MBR modification

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by poogimmal, May 26, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. poogimmal

    poogimmal Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Posts:
    79
    does the normal installation and use of acronis modify the windows 2000 MBR?

    I had a dual & seemingly contemporaneous problem where arconis reported "bad sector(s)" which were in the secure zone, (see other thread for "fix") and I started getting boot error "MBR error 3." we did a FIXMBR which did report that the then current MBR was non-standard or something like that. FIXMBR worked fine. so the question is (aside from my secure zone problem) does acronis true image modify the MBR? if so, I did not see that documented in user manual.pdf. please advise, as that info might affect whether I reinstall true image. thanks.
     
  2. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, poogimmal

    Standard warning. :eek:

    Ask Mircosoft WHY. :D

    Glad to see you have it fixed.
    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  3. poogimmal

    poogimmal Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Posts:
    79
    yes, the FIXMBR worked AOK as you described. wish it was that easy to get any answer or correct answer from MS. (but then acronis support was of little help and extremely slow and it seems that was not unique to me). I'm open to any elaboration you might like to offer as to MBR modification, ie, that was not an issue with Norton Ghost. ->then, related question... it seemed that acronis required that the 2d physical hdd with acronis secure zone be "running" (available) in the box seen by w2k and (I guess) by acronis_Ti. it seemed as if acronis changed the original settings I had for hdd2 that allowed me to boot with it in or out of the box. and if it did do all that, it did it under the covers without telling me or even offering a popup. I'm reluctant to put acronis back on box until I better understand what happened. you seem to suggest that there is a possible "conflict" between acronis and MS. and I'm not here to defend M$, I just want my box as error free as possible and understand what works and when it doesn't, understand why. if acronis is changing basic settings in w2k, then I think the user should know that in advance. appreciate your thoughts. thanks!
     
  4. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi,poogimmal

    The MBR modification, is not done by Ti.

    As I have tested it as you can if you a spare [Clean\Empty]HDD and 30 minutes.

    Install your JUST OS. Shut down the Compter.

    Reboot with the OS CD in it drive, then do the Repair FIXMBR and you will get the same warnin again. o_O

    The only I reason I can think of why this happens because as the OS CD is loaded to memory with the MBR and default DRIVER etc, for MBR , Formatting and Setup. to the one it see when what is on the in OS on the HDD, when you do the FIXMBR.


    To this bit there is not much I can say, other than I tested the Scure Zone part and did not like it, as it is hidden and only Ti as control of it, and I do not like that idea, and if some the malevolent was to gain acess to it you would have no protection from it.

    I do not suggest of any "Conflict" but not all software run the same on all Computer.

    For many as I sure your a aware of. [The reason for the many help forums :D ]

    I find it safer to make FULL backUp Images to a spare HDD, Slower BUT safer.

    If you do this I am sure you will fine you have no Trouble with Acronis Ti.

    Hope this is of some Help.
    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  5. poogimmal

    poogimmal Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Posts:
    79
    yes, that is what I had been doing with Ghost too. the primary change I noted and it seemed to be contemporaneous with installation and use of acronis Ti was that acronis required hdd2 to be in my w2k box, ie, if I left it out, the boot would just go to a black screen and hang there. it appeared to me that this was related to acronis SZ and its F11 boot manager. maybe something else was causing (casued) this, but I need to overall investigate this a tad further. Perhaps since you did discarded the SZ (I now agree) early on you did not see this. in another thread acronis_tech said use a hdd2 if you have one, and no need for SZ on a hdd2. that then gets back to Ti manual and app's default settings, which let me to using SZ. all this was a good but a tad too intense learning experience.

    I need a week or 2 of normal (problem free) operation before I start playing with acronis again -- maybe wait for the next update. right now, I'm back to doing what I had been doing & what you suggest, hdd2, but with Ghost which makes the image in DOS. does not take that long. thanks again, much appreciate your help :)
     
  6. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, poogimmal


    The is wrong AND right.

    I was sat thinking more on what was the cause of your original problem.

    And then it came to me.

    You setup the F11. [Startup Recovery Manager]

    Which would alter the MBR at boot,

    So you can start the Startup Recovery Manager. [Secure zone]

    Which take order over the OS [stops it booting] in the Booting.

    And will explain why it could not boot without the other [removed] HDD.

    As it is looking for the Secure Zone. [and stopping the OS booting in it search.]

    But The Installation of Ti does not alter the MBR in the test I have done.

