Could not restore image from DVD - Acronis deleted partitions?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Srdjan, Sep 1, 2006.

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  1. Srdjan

    Srdjan Registered Member

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    I was not able to restore the whole drive from Acronis image spanned on 2 DVD-RWs. The image of the entire hard drive (C primary, system, D extented, logical), was created with Acronis 9.0.2337 as two parts archive and later burned on two DVD-RWs from Nero for archival purposes. Image files from the HDD were then deleted.

    After some time I wanted to restore the drive using these archives and found it impossible.
    First, if one wants to verify the image which is on 2 DVDs it is not possible to do so untill both archive parts are copied back to HDD and both placed in the same folder ?. I verified the image successfuly by copying both DVDs back to hard drive.
    Then I pointed Acronis to volume 2 of the archive, placed in DVD drive, it was recognized. I selected "the whole drive", and came to the place where Acronis offers to "retry", "reboot" or close files. I have chosen to "reboot" but Acronis refused to go on to "Dos" mode and keeped returning me to the previous screen every time I clicked on reboot button ? It came to my mind that I can do the same by separately restoring partitions. I repeated the procedure, checked the C partition to restore, clicked on reboot and it now entered the Dos mode. There I had to repeat the same procedure, pointed to DVD drive with the volume 2 and after passing the script on the final screen, Acronis asked for the volume 1 of the archive. I placed the appropriate DVD but instead of to to continue with copying, Acronis asked for the Volume 2, then again for volume 1 and so on in a circle. After several circles I decided to close Acronis, but after rebooting, a system error mesage appeared stating that OS is missing. I realized that Acronis already deleted partitions.

    The only thing I could do was to fresh install XP and Acronis. I made partitions C and D of the same size as before, copied both image files to the root of the D drive and then restored partition C from the archives located on the D partition and vice versa for the partition D.
    Could anybody explain me what happened ? Is it possible to restore the whole drive from the image archive spanned over 2 DVDs without copying them back to hard drive ? If yes I would highly appreciate some kind of step by step procedure when the image is split on several DVDs. Moreover, the manual does not mention such situation at all.

    I have many times restored the whole drive from the DVD. It worked OK, but that was in the time when the whole archive could fit one DVD. What is so different when the volume is split on two DVDs ?

    My hardware: MB Abit NF7-S with SATA 3112 on board, latest drivers for SATA controller, HDD WD 2000 JD SATA, Windows XP Professional SP2, Acronis 9.0.2337 Home.

    And one more issue is whether the Acronis bootable rescue CD can support the USB mouse ?
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Storing your only copy of your backups on DVD is extremely risky. DVD's are notoriously unreliable. There is also the additional layer of complexity because you need to use another utility (e.g. Nero, Ulead... etc) to create the DVD. Every additional layer in any process has the potential of introducing errors.

    The ONLY valid reason for storing backups on DVD is if there is a need to keep additional backups offsite. (e.g. high risk of fire or theft at premises). And even then DVD as a storage media would be bottom of the list of options.

    I see that you have a single HDD. Ideally you should install another HDD as this would simplify your backup tasks - it would also significantly speed things up.

    However, if you don't want to install another HDD then you may consider the Acronis Secure Zone as your next-best option. Acronis developed the ASZ functionality specifically for users who have only a single disk.

    You can find full details of the ASZ in the User Guide at Section 3.3 and the whole of Chapter 8. Once you have read the User Guide I suggest you come back to this Forum and do a search for the Acronis Secure Zone in previous posts. There is a lot of information about the ASZ available.

    If you still have questions then please come back to the Forum.

    NOTE :

    If you have more than 1 disk then I do not recommend the ASZ as being the most suited backup utility. The ASZ is best suited to be used in a system with a single disk.
     
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I must disagree with your last paragraph in red.
    If a user has only one hard drive a secure zone has advantages but it gives no backup against a physical hard drive failure.
    A secure zone on a second slave hard drive has all the advantages built into the secure zone such as being impervious to viruses affecting the main drive or inadvertent archive deletion, automatic FIFO management of backups, running scheduled backups without having to name them, automatic indentities by date and time of creation, plus the fact that it is not affected by a main drive failure.
    From my point of view the Secure zone used on a slave drive is one of the better features of True Image.
    Don't knock it till you have tried it, understood its limitations and appreciated its strengths. I use it for all my backup images and life would be a lot more complicated without it.
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Like most things in life, it depends on what you want to do and what you are premitted to do.

    I have no use for the Secure Zone and for my purposes it is an obstacle. This is not because the SZ is bad, it just doesn't lend itself to the way I want to work. It obviously has advantages for the way Xpilot prefers to work.

    So, different strokes for different folks, simple as that but on the more complicated side of the coin, you have to know what you want to do and the best way to achieve it.
     
