How To Question - Restore and Eliminate one Partition

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by anettis, Sep 7, 2007.

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  1. anettis

    anettis Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I have a DELL notebook that I have made image copies of the hard drive. DELL has something called MEDIADIRECT3 that takes up a 2GB partition and allows the computer to fast boot into the MEDIADIRECT software (without a full blown windows boot) and allows access to things like DVD's, Outlook contacts, pictures, PowerPoint, etc.

    In thory this sounds kind of cool. However in practice windows does not take so long to boot (at least on my notebook) so I don't think there is as big a need. Plus as it turns out MEDIADIRECT is kind of buggy - I found issues with both Outlook and Quickbooks. There is a patch that fixes the Outlook issue but at this point I just want MEDIADIRECT off my notebook without going all the way back to a reformat and fresh installl, if possible.

    I can uninstalled the program from the Windows partition but I would like to reclaim the space from the MEDIADIRECT partition (preferably as part of the windows partition). I see how I can uncheck the MEDIADIRECT partition so it is not restored. However what can I do to make the restore process eliminate the MEDIADIRECT partition and instead allocate the extra 2GB to the windows partition? Perhaps this is not possilbe and I need a product like Partition Manager?

    Thanks for any insight!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello anettis,

    Try the following:

    1a. Use Windows' Disk Management application to "Delete" the 2GB MediaDirect partition.

    or

    1b. Restore your image, ensuring you check the tickbox next to the Disk number (usually Disk 1) and uncheck the tickboxes next to the MediaDirect partition and the MBR and Track 0 info.

    Either way, you should now find that you have 2GB of unallocated space.

    2. Use TI's Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard to create a 2GB Secure Zone (SZ) in the unallocated space. DO NOT accept the default option to also activate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager.

    3. After the SZ has been created, use the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard again to "Remove" the SZ and select your C: partition as the place to return the space previously used by the SZ. This will increase the size of your C: partition by 2GB.

    You are now free create a new Full image that no longer contains the MediaDirect partition. If you wish, you can retain your original image in the event you ever want the MediaDirect funtionality again.

    Regards

    Menorcaman

    EDIT: Provided an alternative/simplified method (Step 1a) for removing the 2GB MediaDirect partition prior to recovering the unalloacted space.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  3. anettis

    anettis Registered Member

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    Thanks for the great tips Menorcaman!

    Tony
     
  4. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Tony,

    I just had a thought. Depending on the age/model of your Dell, it may utilise a "Host Protected Area" (I believe Dell has now stopped using this particular technique). If it does then it could be more complicated and you should arm yourself, just in case, by reading this previous thread (including the embeded links contained therein).

    Regards

    Menorcaman
     
  5. anettis

    anettis Registered Member

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    Menorcaman,

    I did notice some perculiarities when working with the MediaDirect partition. For example even if I uncheck it on a restore it either gets restored OR it perhaps simply remains from the prior image.

    I decided to be more agreesive and I deleted the partition via Windows Disk Management and then I booted into Acronis Privacy to overwrite and delete the partition. Figured it could not survive that. Then I followed your original plan and it seemed to work fine and the MediaDirect partition was gone and my C: partition had absorbed the space.

    However my QuickBooks problem that I originally attributed to MediaDirect seemed to return so I am going to bite the bullet and reinstalled everything from scratch WITHOUT that darn MediaDirect partition or software.

    Just to be safe I reverted back to an earlier configuraiton and am letting the Windows installation process reparition and reformat the drive so I only have C: and the standard DELL diagnostics. I figured having Windows do it is probably my safest bet. Hopefull this works OK.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.

    Tony
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Menorcaman,

    That's true. MediaDirect 3 is not in a HPA.
     
  7. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for the confirmation Brian. :thumb:

    Regards

    Menorcaman
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again Tony,

    Not if you're using Windows Vista to repartition/format the drive!! The current build of TI 10 has a problem restoring images of a Vista partitioned hard disk.

    If you are using Vista then suggest you use either a Windows XP installation disk or third-party software to partition/format your drive. See this previous thread for the gory details.

