Changing screen resolution of Acronis bootable rescue media?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jbswift, Jan 22, 2009.

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  1. jbswift

    jbswift Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have corporate version Echo Workstation Build 8163. When we use the bootable rescue media on a USB flash drive for monitors less than 15", the screen is offset and cutoff. You can play around and resize the forms, but you have to do this each time a form is opened. The default resolution for the 10" screen is 640x480. Is it possible to change the Acronis software resolution for display on smaller monitors? The monitors we use are analog LCD for use with industrial computers. The BIOS in these computers offers no such option. I also tried connection of a larger monitor externally, but this had the same problem.

    I seen a post to change the resolution at the linux kernal command prompt, but this didn't seem to have any effect.

    "quiet vga=0x314" for example.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Acronis has posted that the example you show above should work. However, I also have not been able to get it to work with any version of TI I've tried. The resolution always stays the same.

    I have not yet tried extracting the kernel and starting it directly (from Grub4DOS, for example). That may work, though if the F11 method passes the parameter to the kernel, it should work too.

    I may try this later as I also would like to change the resolution, though I want to increase it.

    If you contact Acronis Support (Live Chat is most likely the quickest method), they may be able to provide you with a custom ISO that contains the settings you need.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello jbswift and MudCrab,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    You are unable to change the resolution for the standard Acronis Booting rescue media (created by means of in-built Acronis Media Builder). It has the default resolution.

    You can contact our Live Chat service here and request an ISO file based on Isolinux. You can modify the parameters in the following way:

    - Hit the ESC key when "Loading kernel.dat....." string appears.
    - You will get the "boot:" prompt. In the prompt type the following parameters as shown below:

    kernel.dat initrd=ramdisk.dat vga=0x311 quiet

    Here is the tab of the possible values:

    | 640x480 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
    ----+-------------------------------------
    256| 0x301 0x303 0x305 0x307
    32k| 0x310 0x313 0x316 0x319
    64k| 0x311 0x314 0x317 0x31A
    16M| 0x312 0x315 0x318 0x31


    Thank you.

    --

    Oleg Lee
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I've played around with this and finally got it to work. I tried it with both TI 2009 (9,709) and Echo Workstation (8,163). Both were successful in changing the resolution. I assume it will also work for TI 9, 10 and 11 as they have the same file setups. It does not work to modify the files in the ISO and try booting the ISO. It also does not work to add the vga=... parameter when creating the CD or ISO -- the option is ignored.

    You can use the standard kernel and initrd files created by Media Builder, but you have to start the booting with Grub or Grub4DOS. I used Grub4DOS because I already have it setup on my flashdrive and it's easy to use. (Instructions for setting up your Acronis flashdrive using Grub4DOS can be found here.) I used the ISO method (Section 3) even though I wasn't booting an ISO file.

    ---

    From the TI CD, browse to the Recovery Manager folder. Copy the kernel.dat and ramdisk.dat files into the root folder on the flashdrive. Next, setup the TI booting entry in the menu.lst file as follows:
    Code:
    title Acronis True Image Echo Workstation (8,163)
    kernel /kernel.dat vga=0x311 quiet
    initrd /ramdisk.dat
    This will boot to the 640x480 64K resolution.

    Other options in the resolution list should work as well.
    Code:
        | 640x480 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
    ----+-------------------------------------
    256 | 0x301   0x303   0x305    0x307
    32k | 0x310   0x313   0x316    0x319
    64k | 0x311   0x314   0x317    0x31A
    16M | 0x312   0x315   0x318    0x31B
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2009
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello MudCrab,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    To avoid the misunderstanding, I proposed to burn the ISO file provided to a CD and to modify the parameters while booting the system from this CD.

    Thank you.

    --

    Oleg Lee
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Oleg,

    I understand what you mean. The problem for me (and possibly others) is that I don't want to have to enter parameters every time I boot into TI. I also don't want to have to contact Acronis Support and request the ISOLINUX ISO file every time a new build is released just to be able to change the resolution. This is a waste of my time and a waste of your time.

    Acronis should really consider changing this. Either make it where the vga=... parameter works correctly or add the option directly to Media Builder to select the desired resolution.

    You might also consider adding the "alternate loader" (ISOLINUX) to Media Builder as an option.
     
