Cloning a dual boot multi drive & partitioned system ??

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Searcher22, Dec 30, 2005.

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  1. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    Hi All

    New here :)

    I have been waiting for TI9 be get to the UK as a retail box because I prefer a hard copy manual.

    I run a dual (Win98se and Win 2K Pro SP4) system with 3 HDDs ~ 2 drives are bootable i.e. each has an OS on it the third drive is non bootable purely for data.

    The history to this setup was that I used Win98se exclusively until I needed Photoshop CS which needed W2K or higher. So I thought I would go dual boot, this has been fine but both these HDDs are old and getting very full (13.5GB Win98 & 30GB Win2k).

    Both the drives are multi partitioned because of the 'housekeeping' methods I prefer - the Win98 is FAT32 but the Win2k is mixed in that the OS partition is FAT32 (this was needed because of the dual boot and drive letter allocation reasons) but all bar one other partition for OS shared access of data are NTFS.

    Sorry to be long winded with the background, my question is:-
    As I need to replace both drives with bigger/newer ones and make the partitions appropriately larger has anyone done this before and can point me at a crib sheet for such a procedure? I appreciate that doing each drive in turn is logical to confirm that all is well at each step but what I am hoping for some guidance and reassurance that I will be able to, indeed that it is possible to 'create' using TI9 the new partition structure & sizes and then 'tell' TI9 to clone each partition (OS and others) to the newly created drive/partitions.

    I hope my question makes sense and I would welcome any feedback.

    TIA :D
     
  2. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Just to clarify, since each OS is on a separate drive, do you remove one when you want to boot from the other?
     
  3. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    Hi Chutsman

    No, what you are describing is the use of HDD carriers or sleds (?). Dual boot setup as I understood it at the time I could have put Win2k on a separate partition of the physical "C" drive but in my wisdom :)blink: ) I did it by putting W2k on the second physical drive ~ the one disadvantage to this is that the Windows bootloader needs Win98se drive present to 'find' Win2K. But my perception was if the Win98se drive went terminal I would find the way (never did research that bit) of making it single boot Win2K.

    Thanks again and any pointers for me as outlined?

    :)
     
  4. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Windoze has a built-in multiboot capability.

    All you gotta do is install each OS in a separate logical drive, does not matter if more than one OS is on same physical drive.

    Windows creates a boot.ini file to keep track of things and the NT loader allows you to choose to which OS you wanna boot.

    My main system has 3 hard drives:

    Drive 1: C and D
    Drive 2: F-H
    Drive 3: I-M

    OS are installed on C, F, G, and J, with J being the main OS.
    All OSes share lots of common stuff, such as favorites, My Documents, etc., and the paging files are on C and G to maximize the performance for the OS on J.

    C used to be Win 98, but I ditched Win 98 a bit over 2 years ago.
    My main reason for having 4 OS is that each OS has a different version of Office.
     
  5. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    Hi Howard

    I am gald to see that others use dual (multi boot) but have you use TI (version ??) for clone the drives as I now need to do. If so, can you outline the procedure you used?

    TIA :)
     
  6. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I've never had a need to clone a drive as you have.
    But I have had to restore dead drives, or replace logical drives.

    I've always used file based backups, most recently Retrospect, to recreate drives.

    Programs such as Ghost and TI have never interested me until recently because they could not do incremental backups.

    Ghost 10 does incremental backups, but has a flawed design for incremental backups that, IMNSHO, does not satify the needs of most users. Ghost 10 is very different than previous versions of Ghost.

    TI 9 is currently buggy, but, IMNSHO, may end up being a better product than Ghost 10.

    With (lack of) respect to Ghost 10, I have made the following comments:

    Most folkes likely want to use a backup strategy such as the following:

    1. Create multiple backup sets, each on separate media, so if one goes bad, one can recover from next most recent backup set.

    2. Use incremental backups to save space and time.

    For expository reasons, let's ASSuME that we use two USB external drives as backup media, never having more than one drive connected at a time (to protect from power disasters).

