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Notes for My Restore: Why can't a 77G differential be restored onto the original drive?

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(I'm writing this because my first try at setting up for a Restore left me nowhere to Restore to. But the second pass, to write this tale, DID. Go figure. So if everything goes OK, this note will still be here, and you can ignore the rest. Thanks.)

I just want to roll my PC back to when a Windows Update killed my local network connection.

And yes, I've only spent a week with folks on two other Windows forums, learning about scannow, and scanfix and all the other tools to un-corrupt corrupted files that make Windows Restore refuse to, well, Restore.

So now I'd like to just use Acronis backups (one full, then differentials every week, on sched) to roll back to April 25th, the last time the backup worked, because I still had a local network then.

I had a lovely nightmare trying to get the backup files off an ext4-formatted drive, because Windows won't read that. (I write backups to a Synology NAS on the now-unconnectable network, so, fun...)

I had to change IPs to a static local pair, direct cable the NAS to the PC to get control of the NAS, which has no external head, and then copy files from the ext4 drive to an NTFS USB drive co0nnected to the NAS. Just the Full and the last/latest differential took 3hrs. Disconnect the USB, bring it to my PC, connect it, and this should be a set-and-forget, let it work while I sleep.

>Ha<

Full = 285G
4/25 diff = 92G
Free space on C: = 60G

Fire Up Acronis v11 Home, Restore Data Wizard, Backup Archive Selection...says the Full (7/2018) = 272.2G, and the one file, for 4/25/19 = 779.3G.

WTF?

I guess it's all the intervening files, most of which are long gone (this is differential, not incremental, so I should only need the Full and whichever differential I want).

Select the differential, now at Backup Date Selection. Lists the original and the last six differentials. I pick the latest one, from April 25, 2019. Click Next.

Restoration Type

Apparently, what I'm looking for isn't listed.

Restore disks or partitions
Sector-by-Sector Restoration
Restore specified files

What I want is "Drop the files in the differential over the ones on the PC"

What I get, if I choose Restore disks or partitions, is Partition or Disk to Restore:
Windows7_OS  Capacity 452.9GB  Free Space 77.51G  Type NTFS 
(I leave "MBR and Track 0" unchecked)

Click Next
"Analyzing partition C:"

Well, >huzzah!<

Just did this all again to be accurate, and damned if this time 'Restored Partition Location' actually has one line that's not grayed out.
First pass, every row, C:,  Lenovo_Recovery, and SYSTEM_DRV were all grayed out, = no place to do the recovery.

Restored Partition Type = Primary
Restored Partition Size = 0 before | 452.9 partition size | 0 after
 

Logical Drive Letter, left it at C (the default here)
Next Selection: Would I like to restore another? No, I do not (the default)
Restore Options:  Use Default options (the default here)

Ready to 'PROCEED', notes that a 'Reboot required' for operation 1 of 2.
Scary. Says Operation 1 of 2 will be 'Deleting partition'

Really would rather it was just "restoring from the backup", as that's what I want, a better version of the Windows Restore, which never 'deletes' a partition.
 

But this is what I paid for, and Acronis has saved my butt before, so here goes...

 

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Kelley, when you any recovery the first action will always be to wipe the target drive if you are recovering a disk & partitions backup image.

When you are recovering a backup version chain that includes a full plus differential (or incremental) files, then the full backup file plus the selected differential file are both needed and ATI will recover all the data from both files during the restore process, where you just need to point it to the desired differential.

It is recommended to start any OS disk recovery by using the Acronis Rescue Media rather than starting this from the Windows ATI application - the latter will require a reboot anyway to continue and will also modify the Windows boot configuration files in doing so.