  7. jbswift

    jbswift Registered Member

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    Hi Mudcrab,

    Thanks for the information. I did create a bootable USB key with Grub4DOS a few months back, so I will have to try this again and see how the resolution fix works for me.

    Hi Oleg,

    I have to agree with Mudcrab on this one. I prefer not to have a special build for the resolution change. I have already tried the live chat and was denied. The ISO does me no good, as I don't have any CD support on my industrial computers, only USB ports with Compact flash media. We exclusively use USB keys only. I can boot the special ISO with Grub4DOS on a USB key, but we sell Echo Workstation to our customers as a backup solution and prefer this be built in all Acronis versions. We don't care to have special builds for each customer we have. I'm Ok entering "vga=" at the Linux kernal command line, but would prefer this be built into the media builder. As of now, the command line entry doesn't work. This becomes a problem for us when used with displays less than 15". Our smallest display is 10".
     
  8. jbswift

    jbswift Registered Member

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    Hi Mubcrab,

    I just wanted to let you know this worked beautifully. I like the fact I can edit the command line to change the resolution prior to booting the USB key without going back into Windows. This will save me some time to find the best fit resolution for our smaller displays. Do you by chance know which resolution and number of colors Acronis uses as a default in the media builder? I think it is 0x314 in the table.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    jbswift,

    I'm glad it worked out for you. The ability to edit the command line is great. Don't forget that you can also add any number of menu items to the menu.lst file. For example, if you often boot into 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768, you can add separate menu entries for them and you won't have to edit the line.

    Prior to TI 2009, I'm pretty sure the default resolution was 800x600 (not sure on the color depth -- probaby 32 or 64). TI 2009 defaults to 1024x768.
     
  10. Piranha Pete

    Piranha Pete Registered Member

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    I am pretty sure that this resolution problem also applies to the following thread,
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=234465
    (correct me if I am wrong).

    I am trying to setup an Acronis Flash Drive using Grub4DOS (following your instructions) as per: http://www.themudcrab.com/acronis_grub4dos.php
    However, when I push the "Part List" Refresh Button (Fig 1.7 step1) I get the Error Message "Invalid Partition Table, if you still want to install, use the --skip-mbr-test"
    What next?
    More questions
    Should my 1 GB Flash Drive be formatted as FAT or FAT32?
    Is there a problem with the Flash driveo_O
    What and where is the --skip-mbr-test?
    Is is appropriate to skip the mbr test?
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It very likely may, especially if changing the resolution fixes the problem.

    This means that the installer is detecting something different than expected when it examines the partition table. This happens on some flashdrives and really depends on how they were setup, formatted, etc.

    I assume you don't have any files on the flashdrive that you want to save. If you do, I suggest you copy them to a safe location while setting up the flashdrive.

    If you have access to Vista, you can reset the flashdrive following these instructions: Create a Bootable Flashdrive Using Vista's DISKPART Program. I've found this to be one of the easiest methods to "clear" and reset a flashdrive.

    I would recommend trying FAT32 first.

    Probably not.

    Using this option lets the installer proceed to install the Grub4DOS loader even though it detects something odd. It is necessary on some flashdrives. It will either work or it won't.

    To use this option, type it into the Extra box in the Options section of the installer's window (see Figure 1.8).
    In Extra box, type in: --skip-mbr-test
     
  12. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    MudCrab, ISOLINUX file is considered to be an alternate way to update the current build of the program, and Linux developers update it very frequently, about once per two weeks. We are unable to release Windows versions with the same frequency. All updates that were implemented to ISOLINUX version are included to the standard version of Acronis Booting Rescue Media at the new build release.

    MudCrab and jbswift, I will create a special task at Customer Listening System (CLS)

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  13. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    I have tried this on 2 USB Flash (thumb) drives and can't get it to work. On boot, upon "Searching for Boot Record (from flash drive)" I get "none found" so never see the menu.

    I re-formatted each of the sticks as FAT32 (one 256Mb and the other 8Gb), and the Grub4DOS gui works just as described in your article (successful completion in both cases). Then I add:

    grldr
    menu.lst
    kernel.dat
    ramdisk.dat (these last two from the CD I'd made using Acronis Bootable Rescue Media Builder)

    That's all that's on the disk--I guess I'm supposed to be booting to something that looks like my menu.lst but like I said it's not even seen as having a boot record to begin with.

