Bootable USB Hard Disk

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by renato, Aug 3, 2007.

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  1. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    HI,

    I would like to create with TI 10 a bootable hard disk with a USB Flash Drive.
    Could somebody recommend me a type of Flash Drive. I have a DELL with a slot for Compact Flash and a Secure Digital memory card.

    Thank you, renato
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You can try my Guide (see the link in my signature). You can also use Acronis Media Builder to create a bootable flash device if it is recognized by the program.

    I have only used USB flashdrives or USB hard drives, but if your computer can boot from the CF or SD cards, then you should be able to follow the same procedure to create a bootable flashcard. (I haven't tried it, though.)

    I have had good success with PNY Attache flashdrives and also Crucial Gizmo!overdrive flashdrives. I also have an older Lexar Jumpdrive that works well but it's small (only 256MB).

    It's probably best to avoid flashdrives that have "installed" software, programs or security that run when you plug them into the computer. If you have one of those you may have to download a utility from the manufacturer to remove it so you can use it as a "regular" flashdrive.
     
  3. CorkyG

    CorkyG Registered Member

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    I just did that this past week using TI 10/4942 to create the bootable Rescue Disk on a USB flash memory device. I used a common Lexar 267 MB device and it works perfectly. With it I was able to clone the main drive of my Thinkpad T60 laptop to a like drive placed in the Ultrabay carrier that replaces the DVD burner.

    It really makes no difference what brand of flash device you use - just as long as it holds the full Rescue Media.

    There is one note of caution - in order for a flash device to boot in most systems, it must be formatted in FAT 16. My laptop will boot from a USB device, but not SD or other PCMCIA inserts. That is determined by your BIOS boot order settings.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Just to add a little to this... Most newer computer will boot fine with the flashdrive (or USB hard drive) booting partititon formatted as FAT32.

    If your system is older it may require FAT16 in order to boot. However, the process of creating the bootable USB flashdrive using Acronis Media Builder is very easy so you can format your flashdrive both ways and see if one works better than the other.

    Another note: Depending on how the BIOS detects the USB bootable device (and what format it supports, FAT16 or FAT32), it may show up in the Hard Drive list of devices in the BIOS or it may show up as a USB device (USB-CD, USB-HD, USB-ZIP, etc). I've had the best results when the device is detected as a USB Hard Disk.

    On top of that, if you have more than one partition on your flashdrive, some computers will have a problem booting it. If you think that may be the problem, save any files you need to save on the flashdrive (copy them to your hard drive, cd, etc.) and then repartition it as one partition and try again.
     
  5. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    Everything nearly works. My removable USB hard disk looks like in the Guide site 25 and in Comp. Management /Disk Management, like site 48. In the BIOS is USB Storage Device as a Nr.1. As I started the Comp. (the removable hard disk was plugged in) I get the notice: "Missing operating system" . What now?
    o_O
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    renato:

    "Missing Operating System" is an error message from the master boot record (MBR) on a drive. It usually means that none of the partitions has the boot flag set (or is "active"), so the MBR code does not know which partition to boot from.

    Have you tried booting your PC from the Acronis bootable USB flash drive that you used in creating the bootable USB hard drive? I suspect that if you try that it also won't boot for the same reason.

    I've had the Acronis Bootable Media Builder app fail to set the boot flag on a USB flash drive before. I don't know how or why it happens but after setting the flag it worked just fine.

    Do you have a copy of Acronis Disk Director or Partiton Magic or GParted or other partitioning software, or do you run Linux or have a Knoppix CD? If so it's an easy thing to fix. If not, post back here and I'll try to point you to an alternate solution.
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Besides Mark's comment on checking the boot flag is set, can you tell us how the USB Hard Disk is shown in the computer's BIOS?

    Does it show up in the Hard Drive list?
    Or is there only one Boot List in the BIOS that displays all devices?

    Do the same for the USB Flashdrive?
    How does it show in the computer's BIOS?

    Do you get the same error message when you try to boot from the flashdrive?

    Is the flashdrive partitioned with ONLY ONE partition?
    What format did you use? FAT16 or FAT32? Have you tried both?
    What type of flashdrive is it? A regular "key" type, or is it a Flash Card?
    What size is the flashdrive?

