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. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This is because there is something wrong with the Incremental backup. I think this was mentioned before. When TI adds an Incremental or Differential backup to a Full backup, no changes are made to the Full backup image. However, when you try to validate the image it includes all "attached" Incrementals or Differentials. If there is a problem with them then it will fail. As you found, you can delete them and the original is still okay.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I would be interested in seeing a reference to the special HDs for PVRs. My understanding is that a regular 5400RPM drive is just fine, 7200RPM is used because they are common, and 10,000RPM gains nothing. Also, Maxtor is marketing USB2 drives for expansion on some boxes - scarcely blinding speed. I do video capture on a PC and it loafs along, you wouldn't even know it is running.
    PC error checking is not as rigorous as you might think. A CRC error when reading a file means that the data couldn't be read from the platters such that the ECC could correct it. Nothing is checked on writing in normal operation, as I said before.

    Suggest you find out why this is happening. Are you running a defragger between the full and the incremental?

    Mudcrab addressed this.

    True and generally the internal HD is less problematic than an external because you have one less interface/conversion to make along with related drivers.

    Every now and then I make a copy of my recent backups onto DVD using Nero and verifying it. I keep these at my friend's house. Pretty cheap.

    I'm sure he was but the very essence of backing up with TI is exactly what I get. Doesn't mean I'm real happy with how they do everything and new version QA though.

    Very true.
     
  3. matfry

    matfry Registered Member

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    I'm a bit sorry I staggered up that alley, as it was leading off at a tangent from the very first word. To help explain, have a look at http://www.xtendedplay.co.uk/faq.php#8

    I think my best bet with TI for now, is to create a full image whenever I do something major like installing new programmes. At other times, just copy all my important data to an external drive or some other such destination.

    It's a sure fact that I won't be upgrading to V11 any time soon!
     
  4. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Registered Member

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    Back to the main thrust of this thread.

    I unfortunately just had a backup made to one of my internal drives fail to validate ("corrupt"). Thus, my "workaround" to the problem doesn't work reliably.

    Thus, True Image is no longer a useful backup program when used in "image" mode, which of course is its main purpose. Since TI 11 is obviously broken in other ways, I have no choice but to find another solution. Bummer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  5. matfry

    matfry Registered Member

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    If you find any decent alternatives John, please come back and let us know!
     
  6. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    johnmeyer,

    Isn't this a sad state of affairs? I have followed with considerable interest this thread that you started. I think I have come to the same conclusion as yourself - namely, that it's time to seriously investigate the alternatives. I've been keeping an eye on the forum below:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=48

    JPC
     
  7. cammy

    cammy Registered Member

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    First, thanks to the OP for writing this up and spending the time to do so.
    It has been a great help to me.

    I have not purchased ATI 11 yet - still on the trial period. I decided to do a test of the restore functions before I paid money. For the past week I have been making backup images to a external USB drive. When I went to restore on a spare disk I got the "archive is corrupted" error message about an hour into the restore. Two problems: 1) the error. 2) Why did this take so long - I only have a 17GB image file.


    So I started over. I made the new full back-up from windows to the external usb drive.
    I validated it from windows - no errors. I booted up with the Acronis rescue cd. I validated it again - no errors, although it did take over an hour. I then tried to restore from the usb drive to the spare drive ( sata connected ).
    Within minutes ATI failed claiming the image was corrupt.

    Following the advice on this thread, I took the back-up drive out of the usb enclosure and connected it via IDE to the motherboard. I booted up with the rescue cd and began restoring. It worked! And it finished in about 20 minutes.

    The restored drive boots fine and i don't see any problems.

    Now I will insert some opinion. When trying to fix a problem like this it makes sense to try the least time consuming things that have a reasonable chance of working first. I could have spent days testing my hardware trying to diagnose this problem. Thanks to the OP I only spent about an hour. So my suggestion is this: If you are having trouble with external drives you should probably try to connect the drive internally first. Of course, this doesn't address why this problem exists at all, Im just talking about workaround solutions.
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Thanks for the link. The way you propose to use TI is the way I use it all the time. I only do full images on my C drive when I think it is time or before trying new software so I can restore to the original state.