    Did I miss something obvious? When I open the flash drive(s) with Acronis Disk Director (I'm no expert with that!) I can't see that any Boot box is checked when looking at the partition table.

    :doubt:
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Is the partition on the flashdrive a Primary partition?

    Does DD show that the partition on the flashdrive is set as Active?

    Do you have Vista on your computer or access to a computer with Vista?

    Which version of Grub4DOS are you using?
     
  15. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Man, you are fast!!! ;)

    After posting here I got the bright idea to try a portable USB hard drive instead (FAT32), and of course it booted just fine (though I got only TI11 and not the loader for TI11 and ADD10 and the rest). But at least now I know Grub4DOS works, and what it looks like.

    I'm running XP, on a maybe 5-yr-old machine; maybe it just doesn't like thumb drives.

    Primary Partition? I dunno, I just formatted to FAT32 with WinXP Format

    Active? I dunno where to find this w/DD10, but WinXP Disk Management says Active. As I look at this in Disk Mgmt I see a data drive set as Active too which is not right...

    No, no Vista access for me anywhere.

    Using Grub4DOS 4.4 from June 2009, as linked in your doc.

    Thanks for looking, if you have any ideas for me by all means post. I'd really like to get a thumb drive working...btw the resolution change worked fine with the portable USB drive. One small step for a man...
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    So the computer is booting the USB hard drive correctly, but not either of the flashdrives?

    Does the BIOS show either of the flashdrives for selection in the boot order menu? If so, is the flashdrive referenced by name or by a generic "USB" title?

    Do you know for sure that the error message you get is coming from the BIOS?

    Are there any BIOS updates available for your computer? Sometimes updates help with booting USB devices (especially for computers in that age range).

    Have you successfully booted any flashdrives on the computer?

    The Active partition in DD will be shown as "Pri, Act." and it will have a little red flag on the graphic. It sounds like this part is correct.
     
  17. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    That's right, exactly.

    Yes, the thumb drives are shown in the BIOS Boot menu (F11 at boot time on this PC), appear right up-top in a menu, and after "Searching for Boot Record" and "None found" it proceeds to my DVD-ROM drive as it should, then boots from hard disk. All normal behavior (when no boot record found) afaict.

    No newer BIOS available, but I will check this question, as I just made a bootable thumb drive for my other computer (uses Win98 code). Thanks for asking, I just plumb forgot I'd only (to this point) tried that thumb drive on my OTHER computer, but not this one... o_O

    Thank you so much MudCrab for your input, your questions are doing exactly what they need to which is to get me thinking in other directions! BTW I did find a comment somewhere on the web that I should try adding another partition to the thumb drive--will try that too. :thumb:
     
  18. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    @Acronis why ON EARTH do you make your customers do these back-flips-in-the-air just to try to yield a screen resolution THAT ENABLES US TO READ YOUR LOGS!!! :blink:

    MudCrab a USB Thumb Drive does not work with the Grub4DOS method on this PC. Might be a BIOS issue, I dunno, since I can boot from Thumb drives using other methods e.g. the Win98 boot file method described by MSI Microcomputers here, and the MSI HQ USB Flashing Tool as described in the User Forum here (I'm not sure what boot method it uses. But Grub4DOS is a no-go for me. In the end I compared the USB portable hard drive that works with Grub4DOS with a couple of my USB thumb drives, I even changed the partition type on the thumb drives to match (0Ch FAT32 LBA from 0Bh FAT32) and yes they showed as Active with Boot checked in ADD, but no worky.

    What is puzzling to me is why the USB hard drive is viewed by my BIOS as a USB HDD, and the thumb drives are viewed as USB RMD-FDD which I interpret as "Removeable Drive" and "Floppy Disk Drive". BTW I also need to enable USB Legacy Support in my BIOS to get the Thumb drives to appear in my boot menu at all, whereas this is NOT needed for the USB portable hard drive! Must be something special about the portable drive's electronics vs. the thumb drives...

    Too much trouble for sure just to try to get a screen res that lets me make sense of Acronis' log files!!! But I thank you again MC for your posts...
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I don't know if TI 2010 will support changing video modes, but Acronis did add that feature to B&R 10.

