External Hard Drive Setup

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jdgriff, Jul 30, 2006.

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  1. jdgriff

    jdgriff Registered Member

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    I would like to set up a new client with the following.

    1. He has an HP(XP) computer of late vintage with a 100gb hard drive.
    2. The hard drive is approx half full with a lot of pictures.
    3. They want to use the TI s/w to control the image backup and restore process.
    4. There is no bay to hold a second hard drive and I do not wish to use duct tape to secure an internal drive.
    5. From the forum, I gleaned that you do not recommend using Acronis Secure Zone with an external drive that may be disconnected sometimes. Is this true?
    6. What are the gotcha's on using the ext drive for backups and restores only? What do you recommend as being a good setup using the ext drive.

    Thanks for your assistance.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    My understanding is that there is not a problem using a Secure Zone on an external HD but you shouldn't set up the Acronis Automatic System Recovery (F11) since it modifies the MBR and if the SZ isn't present at boot time it could cause a problem.

    You should see if you really need the features of the SZ before you create it. The benefits are automatic deletion of backups according to a set of rules listed in the user guide. The disadvantage is that you can only manage the backups within TI and cannot copy/delete any of them with Windows Explorer. Also, when validating an archive, TI validates all the archives in the SZ which can take a lot of time depending on the number and size of them.

    Be sure you can do a recovery with the Rescue CD from your external HD. This is critical since this is what you have to do if the HD goes bad.

    Some chipsets don't work well with TI in the recovery environment which is Linux although Acronis may be able to provide a better driver if this happens. Some chipsets don't handle transferring very large files but I would assume these problem shouldn't be as frequent as newer versions are introduced.
     
  3. jdgriff

    jdgriff Registered Member

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    Hi seekforever,
    Thanks for your rapid reply. It looks like I do not need the sz this time.
    Don
     
  4. jdgriff

    jdgriff Registered Member

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    Hi Seekforever,
    I was reading over your response and paid particular attention to the following statement:

    Be sure you can do a recovery with the Rescue CD from your external HD. This is critical since this is what you have to do if the HD goes bad.

    Please explain exactly how you would do this. Thanks again
    Don
     
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Assume you have an image of your disk, HD1, on your external HD. This can be one a separate image for each partition or one big image of the entire disk.

    Your HD1 goes bad and the machine is inoperable.

    Install a new HD, HD2, in your PC.

    Since the disk is empty there is no Windows or anything else that will run on the PC.

    Put the TI Rescue CD which is bootable into your CD drive and set the BIOS to boot from the CD if it isn't setup that way already.

    Connect your external HD that contains the images of HD1.

    Boot up the Rescue CD wait for TI to load.

    From the menu select Restore.

    Select the archive you wish to restore. Since the new disk will not have a Master Boot Record (MBR) on it so when you going through the Restore Wizard one of the "partitions" you will want to restore is the MBR. TI treats the MBR as a separate partition so if you are not restoring an archive which is the whole disk you have to ensure you restore the MBR. You can see that having a whole disk archive which contains all of the partitions makes this a bit easier to do but you can restore each partition from a separate image if that is the way you did your backup.

    (The new disk, HD2, should have the same number of partitions on it as HD1 or else the MBR may not work. The number of partitions must be the same but they do not have to be the same size.)

    After the restore is complete you can remove the CD and boot the PC.

    You can see without the rescue CD there is no way of restoring an image and it absolutely crucial that you are able to boot this CD and see your archives on your external HD. You should also be able to Validate an archive on the external HD. If you really want to do this the right way, you will get a spare HD and restore it as a test; this is the only way to have a high-level of confidence that it will work when you really need it. There are posts all over this forum where people have not tried to restore a disk until they really had to and then ran into a problem.

    Understanding TI is like playing the piano or doing computer programming, you can read all you want about it but until you try to use it you don't really get a grasp of it.
     
  6. jdgriff

    jdgriff Registered Member

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    Hi seekforever,
    Thanks for a wonderful and straight forward explanation of the restore process. You should take you explanation and make a sticky note at the front of the forum as I am sure a number of people can benefit from reading it.
    Don
     
  7. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    I have installed a 250 gb external hard drive. I have created an image of the internal hard drive (C:) and attempted to copy that to the new external H.D. I get the message that I do not have enough disk space and that I should delete some files. There is next to nothing on the new external hard drive. What is the problem here?
     
