Can you restore a disk image to a new hard drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jeremywms, Dec 13, 2005.

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  1. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    This question may sound silly, but I have had this problem before with other software and am wondering whether anyone knows whether Acronis can deliver on this one point. I have backed up my entire hard disk on my computer using the full image feature. If, for any reason, my computer should fail (such as a surge that gets through my UPS system), can I take that image stored on DVD's and restore it to a brand new computer system?

    In other words, do I have to be able to use the clone/migrate feature to do this, or can I accomplish the same thing if I have to start over on a new computer using my full image backup?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2005
  2. mikebore

    mikebore Registered Member

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    yes, absolutely, but you need to have made an Acronis recovery disk to boot from so you can restore from the image. More explanation in the manual and FAQ.
     
  3. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    Thank you Mike,

    I am also assuming that I would at least have to load the Acronis software on the new system and enable the feature where I can hit F11 as the new machine boots with my bootable CD from the previous machine loaded in the drive?
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    jeremywms, no, boot to the CD and just restore the image to an empty HD.
     
  5. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    Okay Brian,

    So the scenario is that my current computer dies. I buy a new computer and boot my bootable cd made on my dead computer on the new computer and then restore the image file made from the dead computer, and supposedly my new computer is just like the dead one, including all settings, programs and data?

    Jeremy
     
  6. btimms

    btimms Registered Member

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    I don't think its advisable to restore the image to a new computer - only a new HD on the computer the image was built from. Unless the new computer is an exact duplicate of the old MB drivers would conflict or need to be completely revised - not to mention reactivating Windows.
     
  7. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    Btimms,

    I see. So the cloning/migrating feature would be better for this. I suppose in my scenario, then, I would hope that I could install another disk to the bad computer and hope that i could then create a clone to install on the new one?

    I also just received a reply from tech support which states:

    Please remember that in order to clone or migrate your Windows system to a different hardware, you should first prepare Windows using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (Sysprep)
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/faq.html#30
     
  8. btimms

    btimms Registered Member

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    My experience is that the only hardware that usually goes bad is the powersupply or a hard drive. Its very rare for a MB or add on card to go bad with todays manufacturing methods and QC. If you are planning to migrate your current system to a new system it will require a tool similar to Sysprep.
     
  9. rharris270

    rharris270 Guest

    I agree with the previous reply. All you need is the Acronis bootable CD and the image (on CD, DVD, USB hard drive, etc, whatever you like).

    I also agree that restoring to a totally new PC (new motherboard) will lead to some problems, but they are possible to overcome. Assuming that the operating system is XP, you will need to do a "repair" installation. This should be done **before** attempting to boot into XP. The "repair" will check the hardware and load appropriate drivers for most things. If you have SATA, SCSI, or RAID hard drive, you will also need to have the drivers for those on a floppy, and remember to hit F6 early in the XP repair process.

    Here are some links about repairing XP:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315341

    http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

    http://www.extremetech.com/print_article/0,3998,a=23979,00.asp


    If XP, all this new hardware will trigger a re-activation. Assuming that you own a retail license (not OEM license, not pre-made PC like Dell or Gateway), actvation will either be almost automatic or at worst relatively easy (5 minutes).

    Hint: If you do not have a real XP CDROM, or if you can not do a repair installation with the CD, then you pobably have an OEM copy of XP. In such a case you will need to buy a new copy of XP for the new hardware.
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello jeremywms,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that in this case there is no essential difference between cloning the hard drive and restoring the image of the entire hard drive. The main problem here is that no one can guarantee the successful transferring of the operating system to a different hardware.