    We then create a full backup on each drive and then alternate drives, at convenient intervals, adding incremental backups to each backup set.

    In the case of Ghost 10, incremental backups can be done only with Recovery Point Sets ("RPS"), but the implementation in Ghost seems counter to the above backup strategy.

    It seems that Ghost uses a structure based on the vsnap.idx file on each drive to keep track of changes on the drive.

    So, if we create a base RPS, subsequent incremental backups can be accomplished because Ghost "knows" what sectors have changed.

    This mechanism likely works if you use only one backup set, but if you swap media, and create another RPS on the alternate USB drive, it seems that the mechanism breaks down as the vsnap.idx would then be outdated for one, or the other, backup sets.

    The apparent inability to use more than one RPS seems to render useless incremental backups in Ghost, as one one would have to create a new base RPS each time one swapped a USB drive and wished to do an incremental backup because Ghost would not know what sectors have really changed since the most recenent backup to the CURRENTLY mounted RPS.
     
  7. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    Hi Howard

    Thanks for the details about your backup strategy. My 'method' is far from as comprehensive as yours but I have invested in SyncBackSE which is nicely maturing product and I have yet to tap its full potential.

    However, as indicated, my first need is to clone the drives i.e recreate my current system with new larger drives.

    In the light of what you decribe I wonder if TI8 will serve me well enough? Having said that if by a small extra cost I get the better version with more (read easier!) comprehensive functionality for cloning and other tasks then perhaps I should go for TI9 o_O

    :)
     
  8. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    Hi All

    A few days on I was hoping that some more folk would be able to offer me the the advice/guidance I am looking for?

    :)
     
  9. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    I am still waiting for the TI9 retail pack to be on sale in the UK :(

    But it would great if I could get some definitive guidance (apart from what I should be able to read in the hard copy manual) about how I should expect to go about cloning both my OS drives as described in my OP.

    What I am planning I believe is no 'cakewalk' that is why I am still hoping that someone (Acronis Support perhaps?) can advise and give me some feedback as to the best method and what if any pitfalls I need to be aware of.

    TGIA :)
     
  10. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The TI guide is available on the Acronis web site and you could print it off to peruse as you like. I have not seen a "Retail Pack" for True Image, perhaps it does not exist.

    There are several different approaches that could be used to achieve what you want to do. The method I would choose would be to use imaging in preference to cloning. To make the whole process fool proof and risk free I would suggest that in addition to your two new drives you should aquire an external USB HDD enclosure.

    Once you have installed the latest build of TI 9 and created a TI boot CD you should create a complete whole disk image of one of your existing drives to one of your new drives that you have put for the moment in the USB enclosure. Now remove the old drive that you have just imaged and replace it with your other new drive. Next boot with the TI boot CD and restore from the USB drive to the new drive that you have just installed. Now reboot and check that your system is working as before. When satisfied that all is well put the first old drive in the USB enclosure. You should then complete the same process for the second drive that you want to replace. If there is not enough room on the USB drive for the second image you can format it safely from within Windows, remember that you have a restored and tested copy of it already installed in your computer.

    You will notice that on both your new drives you will have unallocated space as the previously existing partitions will be reproduced exactly as they were when you started.
    Again there are several ways of allocating the extra space to bring it into use. A disk management program is one. Menorcaman has published another method on these pages. There is a slightly devious method which is quick and should work but I have not tested it myself.

    Create a temporary Secure zone using the unallocated space. Now use the Manage secure zone Wizard to remove the secure zone and the process will allow you to add the freed space to the existing partitions or partition as you choose. Repeat the process for your second new drive.

    The reason for using Imaging rather than cloning is that at all times you have one foot on the ground so you can test and confirm correct operation at each stage and if there are any unforseen problems you can backout gracefully. It also avoids the possibility of messing up the MBR and multi booting arrangements. Your data drive can be left alone and will not be harmed by any of the changes outlined.

    Xpilot
     
  11. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    THere are retaikl kits for TI 8.
    I've not yet seen any for TI 9.

    Has Acronis decided to no longer use the retail kits?
     