  5. Srdjan

    Srdjan Registered Member

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    To be honest I have to correct myself. I tried to verify the image on 2 DVDs today and it went well, ie. the image has been successfuly verified.
    However, I must admit that older Acronis versions were better in a way that bootable CD was only a bootable CD. I dont know how to make such CD now. Instead, every option makes "startup recovery manager". What does that mean to activate it ?. Manual is confusing about it. First it states that "startup recovery manager" cannot be activated without secure zone, and after that it states that startup recovery manager will be activated immediately if there is no secure zone o_O
    The question is simple. What to do with a CD that I get from the option "Create bootable rescue media" ? Will it load automatically upon reboot or I have to press F11 to activate, or may be it has to be activated before restart.
    Another confusing thing in the help. It is written that the startup recovery manager overwrites master boot record ? Every time or only after activation ? Is it safe to leave the user without MBR ? What if the restoration is not successful ?
     
  6. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    The Rescue CD (bootable CD) you create with the Create Bootable Rescue Media tool has the same function it had in previous versions. It will boot the computer straight into the rescue environment (Linux TI), no F11 or anything else required.

    An alternative way to boot into rescue environment is to press F11 if you (1) did create the Secure Zone and (2) did activate the Startup Recovery Manager. The activation of the SRM is a one-time action, but it will modify the MBR. I would advise you forget the SRM and F11, since there is no particular catastrophic situation where the SRM/F11 functionality would be indispensable. It's just a convenience, a shortcut. You can always restore the system drive by starting the restore operation from Windows (if operative) or after booting from the Rescue CD (if Windows is down). Therefore, if you decide to create the Secure Zone for the reasons exposed by Xpilot (and you don't mind the inability to access the image files to manage them with Explorer), be sure to uncheck the default option to activate SRM right away.

    Restoring the system drive by starting the operation from Windows will be done more smoothly if you update to the current build of TI9. Many fixes have been implemented since the 2337. If you update, uninstall the old build before installing the current one and create a new Rescue CD from the new installation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2006
  7. Srdjan

    Srdjan Registered Member

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    I made a bootable CD with "Creat bootable rescue media" tool, restarted and the blue screen with two options appeared ("full" and something else) with the mouse pointer on the screen. However, the mouse pointer was freezed. Hence, I was not able to select any option. There was a message on the bottom stating that Windows will continue loading in 10 sec and after that time had elapsed the Windows continued. I have a USB mouse (Logitech MX 510) and the Acronis in Lunux environment works with my USB mouse. But this is in the case when I reboot from Acronis and not from bootable CD. Does Acronis support a USB mouse when booting from CD ? Again nothing in the manual about it.
     
  8. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    As seekforever has said....
    The critical thing here is knowledge and experience. If you are technically competent then you can utilise systems (hardware & software) in a way that suits your situation because you understand the implications of your actions. If you have only a little knowledge and limited experience then you need to be much more careful in what you do.

    Xpilot has always been an advocate of the Acronis Secure Zone (ASZ) and undoubtably it works for him. But it is obvious from his postings that he knows what he is doing, he understands the broader implications of his actions and is knowledgeable about not only True Image, but also Windows, and general computing architecture and principles.

    If you read the questions posted by Srdjan you can sense the confusion and uncertainty that is experienced by users with less technical competence.

    Therefore, it is my recommendation that if you have limited technical ability that you exercise extreme caution before using the Acronis Secure Zone and the Startup Recovery Manager. For example, when you implement the SRM, TI creates its own proprietary MBR and boot manager. One of the "side-effects" of this is that you are no longer able to boot using Windows Safe Mode.

    Ask yourself these 5 questions:-

    1. If things go wrong do you know how to fix the MBR after the SRM has rewritten it?
    2. Do you know how to override the Acronis boot manager with the Windows boot loader?
    3. Do you know how to remove the Acronis boot manager and re-create the Windows boot loader?
    4. The SRM removes Safe Mode as a boot option, do you know how to override this so that you can boot back into Safe Mode?
    5. Do you have a full understanding of disk structure and how an OS boots?

    If you cannot answer "Yes" to all of the above then I recommend that it would be preferable if you used a simple recovery plan that consisted of creating simple images which are easy to create and simple to restore. This is a process with which even the most non-technical person can feel reasonably comfortable.

    :cool:
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Srdjan,

    TI has undergone massive changes since Build 2337. Any reason why you haven't logged onto your account at acronis.com (assuming you registered your copy of TI 9.0 Build 2337 in the first place) and updated to TI 9.0 Home Build 3677?

    Just remember to uninstall the previous build via Windows Control Panel's Add or Remove Programs first and create a new bootable rescue CD after installing the latest build. Images created by earlier versions or builds are backward compatible with newer versions/builds of TI but not the other way around.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
  10. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Well said, Tabvla! Your 5 point checklist should be included as a qualifying agreement with several Acronis products, including OS Selector, from my experience.

    I realize that users come to TI with all levels of expertise, but I do think Acronis would do well to build in more safeguards, and caution inexperienced users about the potential pitfalls ahead before offering such paths as the Recovery Manager that will over-ride such things as other boot options and safeguards.

    Perhaps, as some have suggested, there is a need to create several tiers of user interface with Acronis True Image -- one that is rock solid, and another that affords more options (with clear explanations, and alternatives, please). This is a powerful set of tools, but, to date, I haven't come close to mastering them. My experience is that this is more like sailing than riding a train. After learning the nuances of the boat, I'm getting some sense of how to get where I want to go. But, one does not just settle into one's seat and wait for their destination to be announced.

