Cannot Use Boot Up Disk When Ext HD Connected

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by TerryWood, Dec 3, 2006.

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  1. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    I have just installed Acronis True Image 8 on my laptop (Win XPSP2 & USB 2)

    What I find is that when I attach my external USB hard drive (Freecom 80 gb) my laptop will not boot up from the Acronis rescue CD made on installation.

    What actually happens is that I get the message Acronis loading then the blue screen which then goes to dark grey with a flashing cursor for a few seconds. Then nothing but grey screen.

    If I switch off the USB hard drive (but leave it attached) and boot up from rescue CD - no problem.

    If I boot up without the USB hard drive attached at all - no problem.

    So the problem is when I boot up with the USB Hard Drive switched on.

    If I just boot up and then switch on the USB hard drive the USB Hard drive is not shown in the acronis software so I can neither write to or restore from
    my USB hard drive.

    I can create an image from within the software installed on the computer, but not being able to restore from a rescue CD leaves me vulnerable to catastrophic crashes etc

    My USB hard drive in all other respects works fine on this laptop

    My boot sequence settings in BIOS is as follows

    1) Atapi CD Rom
    2) Hard Drive
    3) NSC DP83815
    4) Removable Device

    The USB Hard Drive and Acronis 8 all work fine on my Desktop PC no problem

    Can any one suggest a solution or a methodology for tracking the problem

    Thank you very much

    Terry
     
  2. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    Hey Terry - this isn't a solution, but some observations in case they help.

    Re booting with the USB drive off, then turning it on...
    With many non-Windows boot environments, we don't get Plug n' Play and USB drives are not auto-detected after boot. In other words, it's a requirement to have any such drives on/connected prior to booting from the CD.

    As for what happens when you try the correct sequence, does your laptop have a hardware reset facility? If so, have you tried that? Reason I ask is that I had a near identical experience on a desktop PC (with a reset button) when testing different "Rescue CDs". I had no trouble with the True Image Home 9 CD (can't speak for version 8 ), but Norton's "Save & Restore" (based on Ghost) did exactly what you've experienced. After I pressed "Reset" all was OK. It might be a BIOS or timing issue on your laptop. If you can't force a cold boot with reset, might turning the laptop off and on again help? And/or (though this wasn't my problem) have you checked for USB settings in your laptop's BIOS (which may not be needed for Windows, but might otherwise affect USB behaviour )?

    Good Luck,
    Ron
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  3. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    As I said in my post if I boot my pc with USB HD switched off then switch it on, whilst the acronis software has loaded the Freecom USB HD is shown so I cannot restore or create from it.

    Did not understand your comment about Non Windows environment. I am using Windows XP SP2

    Where would I find a hardware reset button ? I am no techie

    Thank you

    Terry
     
  4. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    I added a bit more to my first post while you were replying to it!

    "...if I boot my pc with USB HD switched off then switch it on ... the Freecom USB HD is shown so I cannot restore or create from it."

    I'll take it you meant "is NOT shown". That's what I was trying to say. Unless you are booting up Windows (which you are NOT doing when you boot from a CD), the USB drive has to be on/connected BEFORE you boot from the CD.

    "Did not understand your comment about Non Windows environment. I am using Windows XP SP2"

    No you're not (as above). You're only using Windows when you boot from your hard drive.

    "Where would I find a hardware reset button?"

    Your laptop may not have one. (Few do.) But if it does, I can't help you as it depends entirely on the particular laptop. The laptop's manual or user guide might(?) help.

    Still might be worth checking for any USB settings in BIOS/Setup.

    Good luck,
    Ron
     
  5. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    I am half way to a solution. I found this quote from a post in the forum

    "II. Problems with Acronis bootable rescue media or Acronis Startup Recovery Manager.

    Please try the following workaround:

    Please boot your computer from the Acronis True Image rescue disc and press F11 key when the selection screen advising you to select either "Full", "Safe" or "Boot into Windows" option appears. After you get the "Linux kernel command line" prompt, please modify it in the following way:

    quiet acpi=off noapic

    click on the OK button then and choose "Full Version". That should allow you to use Acronis True Image in some special cases. Please submit a request for technical support describing the issue if you want to automate the process of adding these special parameters."

    THIS SOLVED THE PROBLEM but is apparently temporary. You have to write to Acronise to get an an automated solution.

    QUESTION

    Does anyone have access to this automated solution please so I do not have to wait for Acronis

    Thank you


    Terry
     
  6. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    Terry,

    I'm Linux-challenged, and can't comment on that workaround.

    But since you stated that you could not get past "Loading" when your USB drive was on, one has to assume that the workaround (which requires you to get further than that) worked for you by booting with the USB drive OFF, and then later turning it on. Was that the case?

