Restore on larger hard disk changed disk size

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by PatrickR, Mar 3, 2007.

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  1. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member


    After multiple failed attempts to use the clone functionality to migrate my partitions to a new (larger) disk I decided to create an image of the whole old disk and write it to the new disk. This worked but now the new disk reports the wrong size i.e. the size of the old disk.

    Even after resetting the mbr from linux using
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
    and rebooting the reported size is still wrong.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    When you restore the image, don't check the "Disk 1" check box. Instead, just select the first partition and proceed through the wizard. This will allow you to change the partition size. At another step it will ask if you want to restore another partition. Select Yes and select the next partition. Continue through the wizard until all the partitions are selected and sized how you want. Finally select the MBR and restore that then proceed completely through the final steps of the wizard (select No you don't want to restore any more partitions).
  3. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

    The details that Mudcrab referred to are here
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    When you look in Disk Management, is there Unallocated Space to account for the remainder of the space? Or is the HD appearing to be smaller than its original size. I'm guessing you mean the second choice.

    Is this a Dell laptop?
  5. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member

    I will do that as soon as my hdd is reporting the correct size again.

    The reported disk size is about 100GB which is the size of the old disk. The new disk's nominal size is 200GB which was reported before restoring the image.

    And yes, this is a dell inspiron 9400.

  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

  7. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

    Patrick here's an alternative method to gain back the missing space:

    Make the bootable Rescue CD and boot with it.
    From it's menu choose Manage Acronis Secure Zone and Create one of any size within the size of the missing space.
    Once it has been created go right back in to Manage Acronis Secure Zone and delete the SZ. You'll get a screen asking if you want to allocate the unused space to the existing partition (or words to that effect). Agree to it.
    Exit out of the program, remove the CD and reboot your system.
  8. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member

    Thank you very much for pointing me to the thread. The only possible solution seems to be the mhdd. Unfortunately using rhpa from mhdd did not work for me even though mhdd reports about 200,000,000 as the current lba count and about 400,000,000 as the native lba count. Any further ideas?

    That didnt work and to be honest I already expected that because it's very unlikely that Acronis sees any additional space where various Linux and Windows utilities dont.

  9. stansil

    stansil Registered Member

    Patrick, I'm having the same exact problem and am also looking for a solution. I tried the NHPA command from MHDD but this didn't help. There doesn't seem to be any easy way to recover that space. Has anyone heard anything from the Acronis people about this problem?
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    Was the old HD in your laptop when you created the image?

    Was the new HD in your laptop when you restored the image?

    Did you see GroverH's post in the other thread?
  11. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member


    Here's my solution:

    1. Remove HPA
    Use the "Hitachi Feature Tool" to create an iso image, boot it and choose "Features" -> "Set capacity", then "Options" -> "Maximum Capacity". It worked pretty well on my Toshiba hard disk. Other manufacturers offer similar tools. MHDD ( and its "NHPA" option should also do the trick. Make sure to power cycle the notebook before removing HPA.

    2. Make sure the Dell Utility does not reactivate HPA
    I found out that the Dell Utility (The blue bar on top saying "repairs" HPA at each boot. So we are in need of a way to boot our Windows without it. The possible ways are:
    * Completely clear the partition and reinstall Windows
    * Install a boot loader to boot Windows without the Dell Utility
    I chose the second way: Remove the 4th partition (around 5GB) and create a new one for Linux. In Linux choose the boot loader of your choice and configure it to boot Windows. Note: To avoid confusing Windows do not change the partition order.

  12. stansil

    stansil Registered Member


    Using your directions, I've got the ball to the net but could use a little more of your help. I was able to recover the full size of my HD (160) using the Hitachi Feature Tool but as you said, when I reboot and that blue bar comes up everything reverts back to the old 100 gig size. I prever you 2nd solution so I don't have to reload windows but need a little help regarding the Linux partition. Can you give me some details on how to load Linux and the boot loader into that 5 gb partition? BTW, what if I just delete that partition and don't put anything in it? Would that work?