    However, please take a look at the following basic scheme of transferring the operating system to a different hardware:

    - Prepare your Windows for transferring using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (sysprep) as it is described in this FAQ article;

    - Either create an image of the prepared Windows and then restore this image to the desired location or use Clone Disk wizard to transfer the entire contents of your old hard drive to the new disk;

    - Try to boot as usual;

    - If it does not boot then please do the following (depending on the operating system you use):

    - Boot the computer from Windows 95/98/ME Startup Disk and run "fdisk /mbr" command;

    - Boot the computer from Windows 2000/XP Installation CD and run "fixmbr" command in Recovery Console;

    - In case it still does not boot, perform Windows Repair Installation as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  11. Scimitar

    Scimitar Guest

    I have been trying to do this same procedure, however I'm having some difficulty. I took an image and placed it on a new HDD in a new system. I knew this would be trouble but thought there were good steps to fixing it. I get a BSOD saying "Inaccessible boot device" right after the image is done. I read that I need to do the Fixmbr piece. I run the floopy and it says this "No commands for booting operating system. Press <enter> to reboot..." Not sure what that is all about. When I try to boot off the server 2000 CD I get past where it asks to hit F6 for Raid drivers. It loads all the regular windows drivers along the bottom and then says "Starting Windows 2000" and then it BSOD's. I never get to the option to Repair or go to Recover Console. Can someone help?
     
  12. Scimitar

    Scimitar Guest

    Ok I tried doing the repair install. I actually got it to go using old W2k server boot disks. I ran the Fast repair to do all the tests but this still gives me a BSDO with boot device inaccessible. Any ideas?
     
  13. jd91651

    jd91651 Guest

    I do not recommend what you are trying to do unless your new computer has very similar hardware and the same motherboard.
    Keep in mind that there are motherboard chipset drivers installed that talk to the various hardware components at a very low dirver level and you cannot uninstall them. You would need to install new ones for the new mobo and they will most likely conflict with the old which aren't the right ones to begin with (unless the mobo is the same). You also have video drivers to deal with
    probably sound card etc. Windows will successfully reallocate interupts and memory and much of the hardware drivers but not all of it. Even if it looks like things are working you might find yourself with strange behaviour, crashes, maybe sluggishness who knows what else might occur.
    If you are getting a new computer do yourself a favor and do a new install.
    Don't bog it down with all the old junk.
    You can then install Acronis and get to the old images to restore files etc in them that you might have. If you have critical data such as financial or email etc. save it out before to some other media just in case there is a problem with the acronis images. Sysprep and other tools are designed for deployment of computer systems in a corp environment where hardware is similar or same. Then an image of one computer can be blasted out to others and sysprep can be used to change SID# etc. (numeric identifiers important in domain environments so ea computer is unique within the domain).
    good luck.
     
  14. Scimitar

    Scimitar Guest

    Thanks. I've basically decided that it's not going to work. Lots of work ahead now.
     
  15. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    I may be kind of retarded here, so anyone please feel free to set me straight. I am wondering what good a backup program is if you cannot restore it to another computer if something happens to your old one. I had this problem with my business this past year. Lightening struck a power transformer (I know this sounds dramatic, but it's true) and it went right through our UPS backup system to fry everything in our computer--mother board and all.)

    In this type of situation, is a person just resigned to consider himself up the creek without a paddle? I guess I am understanding that one has to hope and pray that the only thing that fails on their computer is the hard drive and if that is the case, one can install a new hard drive on the same computer and restore the backup image and data that resided on the old/damaged hard drive?

    If this is the case, I am hoping that my dramatic experience last year is a very rare one because it took me two weeks to get up and running again. Even though I had all of my critical data backed up, we all know what a pain it is to have to transfer to a new system.

    Okay, so if I do want to transfer to a new system, I have to use the clone/migrating feature and do so when my computer is not damaged or has not failed? It kind of seems to me that this wouldn't be possible if your computer has been damaged. And what about stolen? Another reason I want to backup my computer is that if we lost it, you can imagine the devastating effects upon one's business.

    Perhaps this is when you do what someone else in this thread suggested--load all of your software programs onto a new computer and then load the Acronis software, plug in the image from your full image backup from the previous computer, and restore all of the data? This seems to me to not be a very happy prospect either, as all of the files will not correspond.

    Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill here? From long experience, I just know that computer failures are a nightmare and I am just trying to invest in a product that will somehow lessen the drama!
     
  16. rbmorse

    rbmorse Registered Member

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    IF you're using a retail version Windows XP or 2K AND you have the distribution CD and it's original authentication code at hand it's pretty simple despite the length of this thread. The full retail versions of XP and 2K can be transfered to another machine.

