how to restore a triple boot operating system

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by archp2008, Apr 1, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. archp2008

    archp2008 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    16
    Hello All,

    GroverH gave me a lot of help this past few days in backing up my triple boot system (XP/Vista/Ubuntu) to a second interntal drive. Being that multibooting is out of his field of interest, hs suggested that I seek additional help wirh respect to restoring multiple operating systems (or choosing individaul partitions) using Acronis True Image Home 11.0 Using Acronis Disk Director I can see all the partitions on my main drive (C) including the Linux partitions so I assume there wouldn't be murch of a problem in restoring them other than possibly reinstalling Grub. I don't have a test drive for this purpose, so I would prefer to start with individual files/folders or single partition restores. Any suggestions unique to Windows/Linux setups would be much apprectiated.
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    archp2008:

    If you have the kind of multiboot setup where XP can see the Vista partition and Vista can see the XP partition then you need to be careful when restoring. A full-disk restore will usually sort things out correctly with the exception of the Linux GRUB bootloader (if GRUB is installed to the Linux partition).

    Doing single-partition restores requires a little more care. In general, if you do this you should only restore one partition at a time. For example, if you want to restore your Vista partition then boot to the TI recovery CD and restore just the Vista partition. Then reboot into Vista first to be sure that Windows will reassign the correct drive letter to the Vista partition. Next reboot into XP and make sure that XP still has the correct drive letter assignment.

    The general idea is to only require Windows to make one change at a time. If you restore both Vista and XP partitions at the same time then Windows will have to make multiple drive letter assignments on first boot, and they may not turn out to be the same as you had previously.

    You can freely restore your Linux partition any time you want; Windows won't even see the partition so it won't care. The only issue with Linux restores is the location of the GRUB bootloader. If GRUB is installed to the Master Boot Record (MBR) then there is no issue whatsoever. But if GRUB is installed to your Linux root (or boot) partition then there is an oddity in TI that will pop up and surprise you. After restoring the partition, Linux will no longer boot. This is because when TI restores a Linux partition it will zero the second sector of the partition. This sector contained some of GRUB's boot code, so the partition will become unbootable. But if you have a Live Linux CD then you can reinstall GRUB after you restore the Linux partition and everything will be fine.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    Are you using GRUB as the boot manager or only in the Ubuntu partition?

    Are XP and Vista hidden from each other or can they access the other's partition when booted?

    You should be able to restore your partitions one at a time without having major problems. If it's a Windows OS partition, make sure to boot into the OS you restored and also into any other installed Windows before restoring another partition.

    Depending on how GRUB is used with Ubuntu, you may need to reinstall GRUB after a restore of that partition. I have tested with GRUB installed to the boot sector of the Ubuntu partition and using TI's sector-by-sector mode to restore would restore the partition without needing to reinstall GRUB. Note that you don't have to have a backup image created in sector-by-sector mode to do this. Another way around this problem is to use a separate small partition for the /boot mount of Ubuntu. This way, when you restore your / (root) partition, the /boot partition doesn't change and no GRUB repair will be needed.

    Also, you should be able to create an Entire Disk Image backup (check the Disk # checkbox) and then later restore the Entire Disk Image to the drive and have your systems boot okay. There have been some exceptions to this however, but it generally works well.

    I would not recommend using TI's regular Restore procedure to restore single files/folders as a test. Many times people end up with files or folders that require extreme measures to delete. (This seems to be most problematic on NTFS partitions.) Instead, mount or expore the image and pull out the files you want.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
  4. archp2008

    archp2008 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    16
    Thank you very much Kolo and Mudcrab. I really appreciate having your knowledgeable support. Grub is currently my master boot loader which brings in the choice of Ubuntu or Windows. If I choose Windows, I get to choose between XP or Vista. That's all I know. I understand that the boot.ini produces the latter choice. I have already had to use supergrub to reinstall grub after being forced to reinstall Vista. That didn't present much difficulty. I didn't have any sort of backup to restore at that time so I just reinstalled from the dvd. I have made only whole disk backup images so far. Actually I lost the first two backups that I had made a few days back when I attempted to use Power Quest PartitionMagic 8, which hung for an hour in the middle of an attempted resize of the partition. Why I didn't copy the backups before attempting the resize I don't know - overconfidence in the software I guess. I now have a single backup and plan to make a second soon. Thanks for the information about mounting the image. If anything I have added introduces special concerns, please advise. Thanks again.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.