Help with USB Flash drive and .tibs on single device

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by drewdown, Jun 17, 2009.

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  1. drewdown

    drewdown Registered Member

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    I am curious to know whether the same usb flash drive I use to boot acronis can store the .tib files I want to restore. Right now I have 2 moving parts, a cd-rom drive and an external USB HD.

    I want to eliminate one of them and use only one solution and the CD-ROM needs to go.

    Can I setup 2 partitions on the flash drive? Will acronis see that that second partition and be able to load .tibs from it?
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    No need for another partition. Just make a folder to put the .tibs in if you want to keep it seperate. You might run into the size limitation of Fat 32 though.
     
  3. drewdown

    drewdown Registered Member

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    Thanks man, that worked with 1 2.5GB image. What is the size limitations with Fat32? I used an 8GB flash drive and was able to restore the image without fail via that 8GB USB flash drive.

    However I have 40GB worth of images that I would like to store on one device and restore from that one device. Each image, AFARIK, isn't larger than 4GB, so I should be ok with the Fat32 4gb file limit size.
     
  4. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Check the first part of lime 4 of my signature below. This will enable you to have a bootable Acronis recovery partition (fat32) plus a 2nd partition (ntfs) for storage of tib archives. This can be on a hard drive of most any size.
     
  5. drewdown

    drewdown Registered Member

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    Thanks man, that is what lead me to where I am now. I followed this post from that thread to create the flash drive: click me.

    And I wasn't able to resize the partition after the fact via Windows vista. Perhaps I need to backup the flash image, restore to the same flash drive and set the partition to 100meg then partition the extra space as NTFS in windows? I didnt have any luck doing exactly that using diskpart.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    It's my understanding that NTFS partitions aren't recommended for flash drives because of the frequent writes NTFS does in maintaining the filesystem. This reduces the life of the device.

    However, it isn't clear just what the Linux implementation of NTFS does and the drive isn't likely to be operational for significant periods of time anyway (not like your C drive).
     
  7. drewdown

    drewdown Registered Member

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    Thanks man. Currently I am only testing this so in the end I will be sure to take that into consideration. I could not partition the rest of space NTFS and leave the whole thing Fat32. I don't have any images over 4GB so I should be ok with that approach.

    Also this solution is so easily duplicated I can afford to mess around with it.

    Thanks for your help guys.
     
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    1. You can pre-create a two partition hard drive using any partitioning method including Windows or even TrueImage-Add drives options. Partition 1=100MB. Partition 2=balance of size.

    2. After you have created and tested the Flashdrive to be Acronis bootable, you can then create a new disk option backup archive of this flashdrive. Next, restore the FlashDrive backup onto the 100MB first partition of the hard drive. Restore should be in two passes. First restore the data partition (primary & active and Fat 16 or 32); second pass is to restore MBR/track 0 plus the disk signature to the new hard drive. The second partition of the hard drive can be either primary plus NTFS or FAT32--your choice. My suggestion is NTFS.
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Is there something I'm missing with the FAT32 usage in this case? Granted NTFS is a superior system but TI writes archives larger than 4GB on FAT32 HDs without any problems by automatically splitting the archive and automatically handling the resulating files as a single archive for restoration..
     
  10. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    seekforever,
    Most of my older drives are FAT32 and all my newer ones are NTFS. In addition to being able to handle larger file sizes, I have understood that the NTFS file structure has less chance of becoming messed up so that a NTFS disk needs fewer disk repairs. Certainly, there are instances of where FAT32 is the preferred system but it seems more of the "so called experts" extol the virtues of the NTFS file system. I am not a computer expert so I cannot argue either way. One of the nice features of the smaller files is the ability to additionally copy to DVD for additional safety.
     
  11. drewdown

    drewdown Registered Member

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    That worked for the usb hard drive, it did not work for the thumb drive, I kept getting a 'drive not found' when I attempted to replicated the process for the thumb drive.

    However, I can still use the thumb drive per DwnNdrty instructions of creating a separate folder for the images.

    On another note, I have some older hardware that don't seem to like booting from USB. Is there a workaround for that? IE Acronis loads halfway or doesn't load at all on some of them. Whereas the newer hardware it runs fine.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Grover, NTFS certainly is the better and is the preferred file system and many people will argue the FAT variants aren't really a file system but just a dumb table of entries with no self-healing ability.

    The tone of the post seemed to be that FAT32 is totally unacceptable for the desired purpose and NTFS is a necessity with a collection of hoops to be jumped through to get it to work. My point was why is FAT32 now so unacceptable that it won't work while we know TI doesn't have a problem with splitting archives and many people using USB drives are doing so with FAT32. Is it really worth trying to make NTFS work for such a purpose at great effort and particularly when NTFS isn't AFAIK recommended for such a device? If it is a learning exercise, fine, but if the idea is to just make an archive then whey not go with what is known to work.
     
  13. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    This link is from MudCrab's signature
    Having problems getting your Acronis USB Flashdrive or USB Hard Disk to boot?
    http://www.purviancecs.com/acronis.htm

    For the "drive not found" issue, is the thumb drive booting? How many partitions & what type? Is a drive letter assigned to the boot partition--have you tried it both with and without drive letters? Hopefully, the link above can provide more positive help.

    Some of the older hardware will only work successfully if plugged into the rear usb connectors and usb-hubs can cause problems.
     
  14. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    There's one fact that hasn't surfaced yet in this discussion. Although you can partition a USB flash drive using partitioning software, just be aware that Windows will only see the first partition on the drive. The other partitions will be there; Linux can see and use them, but not Windows.

    There are workarounds on the net that let you "hack" a USB flash drive to make Windows think it's a fixed disk to get around this single-partition limitation.
     
  15. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Thanks Mark.

    drewdown,
    In reading some the content from the link above, I found this:
    If restored to a flashdrive the image will fill the entire flashdrive. This seems to be a "quirk" with how Windows allows flashdrives to be formatted (Windows only allows one partition on a flashdrive). If this is a problem, you may be able to resize the partition during the restore process. However, you will not be able to create another partition in the remaining unallocated space using Windows.​
    This would seem to indicate that you the flashdrive can only have the one partition but that you could use create storage folders on the same boot partition and store/restore your images there. Perhaps k0lo or MudCrab will see this post and comment.
     
  16. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Grover:

    Probably the simplest solution is the one given in post #2. Just store your image files on the same USB flash drive that you install Bootable Media Builder to. Create separate folders if you want to keep things better organized. Yes, it will be formatted as FAT32 with a 4 GB file size limitation, but TI will recognize this and split the file into appropriately-sized pieces.

    If you have the time or inclination, my preferred solution would be to format your flash drive as NTFS so that you are using a more-robust file system. Use Bootable Media Builder to create an ISO image file. Copy the ISO file to the flash drive. Install Grub4DOS as a boot manager and take advantage of its ability to directly boot the Acronis ISO. MudCrab has instructions here. Skip Section 2 and instead use Section 3. That's the method that I use and prefer.
     
  17. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Thanks Mark,
    I just may give it a whirl. I have been wanting to try Grub4DOS and just haven't. Perhaps this will make me try harder.

    I have Acronis bootable flashdrives (2 & 4G with v10) plus a usb hard drive which is also Acronis bootable. The Grub4Dos would expand my horizon. Thanks.
     
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