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. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    One might reasonably ask (so I'm asking! ;)) whether this isn't in fact *necessary* given that to my knowledge MS still considers/protects the NTFS spec as "proprietary"?

    Still, when the ATI boot disk is used, which is Linux-based, then it would have to use Linux drivers, yes?

    I just read here in another thread that one user sez "I always use exclusively the boot disc/Linux to make my backups & restores & never have a problem". Is this discussed in this long thread somewhere...

    Rambling now, I see too someone being told to download "latest ATI drivers" which starts with a API iirc. What the heck are these ("ATI drivers")o_O :eek:
     
  2. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    That's right. My comment referred to when the Windows part is used.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Just because TI7 worked well on certain systems there is no reason to think it would work with other systems. In fact, it is less likely to work with recent hardware than the current versions.

    There is no rigid rule that says a particular version will work properly with a specific PC - it depends on the hardware match to the programming, particularly the Linux recovery, environment.

    AFAIK, you cannot get the previous versions without requesting them from Acronis. Your registration limits you to the version you registered.
     
  4. Michel Merlin

    Michel Merlin Registered Member

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    Apparently TIH_7b638 is discontinued, TIH_8 still available for free

    Thx laserfan 14:07 GMT for your info about TIH_7b638. Here are some additions:
    Reviewing the thread above (and past posts from me or others, by checking user profiles) will abundantly show to readers:
    • Acronis leaves freedom to write to at least part of the customers who have problems with TIH (kudos to Acronis for this)
    • When someone reports (on forum or by email to Acronis) problems with TIH (True Image Home), the replies (no matter whether from Acronis staff or from apparently independent forummers) generally look very helpful initially, but finally appear later as almost never solving the problem, while tending to dump guilt on users or on absent 3rd-parties (MS, VIA, memory makers, etc), or (as you seem doing) to disparage unfortunate reports, even when precise and detailed
    • if Acronis wants to dismiss their current widely spread PR-damage-control image, they need just really address the problems - which they apparently haven't done for years so far.
    Now I know that for my personal welfare I would better stay silent - which I may resume.

    Versailles, Tue 27 May 2008 00:11:45 +0200
     
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Some people like to use the Linux boot disk to do their work because it does the work on a static disk. The disk is not static when Windows is running. If you restore the active partition even starting the process in Windows it will reboot the PC into the Linux recovery environment since Windows can't be running when the active partition is being restored.

    I believe the ATI drivers are the "drivers" that show up as a device in the Device Manager but they may change some dlls as well - don't know. They only affect the Windows operation of the program.
     
  6. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Re: Apparently TIH_7b638 is discontinued, TIH_8 still available for free

    Not silent enough! Try harder next time! :rolleyes:
     
  7. guido1000

    guido1000 Registered Member

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    OK, I read most of the 9 pages of posts. My situation is this: Have been using TI9 for over two years to backup 4 partitions on my system. An individual partition per image job. These have run almost flawlessly to a rotating pair of external USB 500MB drives, where every Saturday during the month a partition is backed up directly to USB drive. An incremental of the OS (C:\) is done weekly on Mondays by another TI job. I have had strangeness before with jobs not verifying or executing on schedule, but after deleting the jobs and scripts from TI and recreating them it always worked.

    Suddenly this past Monday, I began getting the dreaded Corrupt message during verification. Monday 5/26/08 Incremental of C: was fine, but then Saturday 6/1/08 was scheduled to be the monthly full of C:\ which was the first error. After trying to delete and recreate scripts to no avail, I reinstalled, removed the program, I reinstalled, updated software to 10 (11 causes my screensaver to never go to sleep). Nothing has worked.

    I modified the job to backup to an nternal partition, but at only about 80% success rate. It has gotten to the point I cannot verify at all on the USB drive. No errors are reported by OS or event log.

    My questions are, what could have changed in a week that I did not do? And if I "Plug" the archive in and can read the data files with no problem, does that not mean I can successfully restore?

    Thanks and this bites that this started happening!
     
  8. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    You could try running one or more of the programs in this thread for awhile. Also, you could try Memtest86 or Memtest86+ to see if your memory is defective.
     
