Latest on Acronis TI with USB memory key?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Marc_G, Mar 29, 2006.

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  1. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi folks-

    A few searches here didn't get me an answer; please forgive if this is a rehash.

    Six months ago when I was using TI 8, a version that would work from a bootable USB memory key was "just around the corner." Other issues in my life kept me from reviewing the boards for the last few months... but I recently updated to TI version 9.0. When I went to create the bootable media, there still was no option for making a bootable memory key in evidence.

    Has anyone gotten TI 9 to work reliably from a memory key? I so despise dealing with CDs.

    Any links appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Marc
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Marc,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please make sure that you use the latest build (2337) of Acronis True Image 9.0 which is available at: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/support/updates/

    To get access to updates you should create an account at:
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/my/
    then log in and use your serial number to register your software.

    If a USB flash card is formatted as a removable media, not a hard disk drive (a hard disk drive contains a partition table), then Bootable Media Builder should be able to use it to create a rescue media. The flash card can be used to boot a computer then, if the computer BIOS supports booting from a USB device.

    Please also take a look at this post.

    Thank you.
    --
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
     
  3. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi Tatyana-

    Thanks for the reply. I'm not yet successful, even after reading the various links you gave, and some links from those links. ;)

    Here's what's going on:

    My computer (an IBM T42p laptop, running WinXP SP2) can boot just fine from the memory key I'm using; I had that key set up as the Win98 version of DOS and I could easily boot from it (this is how I used to use an old version of Drive Image). So, I am assured that the computer and memory key are boot-compatible.

    I did these things to try to get TI to make a bootable key:

    1. Using TI 9.0 build 2337, I opened the Rescue Media Builder. I select the memory key (shows up as a removable disk I: on my system).

    2. It asks me to insert the media so it can determine the type and estimate the capacity. Seems a bit weird but since my media is already plugged in, I hit Next.

    3. At the next screen it warns me that the media is not empty and needs to be formatted. I accept all defaults except I change the FAT32 to FAT. The format proceeds, and when done I choose Close. It then copies the TI files to the key.

    4. I get a notice of successful completion.

    5. I shut down my computer.

    6. I reboot, using the USB as the boot device. As a reminder, this works fine when I've got this very key formatted as a Win98 DOS disk.

    7. The message I get is: Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (Partition) Not Found. Pres <ENTER> to try to boot your OS.

    8. At this point the only thing I can do is yank the key out and let Windows boot.

    Any suggestions to take it from here?

    Marc
     
  4. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Any ideas at all? Anyone?
     
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Did you try FAT32 as well?
     
  6. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Marc,

    You did right in choosing the FAT option as FAT32 will result in a "Non-system disk, press any key..." error message when booting.

    I'm not sure whether it'll make a difference but try another FAT format but this time deselect the "Quick" option.

    Regards
     
  7. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi Menorcaman-

    Thanks for the reply.
    I gave it a try, using FAT with the Quick Format option deselected. No difference in the outcome: still got the Acronis Loader Fatal Error message.

    I've tried a couple keys now. All boot fine when formatted for DOS booting, none work with the Acronis loader.

    Further information: The system boot accepts the Key as a "USB-HDD" by the way. Some threads make a distinction between this and USB-ZIP or other variants.

    Any other thoughts? What's this I read about "Bart-PE plugins" and so forth? Can I get that working on a key?

    Marc
     
  8. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    * * Frustration * *

    Thinking that perhaps the problem was with the old (128 MB) memory keys I had been trying to use, I went out and bought a shiny new SanDisk Cruzer 1 GB memory key.

    Went to the bootable rescue media builder, selected it, formatted as FAT (not quick format), and let Acronis continue putting the files on it.

    Shut down. Booted, choosing USB-HDD Sandisk. This time, rather than the Acronis Loader error, I got NO ERROR AT ALL, rather the computer paused for a sec, then went straight to booting Windows XP.

    Tried this twice, no joy. Same "non-error."

    Could the drive be boot-incompatible with my computer? To test, I ran my HP utility to turn the key into a DOS bootable key, and tried booting from it. That works fine, I go straight to a DOS prompt. So, this key boots fine with my computer.

    Any suggestions? Anything at all to get this to work? My computer is a Thinkpad (specifically, a T42p). A very popular series of laptop. I can't be the only Thinkpad user to try getting the recovery boot media onto a flash drive.

    Please help.

    Marc
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again Marc,

    There is currently no consistent PC standard for booting from USB devices. My guess is that your Thinkpad BIOS's USB routines do not recognise the Acronis, Linux based, boot loader. Mind you, as many other TI users have found out, this isn't just common to IBM/Lenevo Thinkpads.

    Regards
     
  10. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Is there any good way to use DOS to initiate a ramdisk, load the Acronis stuff into it, then boot from that?

    Marc
     
  11. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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  12. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Thanks I'll give it a try. How did you cause the usb-stick to be formatted as hdd with a partition table, versus as removable media?

    Marc
     
  13. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    i would try it first without partition table or just leaving it in the state it is. this got me to another problem: windows doesnt like more than one partition on removable media (especially if one of them is marked as bootable).

