Files never validate correctly?!?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by csantosnet, Mar 4, 2009.

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  1. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    Hi.

    I have a freshly installed Vista Home Edition (fully updated). My PC has 2 disks: a Maxtor 500Gb (system disk) and a Samsung 1Tb (backups). Both brand new. I just bought Acronis True Image Home 2009 and I've been trying to get a full backup for hours with no success. Everytime it ends the backup and starts to validate it tells me the file is corrupt. I tried a lot of different configurations like backing up the 1st disk to the 2nd disk directly or activating the Secure Zone on a 200GB partition in the 2nd disk and doing the backup there. Everytime the result is the same: when it comes to validation it says the file is corrupt.

    Please help. I just reinstalled my Vista because of a KSOD problem and I lost data because I had no backup. Then I noticed Vista Home Edition doesn't have a full pc backup application... so I bought ATI and now I can't get it to work. This is really upsetting and I don't know what else to do.

    Thank you.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    A validate is not a comparison of the archive contents with the source but rather a recalculation of the checksums and comparing their value with the original ones calculated and stored in the archive when it was created. TI writes 4000 checksums per gigabyte of data and every one must compare perfectly or else the archive is declared corrupt. This is a very rigourous test that demonstrates the archive can be properly read into RAM.

    Things that can cause this are:
    A bad area on the drive where the archive is stored which causes the data to be bad when read.

    Anything in the disk subsystem that would cause bad data - bad cable for example or bad electronics.

    Bad RAM is another real possibility. Don't think because you never noticed a problem that the RAM if just fine. TI is known to give all the RAM in a PC a good workout.

    Unfortunately, just about anything else can cause the problem such as a power supply with a marginal voltage. When TI puts a high load on the CPU, RAM, disk drives, the power supply voltage may dip too low.

    You have to start a process of elimination:

    You can checks disk integrity by using chkdsk. Run chkdsk X: /r on all your partitions. Replace the X with the drive letter of the partition being tested. The /r will do everything /f does and will also do a read check on unallocated space. It takes some time and a reboot is required for C.

    RAM can be checked by running Memtest86+ available free from www.memtest.org , the current version is 2.11 I believe. Let it run for several passes, preferrably overnight. There must be zero errors detected.

    TI does not like PCs that are overclocked or have aggressive memory timings. If you have either of these conditions, reset the PC to the default settings.

    Try a separate validation, that is, do not have TI validate the archive as soon as it is created. After it is created select the validate command in TI and validate the archive. This was an issue on an earlier version but it is worth checking and easy to do.

    Try booting the TI rescue CD and doing a validate with it if your previous attempts were done within Windows. Note that the Linux environment on the rescue CD must be able to see and validate your archive to do a restore so this is worth checking regardless. Windows cannot be running to restore the active partition, typically C, so it is essential the rescue CD works on your PC.
     
  3. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Note that if you cannot Validate, the odds are high that you cannot restore. Follow seekforever's advice but then do a test restore and do this before 30 days after purchase so that you canstill demand a refund if you cannot get ATI to work on your machine.
     
  4. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    SUCCESS! Partial success at least...

    Hi guys.

    Thanks for replying. I ran the tests on every disk partition and ran the memory tests as well (using the memtest boot cd). Everything seems to be ok. However I now noticed something new: when I boot from ASZ and order the backup before Vista loads, both the backup and the validation work perfectly even when I order the backup to target somewhere else than the ASZ partition. I've repeated the complete pc backup 3 times now and they all completed sucessfully everytime. It's the Windows backups (from within Vista) I'm having a problem with. None have returned ok, ever. At least the validations always fail (not sure if that means the backup is faulty). I'm perfectly ok with running sucessful backups from boot everytime (if I have to) but I wonder if this means something is wrong... That worries me...

    Thanks,
    Carlos.
     
  5. como

    como Registered Member

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    As seekforever states above you should burn the rescue disk and try to validate the images from that. If the system disk fails you will not be able to boot from the Acronis start up manager. You should know that the restoration will take place under Linux whether you boot from the system disk or rescue disk.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If you can do the validate and restore from the TI rescue CD then you are OK even though your problem is annoying. The people who have the real grief are those who create the archive under Windows and only validate under Windows and then find they need to run the Linux rescue environment and it doesn't work. Unfortunately, it isn't clearly stated, if at all, that you need to test the Linux environment so you can't really blame novice users for thinking all is well.

    Regardless of the backup program, you don't really know if it works until you've successfully restored.
     
  7. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    Hi.

    Here's what I know so far (just to sum everything up):

    1) In every backup I make I also ask for validation (on creation of the backup) and every backup is a full (complete pc) backup (not incremental).

    2) My disks are: a Maxtor 500Gb (system, only one full size partition, NTFS, boot) and a Samsung 1Tb (backups, a 200Mb ASZ boot partition and a 700Gb NTFS partition). Both disks brand new.

    3) I performed surface tests (CHKDSK) on every partition of both disks and thorough (several passes) memory tests (MEMTEST boot CD). They were successful (no errors). The backups I mention ahead were done after the tests.

    4) If I make the backup from ATI's Vista GUI it never validates successfully.

    5) If I try to validate any of the backup files I made using ATI's Vista GUI by any of the available methods (either using ATI's Vista GUI or the ASZ partition boot or the ATI CD boot) the result is always the same: unsuccessful validation (file corrupt or whatever).

    6) If I make the backups by using either ASZ partition boot or the ATI CD boot, both the backups AND the on creation validations are successful every single time (I've tried a few times already).

    7) If I boot from the ASZ partition or the ATI CD and try to validate any of the files I made by using either one in the first place, it does so succesfully.



