Secure Zone disk layout / partitioning issue

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Chriss, May 23, 2005.

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  1. Chriss

    Chriss Guest

    :: Acronis True Image 8.0 build 826 ::

    I started out with a 115Gb NTFS formatted Maxtor ATA hard disk (the boot disk on my system running Windows XP Professional w/ SP2) partitioned as :

    c: (OS + programs) - 30 gb
    d: (files) - 85 gb

    Installed trial version of Acronis True Image 8.0, enabled SZ allowing to take 25gb off d: - worked like it should, disk got partitioned as :

    c: (windows xp pro sp2) - 30 gb
    d: 60 gb
    asz: FAT 25 gb

    Tested ATI for two weeks, everything worked fine.
    uninstalled trial version but was not prompted to re-allocate the space taken by asz back to d:
    So after uninstall I had a "new" partition on this disk. No problem, just reformatted those 25 gb as partition "x:" - result :

    c: 30 gb
    d: 60 gb
    x: 25 gb

    So basically I got another partition I didn't ask for, but hey, nothing major. Bought the ATI software online (v 8.0 build 826) and installed it.
    Now, enabling Acronis Secure Zone, allowing to take 15 gb off partition d:, yields the following result for this disk, from left to right in Disk Management :

    c: 30 gb (no change)
    d: 45 gb (as requested)
    "free space" : 25 gb (o_O)
    x: 25 gb (no change)
    ASZ : FAT 15 gb (as requested, taken from d:)
    "unallocated" : 15 gb (o_O)

    in other words, the size of ASZ and partition x: is "duplicated" (well, visibly, of course) in the Disk Management tool as "unallocated" and "free space" respectively. Why it does that is beyond me, because the trial version didn't have such quirks on the same disk. Moreover, according to Disk Management the size of Disk 0 has "increased" to 155gb, i.e. by 25+15=40 gb of unallocated / free space - partitions ... odd, to say the least. I know True Image can do a lot of neat stuff but it can't "inflate" my disk, now can it ? I have tried taking the needed space for ASZ off x: rather than d:, but this gives comparable results : the overall disk size appears "increased", and the size of asz and the partition it takes its space from, is "duplicated" in disk management as free / unallocated space every time.

    I have really tried to fix this several times, I have uninstalled ATI, rolled the system back to a previous state, installed again - but to no avail. Setting up ASZ keeps messing up my disk layout like this in computer management / disk management. Since setting up asz first worked fine with the trial version, i'm assuming the uninstall of that trial version and not being prompted to re-allocate the asz space to d: and thus creating a new partition x:, is very likely to have something to do with it, as no other changes to the system were made.

    I have not experienced any system anomalies or crashes since this "problem" arised, but am nevertheless concerned. Questions :

    -why doesn't an uninstall of the software handle re-allocating the space properly ? (well, it's too late now, but i can't help but wonder)
    -what is causing this incorrect representation of the disk layout, and is it likely to cause any system instability ?
    -if yes, can i do anything about it without completetly re-initializing the entire disk and starting from scratch ?

    Thanks for your time.
    Chriss Ons, Belgium.
  2. neil conway

    neil conway Guest

    not sure if it will work but worth a try, if you can pull all data off d drive onto c drive so d drive is m/t then reboot with xp cd and follow install until you get to list of drives, if all drives and free space add up to your 85 gig plus 30 gig for c drive then use on screen commands to delete all but c drive. now use onscreen commands to make a new d drive. hopefully 85 gig. exit set up and reboot into windows, go into disk manager and format raw partition. now make your asz. and put data back on d drive. alternatively use xp install process to create a 60 gig d drive and a 25 gig e drive for example, and forget the asz use e drive for your image. I have 2x 30 gig c+d and 20 gig e drive for my images, as I prefer it to losing 20 gig of space just for images
  3. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Hi Chriss - thanks for a very clear post.

    I too would be concerned about that disk layout. Only Acronis knows when file system corruption starts to spread into your C and D partitions.

    I have two pieces of advice for you:
    1. Download the Acronis Report Tool, generate a report (which includes information about your screwed partition table), and send the report to Acronis.

      Hopefully, Acronis will be able to figure out what went wrong and how to best get your system back in shape.
    2. Make an off-line back of you C and D partitions (to DVD's or CD's). You may use True Image for this, if you are careful and Check and Explore the TIB-files after you have put them on DVD's/CD's.

      When you have secured your data, use the Secure Zone Manager to delete any secure zone in sight.

      Finally, use Windows Disk Management to delete any stray partitions after your D partition.

      Hopefully, this will leave you with just C and D, and a nice free disk area.

      You can now try to reclaim some of the lost space, by creating a new SZ in the free space. Allow the SZ to occopy all of the free space. And then you use the SZM to delete the SZ. With a bit of luck, it will then add all the free disk space back to D.

      You should now be back to square 1, and can create a new 25 GB SZ.
  4. Chriss

    Chriss Guest

    thanks for the feedback, Neil & Minimax.
    So far my system hasn't been "acting up" due to the messed-up disk layout in disk management - I do have backup images of everything on an external drive; but I will forward the Acronis Report Tool -output I just made to Support nonetheless, to see if they can advise...

    Thanks for your time, greatly apprectiated.

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