ATI7 in Virtual PC: can't boot NT4, 2000 or XP after restore?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by johnye_pt, Dec 31, 2008.

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  1. johnye_pt

    johnye_pt Registered Member

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    Hi.

    Sorry for digging up a question about this old version (the only one Acronis gave for free ;) ), but i have searched this forum and Google without any useful results.

    I have been installing/testing a few outdated Windows in Virtual PC 2007 SP1. To reduce the Virtual Hard Disk size (VHD) after a Windows installation, i generally backup Windows to a second VHD using ATI7 rescue media, then restore it to an empty copy of the original VHD, so that there is no empty space left between the files.

    As an example, after installing my old Windows 98SE, the VHD was about 500mb in size because of empty disk space between files, but files inside were ocupying only 210mb. After a backup/restore to an empty copy of the VHD, size was only 218mb.

    I had no problem with backing up, restoring and booting ms-dos (weee 589k conventional memory available :D ) and Windows 9x.

    I do have a problem booting Windows NT4, 2000 and/or XP after the backup/restore process. Tried with FAT and NTFS file systems. The messages i get (translated from Portuguese) when booting are:

    "'disk boot failure, insert system disk and restart"
    "A disk read error occurred; Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"
    or simply a blinking cursor...

    I'm doing a full backup (disk and partition) with no compression, and when restoring, ATI7 does not ask to select a drive letter (don't know if this is relevant or not).

    The same problem was reported at experts-exchange, but only regarding NT4.

    I know NT4 is picky and at the slightest discrepancy it will not boot, but the same is happening to 2000 and XP, so... is ATI7 compatible with any of this 3 Windows NT versions?

    Thanks for your attention.
     
  2. jaycee

    jaycee Registered Member

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    Aug 24, 2006
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    186
    Hi,

    Well I would say Windows versions are compatible, specially offline...
    Why not instead of using Acronis, using the precompact.iso to first defrag the "windows partition" using anything like contig.exe (sysinternals) or some defrag tool, and then using the compact VHD option?

    Else for the problem I would look around the way you attach the VHD, do not change from IDE to SCSI nor the IDE "location" from master to slave or so.

    Good end of year!
     
  3. johnye_pt

    johnye_pt Registered Member

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    Precompactor works well when using FAT systems, because i can do a complete defrag, then wipe the remaining VHD free space with the precompactor. When dealing with NTFS, there is no defrag available that can defrag ALL the metadata (not only $MFT) and pull it back closer to the beginning of the VHD. Some defraggers i tried even pushed it forward...

    The method i used for every windows was:
    1. Create a new virtual machine with a new vhd (hd1.vhd, primary master);
    2. Make a copy of hd1.vhd while still unused;
    3. Install windows on hd1.vhd;
    4. Add a new hd2.vhd with 2gb FAT (secondary master, drive letter D) to place the backup made by Acronis Rescue Media;
    5. Replace hd1.vhd with "copy of hd1.vhd" (primary master);
    6. Boot again with Acronis Rescue Media, hd2.vhd becomes drive letter C because "copy of hd1.vhd" is not formatted;
    7. Restore backup from hd2.vhd to "copy of hd1.vhd";
    8. Shutdown virtual machine, remove hd2.vhd;
    9. Start virtual machine with only "copy of hd1.vhd".
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  4. johnye_pt

    johnye_pt Registered Member

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    I finally managed to boot NT systems, i cloned instead of backup/restore:

    1. Create a new virtual machine with a new vhd (hd1.vhd, Hard Disk 1);
    2. Install windows on hd1.vhd;
    3. Add a new hd2.vhd as Hard Disk 2;
    4. Clone hd1.vhd to hd2.vhd;
    5. Shutdown virtual machine, disable Hard Disk 2, set Hard Disk 1 to hd2.vhd;
    6. Start virtual machine with hd2.vhd.

    hd2.vhd is now much smaller than hd1.vhd because all free space is consolidated and because swap files are not copied when cloning.

    I noticed MBR is mentioned when cloning but not when using backup/restore, could this be the cause of the problem i was having?

    Anyway, my problem is solved without using defrag or any other 3rd party tools, all i needed was the ISO of the ATI7 Rescue Media. Thanks for making such a great program!
     
  5. jaycee

    jaycee Registered Member

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    Good news!!

    Good idea too, I'll think about it to reduce VHD sizes quickly... and easily than precompact and so...
     
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