Disk Image - Walkthrough

Backup using Disk Image

Create a Protected Item using the Disk Image backup type

  • Note: Using this Protected Item will incur an add-on charge and requires Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2, or later.

Select partitions for backup

Select any currently-attached drives or individual partitions from any drive for backup. It is possible to select “all drives” and exclude individual disks or partitions.

  • If there is any change to the partition structure of a drive, it will cause that drive to be recognized differently in Magnus Box. If such a drive is selected, Magnus Box will warn that the drive can no longer be found. You must reselect the drive and/or partitions.

Include unused disk sectors for forensic data recovery

Magnus Box will exclude unused space from the disk in the backup, but turning on this option will include any non-indexed and marked-as-deleted files in the free space. This could be used for forensic data recovery, but keep in mind that it will lengthen the backup time.

Restore Disk Image protected items

Restore options

The Restore wizard inside the Magnus Box app allows restoring of backed-up disks and partitions directly to physical disks and partitions, without requiring temporary spool space. Alternatively, it can be restored as virtual disk files.

  • Magnus Box stores the Disk Image files in VMDK format, from which single files can be extracted.

Restore to physical device(s)

In order to restore to physical hardware, the target disk or partition should be unmounted (not in use). Magnus Box may be able to do this automatically from within the currently booted OS if no programs are using the target drive (e.g. for a non-boot drive).

  • If the goal is to restore to the boot drive, first, reboot the PC into a recovery environment.
  • When restoring a smaller partition into a larger one, Magnus Box will automatically extend the restored filesystem to fill the target partition. Magnus Box does not support restoring a large backed-up partition into a smaller physical partition. The partition must be shrunk using the OS’s partition manager prior to performing the backup.

Restore from Windows boot environment

  1. Select a backed-up disk or partition to restore, from the left-hand column
  2. Select a target disk or partition to write to, from the right-hand column
  3. Click the Add to restore queue button
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 as necessary for other disks and partitions
  5. Click the Restore button to begin the restore job
  • The Edit function can be used to repartition the local drives using Windows Disk Management. After doing so, the Refresh function may be used to refresh the view of the local disks and partitions able to be selected for restore.

Restore from Linux boot environment

Steps to restore an entire disk, without spooling:

  1. Restore just the disk.vmdk file (without the data extents), and open it in a text editor in order to read the partition sizes.
  2. Recreate partitions to the exact target size
  3. Single partitions can be restored without any local spool disk, using the "Program Output" restore option, and selecting only a single partition file for restore: dd of=/dev/sdx1 bs=8M

Restore as virtual disk files

There is one plain text VMDK descriptor file containing metadata about the whole drive, plus separate raw image files for each partition’s extent on the disk. The plain text file is labeled disk.vmdk by default.

Partitions of the disk that were not selected for backup are represented as zero extents in the VMDK descriptor file. The effect of this is that the restored disk image will appear to have the full disk size, even if only a small amount of partitions inside it were selected. However, the zero extents will be compressed inside the Storage Vault.

The VMDK disk images may be restored, then, optionally, do one of the following:

  • Extract single files from them, or
  • Recover to a local virtual machine, or
  • Recover to a cloud server

Create USB Recovery Media

The Magnus Box desktop app supports the creation of USB Recovery Media from the wizard on the Settings screen.

This allows a user to boot from the USB device, type-in the username and password for the Magnus Box user profile, and make a full restoration from the backup onto the drive(s) of the connected PC. In this fashion, bare-metal restorations can be achieved.

The following options are available:

  • WinRE
  • Windows To Go


Selecting this option allows the creation of a minimal USB Recovery Media based on the Windows Recovery Environment.

Windows To Go

Selecting this option allows the creation of a full Windows boot environment.

Other boot environments

A recovery environment may also be created in other ways. Both Windows or Linux can be used as a suitable recovery environment. Some possible methods include:

  • creating a Linux bootable USB drive, or
  • using a third-party tool like Rufus to create a Windows-To-Go drive, or
  • using recovery media from your PC OEM vendor (e.g. Lenovo / Dell / HP)

In these cases, the Magnus Box app will need to be launched manually, once booted into the recovery environment.

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