Corrupt/Can't Verify Corrupt Archives: Let's uncover the problem!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by johnmeyer, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    I have a suggestion to makers of backup software: use error correction technology instead of just error detection technology.
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    tuffshed,

    To make your hardware checks more effective and easier to do I suggest you bottom out and solve your long validation times.
    How big are the images and where are they stored and how many are there ? You may not be aware of the nasty habit of multiple validations that TI applies to Secure Zone images and the Special Backup Location's images. Even an incremental image cannot be validated on its own, TI goes back and checks all the increments and the original base image. It is logical for this to be done but it can all take a lot of time.

    My own solution to all possible validation problems is not to run this process at all. However I value my system and data highly and am very risk averse so I prove the imaging process by restoring a backup image to spare hard drive.
    A real restore takes far less time than most real life validations and as well as proving an image it provides the ultimate ready to go Windows format backup drive.

    To get Acronis support involved in providing input to the "Problem" you should log on to your account and raise a support ticket. It is not likely that they will join in this exceedingly long thread.

    Way back I put forward a list of hardware checks for JohnMeyer, I am uncertain that he actually did all of them. It is not an exhaustive list but should at least eliminate quite a few areas of concern.

    Xpilot
     
  3. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Re: READ MY LIPS - Let's uncover the problem!

    But foghorne and Xpilot I am a long-time TIv7 user and TIv11 fails (corrupt archive problem) on 3 or 3 computers I have tried it with (total of 5 hard disks), and 2 external Seagate USB 2.0 backup drives, all of which work fine together with v7.

    You can harp on "hardware problems" all you want, but I'm not about to agree given all my equipment works perfectly fine except with TIv11!

    I've been willing all along to look-into something (ANYTHING) wrt what-or-why some v11 .tib archives read as "Corrupt" but I've seen absolutely nothing here from Acronis or other users that I can use to contribute to a solution.

    So v11 sits on my shelf unused, and I can't recommend to others to buy this program now.
     
  4. tuffshed

    tuffshed Registered Member

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    Xpilot,

    Using TI, I ONLY do full system backups. I only do them to removeable drives (external USB) so that I can store them at a seperate physical location. I currently have about 120Gb of used disk space on my primary drive.

    I can see other uses for TI, but a full system backup to include your registry, boot info, OS, etc. on an external drive so if my computer ever blowns I can have all the nice programs and settings that took me so long to set up restored. This is the only reason I can see to own TI Home edition. Disk administrators have other concerns, but I'm just a lowly home user. I've been doing mass drag and drop copies of my data (music and pictures mostly, about 100 Gb of the total) forever. I don't need a special program to do that, Windows works just fine for that thank you. Incremental backups? Never, why bother. I just start my backup at night and shutdown the computer when I get up in the morning.

    I know that even USB 2.0 is SLOW when backing up such mass quantities of data, you can't solve that problem except to get a removable internal disk (I'm looking into it).

    So you see my frustration. A two day affair to backup and then find that it won't validate. This would be fine if I could blame the disk or other HW, but if it is a SW problem (as it seems to be, at least in JohnMeyer's case, and it looks like laserfan's case as well) then it should be investigated and fixed. Is that too much to ask?
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Even to a USB 2 drive 1 GB per minute should be easy to obtain if you are creating the image from within Windows. So 2 hours or less to create a whole disk image. Have a look at the log and see the actual time taken.
    Of course you may be running the backup from the rescue CD, if this is taking longer go the Windows route.

    I cannot guess a sensible validation time as I never run them. I understand that they take less time than image creation.
    Restores should take less time than image creation however they are run in a Linux environment and if there is a poor driver match with your hardware they can be very slow indeed.
    Acronis provide a solution to this in the form of a TI plug-in which can be added to a Bart PE disk. Using such a disk instead of the standard rescue CD will then bring the processes up to normal Windows speeds.

    Internal drives are usually a tad faster and there can no longer be a mismatch with the USB chip sets.

