Bootable TI Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by MArt, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. MArt

    MArt Registered Member

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    For imaging of laptops the procedure at my company is to remove the CDROM of the Thinkpad T40/41/42/43/60 and replace it with a tray that makes it an internal hard drive. The drive was formatted and made bootable with a Win98 floppy and Ghost was put on it. With this you can boot up and have a machine imaged in 15-20 minutes.

    Is it possible to put the Acronis enviroment onto a partition of a HD and boot into it and use the rest of the drive space as an area to hold the image?
     
  2. MArt

    MArt Registered Member

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    I've been working on this independently, and have managed to make it into the Linux-based Acronis environment using syslinux to make a 40 meg partition bootable. I've even done this with a USB key using TI8 and it works great.

    However I've noticed that when using my HD to boot, Acronis/Linux fails to recognize the internal SATA drive of a Thinkpad T60. The CD does work in this case, but the idea is to remove the CDROM and replace it with a HD and restore images stored on the same drive that the rescue environment does. I'm using the same kernel from the CD. Any ideas? Acronis Support, I'm guessing you're the only one who can help at this point....
     
  3. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    Not quite like that - create the bootable TI rescue CD, put that other internal hard drive with the image on it in a usb enclosure, boot with the CD and restore the image from the usb drive to the laptop's drive.
     
  4. MArt

    MArt Registered Member

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    Well, we've done that already, but that requires 2 seperate pieces to make it go (drive+CD). By putting everything in the same place it's just plain easier.

    I know I'm real close to getting it right...
     
  5. RockyCore

    RockyCore Registered Member

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    It would take some work, but you could probably achieve this if you made your 2ndary Hard Drive boot into a Bart PE installation. From there you could easily have all kinds of SATA drivers updated easily.

    Then you just get some creative scripting done and magic !
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    MArt:

    Two ideas:

    1.Is there a SATA compatibility mode setting in the T60's BIOS? I think if there is you could set the drive to compatibility mode and then the Linux ATI version should see the drive.

    2. If you can store your image on a network drive, ATI can see other computers on the LAN when the T60 is connected to the same wired LAN. I think that this feature requires DHCP on your network; it works great on my home network with a typical residential router. Then your boot hardware can consist of just a USB thumb drive containing the bootable ATI software, and you can pull the image off the network.
     
  7. MArt

    MArt Registered Member

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    This I did try and the drive became visible and it seemed to take the image but I could not start the system up afterwards (in either compatibility or standard mode). It was strange from the start because the CD can see the SATA drive but my hacked version did not.
    I thumbed around the forums some more and added "acpi=off noapic" to the .cfg file and it magically could see the drive. It took the image and again wouldn't boot. I ran out of time (user was expecting the laptop to be delievered) and went to the known working method (CD+USB drive). I think perhaps there was a problem with my image and copied over the known good one and will try again when another unit comes through.

    Yes, this does work... but very slowly in the office. The networking equipment is only happy when your NIC is set to 100/FULL. From what I can tell, ATI8 sets the NIC to autodetect, which you would entirely expect it to, but it slows the transfer rate miserably. This is obviously a fault with the configuration of the Cisco switches, but something I am forced to work around. If I could force eth0 to 100/Full it might be worth it to just leave images on the network.

    Hmm....
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    MArt:

    It's worth a try. I re-imaged my Thinkpad that way recently. I had the 6 GB image stored on a Linux fileserver on my home network that restored to the Thinkpad in 10 minutes using the standalone version of ATI. Apparently the autodetect mode for the NIC worked and set the transfer rate to 100/Full because 6 GB in 10 min is roughly 10 MBytes/sec or > 80 Mbits/sec. If you account for TCP/IP overhead that probably is close to 100 Mb/s.
     
  9. MArt

    MArt Registered Member

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    USB - 12 minutes
    LAN - 45 minutes

    Image size is 8.5 gigs. Extending your numbers I'm looking at 14 minutes on a good day.

    ethtool works on my Ubuntu box at home but apparently it's not compiled into the Acronis-modified kernel. I did request and get the source code for it but I'm still a linux newb and probably lose a lot of hair trying to make a new version.
    It bugs me because I know that I'm thisclose but I think I'm gonna shelf this for now.
     
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