Disk Director - what a dissapointment so far

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by goose2, Jul 5, 2009.

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  1. goose2

    goose2 Registered Member

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    Hi

    I have a simple problem: I installed Windows 7 on my primary harddrive in a new partition at the end of the drive. Once I was set up, I deleted my vista partition on the same drive and wanted to expand Windows 7 to fill the whole drive.

    After struggling with built-in windows tools, I decided to buy Acronis Disk Director

    Current Harddrive ([empty space= 100Gb], [windows partition = 40Gb])
    Goal: ([Windows Partition 140Gb])

    The reason it's a small drive is because it's a WD raptor.

    Problem #1) When I try to move the windows partition to the beginning, disk director asks to reboot, does something, claims success, reboots back to windows and - no changes whatsosever

    Problem #2) I tried to create a partition out of the free space, and merge the two partitions. Smae problems as in #1 - reboots, does the merging, reboots - no errors, no changes

    Problem #3) I decided to make bootable media (DVD). Well, it can't even find my harddrive (error E000101f4).

    I've disconnected *all* my other harddrives to avoid confusing it, but it still can't do anything. I'm running the latest build of the full suite.

    So far, I've wasted more time with this software than it would have taken me to reformat the drive and reinstall from scratch. It is *REALLY* frustrating to have software say that it did something, but really have no effect. I would be happier with an error message, which would at least tell me where to start looking. Now the question is - what was it doing all this time?

    Any suggestions?
     

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    DD most likely isn't correctly supporting your computer's hardware or is running into a problem.

    Are there any bad sectors on the drive? Those can cause problems.

    If you haven't, I would try using the Safe Mode version of DD from the DD CD. If you didn't include it when you created the CD, make another one that does.

    While doing what you're doing should work, performance will be worse until you do a good defrag on the partition. Having all of your Windows files at the end of the drive (the slowest part) isn't optimal. Just resizing the partition won't move them. A "Move" will move them, but since you're wanting to use the entire drive, you may be doing a combined Move & Resize and I don't know if DD will move the files in that case. If you do the steps manually, it should (Move the partition, then Resize it).

    An image backup and restore (with TI, for example) would also fix the problem (assuming TI works correctly on your computer).

    Please note that because you're making partitioning changes and moving the Windows partition, Windows may require repairs to be able to boot after the changes are made.
     
  3. goose2

    goose2 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply. I will now try the same mode of DD. I did a scan on the drive and there are no bad sectors.

    But that's one of the issues that I have - if it's running into problems, where is it reported? I don't mind software running into problems (it's inevitable and forgivable when addressed), but failures should not be silent.

    For the record, I have an i7 920 processor, WD1500 raptor drive, Gigabyte ex58-ud4p motherboard. The drive is on sata channel 1.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    When doing partitioning procedures from Windows that require a reboot to finish, DD will either do the changes during the Windows booting process or boot into the DD Full Mode version (Linux-based). If any problems are found or something doesn't match what DD is expecting, it aborts and no changes are made. As far as I know, there is no log detailing this.

    This is one of the main reasons it's recommended to boot to the DD CD to make these types of changes. It lets you make the changes step by step and you know exactly what's being done, what's working and what's not working.

    It's also recommended to have a backup image of the drive prior to beginning any partitioning changes just in case something goes wrong and you need to restore.

    The Linux kernel for DD hasn't been updated is quite some time. I doubt it supports your motherboard's chipset. The fact that it doesn't find any drives is a further indication of this.

    The Safe Mode accesses the hardware through the BIOS and can usually see any drives the BIOS can see. This is usually fine for internal drives, but can be slow for USB drives if doing any procedures that require large amounts of data to be moved.
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Just to amplify on the previous comments, "merging" two partitions together is an accident waiting to happen. A partitioning program has to first copy all of the files from the source partition to the destination partition, then delete the source partition, then expand the destination partition. As you can imagine, there is a chance that something may go wrong and you could lose data. Your first plan was the better one -- from the boot CD, move the Windows 7 partition to the beginning of the disk. After confirming that this has happened successfully, then resize the partition to fill the disk. If you work in the boot CD environment you will be able to get meaningful error messages and feedback. Have your Windows 7 DVD ready because you won't be able to boot into Windows until you repair the Windows BCD after moving the Win7 partition (the pointers will be invalid if you move the partition's starting sector). The automatic repair routine on the DVD should be able to fix this.
     
  6. goose2

    goose2 Registered Member

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    Ok, I tried booting with the Safemode boot disk, and that recognized my harddrive.

    1) I moved the partition to the beginning - success.
    2) Then expanded the partition with the remaining 100Gb of free space. -Success.
    3) Rebooted - and can't boot, but this is expected
    4) Rebooted with the windows repair disk, repaired mbr, bcd, rebooted and got "Autochk program not found - skipping autochk" The automatic repair did not help.

    So I'm stuck at this point - going to continue trying to fix this now
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    goose2:

    There will be four entries to repair in the BCD, so one pass with the Automatic Repair may not be enough. I think that the automatic repair only fixes one or two things at a time. Try running it a couple more times.
     
  8. goose2

    goose2 Registered Member

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    Hi

    Thanks for your replies. I made sure that the partition is not a hidden NTFS volume, that it is active, rebuilt the BCD, bootloader and mbr several times, got to the point where the automatic repair didn't know what to do but knew something was wrong, prompting me to send information to MS.

    Normally, I would end up spending the rest of my weekend reading about the innards of bootloaders and MS Windows boot process, but I really needed this computer to work by Monday, so I just spent 2 hours reinstalling the OS.

    For those of you reading having the same problems and reading this thread, sorry - I did not find a solution and took the easy way out :rolleyes:

    The Autochk error is *NOT* Acronis's fault, however, I still take issue with the silent failures of the full client that made me waste 5+ hours. The safemode client on the bootdisk is what worked.
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    goose2:

    I apologize for being lazy in my last reply and not posting the manual repair solution, which I'll post here now in case someone else reads this.

    To repair the BCD so that its pointers are correct for the new partition location, boot the PC from the Windows 7 DVD and choose to repair the PC. Instead of selecting automatic repair, select the Command Prompt.

    The following will work if your Windows 7 partition is the active partition on the disk:
    Code:
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot 
    bcdedit /set {default} device boot 
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot 
    bcdedit /set {memdiag} device boot
    The above commands will reset the four BCD entries to point to the Active (boot) partition.
     
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