Is there any way to use TI without destroying disk alignment ?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by qwertz, Jun 10, 2009.

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  1. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I own True image 10 and am considering upgrading to TI 2009. However, so far I have found no answer on my (one should think, quite simple) question:

    "Can I use TI to backup/restore a system image without destroying the disk offset/alignment in the process?"


    Here's the usage case:

    I have a RAID 0 volume using SSDs with two partitions:

    1) System partition, offset to 1024 KB
    2) Program partition

    BACKGROUND: The 1024k offset is the default offset for Vista and Win7. Win 2000 and XP used an older, 31.5k offset that is known to cause misalignment (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929491).The correct offset is important as it ensures proper alignment with track boundaries in any RAID or SSD scenario. Without a correct offset/alignment, disk performance will degrade in any scenario that involves either striped RAID and/or any SSDs (RAIDed or not).

    With True Image 10, I was not able to restore my partition without detroying the offset/alignment, as True Image always reset the partition to the outdated 2000/XP-style, misaligned 63 sector (31.5 KB) offset.

    I have tried both the main program as well as the rescue medium. I also tried restoring after re-creating the partition manually and aligned correctly using diskpart. I have also tried some tricks I found on some SSD forums, all without success.

    Is there something I am missing here (likely), or did Acronis drop the ball here and is not properly usable in any SSD / striped RAID scenario (which I somehow can't belive is true) ?

    Thanks for your help !
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    With TI 10, have you tried doing an Entire Disk Image Backup and Restore (check the Disk # checkbox). On standard drives, this would keep Vista's offset. If you just restore a partition, TI will realign the partition.
     
  3. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Hi MudCrab,

    first of all, thanks for your answer.

    However, this workaround is not quite practical for me as I have more than 200GB of files on the whole SSD array on my main machine, and over a TB of files on my Raid5 on my second machine.

    Is there really no way to have TI use to leave the partition data intact ??

    I certainly do not want to backup/restore 200GB/1TB every time, just for 10 GB of operating system data.

    The main reason for me (and I assume many others) to use seperate partitions is the ability to easily backup/restore the OS and Data seperately and independently. Not being able to do so defies the purpose of an imaging software for me completely.

    To be frank, properly supporting multiple partitions is one of the most basic features that I would expect from an imaging software, especially from Acronis who have been on the forefront of this industry for quite some time.
     
  4. nuspieds

    nuspieds Registered Member

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    Qwertz,

    Have you tried ShadowProtect Desktop?

    I abandoned ATI Home 2009 for SPD when I ran into their ridiculous lack of support for restoring a RAID configuration.
     
  5. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Will try it out, thanks for the tip. Still can't believe that Acronis is failing at this basic level. Hello Acronis, please wake up, it's 2009, not 2000!

    That's not quite correct - it is deleting the properly aligned partition and then reinstates an obsolete 63 sector offset that some ancient Windows versions have used, and in the process destroys the alignment. RAID/SSD with a 63 sector (31.5KB) offset is unaligned.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I meant that it would realign to the XP standard, not to the Vista standard or any other manual alignment previously setup.

    ---

    I have not run extensive tests with TI 2009 on this matter. However, there have been several threads about it and, as far as I know, there isn't a solution at this time (except to use different software).

    The last build of TI 10 added Vista support. Both TI 11 and TI 2009 have Vista support. None of them keep Vista's offset on a simple partition restore. To me, this is not Vista support. It's a vital option left out. I can see how it might not have been added to TI 10, but leaving it out of TI 11 and then 2009 was a bad decision by Acronis.

    Will the next version support it? It depends on if Acronis is listening and cares enough about its customers to make the change. Since Acronis has stated that a new version of DD is coming out, I assume that it will support Vista's offset/alignment. If it does, then I would also assume the next version of TI would.
     
  7. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Ah,ok. Just to be perfectly clear: Even under XP (or 2000, or ...), a striped RAID or SSD with the default 63 sector offset is unaligned, and therefore the performance is degraded, as the MS KB link above describes. XP and 2000 just we not created to be used on SSDs or RAID arrays. Microsoft provided a workarond in 2003 with the above KB, and fully corrected this in 2006 with Vista, by using a standard 2048 sector offset. Anyone using XP or 2000 (or ...) on a RAID or SSD is affected in exactly the same way, this is not a Vista/2008/W7 issue!

    Agreed. It is quite staggering that Acronis has not changed this already. There is absolutely no reason for it. Others do it, and there is no technical difference in creating a 63, 2048 or 346235263 sector offset partition whatsoever.
     
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