[Solved] Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

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[Solved] Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby ronald739 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:42 am

Hello,

Am i able to make a image of my Hard Disk with ZipMagic installed using LZS90 compression (DoubleSpace 3) ?

I'm using Win 10 x64 CU.

Below is screenshots of my partitions

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Capture 1.PNG
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Using a Partitioning program it shows as Unallocated Space.

Capture 4.PNG
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Using the Imaging program, note the C Partition

Image

As I'm new to ZipMagic any help would be appreciated.

Regards.
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby admin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:58 pm

Thank you! First, it seems your AOMEI partition manager is completely incompatible with the GPT partition layout that is in use by newer Windows releases.

As you can see, Macrium Reflect (which we are rather fond of here, not in the least because they `borrowed` our rebooting technology) does correctly display your GPT drive partitions, just as Windows Disk Management does - although, hmm, Macrium does seem to have a bug with displaying your used space on your C: drive, perhaps due to the Bitlocker encryption.

Using ZIPmagic DoubleSpace, you can image your boot drive (Drive C:) easily - just compress (or recompress) your disk, and then copy the hidden ZIPmagic.WIM file found on the root of your drive (c:\ZIPmagic.WIM) to any external media. This counts as your image! :D

You can then restore this image anywhere else you like, all you need to do is install ZIPmagic on your target PC, attach your external disk with ZIPmagic.WIM in the root of the external drive (ex: e:\ZIPmagic.WIM), fire up ZIPmagic DoubleSpace, and choose Clone | Restore | Restore Compressed (or even, if you prefer to restore uncompressed, Clone | Restore | Restore Uncompressed). Of course, this does require that a working copy of Windows is present on the target PC - or you will be unable to run ZIPmagic at all (as it does not offer a bootable USB option).

Even if the hardware you are restoring to is dissimilar, your exact imaged version of Windows will boot up and recognize your newer drivers, while retaining your existing apps, documents, settings and configuration - which is a great time saver, of course!

Another interesting option in ZIPmagic DoubleSpace is System Refresh, which instantly reverts your PC to the exact state it was in the last time you had compressed (or recompressed) it. This is great as a method to protect against malware or accidental changes you may have made to your system, including deleting vital apps/files, or installing undesired apps/files which may have compromised your system in any way you may not like. Think of it as a one-step-backwards insurance for your system, directly on board, without requiring external media.

That is the extent of disk imaging functionality available in ZIPmagic.

If you cannot find any of the menu options I have described, please keep in mind that you need to click the chevron next to the very large Compress (or Recompress) button in ZIPmagic DoubleSpace to access the drop-down menu I have described here. In case you are unclear what this is, the very large button has a vertical divider on the right hand side with a small down arrow in the rightmost section of the very large button (called a chevron); this is what you need to click.

You cannot create or manage partitions in ZIPmagic.

Of course, with some creative timing, and using the chevron menu, you could still edit partitions while ZIPmagic DoubleSpace is processing your disk in its offline processing mode (after it restarts Windows to compress your disk and you have chosen ZIPmagic DoubleSpace from the boot menu):

1) ZIPmagic DoubleSpace always checks your disk before processing, so click "Cancel" before the disk check is complete (the very large compress/recompress button changes into a Cancel button during processing).

2) After cancelling, use the chevron menu to launch a command line window, using the Command Line menu item.

3) Run diskpart on the command line. You would need to consult Microsoft documentation for guidance with using this command line disk partitioning tool.

*** VERY IMPORTANT: Drive letters may have been re-arranged when you rebooted into the exclusive processing mode, so pay close attention to the most up-to-date drive letters in diskpart. For example, what used to be drive C: may now appear as drive D:, etc. ZIPmagic DoubleSpace automatically takes this into account during processing, so an easy way to tell which drive is the real drive C: is to check which drive ZIPmagic DoubleSpace was compressing in the ZIPmagic DoubleSpace window. ***

***** EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If you will be deleting the partition where you are booting from (for example, drive C:, or drive D: if drive letters were re-arranged), make sure you have a backup copy of ZIPmagic.WIM on another disk, or you *will* lose all your data! *****

4) Resume processing with ZIPmagic DoubleSpace after you have made your changes.

You would be able to edit all your partitions successfully using the above method, because in this exclusive processing mode for ZIPmagic DoubleSpace, the main Windows operating system itself is not running, so no files or partitions could possibly be locked (which would otherwise be the case when you're running diskpart from within your main Windows operating system session).
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby ronald739 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:46 pm

Thanks for the informative and detailed reply.

I have done as you have explained and made a copy of "c:\ZIPmagic.WIM" on external media.

The reason i asked about imagining was after using one of the functions of Zipmagic was that my system would not boot (endless cycle of attempting boot repair), this was probably due to my inexperience of the functions of Zipmagic. Not a 100% percent sure but i believe it may have been using the optimize or tune function.
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby admin » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:42 pm

It is very unlikely ZIPmagic would corrupt your disk in the manner you have described.

