BEWARE - Deleting Secure Zone

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by kinetic, Aug 23, 2005.

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  1. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    I had initially set up a secure zone on a second (SATA) drive. The zone was about 30Gig and contained many incremental backups. After some serious upgrades and application installs I decided that I should do a new full image of my C Drive and thought it best to delete the secure zone via the Acronis True Image interface, which I did. The result was a whole lot of unallocated space on that drive. I couldn't recover that space using either the Windows XP disk management tool or Partition Magic 8. Partition Magic declared the whole disk 'bad'. I found a thread in these forums of someone with similar problems and the solution offered was to re-install True Image and/or use a third party app like Partition Magic to recover the unallocated space. After downloading the latest True Image build I reinstalled and was able to set up a new secure zone, but in doing so lost one of my logical drives (lucky for me I had backed up everything). I was also able to create a new full image into that zone. This left me still with about 30 Gigs of unallocated space. Partition Magic continued to recognise the whole disk as bad and so I could not use that app for any operations. The XP disk manager however still recognised the drive, the two remaining partitions, the secure zone and the unallocated space. However when I attempted to create a new logical drive for that unallocated space, Windows reported an error and also the new secure zone was lost/removed.

    Aside from either reformatting the whole drive, or running FDisk in dos and setting up the drive afresh (neither of which are guaranteed to work in this circumstance) I really don't know what else I can do. Obviously the problem is in the master boot record but I don't know of any other apps that can correct whatever the problem is.

    Any suggestions would be welcome, but don't do what I did and delete the secure zone. Naturally I am not very happy with True Image. If the app has the facility to remove the secure zone, it should definitely adjust the MBR accordingly. Another thing I don't like about saving images in the secure zone is that I can't find a way to save the images stored there somewhere else (you know the old adage that data isn't safe unless it's stored in two places at the same time).
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    25,885
    Hello kinetic,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Could you please do the following in order to get the space back:
    • Create Acronis Secure Zone again using the unallocated space
    • Remove Acronis Secure Zone by means of the ‘Manage Acronis Secure Zone’ wizard adding the space to a partition you want

    You can also use any partitioning program (for example, Acronis Disk Director Suite 9.0) in order to create a partition using the unallocated space.

    Thank you.
    --
    Irina Shirokova
     
  3. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello kinetic,

    It's a bit long winded but the following procedure should recover the unallocated space:

    1. Start TI and use the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard to create a temporary Secure Zone (SZ).
    2. On the "Disk Selection" screen select the drive that contains the 30GB of unallocated space and click "Next".
    3. On the next screen, again select the drive that contains the unallocated space and then click "Next".
    4. Create a SZ of about 20GB in size by moving the slider accordingly. Click "Next".
    5. Select the option "Do not activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager" and then click "Next" followed by "Proceed". Depending on where the SZ was created, Windows may need to reboot to complete the creation.
    6. Once the SZ has been created, use the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard to remove the SZ.
    7. In the "Redistributing Space" screen select the partition that you want to give the space to and then click "Next" followed by "Proceed". TI will then probably reboot and remove the SZ.
    8. After finally rebooting into Windows, right click on "My Computer", select "Manage" > "Disk Management" and check that the unallocated space has been reassigned to your chosen partition/disk.

    Regards
     
  4. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Thankyou Menorcaman for your advice. I'll give it a try and report back. Really appreciate your post.
     
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Thanks Menorcaman for your advice. I was able to recover the unallocated space using the procedure you described. Great stuff and thanks very much.

    A couple of things afterwards - Partition Magic won't load (and I'm unaware of anything else that has been changed to the system other than the TI dilemma that could cause this). I've deinstalled it and will reinstall - hopefully the problem won't still exist then.

    The other thing is that I deinstalled TI altogether and verified that the disk status hadn't changed BUT.... Acronis still reports a missing boot sector at startup, even though I've deinstalled the program. Probably because the drive where the Secure Zone was still is set to active (why the Acronis loader still exists on the system to look for a Secure Zone on startup, and why the drive was still set to active indicates sloppy programming for a deinstall). But I'll reinstall Acronis and set the SZ on the same drive and that problem should go away.

    But thanks very much for your help.
     
  6. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again kinetic,

    Glad you managed to recover the unallocated space.

    Sounds as if your Master Boot Record (MBR) might still be modified due to you previously having activated the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager (SRM). I'm guessing that when you originally created a Secure Zone (SZ), you also accepted the default option "Activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager" (most people do :'().

    You subsequently used Windows Disk Management in an attempt to create a logical drive in the unallocated space and, in the process, managed to delete the SZ. Unfortunately, this will not have deactivated the SRM, thereby still leaving you with the modified MBR. The only way to deactivate the SRM and reset the MBR to normal is to remove the SZ via the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard.

    The safest thing to do now would be to reinstall TI, create a new SZ with the default option to also activate the SRM. When that's done, use the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard again to remove the SZ, which will then also reset the MBR back to normal.

    I would then install Partion Magic before creating a new SZ and activating the SRM. However, unless you really can't live without Acronis' "Press F11 to boot into recovery mode" feature, my recommendation would be to create the SZ but do not accept the "Activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager" default option. Hopefully, True Image and Partition Magic can then live in harmony!!

    Regards
     
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Yes, I agree with you Menorcaman. Thanks very much for your input, comments and assistance.
     
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