Does ATI play with MBR?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by aigle, Jan 28, 2007.

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

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    ATI has an option to restore from within windows. In this case ATI boots the system and then loads linux preboot environment just like recovery CD from where u can restore. It,s a nice option as u don,t need to use the reciovery CD at all. I just wonder does ATI plays with MBR( while booting in this way)?
    More specifally I want to ask can ATI( and this restore feature) be used safely ---- on a dual boot system where u have a bootloader in MBR( like XP and Linux) or with software that plays with MBR like FDISR etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,637
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    aigle,

    I've done a few tests and found that when you restore a TI image from the CD environment and don't tick Restore MBR, then TI creates a generic MBR in absolute sector 0 which is adequate for most purposes. If you tick restore MBR then TI restores the first track (sectors 0 to 62) which should be suitable for restoring boot loaders referenced in the first track.
     
  3. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Thanks, but if u read again it is not my Q. I want to know whether installation of ATI changes MBR or not?

    Thanks
     
  4. jjbtnc

    jjbtnc Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Posts:
    57
    From my searches round here, it looks like installing the program under windows, ATI does not touch the MBR. It's only when you enable the "Startup recovery manager"

    Actually re-reading your question another question has popped in my head (it could be what you were actually asking)

    I understand the enabling of the startup recovery tool may effect the mbr - as it's a permanent tool that i believe allows you to press a key on reboot to enter a TI process.

    But what happens when you DON'T have it enabled/setup and you do a NORMAL restore and TI reboots in to it's temporary environment to do the restore?

    Surely it must have done something to be able to enter this enviroment - is it's changes temporary and will everything be back to normal after the restore?

    Or as the previous poster says do you have to be careful whether you untick or tick the 'Restore MBR' box?

    I'm slightly worried as to whether TI will effect the recovery procedure on a laptop where the lappy is restored to its factory condition via a hidden partition - there is a possibility this process is tied in to the MBR and i'm concerned that TI will break this recovery process.

    :D Well i wasn't until i read this thread - i had convinced myself everything would be ok - now i've got questions again!! :D

    I was asking something similar in this thread - it has a few links that may be of interest

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=163228
     
  5. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    That is exactly my Q.
    I do restore in this way and want to know does it mess with MBR? and wil it work on a dual boot system where MBR has bot loaders etc or not?
     
  6. mustang

    mustang Developer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Posts:
    905
    Hi aigle,

    Any program that runs under Windows, but needs to reboot into another mode to make the changes to your system partition needs to modify the MBR. TI is no exception. The theory is that the original MBR is backed up either before or during the reboot process, temporarily replaced and then restored after the task is completed. I don't know the exact procedure TI uses. It could be different depending on what you told it do with the MBR in the restore wizard. For the most part, this works quite well. The danger comes to bear when a task fails and exits before the original MBR has been restored. In these cases, you can be left in a big mess with no system and no MBR. In some cases you need to resort to a low level format just to get the disk usable again. Partitioning software (like Partition Magic) can cause this type of problem. After I was bitten by this a few times, I learned to stay away from programs that mess with the MBR. I back up under Windows all the time, but I never restore the system partition under Windows.
     
  7. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Thanks for the detailed reply.
    That,s now much more clear to me.
    I like the ease of not using CD to restore. I do have a backup for my MBR.
     
  8. jjbtnc

    jjbtnc Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Posts:
    57
    How did you do the backup for the MBR?
     
  9. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Not With ATI. Not so straight forward. I have an image of my C drive alongwith MBR done with HDS Clone. If ever I mess up with MBR, I can reload this image that will restore MBR as well. Then I ca use ATI to reload any other image. I use free version of ATI( version7).
     
  10. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    By the way, u can do it via BartPE using MBR wiz plugin( I have it) but I never tried, not sure how good it is.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    I would like to correct mustang’s suggestion. When Acronis True Image reboots to perform some operation from Linux environment, it adds a reference to Acronis Loader into the MBR, and after performing the operation removes it. The only exception would be when you are restoring the image of partition including MBR, in which case the resulting MBR will be that restored one. Please notice that latest builds of Acronis True Image version 9 and higher automatically back up MBR when doing partition backups. Please refer to this thread for more details on how Acronis True Image handles MBR during restoration.
    As for interacting with bootloaders, the result will greatly depend on exactly what was performed. It is usually safe to do a complete restore of all hard drives at once, or restore of non-system partitions. You might need to reactivate Linux bootloader, though. See this post for details.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  12. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Thanks for an official response.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.