    This points to the BIOS being the problem.

    This is typical of older BIOS versions.

    That's exactly right. They are decected as different types of devices. Some older computers need a USB-ZIP format in order to boot.

    ---

    If you can create a flashdrive that boots, you could try installing Grub4DOS into the partition instead of the MBR and see if that works. That way, the booting should hand-off from the BIOS correctly and may give Grub4DOS a chance to start. Just select the FAT32 partition instead of the MBR. (Note: I haven't tried it this way so I don't know for sure if it will work or not.)
    grub4dos_partition.jpg
     
  20. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    :thumb:
    Oh, my good heavens...that worked!!!! :argh:

    For all the surfing I did, and READMEs I've waded-thru, nothing ever suggested what that option did or why it might be useful, and I didn't think to try it. But it works! For the record, I had to enable USB Legacy support (not enabled by default) and my MSI mobo uses AMI BIOS circa 2004, so I guess it is a little long in the tooth...

    So now I've made a bootable flashdrive that gets me ATI11 (8101) in 1280x1024 resolution, thanks to your help, MudCrab! You are talented indeed, and I appreciate it! :thumb:

    Next I wanna figure out how to get ADD10 and maybe some other stuff on the thumb drive--transferring kernel.dat and ramdisk.dat from the Rescue Media CD I made only boots ATI and not the Acronis Loader with ADD. If you know how to do that (in the context of this Grub4DOS solution and accompanying screen resolution enhancement) by all means let us know!

    Thank you again for persisting to help me!
     
  21. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Well, instead of using kernel.dat and ramdisk.dat from ATI11 Recovery Manager directory, I tried patching in the KERNx.DAT and RAMDx.DAT files from the Acronis Media Builder (to Grub4DOS menu.lst) and those didn't work. And ADD doesn't make a "recovery manager" directory cuz I tried making a boot disk w/only ADD10 and it's black (all Linux I presume).

    Anyway if someone knows how to add ADD to this Grub4DOS setup, I'm all eyes-and-ears.
     
  22. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    laserfan:

    This suggestion may not directly address your screen resolution issue, but by far the easiest way to have multiple versions of the Acronis boot environments on a flash drive is to use the ISO boot method.

    In this method you would copy the ISO image files that you want to your flash drive and then directly boot them with Grub4DOS. The method is described on MudCrab's web site; look at Section 3 of the linked article. After copying the ISO files, edit menu.lst to add an entry for each one.

    To fix the screen resolution problem, perhaps you could use an ISO editing program to get access to the files in the ISO and make the desired edits, then convert back to an ISO file. but I haven't tried this so I don't know whether it would work or not.
     
  23. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    I think K0LO that's where we started though i.e. earlier in this thread Acronis said the only way to achieve the result was to "hit ESC and modify the boot process" manually (and this ONLY after obtaining a special ISO build from Acronis). o_O
     
  24. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you don't need to change the resolution for DD, you should be able to boot the ISO file. Are you trying to change the resolution for DD too?

    This can work with either the files from Media Builder or from the Alternate ISO downloaded from your Acronis account. I would use the downloaded ISO as it supports more hardware. However, this requires getting the files out of the ISO. I use UltraISO for this, but there are other programs.

    Get the kernel.dat and ramdisk.dat files out of the ISO image and place them on the flashdrive. Add an entry for them in the menu.lst file. Here is an example:
    Code:
    title Acronis Disk Director 10 Alternate ISO (Linux)
    kernel /kerneldd.dat ramdisk_size=30787 vga=0x31a quiet
    initrd /ramdiskdd.dat
    Note that I renamed the files (I added "dd") since I already had files with those names on the flashdrive.

    If you need to use the files from Media Builder, you can get them from a standard Media Builder flashdrive or by extracting them from the Media Builder ISO/BIF file. From my standard DD ISO, the files were KERN3.DAT and RAMD2.DAT. These can be used as above.

    Hopefully, this one of these methods will work for you.
     
  25. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Sure, why not--in for a dime, in for a dollar. Ugly working in 800x600 on a 1920x1200 monitor.

    As I said, I tried that already (and got a "Kernel panic" error from the Acronis Loader). Suggested adding init=. I tried all sorts of combos to no success; have you tried this yourself.

    I suppose I will look for that special ISO file...
     
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