  12. Searcher22

    Searcher22 Registered Member

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    Hi Xpilot

    Thanks for the structured feedback.

    Yes, retail packs of TI9 are supposed to be due in the UK, indeed as I understand you can already get them in the USA. And I believe they contain a full hard copy manual which is much nicer than a pdf or printed from it.

    Having read through your advice can I ask? When you Image instead of Cloning can I have pre partitioned the new drive to the partition size and 'type' (FAT32 or NTFS) such that I then Image each drive and its partition separately? It looks to me that by doing this first (if possible) I do not have to resize the partitions by whatever method later on as you describe.

    Obviously the Image of the bootable partition(s) need to be right for it to work at all. Especially as the MBR and the boot.ini on the C drive copy needs to be 100%. I take it from your procedure that Imaging has the potential to be less trouble and less risk of 'damage' to the source drive than Cloning. Why is that so?

    Thanks again for any input.

    :)
     
  13. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hello again searcher22,
    There is no point in preparing the new drives in any way. The act of restoring an image to a drive reproduces an exact copy of the source drive including the partitioning and file systems that are on the old drive.

    There are several reasons why I prefer to use imaging. I use imaging for all my backups and when upgrading drives as this is a perfect test that the backup process is working correctly in a fail safe manner. During the upgrade at critical times one has the original drive safe on the bench, the image on an external drive and the new drive being created in the computer. This methodology would certainly survive a power outage, operator error or even perhaps a lightning strike. Cloning is the Acronis recommended way to upgrade a HDD and some even use it for regular backups. The cloning process is more prone to operator error as the source drive has to be removed from Windows sight before the replacement drive is booted for the first time. As you probably already know Windows can behave unpredictably if two identical system drives are connected at the same time.

    Normally I am a great one for studying manuals but I have found even though I have downloaded the TI 9 manual I have never actually had to refer to it. The Acronis GUIs, various wizards, FAQs and of course dipping into and searching this forum are an adequate education IMHO.

    Xpilot
     
  14. emt

    emt Registered Member

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    Hello Xpilot, Just thought I would add what has worked for me concerning the statement:" The cloning process is more prone to operator error as the source drive has to be removed from Windows sight before the replacement drive is booted for the first time. As you probably already know Windows can behave unpredictably if two identical system drives are connected at the same time." I am using TI8 since Sep. and as long as you clone from one drive to the next and save the orig. drive --- I have had no problems and do not see how it could be any safer since the old drive is kept intact and unchanged while the new drive is reformatted and cloned. --- I have had no problems with windows xp booting the computer as long as bios is set correctly and sata or ide cables connected to correct drive --- my xp system is able to boot with both drives even still connected to the motherboard and I have only had to then go into disk management and change the drive letter of the drive that I did not boot from to something other than c (which was used on the otherdrive) an alphabet higher up not in use and if done the orig. drive can even access and use this other drive if desired. As I have read some of your other posts and you mentioned easier is better, perhaps you might want to give it a try sometime. I personally do not want to keep up with cd, dvd,disks etc. like you have mentioned. Disk cloning is really no more errror prone unless you errase your orig. drive before checking the new cloned drive by sata or ide computer switching. THE SOURCE DRIVE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE REMOVED FROM WINDOWS SIGHT BEFORE THE REPLACEMENT DRIVE IS BOOTED--- On two different windows xp home computers with Ti 8 one of which has sata the other ide connectors, no problems with windows booting from one drive even if both drives are connected to the motherboards, just switch jumper cables from one drive to the other- my personal experience-I CANNOT GUARANTEE ON ALL MOTHERBOARDS THAT NOT PROBLEMS WILL EXIST. But I can tell you on 2 different computers one using a sata motherboard and one using an ide motherboard, I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH WINDOWS XP HOME AND TI8 BOOTING WHILE BOTH DRIVES ARE INTERNALLY CONNECTED TO THE MOTHERBOARD. But, as previously mentioned, to each his own, as long as we test the system from the new drive and still have the old material saved to a seperate location, were as safe as possible.
     
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