a harrowing experience

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Shankle, Nov 1, 2008.

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  1. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    Running True Image 11 and a Full backup. None of the fancy stuff.
    Lost my entire 60G hard drive.
    Fortunately I had a backup on an WD external and
    an older one on DVDs.
    However, when I ran the boot disk and it asked me to pick from the disks displayed, the WD drive did NOT appear. Enter panic. Tried several times with the same result. Then went to the 6 month old DVD and when it asked me to pick from the disks displayed the WD external appeared. This erratic behavior when doing a Restore is nerve racking. Now I don't trust restores from my WD external and I don't quite know what to do about it. After about fours hours of trial and error I managed to get both partitions restored.
     
  2. Uncle Ben

    Uncle Ben Registered Member

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    How did you lose your 60GB drive exactly?
     
  3. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Shankle,
    When you created the initial backup, did you boot from the TI rescue CD to test whether your drives were visible? You never know whether you have a recovery procedure that works until you try it. That is why all of us regulars always recommend testing your recovery procedures.

    Create another new V11 Rescue CD and verify the results. Perhaps the problem is not TI but the external drive. There have been numerous postings about the WD externals not being seen. Sometimes you can switch the connectors or cables in use, etc and avoid multiple port accesses.
     
  4. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    I was trying to put XP PRO on a 2nd partition and
    the hardware from the old computer was so different that it caused Vista to go bad. Couldn't boot. I like to keep a partition that Wiffie is using on my computer in the event that hers dies.

    No I am a bad boy. I only verified the backup which was good. However, the WD external is fine as I was able with an old boot disk to get an old backup to Restore correctly.
    Rest assured that I will make a new Boot Disk and
    will always from now on run a test to verify it.
    My old heart just will not take the strain of another day like today.
     
  5. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Keep in mind that a new version of TI will restore an old backup
    but a old rescue CD will not restore a backup created by a newer version of TI.

    There is no problem keeping an backup image of your wife's computer on your computer. You want to keep an image--not try to clone. A backup image is just another file. It can be kept anywhere as long as it fits.

    One way you can partially perform a test is to simulate performing a TI restore or backup, etc.

    For example, you can practice doing a restore by actually
    1. Choose the backup file to Use . This enables you see whether an external drive can be seen.

    2. Choose the disk or partitions to be restored.

    3. Choosing all options up to the point where you get the option to Cancel or Proceed.
    At this point, you would choose the cancel option since you only be practicing.

    By doing such simulation, you can see whether your system hardware will allow you to perform the function you are practicing.

    Just do NOT click on the PROCEED button.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  6. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    I made a new boot disk today and tried it as I mistakenly deleted a file. I wanted to use TI 11 (build 8101) to restore this file. Well the WD external never showed up on the list of devices to restore from. So I went back to my boot disk from May 1 and was able to restore it that way. This is totally unreliable and I can't afford to have a backup procedure that doesn't work 100% of the time. There is nothing wrong with the WD external.
     
  7. Wandering2

    Wandering2 Registered Member

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    For what it is worth to you, you do not need to do a restore or use a boot disk to get a file out of a backup. Just double click the backup in Windows and it will allow you to explore as if it were another disk, and then you just copy the file out and put it where you want it.

    Second, much as I rely on Acronis and other backup products, there simply is no such thing as 100% reliable when dealing with computers. That is why I do multiple backups and use both file and image backups.

    There does seem to be a problem with your WD drive even though you choose to think otherwise. WD is very sensitive to which ports it is plugged into. Front USB ports are usually run off a hub and often split the available power. Use back ports, remember which one proved reliable for you, and leave it there!

    There are hundreds of posts here, and thousands on various Vista forums about WD drives simply disappearing and then sometimes reappearing.

    I can tell you, that I followed my own advice, and on two different systems with two different operating systems, when I found a port the drive was willing to coexist with, I have marked it, so I would always use it. I have used the drive for more than two years, and restored both systems with it.

    Good luck.
     