  9. guido1000

    guido1000 Registered Member

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    Thanks but I figured it out the hard way. Dead external hard drive. Finally popped early this morning. XP was not happy about the USB drive disappearing either. Took several reboots to get system up and in the process the MFT&boot partition got corrupted. Luckily I had backed up the OS partition to another internal disk last night. Hairy moments, does get the heart pumping. Would prefer coffee though.

    No offense to anyone, but I have worked with PCs since their creation (yes I am that old) both personally and professionally, and I have yet to see memory fail on anything other than in a server environment. As an fyi, I am referring to several thousand PCs/servers I have personally laid my hands on to fix. I am not saying that it doesn't happen, but much less frequent than people think/wish. Always suspect the older technology of magnetic disk recording first!!!
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Well, you must be Mr. LuckyRAM!:D :D

    I'm old too. I have was working on what was termed minicomputers before the IBM PC was introduced and have worked on systems with magnetic core, static high-speed RAM, and of course, dynamic RAM. They all had one characteristic in common, they all failed sooner or later.

    On my current setup, I've had about 3 RAM failures, two of them after a number of years of operation and 1 not too long after it was installed. I agree that RAM failures are remarkebly infrequent and I if I had to make bets on a failed component I'd take the disk over the RAM as the first place to look for sure. However, many people posting problems have already run chkdsk and are searching for the next place to look.

    Finding out where the problem lies is a process of elimination and running memtest86+ or some other RAM diagnostic is a pretty easy thing to do to determine whether RAM is part of the problem within the limitations of a diagnostic program which is not exactly the same as running the OS/app. The other thing is that home PCs don't check RAM or its contents like better servers do. The RAM POST is mainly to size the RAM although Microsoft did enhance the test somewhere in Windows95 (release 2?) because of many problems reported with the newly introduced disk compression. Turns out that a large number of reported disk compression problems were actually caused by bad RAM corrupting the data.

    Your experience does point out one very important fact. Do not rely on just 1 USB drive for your backups. In fact, don't rely on just 1 of anything for your data backups. Keep as many historical archives as you can and use multiple devices and even different types of devices. I personally recommend drives over DVDs for image archives but like everything else they can fail too. I rotate several USB drives for secondary backups. Primary backups are second physical HDs in the machines. Tertiary backup is either DVDs or copy to another PC.
     
  11. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    "In fact, don't rely on just 1 of anything for your data backups."

    Right. Including the imaging software.
     
  12. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    That may be true if you do not have the imagination to use the imaging software in a 100% safe and secure manner.
    My method of choice is to restore images to swapped main drives before the inevitable happens rather than trying to recover after the event.
    Think about it, it really does make sense.

    Xpilot
     
  13. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Xpilot, I agree your method is excellent but I don't really find that for me it is necessary. Now I may get stuck one day but that isn't even a real issue for me since I only image the OS/apps and could reconstruct my systems, which are non-critical, with a bit of time. Data files are done in native format only.
     
  14. guido1000

    guido1000 Registered Member

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    My method was actually based on what we do at work with our servers (of course minus the 500TB SAN solution..it would be nice).

    The OS gets installed on C which is a high performance disk/RAID setup and all data is directed to other partitions part of a fault tolerant RAID 5. In my case I leveraged the Onboard SATA Intel RAID chipset for RAID 1 disk mirroring. So the data has a mirrored copy always and nightly the data gets backed up via file level backups by Genie Backup and Allway Sync sends a copy to my file server/NAS. And lastly is the normal routine of disk images monthly to external hdd.

    Oh and yes, I have been extremely lucky with RAM (knock on wood; read own head).

    On a side note, what is with the added bloat in TI11? Try and decide service?
     
  15. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    guido1000

    You are absolutely right about bloat and in particular the Try & Decide feature.
    I nearly laughed my socks off when TI 11 hit the streets. It had been billed as an easier and more streamlined system. I do not remember the exact phrase but that was the gist.
    Instead we got lots of new features many of which do not work and some like T&D which cannot work in any sensible way because trial items do not survive a re-boot.
    Lucky for me I have previous versions fall back on, any of which perform basic image and restore functions admirably.

    Xpilot
     
  16. dbeifeld

    dbeifeld Registered Member

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    I don't know about you, but I'm throwing in the towl. E00070020 wins. I've read most of the posts on your thread and I can't find a suitable answer or interest by the developer to show they are working the problem, and it is a real big problem. I've spent way to many days trying to get an incremental backup passed validation (using the latest TI11 build). I believe I have a healthy system and this should not happen. Even though I can read the backup which is claimed to be corrupt, how could I ever trust it to do a full recovery?

