Image Restore and MBR

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by gkelley, Oct 14, 2005.

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  1. gkelley

    gkelley Registered Member

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    Does a Drive Image Backup/Restore grab the MBR so that you can restore to a new HD without first specifically making it bootable?
     
  2. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    If I recall correctly, only if you image the whole disk - i.e. not just a partition.
     
  3. Allen L.

    Allen L. Registered Member

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    That *is* what Acronis always says with reservations...they say it *may* work sometimes with the active partition. In my opinion this is something that should be done at once with this program. If I back up my C (Active Partition), but can't be sure of a complete restore that includes my MBR, and to be *sure* I have to include a bunch of files on D & E & F, etc. Partitions (data, movies, etc.) that I really don't care if I back up or not, that makes what I consider poor program writing evident. Why, when PowerQuest's Drive Image did a backup of *just* the active partition several years ago and that included the MBR, can't Acronis give us that option? I can understand we would have to make the backup of the active partition with the recovery disk to be *out* of Windows so to get the MBR, but can that *really* be that much of an effort to write this into the program?

    ...Allen
     
  4. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    I agree. If there is a reason why the MBR can't be guaranteed to be saved with an active partition, at least if they explained it, it would help to accept the limitation.
     
  5. pepegot1

    pepegot1 Registered Member

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    This really sucks! With DI 7 you could specify MBR as an option. What happens if you install a new HD (C: drive) and try to restore from another HD (the system image) to the C: drive? Will it still be bootable?
     
  6. Allen L.

    Allen L. Registered Member

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    If you install a *new* unformatted and partitioned hard drive and restore an image you made of your active partition (C) to it, you may or may not get the MBR! Only way Acronis says it is for certain to retain the MBR is to do a complete disk backup image...in other words C,D,E...however many partitions you have on the one hard drive to be sure of retaining the MBR. This is what I think should be corrected as I image only my C drive more often that partitions.

    ...Allen
     
  7. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    My comments apply to TI8, not TI9:

    If you create an image of the entire drive by clicking the top checkbox you will be able to restore the image to a brand new hard drive. It will be bootable as long as the new drive is going into the same machine that the image was created on.
     
  8. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Member

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    I have 4 partitions on one of my hard drives with 4 different operating systems. When I do a restore of Windows XP, 2000, or Me, The partitions are bootable. I have Linux on 1 of the partitions and when I restore with TI, it's not bootable. It remains bootable if I do a Powerquest Drive Image restore. Why can't True Image do the same thing?

    Mark
     
  9. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    My recent experience contradicts this. I have 2 identical Western Digital 74GB Raptor drives and decided I wanted to restore an image I had made some time ago of a fresh Windows XP install but I decided to swap the identical drives to give the one that had always had Windows on it a rest (the second drive had only been used for storage). The image I wanted to restore was of the entire drive with my ticking the box against the drive and the partition (it only had 1 partition).

    I first used a Bart PE CD to wipe Windows from the first drive and then cut and pasted files to it from what was the storage drive (and would become the new main drive) and then swapped the drives and restored the image (which was on a 3rd drive) to the new main drive. After successfully restoring the image Windows refused to boot up.

    However on swapping the drives back to their old positions and restoring the image to the old drive Windows did boot. The problem was caused presumably by the fact that the MBR was not imaged and restored.

    I did eventually wind up swapping the drives and giving the first a rest but it took a Disk clone to do it even though both drives were exactly the same.
     
  10. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    I have been doing this since February, 2005 with TI8 builds 796, 826, 937 and BartPE CD with Acronis Plug-in without any failures.

    I have repeatedly restored verified images to brand new disks in the same Dell laptops the images were created from. The images have a C partition, a hidden diagnostics partition and a hidden pc restore partition. All hidden partitions function after the restore of the image to the new hard drive.

    It works for me.
     
  11. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Member

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    If the drive fails to boot and it's just the main OS, you can always do fdisk /MBR and be back in business, but on multiple, bootable partitions, it's more tricky.

