Bootable USB flavor of rescue CDROM?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by hydrostarr, Jul 10, 2007.

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  1. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    I'd like to be able to boot the TrueImage Rescue CD as a USB pendrive/key, similar to what http://pendrivelinux.com/ does for Linux.

    Is this feasible? Do I need to develop the procedure to create this myself, or (hopefully) does such at thing already exist?

    (My apologies if this is a FAQ; several searches through this forum did not find any similar discussion thread.)
     
  2. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Try this How to create an Acronis bootable USB hard disk.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello mattengland,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Note that you are able to use USB Flash Card as an Acronis Rescue Media. You can find precise instructions on how to create Acronis Bootable USB Flash Card in this article.

    Thank you.
    --
    Michael Fedyulin
     
  4. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info folks...but this process does not create a bootable USB for me. The BIOS on my laptop sees the usb drive...but it doesn't think it can boot from it.

    I like to think I've checked out my laptop's ability from this, for I boot http://pendrivelinux.com/ on it all the time from a separate usb flashdrive.

    The only problem I can think of is that my particularly USB flashdrive is somehow flawed with some specific hardware problem. I hightly doubt this, but it's the only thing I can think of.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    What format have you tried when using Acronis Media Builder to create the bootable USB flashdrive, FAT/FAT16 or FAT32? If you haven't tried both, then do so. One may work.

    Another thing to consider is that Media Builder creates a USB Hard Disk bootable device. Some older computers only boot from USB-FDD, USB-CDROM and USB-ZIP formats. Do you know exactly what format your pendrivelinux is? When I made my first linux bootable flashdrive it was formatted in the USB-ZIP format.
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello mattengland,

    Please try setting type of the partition created on the flash drive to Active using Windows disk management (after creating Acronis Bootable Rescue Media on that flash drive).

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  7. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    WinXP Computer-Management->Disk-Management shows my 102 MB FAT partition (with AMB-created bootable media content on it) as "Healthy (Active)". (How to set this value if it's not already set is beyond me; partition magic can't "see" this drive; I did set the partition boot flag via fdisk under linux, not sure if this flag is the same thing as "active.")

    Originally it was FAT32. AMB (acronis media builder) did not like that--ie, AMB did not "see" the USB pendrive. I formatted to FAT16 and AMB sees and builds the bootable media, but it won't boot.

    Well, if you can tell me how/where to read or set this status/info, I'd be happy to answer your question.


    In general, I'm extremely disappointed with this process. I boot from Acronis cdrom AMB regularly, and that process works. But because of my laptop's specific configuration (I can go into further detail if needed), I need to be able to boot from USB pendrive when traveling.

    FWIW, I'm a technical user. I've been some combination of a software developer, system admin, and storage-area-network engineer for more than a decade (I currently manage things more than anything else but still keep my techie skills sharp). The fact that I can't get this to work after beating my head on the wall for several weeks with this does, imho, not reflect well upon the Acronis Trueimage boot-from-usb-stick process.

    Bottom line: I want Acronis to resolve this issue for me immediately, or I want my money back from Acronis that I spent for a TrueImage license. (Unfortunately I can't get back all the time I wasted on this problem...)

    Let us please hope we can find a solution quickly. I would appreciate it if someone at Acronis can private-message me a phone number directly to a high-level support engineer and cut through all the low-level support stuff.

    -Matt
     
  8. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    Actually, I have a better idea: I'd like Acronis to US postal-service-mail me a USB pendrive that simply works (assuming such a thing can be done). I need to boot off of a Thinkpad T41 running BIOS version 3.21.

    The fact that http://pendrivelinux.com/ provides me a very easy procedure for which to create a bootable USB pendrive and Acronis can not (on the exact same pendrive) also does not reflect well on Acronis.

    Acronis- please private-message me and we can get a conversation going about how you're going to postal-mail me a USB stick/flashdrive/pendrive.

    Thanks,
    -Matt
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    mattengland,

    I've been working on fixing the problem where Media Builder doesn't create a bootable USB flashdrive.

    I have a fix that has worked for others and may work for you. The details and instructions can be found here.

    I hope if helps.
     
