Can images be save to hidden partitions?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Vanguard, Sep 14, 2005.

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  1. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    I recall seeing something about ATI being able to save to a partition which, to me, means that it is not designated as a drive. I'd like to save the images to a hidden partition so it isn't normally available within the OS. That way, my images are safe from accidental deletion and possibly reduce the chance of viral infection. When I select a destination for the image file(s), can that destination be to a hidden partition? That is, can I specify by physical drive number and physical partition number where ATI will save its image files?
     
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Vanguard,

    Yes you can but you might just as well create an Acronis True Image Secure Zone (don't activate the associated Startup Recovery Manager though, unless you can't live without the "Press F11 to boot into recovery mode" feature) and create your image to that. It's a special hidden partition that's only accessable from within True Image.

    Regards
     
  3. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    Thanks. I just downloaded the PDF manual for TI 8.0 and am going through it today. It mentioned the secure zone for saving images which sounds to be what I want. I respect vendors that put their manuals online so you can see how to actually use a product.

    While I save periodic full images to CD-R (for now and then DVD-R when I get one), I'm adding another hard drive and that's where I wanted to save my "hidden" image filesets. Not only will the hard drive be hidden (by not assigning a drive letter to it), I can disable that drive in the BIOS by disabling its IDE port, and the BIOS is password protected.
     
  4. ExploreIT

    ExploreIT Registered Member

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    I have just installed TI Server 8.0 and read the manual.

    On page 14 it recommends that you use the Acronis SZ but then also recommends that you backup your image to optical media.

    How is this possible?

    I cannot find a way to take an image out of the SZ and put it somewhere else, like on a network share or CDR.

    Thanks
    Ian
     
  5. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Ian,

    It's not possible to copy the image from the SZ to somewhere else (that's why it's "secure" :)). You can mount/explore the image and copy individual files from it but that's not the same thing.

    I think the User's Guide is recommending a "belt and braces" approach, whereby you also create separate image to CDs or DVDs (for DVDs, use either the "direct" method or the "two-step" method detailed in <Acronis Online FAQ #20>) in case of hardware failure.

    Regards
     
  6. ExploreIT

    ExploreIT Registered Member

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    OK, thanks. That's what I thought.

    It's a shame because now I have to use another tool to resize the partition and then make a second backup D partition so I can image C to D and then copy from D to tape/CD later.

    Thanks for the reply.
    Ian
     
  7. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    What would stop a user from going into the Disk Management applet (diskmgmt.msc) and assigning a drive letter to that hidden partition? Does it use a file system not recognizable by Windows NT/2000/XP? If the file system were supported, and by assigning a drive letter, the otherwise hidden "secure" partition becomes unhidden and usable/corruptible by the user or applications. Then if you specified a fixed size for your image fileset that was smaller than the capacity of your removable media, you could then simply copy the files onto that removable media. Then remove the drive letter assignment to make the partition hidden again.

    Since I've seen mention that the bootable TI disc uses Linux, it is quite possible that the file system used in the hidden partition for the "secure zone" won't have a file system recognizable by Windows. If, however, the secure zone's hidden partition uses FAT, NTFS, HPFS that Windows supports then just assigning a drive letter to that partition makes it unhidden. If the partition were truly secure, it would be an encrypted partition that *no* operating system could decipher. Not just encrypted files under a recognizable file system but all sectors within the partition were encrypted, like when using DriveCrypt, SafeBoot, or other disk-encryption software, so no file system could be recognized.
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    The Windows Disk Management utility reports the SZ as "FAT 32 Healthy (Unknown Partition)" but the option to "Change Drive Letter and Paths" is greyed out.

    A bit off topic but you will find that the only thing Windows Disk Management allows you to do with the SZ is delete it. However, don't even think about doing that as you will be left with a whole load of unallocated free space plus a crippled Startup Recovery Manager (SRM) if that had been activated as well. Always use the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard to remove the SZ. This will return the space used to the appropriate partition and, if the SRM had been activated, reset the Master Boot Record to "Standard".

    Regards
     
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