  8. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Sorry, I should also say that I have the newest version of True Image 9.0. build 3,677. I have Windows XP Pro.
     
  9. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Marg,

    Where did you store the image upon creating it i.e. before attempting to copy it (by means of Win Explorer, I assume) to the external HD? Or was the external HD the destination drive for the image in the first place? Some more detail would help.
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I wonder if XP would give that message if it was trying to copy an archive file >4GB created on a NTFS volume and the external is formatted FAT32 which, as you know, has 4GB maximum filesize?
     
  11. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    I copied the internal hard drive to C: in the internal hard drive. My intent was to copy from there to the external hd. If my new hard drive is formatted in FAT32, can I change it? As you can tell, I am rather a newbie at this.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, it can be changed one method is not ideal and the other requires getting everything you want to keep off the external HD and then doing a format.

    Before we jump into this, how large are the archive files ( .tib extension) you are trying to copy to the external HD?

    Check the properties of the external HD. In Windows Explorer right click on the icon for your external drive and select properties. It will say either NTFS or FAT32 beside File system in the pop-up window. Which do you have?
     
  13. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Thanks so much for your help. My new external hard drive was formatted to FAT32. I have reformatted to NTSF and have been able to copy my 11.5 gb hard drive to the external hd. You gave me the direction and I have solved the problem. Thanks for all you do.

    Marg
     
  14. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Fine.

    Now I'd suggest you boot from the Rescue CD you create with TI Create Bootable Rescue Media tool and Validate the image stored on the external HD. Go also through the first steps of the Backup and Recovery Wizards to verify that the external is always seen, then Cancel. Try Mounting the image from the external HD as well and don't forget to delete the image from C: after you are happy that the external works well from rescue environment and before you create a new image of C:. Otherwise your first image will be included in the second one.
     
  15. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Thanks. I assume that booting from the rescue disk merely means turning off the pc and as soon as i power it, put in the rescue disk. I did that and there was no difference in windows starting than if I had started it the usual way. I thought there would be some message about the rescue disk.
    I did validate the image on the hard drive. I tried activating the recovery manager and it recognized the external but still with FAT32 rather than NTSF.
    I will work on the other when I return on Sunday. Thanks so much for your help. I would be in a pickle without it. Marg
     
  16. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Sorry, I meant that I did validate the image on the external hd
     
  17. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hi again Marg,

    To boot from the Rescue CD you should first insert it with the computer running and then restart the computer with the Rescue CD in the drive. You'll be too late if you try to insert the CD after powering the computer up. On the TI selection screen that will show after some activity of the CD drive, select Full version. When finished with your work from inside the rescue environment (it's Linux based, by the way), retrieve the CD and exit from TI. The computer will reboot into Windows as normal.

    Did you create a Secure Zone on the external? If you did, that would be the reason for FAT32 coming back. Having an external HD, you don't need the Secure Zone. Also, you couldn't copy images into or out of Secure Zone or selectively delete the images therein. The deletions are accomplished automatically by TI on the FIFO basis. Some users who schedule their imaging like this feature.

    I would suggest you remove the Secure Zone from the Manage Secure Zone Wizard. Mind that you have to tell the Wizard which regular partition to reallocate the freed space to.
     
  18. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I have created the rescue disk and it shows 632 mb on it. However, when I reboot with it in the cd drive, Windows starts as normal and I get no info regarding the rescue disk.

    I am not aware of having created a Secure Zone. I had a friend helping that didn't know the program anymore than I. So far I am not having fun. lol
     
  19. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hi Marg,

    In Explorer, Properties, the Rescue CD (full version, but no add-ons) should show under 50 MB USED and some 630 MB FREE.

    If that is so, the boot order in the BIOS may be incorrect, especially if your computer is less than new. The CD drive should be positioned on top of the boot order list in BIOS setup. To access BIOS setup, you should repeatedly press F2 (or Esc or Del - that varies from computer to computer) as soon as the computer starts booting. If you never did this, see the computer/motherboard manual or have a friend help you the first time.

