Can't backup MBR to CD/DVD ??????

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by WillyK, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. WillyK

    WillyK Registered Member

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    Folks,

    Past Acronis TI Home user (v10) who has just purchased Drive Backup 10 Pro.

    Run two HDD's in my setup. First HDD is my bootable HDD containing a number of partitions. Using the "Backup Wizard" I thought I'd try backing up my MBR and a OEM FAT16 small partition (Dell diagnostic utilities) to a CD.

    As I work through the Wizard and I get to the "Backup Destination" window and go to select the radio button for "Burn the data to CD or DVD", I see a message:
    "Please note that HDD first tracks and MBRs cannot be saved to CD or DVD".

    What o_O

    Can someone explain the logic to me? How do I create a backup of my MBR that doesn't have to sit within my computer or NAS? What if I want to remove a backup of my MBR offsite? Do I create a disk dataset(s) and then copy those to a CD? Do I create the backup instead as an ISO image file?

    Somewhat shocked if this is a true limitation :thumbd:

    Thanks in advance.

    ... Bill
     
  2. Paragon_MattK

    Paragon_MattK Paragon Moderator

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    To get around this, backup the first HDD track and MBR normally and then burn the archive files to a CD/DVD.

    The only important thing to remember when doing this is that the burned disk will not be bootable, you will need to use one of our recovery CD's to boot up and restore the archive. Also, remember that once the system is fully booted off the recovery CD you can take the disk out(since the disk has been loaded into RAM) and put the CD/DVD with the archive files on it to access and restore them (you do not need 2 optical drives).
     
  3. WillyK

    WillyK Registered Member

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    Thanks Matt,

    My intention was always to use the bootable recovery CD (either the Linux / DOS or the Windows PE [which I really like])

    So, if I understand correctly. I can just run the backup to a hard drive location and then use whatever CD/DVD burning facility I have (I use Nero) to copy ALL of those files to a CD/DVD?

    Then after using the bootable recovery CD to get my environment up and running, just direct the restore wizard to read the backup from my CD/DVD that I burned earlier.

    Correct?

    Can I ask why does the product work this way? If I can write other backups (i.e. partitions) directly to a CD/DVD without this intermediate "write to disk" step why isn't it available for the MBR? An assumption I'm making here as well is that normally writing a backup to a CD/DVD is NOT necessarily creating a bootable CD/DVD, but rather just a media for storing the backup files. You would still need to run your bootable recovery CD to generate a working environment from which to drive the typical recovery from a CD/DVD.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    In my environment, some things don't change or change rarely (i.e. MBR, Partition Table, my Dell diagnostic utility partition), that I'd rather not back them up to my disk space, but rather back them up to a media that I can set aside and draw upon if and when I ever need it.

    Thanks again.

    ... Bill
     
  4. Paragon_MattK

    Paragon_MattK Paragon Moderator

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    Correct, but remember that if you are going to backup a partition with these as well you should turn on file splitting and keep the file size smaller then your CD/DVD's so that they will fit on the disk.

    I'm not sure exactly why it has this limitation with backing up the MBR, however I will note that when our software normally backs up to a CD/DVD, it creates a bootable media on the first disk, so that you do not need any additional disks in order to restore the data.


    As you mentioned, the first hard disk track, MBR and dell utility partition do not change much and should only need to be backed up after they are intentionally changed, so backing them up once and burning the archives to a disk is a good option.
     
  5. WillyK

    WillyK Registered Member

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    Thanks Matt,

    Understood about file size splitting for CD/DVD backups. Also found the option about making any CD/DVD recovery media bootable.

    I will play around with the product and try some of the recovery techniques with a new empty HDD I have on hand.

    The inability to backup an MBR directly to a CD/DVD (even as a non-bootable recovery disc) is a bit lame. The requirement to backup a MBR to hard disk and then copy to CD/DVD is rather poor.

    Hopefully Paragon can consider this an enhancement for future maintenance/version releases.

    Thanks again.

    ... Bill
     
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