    Xpilot
     
  6. matfry

    matfry Registered Member

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    I’ve been silent on this subject for quite some while now, but I have possibly gathered a bit of experience which may or may not help. Sorry, if it’s the latter, then please excuse my further ramblings! Please excuse me also, if this has already come up in the thread (I must admit I’ve not gone through the recent additions too thoroughly).

    I recently had to use TI in earnest to restore my system to a workable state after something pretty nasty happened to it. Luckily, I had a recent image, which I duly used with a “bootable media” cd I created from the Acronis program, to restore. On that occasion, I was so grateful that I had used Acronis TI, and also had a recent backup! Another thing while I’m posting this…

    I’ve managed to create a whole series of incremental backups (5 or 6 stacked up), and validate them using TI recently. I’ve tried to think why I can do this now, and not before. The only thing I can think of is that I’ve recently added a bit more RAM to my computer… No – I know; this could get boring, and maybe controversial – please read on!

    One of my friends had a spare 256Mb memory module to get rid of, so I installed it into my computer. I think it’s since that time that the images seem to get validated without any problems.

    My current memory configuration is 2 x 512Mb in banks 0 and 1, 256Mb in bank 2.

    My computer is set to change soon as it’s in need of updating, so I’ll try TI from the new setup. Hopefully I’ll be able to give a positive report then!
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I have used TI without problems on my 512MB with no problem.

    Other reasons, apart from increased, size could be:
    The 256MB module had slower timings and forced all of your memory to run with more relaxed timings thus eliminating data integrity problems. Relaxing the memory timings has been reported as a "fix" by some users in the past.

    The increased memory caused a different allocation map that removed marginal location(s) from being used by TI for critical data.
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Another possibility is that by putting just one stick of RAM in Bank 2, you forced the RAM to run in single-channel mode (assuming the MB supported dual-channel mode). This would also result in the RAM running slower.
     
  9. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Consider also that with a small RAM complement, Windows is using the pagefile.sys in some manner, particularly as ATI is dealing with very, very large files indeed. If you have any issues at all with your Paging setup (size, location) or if the hard disk that your page file is on is suspect in any way, well something somewhere is bound to suffer.

    Dunno about the Linux-based boot CD; it clearly wouldn't use the Windows paging file but must deal with these huge files in its own special way...
     
  10. Auramar

    Auramar Registered Member

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    Having taken a couple of hours to carefully read all the posts in this thread I am no further forward.

    While hardware might be causing some of the problems
    the bottom line is that we need a way of getting at least some of the information back from a corrupted file.

    In my case I had a hard drive with three partitions and an almost new slave drive. I used my (liscensed) TI 10 to save a copy of the three partitions on the new drive. I then changed the partitions on my master drive and installed a fresh copy of XP-SP3. All I needed then was to recover data from the three archives. C: @ 18 GB opens, E: @ 8 GB opens but D: @ 10 GB will not and of course the most important data was on D: OK, most of it can be recovered from an older archive but as I do not keep a hard copy of everything I do then I cannot be sure of what I am missing and of course there is also the last months work as well.

    After three days I am still waiting for a response from Acronis but after discovering this forum it seem that I have more chance of being struck by lightning on a sunny day
     
  11. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Can you provide a bit more information so perhaps somebody might be able to help you?

    Are the archives Files and Folders or Images?

    What happens and what error messages do you get when you try to access the archive that won't open?

    How are you accessing the archive?

    Can you Validate the archive?

    Does the access fail in both Windows and using the TI rescue CD?
     
  12. Auramar

    Auramar Registered Member

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    Thank's for your interest in my problem. To answer the questions

    1 the file is an image (if only I had been more patient and used Windows copy)

    2 I thought it best to attach some screen clips, I kept the resolution low, see attached

    3 Windows XP, double left click or shift + right click - open with explorer or just explore, or mount, or open, or recover.

