Acronis to the rescue
As reported in my previous post, I ran into a few problems when using “gparted” to move Windows partitions. Everything mostly worked after some Windows boot recovery, except that I would have to setup Windows boot manager again if I wanted it to boot my opensuse system.
Before using “gparted” I had made a backup of the Windows partitions using the Acronis True Image software. The backup was made with the 2014 version of Acronis. So I decided to try restoring Windows 7 from that Acronis backup.
I booted the Acronis recovery CD, and pointed it to the image it had made on an external drive. I had encrypted that backup, so I gave Acronis the encryption key. Then I proceeded to recover the three Windows partitions.
The partitions, all NTFS, were the main Windows partition, the recovery partition, and a data partition that I share with linux for exchanging files between the two operating systems.
The recovery went well. Windows 7 booted without any problem after the recovery. A “chkdsk /F” on the main Windows partition showed no problems following the recovery. I then copied the opensuse boot sector to the Windows file. And the Windows boot manager successfully booted opensuse with that.
I’m posting this mainly to give full credit to Acronis for their backup/imaging software.
In retrospect, I could have saved myself some trouble by just deleting the Windows partition, recreating them, then using an Acronis restore. It would have been easier and faster than using “gparted”.
How I use Acronis
I mainly use Acronis for stand-alone backups and restores. My wife is the big Windows user in our house, but I do the backups and occasional restores. I normally install Acronis only on one computer. I use that install to create an Acronis recovery CD. Then, to backup, I use the recovery CD to boot. That allows a clean backup when Windows is not running. And it allows a clean “bare metal” restore if I need to recover.
I do have enough Acronis licenses to cover all of the installed Windows systems. But I don’t try to match a particular version with a particular computer when doing backups and restores with the recovery CD.
I put the backups on an external drive. I currently am using three external drives, and I rotate between them.