How to Create an Acronis Bootable USB Hard Disk

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by MudCrab, Jun 7, 2007.

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  1. quinndexter

    quinndexter Registered Member

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    It's a Lexar usb drive, I've been using it for a few months, it did have 8GB.
    I found a solution, I downloaded a format software from HP and it worked.

    Thanks.

    Now I will start working back on the initial problem :)
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    *Edit - I see that you beat me to it and had already figured this out*
    If you have Linux then plug in the drive and use dd to zero the entire drive. Then go back to Windows and format the drive again. If you don't have access to Linux then you could try using the HP USB Disk Formatter tool to return your drive to a condition that Windows can deal with. Ignore the parts of the article about making the drive bootable; just use the utility to format the drive.

    As for the other problem, some PCs have trouble booting from larger flash drives; yours may be one of them. If you have access to a 2 GB or smaller drive then try making the Acronis bootable USB flash drive again.
     
  3. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    There is probably discussion somewhere in this thread but I just have to ask: for my Kingston 8Gb flash drive Windows XP gives me only one option, FAT32, under the Format command. The HP utility adds FAT and NTFS.

    Is there a reason Windows would limit its Format flexibility in this way? I.e. why doesn't WinXP allow for NTFS formatting of the USB drive?
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Laserfan:

    Microsoft chose to limit options so that you can yank the drive out without losing data. If you want to format a flash drive to NTFS with XP then you can follow this guide, but you'll have to remember to use "safely remove hardware" when removing the drive to prevent data loss.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you're getting this message, the MBR is okay and the flashdrive is booting. This error happens later, after the MBR has already turned control over to the boot sector. This error message most likely caused by a non-standard (or partially corrupt) partition table on the flashdrive.

    I have received this error message on my 8GB flashdrive. After fixing the partition information, it boots fine so the size shouldn't be causing the problem. However, the MBR code in the "empty" images on my website may have problems with flashdrives larger than 2GB.
     
  6. quinndexter

    quinndexter Registered Member

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    Thank you MudCrab.

    I don't really know how I could fix this.
    If I can find a <2gb stick, that problem could still occur ?
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It's possible you could have a problem with a 2GB or smaller flashdrive, but I think the chances are less. TI seems to be more fussy with larger flashdrives, especially on some systems.

    When you boot the flashdrive, if you use a BIOS boot menu, try entering the BIOS and actually changing the BIOS boot order so the flashdrive is first. On some computers, this seems to make a difference.

    After you got your 8GB flashdrive repaired with the HP utility, did you rerun Media Builder on it and try it again? I don't know if the HP utility has any MBR problems on larger flashdrives. If it does, you may get a different error message.

    I assume you are using TI 2009. Is that correct? I haven't seen this particular error with previous versions. Also, make sure you're using the latest available build (currently 9,615 for the English version).

    Lately, I've mainly been booting TI using Grub4DOS on my flashdrive. This allows for a lot of flexiblity (such has booting the ISO file and having multiple versions/builds on the same flashdrive).

    Are you using XP or Vista? The diskpart program in Vista allows for working with flashdrives. You could clean the flashdrive, recreate the partition, etc. using it, if necessary. If I need to really wipe a flashdrive, I usually use the dd command in Linux (from a Live Ubuntu CD, for example).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I haven't played much with using Vista's diskpart on flashdrives so I just ran a few tests. One flashdrive had no MBR code (wiped) and the two others had a non-Vista standard MBR. In both cases, diskpart wrote its own MBR code. Media Builder had no problems with the flashdrives and TI 2009 had no problems booting from them. I assume that would hold true for previous versions as well. I tested this using two different 2GB flashdrives and one 8GB flashdrive.

    The basic procedure is as follows:
    1. Boot into your Vista system.
    2. Plug in the flashdrive.
    3. If you have any important files on the flashdrive you want to save, copy them to another location (all files will be deleted during this procedure).
    4. Start a Command Prompt in Administrator Mode.
    5. Run the diskpart program and issue the necessary commands (detailed below).
    6. Use the Acronis Media Builder program on the flashdrive.
    This is an easy way to get a flashdrive bootable and seems to work well. This procedure is posted in several places on different websites, but I thought I'd put it here in case it can help someone looking here for a solution to this problem.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note: In the instructions below, <ENTER> means to press the ENTER key.

    At the command prompt, enter the following commands:
    Code:
    diskpart <ENTER>
    list disk <ENTER>
    This will list the disks in the computer. The flashdrive will be included in this list. You should be able to find it from its size. It is very important to select the correct disk as the following commands will delete everything on it.

