bootable USB disk problem

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by colgmh, Feb 19, 2006.

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  1. colgmh

    colgmh Registered Member

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    Hi,
    Help!
    We purchased True Image Corporate Workstation 8.0. Our purpose was to use this tool and secondary USB disk for every critical laptop as hot backup/image. Means: to use this secondary USB disk as recovery and bootable disk for end-user, without any action of system administrator. If primary disk crashed, just boot from secondary one and continue to work. Which way is the simple and prefered for us? Thanks.

    I already tried something, but my USB drive (bootable from BIOS view) gives an error during boot.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello colgmh,

    I might have got it mixed up but I have a nagging feeling that Windows isn't able to boot from an USB drive. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

    Regards
     
  3. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    Windows can't boot from USB, unless it is modified , or a PE (PreInstalled Environment - like WinPE or Bart'sPE) which also requires tricks to boot from USB. I have to re-read sometime, but as far as i remember there was an article in one magazine about booting Windows from USB. (and it was not easy)
     
  4. colgmh

    colgmh Registered Member

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    Thanks for reply, I also saw in one of magazines an article about USB bootable option and I thought that it is exactly what Acronis do. If you can find this article or at least some correct value for searching - it will be fine.

    Thanks, Olga.
     
  5. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    Acronis is only save/restore, so it has nothing to do with booting windows from USB. AFAIR you have the following options:

    • Make the USB-Drive bootable with Acronis (or if that fails, another bootloader)
      This would allow the User to boot the Acronis TI Rescue Environment from the USB drive and restore the backup.
    • Clone the installed Windows to the external drive and modify the settings for USB drivers.
      This would allow the user to boot into XP on the USB drive.
      The disadvantage is, if you ever happen to start Windows on another Computer than the original one (,or even on the first start on the cloned computer), it will redetect the Hardware, and reset the USB driver settings, so it wouldn't find its boot volume on the next start.

    I'm going to write down the HowTo for Option 2 from the magazine (c't 02/06) when I'm at home.
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello colgmh,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Workstation Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that there are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - transfers the entire contents of one disk drive to another;

    Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes;

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Actually, Clone Disk approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while Backup approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes. Since you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, I would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    Moreover, there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure such as: you can create an image without rebooting your PC, image creation can be scheduled for the particular point in time, Acronis True Image allows you to create incremental and differential images, image archive contains only the actual data and so it has a smaller size, images are ordinary files and so they can be stored on any type of the supported media, etc. However, the final choice is always up to your needs.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Alexey,

    I remember now reading that Microsoft article about 18 months ago. Hence the reason I believed that Windows couldn't be booted from a USB hard drive. To quote from the MS article you refer to (my hilighting):

    So there we have it, straight from the horses mouth - the current Windows family cannot be natively booted and run from a USB device. As b_k indicated, to do so requires the assistance of third party software, which would include modifications to the Registry, etc.

    Regards
     
  9. crash79`

    crash79` Registered Member

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    This thread is also of great interest to me and I apologise for trespassing.
    I have purchased an external item which requires a bootable USB 2 High Speed.
    The bootable sofware is preinstalled on the device.
    If I plug that into the USB2 High Speed port on my machine and then alter the bios, is that all there is to it?
     
  10. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    Well, not all what comes from MS is true. In fact, you do NOT require third party software to run XP from an USB HDD.

    The following info is a sum-up of the article in c't 02/06 - p144 (I have not tried this, yet)
    Like i said before, you have to change some settings for the USB Mass Storage Drivers. Modifications to the Registry are limited to only these drivers. The reason therefore is, normally Windows loads USB-Drivers late after booting.

    To change that, you have to open the registry (File SYSTEM in Windows\System32\Config) of the Windows installation (cloned to the USB-Disk). Then you have to modify the ControlSet (which one will be used is set at \Select\DEFAULT - all registry paths are relative to the point where you "mounted" the registry file):
    You will only have one of the first two registry entries (since you either got a Universal or Open Host Controller)
    Code:
    \ControlSet001\Services\usbuhci
    Start = 0
    Group = System Reserved
    \ControlSet001\Services\usbohci
    Start = 0
    Group = System Reserved
    \ControlSet001\Services\usbehci
    Start = 0
    Group = System Reserved
    \ControlSet001\Services\usbhub
    Start = 0
    Group = System Reserved
    \ControlSet001\Services\usbstor
    Start = 0
    Group = System Reserved
    
    Now comes the trouble, after this modification, Windows should be able to boot from USB, BUT as soon as it runs into Hardware detection, it will reset the above settings. This means, after every new hardware detection run you will have to remodify the settings!
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi b_k,

    Most interesting. Thanks for the tip.

    However, I did qualify my statement by saying "...cannot be natively booted and run...". I myself would say that having to modify the Registry falls into this category ;).

    Regards
     
  12. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello crash79',

    I assume the bootable software isn't a Windows Operating System so, yes, setting the correct boot order in your BIOS should be all that's required.

    Regards
     
  13. crash79`

    crash79` Registered Member

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    Thanks, What a relief.
     
  14. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Menorcaman,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Than you very much for your remark. Yes, you are quite correct regarding this article. However, I just wanted everyone to make sure that the "current Windows family" cannot be booted from USB storage devices. Probably the article I referred to is not the best explanation, but as you have already mentioned above it contains the main idea:

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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