Failed to restore acronis system disk image over TrueCrypt system partition

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Peter4667, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Peter4667

    Peter4667 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Posts:
    30
    I had Windows 7 installed on C drive and i created disk image of C drive with Acronis before encrypting the system drive with TrueCrypt. Yesterday, i decided to recover the system drive from the acronis image but it didn't work.
    When i started Acronis and selected the image it asked me to restart the computer, but after restarting the computer on boot screen i get this message: mbr error 3 press any key to boot from floppy.
    If i press any key nothing happens, just the same message appear again. And after this i was unable to load Windows at all, just getting the same message after restarting. I had truecrypt rescue disk on CD but this also didn't help. When inserting the disk nothing happens, just showing a black screen. I also loaded the Windows 7 installation USB and from the command prompt run these commands: bootrec /fixmbr, bootrec /fixboot, but this also didn't help. In the end i had to reinstall Windows from scratch because i was unable neither to recover the system drive from the image or to load Windows.

    Can someone tell me why i got this mbr error when trying to recover the system image? Do i have to decrypt the system drive before trying to use the acronis backup image?
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,591
    You do NOT have to decrypt before re-writing the system disk image. I have done it over 50 times maybe 100's. I used to use Acronis so I can confirm it works. I switched to Mac Reflect Pro and now I am using it on Win 10, which my older Acronis didn't support.

    Regardless of which product (between these two), restoring a system disk is simple.

    Your use of the TC rescue disk should never result in a blank screen. The rescue disk runs in RAM and if the hard drive was completely trashed (or even missing) you should have seen the recovery options available. Something is wrong with your TC rescue disk or your optical tray. Since you could run the 7 install cd it likely is not the optical tray.

    ** You were going about the recovery incorrectly. When recovering a complete system disk image you should do that from a bootable recovery flash/disk. Acronis will create a bootable media for you (I strongly prefer a USB, but optical is fine just slow and susceptible to scratches over time). You mount the recovery environment in RAM using the media Acronis created for you, and then select the backup image (likely on an external drive) and restore to the hard drive. It is NOT wise to attempt a complete system disk recovery using "live" methods. Once restored the system disk will be UNencrypted and you will have to use TC and do the encryption again. Much faster than using decrypt first.

    It has been a few years since working with Acronis, but I suspect the error you mentioned is because Acronis could NOT function in a non-RAM environment for system disk restore. You can fix files,folders,etc... while your OS is hot without issues. Just not the full system disk. Lesson learned!

    Let me emphasize that your TC rescue disk is "broken" if it produces a blank screen. Make sure to attend to this so it doesn't happen to you again in the future.
     
  3. Peter4667

    Peter4667 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Posts:
    30
    I think the problem with the TC rescue disk is because my CD ROM doesn't function properly. I did use my Windows 7 installation USB, no CD. Is it possible to use the rescue disk from USB?

    Is this the right way to recover the system image:
    I used the acronis option to create bootable media and it created an iso disk with 300 mb. size, i am using Acronis True Image 2014. Then i used YUMI, which is a multiboot usb creation tool, and i added the acronis .iso disk to my multiboot usb drive. I tested the acronis disk and it is loading fine on boot.
    Now, if i understand correctly i have to plug the bootable usb with the acronis disk in one slot and in another slot i have to plug a usb drive that contain the system image file and that usb drive should not be bootable. Is that the correct way?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  4. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,591
    From what I hear it seems correct. If you can bring up the Acronis recovery environment in RAM (sounds like you are) then you are good to go. Just connect the usb drive with the image and restore to the system disk partition.

    I have some small concerns that Acronis did not create the bootable flash for you from start to finish. My Acronis 2009 did that for me. Its not a big deal and there are numerous easy ways to create a bootable flash drive.

    btw - its very easy to create a bootable flash to use with the TC rescue image as well. I probably have several grub4dos guides floating around this site. Its is much faster and more sure fire than using optical media. The actual file is very small being under 2 meg so size isn't an issue at all. You can pull the rescue image off the CDR (or wherever) and add it to the grub4dos flash. Of course I have all the needed files, but creating such a flash from scratch is under 3 minutes (not counting flash wiping if required). If you don't see the guide/steps after looking just ask in the encryption forum and I can paste one in.
     
  5. Peter4667

    Peter4667 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Posts:
    30
    I recovered the system image from usb but i didn't use the recover disk that acronis created and i installed on the multiboot usb because for some reason it was running very slow.
    I found live Windows 7 that contained TrueCrypt and Acronis recovery disk and installed it on usb flash drive. Then i booted in the Windows 7 live environment and mounted my E partition which is also encrypted with TrueCrypt. I put the system image file on it because it was bigger than 4GB and couldn't copy it on my usb drive with fat32 file system format. Then i use the Acronis recovery disk and recovered the system image. It took about 10 minutes. The Acronis recovery disk on Windows 7 was version 2013 and the system image file was created with Acronis True Image 2014 but i didn't have issues.

    I managed to install TrueCrypt rescue disk on my multiboot usb using YUMI. I haven't test it in real recovery procedure but it is loading the boot menu so i guess it should work fine.
     
  6. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,591
    Sounds good, but one point: I have used both Acronis and Macrium Reflect (many others too) so you may want to be aware of something. The FAT32 file system restriction does not affect your ability to use your flash media. Acronis will "auto-span" your system disk and easily place the image on FAT32 media. I do it all the time. I actually prefer to use non-journaling file systems for my archival needs. I have many 50+ gig images on FAT32 external drives. If you have any interest read their website about how auto span works. I have NEVER encountered any issues using the process and its handled automatically for you. My .02

    btw --- also thumbsup for YUMI
     
  7. Peter4667

    Peter4667 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Posts:
    30
    Thanks, for the info.

    Besides C drive i have two other partitions, E and D, which are also encrypted with TrueCrypt. These two partitions are auto mounted on Windows logon with a autohotkey script in the Startup folder through command line arguments. And sometimes on logon, when the partitions are auto mounted, i get this message "WARNING: The host file/device is already in use!...". Is this a drive letter conflict issue?

    Also, in which case the volume header of encrypted partition may become corrupt?
     
Loading...