    Does Windows Disk Management show the flashdrive partition (and the Acronis partition on the USB hard drive) as (Active)?
    flash_active_partition.JPG
     
  8. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    Some answers:
    "Have you tried booting your PC from the Acronis bootable USB flash drive that you used in creating the bootable USB hard drive?" Yes, the answer was: Missing operating system.
    I have only TI 10 Build 4.942. I use WinXP Prof. Pack2.
    In the BIOS is only shown the Boot List with 4 possibilities (first is USB Storage Device) , and no Hard Drive List. The USB Flashdrive was not shown in the BIOS. Error message when I try to boot from the flashdrive was: Missing operating system. The flashdrive is partitioned with ONLY ONE partition (premier active). I tried only FAT32.
    The flashdrive is regular "key" type (PConKey, 1GB).
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It sounds like you have an older computer/BIOS since it's not listing the USB devices directly. It may only boot to USB-FD, USB-CD and USB-ZIP. If that's the case then it won't boot the USB-HD format.

    What is the computer's model and age?

    For the next try, I would use Windows Disk Manager (or another partitioning program) to delete the current partition so the entire flashdrive is unallocated space. Then create a new partition (using the entire drive) and format it as FAT16 (if you use Windows it will just say FAT for the format type). Next, use Acronis Media Builder to copy the files to it and see if it will boot with USB Storage Device first in the BIOS boot list.
     
  10. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    It is a DELL Latitude X1 from April 2005. The BIOS is over 2 years old, maybe I should make a update/upgrade?
    DELLS opinion was: this comp. is booting from a USB hard disk if the disk has a bootable format. The hard disk is even bootable if the BIOS of the Comp. allow it (LaCie).
    You suggest to reapet everything with FAT 16 or only to try with the USB flashdrive (the "key") to see if the flashdrive is booting?
     
  11. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    PS. I repeated everything with the flashdrive, formated with FAT. The Disk Managm. showed the flashdrive partition as active.
    The USB Storage Device was first in the BIOS boot list.
    The bootnotice was "Error loading operate system"
     
  12. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    PS2: You asked: "Does Windows Disk Management show the flashdrive partition (and the Acronis partition on the USB hard drive) as (Active)?" Only on the flasdrive was active. The Acronis partition onthe same disk was only "healthy" but not active!
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Then that's why your USB hard disk won't boot. The screenshot below shows two removable drives. Disk 1 does NOT have the boot flag set and will not boot. Disk 2 DOES have the boot flag set and will boot.

    Now that you have your USB flash drive appearing as "Active", re-try step 4 in MudCrab's guide about making a TrueImage backup of the drive. Then continue on to step 5 to restore the image to the USB hard disk.

    Finally, test it to see if it is now bootable.
     

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  14. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    I tried it again but it did´t work. But my flash drive (key) is "active" and also did´t boot. The message was "Error loading operate system"
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Do you have another flashdrive you could try?

    Has your computer ever booted successfully from a USB device?

    If you create the bootable USB flashdrive using Acronis Media Builder, does it boot correctly on another computer?

    If you create the bootable USB flashdrive on another computer does it boot correctly on this computer?

    Do you have Acronis Disk Director?

    Are you familiar with any distro of Linux or Knoppix?
     
  16. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    At the moment i havn´t a other flahsdrive.
    No, never boot successful from a USB device, only from a CD.
    This week I have only one comp.
    I have only True Image 10
    I am not familiar with any distro of Linux or Knoppix.
     
  17. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Now that you have tried again, could you look at the status of your USB hard disk in Disk Management. Does it now show as "Active", similar to Disk #2 in the picture in post #13 above?

    If it does show as "Active" then it looks like your computer is not capable of booting from USB devices. You could try two things:

    1. See if there is a BIOS update available from your PC vendor or motherboard manufacturer.
    2. Look in the BIOS setup menu for a "USB Compatibility Mode" setting. Try changing the setting (if ON try OFF or vice-versa) and see if USB devices will now boot.
     
  18. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    It is not active, I tried to post one.
    A BIOS update is available for 29,90$.
    I will try to change the setting in the BIOS later and send the result.
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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  20. renato

    renato Registered Member

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  21. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I still don't understand. If it's a Dell computer, why don't you get the updated BIOS from Dell for free?
     
  22. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    In the German Dell-Support I didn´t find this update until now. Now I looked again and found it!
    Latitude X1 FlashBIOS Version A06. LX1_A06.EXE
    But should I do it? Are the no risk?
     
  23. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    There is always a risk involved when flashing the BIOS and there is no guarantee that the update will allow you to boot from your USB devices.

    It's just a call you'll have to make.

    Maybe you should contact Dell Support (via email or internet chat) and ask them if the update will help with booting USB devices.
     
  24. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    Yes, I did it! I asked them how the USB Hard Disk is shown in the upgrade BIOS?
    Does it show up in the Hard Drive list?
    Or is there only one Boot List in the BIOS that displays all devices? about the Booting List
     
  25. renato

    renato Registered Member

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    HI,

    the BIOS upgrade has also only one booting list! No specially hard boot list.
     
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