    I hope you can understand what I am trying to say and make sense of it


    Thak Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  7. McTavish

    McTavish Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes the Recovery Manager does alter the MBR, because I just tried it out of curiosity. It disabled both GAG and OSL2000 bootmanagers (which reside in the MBR) without giving me any warning it was going to do it. Reinstalling the bootmanager disabled the Recovery Manager, so it seems if you run a multiboot system and favour one of the MBR type bootmanagers you are out of luck with True Image.

    One improvement however from some of this company’s earlier software is that it did not alter the PBR or Windows boot files. Their ‘OS Selector’ offering was a disaster. They seem to be improving, but this company is still a long way from coming of age. To rank them as contemporaries of Symantec and PowerQuest is still plainly premature.

    Don’t forget that most of the Magazine reviews they have received in recent years were bought by offering Editors much sought after free partitioning and imaging tools for their cover CDs.
     
  8. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, McTavish


    I have never used the above Boot Managers.

    Did use PowerQuest's BootMagic many years ago. [altered MBR]

    Did the above Boot Managers give any warning that they were going to alter your MBR.

    Because they have. [would not work without doing so]

    Ti's Startup Recovery Manager will take precedences over the other because of the F11 key.

    Two Boot Manager and the system MBR is going to lead to tears IMHO.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  9. poogimmal

    poogimmal Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Posts:
    79
    MUCH thanks to The Quest and McTavish for deeper analysis and validating my expereince and problems. Stongly agree with McTavish! I thought that some of the magazines were ethically above being bought, but based on some of the large pitfalls with Ti at the moment, weak manual, nearly non_existant official tech support, hard to image how Ti is getting rave reviews other than how you suggest. In my case, I read thru the pdf manual before I used Ti, and then I essentially followed the suggested onscreen defaults, which led to me using SZ and F11, and subsequent problems when Ti fried its SZ. hummm, but aside from rave magazine reviews, apparently wilders_security thinks highly enough of acronis to host them here. is that a positive review or a cruch??
     
  10. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, poogimmal


    The ethics of Magazines that is their business and customers, and I can not say much because I NEVER buy them.

    But as for the Hosting by Wilders Security Forums of Acronis TrueImage can only be a POSITIVE.

    Because of the the help that is available.

    And the more people that visit with question and answers.

    Can only broaden that help and help fixs any bugs and so forth.

    And because of the direct Link to:-Anton Acronis Support who visits most days.


    With Regards,
    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  11. poogimmal

    poogimmal Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Posts:
    79
    Obviously then Wilders likes Acronis. My feelings are mixed due to my experience, ie, the SZ problem AND the delay with tech support. I'm glad that Anton reads this list, but 99% of the help for my problem came from other sources. I would try acronis again now that I know to avoid the SZ.
     
  12. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Well, I try to answer the questions and assist on the problems as fast/sson as I can, though just some days (usually on weekends) I can be out of the office thus - my help is available only at the start of the new week.

    I'll try to work on clisin the gap in answering questions via this forum.

    Thank you.

    --
    Best regards,
    Anton Gromov

    Acronis, Inc.
    395 Oyster Point Blvd. Suite 213
    South San Francisco
    CA 94080 USA
    http://www.acronis.com/

    Acronis... Compute with confidence
     
  13. McTavish

    McTavish Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi Anton, I’m feeling guilty now for disparaging your products and I apologise. I do however admire your marketing techniques and the way you have risen so quickly to your current position. You certainly have a good business head.

    What I do like about True Image is its ease of use for the average computer user. I’ve been unable to fault the programs functionality and have no problem with the way it alters the MBR for the Recovery Manager component. You should just be aware that bootmanagers that run from the MBR are becoming more and more common. Also don’t forget that many people still have Dynamic Drive Overlays in there.

    I’m skeptical about the true value of the Recovery Manager if its partition is on the only hard drive in a computer. A hard drive failure would mean a loss of everything so it would only be a decent backup system if images from one hard drive were kept on another.

    The Quest……BootMagic does not touch the MBR but the PBR. I don’t have two bootmanagers installed in the MBR at one time, I tried them separately.
     
  14. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, McTavish

    Please can you explain to me and for the benifit on other who might gain knowledge.

    Where the Partition Boot Record is if not part of the Master Boot Record.

