Is TI Shrinking Hard Drives?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bobdat, Jul 28, 2006.

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  1. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    There may be a 'shrinking hard drive' problem with TrueImage.

    I have a 40GB Hitachi drive in my laptop. When I first installed it, Windows reported it's Total Size as 37.2GB under My Computer. This agreed with TrueImage's report of 37.26GB.

    After I did a bare metal restore of an image of an old hard drive which had bad sectors mapped out by Windows Check Disk before I created it, this brand new 37.2GB drive now only measures 35.7GB Total Size!

    Where is the missing 1.5GB?

    I believe that the chunk of hard drive space is missing because when TrueImage restored the old 35.7GB image to the new 37.2GB drive it carried forward the bad sector information, permanently altering the new hard drive as though it, too had the same bad sectors.

    I have tried everything I know to restore this new hard drive to its 37.2GB size but can't do it. If there's a way to repair this TrueImage crippled hard drive so that it again measures 37.2GB, please let me know.

    As an experiment, I cloned this same 35.7GB shrunken 'new' drive to another brand new drive which measured 37.2GB and the result was the full 37.2GB size. No problem with cloning as far as I can tell.

    If TrueImage actually performs a bare metal restore of an image which contains bad sector information and causes the new hard drive to be permanently crippled as a result, the implications of this destructive behavior are shocking.

    If there is such a fault in TrueImage, restoring an image to any drive other than the one it was made from may cause the new drive to be permanently crippled. That's cause for a MAJOR warning to all prospective users.

    It would be completely inappropriate for Acronis to continue to claim that TrueImage can be used for bare metal restores without fully disclosing the disadvantages of performing such bare metal restores.

    Acronis (and others) please comment.....o_O o_O
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  2. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I've been testing Acronis for 2 months now...on $200.00 "WD Raptors" (10,000 rpm HD's), and believe me...if I noticed anything of the sort, I would throw Acronis out the window. But however, I can't toss it out! It's to good of a program, and I've never...absolutely never...noticed my 2 Raptors "Shrinking", or anything of the sort.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  3. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Anyone QUALIFIED to discuss sector copying/restoring care to comment? Acronis Support? Thanks. ;)
     
  4. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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  5. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    As a workaround, COPY ALL the files to another drive.
    Reformat the drive with the "bad" sectors.
    Run chkdsk/r.

    Copy the files back.
     
  6. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    If you have "Bad Sectors" on your Hard Drive,.. will Re-Installing Windows XP, and then running "ChkDsk" get rid of them?

    Note::: I always use the longer Reformat which cleans out the clusters on the HD. I never use the "Quick Reformat" which takes about 10 seconds.
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    OK, I think you have correctly identified the source of the problem. Acronis thought you were restoring the image to the same hard drive, so it did save the bad sector information and not use those sectors. That's exactly what it should do if you were restoring to the original drive with bad sectors.

    The effect is not permanent. There are two alternatives.

    One is to tell TI that it needs to resized the image when you restore it. That way TI knows that it is not being restored to the same drive space and forgets the bad sector info as far as I know.

    The second is to use a hard disk partitioning utility to check for and reclaim bad sectors. This will recheck for bad sectors and discover that the ones marked bad are not.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Software has nothing to do with "bad sectors", that is a drive level issue.
    The drive determines what sectors are goo or bad. Wg=hen there are bad sectors, thedrive attempts to replace with sectors from the "spare sector pool".
    When the spare sector pool is emptied, you drown. I guess this is a case in which one drowns in an empty pool.

    Software then runs in the "volume space", which consists of the sectors provide by the drive.

    File systems include structures that keep track of used/unused sectors in the volume space.

    When software detects that a sector is "bad". the software marks this in the structure.

    You then have to use a tool that operates at the drive level to:

    1. Fix the secror, if the problem is only a bad "checksum"; or
    2. Replace the sector with onefrom the spare sector pool.

    If u r lucky, the content of the data field of th sector will get preserved.
    If knot, them's the breaks.
     
  9. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    John,

    Thanks for the comments. Can you suggest a disk utility that will do the job?
     
  10. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Is the benefits of the fix (gain1.5G) worth the risk involved (possible loss of all data)??
     
  11. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    DriveImage can check for and recover bad sectors. However, I would expect Acronis' disk utility can also do that.
     
  12. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    The benefit gain vs. data loss risk is not a problem. TI can handle a restore for that drive if necessary. The main objective is to try to reverse the sector lockout that TI has caused.

    As for having to create an image and restore it while resizing partitions to overcome an undocumented drive-shrinking performance fault of TrueImage, it can't be done in certain cases:

    1) Create an image of a Dell drive, which depends upon an unmodified MBR in order to function after a TI restore, and you cannot restore the MBR and resize the partitions separately or the Dell PC Restore functionality is broken.

    2) Create an image of a single partition drive and restore it to another drive with the same geometry and your only option is to shrink the partition to resize it, not expand it. Not an attractive option for those who want to utilize the full capacity of their drives.

    And, cloning a drive is not a better alternative because you need the second drive and you are guaranteed to forward all the TrueImage drive-shrinking bad sector limitations to the clone.

    The real issue that may get lost in this discussion is why Acronis failed to weigh in on this problem and that they continue to ignore the need to issue CLEAR DOCUMENTATION to users that this TI-caused potential for damage to hard drives exists. Acronis should clearly state that this is a problem and warn users of it and also provide the suggested workarounds AND the utilities to fix it. Why do I have to go buy a drive repair utility to fix the damage TrueImage causes when used as directed?

    Nor should the burden fall upon the user to have to spend many hours trying to discover the cause of this very significant and pervasive TrueImage problem while Acronis has been aware of it all along. See below:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=138828
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=137117
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=130446

    ACRONIS: Why don't you document and warn against this potential for hard drive damage? Why doesn't your User Guide detail your 'known standard' workaround for this TrueImage performance flaw? And, where is the free Acronis utility or TrueImage capability to repair the hard drive damage TrueImage causes?

    And to all my fellow forum friends, please don't tell me that the 'other" drive imaging utilities are just as bad or worse than TrueImage. That's not the response that's needed to resolve this issue. Thanks anyway.

    o_O
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  13. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    To Acronis Support:

    Did you miss this thread? No comments or suggestions? Do you want me to open an "Official Support Request"?

    I have two shrunken hard drives because I used TrueImage per the User Guide and now I need some help from you to restore them to their full size again.

    Please advise.
     
  14. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Bobdat,
    Don't want to take away this slot because Acronis Tech Support really does need to look at this whole thread, and help you with your issues.

    <snip>

    edited to remove FAR off-topic remarks - Detox
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2006
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello bobdat and everyone interested,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are very sorry for the delay with the response.

    First of all, please note that Acronis True Image did not cause any harm to your hard drive(s). No bad sectors were restored or created on these disks. Only the information about bad sectors was transferred to a replacement hard drive. We guarantee that the restored hard drive will be the exact copy of the original disk on a sector level which Acronis True Image did perfectly in your case. Generally, it is not recommended to perform any operations with the hard drives having bad sectors as it may result in a complete data loss. However, for those people who want to back up and afterwards restore such hard drives anyway, we suggest workaround mentioned above. In order to avoid restoring sectors marked as bad you should simply change the size of partitions during the image restoration. You will be able to adjust the size of the restored partitions later using any partition managing software such as Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 for example.

    If you still think that Acronis True Image has caused some damage to your hard drive, please create Acronis Report as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Then please submit a request for technical support. Provide the report.txt file collected in your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will check the report provided and see what more can be done regarding your issue.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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