Copy MBR and Active Boot Partition to New Drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by appro, Dec 6, 2008.

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  1. appro

    appro Registered Member

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    I'm using Acronis True Image Home 11. Is there a way that it will allow me to copy the MBR and an active boot partition (Vista) from a multipartition drive to a new formatted drive?

    The Clone Disk function seems to only allow me to copy all partitions. I only want to copy one (boot) partition to the new drive and then be able to boot Vista on the new drive.
     
  2. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    Use the backup My Computer option and select to backup your Active Partition (usually the C drive) and it will automatically also backup the MBR. ( during restoration you will see an extra item called "MBR and Disk 0" in addition to the C drive. Just select the MBR and then select the target disk. The restoration will almost be instant.)

    Unfortunately you cannot just backup the MBR. If youre active partition is 100GB in size then you'd have to back that up along with the MBR.

    Haven't checked if there is a way to backup only the MBR.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    appro:

    Yes. Create an image of your Vista partition. An image file is a complete copy of the used sectors in the partition, and can be restored to a new hard disk.

    Use the backup wizard and choose a "My Computer" type of backup. Select only the Vista partition. You will need some place to store the resultant image file, which could be large. The image file size will be about 70% of the used space on your current Vista partition. If you need to make the file smaller, consider deleting all but the last Restore Point using Vista's Disk Cleanup tool before imaging.

    After creating the backup image file, restore it to the new hard disk using the Restore Wizard. For best results the new disk should not be formatted. You can restore to a completely blank hard disk. If you have any existing partitions on the new disk, delete them first. When you choose the Restore Wizard you will be asked for both the location of the file to restore and the partition(s) in the backup image to restore. Check off both the Vista partition and the MBR.

    **Very important** After the restore finishes, shut down and disconnect your old drive. Do not boot into Windows with both drives attached or Windows may modify one or the other drive to make it unbootable.
     
  4. appro

    appro Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info, but it's still driving me insane. I've restored the MBR and the partition as you've outlined, but when I try to boot the new drive I get a message telling me that "BootMGR is missing". I don't understand because I definitely chose to restore the MBR as well as the partition.

    There's another corrupt install of Vista on another partition on the drive that I'm taking the image from. I'm not sure how Acronis works. Does it create it's own MBR when the image is backed up, or does it rely on the MBR on the original disc? If this is the case, then maybe the corrupt install of Vista is doing something weird. The corrupt install appears on the Vista boot menu when I boot the original disc.
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    appro:

    There is nothing wrong with your MBR. Its only job is to find the active partition and boot it. That's working properly for you since the message you're seeing "Bootmgr is missing" comes from the Vista partition's boot record. The only way that you will see this message is if the MBR is working properly and has found the active partition and jumped there.

    It sounds to me like your boot files are not in the Vista partition that you imaged. Did you have more than one operating system installed on the source disk? If so, in which partition were the boot files located? Those may be what you need. Are the files /bootmgr and the directory /boot in the partition that you created the image from? If not, you will need to copy them from the boot partition on the old disk to the new Vista partition. You will also need to repair the BCD on the new disk to point to the correct partition afterward. If you have a Vista DVD then you can try using the automatic repair function to fix the BCD.

    Take a look at part 5 of forum member MudCrab's guide for separating dual-boot installations. It may help you locate the missing files and it will show you how to copy them to the new partition.
     
  6. appro

    appro Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info. I don't mess with this stuff often. Normally I just do a clean install of Vista. Looks like it might turn into a learning experience. :)
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    appro:

    It's a great opportunity for a learning experience since you won't be risking your primary Vista installation. Start by copying the file bootmgr to the new disk. Since it's a hidden, protected system file you will need to do this from a command prompt:
    Code:
    [B][COLOR="Red"]x[/COLOR][/B]: 
    attrib -h -s -r bootmgr 
    copy bootmgr [B][COLOR="Red"]y[/COLOR][/B]:
    attrib +h +s +r bootmgr
    [B][COLOR="Red"]y[/COLOR][/B]: 
    attrib +h +s +r bootmgr
    In the above commands, x is the drive letter of your current boot partition (source) and y is the drive letter of your new drive (destination).
    Once you get this file copied over you should no longer see the message "BOOTMGR is missing" since it won't be missing. Now you should get a different error message when booting, this one from the program bootmgr itself. This will confirm that you're on the right track.

    To complete the job you will need to copy the /boot folder to the new disk, and then to repair the Boot Configuration Database (BCD). Post back if you need additional help.
     
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