ATI Home 2009 alternative boot loader on USB stick

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Berti, Jul 10, 2009.

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  1. Berti

    Berti Guest

    Hello,

    as the recovery CD (as well as a recovery media built on an USB stick) with ATI Home 2009 wouldn't boot - freezing already at "Starting Acronis Loader" - <F11> didn't cause any further action - I got an alternative .iso image from support for newest German Build (9769).

    This works fine. But I would like to create this alternative image on an USB stick, instead of CD. Isobuster shows me other files and names for the alternative .iso image than those contained in the standard recovery image. There is a subdirectory named ISOLINUX with: Boot.cat, bootmsg.txt, isolinux.bin, isolunux.dfg, kernel.dat, ramdisk.dat and spl.lss. In addition to that there is shown an Icon named "bootable disk" containing bootcatalog.cat and bootimage.img.

    The USB stick with the standard recovery image shows me more files in the root directory and the subdirectory is named "Recovery Manager". The files therein have other file names than the ones mentioned above.

    Which files from the standard recovery image should I keep on the USB stick and which should I take from the .iso image of the alternative boot loader to get my USB stick working with the alternative boot loader?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. I've tried the search function of the forum but didn't get listed a thread which disusses this matter (maybe I've used the wrong key words).

    Berti
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Have you tried booting the ISO file using Grub4DOS? It's a lot easier to update the flashdrive if it works properly this way.
    Using Grub4DOS to Create a Bootable Drive
    Section 3 details using the ISO method.

    ---

    The ISO file provided by Acronis uses a different loader than the one Media Builder uses when it creates a CD. Acronis didn't include the Recovery Manager files in the ISO so don't worry about those.

    ---

    If the loader wasn't the problem and it's just the updated build that works for you, you should be able to copy the new TI files (kernel.dat and ramdisk.dat) to your existing TI flashdrive in place of the files being used. To find the files being used, you'll need to look at the bootwiz.cfg file, find the "verb" value ([C2], for example) and then locate that section in the bootwiz.cfg file. The filenames will be shown as INITRD RAMD2.DAT /S and KERNEL KERN3.DAT quiet, for example. In this case, those would be the two files to replace (keep the same filenames as those used on the flashdrive). KERN3.DAT would replaced with KERNEL.DAT and RAMD2.DAT would be replaced with RAMDISK.DAT.

    Note that I haven't tried replacing these specific files so it may not work.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Berti:

    The quickest way to get up and running is to copy the ISO image file to your USB flash drive. If there is room you don't even need to delete the current files. Download Grub4DOS and install it as the boot manager to the MBR of the flash drive. Create a menu item to directly boot the ISO file from Grub4DOS.

    You can see an example of how to do this on forum member MudCrab's web site here. You can have a menu item to boot the recovery version of TI that you are currently using, and another menu item to boot the new ISO, as shown in part 3 of the article.

    In fact, an even better idea is to remove the files from the flash drive and copy both ISO image files, the older one and the one with the alternate boot loader, to your flash drive and then create a menu item for each version. The advantage of doing it this way is that it becomes very easy to upgrade in the future. Just add any number of new ISO files and a menu item for each.
     
  4. Berti

    Berti Guest

    Wau, I'm really surprised to get such fast very interesting solution hints. Thank you. Give me some time to check it out as working with Grub(4DOS) is new for me. But it sounds as if it wouldn't be too tricky to get it work.

    I'll give you feedback as soon as I've checked it out.
     
  5. Berti

    Berti Guest


    Hi MudCrab and K0LO,

    thank you very much for your advice and the link. MudCrab has writen an excellent guide for formatting the USB stick as I feared to modify the MBR of one of my three HDs instead of the USB stick. But with this pictured guide I could identify the stick easily and everything ran smooth.

    After that I've even repartitioned my third HD (backup HD, where I store my ATI .tib backup files) which had only one extended partition and placed a small primary 4 GB FAT32 primary active partition at the beginning (hd2/1).

