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TI 2019 - Windows 10 v1903 UEFI/GPT Recovery With Standard TI Recovery Media Fails

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I have a brand new Sager NP6855 Windows 10 v1903 64-bit laptop. I have installed True Image 2019 and taken a Full backup. I always test a new hardware/True Image combination to make sure that True Image can restore a Full backup properly. I created standard (non WinPE) True Image 2019 rescue media and attempted to restore a Full True Image backup to a new 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD. The message from True Image that was loaded from the rescue media said that the restore completed successfully. However, when I rebooted the laptop, Windows 10 would not load. After a full day of experimentation I was able to get the restored Windows 10 Pro v1903 to boot by going into the Windows 10 Recovery Tools and running Startup Repair.

I prepared the 250GV M.2 NVMe drive using Diskpart. I configured the EXACT same partitions in the EXACT same order as in the production Windows 10 installation. I reduced the size of the operating system partition (C:) from 1,372 GB (1.3 TB) to 150 GB on the 250 GB M.2 NVMe drive, but all other partitions were kept the same size as their originals. I booted into UEFI mode from the UEFI BIOS so I know that there was no mixup between UEFI and MBR modes.

When I configured the laptop I PURPOSELY didn't install the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) driver. The reason is that I will not be doing RAID and will only ever use the disks on this laptop in ACHI mode. I've seen some discussion about needing the Intel RST driver in the Acronis backup, but I couldn't find anything definitive that pointed to a missing Intel RST driver as the reason that a True Image UEFI restore of WIndows 10 Pro v1903 would fail.

Do I need the Intel RST drive to be loaded on the production Windows 10 Pro v1903 system to make the standard True Image rescue media work properly? If not, any ideas as to what might be causing my problem?

Thanks In Advance For Your Help!

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#1

Bill, not sure why you have elected to use the non WinPE rescue media or not use the Intel RST for your NVMe M.2 SSD drive??

The Linux rescue media may not have correct support for NVMe M.2 drives and doesn't have any support for RAID.

Most NVMe M.2 drives use RAID via the Intel RST drivers for best performance, and this in turn requires use of the WinPE rescue media, ideally created from the Windows Recovery Environment files where the correct drivers will be found.

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#2

Thanks, Steve, for the quick response.  I didn't create WinPE rescue media because I was trying to avoid the time required to come up-to-speed on the Windows 10 v1903 ADK (and separate WinPE kit).  I guess I'm going to have to make that time investment.

How does the Intel RST driver increase the performance of an NVMe SSD?  I keep reading posts like this that indicate that if the computer is only being used in ACHI mode that the Intel RST driver adds overhead because of its service running in the background.  The use of the NVME SSD as a cache, at least in this post, seems unproven.

So, assuming that the Intel RST driver adds no value to an ACHI-only system, and I don't install it, does True Image still require using the WinPE rescue media to restore to NVMe SSDs?

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#3

Thanks, Steve, for the quick reply.  I created standard Linux rescue media because I was trying to avoid the time investment in coming up-to-speed on the Windows 10 v1903 ADK (and separate WinPE kit).  I used the ADK for Windows 7 and that took a lot of time to understand.

I keep reading posts like this that indicate that there is no advantage to using the Intel RST driver for systems that run in only ACHI mode (no RAID).  If you have experience using the Intel RST driver with NVMe SSDs that is different than this post, I would love to know what you have found.

Assuming that I don't use the Intel RST driver, do I still need to use WinPE rescue media when restoring to NVMe SSDs?  Is there something about NVMe SSDs vs. spinning hard disk drives that requires the use of WinPE rescue media?

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#4

Bill, you shouldn't need to install the Windows ADK in order to create the Acronis WinPE media as the Simple method of media creation will look for your Windows Recovery Environment and take the PE files from there if possible.

I am not an expert on explaining why using RAID (via Intel RST) for NVMe drives improves their performance but that is exactly how the PC manufacturers are configuring these drives.

I invested in a new HP Omen gaming laptop back in the summer that came with both an internal NVMe M.2 128GB SSD alongside a 1TB SATA drive, where Intel RST / RAID is used for the NVMe drive out of the box.  (I do not do any gaming but wanted the dual drive capability).