    I use SyncBack for copying data files to a second internal HD scheduled to run in the middle of the night. I keep all my important data files on a networked machine. My reason for SyncBack is that I don't want my data files stuffed into a large container file, most are already compressed (jpg, mpg, zip) so there is nothing to gain forcompression. Nothing against TI itself as I have abandoned BackupMyPC for the same reason.
     
  9. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Registered Member

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    In terms of where to go from here, I am not sure. I can trace my backup "roots" all the way back to Fastback, circa 1986. In the 1990s, I worked with a software company that developed backup software in conjunction with 3M and pioneered the concept of mounting a tape drive as a drive letter and writing to it as you would write to a disk drive. As part of that consulting work, I also introduced everyone at that company to Seagate Software and eventually starting using their program that eventually was known as Backup Exec. I used that for many years, even as it got sold from one company to the next, eventually becoming Backup My PC, sold by both Roxio and Stomp, with a higher end version sold by Symantec under the original Backup Exec name.

    Although I was always quite happy with Backup Exec, support for the single user version became spotty, and I wanted a way to use CDs for backup, so I switched to Newtech's NTI Backup Now which offered that feature. The interface was a little clunky, and it wasn't all that fast, but it did what I wanted, and was reliable.

    However, as Windows evolved, I needed image backup because there was no way to restore XP system files. Symantec had acquired Ghost, but it was already acquiring the bloat and slowness that Symantec products are famous for, and it didn't do file backup. NTI was about to come out with a combined package (file and image backup), but Acronis already had it, so I tried out Acronis True Image. The thing I liked about TI was its clean interface and exceptionally fast backup times. Most of the reviews I read at that time (four years ago) complained about the bugs, but said that Acronis was very responsive and fixed things quickly. Indeed, this was exactly my experience, and I became a happy customer.

    However, somewhere in the past 18-24 months, the product has begun to fall apart, and is now completely unusable. In addition to all the problems I have reported in detail in this thread, I now find that the inclusion/exclusion selection when doing file backup is hopelessly broken. I reported this to Acronis support in great detail, with complete steps for reproducing the problems (which have to do with a bug in how the scripts are created). What's worse, the bug isn't consistent: sometimes the selection works correctly, and sometimes it doesn't. Today, I couldn't get it to work at all, and wasted 45 minutes trying to do a simple backup of several folders in the My Documents folder. True Image completely failed to follow my selection instructions and kept trying to backup EVERYTHING, resulting in a 10 GByte backup taking 1.3 hours, for something that should have been 200 MBytes, taking ten minutes.

    At this point, I am going to go back to NTI Backup Now. It is MUCH slower than True Image, and that will be hard to adjust to, but what is the point of fast, when it gets you no where in a hurry? I don't think, however, that NTI has updated this program in a long time, so it may not be the ultimate answer.

    I haven't used NTI in several years, so maybe it's not the answer either, but that's what I'm going to try. TI version 11 is apparently quite broken, so that's no option.

    Sorry to have a negative end to this story. I really thought it was a problem that could be solved, but Acronis seems to have lost its way, and I can no longer wait for it to get its act together. I have quit recommending True Image to any of my clients, and if NTI works, we will be having a mass exodus in that direction.

    John Meyer
    October 1, 2007
     
  10. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The basic functions of making backup images and restoring from them work in TI 11. They also work in all previous versions that I have used.
    I agree wholeheartedly that TI11 is broken in many of the new features that have been added . Even worse is the fact that some functions that worked in previous versions either do not work or have not even been included at all.
    My solution after having had V11 on my computer for about 24 hours has been to roll the computer back using the Version 10 CD. I cannot be bothered to do any further testing of V11. When Acronis get round to patching Version 11 into something which more closely represents what they were advertising it might be worth another test.

