ATI2009 issues with Lenovo ThinkPad

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by FrankATI, Mar 25, 2009.

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  1. FrankATI

    FrankATI Registered Member

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    I have a new Lenovo ThinkPad T500, with AcronisTI 2009 running on Windows XP Pro.

    I used One-click Protection to perform a backup of the system volume, which I *presume* included Lenovo's hidden service/recovery/diagnostic partition (whichever you would like to call it).

    Question 1 - Is Lenovo's hidden partition in fact contained in the backup? And if not, how can it be included?


    When I tested to see if ATI could restore the backup it failed to restore the hidden partition, but did boot XP.

    In the restore dialog, for Restoration Method I chose "Restore whole disks and partitions".
    And under the section for "Content Selection", this was displayed....

    Disk 1
    NTFS (Preload) (C:)
    MBR and Track 0

    I had both items checked for the restore operation.

    Question 2 - Should Lenovo's hidden partition have been listed in the Content Selection dialog? And if so, why wasn't it?


    The backup was made from the original 160 GB disk to a 2nd 320 GB hard disk installed in the machine's Hard Drive Bay Adapter. For the restore, I replaced the original disk with a 3rd hard disk (also 320GB), it was brand new and unformatted.

    The restore dialog has a section for "Partition Size", in which I dragged the slider to eliminate the 155.1GB of "free space after" (to utilize all of the disk space). There was 7.325 mb of free space before, but I left that as-is.

    Question 3 - If the hidden partition was in fact backed up, AND if the hidden partition should in fact NOT appear in the "Content Selection" dialog, could utilizing all the disk's space have contributed to Acronis' failure to restore Lenovo's hidden partition?


    Acronis support replied in the following post to another Lenovo in user who also inquired about Lenovo's hidden partition. But this user was using Vista; whereas I use XP....

    Doubts on Acronis True Image 2009
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=233358

    Acronis support wrote,
    "If you create full drive backup then it will include diagnostic partition with Recovery features. After restoring the backup your diagnostic partition with Lenovo tools will be also recovered."

    Question 4 - Would this not also apply to Windows XP Pro?

    Question 5 - Is a full drive backup not automatically performed using One-click Protection?



    In closing, I want to repeat that I had no problem booting into XP after the restore operation. So apparently I did not screw up the selections I made while configuring the restore, except for possibly eliminating the "free space after". So where in this whole backup & restore process did Acronis lose the hidden partition?

    Regards,
    Frank
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  2. FrankATI

    FrankATI Registered Member

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    bumped
     
  3. Vlad V

    Vlad V Registered Member

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    FrankATI,

    One-Click protection backs up just system partition (not the entire drive). So to back up the entire drive (including the hidden partition) you must choose My Computer backup and then tick off the Disk 1 box.

    Vlad
     
  4. FrankATI

    FrankATI Registered Member

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    Vlad, thanks for taking the time to reply. So I went wrong on the 1st step, just my luck. I will repeat the process, but through My Computer backup, once I get the disks prepared.

    So I don't repeat this again on the 2nd step, could you please tell me if I should expect to see Lenovo's hidden partion appear in the Content Selection of the My Computer backup dialog? Here's what appeared in One-click Backup. Should I see a new addition to the list....

    Disk 1
    NTFS (Preload) (C
    MBR and Track 0

    If it should appear, but doesn't, I'd just be wasting time making & restoring the backup. Correct?

    Thanks again,
    Frank
     
  5. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    When performing a backup of a computer with hidden or diagnostic partitions, it is best to have at least one backup archive where the backup was created by checkmarking the disk option. This causes all partitions to be included in the backup. When restoring, you have the option of restoring either the single partions or the entire disk; or if resizing to a larger disk, you can restore all of them. When restoring a 2009 version backup, the Track 0/MBR must be restored as a one single pass and not included with the restore of other partions--except maybe with a C only restore.

    You can see several illustratioons in my guides below but these were illutrated using earlier versions.

    All of my backup are full disk backups so all 3 of my partitions are included iin each backup. Most are full backups but some are incrementals. Backups are created to multiple disks so the risk is spread around should I have a failure.

    A backup containing alll partitions gives you the most restore options.
     
  6. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Yes, you should see both the C: NTFS partition and the Diagnostic partition.

    When you check the box for Drive 1, you will see that both partitions and the MBR are also checked.

    If you Validate the backup or start a Restore, you will see both partitions in the backup.

