Image on CDs won't "Check out"

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pwolodzko, Apr 29, 2005.

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  1. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    I have come across a frustrating and disconcerting problem. I downloaded and installed the latest build (826) on my Dell computer. I created an image of my hard drive and saved it to the same hard drive but had Acronis write it into 650MB volume files. After I created the image I ran the "Check Image" option and the image checked out just fine.

    Then I copied the image files to another computer on my network. This computer is a Gateway. I booted the Gateway with an Acronis Boot CD. I ran the "Check Image" utility on the image files located on the Gateway's hard drive. The image checked out just fine.

    I went back to my Dell, which still contained the image files on the hard drive, and burned the image files to 10 Memorex CD-R's (800MB, 52x type) at 12x write speed with verification. They all burned just fine. Here comes the problem.

    I used Acronis to run a "Check Image" on the CD's (on the Dell) and the 7th CD gave me an error msg: "Error opening the file. A possible reason may be poor media quality." OK, I thought that could be possible. So I booted the Gateway with Acronis and ran the same process. Almost the same results, but instead, the 8th CD caused the error msg. Now I was suspicious. I booted a newer Dell laptop I have with Acronis and ran the same process again. I received the same error on the 8th CD and all the rest (7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1). Well, I ruled out the CD drives but I thought the CD's may be marginal.

    So I copied all the CD's to the Dell laptop's hard drive. Then I booted with Acronis and did a "Check Image" on the image files I copied to the hard drive. And guess what . . . THE IMAGE CHECKED OUT OK!

    Why is Acronis telling me my CD images are bad? Also, if I restore my computer from CD, will it not work because Acronis thinks the CD's are bad??

    As you can tell from the novel I just wrote, I spent a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of this. I would appreciate a solid and technically accurate explanation! Thanks, Pete. :)
     
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Pete,

    CD/DVD recording and playback is inherently somewhat unreliable and not all drives are born equal, particularly at the outer edges (max capacity) of a disk. This is made worse by the high speeds achieved by modern recorders.

    I would say the current recordings are marginal at best and recommend you try burning another set but this time use a much slower write speed.

    As to why TI failed to verify the image off the CD but copying back to your HD went o.k.? Well, I'm guessing a bit here but it could be that the process of copying carries out a number of retries when encountering CRC errors but TI's verify process doesn't (or maybe not as many).

    Regards
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2005
  3. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    Menorcaman,

    Thanks, I appreciate your input. I would tend to agree with your assessment of the problem. However, I would really like to get an "official" opinion from Acronis Technical support. Any idea on how I could receive that?

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  4. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    I suspect Ilya Toytman from Acronis Support will reply to this thread in time, he is a busy man, but gets to most threads in due course...

    Cheers :D
     
  5. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Pete - could it be that the Acronis Rescue CD is defaulting to some high-speed DMA-mode (3-4), while Windows (due to previous read errors) have throttled down to DMA-mode 2, 1 or (God forbid) PIO-mode? What do your Device Manager say about transfer modes for the CD?
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Pete,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Could you please describe how exactly you verified the image? Did you inserted the disk with the last part of the image first?

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  7. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    Ilya,

    Thanks for responding. Yes, I inserted the last disk of the image (#10) first. In all cases (on all three computers I tried this on), I booted with the Acronis boot CD first. Then I inserted the last CD - #10. CD's 10 and 9 usually check out fine. I don't get errors until CD's 8 or 7 depending which computer I run the "test". It is somewhat inconsistent. However, what is consistent is that every CD fails after the first one fails. So if #7 fails the Image Check, so do 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.

    Pete
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Pete,

    I'm under the impression that, after inserting the last CD Volume first, TI should then prompt you to insert the first CD Volume followed by the second, third etc. Or doesn't it matter that you appear to be doing it in reverse?

    Regards
     
  9. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    Actually, it asks for each CD in reverse order. After #10, it specifically asks for #9. Then #8, #7 and so on. I'm just following the prompts on the screen. Should I be doing something different?? o_O
     
  10. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    If that's what TI asks for then that's o.k. I guess. It's been such a long time since I've imaged to a multiple CD/DVD set that my 61 year old brain has become confused :p.

    Regards
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Pete,

    If your CD #8 is recognized as corrupted how did you find out that CDs #1 to #7? Did you launch "Check Image" tool every time for each CD?

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  12. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    Ilya,

    No, I did not launch “Check Image” for each CD. I booted the PC with the Acronis boot disk and selected “Check Image”. I inserted the last CD (#10) and then every subsequent one until I got the following error message: “Error Opening the file. A possible reason may be poor media quality. Please press RETRY to continue with Volume 7 or press CANCEL to cancel the operation and stop backup.” So, I inserted disk #7 (volume 7) and clicked on RETRY to continue the “Check Image” operation. I got the same message for every subsequent CD except it did change the volume number each time the message popped up.

    I tried something else today. Instead of booting the computer with the Acronis boot disk, I used the Acronis program installed on the computer (Dell, WinXP). It’s installed on the computer that I made the disk image of. I ran the “Check Image” utility on the CD’s and they all check out fine. However, I did notice that the CD-ROM drive used varying speeds when it checked the disks – from fast to very very slow (by listening to it). From this simple observation, it appears that some of the disks had “marginal recordings”. It also seems that the boot disk version of Acronis is not very forgiving and doesn’t deal with these marginal recordings well. This brings me to my initial question: “Will the Acronis boot disk version be able to restore my disk image from these CD’s if my hard drive fails?” Or will it tell me that it can’t read the CD’s??