    4 No

    5 Yes

    This was a single image of a partition and TI did not report any errors when creating it. I have not verified .tib files for a while as I never had any problems previously when I did (I should know better as my wife insists on repeating whenever I try short cuts that fail).

    regards
     

    Attached Files:

  13. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    You obviously have tried about everything to open the archive. TI for whatever reason can't find the metadata describing the archive which is written at the end of the backup process.

    Since you can read the other 2 images OK one might suspect a bad area on the disk where the archive is stored. Try running chkdsk X: /r which will do a read-check of the entire partition after checking the file structure. Replace X with the drive letter of the partition.

    FWIW, your experience is why I don't normally use a product like TI for data files - I use Syncback which stores the files individually in their native format rather than in a large proprietary container file.
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Auramar,

    I notice that the image file you're trying to open ends with a number. Are there any other image files that begin with Old_G in the same folder? Have you tried renaming the file to something else (for example: partition_d.tib)?

    Have you tried copying the image file to the master drive and attempting to open it from there?

    Was the image file originally created from TI in Windows or from TI booted to the TI CD?

    Are you using the latest build of TI 10 (4,942)?

    Have you tried using the TI 11 trial version to open the image file? Some have had success with this.
     
  15. Auramar

    Auramar Registered Member

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    Thanks both,

    I think Seekforever hit the nail right on the head with the missing metadata however both the original and the destination disk reported no errors when I ran CHKDSK.

    Another thing is that Windows normally refuses to copy a file that is incomplete or corrupt in any way and I have no problems in copying or renaming the .tib file.

    I tried MudCrab's ideas just in case but none of them worked.

    ~Off topic to this forum comments removed. - Ron~
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
  16. Auramar

    Auramar Registered Member

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    Awe, now that's unfair, it gives the impression that I was saying something bad or negative when in fact I was describing how I resolved my situation
     
  17. tuffshed

    tuffshed Registered Member

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    I sympathize with Auramar. I think TI would be much more usefull if it could restore everything that it could. If a few files are unrecoverable so be it, but that would be infinately better than lossing everything.

    WHY ISN"T ACRONIS RESPONDING TO THIS THREAD?

    By the way, I'm dead sure that it is the TI 10 software that is to blame. After running the mem test and finding no problems, I ordered two identical SATA drives with a removable caddy. I now backup my sytem two ways, through direct copies, and through the TI 10 capturing of the entire partition.

    Since I've gone to the removeable SATA drives I have not had a problem with TI backup or verify. I only get the (occasional) problems with verify on external USB drives.

    Does Acronis only care about their corporate customers? Seems like USB drives would be the norm for TI 10 HOME users.

    I'm frustrated with this product, and even more with the lack of support from Acronis. Almost every other product that I've used that has a forum for support has company reps monitoring the forum and helping out. Acronis makes it almost impossible for the casual user to report and solve a problem.

    Thanks for nothing Acronis ! :thumbd:
     
  18. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Acronis staff do monitor this forum but this forum is not the official problem reporting mechanism. Also, this thread is very long and the title is somewhat generic rather than asking about a specific problem with a certain setup although the first poster may have done that.

    If you want Acronis to address a specific problem then you should raise a support request ticket at the Acronis site. Not everybody is happy with Acronis support but some report excellent assistance.
     
  19. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Registered Member

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    Since I am the person who started this thread, and have read most of the replies, I truly don't understand at all what you mean. I was extremely specific, and I don't know how I could have been more specific. There was absolutely nothing generic or difficult to understand about the title.

    As to the length of the thread, there is one reason for that: The Acronis TrueImage product has a major bug that MANY people continue to experience, and the Acronis tech support, who I have contacted over a dozen times, have been unable to convince their engineers to address the problem.
     