    Try it with just formatting the stick to FAT16 first.
     
  14. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    B_K-

    THANK YOU.

    I believe it is working, though I will need to do some tests. However, I encountered an interesting problem. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

    Your explanation was easy to follow; I did exactly what you said in preparing my shiny new 1 GB SanDisk Cruzer micro USB Key (for formatting, I just used the plain windows format tool, selecting FAT and not quick format). It seemed to prepare the key OK. I booted from it, and after a second or so, the screen cut back to the regular Windows boot screen. No luck. Just like with the attempt to use the Acronis boot media creator.

    Remembering that I got a different error with an old 128 MB stick, which seemed to get further into the boot process before failing, as created by Acronis, I followed your instructions once again, this time on the smaller stick.

    It booted just fine into the Acronis environment and seems to work. I'll do some imaging and recovery tests in the next day or two to verify that it's working OK. But THANK YOU.

    Any ideas why there is such a problem with the 1 GB Sandisk key?

    Marc

    PS: You Rock!
     
  15. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    maybe you could try syslinux -s switch (documentation says "safe, slow and stupid"). I have not experienced this problem, but maybe its some sort of incompatibility between the BIOS and your SanDisk stick.

    btw: i should have added, that my method breaks support for managing the securezone.
     
  16. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    B_K-

    Thanks. I'm not interested in using securezone, so no problem there.

    Now I have a different question:

    I started with the whole "get the recovery environment onto a memory key" thing a year ago, when I was burning backups to DVDs (well, I was burning them to a HD then archiving them to DVD).

    Anyway, now I've moved on and just burn to external USB hard drives.

    Maybe I don't need memory keys after all. Maybe it would be better to just boot from the external hard drive. What does it take to get the Acronis recovery environment onto a USB drive? Can I just make a small FAT partition on one, and use the same instructions you gave above, to create a bootable loader there?

    Marc
     
  17. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    i tested that with my usb-stick. you can have two partitions, but at least with my usb stick windows doesn't see the second partition. Its just seeing the boot-partition of my usb-stick.
    i dont know what happens if you do that with an USB HDD.
     
  18. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    How do you make two partitions on a USB stick? I tried, but found no way to delete the original partion that takes up the whole stick. Partition magic doesn't see the stick, and the Computer Management "Disk Management" tool doesn't let me delete the partition.

    Marc
     
  19. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    I don't know if you really want to do that with your usb-stick. If you want it, i used the linux version of fdisk or parted (cant remember which one i used). Better be careful with that, even if the stick is said to be partitionable. I had no problems till now, except that windows only sees the boot-partition, but that's enough to not try that again (at least i would not recommend doing it with flash based memory). With USB-HDDs i wouldn't see a problem, but i haven't tested that yet.
     
  20. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    As a followup, I wanted to report that I've tested the syslinux-enabled memory key and it works fine. I did a backup before leaving for a trip. Worked great saving to an external USB drive.

    I also tried to make that external hard drive bootable with Syslinux, but my one-shot try didn't work. I deleted all partitions, made a primary partition 128 mb FAT, and the rest (~160 GB) as a primary partition NTFS. Syslinux'ed the FAT partition and copied the requisite files to it. It wouldn't boot. I'll look into this further after my trip.

    Marc
     
  21. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi B_K,

    Any thoughts about revising the process for the latest build? They renamed some files in the bootable media. Just noticed this...

    Thanks in advance.

    Marc
     
  22. FloatingPoint

    FloatingPoint Registered Member

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    Hey Marc,

    It seems Acronis may be having issue with USB Flash Drives. I been trying to get this working sence June 2006 and no one had been able to fix it. I would get answers like; " Most probably the problem is not caused by our software. Please note that the flash card can be used to boot a computer then, if the computer BIOS supports booting from a USB device." or more questions like; "Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.
    Could you please clarify the situation?
    1) Did you create the first bootable USB successfully? Did you try to boot the computer from this USB?
    2) Did you uninstall the previous build of the program before the installation of the new one? (it is highly recommended) "

    It's not a BIOS issue and I did evenything Acronis told me to do, but nothing works. The funny thing is that Acronis Snap Deploy works every time, but TI is a joke in this area. See my post,
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=141989&highlight=flash
     
  23. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi Floating point,

    Let me clarify:

    My computers that I have tried (all IBM T series laptops) boot beautifully from memory keys, for DOS, Syslinux (as described by B_K here on the forum), and several other applications. Of 6 memory keys I've tried for non-Acronis applications, 4 work just fine, two were problematical in some cases as far as boot compatibility.

    Anyway, if I stick with my 4 "good" keys, the Acronis boot media builder never results in bootable keys. I've tried everything suggested. PReformatting as FAT. Using various utilities. Uninstalling old versions. The list goes on and on.

    Then B_K came around with his syslinux solution, and that worked fine. But the recent build 3677 or whatever, which still doesn't create bootable keys for me, has some differences in what it puts on the keys, so the Syslinux solution may need modifications. I haven't given it much thought, figuring BK or somebody already worked it out. I might be able to figure it out on my own but this is low priority and I'm lazy at the moment.

    Marc
     
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