Hidden partitions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by kjullion, Dec 31, 2006.

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  1. kjullion

    kjullion Registered Member

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    I'm just now getting round to using TI 8.0 on my Dell and wondered about what I should be Imaging. I hadn't realized this before but my system has 2 hidden partitions, one is 63MB and the other is 3.81 GB (now I see how a 40GB drive has little to no available disk space) on the one and only Primary drive.

    I assume that the recommendation is to back up all partitions on this drive, and in the event of a HDD failure I can replace the bad HDD with a good one and restore all partitions found on the Image and be back to square one.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    kjullion,

    The 63 MB partition is the Dell Diagnostic Partition. Not essential, but nice to have so I make an image of this partition. The 3.81 GB partition contains a Ghost image of your C: drive as it was shipped from Dell. Now that you are making your own images, this partition isn't really necessary if you are confident that Acronis TI can restore your C: drive. I always delete this partition and use the space for something else.
     
  3. kjullion

    kjullion Registered Member

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    Brian K,
    Thanks for your help. That clarifies it immensely.

    How do you, or others, actually gain the confidence that TI can restore your images? I have validated that TI can boot from the Rescue Media and can "see" my external USB drive and can read the .TIB filenames stored on it. But short of actually doing an image then immediately doing an FDISK/Format etc. on the live drive (since I don't have a spare drive laying around); which I have no desire to do since if it failed to work I'd be hosed. What are the possible other methods that you (or others) actually gain that confidence in TI? I have no reason to doubt that it will work, I just would like something a little more concrete.

    Is there a way to restore a single or set of files from an image? I clicked through the screens "as though" I were going to do a restore but got a little nervous at the end that it was going to do a full restore of the image when really I'd like only to restore a single dummy/test file or set of files.

    Thanks.
     
  4. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Besides the 3.81GB Ghost image of your HD, do you have a Dell Reinstallation Disk that you could use should worst come to worst and you have to reinstall your OS?

    There is no way of creating or restoring an image of a single or a set of files. The best you can do is what TI8 calls plugging a Virtual Drive and copying a specific file from this Virtual Drive.

    Looking at the User Guide for ATI8 I read the following:

    Chapter 4. Creating a partition (disk) image
    Disk (partition) image creation means backing up data stored on your server.
    Having these images you can restore your server after failures and protect yourself
    from hard disk data losses.
    4.1 Selecting partitions
    In the Select partitions to image window, you will see the hard disk layout of your
    server. Flag a partition to select it. Flag a whole disk to select all its partitions. You
    can select one or more hard disks or any combination of partitions and hard disks.


    I suppose one thing you could try would be to create an image of a partition, say the 63MB Dell Diagnostic Partition, and then try to restore it. It would not be a disaster if this were somehow unsuccessful. You could probably still use the Dell Ghost image to restore your computer.

    Once you get more confident about restoring Acronis images you will have no qualms in routinely creating and restoring full images of your drive.

    Before restoring you don't have to do any kind of FDISK/Format anything. Acronis wipes out the target drive/partition before restoring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I was fortunate as I had an old computer that I used for test images and restores. I didn't matter if I made a mistake. That's how I learnt about using Partition Magic as well. I think Partition Magic is an essential tool if you want to get the most out of your computer. Available "free" from..

    http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=1166856931

    When you have a spare logical partition or two, you can image and restore these partitions to gain confidence before actually restoring your C: drive. For added safety you can image your C: drive with other software to have redundancy in your backups. Drive Snapshot has a four week trial period.

    http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/

    It's best to restore from a BartPE CD.

    DriveImageXML is free and restoring should be done from a BartPE CD.

    http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm

    BootItNG has a four week trial period.

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/upgrade.html

    The Ghost 10 software contained in the above bundle is another possibility. Once you are confident that Acronis TI is reliable you can ditch the other backup software.

    How do you backup? To DVD or another HD. I think DVD backups are potentially unreliable and inefficient with all backup software. OK as a secondary backup.
     
  6. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    KJullion, the only way to gain confidence in TI is to do an actual Restore to a spare hard drive. So you'll have to "bite the bullet" and learn how to remove the existing hard drive, or at least disconnect it temporarily, connect a spare drive and Restore an Image to it.
    The hardest part will be figuring out how to open the Dell case to get at the drive. Once you open it you will see how to disconnect the hard drive - only two cables and you cannot interchanged them by mistake.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Ralphie, an excellent suggestion if one has a spare HD.

    kjullion, if you are able to take up Ralphie's challenge, don't be disappointed if the new HD doesn't boot to Windows. WinXP is currently in Partition slot 2. When you restore it to a new HD it will likely be in Partition slot 1 and you will receive a "hal.dll" error. The boot.ini can be then edited to reference Partition slot 1 by using Editbini or a BartPE CD.

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/utilities.html
     
  8. Steve1209

    Steve1209 Registered Member

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    Hi Brian,

    Was reading this thread because I am ordering a 2nd C: drive so I'll have a spare(on a Dell) and want to make sure TI9 can restore properly. I don't understand your satement about WinXP being in partition slot 2 but on restore it will be in partition slot 1 could you please explain that for me as I'm new to the product!

