Hide partitions from True Image?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by deskBound, Jul 13, 2008.

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  1. deskBound

    deskBound Registered Member

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    Is it possible to hide some of my HDD partitions from True Image, so that they cannot be analysed? I have a Mac / XP dual-boot PC that i want to image the XP NTFS partition, but TI has trouble with my Mac OSX partition - it can't see it - so the analysing stage never finishes so I never get to make my image.

    So, I'm looking for a way to make the OSX image invisible to TI (or, perhaps to XP itself)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    It is certainly possible, even fairly simple, to install a boot manager that hides partitions from each other. I use such a system myself to hide XP from Vista and vice versa.

    But thinking ahead to the time you want to restore an image, what is the situation when you boot to your Rescue CD? Does it still hang?
     
  3. deskBound

    deskBound Registered Member

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    Thanks for the response - I'll try to create and boot from a Rescue CD. I can't help wondering what it'll make of my setup, but we'll see.

    In the meantime, could you recommend a boot manger for my situation? I hope this won't interfere with my current Chain0 dual boot system, and that it won't mean reformatting/repartitioning. I can deal with this if i need to to - I've only just installed all this - but it was quite involved.
     
  4. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    If a TI Rescue CD also has a problem with your partitions then installing a new boot manager isn't going to help, and it would then seem likely you won't be able to use TI in your present setup.

    An alternative route for you then might be to install OSX and XP on separate hard disks.

    I'm not expert with boot managers, but others here are. Make your CD and let's see how it goes.
     
  5. deskBound

    deskBound Registered Member

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    Most interesting.

    I was able to create the rescue CD, boot from it and have the TI screen come up. Very pleased about this. I then thought, what the hell I'll try to do an image - and it worked! It was able to see all my partitions, including the Mac ones, and select the XP boot partition, then make an image on another NTFS partition. I then validated the image (for whatever that's worth...).

    BTW, my Mac partitions are of the following type:
    FS: None Partition: 0xAF (Apple HFS+, Shag OS swap)

    So it seems i can use TI to make images but only from the boot disk. This isn't really a perfect solution at all, as I'd like to make differential backups fairly frequently.

    This is leading me to some other thoughts - what is different about the way the Rescue CD sees my disks versus how the installed version does? Is it possible that I just have a bad installation of TI (doubtful, as I've reinstalled twice)?

    I think I'm now at the stage to try a boot manager to hide some of the non Windows partitions. I hear you when you say that you're not really an expert here, but what do you suggest i do as my next move?

    thanks,
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  6. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    I think that's really good news, and the reason TI behaves differently when booted from CD is that the CD version uses Linux code and drivers. The installed version is using Windows of course. It's not at all uncommon for the two to behave differently, the diifference in your case being it's to your benefit. It's usually the other way around :D

    On advice from k0lo here I installed Grub4DOS as boot manager. Installing it to the MBR is simplicity itself, but you also have to create a simple text-based menu which passes control to the appropriate partition bootloader, the commands differing depending on what OS is installed there. It also sets the default OS. But this is where I can't help as I have no experience at all of OSX partitions. Let's hope others can help you with that.
     
  7. Doug_B

    Doug_B Registered Member

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    Note that a partition that one sets to hidden in the partition table (say for dual-boot arrangements with no dependencies between partitions) is usually still visible to ATI as a partition that can be backed up, so ATI still attempts to analyze such a partition. I know nothing about OSX and cannot say what aspect of the partition / partition entry in the partition table is causing the ATI windows version to hang on it (I assume this partition has an entry in the partition table). From your post, I gather that your current config does not currently hide the partition in order to boot XP, so you could try hiding it (if it doesn't mess up anything) to see if ATI windows behaves differently / gets over the hump when analyzing it, but generally ATI should still analyze the partition.

    Only case that comes to mind that ATI doesn't see a partition, besides corrupt data scenarios, is the old Dell HPA partition for MediaDirect 1 and 2, where IIRC, there is no entry of such a partition in the partition table.

    Doug
     
  8. deskBound

    deskBound Registered Member

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    Thanks to both Earthling and Doug here.