    I am still convinced that validation failures are hardware or even user related. I don't suppose that you used the secure zone or the backup location features in Version 10 by any chance. These archive storage places have the somewhat bizarre habit of re-running validations for all the .tibs stored there when validating a new addition.
    This will cause the new image to be declared corrupt if a previous image was bad. So each suceeding image will fail time and time again even though there was nothing wrong with them.

    Leaving aside version 11's failings which are reproducable by all who check them out. Your validation problems just do not occur universally which would be the case if the TI programs really were broken.
    If you have the time and energy to methodically work through ALL the steps to eliminate hardware conflicts and watch out for the known pitfalls you would be doing all users and yourself a great favour. Otherwise you should of course move on, as I did with Version 11.

    Xpilot
     
  11. OttoSykora

    OttoSykora Registered Member

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    I have no idea why we have here this validate, since when creating the file, one should be able to verify the file against the original partition where tha data comes from and that is all.
    Validation as done apparently here by some checksums under linux is pointless for windows as I have experienced.

    I am daily transporting archive files directly between some linux environgments and windows, this simply does not work. larger file has to be first TAR and then zipped to be able to pass windows environgment and be restored on the other side under linux again.
    A file which was gzipped on linux , then transported via windows workstation to other linux via ftp for example will allways be corrupt when arriving there, no way to gunzip it to its original. Files of tar.gz can be restored however even if transported via e-mail, ftp, direct modem protokols, usb stick or what ever ways.

    So producing files under windows and then trying to restore them under linux , well this is possible but quite a task in itself for the software.

    So I am somehow surprised that somebody is making this big efford to make lot of checksums in the file, when this is transportted, this will be probably damaged anyway.
     
  12. Anneke

    Anneke Registered Member

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    Hi all

    At first I want you to tell you that I don't know much about this program, I'm trying to understand all about this.
    It's strange because when I'm playing with this program and taking backups and restore from one file (on my c: ) to another file on the network, I get this "fault"

    E0004001A: Failed to restore file or folder 'An'.

    Failed to restore file or folder. (0x4001A)
    Path = "\\***\*****\An",
    Hints = 1
    Tag = 0xA8A1022BD18AE0F9
    This security ID may not be assigned as the owner of this object. (0xFFF0)
    code = FFFFFFFF8007051B
    Tag = 0xBD28FDBD64EDB816

    although, when I get this messagebox I always press on the botton "Ignore" and then it is succesfull. I look at the files and everything is good, I can even read the files.
    But I dont understand why Acronis keeps me telling that it is failed...

    btw: I've got the new Acronis True Image Workstation, windows xp, ...
     
  13. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    It is impossible to do a verification against a live Windows disk since it is always changing. It could be done against a static disk by using the rescue CD though. However, I don't think this is the problem; the main problem is being able to read the archive file reliably from various devices made by various manufacturers using a Linux environment that may not have the best drivers for the devices. Also, in many cases running a program like TI that generates and manipulates very large files at high sustained speeds is the first real workout of this type many users subject their hardware to. In other words, I believe TI does uncover some unnoticed weaknesses in hardware - if it isn't 100% solid it isn't going to work.

    An advantage of the checksum method is the file can be valdiated at any time on any machine.

    I agree on sharing files among OS as being a source of difficulties. However, TI is made to write a file using a NTFS or FAT32 file system and the Linux version of TI is specifically designed to read its archive file from those systems. It is not necessary for it to be universally compatible with everything else on a Linux system.
     
  14. matfry

    matfry Registered Member

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    Many thanks John for your input, and indeed for starting this thread! Going back over it makes interesting reading. I have to admit that I’ve not gone through every single entry yet, but when I lack some serious bed-time reading, I may do!!!