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    In addition to the excellent advice by Wandering2, if your WD gets its power only from the usb cable, sometimes you can get better results by having the WD get additional power from a secondary power source.

    Not all usb cables are equal. Have a quality cable can improve the odds of success.
     
  9. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    Thank you for your pointers.
    The WD external has a separate power source.
    I was using a USB port on the front on my Dell.
    I will try your suggestion on the other USB ports.
    You might just have saved me $80 on Shadow Protect, but from what you say the WD external would cause problems for that program also because
    of the ports.
     
  10. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    Success.
    Here is what I did. Blew out the dust from the 2 usb ports on the front of the Puter with Cleaning Duster. Plugged the WD into the port that I did not use yesterday. Started up TI with the boot disk that I made yesterday and the WD showed up immediately.
    Moral.
    Do backups on DVDs
    Do backups to External HD.
    Save very important data to DVDs.
    Do not be to quick to blame Acronis for everything
     
  11. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    You have made a most excellent point about cleaning the dust from the USB ports.
    This is the first time I have seen such necessary maintenace mentioned in this forum.

    The whole time a computer is running dust, debris and pet hair are being sucked inside. Most external ports which are not permanently in use can collect remarkable quantities of stuff in quite a short time.

    Xpilot
     
  12. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    USB ports are, imo a particularly bad design, subject to poor connectivity for several reasons, not the least of which is reduced tension of the contacts due to wear and film or dust impeding the connection. However, in these regards they are not as bad as SATA connectors.
     
  13. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Shankle,
    I'm glad you found some solutions and some additional food for thought.

    If the usb ports needed cleaning, it is highly probable that the entire computer could use some housecleaning. Dust collects quickly. I take the sides off my case and blow out the dust at least twice a year. The intake fan which blows cooling air onto the hard drives is particularly susceptible to clogging or the collection of dust--likewise the cpu cooling fan--and don't forget the small 3/8" fan on the back of the CDRom drive--just to mention a few places to look.

    If you computer sets on carpet, consider setting your computer on a spacer such as a piece of 2x4. This will enable the air intake to be cleaner and more plentiful. Heat is a real enemy of your computer so ventilation is very important.

    The usb connectors on the back of the computer case are usually the most troublefree. The reason being that the rear connectors are directly attached to the motherboard whereas the others are often connected via internal cables.

    Recently I bought a hard drive docking unit. I was pleasantly surprised by the exceptional quality of the usb cable. It was twice as thick as the standard cable and shorter is always better such as 18-24 inches in length.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    Again I'm a bad boy. I never have gone inside the
    Puter and did any dusting. Guess I'm lucky that I
    haven't had more problems. Reason being that I
    was afraid of getting to frisky inside the CPU.
    Will get more cleaning duster and give it a whirl.
    Thanks everyone for the excellent advice.
     
  15. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    Just to add, that potentially dust in a PC or any electrical/electronic equipment is a fire hazard. PC's especially as they run hot, have a fan spreading dust around, and internally they are in a confined space. Compressed dust is quite explosive (ask General Foods Bird's Custard factory in the UK - compressed custard powder blew part of a wall out about 20 years ago) it also insulates, meaning your systems run warmer and warmer as time goes by - not good for the longevity of your system.

    Colin
     
  16. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Dust in a USB connection is not likely to pose any fire hazard, the voltage is too low and the current too limited.

    In the main box, indeed the build up of dust can reduce the ability of the parts to shed heat, although it's unikely that surface temps would rise high enough to spontaneously combust carpet fiber, etc. But heat build up shortens the life of components so for that reason alone, one should try to keep ones box reasonably clean.

    Just remember that if you blow out the dust indoors, all the dust is going to remain indoors and a good portion in the same room and quite possibly end up back inthe box over time -- but that's sort of a basic rule about dusting indoors in general.

    And remember, if you go poking around inside the box for any reason, be sure to turn off and unplug the box first. If you touch something you shouldn't while it's turned on, it'smore likely that you'll short and damage a PC part than that you will be personally harmed, but both situations are possible inside the box.
     
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