    Thanks in advance and good job solving this problem. I've been obsessing about this for days.
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Patrick, great work. This will be of help to Dell laptop owners facing that HPA problem.

    Regarding the blue Dell bar at the top of the screen. I can't find the page at the moment but Dan Goodell says this is an indication that you have the Dell MBR (customized boot code). I've imaged and restored my partitions to a new HD and I no longer have that blue bar.


    Which indicates there is specific code in Absolute Sector 3 as well.
  14. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member


    what I did is installing Debian. Debian allows you to repartition your hard disk during the installation using cfdisk, an easy to use tool. What I did is removing the 5GB partition and creating a new 15GB one. I used is as Linux root ("/") and installed Linux in it. During the installation Debian automatically detecs the Windows Partition and installs the grub boot loader in the mbr. After the restart you get a boot menu where you can select either Linux or Windows.

    After the Installation I booted into Windows and used Disk Director to resize the 78MB Partition to 2GB to be able to use it as the Linux Swap partition. Note: This Partion shouldn't be deleted otherwise Windows won't boot.

    I don't think so because the blue bar seems to be in the mbr as stated by Brian.

    By the way: If you just install a new hard disk and use MudCrab's method of recovering the image you will never run into problems because the dell mbr will never be installed on the new disk.

  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    I think MudCrab was proposing to restore the Dell MBR. But because the partitions had been resized to use up all the HD space, the HPA shouldn't expand and cause trouble.

    Patrick, I'm not clear what would happen if you just removed the HPA with MHDD and then booted to Windows with 100 GB of Unallocated Space. Are you suggesting that the Dell MBR re-creates the HPA and you are back to square one? If so, what would happen if you created a partition from that 100 GB of Unallocated Space prior to booting to Windows?
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Another workaround could be NOT to tick Restore MBR and Track 0 when restoring your image. I can't recall if you have this choice when cloning. If you don't tick Restore MBR then TI creates a generic MBR and the Dell MBR is not present on the new HD. The OS still boots.
  17. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member

    Yes according to my tests this is what happens.

    That is what I meant by MudCrab's idea but after reading his post again It seems that his idea was a different one.

    I don't think that would work because the OS will correct faulty partitions including those with start and end sectors that are higher than the maximum sector of the hard disk.

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Patrick, thanks for sharing your research about this problem. I'm interested in how it could have happened. The other two posters here restored/cloned with the new HD not in the destination computer. Would you mind outlining how you did your final image/restore?
  19. PatrickR

    PatrickR Registered Member


    Ofc. I created a full disk image with TI9 while the old disk was still in the notebook. Then I restored the full (selecting whole disk at restore) image on the new disk which was attached in an external USB case.

    After that I invested the hours of reasearch and finally the steps of resetting the MPA and replacing the MBR with Linux' boot loader grub.

    For me it is very clear what happened. The new disk received the old Dell mbr and on the first boot activated MPA.

  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Patrick, should we be seeing this situation with all Dell laptops when the owner images/clones to a larger HD and copies over the Dell MBR? Sounds logical but we've had no reports of this until the last week.
  21. dg1261

    dg1261 Registered Member

    I'm not a TI user, but I can tell you about the Dell MBR and HPA. This problem will occur when cloning any Dell computer with a HPA. The only Dells using a HPA are Inspiron laptops with factory-installed MediaDirect 2. (FTR, current Dell laptops are shipping with MD 3, which does not use a HPA.)

    PatrickR has correctly identified the problem as the Dell MBR, and it will occur anytime you instruct TI to copy track-0 as part of the cloning operation. The Dell MBR (in Sector LBA-0) uses extended boot code in Sector LBA-3. Here is precisely how the MBR works.

    When the machine is off, pressing the power button turns the computer on. Pressing the MediaDirect button instead turns the computer on and additionally sets a bit in the bios cmos registers. The computer proceeds through its POST (Power-On Self Test), then turns to the hard disk and MBR to determine what to do next:
    • 1. Begin code in LBA-0. This tests if code exists in LBA-3. If not, skip to step 6. If yes, continue with step 2. (Code in LBA-3 means the system is equipped with MD).