    Ron
     
  7. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Assuming I understand your question correctly. The answer is NO!

    What I did was this:

    1) Turned ON Freecom USB HD
    2) Booted up with Acronis Recovery CD
    3) Pressed F11 as per the extract from forum help and got the Linux Kernel prompt.

    4) Changed from QUIET to QUIET ACPI=OFF NOAPIC

    5) Pressed OK (After this there were some slight differences as to what happened. I wasnt required to press FULL) Then the GUI loaded and the create and Restore functions were available etc

    6) Most importantly Freecom USB HD was showing when I searched for a location to back up to.

    In other words by changing from "Quiet" to the modified phrase, gave me the bot up I would expect. EXCEPT its TEMPORARY. I now need to AUTOMATE it. Hence my last post

    Thanks again for your help

    Terry
     
  8. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    You say that you first turned on your USB drive, and then followed the workaround which says (your quote):

    "...press F11 key when the selection screen advising you to select either "Full", "Safe" or "Boot into Windows" option appears."

    But you've also said that you cannot get that far if the USB drive is on before you boot from the CD!

    So which is it?

    In my humble, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the "workaround" might have fixed things by interrupting/restarting the boot process (as did the reset in my first example), rather than by applying the specific Linux change. (I'd want to know that the Linux mod works every time, and is the ONLY way to recognize the USB drive, before assuming that the workaround is the true solution.) But you haven't commented on any of the other possibilities that I previously suggested, so I'll leave you with it. Again, good luck.

    Ron
     
  9. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Ron

    Just to clarify

    1) In my original posts I sated that with Freecom USB HD ON I got the Acronis blue loading screen but then it went to Dark Grey. No Options to select Full etc

    With Freecom USB HD OFF I got the Acronis blue screen which then went to GUI with Create and restore etc. There were no intermediate options of Full, safe, Boot into Windows as you describe.

    2) Since these options were not available I pressed F11 when the screen said loading Acronis Then I changed the Kernel command Line Details and it works but only temporarily

    3) If I allow it to boot up without pressing F11 and without altering Kernel command line with FREECOM USB switched off it boots up OK (Without the options you refer to ie Full, safe etc) and goes straight to GUI Create & Restore NO PROBLEM

    4) If I allow it to Boot Up with Freecom switched on it does not boot up OK. I get the blue Acronis screen and Acronis loading then it switches to Dark Grey and stays that way. NO OPTIONS as before

    I have tried it again

    5) I have repeatedly tried the Linux Kernel command line modification and it works

    6) I have repeatedly tried booting with Freecom Switched off and it works

    7) I have repeatedly tried booting with Freecom switched on and it DOES NOT WORK unless I use 5) above

    Hope this is a bit clearer

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  10. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    I had a similar problem, the only way I could fix it was to plug in my ext usb drive after booting to "full" mode in the rescue disk and then closing TI which causes it to reboot. Then I could see my USB drive. Don't know why it worked but it does. I also tried doing this with a "cold" boot and it worked.
    Hope this works for you. ( maybe it's not what you want).
     
  11. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Not really but Thank You

    It is probably just as messy as using the temporary solution suggested by Acronis Technical Support

    By the way for anyone reading this I wrote Acronis asking for the Automated solution (suggested in their "Read This Article" in the forum) to remove the temporary need to modify the Linux Kernel command line.

    They replied with a comment about an ISO image, AND GUESS WHAT this ISO image is no longer available for TI 8 They suggested I upgrade to version 10.

    But from what I read it still has the same problems.

    So much for support, Obsolescense is Golden

    Terry

    ps still looking for this automated solution
     
  12. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    You seem very determined, Terry - and to the extent that you've dismissed or ignored some simple alternatives that two people have offered. But that's your prerogative.

    Personally, I'd be suspicious of why your "fix" doesn't cause the CD version of TI to start properly - Ie. it misses the opening screen that lets you specify which version you want (Full or Safe). So even if that Linux change IS the real and only reason it doesn't "see" your USB drive, I would feel deprived of a choice that Acronis intended to give me. But that's me, not you.

    However if you don't mind my saying so, you seem to be going to a lot of trouble to avoid having to type in an extra line on the possible future occasion that you may need to restore a non-bootable laptop. How frequently do you expect to have these "catastrophic crashes" for which the absence of an AUTOMATED version of that typed line might leave you "not being able to restore from a rescue CD"?

    With all due respect, I think you might be chasing your tail. If your troubles do find you a CD (or ISO image) that includes the "automated solution" that you seek, are you likely to need it more than once before it's obsoleted by a later version or build of TI?

    I'm a very slow typist, but I could still probably type "F11 + quiet acpi=off noapic" at least 30 times (or use dbknox's suggestion as many times) in the time that it would take me to download a single ISO image file (not to mention the time spent looking for it). And if my laptop had more than a couple of catastrophic failures during the expected lifetime of my automated solution CD, I'd be throwing away my laptop!

