Disk v. Partition

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Harrier, Jul 21, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Harrier

    Harrier Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    27
    I wish to image a Win2k partition on a dual boot setup which contains
    a 13GB Win2k partition, a small Linux swap and an approx 4.7GB Linux
    partition. I want to be able to restore just the Win2K partition to a
    new HD in the event of HD failure. However:

    "In order to ensure that a restored brand new disk boots correctly you must
    create an image of the whole system disk by ticking the checkbox adjacent
    to the Disk #. This will cause TI to copy the Master Boot Record for the
    system disk into the image."

    Am I correct in assuming that imaging only the Win2K partition
    will not restore the MBR?

    Will I have to image the entire disk, including the Linux partitions, in order
    for the newly restored image to boot correctly?

    Is there any way to image only the Win2K partition and restore it to a new
    HD and have it boot correctly?

    In linux it is a simple matter to make a copy of the equivalent of the
    windows mbr and write it back to the proper location on the disk, but I
    know of no way to do this with Win2K given the NTLDR system. I can't
    use the recovery console since NTLDR is needed to get to it.

    Since I am going to write the image to CD's, I wish to avoid having to
    image the entire 20GB HD.
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    3,329
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    Yes, that's correct. In some cases just imaging one partition still results in a bootable disk, but there's no guarantee. I'd image the entire disk.

    I hope you realize that only the used portions of each partition are included in the image, and you can select the highest compression to minimize the size on CDs.
    Just be lucky. :) Well, you could try it and see if you have a spare hard drive. If it works, you know it works. There isn't any other certain method that I know of.
     
  3. Harrier

    Harrier Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    27
    As a test, I imaged just the Win2K partition setting a file size of 700MB to
    see how many CD's would be needed. Compression was set to maximum.

    With a used capacity of approx 8.6GB, the imaging produced 4 files each
    of size 716,800MB and a fifth of approx 150MB. This number is a little larger
    than I had wanted. Maybe it's time to get a DVD burner.

    Given that the Linux partition is approx. 4.7GB with approx. 75% usage, I
    would estimate an additional 2-3 disks would be needed to image the entire
    HD, or about a 40% increase.

    Since Linux distributions change so frequently, I would really rather install
    a new Linux if it were necessary to replace a HD.

    I suppose the best way around this is to simply put the Linux distribution
    on a separate HD, but this would defeat the purpose of buying a new HD
    only when the old one succumbs.

    I've never seen a system boot properly simply from the PBR (partition
    boot record) without a properly setup MBR (master boot record). Since the
    MBR contains the partition table indicating which partition is bootable, how
    could this possibly work?

    In dual booting Linux, you can overwrite the MBR with LILO (Linux Loader)
    code which will eventually call the partition boot code at the beginning of
    the Linux partition no matter where that is located (but only in Win9x). In
    Win2K, you have to modify boot.ini to refer to a separate file created to call
    the Linux partition boot sector.

    Is it possible to create a separate file that contains the Win2K MBR info
    that can be written to the disk after an image restore?
     
  4. ianC

    ianC Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Posts:
    22
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    Harrier wrote

    I think that would be a winning feature. I have a dual boot system of WXP with W98 and really don't want the W98 all backed up, but would like to have a disaster recovery image ready in case the HD dies suddenly so my XP would be restored in short order.

    Ian
     
  5. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hi Harrier and Ian,

    I believe Acronis intend to enhance TI in a future version so that, when imaging a partial disk, the MBR is included in the image.

    Until then, if restoring a partial disk image to a new or repacement drive, you will probably need to carry out a fixmbr (or fdisk /mbr in the case of Windows 9x/Me) after the restore in order for the new drive to boot properly.

    Regards
     
  6. Harrier

    Harrier Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    27
    While you can use an emergency boot disk for a Win9x system to run a
    fdisk /mbr, you have to be able to boot into the recovery console on a
    Win2K system to run fixmbr. I may be wrong but I think you need to have
    the NTLDR available to do that. I haven't looked at the Win2K boot disk
    specs for awhile, but I'm not sure you can do a fixmbr from it.

    Howerver, rereading the User's Guide pointed out:

    Am I reading this correctly? MBR, FAT, root and attributes are not included
    in the image if you image only a partition?

    If this is true, imaging a partition seems to be useless.
     
  7. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, Harrier

    You fix 2K's MBR the same way as always, see fixing XP MBR it is the same:- #5
    Not sure were you read that?

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  8. Harrier

    Harrier Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    27
    User's Guide
    Section 1.3 What is a Disk Image - Page 8
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello again Harrier,

    Yes, but the note immediately after the one you quote says:

    "A disk image includes images of all disk partitions as well as the zero track with master boot record (MBR)."

    So, as we've said, an image of only some of the partitions of a multi-partition disk will not include the MBR.

    Regards
     
  10. Harrier

    Harrier Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    27
    Yes, but the point is how can you restore a partition and have it
    work correctly if it does not contain the FAT, root directory and
    file attributes? Hell, forget about the MBR.

    That's why I asked if I was reading this correctly. Maybe I am missing
    something, this comment doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    O.K. Now I understand the problem. You are in fact reading the statement incorrectly. Let me try to reword it slightly:

    "An image of a partition will include all files and folder irrespective of their attributes (e.g. hidden or system files). It will also include the Boot Record, FAT (File Allocation Table) and Root."

    This means that a partition image will include everything other than the MBR, even those files and folders whose attributes are set to "Hidden" or "System".

    Hope this helps.

    Regards
     
  12. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, Menorcaman

    You are the champion :p, for sorting that out for Harrier.

    I read it but could not understand were [what] he had read, now you make it clear.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2005
  13. Harrier

    Harrier Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    27
    Thanks Menorcaman. I was reasonably sure before I penned my note that
    what you described was the correct answer but you must admit that the
    User's Guide comment is poorly written and would give a careful reader
    some pause.

    Do you work for Acronis or do you just have vast experience with the
    software? I have read many of your posts and must compliment you on
    your knowledge and succinctness.

    One of these days, I am going to make it to the Balearic's. So far, I've
    only gotten as far as Cadiz.

    Gazpacho!
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hi Harrier,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    No, I don't work for Acronis or, if I did, they must have forgotten to pay me :D. I'm afraid I'm just an old retired aerospace Project Manager who has been playing around with computer's as a hobby since 1978 (jeeze! was it that long ago?).

    Muchos recuerdos
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.