The Tune function simply changes the ratio at which your disk is projected to grow (ex: a ratio of 2.0:1 would, in your case, grow your disk capacity from 29.12 GB to 58.24 GB). It is completely unrelated to the boot process.

The Optimize function simply runs ZIPmagic DriveSpace. ZIPmagic DoubleSpace also automatically invokes ZIPmagic DriveSpace after completing its offline processing, while still in the offline processing mode - helping it optimize files locked by Windows. Since it does sound like you completed offline processing successfully, your computer would have failed to boot immediately, if the Optimize function was the culprit.

I am therefore thinking some other third party software may be to blame. Please don't hesitate to let me know if you find out differently, or simply have any further information to share. Don't hesitate to run the Tune and Optimize functions again to be sure.

Thank you!
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby ronald739 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:44 am

It definitely was one of the functions in the below attachment. But as mentioned i cannot remember which one. I tried this 5 times and reinstalled Windows 5 times.

Capture.PNG
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I am therefore thinking some other third party software may be to blame. Please don't hesitate to let me know if you find out differently, or simply have any further information to share. Don't hesitate to run the Tune and Optimize functions again to be sure.[


I have noticed the AV program (Avast) I'm using does not seem seem to like ZipMagic. Most of the time it wants to run a quick scan before ZipMagic is opened. The first time i used your program it was initially locked by the AV "CyberCapture" for about 4 Hr's.

Also i may have a corrupt install as i run FRST today i found the errors below in the log.

Code: Select all
CodeIntegrity:
===================================
  Date: 2017-09-10 17:40:15.899
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-10 17:40:10.680
  Description: Code Integrity is unable to verify the image integrity of the file \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll because the set of per-page image hashes could not be found on the system.

  Date: 2017-09-10 17:37:51.317
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-10 00:21:13.245
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Microsoft signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-10 00:21:13.067
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Microsoft signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-10 00:05:02.120
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-09 23:50:05.705
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-09 23:31:19.223
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-09 23:31:19.211
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.

  Date: 2017-09-09 23:31:19.099
  Description: Code Integrity determined that a process (\Device\HarddiskVolume4\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) attempted to load \Device\HarddiskVolume4\Program Files (x86)\Simon King\ZIPmagic 16\Applications\Toolbox\HookDiskSize64.dll that did not meet the Windows signing level requirements.


Next time before i do a fresh install of Windows i will try the above functions and let you know the findings. I'm happy with your program as it has done what i required of it and will try many of the other functions that it has as well.
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby admin » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:44 pm

Wow, if you have done this five times already, maybe a sixth time wouldn't be too much to ask - I would love your help, so that I may fix the issue for all users of the product - assuming the issue is in ZIPmagic.

How did you obtain the log you pasted? All of the reports in the log point to ZIPmagic's disk free space projection driver. But your disk already appears larger, so the free disk space driver is actually working properly! Another mystery to solve.

It is disappointing to hear of A/V software causing problems with ZIPmagic. I would encourage you to contact your A/V vendor and escalate the false positive directly. You cannot blame them for being too careful in this day and age, but it helps to prevent the nuisance for others.

See if you can fully exclude ZIPmagic from your A/V. Unfortunately, even this may not be enough sometimes. A/V's can have buggy drivers, which remain active even when you, for example, exclude a file or folder from automatic scanning. These bugs would still be triggered for as long as the driver is loaded. Maybe there is a malicious kind of interference with an A/V driver that could be causing the grave failures you have described. Locking for 4 hours is truly ridiculous, and the failure to boot sounds like more of the same `cure worse than the disease` issue.
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby ronald739 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:47 am

How did you obtain the log you pasted? All of the reports in the log point to ZIPmagic's disk free space projection driver. But your disk already appears larger, so the free disk space driver is actually working properly! Another mystery to solve.


Here is the link below from the tool that i got log from:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downlo ... scan-tool/

It is mainly a forensics and malware removal tool.

Link on how how to use and options on using the tool:

http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/33 ... scan-tool/

Note: Save the tool as "Save As" to the Desktop. If you get the same "Code Integrity" errors that i had they will be in the 2'nd half of the addition Txt, as most of the other entries i "Snipped".

Wow, if you have done this five times already, maybe a sixth time wouldn't be too much to ask - I would love your help, so that I may fix the issue for all users of the product - assuming the issue is in ZIPmagic.


No worries, After this post and checking out i have nothing to back up on this system i will give it another go. This time i will disable the AV I'm using.
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby ronald739 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:11 am

OK, after disabling my AV permanently (reboot) and with Win Defender disabled.

I started with "Check Disk" and no problems. Also after a reboot my system started as normal.

No.2.PNG
No.2.PNG (144.02 KiB) Viewed 563 times


Next tried "Report", and my system after a reboot started as normal.

