How Do I Restore An O/S Partition Only, & What Cleaning Should I Do Beforehand?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by budachild, Aug 10, 2009.

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  1. budachild

    budachild Registered Member

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    I own Acronis True Image Home 10, and it's finally time for me to use a backup tib I made a few months ago. I had a virus on my pc that was cleaned off recently by a program called Combofix. That program also made a mess of my registry. I have no backups of my registry since I disabled System Restore as per malware removal instructions. So the only way to restore my pc back the way it was is to use the only tib backup I have, which I made on March 19, 2009.

    It's an exact image of my "C:" partition that contains my O/S. My pc has two physical hard drives in it. Both are partitioned into two halves. So I've got four partitions... My primary master hard drive has a partition for my O/S, and the other partition is used for data. My secondary hard drive has two partitions which are both used for data.


    Questions:

    1. How can I use my tib file to safely restore my "C:" O/S partition while leaving all other partitions as is using the Acronis Boot Rescue Cd?

    2. Are there any cleaning, file removal, procedures I need to do before restoring my system with my tib file? [ie: shutting off system restore on all drives, defragmenting, writing zeros to my o/s partition, etc]

    3. Is there anything I should expect that would be weird when I place my image back to my "C:" drive on first boot? [ie: wrong clock settings, or worse]

    Thanks
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If you've never done a test restore before to confirm that the TI Linux rescue environment works on your PC then there is a chance it won't work. Ideally, you would transfer the OS to a spare HD to test the recovery.

    If you can't do that, then boot up the TI rescue CD and Validate your image. If that works then you likely won't have a problem since TI is able to successfully read the archive into RAM and check it.

    The biggest risk you run in terms of a screw-up is restoring to the wrong partition. The Linux environment does not necessarily allocate the drive letters the same as Windows. It is best to have a meaningful disk label on your partitions so you know where you are regardless of the drive letters.

    There is no point in wiping the disk, reformatting it, fooling with System Restore since TI is going to put back the disk contents as preserved in the archive.

    You should only need to restore the C partition without restoring the MBR/Track0 since your disk is still bootable. Even though you Validated it above perhaps, I'd tick the box to have TI Validate the archive before doing the restore. If the restoration fails you will be left with unallocated space, ie, you won't even have the misbehaving Windows version you have now. You could also boot up the TI rescue CD and create and Validate an archive of the mess you have now just for a bit more insurance of having another archive and more confirmation your hardware is good - perhaps not a whole lot of value in doing this but there is some and you will likely feel more comfortable using TI to do the actual needed restore.
     
  3. budachild

    budachild Registered Member

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    I made my tib using the boot rescue cd in March, and ran the validation after wards during the same boot environment. It said it was fine...
    Why do people say this all over the place? What's the problem with restoring the MBR/TrackO?
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    It was fine then. Maybe you've developed an unknown RAM or other HW issue since then - such as a sector containing part of the archive going bad. Maybe you defrag that drive and it got moved to a bad spot or damaged by a bad copy. I recently had a bad sector on my laptop drive render my latest archive bad and it was validated when created.

    As far as MBR/Track0 goes, if it ain't broke, why fix it. If you want to do it, by all means go ahead. I've restored my C drive many, many times and have never restored the MBR/Track0.
     
  5. budachild

    budachild Registered Member

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    Thanks you've given me some real good insight... Especially about that tip on saving a tib of my current system state before trying my backup!

    But I guess what I meant with my last question was what is the MBR/Track0? & doesn't it update or something. I mean wouldn't the MBR I have now be August, and the MBR I have on the tib I want to restore from March? Wouldn't they differ in some way data wise? Or is the MBR always the same? [ie: identical data wise forever]
     
  6. MFriend

    MFriend Registered Member

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    Hi Budachild:

    I have often restored my MBR/Track0 and have never had a problem.

    If I were you, I would want to restore the MBR/Track0 as well as the OS partition because of any damage/issues caused by the virus.

    On a side note, I'd probably also uninstall the current anti-virus (combo-fix?) and install another anti-virus to double check the partitions that are not being restored. It would be a shame to restore a clean OS partition but have a missed virus some place on your data partitions. You could also download/burn one of the free anti-virus recovery disks (I think the last one I used was Avira... ).

    Matt

    P.S. I would agree with SeekforEver that it would be a good idea to boot to your recovery disk and validate the .tib backup image before overwriting your current OS partition.
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Considering the fact you did have a virus, the recommendation to replace the MBR is reasonable.

    Normally the MBR does not change unless you create multiple boot systems, setup the Acronis Startup Recovery feature, or if you had a PC that has a manufacturer's recovery feature and then you redo the disk without it.
     
  8. budachild

    budachild Registered Member

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    Ahh see you just touched an interesting subject! During the virus removal process I was told by the anti virus people to install Windows Recovery Console on my system which is another boot feature. So when you start the pc it asks you to choose to boot Win XP or Windows Recovery Console which was never on my system until they asked me to install it this week. I think that was part of the reason why my O/S got messed up. I never used the Recovery Console but after the installation I began to see a wide array of problems. [ie: autorun not working on discs, usb, etc. Registry being all mashed up, weird message during Windows Login password screen].

    1. So it would be safe to assume that I SHOULD allow Acronis to restore the MBR when I put my "C:" O/S partition tib image back correct?

    2. But will restoring the MBR affect the second Data partition on the same drive? [Remember I have two partitions one single hdd, one is for my O/S and the other partition for just data]


    BTW thank you guys very much for your time!~
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, if you did an operation such as you describe which likely modified the MBR. It will put it back to the original which should work. Ideally, the MBR should be put back on a disk that has the same number of partitions and most importantly with the bootable partition in the same relative location as on the disk it was copied from. This is my understanding but there are some forum members who know way more about boot configurations than I'll ever know. If the MBR is not right, you will have booting issues, it shouldn't affect the integrity of your data partition but you have you data backed up anyway, don't you.
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    It won't affect the data partition. Information about partitions is stored in the 64-byte partition table. Restoring the MBR with Acronis True Image will not replace the partition table that is currently on the disk with the partition table that was in the archive. Your current partition layout will be unchanged if you restore the MBR.
     
  11. corinthian

    corinthian Registered Member

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    I also have some questions about MBR but will start a new thread so as not to hijack.
    Bill
     
  12. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    The MBR is insignificant to backing up and restoring images. Every drive that has been partition automatically has a MBR.

    The MBR and the "OS partition/data partition" are entirely isolated from each other. If you do any repairs or changes to the MBR it won't affect the partitions or vice versa. The only thing that will affect the MBR are boot managers and in some rare cases viruses. The "OS partition" backup has all the necessary boot information needed for it to be bootable when restored.

    It's best to never restore a MBR from drive A onto a different drive B, the MBR is specific to each hard drive. Only restore it back to the same drive if you absolutely have to. The only time that it is recommended to restore the MBR is if you have a non standard MBR dual boot or linux boot manager, also a hard drive that had vista previously installed will have a MBR that won't work with xp.

    Since you will be restoring your image back to the same drive/same partition you won't run into any problems. Windows xp has never gave me any problems when I restored it back to the same partition. This is the type of restoration true image does best. Worst case scenario, if the restored drive doesn't boot, it probably won't be due to a MBR problem.
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    There is a lot of false information in post #12 which several of us have tried patiently to refute on past occasions. Let the reader beware...

    Go read this if you want to better understand the contents of the Master Boot Record.
     
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