Imaging Discs compared to imaging Partitions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by AndyL, Nov 22, 2005.

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  1. AndyL

    AndyL Guest

    Just to get something straight in my mind...
    Let's take an example. I have a disc with two partitions, C and D. C contains my OS, D just data. If I just image the C partition, then Acronis will not image the MBR? So if I try to restore this image onto a new disc, thinking that it will boot, it won't. I have to do ALL the partitions to be able to create a bootable new disc. I guess this is true of a clone disc, too?

    Cheers Andy
     
  2. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    You are correct. If you clone, you automatically clone the whole drive so the issue of the mbr is moot.

    Partition imaging is best for saving, moving data etc.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello AndyL,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that only the image of the entire hard drive contains MBR.

    In case you will create an image of the system partition only, it will not include your hard drive's MBR.

    As for the disk cloning operation, please note that the Clone Disk wizard creates the exact copy of the source disk, including MBR. Thus the cloned hard drive should be bootable as well.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  4. AndyL

    AndyL Guest

    Hmm, as I thought.

    Is there any way to image, say, the System partition only, but be able to make the disc bootable?

    Andy
     
  5. jaygo

    jaygo Registered Member

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    Alexey and all others,

    Again Alexey I think you are saving my bacon so to speak with your response to Andy L (thanks AndyL for starting this thread). The last time, Alexey, was in connection with your helping me concerning a GoBack issue; you made me realize that all my previous TI images have been defective.

    Now, I believe, based on this posts so far in this thread, that even the TI 8 image I just made with GoBack disabled is still defective for my purposes (i.e., when restored to a fresh disk, the fresh disk will not be bootable). However, to be 100% super sure I understand, I would like to confirm my understanding of how TI 8 works, as follows:

    Please assume, for example, my hard drive has four (4) partitions:

    C:\contains the OS (Windows XP Home)
    E:\contains programs
    F:\contains critical data
    G:\contains voluminous non-critical data (and the large gobackio.bin file that still exists on my G drive even though I've disabled GoBack) which I don't care if I lose and don't need to be restored in the event of a catastrophic hard drive failure.

    The last TI 8 image which I just created early this morning after disabling GoBack, created an image of partitions C, E & F, only, NOT G (I don't check the box for partition G in the image configuration procedure because this partition G is so large it unduly prolongs the time it takes to create the image, and besides I don't care about drive G's contents being lost).

    Please assume further, for the sake of this post, that I use TI 8 solely to create images for the purposes of restoring them to a fresh hard drive in the event of hard drive crash and that the resulting fresh hard drive must be bootable, just like the crashed hard drive was bootable. I don't care if the fresh hard drive, after the image is restored, does not partition G as described above.

    Is this a correct statement: If I want to create a TI 8 image of my existing hard drive so that in the event I restore that image to a fresh blank new hard drive, the new hard drive will be bootable, then I MUST check the box for partition "G" as well as the other three (3) partitions?

    If I check the boxes for ALL four (4) partitions (C,E,F,G) when configuring a TI 8 image making routine, is the resulting TIB image file when and if restored on a blank fresh hard drive, going to make that fresh hard drive identical to what would be put on the same fresh hard drive by TI 8 if I instead invoked the Clone Disk Wizard under TI 8 on my existing hard drive and cloned to the fresh drive (i.e., a 2nd hard drive in my PC)?

    TIA Alexey and all other members for sharing your thoughts on the above post, with me. Nella
     
  6. AndyL

    AndyL Guest

    Uncanny! The situation jaygo finds himself in is exactly the same as the company I work for - even down to the partition drive letters and the data on them. We have been doing exactly the same - G: contains data we don't mind losing, but C:,E: and F: are critical, so we have been omitting G: when imaging, in the assumption that if the disc fails, restoring our image on a brand new disc will still result in a bootable disc.
    The discs are actually in an industrial control system, and we have used imaging for ages, as it's the fastest way to get back running again after a disc failure. Our G: partition contains data logging data files, which we can live without. We just need to be up and running again as fast as possible. I suppose one solution would be to put our G: partition on a separate disc, but that's a pain, as we will have to re-engineeer what is a standard product. And what do we do with the systems already out on site?
    Looking forward to an answer...