    If you have an OEM version of Windows XP or 2K your license is tied to a specific machine and maybe even a specific machine configuration. That means you cannot transfer your old Windows OEM operating system to a new machine.

    If your new machine came with, or you bought a new not previously authorized Windows OEM distribution disk to use with it, the following should work just fine. If you try to use the OEM Windows that came with your old machine (i.e., previously activated) it will probably not authenticate or you will be in violation of your license agreement.

    1. Install Acronis on the old computer, create the bootable rescue CD, image the drive onto optical disks/external HDD/secondary internal HDD (something that can be transfered to the new machine).

    When it's time to migrate:

    2. Boot the NEW machine from the bootable rescue DC created in step 1.

    3. Restore the image of the drive from the old machine to the new machine (don't try and boot it afterwards)

    4. Remove the bootable Rescue CD and insert the Windows XP/2K retail or not previously activated OEM distribution CD. Make sure you have the authentication code and any drivers for RAID/SCSI, etc required handy.

    5. Boot the Windows distribution disk. At the first menu select "install Windows." Do not select the option to boot to a repair console from this menu. Do the "F6" for drivers option if required. Windows will begin copying files (don't worry) but, after awhile, a second menu will appear indicating the installer has found a previous installation of Windows. It will offer to:

    "repair (or restore, I forget) the existing Windows installation"
    "install another copy of Windows" or
    "Exit setup."

    Each previous installation of Windows detected is enumerated. You should only have one and the menu prompt will be to select the windows installation for repair. You do that by pressing "1"

    Or, something very similar to that. Working from memory here and it's early. The bottom line at this screen is to press "1" to repair the existing Windows, not install a new one or quit.

    6. Follow the prompts from There. The Windows installer will detect and install drivers for the new hardware environment. In theory the software portions of the registry will be unaffected and your old software will be usable on the new system

    7. When this is finished, remove the CD and boot Windows from the hard drive. Install SP-2 (if not already incorporated into the distribution disk) and the latest chip set driver for your new motherboard from either the utility CD that came with the board or the board's web site. Follow with other driver updates that may be required. When that's done, connect to Windows Update site and install ALL the critical updates available (it should be damn near all of them because the "repair" process will back level many Windows system files to the version on the distribution CD).

    Operation note: You WILL be asked to re authenticate Windows during the repair install and if the two machines are very different the automated authentication routine will fail. You will be asked to call a telephone number that will connect you to someone in India who will ask you to repeat the long string of numbers that appear on the screen (49 I think) and then read to you an even longer string of numbers (55?) that you will have to enter into the computer. Don't bother preserving these beyond the install, the strings change for every re authentication attempt.

    Also, --- IF you use the retail distribution package of Windows, don't be concerned that re authentication will not be "approved." They have to, it cannot be denied. The process just slows things down to make it more difficult to "clone" large numbers of machines with illegal copies. Like many other case, the honest party (that's you and me) gets punished and treated like a criminal.

    A previously unactivated OEM version will probably authenticate automatically. You should not have to call anyone.

    IF you use the OEM version of Windows that came with your old machine and are asked to authenticate by phone do not be surprised if you hear, "this version of the Windows operating system cannot be transfered to a new machine. Thank you for calling Microsoft. Click."
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2005
  17. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    rbmorse,

    You have been extremely helpful in my quest for a solution to my problem! I thank you very much. I do need to clarify one thing, however. It has to do with what you mean by "OEM" Windows software. Say for example, that I purchase an HP Pavillion computer which already comes with the Windows operating system pre-installed on the machine. If this is the case, I understand that I will have problems if the machine does not come with an actual disk containing the Windows operating system install files?

    To clarify, I need to make sure I purchase a machine that comes with the actual Windows operating system software?

    Thank you again.

    Jeremy Williams
     
  18. rbmorse

    rbmorse Registered Member

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    Almost. You need to have a physical copy of the Windows XP operating system distribution CD and the accompanying activation code.

    Windows comes in three forms.

    The retail package. This is the hugely expensive one (circa $189 for XP Home). It can be installed on one machine at a time. This version can be transfered to another machine (or owner, as far as that goes).