    Johnmeyers roots seem similar to mine, as I have worked in software development in a “past life”, and have indeed co-written a software package. It looks quite dated now, and most of my input was in assembly language for the sheer speed! This was done in the days before “rapid application development” became rife, when programming could be a chore; also when (programming) men were men. Sorry - “eyes front” again for the following…

    In one of my correspondences with Acronis, I pointed out that failure to stay on top of any long-term issues they have with the validating problem, may be to their detriment as a company! Not surprisingly, there has been no further correspondence from them since! I just guess that they’ve been working flat-out to release TI ver.11. Maybe even, their PR team has a full-time job right now, appeasing the ire of disgruntled patrons of ver. 11?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  15. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Judging by previous version releases it's not unexpected (although disappointing) that some new features are broken. Hopefully, they will be fixed in an update soon.
    However, it's more concerning that some previously existing features have been deleted. I wonder if this an attempt to 'dumb down' the product for some marketing reason (e.g to better differentiate from the more expensive Workstation version). Perhaps Acronis would like us to pay more to get back those features which we had in earlier versions. Am I just being cynical?
    Has anybody created a thread which lists all these deleted features?

    I keep hoping that Acronis will seriously look at the corruption/verification issue and do something to try to pinpoint the cause(s). I've suggested various ideas to Acronis in the past but nothing has been done.
    For example, an optional diagnostic interleaved creation/verification procedure could report on the exact sector writes/reads which fail. Rewriting/rereading after failure could indicate whether it was a reproducible data related error or some timing issue which might be successful on subsequent retries. Either way a detailed diagnostic / data dump report would hopefully shed some light on the issue.
    At the very least it would show that Acronis is serious about trying to help customers that have a major problem using TrueImage.

    I'm still using TI9 since the new features in TI10 and TI11 haven't enticed me to upgrade nor am I likely to upgrade until I see some progress on the corruption issue.
     
  16. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I totally agree. Right now the validation failures are at best diagnosed by nothing more than educated guesses and trial and error. We don't even know if there is 1 or a million more checksum potential failures when reading an archive. Does it just quit after the first found - no real reson to continue?

    The debugging routine could even be a separate download.

    Of course, there will be a new class of problems to deal with - it won't validate but will validate when I enable the debugging. :D :D :D Used to see this when inserting a couple of instructions in a real-time program to debug, usually altered some timings.
     
  17. Tsu

    Tsu Registered Member

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    Add to you list of reasons why you get corrupt or otherwise unusable images: apparent slight variations in versioning. ATI version control and backward compatibility is atrocious and I have complained about this going back a couple of years. However I do agree that this is a great product but its high maintenance is a real pain.

    I don't check this BB often unless I have a problem or get the email from Acronis about a new release. That that's why I am belatedly catching this thread - the 11.* release.

    NEWER VERSIONS OF ATI CAN CAN NOT BE RELIED UPON TO READ, MOUNT OR RESTORE OLDER VERSIONS.

    And I don't mean 8.* vs 9.*. I mean as little as a build variation within a version.

    e.g. In my case one PC created an perfectly good image with 9.1.3694 so I can mount it as a drive, drag and drop files from it or do a restore of files to anywhere or a full bare metal restore. Open the same image with 9.1.3718 on another PC to do a file restore and the directory tree has folders with no names which I immediately recognize as a problem. I wish it just said "image corrupt" as it usually does with build incompatibilities and saved me a few minutes working thru the menus to he point of selecting source files.

    So if you, like me, have several PC's on a network where you might want to open an use an image created by another PC you need to have all your ATI's insync by VERSION and BUILD.

    I am, infact, installing 8.0.937 and down grading ATI on more and more perfectly good 9.1.* machines and clean new installs on these networks as I encounter them because it is less work to uninstall and reinstall to 8.0.937 than try to keep newer versions and/or builds, insynch. Terrific eh? buy more licences for 9.1.* W/S and install 8.0.937 But it works for me and keeps me and my clients legal.