    Regards

    Menorcaman
     
  9. anettis

    anettis Registered Member

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    Yikes. I actually opted for XP Pro on my new notebook. Althought I ALMOST went with Vista. Glad I stuck with XP for now. . . .

    Thanks to everyone who threw out ideas and comments. Although I eventually decided to go with the fresh reformat I did learn a new trick on how to make Acronis TI resize a partition, difference in the implementation of MediaDirect 2 vs 3, and a bit about how an HPA tricks the O/S into thinking the hard drive has a reduced size.

    There is a great little blurb on Wikipedia that describes the ATA commands used to create an HPA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_Protected_Area
     
  10. aoz

    aoz Registered Member

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    To all,
    not sure if answered anywhere, but wit VISTA, this is going to be an issue.

    1. if I back up my c: drive (similar to this DELL issue), and delete initial partitino, and RESTORE c: to different spot on drive, vista won't boot, need some sort of BCDedit.exe file, or recovery disk, and I doubt that many of OEM systems have the recovery/vista disk. SO, not directly a TrueImage issue, BUT it Is, for us who use it, to be able to restore the BCDedit area, so tha t the system boots.

    2. (this scenario I've not tried yet)
    back up disk, with TI; disk blows up later (for whatever reason), restore the c: partition to NEW drive; WILL it boot in vista, or is there again a BCDedit issue?

    any feedback on this is appreciated, adn possibly a sticky note for a thread that would address a concise method for dealing with this issue.

    Thanks
    Nick
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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  12. aoz

    aoz Registered Member

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    mudcrab,
    thanks for reply.
    BEFORE you answered me, I continued searching, and did indeed find that thread, read the whole thing.
    I then went back and edited (thought I edited) my post, to edit the concern, to be

    1. with VISTA backups,a dn notebook/ tablet pc's, we usualy don't get a recovery/vista disk, and we need an easy way to utilize the bcdedit.exe method (in short, just how to create the correctl parameters to allow a restored partition to work)

    and 2.
    unfortunately, with my tablet, I can't do much testing; with XP, and TI9, 8, 7, I was able to test stuff like you're doing; I had removable drive drawers, etc, in my test machine, but I don't have a test machine for vista yet; that prior machine is too old, slow.....

    anyway, you've done excellent work in testing this. Keep up the good worik, and hopefully this will lead TI to fix the restore issues (I realize they're microsoft-created issues, but hopefully TI can work around them)

    thanks
    NIck
     
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I going to try this. I've never used the bcdedit program myself so it will be a learning experience. I'll post if I get a "simple" procedure for the fix that doesn't require using more than a BartPE or XP boot cd (or perhaps even an XP boot floppy).

    Thanks.

    This is the most irritating part. Acronis has posted that they have already fixed this problem, but (as usual) they don't have an date on when the next build (that contains it) will be released.
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Okay, I restored a Vista partition and got the boot error. I then booted with my BartPE CD. The Vista partition was the C: drive. This is the default.

    In the CODE below, <ENTER> means to press the ENTER key.

    I opened a Command Prompt and went to Vista's System32 directory:
    Code:
    C: <ENTER>
    cd \windows\system32 <ENTER>
    Then I ran the following commands to repair the BCD file:
    Code:
    bcdedit /set {default} device partition=C: <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=C: <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=C: <ENTER>
    I shutdown BartPE, removed the CD and rebooted into Vista.

    This was a "clean" install of Vista. I assume the same procedure could be performed by booting to an XP floppy disk, but I haven't tried it.

    I'll probably run some more tests later, but not tonight.
     
  15. aoz

    aoz Registered Member

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    mudcrab,
    is the {default} typed exactly that way; type that full line, up to enter?

    I will assume so, but if you can confirm.

    Also, this weekend, I may try to do this; I do have a bart PE, and will boot with it, to see if I can see the c: drive in vista. If so, adn I can navigate to this, I will try it

    tanks
    Nick
     
  16. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Nick,

    Yes, it's typed exactly as shown with "default" and "bootmgr" in braces. I will try and get some screenshots posted later.

    When booted to BartPE and running bcdedit it will show the "default" entry. This is the {default}. If you check a running system, then it shows {current}.

    To see the default entry:
    Code:
    bcdedit <ENTER>
    On a broken system, the "device" and "osdevice" entries will show unknown instead of the partition.