    • 2. Begin code in LBA-3. This tests whether the MD bit in the cmos is set. If not, skip to step 4. If yes, continue with step 3. (The MD bit tells whether or not the MD button was pressed).

    • 3. If MD button pressed, prepare to boot MD. Unhide the HPA, save partition table descriptor #4, replace it with the hidden MD partition descriptor, and set it active. Skip to step 5.

    • 4. If MD button not pressed, prepare to boot normally. Hide the HPA, replace partition table descriptor #4 with the saved copy (from step 3), and set partition #2 active (the XP partition).

    • 5. Return to LBA-0.

    • 6. LBA-0 checks whether Ctrl+F11 is in the keyboard queue. If not, skip to step 8. If yes, continue with step 7.

    • 7. Prepare to boot the DSR partition by changing the DSR partition's descriptor from 'DB' to '0C' and setting it active.

    • 8. Check which partition is set active (normally it's partition 2, unless step 3 or 7 changed it), display "Loading PBR x..." on the screen, load that partition's boot record into memory, and display "done" if the pbr read was successful.

    • 9. The MBR's job is now done. Transfer control to the code loaded from the pbr, which is expected to take over and load the rest of the operating system installed on that partition--either XP (pbr2), DSR, or MD (pbr4).
    The key is that LBA-3 has embedded in it the starting location of the HPA. This information is used in steps 3-4. The starting location will be where the HPA begins on the original hard disk. When you install a larger hard disk and copy LBA-3 (as part of track-0), this number does not get changed. Thereafter, the first time you boot from the hard disk and the MBR is executed, step 4 will assume the HPA begins in the same place as it did on the original disk.

    The only purpose of Dell's version of LBA-0 is to launch MediaDirect and/or DSR (the hidden recovery partition). The only purpose of LBA-3 is to launch MD from the HPA.

    I suspect TI does not copy the HPA, so there is no need to keep LBA-3.

    You will need to keep Dell's version of LBA-0 if and only if you plan to keep the DSR partition.

    The solution:

    Do not copy track-0 from the original disk. I'm not familiar with TI, but if it has an option to copy only LBA-0, use that--but only if you want to preserve DSR. Alternatively, you can skip copying both LBA-0 and track-0 during the cloning operation, and subsequently use my Dsrfix utility to replace Dell's LBA-0.

    Note that in any event, MediaDirect and the HPA are not being copied.

    Dan Goodell

    (Thanks, Brian K, for inviting me to participate in this thread.)
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Dan, thank you for your post. It's now very clear.

    I looked through the TI userguide. When restoring images you have the choice of restoring the First track or not. You can't restore LBA-0 alone.

    When cloning there is no option about restoring the First track so I assume it's always restored.

    So until further notice, cloning a Dell laptop to a larger HD, as described above, will not be a pleasant experience.
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Dan, would this work? After the clone has been performed and the reduced disk space noticed, open Roadkil's Sector Editor and zero LBA-3. Reboot. Or is it too late to zero LBA-3?

    Not for the faint hearted but if it works it would be quick.
  24. dg1261

    dg1261 Registered Member

    Ah, okay. Well, there are easy workarounds. You can let TI copy the first track, then use a tool like Mbrwork to backup LBA-0, clear track-0 (LBA-0 to LBA-62), then restore LBA-0. Alternatively, you can use a disk sector editor to manually zero out LBA-3 before or after making the clone.

    Readers should keep in mind that if you let the MBR execute before clearing LBA-3, LBA-3 will hide the HPA, so boot from some other medium until LBA-3 is cleared. (LBA-3 doesn't get a chance to do its thing unless you actually boot from that hard disk.) Once the HPA is hidden, you'll need one of the other tools (like the Hitachi Feature Tool) to reverse that action.
  25. dg1261

    dg1261 Registered Member

    That would work to prevent LBA-3 from rehiding the HPA every time it boots, but it won't unhide the HPA. You'd need the additional step of using something else to unhide the HPA. After it's been unhidden, a zeroed LBA-3 won't rehide it again.
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