    By the way, to me it's a big advantage to have a program that allows me to create a (new) "rescue CD" at any time - unlike some that give you a CD that you're stuck with, no matter how many times you've subsequently updated the Windows version. If I need the rescue CD, I want to know that it's not several versions or fixes behind the version that I used to create my (latest) backups. Which is yet another reason why I wouldn't contemplate the quest for an "automated solution" in the manner that you have.

    But again, that's just me.

    Good luck.
     
  13. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    OzRon

    Thanks for your reply.

    Its impossible to argue with your logic. For the most part, if not all, I agree. But, of course all people are made differently. I dislike loose ends, despite all the paradoxes you raise in your reply.

    I am also intensely irritated with Acronis Support for a number of reasons.

    1) They tell you there is no support now for the issue I have with TI 8 when you only have to look at the number of threads raising it over some years.

    2) Support tells you to upgrade to version 10, yet this issue still persists in version 10 look at the thread

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=154326

    and there are others.

    If you look at all the hours spent you, and I included, the many threads on this topic. It does beg the question why Acronis support don't just put a complete solution in this forum. Those who are not technical can seek assistance from those who are.

    It just astonishes me that a company such as Acronis will allow such a cack handed way of operating.

    Finally, despite all of the foregoing and prior I still don't have the solution.

    That's customer service for you.

    Again thank you

    Terry
     
  14. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    OzRon

    ps I forgot to add in my previous post that the solution by dbknox does not work for me. I have looked at all your suggestions (and within my technical capabilities) and have found nothing that changes any of my previous comments or my increasing antipathy to Acronis. Why should I subsist with half a solution?

    Terry
     
  15. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    Hi again, Terry.

    Didn't mean to get drawn in to this extent when I first replied to your post. But since we've gone this far, I'll offer some closing thoughts.

    Firstly, I'm not going to defend Acronis' support. I've had my own share of disappointments with them (and still get irked by how every post of theirs that I've noticed in this forum starts with "Sorry for the delay...").

    But maybe it's a question of expectations. I too can be annoyed about what a company's support should be like - in fact, I could write a book about it. However I could also give you a very long list of companies whose support is worse than Acronis'. Poor support is a reality of this industry, and some of it can't be helped. We the users want cheap prices for the best products, and we expect fast professional help - all the thousands of us. You and I might be willing to pay a higher price for "better" products, but how many others will buy at higher prices? And the marketing people that make product decisions (because in a free-market capitalist society it is they, not the technicians, that make the decisions) are under constant competitive pressure to quickly bring out the "next big thing" - whether or not the technicians feel it's time. The huge expansion of customer base in recent years, where computers are now in every home and not just businesses, only makes it worse.

    My prediction? It ain't gonna get better any time soon. In fact, I expect it to get worse. But by accepting it as a reality of the industry, I still have a few non-grey hairs left.

    As for Acronis in particular, I at least give them points for sponsoring a forum where the "dirty laundry" gets publicly aired for all to see. That takes a bit of guts these days.

    Terry I too "dislike loose ends". I expect that it's only that I'm probably a fair bit older than you, and have been involved in IT for decades, that has made me learn to accept them. PC Operating Systems used to come on a single floppy disk. Windows now needs gigabytes, and is far, far more complex. Our hardware comes from all over the place, in infinite variations. Even within a single laptop, the permutations and combinations of components and manufacturers can be bewildering. And there are thousands of programs out there, not one written to deliberately co-exist with any and all of the others, and none that can be pre-tested on all possible hardware. "Standards" notwithstanding, I am no longer surprised by the number of PCs that don't work - I'm surprised by the number that do! In my humble opinion, you will never get rid of loose ends. In fact the more you get into computing, the more loose ends you'll have to cope with. One of the paradoxes of modern computing is that it's meant to be indulged by logical thinkers, but it frustrates the hell out of "tidy logic" thinkers.

    And here's another sad truth: "If you understand it, it's obsolete!" (Anon.)

    Enough sermonizing, but I'd like to make a couple of further points about the specific problem you are experiencing.

    Firstly, the responsibility for device management and recognition lies primarily with the operating system and its drivers. The fact that your TI program reacts differently to your drives when booting from CD is largely due to the fact that you're running a Linux variant from the CD, not Windows. Windows has its faults, but is pretty good at handling a wide range of hardware, including your USB drive. (Though Gates' detractors could say that that's unfair credit, because peripheral manufacturers have to ensure that their products work with Windows.)

