Drive format

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by joedora, Feb 8, 2008.

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

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    I have been using Symantec imaging for about 6 years. It has always worked well and been a big plus to my overall computer environment.
    I have used Acronis for three days. I have backed up and restored 2 separate drives. I know I did this because I edited a document in the backed up files in each of them and found the change on my restored drives.
    Symantec imaging requires a FAT 32 format. Consequently my active drives and my storage drives are FAT 32.
    Windows XP would much prefer NTFS. I would like NTFS.
    What I would like to do is format my drives to NTFS and restore my backed up files to a NTFS drive and live forever after in this format.
    Can I do this with Acronis? Please say yes.
    Thank you
     
  2. truthseeker

    truthseeker Former Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Posts:
    977
    YES, but for your own peace of mind, double check with Acronis and ring them.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    If you're asking if you can create a backup image of a FAT32 partition and restore it as an NTFS partition, the answer is no. TI won't convert between FAT32 and NTFS. The restored partition will be FAT32 even if you restore it over an NTFS partition since TI deletes the destination partition and recreates it before restoring.

    Another option is to convert the FAT32 partition to NTFS using the converter included with XP. However, I think if it's done this way that you end up with an inefficient cluster size.

    If you are talking about restoring files & folders, there shouldn't be any problem restoring those from a FAT32 image backup to an NTFS partition.
     
  4. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    Clarification.
    Step 1
    Back up my XP operating drive (fat 32)

    Step 2 format the drive I just backed up from to ntfs

    Step 3 restore the xp operating drive (backed up in fat32) to the formatted ntfs
     
  5. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Posts:
    1,562
    And you'll wind up with a FAT32 drive.
    I would just backup the drive (FAT32), run the Windows converter to go from FAT32 to NTFS. Nothing should be lost. If it doesn't work (worked fine for me BTW), then restore from your backup. You'll be back to FAT32.
     
  6. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    3,335
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    Mud is right on the money as usual .... I found one of the best ways to convert to NTFS is by using Partition Magic. It doesn't interfere with existing data on the drive. I've been using version 7 since it came out and it has always worked flawlessly for me.
     
  7. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    I'm excited.
    I just converted my c drive to ntfs.
    Everthing seems to work.
    I will now back it up.
    Boy! I have wanted to do this for a long time.

    I'll be back with another report.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,802
    Yes, PM will let you reset cluster size to a better value.
     
  9. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    Success!!!!
    Backed up.
    Edited a word docuement.
    Restored
    Read the edited word docuement.
    Everything is ntfs. Estimate and actual backup time was 9 minutes (35 GB)
    I am still excited and extremely pleased.
    This program is amazing. Just think! I have only had it on trial for 3 days, but it will soon be mine.
    Thank you all (MudCrab, Howard Kaikow, DwnNdrty, TheWeaz, truthseeker).

    You all deserve a promotion. I'll have George Bush send you bonus in May.

    Thanks again. Joe
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Joe:

    From a Windows XP command prompt, type "chkdsk c:" (without the quotes). When it has finished running, look at the third from last line which should say something like "4096 bytes in each allocation unit". Does yours report 512 bytes or 4096 bytes?
     
  11. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    512 hope thats the correct number
     
  12. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    3,335
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    No, you want it to be 4096. That's the pitfall of doing the conversion the way you did.
     
  13. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    What do I do now?
     
  14. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    3,335
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    You should be able to pickup an old version of Partition Magic for cheap. The version 7 that I use does the trick and it's a pretty old one. I think the current version is 10.

    But let's hear what others say about the cluster size being 512. I know there is a disadvantage, but it may not be important.
     
  15. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Or Acronis Disk Director can change the cluster size to 4k. You'll get better disk performance with the larger cluster size.
     
