Does TI v9.1 change the MBR at any time?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pvsurfer, Mar 29, 2006.

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  1. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    I'm considering upgrading from TI 8 to TI 9.1 (Corp WS). Before I do, I would appreciate it if Acronis (or anyone else) can tell me if v9.1 does anything whatsoever to the MBR when creating an image of the entire C-drive. o_O

    Thanks in advance, pv
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    When creating an image of an entire C drive Acronis faithfully makes an image of the MBR along with everthing else on the drive that is being imaged. The original MBR and the rest of the original drive are not affected in any way at all.

    Xpilot.
     
  3. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    The only time TI alters the MBR (AFAIK) is if you opt to use the Startup Recovery Manager.
     
  4. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    During backup and restore, version 9.1 lets you spell out exactly how you want to handle the MBR and Track 0.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
  5. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Ok, but is it possible to have v9.1 save the MBR and Track 1 (within a created image) without it making any changes to those areas at the same time?

    Thanks, pv
     
  6. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    As I said, "The only time TI alters the MBR (AFAIK) is if you opt to use the Startup Recovery Manager."
    TI will never make changes to the MBR during a backup. Choosing the Startup Recovery Manager is a one time deal and is not part of the backup process.
     
  7. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    As a TI8 user, I'm not sure what you mean by the 'Startup Recovery Manager'. Are you referring to TI's Emergency Boot CD?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    No, Startup Recovery Manager is different.
    My religion precludes my using, or discussing, the Startup Recovery Manager or the Acronis Secure Zone.
     
  9. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    The Startup Recovery Manager is an alternative to booting from Rescue CD.

    If you create Secure Zone and then activate Startup Recovery Manager (this last action will change your MBR ! ) you can boot into rescue environment by hitting F11 on boot-start, instead of using the Rescue CD to boot from. But you still need to have a Rescue CD stored away in your drawers for the instance when your system drive breaks down.

    Also, if you try to restore the system disk from within Windows, you will be redirected to this version of rescue environment, lounched automatically from the Acronis folder on HD upon restart and being the same one that gets copied to CD when you create Rescue CD. This option is always present, with no changes to MBR.

    So, there are three ways to get into the rescue (Linux) environment:
    - by booting from Rescue CD
    - by hitting F11 on boot-start (with SZ created and SRM active)
    - by restarting when attempting to restore the system disk from Windows.

    This is just to give you the picture. I don't advocate using Secure Zone and especially not activating the SRM.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2006
  10. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    OK, if we sin, we might just as well make it worthwile.

    So ... Does anybody know if the activation of Startup Recovery Manager disables F8 boot option, thereby precluding access to Windows Safe version?
     
  11. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    No it does not disable the F8 function during boot!
     
  12. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Just to get this through my thick head then...

    If my current physical C: drive(boot drive) blows up, I should be able to restore an image(MBR & all) via TI to the new replacement HDD and watch it successfully boot up into Windows XP, right? Over the years I did this a few times with older versions of Ghostpe. Certainly, TI can manage this with both hands tied, huh? ;)
     
  13. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    From an earlier thread:

    “One more thing to add regarding the inability to boot into Windows Safe Mode while having Acronis Startup Recovery Manager activated is that this issue in known and will be fixed in the future versions\builds of a particular product, but exact time frame for this is not decided yet.”
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    This <previous Acronis Support reply> indicates that it wasn't always the case!! I've just tested the scenario and can confirm that it's been fixed in Build 2337.

    Regards

    EDIT - Oops, sorry TheWeaz. I didn't mean to cut across your post ;).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2006
  15. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    I want to thank you guys for the TI education. I should also tell you the reason behind my MBR question...

    A couple of days ago I purchased an alternative to Windows System Restore called 'RollBack Rx Pro' http://www.rollbacksoftware.com/ This product should provide me with rapid and complete (or selective) restoring capabilites as long as my hard drive is accessible. So in order to 'insure' myself against a hard drive crash, I still need to create TI images and rely on them for restoring any replacement HDD.

    However, RollBack's operations require that it maintains control of the MBR and in that regard, the RollBack FAQ expresses the following caution as to the use of TI...

    " ...The only way that Acronis TI could conflict with RollBack is if it changes the MBR"

    Thus my concern and this thread. :doubt:

    Thanks again, pv
     
  16. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Yes, provided that while creating the image and restoring it, you have the tickbox in front of Disk 1 checked (not just the partitions tickboxes). That will ensure that the MBR gets copied to the image and back to the new disk.