    To see the verbose default entry:
    Code:
    bcdedit /v <ENTER>
    If you have another OS, then the default may not be Vista (you have it set to boot XP {legacy} as the default, for example). In that case, you'd have to find the correct entry for Vista, change the default or use the GUID values. I'm still learning this, so I'll post back if I find out anything else.

    Anyone with more experience using bcdedit, feel free to post any helpful hints. The ultimate goal (since Acronis is not releasing the "fix") is to be able to easily repair Vista by just using available tools (BartPE or XP boot floppy), since a lot of people do not have a Vista install DVD or the one they have does not offer the repair function since it's branded OEM. If the computer is down, then the user may not be able to download and try third-party BCD file editors/fixers.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I've done a little more testing and have more information on the bcdedit fix process when booted to a BartPE CD:

    1. Before attempting the fix, the Vista booting partition (the one with the \boot folder) needs to be Active. Otherwise bcdedit can't find the files. If you attempt to run bcdedit when the Vista boot partition is not Active, then you'll get the following message:
    Code:
    The boot configuration data store could not be opened.
    The system cannot find the file specified.
    In this case, you'll need to do another restore with TI and make sure to restore the partition as Active or use DD (or another partitioning program) to set the Vista boot partition as Active.

    2. The drive letter assigned by BartPE can be different from the Vista drive letter. For example: Vista boots and runs as C:, but BartPE shows the Vista partition as drive E:. It this case, running bcdedit will display partition=E: and not partition=C:. Which means that when doing the repair using BartPE, bcdedit needs the BartPE assigned drive letter and not the drive letter Vista uses for itself when it's running.

    -----

    Examples of bcdedit output:

    The output shown below was created by bcdedit run without any parameters (in this case the Vista partition is the C: drive):
    Code:
    C: <ENTER>
    cd \windows\system32 <ENTER>
    
    bcdedit <ENTER>
    This is the output of the bcdedit program when run on a partition restored using TI. In this case the "link" was broken and Vista needs repaired. Notice the "unknown" values for the red entries.
    Code:
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    [COLOR="Red"][B]device                  unknown[/B][/COLOR]
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    default                 {default}
    displayorder            {default}
    toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
    timeout                 30
    
    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier              {default}
    [COLOR="red"][B]device                  unknown[/B][/COLOR]
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    [COLOR="red"][B]osdevice                unknown[/B][/COLOR]
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {d5f6f061-52c6-11dc-8f68-ff6d008c462c}
    nx                      OptIn
    In this case, the Vista boot partition was assigned the C: drive letter by BartPE. After running the repair commands below:
    Code:
    C: <ENTER>
    cd \windows\system32 <ENTER>
    
    bcdedit /set {default} device partition=[COLOR="blue"][B]C:[/B][/COLOR] <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=[COLOR="blue"][B]C:[/B][/COLOR] <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=[COLOR="blue"][B]C:[/B][/COLOR] <ENTER>
    The output of bcdedit shows the links have been restored. Notice the changes in red.
    Code:
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    [COLOR="red"][B]device                  partition=C:[/B][/COLOR]
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    default                 {default}
    displayorder            {default}
    toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
    timeout                 30
    
    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier              {default}
    [COLOR="red"][B]device                  partition=C:[/B][/COLOR]
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    [COLOR="red"][B]osdevice                partition=C:[/B][/COLOR]
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {d5f6f061-52c6-11dc-8f68-ff6d008c462c}
    nx                      OptIn
    Here is an example of BartPE assigning the E: drive letter to the Vista boot partition. (Note that in this example, when this Vista partition is booted the Vista drive is C: in Vista and not E:.)
    Code:
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    [COLOR="red"][B]device                  partition=E:[/B][/COLOR]
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    default                 {default}
    displayorder            {default}
    toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
    timeout                 30
    
    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier              {default}
    [COLOR="Red"][B]device                  partition=E:[/B][/COLOR]
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    [COLOR="red"][B]osdevice                partition=E:[/B][/COLOR]
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {d5f6f061-52c6-11dc-8f68-ff6d008c462c}
    nx                      OptIn
     
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