15 dcrujator

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 10:39 PM

Dear jaclaz,
please tell me if everything is fine.
Finally I have a DriveImage Plan for Restoring C:

First, it is convenient to prepare C: for a backup.
My original Vista system after optimization and loaded programs was about 20GB.
I decided to shrink the volume C: to maybe 60GB. With the remaining space it's possible to create one or more partitions. ( like F:)
In C: only installed programs
In F: only data
We are interested in C: (the system).

Second, It's the time for doing the DriveImage's backup with the option "compress" and "split".
http://www.runtime.o...veimage-xml.htm
This way it's possible to burn 2 DVD's.
We are going to do a MBR backup too. There are 2 handy programs for that:
MBRFix v1.0.9 http://www.sysint.no...US/Default.aspx
Beeblebrox partition table editor http://students.cs.byu.edu/~codyb/
I used both. I think is good idea to include the MBR backups plus the programs on the DVD's.
They can be run from a pendrive or disk.

Third, it is convenient to have VistaPe before the emergency.
For a newbie this could be the hardest part.

What we need for restoring C?
VistaPe v11 with essentially Disk Partitioner and DriveImage.
WindowsRE or Vista DVD to run startup repair just in case. But maybe is OK the command
MbrFix /drive <num> fixmbr {/vista} (Update MBR code to W2K/XP/2003 or Vista).

There are different reasons for restoring C.
Corrupted system, new hard drive, experimenting. Whatever it is we need to be sure that the MBR is in good shape before restore.
Then why not restore the MBR?
If necessary we can fix the DATA in the MBR with the help of Beeblebrox and this link
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=2959.
We can do that when running VistaPe.

For restore purposes we have to have C: same size or bigger than the original one and without NTFS format (RAW, FAT,...)
I don't know if it's possible to read the backup from several disks. I prefer to put the data in a partition (F:).
Then we proceed to restore C: running DriveImage from VistaPe.
And that's all. Should be a successful restart and wonderful day.

enjoy


#16 Lancelot

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 12:06 AM

Hi dcrujator,
Hi jaclazz

Just for info, for backing up i use ghost7 dos (ghost.exe, and without saving mbr - which i believe do the same thing with DriveImage) successfully with vista and xp for a long time. In fact i dont use vista, only for experimental purposes i installed it to a partition and havent boot up for months now. i backed up-restored vista several times without problem.
Also i adviced backing up sameway to some friends using laptops that came with laptop and they rescued themselves many times.

But as we are confirming to jaclazz, here is a question,
If in case sth happens to mbr boot (maybe somebody install a linux, or xp to the same laptop)
my plan is to restore vista to the same partition [hd(0,0) hd(0,1) where ever it was when i backup]
and after that open livexp and use this command (assuming vista on C:)
bootsect.exe /nt60 C: /force
I guess i am on right way???
If this fails my next plan is using vista rescue cd (or vista intall cd) and use repair boot option.

Well i dont use vista, but these are info i took note to my head, better to ask for confirmation as dcrujator asked too. 1 bullet for 2 coins for jaclaz. :)

#17 was_jaclaz

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 12:24 PM

@dcrujator
ALMOST, but not quite. :)

Still some points seem not to have been completely cleared. :(

MBRFIX is a tool that has the capabilities of:
a. saving a MBR
b. restoring a MBR
c. restore the standard (either 2K/XP/2003 or Vista) CODE
d. change the disk signature

Beeblebrox is a tool that has the capability of:
e. editing the MBR DATA and save restore the MBR DATA ONLY

They are not "alternatives" they are complementing each other.

Alternatives:
1) ANY hex/disk editor a. b. c. d. e.
2) Diskprobe (from Microsoft) a. b. c. d. e.
http://technet.micro...y/bb457122.aspx
http://www.microsoft...;displaylang=en
3) MBRWIZ: a. b. c. d. e. (.e limited to Primary Partitions)
http://mbrwizard.com/
4) ptedit32 e.
ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_...es/PTEDIT32.zip
5) HDhacker a. b.
http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/
6) MBRbatch a. b. c. e. (c. limited to 2K/XP/2003, .e limited to Primary Partitions)
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=3191
or just dsfo/dsfi:
http://www.boot-land...?...=3226&st=15
7) ....
8) ....

It is NOT, NOT, NOT recommended to image a booted drive.

Use a DOS bootdisk (for DOS based imaging programs) or a PE of some kind and image an OFFLINE drive.

If you want to image a drive, use a drive imaging program:
http://selfimage.excelcia.org/
NOT a partition imaging one, it will be easier.

If you choose to use anyway a backup/partition imaging program:
http://www.runtime.o...veimage-xml.htm
you need to add the data for the MBR, in case of corruption of the MBR (on the same drive) or of a "strange" MBR created on a new drive, you must be able to fix the problem.

@Lancelot
bootsect.exe does ANOTHER thing! :(
http://neosmart.net/...or-not-the-mbr/

GHOST (which is a Commercial app and thus not freely available) can save BOTH the partition and the MBR, so why bothering?

I guess that the "basic" misunderstanding is that I conceive imaging ONLY as "forensic imaging", i.e. something that once restored will be a "sector by sector" "byte by byte" CLONE of the original.
You both appear to be more oriented towards "backup imaging", i.e. something that once restored will be similar, but not actually identical, to the original.

Both approaches have their merits :), with the little difference that starting from an EXACT image I can leave it as is or later modify it as I wish, whilst you will never be able to recreatre an EXACT image.

jaclaz

#18 Lancelot

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 06:15 PM

...
bootsect.exe does ANOTHER thing!
...


jaclaz, thanks for alll info.

#19 dcrujator

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 11:30 AM

Hi everybody again,
this should be my last post on this topic.
I think there is enough information for a newbie searching for a DriveImage solution under Vista.

After a new optimization of my system I prepared the c: partition for buckup.
  • Run Disk Cleanup to reduce the amount of information, including old restore points.
  • Defrag the unit with JkDefrag http://www.kessels.c...frag/index.html or another.
  • Shrink C: to 60GB using Gparted from Ubuntu disk. I tried to do it from Vista but failed.
After the shrinking operation my MBR seems to be in good shape again without my intervention.

Beeblebrox show this:
07-80-0-1-1-1023-254-63-63-125821017

I've tried to do a DriveImage backup from VistaPe but I got the famous error about VSS (Volume Shadow Services). Then I did the booting from C:.

Everything seems to be working fine and that's all for me.
I'm going to test Selfimage like Jaclaz suggested but the result is for another topic.

Enjoy. :cheers:

#20 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 12:18 PM

After the shrinking operation my MBR seems to be in good shape again without my intervention.

Beeblebrox show this:
07-80-0-1-1-1023-254-63-63-125821017


Well, that is what gparted is supposed to do. :cheers:

Just for the record, if the partition size is bigger than 8Gb, it is much easier to have a "valid" partition entry, since the CHS part will be (for first partition) 0-1-1-1023-254-63, the start LBA will be 63, then only numsectors will be changed.

Once you go above 8 Gb, the result of the CHS data is "A suffusion of yellow":
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=2959

jaclaz




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