How to wipe a disk prior to restoring with ATI Home 10

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Steerpike, Apr 20, 2007.

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  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

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    I've successfully used ATI Home 10 to migrate a 60 GB HD with multiple partitions to a brand-new 100 GB HD with only one partition - very fast and easy.

    Now I'm trying to take an image of a similar 60 GB HD, with two partitions, and want to burn that image back to the same HD but eliminating the second partition along the way. Thus - the original drive has a 'C:' drive, (55 GB partition) and a hidden partition that is about 5GB. I've taken an image of the entire disk, but want to restore only the active partition, and have it occupy the full 60 GB. When I try to restore, it will not let me restore to the full drive, only the same 55 GB partition. The 'Restored Partition Location' screen suggests I can restore to a 'target partition or unallocated space'. I see no option to 'wipe' the drive's existing structure, and can't select the whole disk as the target. If I select the 55 GB partition, I can resize the partition smaller, but not larger.

    I know I could format the drive outside of ATI before I start, and/or do various partition tasks within windows, but I would have thought ATI would allow me to do this within ATI. Essentially, I'm looking for a way to have ATI say, 'ignore the current content and structure of the target disk, treat it as blank'. I saw a post somewhere where a guy said to play some games with the 'secure zone' as a way to achieve something like this, but I would hope there is a more direct route.

    I see, in the online help, a whole section titled "Non-empty Hard Disk Drive". It says, 'if there are any partitions on teh new disk, they must be deleted first' - but I never get to any area of the program where that is an option.

    Thanks for any insight you can give me. I'm evaluating ATI as the future tool for our company, and so far I'm impressed, but this seemingly easy process is stumping me! Disk-to-Disk is not an option; I need to do everything via images on a network share or USB drive.

    (edit - I took a full disk image, rather than an active partition only image, because I want to have the backup of that hidden partition, even though I don't want to burn it back to the hard drive)
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I don't think you need to wipe the disk first. If you have an image of the entire drive and you only want to restore the MBR and the 55GB partition, you should be able to do this okay. When doing the restore, just select the 55GB partition (don't check "disk 1") and proceed through the wizard. It should let you select the drive and resize as you want. Then it will ask if you want to restore any more partitions, select Yes and then check the MBR, continue through the wizard, selecting the drive, etc. Then when asked if you want to restore another partition, select No and then proceed.

    I may be misunderstanding what you're doing. Maybe you've already tried this. I usually use Disk Director to wipe my hard drives when necessary.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

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    Done (I have the machine next to me now, stepping through this). Check mark only in the desired partition.

    On the next screen after selecting the particular partition, There is only one possible selection - 'IBM_PRELOAD (C:) Pri,Act 51.82 GB ... I select it and click 'next'. On the next screen, 'Please select the restored partition type' - choices are active (default selection) and 'Logical' (Primary is grayed out). I accept the default of 'Active'. On the next screen, 'Restored Partition Size', I can see there is space occupied by the 'other' partition, but I have no means to modify it or remove it. The 'Maximum Partition Size' is 51.82 GB, which is the size left after the hidden partition. I can reduce it but not increase it. The hidden partition area is not selectable for resizing. So I accept the maximum and click 'next'.

    Done that. After selecting MBR, I'm shown one and only disk (on the 'Disk Selection' screen; it's my 55.89 GB drive, which I've been casually calling a 60 GB drive), and in the area below I see a graphic representation of the disk with 51.82 GB for C:, 4.06 GB for the hidden partition, and a small amount uf unallocated space. Note, the hidden partition that I don't want is shown in the graphic - presumably because the MBR still has knowledge of it.

    Done that. The next screen asks me if I want to use any additional settings, the only setting being, 'validate backup...', which I don't select. Then I get the final '... is ready to proceed' screen. It shows 3 operations:
    1) Deleting Partition (Drive letter C:, size 51.82 GB)
    2) Restoring Partition (Drive letter C:, size 51.82 GB)
    3) Restoring MBR (Hard disk 1)

    I click 'proceed' and ... the restore starts. Never did I get a chance to expand the partition to fill the new drive.
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    From what I've seen, you will need something like Disk Director or Partition Magic to merge that 5 gig partition with the rest of the drive. Other than that you will have to use FDisk, but I know you said you didn't want to go that route.
    Oh, wait ... try the "Add New Disk" feature from the bootable TI CD.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

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    'Add New Disk' - tried that - it says something like, this feature is only designed for systems with multiple disks.

    The specific partition I'm trying to remove is a special pertition created by IBM/Lenovo in which they distribute the original windows installation media, and implement their own 'secure zone' (I have not configured or used this 'secure zone'). It could be that they go out of their way to protect it. I'll look for ways to do it outside of Acronis.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

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    Weirder and weirder ...