    I could install grub4dos in the MBR and came via motherboard boot device selection up to the menu point with selection of the .iso image. But in contrast to the USB stick the image refused to boot: message something like .iso could not be found. I've tried "map (hd2,1)" and map "(hd2,0)" but had no success. Some research with a search engine brought me to a web site with successfull examples of .iso images with grub4dos and I found this (modified for my need):

    title Acronis TrueImage Home 2009 alternative (Build 9769 German)
    find --set-root /TrueImage9769_multi.iso
    map /TrueImage9769_multi.iso (hd32)
    map --hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader (hd32)

    This code can even be used on the usb stick instead the code MudCrab has used in his pictured grub4dos guide.

    The only thing that's corious: When I boot the alternative image with standard option "1" from CD or USB stick, I get a poor looking 16 color VGA screen (just the same as with option "7" [low resolution] of this multi-boot options .iso-file). The same .iso started form the HDD partition shows in contrast to that full color and high resolution.

    You wonder why I have added the small FAT32 partition? It's simple to explain: The latest German build (May 2009) doesn't have the option to install the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager on an existing partition as it is possible in the newest English build. I would have had to install the Acronis Secure Zone for this. But I use, as written above, the separate third HD with a NTFS partition (files > 4 GB possible) for this and wouldn't change that.

    Greetings

    Berti
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Berti,

    When you change the booting drive using a BIOS boot menu, the booting drive becomes (hd0). The normal references in the guide should have worked. Did you try (hd0,0) or (hd0,1) or did you reference a different drive?

    I have no idea why the resolution and color depth would be different between booting from a flashdrive and booting from the hard drive.

    I use the same method to boot a "rescue" partition located on another drive. It works well and boots extremely quickly.
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Berti:

    One of the great advantages of Grub4DOS is that you can locate the file grldr anywhere on any partition and Grub4DOS will find it. Therefore, a separate partition is not really required. And since Grub4DOS understands the NTFS file system, unlike its older predecessor GRUB, you can simply dump its files and your ISOs on any Windows partition.

    I got to demonstrate ISO booting to one of the guys in our IT Department at work today, and now he's all fired up about it. He likes to carry around a "rescue" USB flash drive and had to go to extreme measures to get dozens of bootable recovery programs to coexist on the flash drive. Updating programs became a nightmare. Now he can simply copy the ISO versions of all of his favorite programs to the flash drive and boot any of them with Grub4DOS.
     
  8. Berti

    Berti Guest



    Hi MudCrab and K0LO,

    sorry again for late response, but I'm pinched for time at the moment, both job and private.

    MudCrab was right, I didn't realize that booting from BIOS boot menu changes the numbering of the HD's. I simple assumed it would be the same sequence the HD had when I formatted the USB stick. At that time I had booted my desktop PC from HD1 and thus the 3rd HD was "2".

    Now with (hd0,1) the rescue .iso image starts from the HD.

    K0LO, thank you very much indeed also to you. I didn't know that grub4dos is able to recognize NTFS-partitions. But in this case it did make sense to install this separate small FAT32 maintenance partition, as my ASUS motherboard has as built in function to install a BIOS update without an extra flash tool and this works only with FAT / FAT32.
    But it's a good hint for my notebook. I have installed there a second license of older TI11 and used up to now the recovery CD. No I will include grub4dos in the WIN XP boot menu.

    As soon as I have a little bit more time, I'll test to add an partition tool .iso to the stick / HD and I'll try to find a good documentation in my mother tongue German as it's sometimes a little bit difficult for me to understand all technical details discussed in English boards or guides, when catchier steps have to be done to get an .iso work (e.g. I took a short look on an board thread how to get USBCD4WIN work on an USB stick instead of CD, but this is beyond the scope of this discussion here).

    Thank you again for your assistance. My problem is solved so far.

    CU Berti

    PS: I have found out that the recovery .iso booted from HD also starts with low graphics resolution when the USB stick is plugged in. As soon as the stick is removed the image boots with "normal" resolution and color depths.
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I'm sure you're aware of Acronis Disk Director, which has a German version and documentation, and can be added to the bootable ISO along with TI. Another favorite of mine is PartedMagic, but I only see English documentation from their US web site.
     
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