    This "Build Incompatibility" is not universal thru all their versions. A Server 8.0.1018 can "Explore" ATI W/S 8.0.937. "Explore" is now called "Mount" in 9.* and up. 8.0.937/1018 won't restore files but with an explore/mount to a drive letter I can still drag and drop files from the images to restore them to the original or other PC's and to original or new folders.

    The more things change here the more things stay the same. I, as a user, just don't think I should have to adapt and compensate for sloppy version control and loosy-goosy backward compatibility. But I'm still using it ATI.
     
  18. bmorgenthaler

    bmorgenthaler Registered Member

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    JohnMeyer, thanks for starting this thread.

    I'm also a long-time user of Acronis (TI10) and was surprised to find (like you) that my images would not validate and therefore could not be restored.

    I just wanted to contribute my 2 cents worth of experience in hopes of saving someelse time.

    I found that the only way to backup/restore was to use the Acronis boot disk. If I used T10 under Windows the validation *always* fails. I am using an external USB drive with a no-name enclosure.

    However, when I use the boot disk, I first receive a "EEPROM" error while the program is loading -- however, it continues to boot and run fine afterwards. Then I do a backup and verify and everything works fine.

    A very strange and disturbing problem indeed. I will continue to test this further to see if other external drives, cables, etc. perform the same way. I will also test using 9.1 to see if that makes a difference.

    Acronis, please, please, please just make your product work and be bullet-proof.

    And users, *always* do a verify after your backup!!

    Incidentally, I contacted tech. support but never received a reply.

    This thread should be a sticky -- anyone know how to do this?

    Regards and thanks,
     
  19. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Having made an an image while in Windows did you then run the validation while still in Windows or did you try validating while booted from the rescue CD?
    If there is a difference this might be a pointer where to look next.

    At first sight it would appear that there is a program or background process running in Windows which interferes with either creation, validation or both.
    Weight is added to this view as you can create, validate and restore from the rescue CD. In this condition no Windows operating system, other programs or any associated background processes are loaded so there can be no interference from them.
    It would also suggest that your cables,connections, ports, external drives and RAM are all up to the task in the rescue environment.

    I do not have a list of possible items that could be loaded and which would cause the failures. This is made more difficult for me as I always create backups from within Windows and have never had these problems.
    On my computer I leave AVG running in the background and the same goes forZone alarm and Windows defender. In the same way I leave file and printer sharing up on my local network and my ADSL connection is left on.
    From reading other users problems any other backup program such as Go Back could conflict with true image and I am sure there are several others. There are also possibly some security programs that could be candidates.
    If you could post a list of third party utilities that you have running most of them could be eliminated by posters who do not find any conflict with them. The problem ones could then be disabled to see if you could then run TI to its full potential.

    I wonder, if you have a spare drive, if you have tried restoring some of the apparently corrupt images . You might find that the validation failure was a false positive.

    Xpilot
     
  20. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I generally agree with Xpilot . I leave my ADSL modem running, file sharing, AVG, Defender and Sygate FW running with no problem.

    While it may be a longshot since it works with the rescue CD, I would run memtest86+ V1.7 from www.memtest.org . Run it few hours at least or overnight is better. The reason is that it is very unlikely that the memory mapping when running TI in Windows is the same as in the Linux rescue environment. The EEPROM error could well be a checksum error caused by RAM.
     
  21. bmorgenthaler

    bmorgenthaler Registered Member

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    I cannot get the Windows version (WTI10) to validate either a WTI10 image or a Boot Disk version (BDTI10) image file.

    The BDTI10 will not validate a WTI10 image file, but will validate a BDTI10 image file.

    A previous post about Acronis validating image files okay but later failing when restoring scares the hell out me. But so far, I have not encountered this.

    I'll run the memory tests tonight -- but since I never have any BSODs or such, I doubt I have a memory problem.