    Mark
     
  12. Allen L.

    Allen L. Registered Member

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    Of course it works for you...you miss the point of not being able to just backup the active C partition on a hard drive that may contain partition D & E. What was mentioned in the above posts was not having the ability with TI to backup only the C partition and retain the MBR. Of course if you check the whole complete disk, you will always get the MBR, but you have to back the complete disk up whether you want the whole disk or not just for the MBR. What's needed is to be able to back up only the C (active) partition with the MBR and not include the other partitions. It was possible in Drive Image. It is not always possible with True Image. This is a flaw in program writing in my opinion as the active partition is backed up more frequently by some users.

    ...Allen
     
  13. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    I didn't miss any point. I replied to gkelley's post, not yours. You're confused.

    I do agree that TI should have the ability to create an image of only the C partition where other partitions exist and capture the MBR so the restored C partition results in a bootable drive without fixing the MBR after the restore.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2005
  14. wdb3

    wdb3 Registered Member

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    After I got my Dell Inspiron 600m, I resized (shrunk) the C: partition and created a D: partition for all my user files (pics, tunes,, etc.). The laptop also came with a "hidden" diagnostic partition.
    has been misplaced.

    I've been doing weekly TI8 images if my C: partition (not the entire hard drive) thinking that I was protected. Reading this thread sounds like my trust in TI8 was misplaced. What happens if I replace my hard drive? Can I not effectively restore my bootable C: partition from my most recent image?
     
  15. petieboy

    petieboy Registered Member

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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh great. I'm only finding this out NOW after a month of just backing up my C and D partitions, excluding E from the jobs. All this time I thought I could just restore C&D and assumed it would be bootable.

    Here's to hoping the MBR will be added to active partition images in a future build.

    CRUNK!
     
  16. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Petieboy,

    An important part of any backup system is to properly test it and not to assume anything. The method I use for each build of Acronis True Image is to always image the whole of my master drive. Then I simulate a total drive failure by removing it from the computer. I replace it with another drive and restore from the storage media that contains the image.

    This is a pretty good test and it is riskless as the original drive is sitting un- harmed ready to be reinstalled should the exercise go wrong. I have never had problem when doing this test. The computer always boots up from the replacement drive and one is back to normal. The only slight surprise, the first time I did it, was that Windows required a second re-boot as it had detected new hardware!

    It may seem a bit excessive to have a spare drive to hand but I think of like having a spare tyre for a car. As to always backing up the whole of HDD that is on of the joys of TI because I don't to think what to backup I just let it do the lot.

    I also always run the imaging process in Windows and have about 40 other processes running at the same time. So even though it takes a bit longer for a total image to complete I can carry on using the computer for other things. Restorations, which so far I have never have had to do for real, are always be done from the rescue CD.

    Hope this helps or at least gives you a nudge to reconsider your stratergy.

    Xpilot
     
  17. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    My experience that I recounted earlier showed that restoring an image to a different hard disk (even when it is identical to the original disk) doesn't always work even when the image was of an entire drive but I could have as someone pointed out repaired the main boot record to fix the problem. I could also have tried doing a quick basic install of Windows to create a MBR (the drive the image was restored to had never had an operating system installed on it and presumably had no MBR) and then restored the image and it would probably have worked. I mainly use Acronis to come to the rescue when the operating system becomes corrupted and unworkable rather than insurance against the rare occurrence of a disk failing and Acronis has always come through when I have restored the image to the same drive.
     
  18. Marmara

    Marmara Registered Member

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    ...and what about the "boot.ini" if one changes the physical location of the "active Partition"?

    For example:
    ...default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)...

    If I restore the former active Part (2) as 1st Part, do I have to change the ....default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)... from (2) to (1) ?

    Or is this be done by Acronis TI?

    :)
     
  19. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    The boot ini would be part of the image being restored and would not be changed by Acronis.
     
  20. rharris270

    rharris270 Guest

    As I recall, Acronis offers a free tool to fix the MBR to permit booting for the case where one only images the C: partition, not the whole drive. Contact Acronis support for more info, or search this forum. I can't recall where I saw the link.
     
  21. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    The link to the MBRautowrite file (there are two versions - floppy and a CD ISO) is contained in the Acronis Support sticky titled <Please Read Before You Post>.

    Regards
     
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