    I believe other cutomers and potential customers will be lost because of this. Reliability and credability have been lost. It's ashame because the product really seems to have great potential, but it needs to work properly and consistently.
     
  17. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Scientific method is a wonderful thing. There is a reason why you are experiencing this problem, and it is nearly always possible to work out what it is.

    I have hit this problem on at least three machines. Two turned out to be RAM (and boy how one these customers protested when I said I suspected it could be his RAM) and the other dissappeared when I replaced an IDE cable.

    Other causes as you may have read are incompatible USB interfaces in external drives (this one seems to be getting less common these days), and machines which are either overclocked or have a less that ideal BIOS configuration.

    The software does put a lot of stress on the hardware, in a way which other programs normally do not. But if you get a corrupt image it does not necessarily mean that this is a software problem. As far as this error is concerned I have never heard of a single case - it has been hardware every time.

    F.
     
  18. Carlospr

    Carlospr Registered Member

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    My situation was not so complex: just backup into Acronis Secure Zone located in a second and internal HD.

    One day (it was about 3 years ago I think) I needed Acronis to do what it was made for: restore my system after a general failure.

    The first tib from Acronis Secure Zone was corrupted.

    The second one from Acronis Secure Zone was corrupted.

    The my last alternative (an image saved in a DVD) was, well, corrupted too.

    3 corrupted images or 3 images that TI thought they were corrupted.

    After reinstalling XP I decided to not install the TI anymore.

    Now I was curious about TI11 but it seems the old problem still remains.

    :doubt:
     
  19. EdC

    EdC Registered Member

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    I have read with increasing dismay the long list of complaints from users of ATI about seemingly corrupted images.

    Since I am in the process of installing new computers, I have been looking around for the basic set of tools (backup, security, etc) that would be appropriate. I would like to point out two aspects that I have stumbled upon, and submit them as suggestions for further investigations.

    1) Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

    There is a long thread of irate customers of Kaspersky Anti-Virus (KAV), starting at http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r18608452-Kaspersky-You-lost-me-at-ISwift, and dealing with one nasty feature of that security software that seems to break down, among other things, Windows Restore, chkdsk, ATI, and possibly other imaging systems.

    Basically, KAV has a mechanism whereby files are endowed with additional attributes to determine whether they have been modified, scanned, etc. The original implementation of that mechanism (KAV 2005), called IStreams, relied upon Alternative Data Streams; it resulted in a very high disk fragmentation, and made Windows System Restore rapidly unusable. The successor implementation (since KAV 2006), comprising two utilities called ICheck and ISwift, relies upon an obscure NTFS feature called Object Identifiers; it results in a dramatic slow down of chkdsk, and in failures when imaging / restoring partitions at least with ATI.

    An interesting characteristic of these KAV features are that they are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to clean up. Hence, the files in the partitions once protected by KAV continue to exhibit those hidden attributes even after a complete de-installation of KAV. Furthermore, it seems that KAV used these ADS and OId techniques in not quite Windows-conformant ways (i.e. hacks), which might explain why other programs have a hard time figuring out what is going on in the file system.

    So, a question for those people who have had the "corrupt image" problem: have you ever used Kaspersky Anti-Virus (in whatever form) in the partitions that you are trying to save and restore?

    2) Hardware configuration.

    I have the impression that people facing the "corrupted image" error utilize either custom-made computers, or heavily tailored ones, but not unmodified "run of the mill" machines from, say, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo or Dell (like most end-users out there).

    Besides, there have threads in this forum regarding unbootable ATI rescue CD when used on computers with specific mainboards (those from GigaByte have been very troublesome).

    Overall, this would be consistent with either ATI device drivers not being up to the task with some "exotic" hardware, or ATI being very sensitive with highly optimized systems (where timing and other hardware-related conditions might be borderline).

    So again: has anybody have had the same recurrent "corrupted image" problem with completely standard, unmodified computers from major vendors (HP, Dell, Lenovo)?

    I hope we will eventually pinpoint the cause of all these troubles. Till then it means for me: no ATI for the new machines I am setting up (I had used ATI v7.0 for a long time without any problems).
     