  10. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    Well, it was promising to start, for it references a "blank" restore .tib file that appears to have MBR stuff on it for which one hopefully "set everything straight" to allow AMB to write the necessary content and then make a bootable USB pendrive. (And by the way: the .pdf guide, which I believe I've followed earlier on in this saga, seems to make no mention of this blank .tib stuff.)

    In any case, I restored the FAT16 flavor of the .tib to one of my USB sticks (the procedure doesn't seem to mention anything about restoring the MBR--I restored the MBR. should I have not done that?). I ran AMB and populated the USB stick with the stuff. Didn't work. *sigh*

    Here's the error message I see at bootup (I'm typing this by hand, because I can't cut and past, sorry for any tyops):

    At least it tries to boot; in most my previous cases, it wouldn't get this far (although I have seen this error message once before).

    Any thoughts, MudCrab? Want to talk on the phone? I'd be happy to nominally pay you for your time. Please private message me if you'd like to chat further. (Acronis seems to be unresponsive to my private-message inquiries to their account on these forums.)

    All in all, I'm quite surprised that this problem is so difficult.
     
  11. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    While this procedure did not work for me, I wanted to emphasize this quote from http://www.purviancecs.com/acronis.htm :

    Acronis, are you listening? Care to comment? I'm also still awaiting a support response to my private messages to you (Acronis), and want you to mail me a working USB pendrive/flashdrive/stick. I'm doing everything I can think of to try to get your attention (I sent an official support ticket and also asked a member of your pre-sales team to bug the support folks) and solve this problem, but I'm having troubles doing either.

    -Matt
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, the Entire Disk Image should be restored (the Disk # checkbox should be checked). This is written in the "More Details..." section, but not the "Basic Instructions." I will make the change so it's clear.

    ----

    I plan on working with Matt on this problem. Hopefully, a working solution can be found and posted.
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    This error indicates two things:
    1. The MBR in the flash drive has found and booted the correct file (bootwiz.sys)
    2. There is something wrong with the partition table on the flash drive.

    Matt, how large is your flash drive? I know you already tried an experiment with formatting the drive as FAT32, but you may want to try again. This time use MudCrab's blank FAT32 image to prepare your flash drive.
     
  14. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello mattengland,

    Could you please clarify the full version name and build number of the version of Acronis True Image you use? You can find the full version name and build number by going to Help -> About... menu in the main program window.

    Please also let us know your Acronis request number (e.g. [Acronis #123456]) which was sent to you in autoreply to your letter? We will find out the reason for the delay. If you have not received an autoreply then please send us a Private Message containing your e-mail address.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  15. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    Acronis True Image Home version 10.0 build 4,942

    Subject: [Acronis #1120087] MediaBuilder does not create proper, bootable USB pendrive

    All it does is point to this wildersecurity.com forum thread.

    I really don't care as much about finding the reason for he delay as I do in solving my problem to this issue. Once again, I want to state this very plainly: http://pendrivelinux.com works beautifully for creating a bootable USB stick; why can't Acronis simply copy their procedure and run their media-builder app on top of the same foundation? Why is this so hard? Assuming this is difficult, then why not usps-mail me a working USB stick for my Thinkpad T41 with 3.21 Bios? To be clear: I WANT ACRONIS TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS IN THIS PARAGRAPH WITH SPECIFIC ANSWERS TO EVERY QUESTION.

    I have tried 100MB partitions a couple times and a 256MB partition (assuming this is what you are asking). I've tried these various combinations on a 256MB flash stick and a 4GB flash stick (the 4GB flash stick is known to work well with http://pendrivelinux.com ).

    I may try that later if I can make more time to do this today, which may or may not happen.

    -Matt
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Matt,

    Have you tried creating the pendrivelinux flashdrive (I assume it uses either FAT16 or FAT32) and then without making any changes to it, use Acronis Media Builder on it?

    Since Media Builder seems to leave the MBR boot code alone, it may work since the pendrivelinux flashdrive boots.
     
  17. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    I'd love to try this. Exactly what does it mean to "use AMB on it"? Can I run AMB from the pendrivelinux (which I think is a Debian flavor) OS once it boots up? Or something else?

    Do you mean to write over the pendrivelinux parition with the AMB conent?

