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Acronis True Image 2017 and Microsoft Surface Pro 4?

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Forum Member
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Hi,

I have read on this forum that previous versions of ATI has had some issues with MS Surface Pro 4. So now I wonder if it would be possible to install some software on my Surface Pro 4, and then, in order to be able to recover the Surface to the state with the software installed, avoiding to have to re-install all the software again, make a complete image of the Surface Pro system (including the newly installed software) with ATI 2017, and put that image on a bootable USB-drive of some sort?

So basically I want to do this:

1. Install some software on my newly purchased Surface Pro 4

2. Make an image of the system with ATI 2017

3. Store that image on a bootable USB-Drive

4. If disaster strikes, boot the Surface pro to the USB-drive with the image including my installed software, and get it back to the state before the disaster

So if any of you has tried this with ATI 2017 and Surface Pro 4, I would be glad to hear your experiences! Thanks!

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Posts: 19
Comments: 2110

#1

Dawo:

Microsoft's Windows 10 has some built-in tools that can do this. You can create a recovery drive and then use it later to restore the PC. This article describes the process: http://www.howtogeek.com/131907/how-to-create-and-use-a-recovery-drive-… (the article applies to both Windows 8 and 10).

Alternatively, imaging software like ATI 2017 can do this. ATI comes with tools to create a bootable media application that can restore saved images. You do not even need to install the full program on your Surface 4, just download a copy of the bootable recovery media from your account on the Acronis web site. Put the bootable media on a bootable UEFI flash drive and then use the flash drive to boot the PC. It may be convenient for you to have available a USB expander so that you have more than one USB port available when doing the restore.

I've tried both methods on my Surface 3 and they work. The limitation of the Microsoft method is that it depends on your disk being in good working order and on the necessary files for restoration being in place. It can recover from a corrupted Windows installation but cannot recover if your disk goes belly-up. The advantage of ATI is that it can do a bare-metal recovery if your disk goes bad and needs to be replaced. But replacing the Surface SSD is not an easy thing to do so it's likely that you'd need to send the unit back to Microsoft for repairs. But after repairs you could then restore your image file and have back all of your data, programs, and settings.

Forum Hero
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#2

It is also possible to recover your system using a recovery drive as Mark suggest along with a Provisioning Package which will allow you to bring along with the Windows 10 OS all your installed programs.  See the link below for details on this:

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/11769-provisioning-package-create-w…

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22904

#3

DAWO, you should be able to do what you want with regard to backing up your Surface Pro 4 so that you have a platform from which to recover it should a worse case scenario be encountered.

The steps that you should take are as follows:

  1. Install ATIH 2017 and use this initially from within Windows to create a backup image to an external backup drive.  This will give you some confidence that the application can see all the partitions on the Surface Pro 4 internal drive(s).
  2. Install the Windows 10 ADK and then create the Acronis bootable Rescue Media on a spare USB stick (1GB minimum to 32GB max size).  I would recommend using the MVP Tool - CUSTOM ATI WINPE BUILDER and take the option to include the default provided IRST drivers.
  3. Test that you can boot successfully from the USB Rescue Media and confirm that you can still see all your internal Surface Pro 4 drive(s), plus can see your external backup drive when this is connected.  Check also that your keyboard and mouse work normally when using the bootable media.
  4. Assuming that the tests at step 3. are successful, then make a full disk & partitions image of the Surface Pro 4 to your external backup drive.

Note:  

DAWO wrote:
 Store that image on a bootable USB-Drive

USB drives are not bootable under normal circumstances, Microsoft do not permit Windows to be booted from an external drive (unless you purchase their Enterprise edition of Windows and use their Windows to Go app).  Bootable USB drives normally need to be formatted as FAT32 and use either Linux or WindowsPE.  It is better to keep the USB bootable Rescue Media separate to your USB external backup drive, though if you are limited on the number of USB ports available, then you may need to use a USB Dock or powered Hub.  

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#4

WinPE is the key.  It's not that Acronis can't handle the Surface Pro 4, it's that the default LInux recovery media doesn't have drivers to support the touch interface and some of the other hardware that is specifically designed to only run with Windows, and therefore requires Windows Drivers.  And using our MVP winpe tool, also injects IRST drivers which are likely needed for any system that has an NVME PCIE hard drive these days as most are being set to use RAID as the SATA mode in the bios (even when there's only 1 drive).

Once the WinPE is created, if you can boot it and see the internal hard drive, you're good to go.  And if you have issues with touch screen or the Surface keyboard, then grab a USB hub and plug in a usb keyboard/mouse (I use a logitech unifying wireless usb mouse/keyboard combo and it works just fine with WinPE and even the default Linux rescue media). 

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#5

And if you download the Surface Driver Pack from Microsoft https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/surface/deploy-the-latest-fir… and incorporate the drivers into your WinPE build then you can also get pen and touch support working in the WinPE recovery environment. It's worth the extra effort.

Forum Member
Posts: 10
Comments: 18

#6

Thank you all for your kind contributions! That really helped a lot.

I have now purchased ATI 2017, but to be sure I would be most grateful if you could clarify a couple of things.

1. Some of you recommended the WinPE as the key "ingredient" to what I am trying to do. As I understand it, this is not an Acronis tool, but a software I will put on a USB flash drive in order to boot the Surface Pro 3?

2. I clicked on the link that Steve provided, and there seemed to be TWO versions, one basic and one advanced. I read the Read Me-file, and from my limited understanding it seems that I would be OK with the Basic version?

3. From what I have read, and think I understand, the procedure would be:

a. Download and install ATI 2017 onto the Surface Pro.

b. Download the WinPE bat-files and run this?

c. Save the resulting bootable environment on a USB flash drive (Should it be prepared in any way? And is there any requirements of the USB flash drive make/model/USB 2 or 3??)

d. Run ATI 2017 and make an image of Surface Pro 3 and put the image file on a separete USB disc or large USB flash drive?

e. In case of disaster, boot with the USB flash drive that has the WinPE-environment on it. And at some point in the process switch to the USB device with the image on it?

f. Restore

If I have misunderstod anything I would very much appreicate your comments and suggestions!

Regards,

 

Dag

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#7