    This is what Acronis calls "creating the image of the entire disk", if I recall correctly.
     
  17. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your reply. So in other words the various images of my boot partition (PRIMARY/ACTIVE/BOOTABLE PARTITION= C:\) in and of itself would not be sufficient to make a replacement HDD bootable? For example, I have two(2) partitions on a single drive. So if I create a backup of the C:\ partition (PRIMARY/ACTIVE/BOOTABLE) alone and then restore it to a replacement HDD (let's say exact size & manufacturer) - that this drive would not boot into Windows XP? Further, in order to safeguard against a failing HDD, I ought to keep images of the "entire" disk which would have to include the two partitions otherwise I have no hope of restoring to a new HDD and booting up. I really don't care if I lose the second partition in an emergency situation but I'm astonished to hear that a TI image of the C:\ partition alone of a 2 partition disk would not be bootable on a new (replacement) HDD after restoration. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2006
  18. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    It's a done deal in 2337. :)
     
  19. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    That's correct, but the MBR can be built separately if you restore the image of C: partition only to a new drive. See the sticky Read Before You Post with the relevant links. But I don't know how safe these procedures are - I never used them.
     
  20. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I also have never used them but AFAIK these methods only restore the standard XP boot information which is probably fine for most people (me included). If you have a dual-boot system, or a vendors recovery partition, or a program like pvsurfer's rollback, then you could be in trouble. If this isn't correct, please set me straight.
     
  21. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    If true, then this is a deficit in my eyes. By the very fact that this C: partition is active/primary and bootable, TI should image the MBR so that the partition can be restored on a new HDD regardless of the other non-active partitions left behind on the old drive. So far as I remember, Ghostpe allowed for this in its options. Oh well, thank you for the heads up. Someone already hinted that maybe an updated version 9 Home Edition will allow me to include the MBR in an image of only the C: partition. Maybe?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2006
  22. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I tend to agree. But could the instances pointed out by seekforever be the reason for not allowing to tie the MBR to the image of the active partition alone?

    Still, the user could be given the option of including the MBR or not.


    After some more thinking...

    What would happen if an MBR, belonging to a two-partition disk, was restored to a replacement drive along with the active partition only? Would the replacement disk boot? Wouldn't the MBR hold a wrong partition structure?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2006
  23. bcool2

    bcool2 Registered Member

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    Well at the least it should get the primary active partition structure correct and the WINXP particulars so that Windows could boot. Does a missing partition prevent the MBR from functioning correctly in relation to the existing primary/active/bootable partition just restored? Hmmm............. All I know is that Ghostpe could back up the MBR with a single (primary/active/bootable) partition of a multiple partition drive employing Ghostpe's BOOT IMAGE option. Incidentally, Ghostpe could also do partition housekeeping on the fly as it restored - at least the older version I used could do this. Anyway, discussions of MBR are always interesting to me. I really know very little about the little bugger. I have found a really good Dos utility that allows me to backup the MBR and track 0. I've got me a backup of both in safekeeping. Can't wait to see if TI9 gets updated for the home user so that backing up of the MBR is always an option. I will admit that I can conjure up problematic scenarios in my head about attempting to restore a single partition of a multiple partition drive to a new HDD. Thanks folks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2006
  24. zoril

    zoril Registered Member

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    Firstly I don't have the knowledge of the others who have posted some excellent comments in this thread.

    I wonder if RollBack maintains control of the MBR (perhaps to stop it being infected etc, etc), would ATI be able to create a successful complete image if it was unable to copy the MBR - even if you had not activated startup recovery manager? Someone more knowledgeable then me may be able to provide an answer...Howard:)
     
  25. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Howard~

    That's not the reason. Rollback Rx establshes its own hidden partition (inaccessible to Windows/Linux) where it creates/maintains all drive changes.. It modifies the MBR in order to do that and to be able to make itself available before Windows bootup in the event of an OS problem, or whatever.

    RollBack Rx doesn't prevent an MBR backup (image) by TI or other like programs, but it won't allow any such program to make changes to the MBR and that's the crux of my concern regarding TI's co-existance with RollBack Rx! :doubt:

    ~pv
     
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