    I went into the thinkpad bios and chose to unprotect and unhide the special partition - got warnings that it will now be visible to windows and re-allocatable. I then re-launched ATI, and tried the above steps again - still no option to change sizes. HOWEVER - on a lark, I tried this process and was given the option to reformat the disk:

    1) Boot restore CD, point to my backup image on network. Choose 'restore disks or partitions' (as before)
    2) On the 'Partition or Disk to Restore' screen, choose 'Disk 1' (instead of individual partitions) (different from before)
    3) On the 'Restored Hard Disk Drive Location' screen, choose the one and only disk (as before)
    4) Now, I get the 'Non-empty Destination Hard Disk Drive' screen, which gives me the option (actually, requires me to, if I am to continue) 'Yes, I want to delete all the partitions on the destination drive ... '. I must choose yes to enable the 'next' button.
    5) If I choose yes, then I can go ahead and do the restore.

    However, if I go back, or restart the process, and try to restore only a partition, I don't get that screen that tells me I have a 'non-empty destination Hard Drive' - it forces me to choose an existing partition to restore to, and allows me to shrink but not grow it.

    I'm doing a full disk restore, just for the heck of it, and will re-run the process again afterwards.
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you're running XP and the drive boots, can't you use Disk Management to delete the small partition? Then it wouldn't be there and you should be able to expand the large partition to fill the space.

    If you comfortable with Knoppix you could boot a live cd and use gparted to remove all the partitions from the drive.

    Another option would be to boot from an XP cd or Vista dvd and go far enough into the install process to be able to create/delete/format partitions. Delete all the partitions and then reboot the computer.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

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    Even after supposedly making the partition visible and available in the bios, I could still not do anything to it in diskmgmt.msc. The only option on a 'right click' was 'help' (not even 'properties'). I finally converted the drive from basic to dynamic, and after doing that, the partition now shows as '4.07 GB unallocated', and a right click offers 'new volume' and 'properties' as well as 'help' (before converting, it still showed, but a right-click offered nothing but 'help'). Rather than create a new volume, though, I decided to see how ATI now saw the disk...

    So back into ATI standalone boot ... oops! "ATI Home has detected unsupported hard disk drives. ATI Home does not support Windows Dynamic Disks, ...' :) So - back to the drawing board. Let's see if I can reset it to a 'basic disk' .... nope - not an option! Guess I'll restore the whole drive back to factory, and start over. Good thing this is a throwaway laptop! (I'm evaluating ATI as a future tool, so I'm trying to minimize the number of additional components needed, and I'm in no rush to solve this). Damn IBM/Lenovo don't give you a clean windows XP to install, you are forced to restore to their bloated image which has this confounded hidden 5GB partition!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Registered Member

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    OK - much progress!

    I booted an XP CD and deleted all partitions, then ran ATI boot disk; I could then restore just the active partition from my backup (~51GB) to fill the entire drive (~55GB).

    For grins, I then did a factory restore, using CDs I'd created from the IBM rescue program (generates re-installation CDs so you don't have to rely on that hidden 5 Gig partition).

    Right after the restore completed, but before final 'customizations' were completed by the IBM scripts, I ran diskmgmt.msc, and when I right-clicked on the hidden partition, I saw the option to delete the hidden partition, but did not (since the scripts were still running). On final completion of the IBM configuration scripts, I'm again prevented from deleting the patition; the only option shown on a right-click is 'help'.

    So I booted up my spare Win XP cd again, and deleted just the hidden partition, and rebooted into windows. Now, I have the option to create a new partition in the empty space (which I don't want to do; just wanted to verify that I got rid of it and now have full control over it!).

    Back into ATI standalone, I now re-run the whole process from above, restoring just the active partition from my backup.
    1) on the 'partition or disk to restore' screen, I choose IBM_Preload (C:), which is Pri, Act, 51.82 GB (other choices are "MBR and Track 0", and 'IBM_Service", which is Pri - the infamous 5 GB partition.
    2) on the 'restored partition location' screen, There are two entries, IBM_Preload (C:), Pri,Act, 51.82 GB, and 'Unallocated' 4.066 GB, which is grayed out as it's too small. I choose the first and only option, and click next.
    3) on the 'Restored Partition Type' screen, I accept the default of 'Active'.
    4) on the Restored Partition Size' screen, I am now able to increase the partition size to the full 55.89 GB!!! - at last!
    5) on the 'Next Selection' screen, I chose 'no' (that is, no MBR restore) - see discussion below.

    And that was it - works like a charm, no more hidden partition, C: drive takes up the whole drive!

    So the trick for me was to boot my win XP disk and delete the hidden partition. I'm sure I could have booted to anything that had the 'FDISK' utility, but it seems all my remaining working boot media no longer have FDISK on it!

    Regarding the MBR. This is an area I'm unclear on, but I chose not to restore the MBR because I figured the MBR is the 'map' to the whole disk, and since I have deleted partitions, and am restoring the one desired partition to a different size, there is no point restoring the MBR. I'm assuming you would only want to restore the MBR if you were restoring the entire disk, or, if you suspected MBR corruption and wanted to restore 'only' the MBR
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
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