    Acronis didn't write Linux, and though they may be at liberty to modify it, I would not expect their resources to be anywhere close to Microsoft's. So why doesn't Acronis give you Windows instead of Linux on a rescue CD? For one thing it's not legal. And if you compare the price of Windows to the price of TI plus its "free" Linux, you'll start getting the picture.

    Again without defending Acronis' support, I think our argument might be more validly addressed at Microsoft for not giving us a simpler way to boot Windows from a CD when our systems crash. Acronis is just trying to provide an alternative which, by necessity, will be less than perfect for some.

    Which leads me to your claim that "this issue still persists in version 10". I don't know if it does or not, but if it IS still present, it's not so much a TI10 issue as a "CD Operating System/environment" issue, as explained above.

    As for your "evidence" (thread 154326), I've read it and to me it seems to be a different problem. In "enry"'s case, the "Full" rescue version doesn't work and he can only use the "Safe" version (which, unfortunately for him, does not support all his devices). But the very reason that Acronis gives you a "Safe" version is for those hardware environments where the "Full" version doesn't work! IMHO, all that enry has to complain about is that he has one of those environments for which the "Safe" version was intended!

    The "Full" version attempts to include additional drivers for common external peripherals, networks, etc. The "Safe" version doesn't, just in case you are running hardware that's incompatible with "Full". All of that is clearly documented. And if, as I suspect, that is what that other thread is about, then it's merely an illustration of that situation, and not evidence that your problem still persists in TI10 - or more precisely, in the accompanying Linux rescue environment.

    However I suppose you could still see those comments as proof of the product being less than perfect. It is. But unfortunately, again IMHO, we are getting further away from "perfect software", and it'll get worse before it gets better. "Expectation is the mother of disappointment."

    By the way, Symantec is another giant company with resources that probably overshadow Acronis'. And their "Ghost" (or more recent "Norton Save & Restore") is probably TI's biggest competitor. They also give you a non-Windows "Rescue CD" intended for the same uses as the Acronis one. (But you can only restore from it, not back up - one of the reasons I persevere with TI - and as far as I know there is no "Safe" mode.) Anyway, you should read Symantec's disclaimer and warnings for the compatibility of their rescue CD - I think it clearly illustrates the points that I'm making here, and it might make you feel better about Acronis.

    Best wishes,
    Ron
     
  16. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Ozron

    As usual a well argued case. Not entirely sure I agree with everything you have put on this one. A lot certainly, but not all.

    How do you know you are older than me - you might be surprised. Lets not debate that one eh?

    Anyone reading our posts might think Acronis to be very lucky to have such a forum with reasonable people contributing in the way we do, particularly yourself, who bends over backwards to defend them. I am not criticising this, just pointing it out.

    Acronis in some ways are like Paragon. (I just tried their product and I like it very much and its free) They are are concerned about sales at any cost. So you don't get all the facts. In Acronis's case they tell you to upgrade to solve a problem because your model is out of date. Yet they are giving away an earlier model (which is free v 7) But the new version still has the same problem. I tried it as well. Look at the comments in the forums!!

    Paragon has a different trick, you download the product it works great, however there is a similar problem of recognising USB. They don't tell you its a problem. You have to be in the forums to find out.

    Paragons solution? If you buy the up market versions you get a full recovery CD free (Somewhat similar to a BartPE plus Plugin I surmise) otherwise you buy it. None of this is clear from the literature.

    I understand these companies have to sell to survive but not this way. As has been said so eloquently in this forum - slightly misquoted here but accurate enough "The way that Acronis have rushed out recent versions means that we are all beta testing for them..." and you wonder why I am sour with all the endless effort to achieve a solution that eludes me.

    Terry
     
  17. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    All I can say is OzRon wow, I wish I could express myself like you!
    TI on my computer doesn't do all it should, I can copy an image and restore it, using only my rescue disk. Probably something wrong with my windows operating system. I am more then happy with it. I've had to recover many times, when I do,I have to use the "usbmouse=off" I have to boot with the rescue disk and then turn on my usb drive and then reboot using the "usbmouse=off" again, but I am still happy ( up and back running in about 15 minutes). I had to restore my image back to a good state, on several occasions. ( Probably something to do with my "flakey" operating system, which some day I may reinstall).
    Terry good luck to you, I hope you do get a permanent fix.
     
  18. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    To OzRon & dbknox

    Thank you for your commentary. A pleasure doing business with you.

    Terry
     
  19. OzRon

    OzRon Registered Member

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    Thanks dbknox for the kind comment.

    Terry...

    "...the endless effort to achieve a solution that eludes me."
    I thought from your other thread that you'd solved it with BartPE?

    "How do you know you are older than me - you might be surprised."
    Well surprise me! I was working in a (mainframe) computer room when the radio announced that Marin Luther King had been assassinated. What were you doing at the time? :)

    Merry Christmas to you all.

    OzRon
     
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