How Can I Tell if MBR is Being Saved

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by drac, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. drac

    drac Registered Member

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    I am doing a full image backup of all of the partitions on my hard drive EXCEPT the Acronis Secure Zone. Will my backup include the Master Boot Record? Is there a way to know this by looking at the back up steps of the backup or some other way?
     
  2. JodieM

    JodieM Registered Member

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    The MBR is part of the "active" partition. So it will generally be the [C:] drive, and will be backed up with that partition.
     
  3. feddup

    feddup Registered Member

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    If you only had one hard drive and you do not image the whole drive then Acronis said they can't gaurantee that the MBR is being imaged. It's generally considered unwise to store your images on the same physical HD with your OS (and thus the MBR). If you image the entire HD that you boot from you're covered. If, for example, your first physical HD were devided into a C and a D partition you would have the option of creating an image of 1. C 2. D 3. C and D 4. The whole drive. The box to check is at the top of the drive options. Choice 4 is what is required to assure the MBR is included in the image. To make sure you restore the MBR that same box has to be checked when restoring.
     
  4. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    I am not sure about that. Are you?

    It is my understanding that the MBR is part of the partition table (or the partition is part of the MBR :) ). Thus imaging the partition itself will not include the MBR. That is why Acronis insists that you image the WHOLE disk if you want to preserve the boot'ness of th image.
     
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis True Image (http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/).

    The MBR is included into the image file only if you create the image of the whole disk. To restore the MBR from the image you need to restore all the partitions as well.

    If you create and then restore the image of a single partition (not the whole disk) we can guarantee only that all the data will be restored but if the partition was system it may not boot especially if you restored it to another disk.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  6. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Ilya,

    Picking up on Drac's original post at #1 above. Am I correct in assuming he would need to include his Secure Zone (thereby ignoring the warning message about imaging the SZ) if he needed to restore the image to a different drive and have it bootable?

    Kind regards
    Tom
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Menorcaman,

    You are right. In this case he will need to include Acronis Secure Zone into his image.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Ilya,

    Many thanks for the confirmation.

    Kind regards
    Tom
     
  9. ctal

    ctal Registered Member

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    With all due respect, this is not correct (as Minimax also implied in his post above). For an excellent overview of master boot records, and boot records, see the following Microsoft writeup (after reading the brief top-level page, bring up "master boot records on basic disks" by clicking in the navigation pane on the left of the page):

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prkd_tro_kljx.asp


    -- Al
     
  10. MartinH

    MartinH Registered Member

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    I have also a question about this.

    When I make an image and select all my partition (c,d,e) except the acronis secure zone, it makes a selection of the whole disc.
    Here is a screenshot:

    http://www.mitglied.lycos.de/martin549/screen2.JPG

    When the creation starts, it saves the partition structure.
     
  11. MartinH

    MartinH Registered Member

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    And when I restore it, I must choose the "target"-harddrive and must choose to delete all of the content.
     
  12. MartinH

    MartinH Registered Member

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    If I restore the image it tells me after I selected my 450 Gbyte drive that the image includes all partitions and the Secure Zone.
    But I haven't imaged the secure zone.
    It just "keeps it alive".

    After restoring the partition it restores "partition structure".
    After reboot all partitions have the same "structure" like before restoring (one can see it in windows defrag).
    That is only when it restores the whole disc.
     
  13. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello MartinH,

    You may exclude Acronis Secure Zone from the image without any risk to loose MBR. If the box with the disk name is checked the MBR is included.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello again Ilya,

    I'm somewhat confused now. How does this answer fit in with the one you provided at #7 above?

    Kind regards
    Tom
     
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Menorcaman,

    Let us sort the things out because there are too many questions concerning particular this problem and my previous explanations seem to be vague.

    1. Let's say you create the image of the disk because you are mainly afraid of some software trouble (such as virus attack) and you are sure your physical hard drive will work normally for a long time. In this case you may create the image without including Acronis Secure Zone in it. After that your disk will be bootable after the restoration of this image.

    2. If you suppose that your hard drive may fail and you will need to have another drive. You may create the image of the whole disk except Acronis Secure Zone and after the restoration you will get bootable disk. But there will be no images from your Acronis Secure Zone available so you will transfer all the data from the old disk except the images. To be sure the disk will be bootable you need to create the image of all other partitions on this disk (so the box with the disk name is checked) excluding Acronis Secure Zone.

    Hope this will answer all the questions concerning this problem.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  16. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Thanks Ilya! That makes it entirely clear.
     
  17. JodieM

    JodieM Registered Member

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    Cheers. I'm not used to any of this due respect stuff, but it seems you're correct. Well, you learn something every day. Thanks.
    This is what comes from never really needing to deal much with boot sectors, except through linux fdisk.
     
  18. tjhb

    tjhb Registered Member

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    To back up just one partition AND the MBR, use a combination of True Image and Disk Editor (included in Disk Director suite 9.0).

    In particular, whenever you use True Image to image e.g. volume C:, use Disk Editor to copy the contents of absolute sector 0 to a file. That sector is the MBR.

    Note that you may or may not want to include absolute sectors 1 to 62 as well. These sectors are neither the MBR nor inside any partition. (The first partition starts at absolute sector 63.) Technically, they lie outside of the file system. But they are not always unused. Some backup software (including, I think, the Acronis Secure Zone, if it is enabled) and some copy-protection software (including the rolling lock code protecting Photoshop CS) use sectors in this range for data.

    After the image is restored (if ever), the MBR should be restored from the contemporary file, again using Disk Editor.
     
  19. tjhb

    tjhb Registered Member

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    I should add:

    My example (above) was a bit unfortunate.

    There is no association between volume C: and sector 0.

    Absolute sector 0 is the MBR for the whole drive. There is only one.

    (On the other hand, it does not necessarily contain all the partition data for the entire disk drive. It usually describes at least one primary partition, but may point forward to an extended partition table describing a number of logical volumes. It is almost always safe to ignore this level of detail.)
     
  20. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Ilya,

    Many thanks for taking the time to provide the additional clarification. I am no longer confused (well, no more than usual that is!!).

    Kind regards
    Tom
     
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