    I appreciate you pointing out that the One-Click backup only includes the C: partition. That's a serious design error in my opinion. The entire disk should be chosen as the default for this operation. It leaves a lot of people with backups that are not complete.
     
  7. FrankATI

    FrankATI Registered Member

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    GroverH,

    Thanks for your helpful reply.

    I totally agree that a full backup gives the most restore options. I've always made full backups with my multi-boot desktop pc's using BING and expect to do the same with this laptop using Acronis. The big difference is that I built my desktops, and though they too have hidden partitions they aren't the same as the one on my Lenovo ThinkPad T500 (see below), which appears in XP Disk Mgmt as "EISA Configuration". However, after using My Computer backup to configure the backup (instead of One-click Protection), the following correct system info was finally displayed in the Content Selection dialog during the restore operation (I hope the code tag formats the text correctly)....

    Code:
             Partition             Flags      Capacity   Used        Type
             ---------             -----      --------   ---------   ----
    Disk 1
             NTFS (Preload)(C:)    Pri,Act,   143.0 GB   15.08 GB    NTFS
             MBR and Track 0                                         MBR and Track 0
             FAT32 (SERVICEV001)     Pri      6.078 GB   5.802 GB    FAT32 Partition: 0x12(Compaq Setup)
    
    Perhaps you can clear up something about resizing during a restore. The disk I backed up was 160 GB. When I made my first restore (the one for which no hidden partition was backed up) it was to a brand new empty unformatted 320 GB hard disk that was right out of the box. During that restore I did have the option to resize, and did so. Though the end result didn't contain the hidden partition, it did fill the larger 320 GB disk.

    Because Acronis documentation says a restore will erase everything previously on the disk, I didn't bother to delete partitions or reformat the disk before running the 2nd restore. IOW I let the 2nd restore (that did have the hidden partition) write over the first restore. During this 2nd restore, however, I did not have the option to resize. The end result was that the restore left about 160 GB of unallocated space at the end of the disk.

    What puzzles me, and what I hope you can answer is.... Why didn't I get the option to resize during the 2nd restore. Was it because the backup now contained Lenovo's hidden partition, or because the 2nd restore didn't write to an empty unformatted disk? Or are there other reasons?

    Regards,
    Frank
     
  8. FrankATI

    FrankATI Registered Member

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    John,

    Thanks for your helpful reply. I certainly share your opinion. Whether it's a design error or a documentation error, I don't know. I do know that I didn't have any option to select what was being backed up or how it was being backed up, only to where it would be backed up.

    I've used BING for years on my multi-boot desktop pc's, and before that Ghost, so I'm not new to this backup/restore game but am new to Acronis. I used One-click Protection not because I shy away from manually configuring a backup, but simply because the documentation (as quoted below) led me to believe it would remove any possibility of me (a new user) configuring it wrong. IOW I was glad I had no options to trip over, and only needed to select the destination file.

    That certainly is deceiving as it DID NOT backup All the required and predefined sets of data NOR did it enable my system to recover all of its components. However, it did waste a lot of my time and left me less confident with the rest of their documentation, which I also read beforehand.

    From my experience with any backup/restore software, the restore operation is where the rubber meets the road. If you can't restore then everything else is a waste no matter how perfect it is. That's why I wanted to cut to the chase and get right down to testing the restore operation with a known good backup, which I didn't get from One-click Protection. Even during the restore I found ambiguous wording in the documentation that left me scratching my head over which choice to make. For instance...

    Code:
    Destination of Disk 1
    Select destination of Disk 1....
    Drive    Capacity    Model                  Interface
    -----    --------    --------------------   ---------
    Disk 1   298.1 GB    ATA WDC WD3200BEKT-2   Serial ATA
    Disk 2   298.1 GB    ATA ST9320421AS        Serial ATA
    
    The wording Destination of Disk 1 doesn't make any sense when Disk 2 holds my backup file and Disk 1 is the target. That wording makes Disk 1 sound like the source, yet when I started this restore dialog the first thing I did was select the source backup file from Disk 2. Nevertheless, Disk 1 was presented to me here as though it were the source. Clearly there's a disconnect somewhere as the correct choice was in fact Disk 1!