    In this example, I'll use Disk 3 as the flashdrive.
    Code:
    select disk 3 <ENTER>
    clean <ENTER>
    create partition primary <ENTER>
    select partition 1 <ENTER>
    active <ENTER>
    format fs=fat32 quick <ENTER>
    exit <ENTER>
    Note: During this procedure, if an AutoPlay window pops up asking what you want to do with the new drive, just close it.

    Here is a screenshot of the procedure showing the diskpart commands and the results:
    Diskpart_01.jpg

    If you get this error...
    Diskpart_02.jpg
    ...when you try to create the new partition, do the following:
    1. Exit diskpart (type in exit and press ENTER).
    2. Safely remove the flashdrive from the USB port.
    3. Wait a few seconds and plug it back in.
    4. Begin the procedure over again.
    In each case I got this error, this worked for me. If anyone gets different results, feel free to post them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  9. mmo

    mmo Registered Member

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    The guide reads indeed nice and easy understandable, but - alas - the described procedure in my case stalls already in the step 2 - where one should create an image of the just created bootable USB flash drive.
    For some unknown reason, that drive is NOT listed as one of the selectable source partitions to create a backup from. The drive IS, however, listed as drive E and accessible without any problem in Windows' Explorer (under Vista Business).

    Any idea WHY this drive doesn't show up as backup source?

    I am trying this using Acronis True Image Home 11.0 (build 8'101).

    Michael o_O
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    On some systems (and with some versions of TI), the flashdrive will not show up correctly as a backup source while in Windows or from the Full Mode version.

    You could try booting from the TI CD and using the Safe Mode version of TI (make sure the flashdrive is plugged in before you boot the CD). If the flashdrive is detected by the BIOS, it should show up in the Safe Mode.

    I assume you have checked that the flashdrive boots to TI okay?
     
  11. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Thanks very much for your answer & link. And for spelling "losing" correctly!!! ;)
     
  12. quinndexter

    quinndexter Registered Member

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    Hello, I'm back behind my computer.

    MudCrab, I'm using the last TI 2009 build. I have set up the boot sequence with the usb-hdd as first. And I am using windows XP pro.
    I still get the BOOT DRIVE (PARTITION) NOT FOUND error. What makes me sad is that I now have a 1GB flash drive. I tried again the 4 empty images, and it's just the same result I used to get with my 8GB drive.

    I'm not sure what to try next. I'm interested in the GRUB4DOS manipulation. I will try to make something work by myself, but any advice will be welcome.

    Thank you.
     
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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  14. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Paul:

    Nice work on the grub4dos guide! I too prefer to directly boot the Acronis iso file and have switched to using that method on all of my flash drives.
     
  15. jehosophat

    jehosophat Registered Member

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    Thanks Mud Crab. I have followed your excellent guide and successfully created a Bootable USB Hard Drive using ATI 2009.
     
  16. jehosophat

    jehosophat Registered Member

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    Hi. ATI2009 on its third build 9646 already is there a quick way of just updating the Acronis Bootable USB Hard Disk? I successfully created a bootdisk with build 9615 now I am using 9646.

    **

    Just seen page 3 of the manual how to do this. So I should be okay now.
     
  17. jimfromarizona

    jimfromarizona Registered Member

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    Rescue Media dosen't find eSATA drive

    I have followed MudCrab's instructions here for creating a bootable external hard drive and on his website for using Grub4DOS with an ISO image to do the same thing. Both methods are successful - the drive boots and True Image 9 build 3854 runs.

    On the external drive (an eSATA hard drive), I used one 128mb partition for True Image and partitioned the remainder of the drive NTFS for backup storage.

    Here is the problem: True Image does not see the external drive so it is not available to store backups. I have the same problem when I create Rescue Media directly to a flash drive and boot with it. Strangely, when I create Rescue Media to a CD and boot with it everything works fine - it can see the eSATA drive and I can store a backup to the NTFS partition!

    Any ideas?
     
  18. jimfromarizona

    jimfromarizona Registered Member

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    Re: Rescue Media dosen't find eSATA drive

    I figured it out. The CD that I used successfully was an older build - 2323. The flash drive and iso file I was using were a newer build - 3854.

    So I downgraded my bootable hard drive to build 2323 and everything works fine now.

    It's odd that a newer build won't support eSATA drives when an older build works, but at least I found a solution.
     
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