    While the Secure Zone has advantages in theory, I'm not inclined to hand over that much control to an automated program. Best keep my rudder in the water. :cool:
     
  11. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello Tabvla,

    You really made me uneasy with those 5 questions. Did you have to?

    Well, I'm happy I got rid of the SRM more than two years ago. I too like to keep my rudder in the water.
     
  12. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Have you guys not heard of self-steering or autopilots?
    Having used both I can vouch for their efficacy. They do not absolve the navigator from the need to monitor that all is going to plan. Manual control can always be restored if there is a problem.
    Making backups on a regular basis becomes boring over time and if any or all of the process can be automated it gets my vote every time. Such automation also overcomes the problem of forgetfullness as well as freeing up time to get on with something more interesting.
     
  13. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I can see your point, Xpilot, absolutely.

    When my images grow, I might reconsider my present strategy. At this time, with 3 min for a full image of C: and about as much to validate, I like to select the proper time for the image and be there when it's being created. Not to mention the ability to copy the occasional image from the slave drive to the external HD and/or to DVD.
     
  14. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Good Morning, Xpilot,

    I wholeheartedly embrace the notion of having a great autopilot running things up on deck while I grab some much needed shuteye. When I purchased TI a few months ago, I thought the Secure Zone and Recovery Manager sounded like two of its many great features.

    But, having encountered several glitches with Acronis to date -- like boot problems, corrupt directories and missing partitions, I'm less trusting. Turns out the "experienced" crew member who set the anchor that night off St. John's didn't do such a good job, and at 3 am I found us drifting toward a rocky shore...:ouch: I'm not sure I want to entrust my fate to the Recovery Manager. I started setting the anchors myself after that, too. Absentmindedness notwithstanding.

    Yes, it sounds like the Secure Zone can be useful as a way to manage archives. But, is there really a way to regain manual control if it ever goes AWOL? When the scheduled tasks run (as they usually do nightly, unless edited after a recent build change), I enjoy the results. But, I think I'll keep watches, and monitor the course, just in case. Until we get past this point of making another great idea into a proven technology.

    Or, until I buy that new computer that is certified to run VISTA and Acronis True Image flawlessly, and runs OS Selector to boot into XP for nostalgic sunset cruises...:rolleyes:

    By the way, how stormy will the seas be ahead once VISTA arrives? Not that I plan to rush out and buy it...
     
  15. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I have never used the recovery manager. Just could not see the point of it and as some have found it can intoduce problems just when you don't need them ! The recovery CD is good enough for me.
     
  16. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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  17. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Xpilot,

    Sounds like you have developed an excellent backup system, and aren't relying on anything automated to rescue you. Trouble is, some of us haven't yet adopted quite as many layers in our backup strategy. I appreciate your ongoing encouragement to test every backup out.

    Cruise control is nice to have, but we all know not to rely on it to take over for us. Yet schemes like the Startup Recovery Manager seem to imply that all this will take place effortlessly, and reliably, and I think too little is said about how frequently this may not occur.

    I'd rather head down to the engine room to find out how seaworthy a ship is, than trust the PR folks passing out drinks on deck. Thanks for telling it like it is. We might just make it if we all pitch in. In spite of the many hurdles I'm sure Microsoft throws in the path of companies like Acronis. Not an easy world to run software in, but then, here we are.

    I may have a bias since my system didn't take to Acronis right away, and required determination to get working well. I'm glad to have TI in my tool kit. But I wouldn't want to entrust it to run solo. No SRM for me, thanks.
     
  18. wardell1

    wardell1 Registered Member

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    Hello All- I read all posts and I can see that there is excellent experience and know how among the posters. I have TI 9.0.0.3667 installed. I made a boot disk that I would like to boot my desktop to prove that it works. I shut down my computer with the bootable cd in the cd drive and restarted the computer.Tthe computer opened to Acronis Media Builder with two options(Acromis True Image Home-Full Version and Acromis True Image Home-Safe Version). My mouse pointer and up/down keyboard keys were frozen. I have no idea how to boot with the bootable cd. Could someone give me information on performing this task? Iam running XP Home,SP2 on a Dell 8100 desktop. I have a Logitech wireless laser keyboard/mouse(MX3000/MX600).Thanks very much.
     
  19. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello wardell1,

    You did it right. It's the Linux drivers on the Rescue CD that do not suit the wireless devices you have. Try inserting the acpi=off noapic parameter as detailed in Please Read Before You Post sticky or the usbmouse=off parameter in the same way, or both.

    If neither workaround helps I'm afraid you shall have to resort to some older wired keyboard/mouse for restoring from the rescue environment until Acronis include the specific drivers you need in a future build of TI.

    The current build is 3677. Download it and install it after uninstalling the build you have now.

    You might also search this forum for "wireless mouse".
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2006
  20. wardell1

    wardell1 Registered Member

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    Thanks bVolk-I will try that.
     
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