  16. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    The smaller the cluster size, the more efficiently your disk stores information.
    Above quotation taken from Microsoft knowledge base

    o_O
     
  17. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Joe:

    Yes, but there is a tradeoff. A small cluster size will require more seek operations from the disk but will have less wasted space. Larger cluster sizes will require fewer seeks (which is faster) but may waste some space. There is a happy medium, which is why Windows XP (and Vista) will format an NTFS partition with 4k clusters by default. Sometimes larger is better; I'm getting noticeably better disk performance with 16k clusters on my Vista PC.

    A utility like Acronis Disk Director will show a graphical display after analyzing your disk that lists the wasted space with different cluster sizes. I've attached a screen shot from Acronis Disk Director showing the tradeoff on my XP machine's data partition.

    In looking for definitive measured data showing some of the performance tradeoffs, I haven't yet run across the right information. There are some good discussions on ntfs.com. Note the comments about MFT fragmentation that occurs after converting a disk from FAT32 to NTFS, so you may also want to consider a program like PerfectDisk to clean up the mess after conversion.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. joedora

    joedora Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12
    I'll dig into this at a later date.
    This has been a good day.
     
  19. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,802
    Perfect Disk is a must.
    It is my understanding that a new version is due later this month.

    There are papers decribing benefits of clustering, but conceptually, the advantages are clear.

    If a cluster is only 512 bytes, then only a sector at a time is read/written on the disk. If a cluster is multiple sectors, read/write operations are much faster.

    Smaller cluster size does save space, but the performance hit indicates that a larger cluster size is to be preferred.

    Partition Magic 8 is oft available free, or at low cost, after rebates or as part of a package of programs. Recently, I saw such a deal at www.outpost.com, but such deals appear elsewhere periodically. Heck, I have 3 copies of PM.

    PM does the necessary job.
     
  20. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Posts:
    629
    Location:
    Woodbury, MN USA
  21. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    PerfectDisk 2008 is out now. I have it and love it. You may find it for 40% off if you are a current user of a previous version.
     
  22. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the link, Bruce. The advice given is good for planning ahead. However, if the damage is done it can still be fixed up. Ironically, Acronis True Image is a good tool for doing this. No matter what offset you currently have, when TI restores a partition image it will always realign it to the standard 63-sector offset (32k boundaries).

    I've had some pretty wacky partitions while experimenting on my machine. Here is my foolproof way to fix almost anything up:

    1. Use Acronis Disk Director (or Partition Magic) to change the cluster size to the value desired
    2. Run chkdsk afterwards to clean up any errors
    3. Create a full partition image with True Image
    4. Restore the image to realign the starting sector offset
    5. Run a PerfectDisk offline defrag to move the Master File Table (MFT) to its proper location (a restored TI image results in the MFT ending up in an arbitrary location, not in the optimum location) and to defrag the MFT and the metadata files
    6. Run a PerfectDisk online defrag to thoroughly defragment the drive.

    The results are a very smoothly running disk with optimum performance, even if starting from a badly messed-up partition layout.
     
  23. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Posts:
    629
    Location:
    Woodbury, MN USA
    Mark, thank you very much for your post - good information.

    In sending that link I realized that the damage had already been done but perhaps some information could be gained from it.

    Bruce
     
  24. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Posts:
    117
    Old thread I know but I just tried to use ATI to move my Startup C: drive to a new HDD, and from 512byte clusters to 4096, and it doesn't work! ATI just moves the entire drive framework from one to the other!

    The 512byte cluster size is a throwback to having done a FAT32 to NTFS conversion a long time ago.

    So, is Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director the only way to accomplish a move of files from a 512 NTFS to 4096o_O

    Is ADD better than PM, which I understand hasn't been updated in many yearso_O
     
  25. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    laserfan:

    TI will preserve the cluster size that was in use when you backed up, as you have found out. As far as I know, Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director, or Paragon are all capable of doing nondestructive cluster size changes.

    I don't know if the trial version of Disk Director will allow cluster size conversion, but it may be worth a try.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.