  20. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Registered Member

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    I have a stock computer and don't use Kapersky. I started this thread and still get random corrupt images. I have written to Acronis, have tried dozens of tests, and have read every post in this thread (and others). I am no closer to having a solution than when I started. It is a bug in the Acronis software. Of that I am 100% certain.
     
  21. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    At the risk of repeating myself, because I am too idle to go back over this whole thread, I will describe my method of eliminating the possibility of infrequent image corruptions affecting my computers.

    Validations can be eliminated completely by restoring images instead. To make this operation 100% risk free restores are always made to a previous generation of the drive being protected.
    In the case of PCs installing a Caddy/Drawer system makes swapping drives nearly as easy changing over a CD.
    Laptop drives are quite simple to swap over. One that I use has the drive secured in the case by just a single screw. It then pulls out in its own sub-chassis which is just like a drawer. Extra ones can be found on Ebay at knockdown prices.

    Image storage for the laptop is on a USB drive and I use a rotation of two laptop drives for the restores. This gives an element of redundancy in that there is a ready to go laptop drive and there are several generations of images on the USB drive. These images or a proportion of them have been proved to work by making actual working restores.

    Image storage on the PC uses a secondary internal drive. This method runs faster and enables completely automated image creation. Restores are made to a rotation of three main drives to give sufficient redundacy and back up should the internal backup drive ever fail.

    It will be seen that random rare image corruption is just not a problem. The simple solution is to swap back the previous main drive and carry on as if it never happened.

    I have suffered a few corrupted images on the PC. For quite a while I saw no need to do anything to track down the cause. Then I had a clutch of them so it became necessary to do some problem solving. I suspected a hard drive cable so I substituted with another one. This was not the answer. I found the culprit was the low voltage supply plug to the main hard drive fitment.

    My experience has been that making and restoring images Versions 8,9,10 and 11 have been 100% reliable and bug free. The very rare failed restores were 100% due to problems with my hardware.

    Xpilot
     
  22. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Glad you found a method and it works perfectly for you. But there are many others of us, and I have used TI since its very first release, who have tried TI11 on multiple computers, some home-brew (my MSI mainboard pc) and others "brand-name" (my Gateway desktop) and TI11 yields "corrupt archive" errors on backups. No AV, no Gigabyte, nothing special, but TI11 doesn't work. No confidence, zero, nada. :thumbd:

    I bought TI11 in late December and un-installed it until a new version comes out and people here suggest it works better. :p
     
  23. Carlospr

    Carlospr Registered Member

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    Sorry but I can't accept hardware problem as the answer for corrupted images.

    A software such as TI should have already added code to bypass hardware problems like memory, cable, HD voltage, main board color and things like this. Problems by the way that does not affect system and other softwares...

    :(
     
  24. layman

    layman Registered Member

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    I am no apologist for Acronis. I have been sharply critical of them, because all indications are that their development process is not up to par for a product shop. I, too, have been burned by corrupt archives, and initially suspected that TI was at fault. Careful monitoring has led me to a different conclusion, however. The fault here appears to lie with hardware and the operating system.

    I'm an old timer who actually once worked on software for a vacuum tube machine. In the Olden Days, main storage always had one or more parity methods for detecting transient errors. Likewise. CRC checks were made to ensure the integrity of writes to external storage. Because of the problems I've experienced with TI image corruption, I began checking for corruption of the files using my own hashes. I have found that the files can become corrupted during copies (particularly over a LAN) or as a result of defragmentation. It is appalling that mutations can occur without the hardware or OS detecting anything amiss, but it does happen. Nowadays, cheaper non-parity memory is considered "regular" memory, and, hey, ECC doesn't necessarily solve the problem. That's scary. It doesn't matter how rare the transient errors are, the seriousness of errors is unrelated to their frequency. And when they happen silently, the consequences are anybody's guess. Diagnostic don't reveal any problem with my drives or memory, but the files nevertheless become corrupt independent of TI.

    See this link for a description of memory types:

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/ram/errParity-c.html
     
  25. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    If these "mutations" are not detected by the operating system and don´t cause any apparent problems, chances are they irrelevant and just examples or the random nature of the world. So, just don´t verify the images and simply restore them when the need arises.
     
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