Non standard partition layout - win 7

  • My company has a cd that we use for all new machines that I am required to use on every system. It is our golden master. I would like to make additions to this load and make images with these additions to be pushed to specialized systems for different groups (based on the needs of those groups). The only problem I have is that the master image that the cd burns to each system has the bitlocker “system reserved” partition at the end of the disk instead of the beginning, and it is 500mb instead of 100mb.

    I am new to fog but; I have been able to pull images off of standard installations of win7 as resizable with no issues. I can pull a mpsd image off of a mastered computer with no problem as well. But because of the non standard partition scheme fog won’t pull a resizable image off one of the mastered computers.

    I have since resized the partitions with disk management ntfs shrink; pulled an mpsd image and renamed the d1p*.img files to rec and sys.img.000. When I use disk man to resize the 500mb bitlocker partition the smallest I can get it is 115mb. When I attempt to push it back to a machine using single partition resizable it only pushes the sys.img.000 file back; but pushes it back to sda2 with a 100mb partition as sda1. This will not boot though. I believe it gives an error about partition overlap on reboot.

    When I use easeus to shrink the bitlocker partition I can get it below the 100mb threshold and then pull a mpsd image. After renaming the img files fog will push them back to a computer in the right order but… I get the dreaded boot\bcd error 0xc0000225. I have not been able to successfully clear this error like I can with 0xc000000e.

    When partimage is pushing the images back to a machine I see where it knows what partition it was when it was pulled and I wonder if this has anything to do with the issues I’m experiencing.

    My real question though Is this: has anyone had any luck with non standard partition schemes like this one and what did you have to change (hopefully a script cause I’m sure I can muddle through that) to get your issues resolved?

  • Well, I would have agreed with you 2 weeks ago… then I got desperate and started trying everything under the sun.

    TL;DR: it worked!!!

    So here is the long of it. the reason my images wouldn’t pull as “Single Disk, NTFS Only, Resizable”(SDNOR) is because the “system reserved”(rec.img.000) partition was bigger than the 100mb default, and in the wrong place on the disk (/dev/sda2 instead of sda1). so I figured I could pull the image off the machine and rearrange them and then push it back to another system; but, as you said, the “Multiple Partition, Single disk” (MPSD) pulls the MBR as well. So rearranging the partitions doesn’t work.

    What I did to get it working was this.

    1. I installed my company’s Golden Image on computer A.
    2. I installed an OEM version of Win7 Enterprise on computer B. (with default partition configuration)
    3. I resized the partitions on A to the smallest sizes I could with disk man’s NTFS Shrink
    4. I pulled a MPSD image from A; and a SPNOR image from B.
    5. I created a new image and made it SPNOR. (Call it C)
    6. I copied rec.img.000 from B’s image to C
    7. I copied d1p1.img from A’s image (the large partition with the majority of the disk on it) to C and renamed it sys.img.000
    8. I pushed image C to computer C and lo-and-behold… wait for it… It worked!!!

    Now the partitions are in the right order, and properly sized, so I can create a new SPNOR image off of this computer without any problems!!!

    Also as one of my colleagues suggested I checked to make sure that Bitlocker would still work and it does.

    So yes, you can just rename the files in an image to change it from MPSD to SPNOR; because SPNOR doesn’t save the MBR like MPSD does. Granted you can’t go the other direction (SPNOR to MPSD) but I can’t think of a reason anyone would want to right now anyway 😃

  • I’m not sure of the non-standard layout issue directly, but simply renaming the image files isn’t going to be of much help. If you can pull a resizable image, that’s awesome, as I’ve had very little luck unless I sysprep the machine first. However, I’d suggest using a smaller drive and build your system exactly as you need. Try using the smallest drive you can create your system with to create a master system. Then, when you upload the image, use Multiple Partition Single Disk. FOG, ultimately, shouldn’t care how the partitions are ordered, so long as it copies the data. The problem with your renaming of the d1*.img files is that there are actually three files created in this method. The first file is usually d1.mbr which (as the name suggests) is the mbr of the hard disk. Then d1p1 is usually the 100MB partition windows installs naturally. Then usually your d1p2 is the main system image. I don’t know how many partitions your current setup actually uses but from what I can tell in the files, FOG only allows up to 2 partitions. That’s not to say you couldn’t make more available, just it isn’t very supportive of more than two in either case.

    When you do a resizable image, there is only 2 files created:

    rec.img.000 which is usually (from what I can tell thru my testing) is the mbr [B]AND[/B] recovery partition all in one. The sys.img.000 file is obviously the main system image. This might be why you’re seeing the issue with the boot\bcd error as your method isn’t actually re-writing the mbr to the system.