    The OEM package. Consists of the same files, but comes with a different license. Typically the OEM package costs less (circa $39) but can only be installed on one machine. The OEM license does not permit the operating system to be transfered to another machine or another owner.

    The "recovery" package. This is a special OEM version that is preinstalled on the machine. The owner does not get a normal distribution disc instead he will get a "hidden" partition on the hard disk or perhaps a CD that will "restore" the computer to the state it was in on the day it was shipped. Using the "recovery" function will usually erase all of the user installed application and data files installed/created since the machine was new. Like the OEM package, the operating system license is tied to the machine upon which it was originally installed.

    I don't know what HP ships with their systems these days. If your NEW machine came with a CD labled "Windows XP installation disk" or similar, you are probably OK in regard to migrating from one machine to another. If the new machine came with a disk labled "HP recovery utility" or similar you are probably screwed. In either case, if the operating system on your old machine is an OEM version, you cannot carry it over to the new one.

    You can buy a new, never activated OEM copy of Windows XP from a variety of sources. Technically, the OEM license requires the operating system sale to be accompanied by "suitable" hardware, but I've seen that interperted as $4 mice.
     
  19. Ozmaniac

    Ozmaniac Registered Member

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    Misinterpreted as it happens. The following is copied directly from the MS OEM license:
    4.1 We grant you a nonexclusive right to distribute an individual software license only with a fully assembled
    computer system. A “fully assembled computer system” means a computer system consisting of at least a central
    processing unit, a motherboard, a hard drive, a power supply, and a case.
    :cool:
     
  20. robertpri

    robertpri Registered Member

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    rbmorse: you are a guiding light in this confusing abyss. I have printed all your advice. Many thanks!

    On another thread, I noted my preference to use NTbackup [XP] for the System State, and then use something like Acronis for files/folders/etc.

    System State should maintain program installations, and yes, it would require an XP Repair. [on another drive/computer]

    This way, one does not have to mess with that highly annoying and frustrating MS sysprep thingeeee.

    Does this sound workable?

    thanks again
     
  21. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Great job explaining this often confusing process. Luckily, the long number that you have to type in is given to you just four or five numbers at a time, making the pita task slightly less luckily to result in typos.

    sh

     
  22. rbmorse

    rbmorse Registered Member

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    I have no idea. I don't use NT Backup. I personally would be wary of trying to mix two different backup schema into the same backup set of files or on a single backup set for a given machine...but that's just me. I find frequently that something I thought was knowledge turns out to be chicken superstition. I attribute that mostly to years wasted spent reading the New York Times but sometimes it spills over to what I think I know about small computers.
     
  23. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    ONLY IF the new hardware has the same components and requires the same drivers.
     
  24. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    I certainly appreciate all of the comments from the particpants in this thread who obviously have had a lot of horrific experiences such as I. Although I am not a professional IT contractor, I am in charge of all of the IT for my business that I own. Without re-quoting my horror story that I shared earlier on in this thread, may I pose a simple and direct question to everyone here?

    Using Acronis TI9, what is the best method for transferring your data to a new computer system should the current system fail? If I am processing everyone's comments correctly here, am I to understand that one should create a CLONE of your current, internal hard drive (which will capture all of the data) to a removable or external HD (or possibly to optical disks). Then, if you have to transfer to a new system, swap the removable or external HD to that new system to transfer the data to the new internal HD?

    Am I to understand that this will ensure that all of the data is transferred and will not interfere with the different hardware and device drivers on the new system? Should this work?

    I say CLONE instead of IMAGE, because I understand that IMAGING is the best and easiset thing to do if you are recovering to a new, internal hard drive FROM the original system TO the original system. Whereas CLONING is the best thing to do if you are moving FROM an old, damaged system to a NEW system such as I had to do when my entire computer failed.

    Someone please share your kind wisdom on this and tell me whether I am on the right track here...
     
  25. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Cloning works ONLY if the new hardware has the same drives and device drivers and the same logical drives. Also, drive signatures will change.

    MSFT has a tool called SysPrep that is intended for such things.
     
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