    I'm running WinXP SP2 on a Thinkpad T60p. Nothing strange installed - Zone Alarm for both virus and firewall.

    Yes, it sucks that I cannot use the WTI10 version since this is primarily how I've been creating backups in the past. Until I can resolve this however, I'll stick with the boot disk.

    I just encourage *everyone* else to validate their image files before they really need to use them!
     
  22. dogbert20

    dogbert20 Registered Member

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    Actually, I have found a procedure which will allow you to validate your backups all the time (and get them to transfer properly to USB/Firewire devices) as well:

    1. I normally backup to a 2nd internal drive (simply because it's faster, and drives are relatively cheap these days, a 500GB SATA II can be purchased for 100 bucks (USD).

    2. I back up drive C: (my WinXP Pro SP2 install drive, and where the bulk of my software installs wind up) to my 2nd internal drive (I select full backup).

    3. After the backup is finished, I run a md5 hash against the .tlb which was just done and copy it into notepad.

    4. I then validate the backup .tlb file I just finished with on the 2nd internal HD (takes a few mins), and it should come back as validated.

    5. At this point, I hook up my external USB drive enclosure with a 500GB PATA HD in it, and get it ready.

    6. I use a nice little utility called SyncToy by Microsoft (it's free and works on all current win32 platforms), which I use to sync my mp3 collection between the 2nd HD and the external USB drive (for safe keeping):

    7. I then set up a job which copies the file from the 2nd internal drive to the USB external drive (the .tlb that acronis just finished with, and that we ran a md5 hash against). This will take a few minutes. After it's finished, close out SyncToy and generate another md5 hash against the file on the USB drive, it should be identical to the one in Step 3.

    8. If the hash values match (and they should), I then proceed to validate the file on the USB external drive through True Image 10, and in the last 5 weeks, i've NOT had one validation failure using the steps listed here (pretty cool, huh).

    I know it's extra work, but when you are depending on your backups, it's worth some extra time (IMO) to make sure you can actually read that data you backed up. Also, for items which aren't as frequently used, it might not be a bad idea to just move clutter off of your internal drive(s) to a NAS, network share, or USB external drive which then frees up space on your system, and makes backups go faster (when I installed my 2nd HD), i put my mp3/m4a files,avis, mpgs, iso images, etc there), and then copied them over to the USB external drive as is (no true image)...so I now have good backup of the 2nd internal drive, and of my drive C:

    Hope this helps everyone...
     
  23. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Registered Member

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    That's pretty much the procedure that I recommended, but then later found to not be 100% reliable when I found that validation failed even when backing up to an internal IDE drive.
     
  24. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Unless these several checking procedures are being used to track down exactly where and when the validations fail they seem rather pointless as they do not fix anything. If you run validations that should be the top and bottom of it. The image passes or fails, period.

    I stopped running validations long ago. All they did was to confirm what the image creation program had already told me that the operation had completed successfully.

    What is really important to know is can the backup images actually be restored to make a working HDD.
    There is only one way to be 100% sure and that is to actually restore the image to a HDD and boot from it to check it out.
    Now if your particular hardware/software combination is giving validation problems you would have be brave or foolhardy to overwrite your existing HDD particularly the first time it is tried.
    The riskless way is to remove the existing HDD and replace it with a spare one. I have built this into my backup routines and swap over HDDs immediately after an image is completed. The image is them restored and the job is done.
    Purchasing an internal drive rack and three drive drawers was a small price to pay for the 100% safe and secure backups and restores I now enjoy.

    Xpilot
     
  25. Tatou

    Tatou Registered Member

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    Hi

    This is a pretty good idea which I may add to my backup method although saving direct to external USB drive has proved OK to me. Restores work OK with BArtPE

    I suggest you try a restore to a spare drive with either the Boot CD or BArtPE disk to check if your system will restore. Don't forget to remove/disconnect your real boot drive when booting with the spare drive.
     
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