    Andy
     
  7. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Nella & Andy,

    Yes, you must select the whole of the source disk by ticking the checkbox next to the disk number (Screenshot 1). This will ensure that the MBR is included in the image. The same goes when you come to restore to a new replacement drive; tick the checkbox next to the disk number in the Restore Image Wizard (or Restore Data Wizard as TI 9 now calls it). See Screenshot 2.

    Regards
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  8. jaygo

    jaygo Registered Member

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    Menorcaman,

    Thanks for confirming, especially with the screenshots. I can't believe how long I've been imaging the wrong way; luckily, I never had to perform a restore. Forums are great! Jaygo
     
  9. sypp

    sypp Guest

    rather than start a new thread...

    I just got TI 8, and have been debating how to setup my system. My main interests are to never lose the family photos (the downside of digital cameras) and to have an alternative to reformatting when windows goes kaput.

    I was debating the following setup:
    Drive 1: (70GB)
    partition C: (OS)
    partition D: (programs)
    Drive 2: (160GB)
    partition W: (photo album)
    partition X: (music collection)
    partition Y: (data/backups)
    partition Z: (super-sercret-arconis-hidden partition for images)

    I realize that having images and photos on the same drive does not protect against HD failure, so I was planning on that partition to CD aswell.

    After reading this thread I realize I have to image my entire drive 1, but I'm confused about imaging parts or all of drive 2. Since it's not being used as a boot drive I can image and restore the partitions individually... correct?

    If I do attempt to image the entire drive 2, how does TI handle partition Z? (where it's going to write the image to) It must work somehow since you could put that partition on drive 1.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Re: rather than start a new thread...

    Hello sypp,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that if you have not modified Acronis Secure Zone after you created the backup, it will be kept unchanged with all the image archives contained in it when you restore the backup. Otherwise, you will get an empty Acronis Secure Zone of the same size it had on the moment of creating the backup.

    Please also note that the backup of the entire hard disk with the exception of Acronis Secure Zone (which means that you have checked the boxes near every partition except of ASZ) contains MBR anyway.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Re: rather than start a new thread...

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    In regards to your questions on how make the new drive bootable in case you have restored an image of the individual system partition instead of the image of the entire hard drive, I should say that you can always fix your hard drive's MBR. It will most likely make your new hard drive bootable.

    However, we can not completely guarantee this, since sometimes such changes in the partition configuration (i.e. some of the partitions are missing) prevent Windows from proper functioning. For example, you might get into the known problem when Windows boots just fine, but will never let you log in. Please be aware that these problems are not related to Acronis software, but to some Windows peculiarities.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  12. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    Alexey

    In regards to your questions on how make the new drive bootable in case you have restored an image of the individual system partition instead of the image of the entire hard drive, I should say that you can always fix your hard drive's MBR




    Do you have any recommendations on copy and restoring the MBR for for use with partial images. ?
     
  13. AndyL

    AndyL Guest

    Well, I think that it would be most useful to be able to do a partial image and be able to backup/restore the MBR too. I'm sure we used to be able to do this with Drive Image (before it turned into Ghost).
    How about an option to be able to do this?
     
  14. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello starfish_001 and AndyL,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    I'm afraid that I do not have any special recommendations on this matter, except for the above mentioned MBR fixing procedure.

    Please be aware that we have already received similar requests from other Acronis customers and they have already been forwarded to our Development Team. The ability to backup MBR individually will be implemented in the future builds\versions of a particular product, but exact time frame is not decided yet.

    Please also note that if you want us to change the behaviour of Acronis True Image in any way or add some new features to this product, please feel free to post any of your suggestions in Acronis True Image WISH-LIST thread.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  16. Doug_B

    Doug_B Registered Member

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    I have not played around with Win2K/WinXP from a partition restoration perspective and do not use TI (yet), but with multiple Win98SE installations, I have used Partition Magic to successfully select/change the primary partition that should be active / bootable. I assume other partition manipulation software, including Acronis' tools, would provide such capabilities. I consider partition manipulation software an essential tool, but as with backup software, one needs to fully test it (hopefully in penalty-free environment) to ensure that it works so you can trust it.

    Doug
     
  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Doug,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Yes, you are correct regarding the special disk management software, since it usually allows one to change the partition type.

    However, please also be aware that Acronis True Image 9.0 allows you to change\set the partition type during the image resotoration process as well.

    You can find more information on how to perform this action in section 5.3.6 of Acronis True Image 9.0 User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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