No.3.PNG
No.3.PNG (137.96 KiB) Viewed 563 times


After trying "Optimize" which i believe run "Dive Space" (No Report or Screenshot) and did complete, and upon reboot i run into:

  • Preparing Automatic Repair
  • Diagnosing Your PC
  • Attempting Repairs
  • Automatic Repair Couldn't Repair your Computer

I will leave the system as is for now in case you may need some log files, as I'm on another system now. If so please send instructions on how you would like this to be done.

==============

Suggestion

There maybe already one (have not found) and could take time, manpower and server space, but would it be at all possible to have a online help file (I know there is one in the program) for people that use smaller screen computers that would be easier to read on larger monitors.

Regards.

Edit Spelling Error
ronald739
 
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby admin » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:52 am

ronald739 wrote:
How did you obtain the log you pasted? All of the reports in the log point to ZIPmagic's disk free space projection driver. But your disk already appears larger, so the free disk space driver is actually working properly! Another mystery to solve.


Here is the link below from the tool that i got log from:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downlo ... scan-tool/

It is mainly a forensics and malware removal tool.

Link on how how to use and options on using the tool:

http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/33 ... scan-tool/

Note: Save the tool as "Save As" to the Desktop. If you get the same "Code Integrity" errors that i had they will be in the 2'nd half of the addition Txt, as most of the other entries i "Snipped".

Wow, if you have done this five times already, maybe a sixth time wouldn't be too much to ask - I would love your help, so that I may fix the issue for all users of the product - assuming the issue is in ZIPmagic.


No worries, After this post and checking out i have nothing to back up on this system i will give it another go. This time i will disable the AV I'm using.


Great, this looks like an interesting tool!

I'll be sure to check it out, but I ask for your understanding that I cannot contact every third party raising a false positive with ZIPmagic.

If you are already a member of their community, perhaps you could escalate this false positive to them directly?

The errors/warnings it raises with the ZIPmagic free disk space projection driver seemed legitimate enough to worry even me! :lol:

As you know though, the disk free space projection driver is working properly - Windows is *seeing* the bigger drive...
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Re: Imaging and Partitioning with ZipMagic

Postby admin » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:59 am

ronald739 wrote:OK, after disabling my AV permanently (reboot) and with Win Defender disabled.

I started with "Check Disk" and no problems. Also after a reboot my system started as normal.

No.2.PNG


Next tried "Report", and my system after a reboot started as normal.

No.3.PNG


After trying "Optimize" which i believe run "Dive Space" (No Report or Screenshot) and did complete, and upon reboot i run into:

  • Preparing Automatic Repair
  • Diagnosing Your PC
  • Attempting Repairs
  • Automatic Repair Couldn't Repair your Computer

I will leave the system as is for now in case you may need some log files, as I'm on another system now. If so please send instructions on how you would like this to be done.

==============

Suggestion

There maybe already one (have not found) and could take time, manpower and server space, but would it be at all possible to have a online help file (I know there is one in the program) for people that use smaller screen computers that would be easier to read on larger monitors.

Regards.

Edit Spelling Error


OK, the thing I don't get here is - you've already run ZIPmagic DoubleSpace 3 successfully by this point, at least once, right?

ZIPmagic DoubleSpace 3 always automatically invokes ZIPmagic DriveSpace 7 (the `optimizer` in the screenshot you sent), and it invokes this while processing your disk *offline* - while Windows itself is not running (so it can access all your locked files and process them too).

So *assuming* ZIPmagic DriveSpace 7 compresses some files it *shouldn't* be compressing, it would be doing so while invoked by ZIPmagic DoubleSpace 3 (running offline) as well. In fact, it would compress *even more* of those files while running offline, since all your files would be accessible in this special processing stage that also runs ZIPmagic DoubleSpace 3.

But you are reporting problems only *after* this step has already executed successfully. ZIPmagic DriveSpace 7 always compresses *fewer* files while running from within Windows (the `optimize` operation), so how could it then break things which didn't break before?

See my conundrum? I would love to get to the bottom of this...

When you are reinstalling Windows, would you be able to immediately install ZIPmagic after reinstalling *just the OS*, and then running ZIPmagic DoubleSpace 3 to fully compress your disk immediately after the OS is installed?

Then, when that finishes (which will also automatically run ZIPmagic DriveSpace 7), and you're back in Windows, *again before installing any other third party software*, please choose the `Optimize` function, and let me know if it still renders your PC unbootable! I'm pretty sure it won't, as that wouldn't make logical sense (but I'm keeping an open mind here, all the same).

It sounds like you're installing a lot of low-level third parties on your system...and this would be the only way to find out if any of them are accountable for this very unusual boot failure which appears to defy logic.

If you *are* able to reproduce the issue even on a vanilla Windows installation on your same hardware, please also let me know:

1) Your exact Windows version
2) Whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit
3) Whether you are running the latest ZIPmagic version (downloaded fresh from the website) or an earlier build
4) Whether you are running the consumer or the server edition

And I will escalate this internally for further investigation. Thanks so much for your patience once again! :)
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