Thought I would start keeping a running list of stupid things that I find myself forgetting.
In my last post I mentioned that I took an ImageX image of Dad's old system's hard drive. I still have yet to set it up in a virtual machine as I planned, but I didn't mention the hours it took to capture it.
I had my Win PE 2.0 boot disk with ImageX loaded.
I was using my 3G 40GB iPod connected via USB (1.0) to the system.
So far, so good...right?
The total drive capacity on his old system was about 20GB. Of that he probably had about 10-13GB in use with files. I have over 30GB free on the iPod.
So the first time I did the ImageX capture of his C: it failed after about 3-4 hours at 76% saying the drive was full.
I checked and there was tons of space on the iPod.
So I deleted some odd files off the C: that were not needed and tried again.
After about 3-4 hours (blame it on USB 1.0) it failed at about 85%, again reporting the disk was full.
I checked and there was still tons of space on the iPod.
So I cleaned more files off. This time (overnight) it got to 96% completed before failing, again reporting the disk was full.
Now I was getting irked. I've gotten quite good at work capturing images from multiple systems for deployments and never ran into this issue. What gives?
I had lost all the time I had budgeted to do the virtual image setup now. All I had left was time for one more capture attempt before Alvis and I had to return home from Tyler.
So this time I got really aggressive with the system cleaning and file cleanup. I uninstalled quite a number of unneeded applications from the old system, deleted downloaded installation files, cleaned out all the user's temp folders located in their profiles, deleted all the profile's cache files for IE and Firefox, and then a few more things. I managed to seriously remove some extra-fileage from the system.
This time I finally got a 100% capture of the image with no errors.
Strange. Still had tons of space on the iPod when done. The image file came in at about 3.6 GB.
It came to me Monday morning in the shower as I was getting ready for work (go figure, I have no idea why it usually works out that way).
It was actually pretty simple.
See, I had forgotten my iPod is formatted FAT32.
That means that the maximum single-file size is 4 GiB minus 1 Byte (232−1 bytes).
The image I was capturing kept hitting that limit, causing the ImageX file capture to error out saying the disk was out of space.
Had I been capturing the image to an NTFS formatted drive, it never would have happened. By my successive attempts at cleaning Dad's drive of extra files, I ended up reducing the image size enough to drop below the 4GB limit.
Could I have reformatted the iPod drive to NTFS?
Yes, but it would no longer work as an iPod: Apple Help: iPod no longer plays music after formatting or partitioning the hard disk
iPod only works (as a music player) when its hard disk is formatted for the appropriate platform using the Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus) or FAT32 formats. Do not reformat the disk using Mac OS Standard (HFS), New Technology File System (NTFS), or UNIX File System (UFS) formats.
Looks like I need to invest in a nice portable USB hard-drive and format the drive as NTFS just for imaging captures.
So how do I plan to get the image onto Dad's Virtual PC virtual hard drive?
I've been playing with various scenarios, but I think I will go easy. I plan on making a fresh Win PE2.0 boot disk, and besides copying ImageX onto it, I will also add-on the .wim file image I captured. Then I will create the ISO file with it all bundled together.
That way I just have to boot the virtual drive/system with the boot-ISO file I made, and simply apply the image contained in the ISO file to the drive.
I've done this at work for some of our system deployment images quite successfully. It does require use of a DVD instead of CD-R due to the .wim image size, but otherwise works quite nicely. Since I will be doing it all virtually (in Dad's case), the ISO file is all I need and I won't need to actually burn it to a physical DVD.
At work, I still prefer to use and image/deploy using WinPE 2.0 boot disk and a portable USB 2.0 drive for its speed and flexibility (over CD/DVD media), but despite the slower transfer rates from optical-media (versus USB 2.0 hard-drive), it presents a nice and flexible solution and allows team-members to make multiple copies of the image-deployment disk.