    The first time I ran restore I made the wrong choice and overwrote the disk signature on my backup disk, but was still able to boot to the OS after the restore. Had I been prompted for "Destination" or simply "Select destination disk" that would have been perfectly clear & intuitive, but adding of Disk 1 just serves to create unnecessary mental gymnastics, at least for this user it did. I still don't know what it means. Am I going insane?:)

    Anyhow, thanks to all for your help. In the end I was able to backup the 'entire' disk and restore it, albeit without any option to resize.

    Regards,
    Frank
     
  9. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Most likely, this was caused by your checking the option to restore the disk rather than checking the partitions. If that was not the cause, then sometimes it is necessary to adjust the size of the last partition(as step 1 & out of sequence) and provide enough space at the front of the last partition in order for the first partition to have room to expand when it is to be resized in the next sequence. You can probably test this using your disk backup archive.

    When you look at your disk inside Disk Management graphical display, which is the first partition. The partition sequence you see in the "what partition to restore' screen is not a guarantee of true partition sequence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  10. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    The disk numbers are not put there by TrueImage. This is how Linux is seeing the drives. As you found out, it is extremely important that the user is able to identify the correct drives--either by model number or size or used space, etc. It also help to have your partitions identified by a unique name so they can be identified more easily when viewing backup archives. The volume names were displayed in earlier TI versions but are not displayed in v2009. This is like a user beware situation.
     
  11. FrankATI

    FrankATI Registered Member

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    I recall a check mark automatically appearing next to the disk once all the partitions are checked. IOW I couldn't have the disk unchecked without one of the partitions also being unchecked. So I don't think this could be the cause.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "sometimes it is necessary to adjust the size of the last partition". The 2nd time there were no options at all to resize anything, I even went back over all the steps and looked hard to see if I missed a button or some such control that would allow me to do that. Nada!

    I recall reading somewhere that Lenovo's service partition should not be moved, something to do with the addresses at which the machine expects to find the partition. But I'm not sure if that applied only to older ThinkPads. If that is typical of an EISA Configuration, I thought perhaps that might be the reason I wasn't offered any resize options. But Acronis would have to be smart enough to recognize an EISA partition and act accordingly, which I suspect isn't the case.

    Here's how the disks looked in Disk Mgmt....

    Code:
    ______________________________________________________________________
                                            |                            |
         Preload (C:)                       |          SERVICEV0001      |
        142.97 GB NTFS                      |         6.08 GB  FAT32     |
    ________________________________________|____________________________|
                             Original 160 GB Disk
    
    ______________________________________________________________________
                            |            |                               |
         Preload (C:)       |SERVICEV0001|          Unallocated          |
          142.98 GB         |  6.08 GB   |           149.04 GB           |
    ________________________|____________|_______________________________|
         320 GB disk after being restored with a backup of the original
    
    When I boot for a restore I use a temporary boot menu. It lists all the disks, and the info you mentioned, starting with disk0. I jot down the info from this screen as I know disk0 is always the primary system disk (the destination disk for the restore), and disk1 is the secondary disk installed via the HDD Bay Adapter (the source for the restore). I read somewhere, perhaps in the documentation, that Acronis lists disks starting with disk1 and not disk0, so I was prepared for that. I also look for some kind of confirmation from Acronis (in the form of a volume label, number of partitions, etc) that disk1 is in fact the primary system disk. But I'll tell ya, in spite of doing that, the "Destination of disk 1" wording still threw me off. I put a note in my log to ignore the wording in future restore operations and just select whichever the destination disk is.

    Yes, partitions I create I always give a volume label. My backup partition is labeled Backups1. At some point I'll be creating another named Storage, but for now I only needed one for backups. Labels are the only way to make sense of drive letter changes and such. I have two identical Seagate disks and was contemplating how some of these dialogs would have looked if I wasn't lucky enough to have chosen the WD for this testing. Had I chosen the Seagate instead, this is how the destination dialog would have looked.....

    Code:
    Destination of Disk 1
     Select destination of Disk 1....
        Drive    Capacity    Model                  Interface
        -----    --------    --------------------   ---------
        Disk 1   298.1 GB    ATA ST9320421AS        Serial ATA
        Disk 2   298.1 GB    ATA ST9320421AS        Serial ATA
    
    User beware is putting it mildly, this is what initially prompted me to write down the info from my boot screen, before Acronis loads. I realize the disk won't have a label, but even if they put the number of partitions found on each disk, or the used space, it would at least serve as confirmation.

    Thanks for all your help GroverH.

    Regards,
    Frank
     
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