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  13. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    That's a great observation you just made. I don't know any way to absolutely confirm that a restore will work other than to do it, but that's a disaster if you don't have any other backup and it fails.

    If you can save the image to another drive, you could split it at 700MB and then write it to CDs at a slower speed. If this image tests out, then the writing speed under Windows is too high for reliable disks.
     
  14. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    Thanks John. And thanks for the suggestion.

    However, I'm still waiting to hear what the "official" Acronis reply is to this issue. I find it inconsistent that Acronis works differently depending on which version one uses - Boot Disk or Win install. It worries me that it won't work as advertised if I have to depend on the Boot Disk and CD backups.

    Ilya, any comments?

    Pete
     
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Pete,

    Actually, John is right and the only absolutely reliable way to check whether the restoration goes successfully is to restore the image. If you have spare drive you may try. According to the description of the verification process you performed, your actions are correct.

    The difference between Acronis True Image performance in stand-alne mode and under Windows is drivers that are used in both cases. Windows drivers allows your CD drive to work with image on CDs, Linux drivers are not this flexible and do not allow to manage read speed. Anyway, the image on CDs is fine and even if you cannot restore it from CDs you may always copy it to another computer that is connected to the one you want to restore and restore this image over network. Also you may try to burn an image once again with the write speed being less than maximum.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  16. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    This thread is an unfortunate example of Acronis' failure to address reports of build problems. Acronis compounds the problem because they do not test the product for the reported defect before they start asking users to begin troubleshooting.

    Acronis, are you listeningo_O??

    During a create image operation using CD-R's, build 826 presents INCORRECT and INAPPROPRIATE ERROR MESSAGES instead of the correct user prompts that prior builds presented to insert new media and continue the create image operation. I reported this defect in a separate thread on April 29th entitled Build 826 Bad CD Messages.

    At that time, I asked/suggested that Acronis test build 826 for the reported defective messages in their own lab. How hard is that to do?

    That's 10 days ago and Acronis is troubleshooting this thread like it's a surprise. All they had to do to see what a mess build 826 is was try it for themselves on their own computer!

    Earlier builds like 796 presented the correct CD messages so someone at Acronis broke that in their rush to release another patch to correct some other problem. Carelessness.

    Please, Acronis, you have a unique and valuable product here that becomes very hard to hate after it is used successfully. However, sloppiness in matters like the above is very disappointing and is becoming predictably repetitive with the release of each new build.

    How much additional resources would it take to actually run through the operations TI8 is capable of before release to determine if everything works as advertised?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2005
  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello iflyprivate,

    Am I not mistaken that you are speaking of image creation rather than of image verification? The issue you described is known and we are currently working on it. As for the problem discussed in this thread, it is quite different one and needs to be troubleshooted.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  18. pwolodzko

    pwolodzko Registered Member

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    THANK YOU iflyprivate!!

    I didn't want to seem pushy, but I do agree with your overall assessment regarding the product: Hard to but the support and troubleshooting is less than desirable. I'm somewhat new to the product but have experience with Ghost and have been in the "business" for over 20 years.

    It seems that Acronis Tech Support is also not very familiar with their product. I couldn't believe the questions they were asking me! A simple test in their lab (if they have one) would have shown them what I was talking about.

    I still think the issue I raise is a technical defect in the product. I think they should "upgrade" the CD-ROM drivers they use on the Boot Disk because they don't at all work like the ones under WinXP.

    I will continue using Acronis but will have a hard time recommending it to others.

    Thank you everyone for contributing to this thread!
    Pete
     
  19. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    I apologize if I have left an impression that I am bashing either the product or the support efforts of the Acronis team.

    I am frustrated and, unfortunately, as I re-read my post it shows.

    Overall, Acronis is the most responsive software company I have ever dealt with. They spend a lot of time and effort working in this forum.

    Their products are reasonably priced and provide the user with great value when compared with the competition.

    I am grateful for their efforts.

    Out of frustration, however, I recognize their shortcomings as I use their products. I see their pattern of rushing to fix one thig and breaking something else while they do it. That's a disappointing experience.

    I only hope that Acronis takes a little more time to 'get it right' before they release the next builds. Above all, I suggest that they actually test each function and verify every message or prompt that their product is capable of and do it on their own computers before they release it.
     
  20. PubLinkMan

    PubLinkMan Registered Member

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    Just saw this thread. Boy is it appropriate to what I just went through.

    I DID need to restore my whole C: drive from archive image -- about 13Gb. Archive was on 22 CD-R disks. I ran Image restore from the rescue CD, not from Windows. It began restoring, and EVERY SINGLE ONE of the CDs, from 1 through 22, gave the message
    "Error opening the file.
    A possible reason may be poor media quality."

    Each time it allowed me to insert the next CD or to abort the restore operation. I continued to read in each CD, sweating bullets all the while. I thought it was strange because each CD chugged away in the CD drive for about the time it should take to read all 700Mb, then popped up with the error message. So I continued.

    When done, I re-booted, and Windows came up fine! All apps I've tried so far work fine.

    Details:
    PC: Dell dimension 4400, 768Mb mem, one 40Gb drive.
    OS: Win XP pro, with SP2.
    Discs: 52X CD-Rs, writing speed unknown when I created them.
    TrueImage: Version 7.0, build 584.

    Acronis, please issue a more helpful, less scary error message when your restore operation reads through a full CD and writes it to the HD, but then sees some kind of error. "Error opening the file" is VERY unhelpful.
     
  21. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello PubLinkMan,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    The problem you described is known and our Develoment Team is currently working on it. We expect the issue to be fixed on future builds soon.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
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