Are backups using DISM reliable?


TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
1:53 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
Hello community!

This topic was actually raised in the comments section of multiple posts, but unfortunately got no response. So making a post with the hope of finding answers.

BACKGROUND

Problem 1


My internal disk had a dual boot setup, one Windows 10 and another Windows 11.

Last week I got my new Crucial MX500. I partitioned it according to my liking. Booted into Recovery and created an install.wim file for both the OS using DISM. I then applied them to the partitions on the new disk. I also configured the EFI partition properly.

When I tried to boot, the disk only booted from the Windows 10 partition and with Windows 11, I got a black/ blank screen that did nothing. Also, Windows 11 on the old (internal) disk did not boot via USB, even though it boots fine if connected directly to the SATA port.

So I booted into Windows 10 (on the new disk), installed Macrium Reflect and cloned the Windows 11 partition from my old disk to the new disk. Now Windows 11 booted fine from the new disk, i.e. I successfully migrated all my data from the old disk to the new disk.

Can someone tell me why Windows 11 didn't boot? DISM was able to create and apply the image successfully without errors, yet the device didn't boot.


Problem 2

I wanted to create a custom ISO of Windows 11 where a lot of settings have already been configured, my favourite apps pre-installed and configured, and also with all necessary drivers installed to make the image bootable from an external disk even on a Mac.

I used Sysprep for this purpose. The 1st 3 images are perfectly fine and bootable (even from external disk, and even on a Mac). Image 2 is basically image 1 with some additional programs and image 3 is image 2 plus some more programs. With image 4 (which is image 3 plus some additional programs/ tweaks) onwards, the system doesn't boot from an external disk. It boots fine from the internal disk.

Can someone tell me what's wrong with image 4?

More importantly, why did the DISM image of Windows 11 refuse to boot? I got no errors during creation or application of the image as both commands completed successfully. In fact, I used the same image to boot a VM, and it boots somewhat fine. I'm saying somewhat because the VM doesn't show the usual Windows 11 logo during boot. It boots directly from EFI. I have to check the option Enable EFI (special OSes only) in VirtualBox settings. I don't have to check that to boot my Windows 10 VM. But once booted, everything works perfectly fine.

My guess is it has something to do with the current Windows 11 image that I am using (image 4). Sysprep Generalized probably did not work the way it should, or there is some limit on how many times a system can be Sysprep Generalized, or there is some other reason. I am interested in knowing what exactly causes this kind of a behaviour.

Hoping to find an answer this time!

Thanks.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

pparks1

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
4:23 AM
Posts
321
OS
Windows 11 Pro
What command are you using to capture the image? Is it something like this?
Dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:"D:\Images\FWin10Backup.wim" /CaptureDir:C:\ /Name:Win10Backup
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.

geneo

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
4:23 AM
Posts
1,135
OS
Windows 11 Pro x64
Windows never had an internal robust and reliable backup solution. I imagine that is why they got out of that space and reliable third party backup solutions like Macrium and others are popular and thrive.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DIY
    CPU
    10900KF, 5.1 GHz all-core, delid
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus Hero XIII Wifi
    Memory
    32GB G.skill TridentZ RGB 3200CL14 B-die @ 4100CL16
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus ROG Strix 2070 Super A8G
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio, Vanatoo Transparent One; Klipsch R-12SWi Sub
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo CG2730, ViewSonic VP2768
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p x 2
    Hard Drives
    WDC SN850 1TB (OS+), Samsung 980 1TB (games), Raid 0: 1TB 850 EVO + 1TB 860 EVO. Sabrent USB-C DS-SC5B docking station: 6TB WDC Black, 6TB Ironwolf Pro; 2TB WDC Black
    PSU
    750W Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium Plus
    Case
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 dark tint glass
    Cooling
    EK-AIO 360 D-RGB w/Phanteks T30-120 fans, Noctua NF-A14 Chromax case fan
    Keyboard
    Glorious GMMK TKL - Brown mechanical, lubed modded
    Mouse
    Logitech G305 wireless gaming
    Internet Speed
    238 Mb/s down, 12 Mb/s up
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender, Macrium Reflect 8 ;-)
    Other Info
    Logitech C920e Webcam (crap don't buy)
  • Operating System
    Mac OS Monterey
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple 13" Macbook Pro 2020 (m1)
    CPU
    M1
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2560x1600

cereberus

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
9:23 AM
Posts
2,046
OS
Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
Windows never had an internal robust and reliable backup solution. I imagine that is why they got out of that space and reliable third party backup solutions like Macrium and others are popular and thrive.
Agreed. Creating an iso backup using dism is slow and overkill for average domestic user. Its primary function is for companies who want to deploy a specific setup across lots of devices (using tools like reflect would require expensive commercial licences).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:53 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
What command are you using to capture the image? Is it something like this?
Dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:"D:\Images\FWin10Backup.wim" /CaptureDir:C:\ /Name:Win10Backup
Yes.

Creating the image:

dism /capture-image /imagefile:E:\install.wim /capturedir:H:\ /ScratchDir:E:\Scratch /name:"Name of the image" /description:"Description of the image" /compress:maximum /checkintegrity /verify /bootable

Applying the image:

dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.wim /index:1 /applydir:Z:

The location/ paths are modified as per requirement.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:53 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
Windows never had an internal robust and reliable backup solution. I imagine that is why they got out of that space and reliable third party backup solutions like Macrium and others are popular and thrive.
This is definitely something to do with the image of Windows 11 that I Sysprep generalized multiple times. As mentioned in OP, the 1st 3 images as well as Windows 10 image boots fine internally (directly connected to SATA port), externally via USB, and also on a Mac.

But image 4 boots only when connected internally (from the SATA port). It refuses to boot via USB as well as on the Mac. It, however, also boots on a VM.

Want to understand what causes this kind of a behaviour.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:53 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
UPDATE ON WIN11 IMAGE 4

After playing around with the VM and (not actually) messing a few things up, I restored the full registry from my host to the guest.

When I rebooted, I got the exact same error (BSOD) that I was getting when booting via USB:

STOPCODE: Inaccessible Boot Device

I don't know how VirtualBox managed to boot previously. I have shutdown and restarted the VM several times without problem. But after restoring the host registry, it gave me the exact same error as before.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Top Bottom