    For the time being I always boot from either the ASZ partition or the ATI CD to perform full backups and they have always (so far at least) been successful. My opinion is that something in Vista is messing up the backups and it doesn't happen with the alternative boot methods (ASZ partition or ATI boot CD). I also tried to remove AV and Spyware protection and whatever application could be locking files down or something but to no avail.

    I will try to make the final test soon which is to actually make a full restore from one of the (supposedly) successful backups I mentioned earlier.

    If someone has any new ideas, I'd love to hear them. If not, this is the end of this thread for me. Don't know what else to try and I've got a partial solution (could be worse I guess).

    Thanks.
     
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    You have very clearly proven that the backups made under the Vista GUI are bad.

    Is there anything unusual about the hardware or software installed on your system?

    Do you have any unusual PCI or other cards installed? Do you have any unusual USB devices attached? What video card do you use?

    Is there any memory resident software installed that isn't common? Any program that checks for information on the Internet automatically or for when you connect a device to the computer?

    Since your hardware operates perfectly with Acronis TI when the Linux operation system is in control (Rescue CD and F11 boot), it doesn't sound like it can be due to anything related to the hardware alone. That leaves something installed in Windows responsible.

    Although the hardware is OK in Linux, a Windows driver could be the source of the problem if it is unstable. Possibly, you have hardware that is ignored by the Linux OS because there is no driver but which runs under Windows to cause the problem. Normally, we see Windows drivers as better than Linux drivers, but it possible that a Windows driver is not working properly.

    This is a fascinating problem. However, I'm glad it's your problem and not mine. :)
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    This can be caused by the Acronis Snapapi file that handles the Windows imaging process and apparently the latest version is on the Acronis site. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly where.
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    csantosnet, could you please clarify the interface of your Samsung hard drive? Also, if you place the archives to internal hard drives, are you able to edit the operation and place the archives to external hard drive and validate the archives? And vice verse.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  11. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    I don't think there is anything particularly unusual with my hardware or software. I'm not doing any overclocking or modding or whatever. It's a Intel Core2 Dual E8400 3Ghz, 4GB RAM, 2 internal SATA disks. It's running a fully updated Windows Vista Home Edition with common household applications (Office, iTunes, Messenger...).

    I do have several external USB disks but they were always disconnected when I made the backup tests I mentioned. Just in case...
    My video card is a NVIDIA Geforce 9600 GSO. No other cards. Most other stuff is onboard.

    I have several pieces of software that may be updating or checking for updates for themselves. It seems more and more do so out of the box these days. I blamed AVG Free at first but I then tested the backups without AVG (I uninstalled completely) and the outcome was the same.
     
  12. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    The disks are both S-ATA.

    As for the rest: the only 2 places I used as targets for the backups were the ASZ partition and a normal partition. Both of them are located in the 2nd disk. The 2nd disk has 2 partitions: the ASZ and a regular one. I never tried backing up for external disks, always used the 2 internals.

    I'm not sure I understood what you're asking: do you want me to try to do a backup for an external disk instead, just to see how it goes? If that's it, I'll try it tonight and let you now tomorrow.

    Thanks everybody.
     
  13. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I agree. This all seems like it should work fine with TI.

    Why not try making a backup to one of the USB drives in Vista. It should fail to validate based on all the other Vista backups, but it's different in two ways. 1. It's an external drive. 2. It's not to the SZ.

    Just to be clear, are you backing up only the Maxtor drive C partition (or the whole drive) or are you backing up also the NTFS partition of the Samsung drive?

    The backups made in the Linux environment should be full protection. It's just that it would be more convenient as well as more satisfying if the backups in Vista also worked as they should.
     
  14. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    Well, today I've been trying (to no avail) to backup to an external USB Western Digital 1Tb disk but ATI F11 startup keeps telling me it can't do the backup operation because the target partition (whole disk) is read-only. If I try it from ATI's Vista GUI it tells me the disk is ok although I keep getting the non-validation error at the end. Not sure what's going on yet.

    I'm backing up just the Maxtor entire disk (one partition only) using the Samsung disk as target (either to ASZ partition or it's normal partition)

    I'm hoping they are. But I'd sleep easier if the Vista backups worked as well :doubt:
     
  15. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    That wasn't the result I expected. Very strange that the Target appears as Read Only.

    Thanks, that's what I thought. So simple and straight forward.

    Have you tried Validating in Windows an image made from the Rescue CD or F11 boot? You know that backup is good because you can validate it in the Linux environment. I'm curious whether it will validate in Windows.

    Yes, they should work.

    The only other thing I can think of is that part of TI 2009 is causing a problem. The SNAPAPI driver might be a suspect. I wonder if an updated driver is available. Acronis Chat might be able to help you with that.
     
  16. csantosnet

    csantosnet Registered Member

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    Both backups I did with the F11 boot and Rescue CD validated correctly under Vista. Go figure.


    Perhaps Oleg (Acronis Support) can answer that?...
    Otherwise I'll get in touch with Acronis Chat and try to find out.

    Thanks.
     
  17. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Well, that's good news. You know that if you can make a good backup in Vista, it will validate. The problem is just in making the backup.
    Sounds like the way to go.

    I've seen a couple of other reports on this forum of TI 2009 backups in Vista not validating, but nothing that ties them together and no solution yet.
     
  18. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Please be informed that SnapAPI driver does not affect corrupted backups creation, so its update will not help to overcome this situation.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexander Nikolsky
     
  19. KingRemus

    KingRemus Registered Member

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    csantosnet, I'm having a very similar problem to you. My C: drive is 500G and backup 1T, and i always get validation failures not very far into the process.

    What is this F11 you mention?
     
  20. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello KingRemus,

    Thank you for your interesting in Acronis True Image

    F11 feature is Acronis Startup Recovery Manager, it allows you boot computer pressing F11 key and restore your system from previously created backup. See user guide for more details.

    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
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