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#5

Thanks, Steve, for the info on using the Simple method of True Image WinPE rescue disc creation.  I'll give it a try and see if it works.  I REALLY appreciate not having to install and learn the Windows ADK!

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#6

Steve, I've invested about 3 days worth of time trying to understand how the True Image 2019 Rescue Media creation process works.  I now understand the following about the Rescue Media Builder application that is accessed via the "Tools" section in True Image 2019 and clicking "Advanced" then "WinPE-based media" :

  1. The 1st option creates a Windows 10 Recovery Environment Rescue Disc (from Recovery files)
  2. The 2nd option creates a Windows 10 WinPE Rescue Disc (requires the Windows 10 ADK)
  3. The 3rd option creates a Windows 7 WinPE Rescue Disc (requires the Windows 7 AIK)

The Windows 10 Recovery Environment is created from the files in the Windows 10 Recovery partition.  The Windows 10 and Windows 7 WinPE Rescue Disks are created from their respective Windows 10 and Windows 7 ADK/AIKs.  These Rescue Discs are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (that's obvious for the Windows 10 and Windows 7 WinPE Rescue Discs, but not so obvious for the Windows 10 Recovery Environment and Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 WinPE).

In our conversation above, I took your instruction:

"Bill, you shouldn't need to install the Windows ADK in order to create the Acronis
WinPE media as the Simple method of media creation will look for your Windows Recovery
Environment and take the PE files from there if possible."

When I used the Simple method and restored the Windows 10 v1903 partition, it wouldn't boot (as I described above).  So, I created a Recovery Environment Rescue Disc by selecting the "Windows Recovery Environment" option.  I went so far with this experiment as to inject the AHCI-only Microsoft storage drivers for HDD and NVME storage (which are both present on my laptop) into the the media creation process (using this True Image support forum post) I am not using the Intel RST driver (as mentioned above) so it wasn't injected.  When I booted my system after using the Windows Recovery Environment Rescue Disc it wouldn't boot and I was taken to the Recovery Environment where I ran "Startup Repair" which then allowed the computer to boot normally.

I have used True Image Rescue Discs since True Image 2008.  My experience has consistently been that after a Rescue Disc restore that the computer will boot correctly.  That's not happening for me so far.  For both the Simple and Advanced>WinPE Media>Windows Recovery Environment Rescue Discs the computer fails to boot and I am taken to the Windows 10 Recovery Environment where I can then run Startup Repair to get the computer to boot correctly.

Are the Simple and Recovery Environment Rescue Discs operating correctly?  By that I mean, am I supposed to be booted into the Recovery Environment with both of these Rescue Discs?  If that's the case, then am I correct that it is expected of the user that they will navigate to Startup Repair to fix the boot issue and that this is the expected process for the Simple and Recovery Environment Rescue Discs boot-after-recovery?  Or, are these Rescue Discs not operating as intended by Acronis?

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#7

Bill, it is normally only necessary to create one set of rescue media, which if using the Windows 10 ADK, should work on the majority of recent computers using Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 unless any specific device drivers are needed for a machine to boot correctly.

I have used the Windows 10 ADK on Windows 7 computers (installed on same).

Personally, when doing any recovery, I have not needed to go into Windows Startup Repair to get the systems to boot, and this is not my expectation that this should be needed after using any of the rescue media types.

See the following reference documents.

KB 59877: Acronis True Image: how to distinguish between UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot modes of Acronis Bootable Media

KB 61632: Acronis True Image 2019: how to create bootable media - for details of the 3 different types of rescue media.  Default Simple mode uses Windows Recovery Environment, then Advanced mode offers the older Linux media or Windows PE (using the Windows ADK).

KB 61621: Acronis True Image 2019: How to restore your computer with WinPE-based or WinRE-based media

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#8

So does the Advanced>Windows Recovery Environment option do the same thing as the Simple option except allow for driver injection?

Legend
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#9

Yes.

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#10

Perfect!  That clarification helps a LOT.  Thanks Steve.