Does Acronis 9 Home usurp the MBR bootstrap area?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Vanguard, Aug 17, 2006.

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  1. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    As I recall from prior discussions with Acronis tech support, but maybe only certain setups, they will overwrite the MBR bootstrap area with their own bootstrap code which is used for recovery (i.e., to perform restores before and without requiring the load of the OS). I need the the MBR bootstrap area for a multiboot manager to let me load different operating systems that reside in separate partitions.

    Some programs that want the MBR bootstrap area will allow chaining of the bootstrap programs. That is, they will move out the old bootstrap program to some holding area so they can slide in their own bootstrap program, and when their bootstrap program is finished then it loads and passes control to the original bootstrap program. I've only seen one or two programs like this that are polite in handling and supporting bootstrap programs from other parties. Usually if a product wants the MBR bootstrap area, it just rudely steps atop of whatever is there. Does Acronis do the same thing?

    Can I use Acronis without it stepping atop the MBR bootstrap area (first 446 bytes of the first sector in the 'hidden' track on the first physically detected hard drive found by the BIOS)? What functionality do I lose if I don't use Acronis' own bootstrap program? Can that functionality be equivalenced by using their install CD or a bootable recovery CD that their program creates?

    If major functionality is lost because I cannot let Acronis usurp the MBR bootstrap area then I'll have to look elsewhere for viable backup and imaging solutions.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I believe TI only modifies the MBR if you setup the Startup Recovery Manager. Any other operation including creating a Secure Zone does not modify the MBR.
     
  3. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    Is the Startup Recovery Manager (SRM) something that can be ran from the install CD or a recovery CD created by the program (and where the CD is bootable)? I'm assuming that I only need the SRM if restores cannot or should not be performed while the OS is running in the partition where the files are to be restored.
     
  4. como

    como Registered Member

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    The SRM is an option when making a secure zone; you do not have to have either. If you are backing up to an external disk then it is recommended that you do not make a secure zone or SRM.

    The rescue CD is a self booting Linux based version of TI and is made from within TI.

    You can restore an image from within windows; TI will reboot your computer and run the Linux based version even if you do not have the SRM enabled.

    If the Linux based CD does not see all your hardware (because of the lack of Linux drivers) then you are able to make a BartPE CD which will boot windows.

    If I have misrepresented the above then someone more Knowledgeable than myself will correct me.
     
  5. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Yes, this is how the restoration of the system partition can be accomplished by starting from Windows. The restore of a non-system partition will be carried out fully from within Windows, without rebooting into Linux.

    I see that many new users get the impression that the SRM is a tool that's required to recover from some tough situation. It's not. It's just a small convenience.

    I'm glad to see someone who cares for his MBR.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  6. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    One of the reasons why I'm leaving my outdated DriveImage and Backup Exec is that they don't know how to recognize SATA drives. Does TI recognize them okay? Or do I have to install drivers maybe in some ISO image or file set used for the reboot restore or onto the bootable CD used for restore?

    If the reboot is of the type similar to the Recovery Console (CMDCONS) that has the boot program in the OS partition's boot sector choose to load the .dat file to load that system then SATA drivers would be needed in that .dat image file. If, for example, I reboot and go into the Recovery Console mode, I have to remember to hit F6 to load the SATA drivers (and then go get the floppy). I've used Partition Magic which will also sometimes require a reboot but their boot image includes support for SATA drives; however, they actually seem to run under some limited non-GUI version of Windows rather than as their own boot image. They still get exclusive use of the hard drive so they can make the changes, and they include support for SATA drives, but it's not quite the same as what happens when the .dat file is loaded for Recovery Console mode (which is almost like what DriveImage uses and so it, too, won't get to the SATA drive).
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I use SATA drives (non-RAID) and have no problems.
     
  8. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Same here. Two SATA internal drives and one in the external USB enclosure. Working fine with TI9 Buil 3567.
     
  9. como

    como Registered Member

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    Why not download the free 15 day trial, install it and create a rescue CD to see if TI sees your hardware ok, you will find the answer to a number of your questions if you also download and read the user manual.

    If TI does not recognise your configuration then you can send a report to Acronis (see the stickies at the top of the forum) and they will do their best to help you or you can create a BartPE disk.
     
  10. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

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    Doing the trial seems the way to go as long as it is a FULL version and not some crippled version. I don't mind if it expires after, say, 15 days but I don't want to be doing backups only to find out that I cannot do restores or they are "synthetic" or "emulation" restores which means I can't find out if the product will work for me. I figure I'd do the images and then restore into another partition (or unallocated space) and then also check the backups and restores (to alternate locations). In fact, one of my multiboot partitions is just for installing software to check it out before I decide to put it in my "production" partition.
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Vanguard,

    The free trial version is fully functional when in Windows mode but has a 15 day time limit. The Linux based bootable rescue CD that you need to create is not time limited but, for obvious reasons, only allows you to restore any images you previously created whilst running TI under Windows.

    Regards
     
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