    You mentioned Startup Recovery Manager, the tool that lets you boot into rescue environment by F11, didn't you? If that works then you must have Secure Zone created otherwise Startup Recovery Manager couldn't have been activated and F11 wouldn't be enabled. Just run the Manage Secure Zone Wizard and try to remove it. If SZ hasn't been created the Wizard won't let you remove it.

    Anyway, get the computer to boot from Rescue CD first, so you have F11 still active until the first problem isn't cleared.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  20. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Oh my gosh!! That is so far beyond me it is on another planet. First of all do you mean Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer. When I call up My Computer when the cd is in the drive it reads Total Size 632 and Free Space 598 which isn't far from what you are expecting. I am sorry Volk. I appreciate your help but I just don't understand much of what you are saying. I did not mention Start Up Recover Manager. I did say that I have not done anything to create a Secure Zone.
     
  21. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Ok. It takes a while for my mind to get in gear!!! Properties shows me 33.9MB used space and 598 free space.
    So once I press F2 when the computer reboots, what do I do. Assume I am on my own. I live in the boonies and I am the pc expert here. lol. sad eh?
     
  22. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Marg,

    The Rescue CD seems OK.

    Keep pressing that F2. You should enter the BIOS Setup Utility. If you don't, try the Del key instead of F2, or the Esc key or, as the fourth option, F10, always pressing repeatedly as soon as the reboot starts. If you have the manual, follow its directions. On some computers, the key to enter Setup is shown very briefly on the screen when the booting starts, it would be indicated in the last line of half a screen of BIOS data.

    When inside the BIOS Setup, browse with the arrow keys through the various sections until you find Boot Order as a subsection. There, the sequence of drives the BIOS tries to boot from is shown (Floppy Disk, Hard Disk, CD Drive ...). You have to draw the CD Drive (or Optical Drive) to the top of the list. The wording may be slightly different of what I say here, so be open-minded. On the bottom of the screen, you will find a few words of help about how to navigate the utility, how to perform the changes and how to exit the utility either writing the changes or discarding them (if you are not shure you did them right).
     
  23. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Thanks bVolk. I have made the changes in the BIOS. The sequence is now CD/DVD/ROM, HARD DISK 0, REMOVABLE, NETWORK. I hope that is correct. My computer is not partitioned.
    I deleted the backup file in C: and copied the file from the external hd back into C: That seemed to go well. I have also booted with the rescue disk and that also went well.
    You mentioned FIFO. I am thinking that is a schedule of First In First Out. I am not sure how to set that up.
    Is there a reason why I am creating an image of C: in itself and then copying to the external hd? Why not just create the image in the external in the first place?
    It seems strange that Explorer sees the files in the external as NTSF and Acronis still sees FAT32
    You have been such a great help!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  24. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Excellent, Marg,

    The boot sequence you set should work fine.

    You are also correct about the meaning of FIFO. That only comes into play if you store your images into Secure Zone. TI will delete them based on the FIFO rule when it needs space in the Secure Zone. If you store the images anywhere else (you will be storing them on the external HD), you will manage the image files (.tib) yourself as you would any other files, copying or deleting them as needed from Windows Explorer.

    The FAT32 problem is unclear to me. Do you see the option to remove SZ when you run the Manage Secure Zone Wizard or you are only given the option to create one?

    Create a new image of C: from within Windows, typing the file name "X:\Testback" for it (replace X with the letter the external is being displayed under). Then look into the external with Win Explorer and tell what files you find there with the name Testback.tib and what's the size of the file(s).

    Mind that the drives' letters may be different from the ones shown in Windows when you (another time) work in rescue environment (booted from Rescue CD).
     
  25. Marg

    Marg Registered Member

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    Hi bVolk. I am not given the option to remove SZ, only to create.

    I have followed your instructions and backed up up C: straight to my external hard drive. The size is 11,898,938 KB which is not quite as large as C: but appears to hold all its files and folders. I guess that answers my question about creating the image of C: on C: and then copying to the hard drive. I did think that was an unnecessary step. Your instructions bypass that. Thanks for sticking with me. Marg
     
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