Restoring a Whole Disk

If you have chosen to restore a whole disk, you are said to be in "Disk Mode". You are going to restore all the partitions that belong to the selected disk.

You might consider Disk Mode as an automated mode. In Disk Mode, your only choice is the location of the target disk where the archive is to be written and then confirmation to proceed.

Things that are automated are:

  • The size and location of individual partitions
  • The drive letter assignment

If the target disk is larger than the saved image, the disk image is expanded so that the whole target disk is used. All partitions on the disk image are resized automatically to take up the same proportional amount of space that they occupy on the disk image.

For example, imagine an original hard disk with a capacity of 100 GB and two partitions: Partition A is 25 GB and Partition B is 75 GB. You create a backup disk image of this drive. The disk image file is 50 GB. When you restore the disk image, you choose to restore the whole disk. Here are three restore scenarios:

  • If you restore the disk image to a 100 GB disk, then you will have two partitions: Partition A at 25 GB and Partition B at 75 GB.
  • If you restore the disk image to a 200 GB disk, then you will have two partitions: Partition A at 50 GB and Partition B at 150 GB.
  • If you restore the disk image to a 60 GB disk, then you will have two partitions: Partition A and Partition B may not be restored at the same proportional amount, depending on the amount of data that is stored on each partition. The goal is to restore all the data into two partitions.

Exclusive access to the target

If the selected target is not unallocated space, the restore operation must have exclusive access to the target partition while restoring the disk image. Before you confirm the details of the restoring operation, Active@ Disk Image attempts to lock the target disk for exclusive access. If another application or the operating system is using the target disk, you must close all applications or system processes that may be using the target disk.

If you cannot lock the target disk after closing applications and system processes, there are other alternatives that you may try:

  • Choose a different disk — Try to restore the disk image to a different hard disk.
  • Restart the computer — Choosing this option will lead to rebooting your machine, so please close all applications first before selecting it. As an alternative you might restart your computer in a normal way. After you restart, start Active @ Disk Image and repeat the attempt to restore the disk image.
  • Force volume dismount — If you don't know what is preventing the partition from being locked, use force volume dismount. Keep in mind that all open file handles on the target disk will become invalid and the application that opened them might crash.
Disk Image software

Although force volume dismount will work in most cases, it will not allow exclusive access when you are restoring a disk image to a system partition disk or to a partition that is involved with system memory pagefiling.

If you are dealing with either of these two cases, you may run Active@ Disk Image from a bootable CD or start your computer in such a way that the target partition is not part of the operating system.

You can do this on a computer with multiple systems installed, by booting a different system or you can remove the target disk and install it into another computer where it will not be a system disk.