    Looking for specifics. Sounds like a great idea. One of these days we might hear from a qualified Acronis engineer, too.
     
  18. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I mean to create the pendrivelinux flashdrive normally. Make sure it boots correctly.

    Then start Windows.
    Plug in the pendrivelinux flashdrive (wait for it to be detected).
    Start Acronis Media Builder.
    Select the pendrivelinux as the destination and let Media Builder copy the files to it.

    Then see if it boots.
     
  19. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    fyi: I will probably not be able to work on this issue this week. When I do get to addressing an AMB-bootable USB, I may be trying a grub-based boot process (for I've wanted a multi-boot USB stick for some time):

    http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/grub_intro/

    Alas, I may try mudcrab's suggestion first. I suppose it depends on my mood at the time. ;)
     
  20. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    For what it's worth, I'm using an IBM Thinkpad T42p and have never been able to create a bootable USB key using the Acronis Media Builder (AMB), that would boot my T42p. I was using BIOS 3.21 and today updated to 3.23, but it still doesn't work. Currently on TI 10.0.4942.

    The same AMB-prepared key DOES boot some other computers (but not all other computers) I've tried it on, so I know it's not completely messed up; just not compatible with my own computer.

    The same physical key, WILL BOOT my T42p if I put a simple copy of DOS on it and set it as active, or BARTPE, or several flavors of LINUX environments. The only thing that has never worked has been the Acronis recovery environment. So, my key is fine and compatible with my computer, and my computer has the ability to boot from it. But whatever AMB creates is not compatible with my system.

    Back in Acronis version 8 times, some kind soul did some sort of trick that would use some other LINUX thing to bootstrap Acronis. That worked fine. But it was pretty specific to version 9 and I've not seen a version 10 variant, I think.

    I know the whole USB boot issue is complex and Acronis can't ensure that every flavor of computer / USB key will work, but why they have chosen the ONE scheme that doesn't seem to work for the IBM T4x series is a bit annoying.

    For the record I get "System disk not present" or "Missing OS" type errors when I try to boot the keys. They fail early, not late.

    I've worked through MudCrab's awesome Bootable USB Hard drive document (dude! Props to you!) but sadly my computer won't boot that; it fails the same way as the actual USB keys do.

    I continue to peruse the boards in hope of a solution.

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  21. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Oh, one more thing. I followed MudCrab's instructions on his "Having problems...?" page regarding creating the blank image on the USB key followed by running AMB on the key. That doesn't result in a bootable key for me.

    I'm convinced that the problem is that the booting scheme used by Acronis is incompatible with some (many!) computers, including but not limited to the IBM T41/T42 series. Since these computers boot most USB media just fine, I really wish Acronis would come up with a better, more uniformly successful, scheme.

    In other words, it's not a problem with the computer, or the creation of Acronis on the key (since my key will boot TI on some computers), it's simply the Acronis boot structure itself being not that widely compatible.

    Marc
     
  22. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    For those interested in the solution I refered to a few posts up in this thread, this link from February 2006 provided a solution. I believe it was for version 9 of TI. It doesn't work with subsequent releases (TI10), much to my chagrin. It was based on Syslinux.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=681989&postcount=31

    If anyone can MAKE it work with version 10.0.4942, I would greatly appreciate it!

    Marc
     
  23. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the info, Marc. That probably took a lot of effort, or at least a lot of time.

    Have you possibly tried mudcrab's suggestion of installing the AMB content "on top of" a working boot partition (eg, pendrivelinux install with an .img file using dd(1))?

    Also: I am still curious to know if a qualified Acronis analyst/engineer might show up on this thread with some helpful suggestions. Acronis, where are you?
     
  24. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Matt,

    Booting the Acronis Media using GRUB is very doable. I have it on my GRUB flashdrive (along with BartPE, Knoppix and FreeDOS).

    If you do this you'll need Disk Director (or Knoppix). I used Disk Director because it's easier that way, but you should be able to do it all with Knoppix/Linux.

    I can send you the basic instructions if you want them.
     
  25. hydrostarr

    hydrostarr Registered Member

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    Yes, please do. You're welcome to pm me or post here to the thread.
     
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