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Steve, with a Windows OS the Master Partition Table allows 4 primary partitions. 4 slots. If you look in Partition Magic or Windows Disk Management you will see (on your Dell) that the Diagnostic Partition is primary partition 1 and WinXP is primary partition 2. If you restore an image of WinXP to another HD without restoring the Diagnostic partition as well, WinXP will be in partition 1. If you restore the Diagnostic partition as well then there will be no problems with partition slot mismatches. I wasn't clear on this point.

    Of interest, if you delete the Diagnostic partition on your HD so that WinXP becomes the first partition, it still remains in Partition slot 2 and needs no alteration to the boot.ini. Under certain circumstances, the partition order as seen in Disk Management, isn't the same as the order in the Master Partition Table, eg my previous example. Editbini will show the correct order of the MPT.

    Having your second HD is extremely sensible for storing your backup images. Image your C: drive to the second HD. You can have several images stored here. Don't get caught up in the inefficient cloning method.
     
  10. Steve1209

    Steve1209 Registered Member

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    Brian,

    I'm almost with you & thanks for the quick response. I'll give you a screenshot of what Acronis sees as my disk partitions, it looks like partition 1 is the XP operating system & the other 2 partitions follow it? Maybe Partition Magic see's is differently (I don't have that software). Maybe if I knew how to use Window's disk management I'd see it clearer also, unfortunately I don't know how to invoke that under windows XP either.

    Acronis shows me this:
    http://img319.imageshack.us/my.php?image=12312006173455rb4.png

    BUT I think the bottom line if I read you correctly is IF I back-up ALL 3 partitions on my DELL (I have an 80GB hard drive & I'm using very little of it) I won't have the slot partition problem you mentioned, is that the bottom line?

    Thanks & Happy New Year!
    Steve
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Steve, thanks for the image. Disk Management will give the correct order. Right click the My Computer icon on your desktop, click Manage, click Disk Management.

    You have stacks of space so yes, backup all 3 partitions. The partition slot problem is just a minor inconvenience but restoring the partitions in the correct order prevents it happening.

    You might be interested in these links.

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm#13

    http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=1132968474;start=7#7

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/editbini.htm

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm#10
     
  12. Steve1209

    Steve1209 Registered Member

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    Brian,

    Your help has been invaluable and at the end of 2006. Under disk management as you explained the partitions look different, SOOOO I changed the back-up to include all 3 DELL partitions for my next back-up at 3AM

    YES I have stacks of space as you put it! I wish backup's could use different names, or add dates or make back-up's unique somehow & not overwrite them as they do in 9.1 workstation...

    I've been afraid to upgrade to ATI 10, is home the only upgrade? At what build is it safe? Any info greatly helpful as I FEAR an upgrade...

    But have had my Pants down on 2 disks problems which I hope NEVER hurt me again, as I explained I have a new Western Digital 80GB internal drive arriving soon and I'll test my recovery scenario on that IF I can figure out how to open the case on my DELL PC LOL!

    Thanks again Brian for you help,

    Steve
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Steve, you only need to image the two Dell partitions once. Thereafter you only need to image the C: drive. After the C: drive image has been created you can move it into a named folder or just rename the image so it won't be over-written by the next image.
     
  14. Steve1209

    Steve1209 Registered Member

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    Brian,

    Again Thank you for your knowledge of the product, of course it only makes sense only 1 partition will change and needs to be copied nightly (well that's my choice, nightly I mean on the changing partition)

    Thanks again,

    Steve
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Steve, when your new 80 GB HD arrives, leave it blank, remove your current HD and install the new HD as the master. From the Acronis CD restore the images contained on your external HD to the new HD. Make sure you restore the MBR too. Then see if it boots. If everything is OK, shut down, remove the new HD and reinstall the old HD and boot to Windows. Then shut down and install the new HD as a slave. Boot to Windows and from Disk Management delete the partitions on the new HD (Hard drive 1) and then create an extended partition containing a single logical partition.

    By this stage you should have confidence in TI. If it all works correctly why would you want to risk an upgrade?
     
  16. Steve1209

    Steve1209 Registered Member

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    Brian,

    With your help I feel really confident I know what to do now, SHEESH if I could only figure out how to open the case on my DELL 8400 Desktop LOL, I don't see any screws (well except the loose screw in my brain!)

    Steve
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Steve, I used a Dell 8400 for over 18 months. Only changed to a 9150 6 months ago.

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8400/SM/syssetup.htm#wp1052309

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8400/SM/parts.htm#wp1052308

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8400/SM/index.htm

    It has SATA HDs so there is no master/slave situation. In effect, put the master on SATA port 0 and the slave on SATA port 2.

    In summary, when you install the new HD, plug it into SATA port 0, the same port the old HD was plugged into. When you reinstall the old HD it goes back into SATA port 0. When you install the new HD as "slave" it goes to SATA port 2 and you will need to go into the BIOS and turn SATA port 2 ON. I know this is confusing so I'm ready for more questions.
     
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