  20. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Well if there really is a major bug how is it that MANY people have used the product over a range of builds on on different computers with no corruption at all? Bear in mind that there have been at least two revisions of the TI imaging engine over the years so if this "bug" really exists it should have been found by now.
    I have copied the use of MANY because you used it in your post. The numbers affected by image corruption are probably, in the overall scheme of things, very small indeed. The "analysis" that, to you, indicated large numbers of users being affected was, to put it politely, misconceived.
    I can only comment on my own experiences and those of others who use this group as helpers or seekers of help. In case after case solutions have been found where the corruption of images was caused by hardware problems or malfunctions. There are also some whom if you like "Fall at the first fence" and go elsewhere.

    I traced my own very few corrupted images to a poor connection of the 5.5 volt supply to the main hard drive. It really was quite easy to find by a process of elimination, subsitution and measurement. This was done methodically over a period of time there being no rush as my backup strategy can easily withstand a one in a thousand image that fails to restore.

    I have limited my post to comment on the probable causes of image corruption. There are several other areas where fixes are needed but none of them really affect the basic image creation/restoration process of protecting ones main hard drive.

    Are you still attempting to use True Image after all your bad experiences? Or are you just dropping in for old times sake?

    Xpilot
     
  21. Auramar

    Auramar Registered Member

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    I am still awaiting a reply from Acronis and I would still like to access the .TIB file because the data recovery tool I used on my master drive has overdone it a bit and sorting out the trash will take days if not weeks.

    I feel I must reitterate:

    While hardware might be causing some of the problems
    the bottom line is that we need a way of getting at least some of the information back from a corrupted file.
     
  22. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Isn't it time to close this rediculously long thread so that, in the future, the variety of new posts can be seaprately put into their own threads? :blink:
     
  23. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Absolutely! It has reached the state of circular arguments and new problems are getting buried in it.

    To the Moderator: If you agree, please close this thread.
     
  24. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Registered Member

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    I have never understood people who insist on posting in a forum like this apologizing for a product that they did not develop, for a company they don't work for. Their behavior is like that of a rock star groupie.

    What it aggravating, however, is wasting people's time by telling them that they aren't having any problem. Is this supposed to make the person feel better? Basically, you are telling them that they are stupid, and you are smart. Is that supposed to be helpful?

    And now, you want to close the thread. Why not ask the moderator to remove the whole thing? Bury the evidence. I cannot believe the arrogance that it takes to make such a request. You are implying that all of us who have problems using this product and have lost valuable data are whiners and complainers.

    I have repeated this problem, at will, on five different computers, using both TI 9 and TI 11. So, apparently, can dozens of other who have posted not only in this thread, but in other similar threads in this forum.

    If you don't like the word "bug," then let me parse my language and call it a "flaw." Whatever you want to call it, people have lost data that they were counting on being able to recover when disaster struck, and they were let down in their time of need. The program has failed in its primary function. It is YOU apologists that either need to try to help people and stop berating them for not being as smart as you, or you need to spend your time doing something else that perhaps can be more helpful to other people.

    John Meyer
     
  25. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I'm not saying nobody is having a problem but I don't think the problem is a general fault, it is a fault with some specific hardware configurations and yes, the fault is marginal hardware in some cases .

    The reason for closing the thread is that specific problems are far better dealt with in their own thread rather than tacked on the end of this large one. There are over 270 posts in this thread and it is about 11 pages long! The issues in this thread have been discussed, hashed and re-hashed. The request is to close the thread, not to erase it so searches will reveal its contents.

    I truly sympathize with anybody who has lost data. I believe Acronis, like its competitors, is negligent in not telling customers in very plain language that you have to do a test restore of your data before you can have any confidence in the product especially since the product is sold for home users who might not be aware of the need to test.

    I also believe that TI would have fewer data restore issues if the Linux restore environment were scrapped in favor of a Windows/PE environment. The use of the Linux recovery environment can have device driver issues and what's worse it causes the user who sucessfully validated the archive in Windows to find out that until a test restore is done, a Windows validation is almost meaningless.

    I will defend the product, in spite of its warts, when I think that there is a reason for the problem other than the product is a dud or when I think the poster is not being reasonable. I certainly don't think anybody who asking for help on a forum is stupid and a problem is a problem even if it is of ones own doing.
     
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