    Firstly, I've been having a look at Grub4DOS to see if it can help. I can see that it has a HIDE command that looks like it can hide a partition from the OS. However, I'm going a bit pale reading all the installation requirements for Grub4DOS as they all look very unfamiliar to me - statements like 'Caution: Installing GRUB's stage1 in this manner will erase the normal boot-sector used by an OS' give me some concerns. However, I think this all might be a bit academic because when I read the Grub4DOS manual i see that 'Caution: This is effective only if DOS (or Windows) uses BIOS to access the swapped disks. If that OS uses a special driver for the disks, this probably won't work' which i think means that my HDDs - which are accessed under ACHI not IDE - might have a problem. Bottom line - I'm investigating Grub4DOS a bit further but I don't hold too much hope.

    A second option is to use Partition Manager (which i own a copy of). I see it has the ability to hide or unhide partitions, so I'll test to see if these hidden partitions are visible to ATI. Or i might be able to make them seem like something else to ATI; I'll see what's possible (without actually changing them).
     
  9. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    Doug is right of course - although setting a partition hidden hides it from Windows it doesn't hide it from TI. Something I'd overlooked when suggesting you use a boot manager.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Another situation is with BING. Partitions entries can be selectively removed from the partition table so that neither TI or Windows see the partition. They just see unallocated space. Unfortunately, BING doesn't work with Mac partitions.
     
  11. Doug_B

    Doug_B Registered Member

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    Brian,

    Just curious. Is this BING capability related to the one that allows more than the normal maximum number of bootable (primary?) partitions?

    Thanks.

    Doug
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Doug,

    Yes. You have to remove the tick from Limit Primaries in BING Settings. You can still have 4 Primary Partitions or you can have 5, 6 etc. Even 200. However, you are still limited to 4 primary partitions in the MBR. You can choose to have less than 4 primary partitions in the MBR. For example, let's say you had Vista, WinXP, Win2000, Win98, Win95 and DOS on your HD and you had two data partitions. You could have a boot item for Vista where only Vista and one data partition were in the partition table of the MBR. You could also have a boot item for WinXP where WinXP and both data partitions were in the partition table of the MBR. etc.

    I used BING for six months before I was brave enough to unlimit primaries. Now I wouldn't go back to limited primaries. On my first HD I have 6 primary partitions including an extended partition containing 3 logical volumes.
     
  13. Doug_B

    Doug_B Registered Member

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    So bringing ATI back into this, it sounds like ATI would see and thus be able to back up only the partitions that BING placed into the partition table based on the last boot / user boot selection, correct?

    I fooled around with BING not long ago and did notice this feature, but I was focused on its partitioning functions and thus did not try out any of its OS boot / selection capabilities.

    Doug
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's correct. "Based on the last boot / user boot selection"

    If desired, you can have several boot items for the same OS, with different partition tables.
     
  15. deskBound

    deskBound Registered Member

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    Brian and Doug,

    Thanks for this info about BING. I'll have a look at it. Just to clarify, when I boot under OSX, I realy don't mind what partitions are there to be seen by the operating system. It's only when i boot under XP do i care. Knowing this, I wonder if BING can help me? Making these OSX / HFS partitions look like empty space looks like it could be fruitful. Mind you, they still need to be seen by the botloader, of course.

    I tried to use Paragon Partition Manager to hide the OSX partitions but they were already hidden, so I don't think there is anything else i can do with this software. Although Partition Manager could see these partitions, the backup software included in the package hung when trying to back up the NTFS partition so no luck there.

    However, there is a couple of other things to try. Paragon have a backup imaging product that I will trial tonight and see how it goes. I'd rather go with ATI as up until now it has really been a stalwart product for me but i think my options here are narrowing to a vanishing point. Paragon also have a free bit of software that looks rather interesting (http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-mac/) Rescue Kit for Mac OSX that looks like it can image Windows partitions from inside OSX. However, given that what i am doing is rather a long way from a native OSX installation, I have received advice that fooling around with partitions whilst running my PC with OSX active is a high risk venture. None the less, what real harm can it do? Will my HDD leap out of the case and break my leg? Will my screen explode? Will my keyboard go live?
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello deskBound,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    Please notice that none of current versions of Acronis True Image fully supports Macintosh architecture. Most likely, a version supporting Macintosh architecture will be released in the future. We are sorry, but the exact time-frame isn't defined yet.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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