    Because it halt's the Boot to give you a choice of OS's. [If I remember correctly]


    Also.
    I said:-
    Because:-
    With regards,
    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  15. McTavish

    McTavish Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Location:
    Scotland
    The MBR dictates which partition to pass control to by detecting which primary partition is flagged as the Active partition in the MPT. Once this is done the MBR gives control to the PBR of that partition, which resides in the first sectors of bootable partitions. This passes control to the OS boot files, but it the case of BootMagic the PBR is altered to not pass control to the OS but to BootMagic itself, which resides in the root of the OS. This is when BootMagic will halt the boot and offer up its boot menu. When you select which OS to boot it will directly pass control to the boot files of the OS it is inside, or to the PBR of another OS you have selected. It’s only slightly different if Bootmagic is on its own dedicated partition.

    Of course with WinNT the PBR does not pass control to the OS boot files but to the ntloader, which will then pass control to the OS boot files. If your using the ntloader as a bootmanager in a dual or multiboot system then the ntloader can pass control directly to the boot files of the other OSes, actually bypassing the PBRs altogether. This is what the boot.ini is for, to tell the ntloader where to find the partition’s OS boot files instead of its PBR.
     
  16. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, McTavish

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    It is very helpfully and full of knowledge.

    Such a long time ago as I said since I used BootMagic.

    And now you remain me about it, it used to best be put in it own partition
    for some reason or other. [I did anyway forgot the reason! [age :doubt: ] :eek: ]

    Thank very much once again for your very Informative answer.

    Very much appreciated.
    With kindest Regards,
    Take care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  17. poogimmal

    poogimmal Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Posts:
    79
    well, I was going to let the above "slide," but it makes it appear as if I was overly impatient and could not wait till a weekend passed to get support. The FACT is it took 12 days starting from 13may and 3 different msgs over those 12 days plus a voice_mail to San Francisco to get a private email support reply, which reply when it finally was rec'd said try "w2k chkdsk..." this was after you (Anton) had left a message on this forum saying that my problem was atypical and you'd contact me via private. (see thread re secure zone corrupted).
    my problem was that the SZ on hdd2 apparently corrupted itself after backing up an image, F11 recovery then required hdd2 to be in the box, although none of this was documented in the pdf manual. IMO the manual is "weak" and the default settings ultimately prompted my problem. had the SZ and F11 been better documented, I would not have used SZ on hdd2 backup images.
    having said that, True Image may be excellent, and at this point I would even tell someone to try it IF they understand or avoid the SZ.
    as for McTavish comment re acronis marketing skills, they seem to conflict somewhat (or at some level) with his previous comment re vendors "buying" good reviews in computer magazines.
    I normally do not rant to this degree, but system backups and MBRs etc, are critical areas of computer useage, and every_day that passed without a focused and meaningful support reply, left a bad taste in my mouth.
    your defensive (& untrue in my case) comment re delayed support over weekends does nothing to correct the bad vibes acronis created by the situation.
     
  18. McTavish

    McTavish Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Posts:
    40
    Location:
    Scotland
    You can admire someone’s business skills without having to like their service or product poogimmal. I still think the product has a way to go, but the method in which Acornis has captured a share of the market in such a short period of time has been quite skillful. Hopefully with their new found wealth they can now put more skill into the product and the support, rather than the marketing. If they don’t then the word will soon spread from too many unhappy customers and they won’t have a marketable product anymore.

    The latest version of TI does seem to be their best offering to date and seems competent. I haven’t extensively tested it yet but so far it has performed its function. It feels to me like it would be easy for the novice to understand and this is probably its strongest point. However I do think it is over priced for its limited feature set and at the moment I could not recommend it to anyone. A prominent warning about the method of operation of the Recovery Manager is definitely required, as well as a word or two about its limited value on a single hard drive machine.
     
  19. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello McTavish --

    Thank you for your input. We will surely consider this and I believe that it can be added in either one of the next builds or in the next version of the product.

    Thank you.

    --
    Best regards,
    Anton Gromov

    Acronis, Inc.
    395 Oyster Point Blvd. Suite 213
    South San Francisco
    CA 94080 USA
    http://www.acronis.com/

    Acronis... Compute with confidence
     
  20. Discerner0

    Discerner0 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Posts:
    3
    This is the most interesting and informative thread of the forum. I particularly appreciate McTavish's explanation of the boot procedure. I haven't seen it explained so simply and directly anywhere else.

    I joined this forum because I was pretty ticked off at discovering that Acronis TrueImage requires certain third-party software (in my case DLA) to work, and doesn't say so anywhere. Certainly not on the box, which only says that TI supports DVD. I had to open the box to discover I couldn't use TrueImage, and then I couldn't return it.

    Eventually I found Drive Backup! 3, by NTI, which cost less than TrueImage and does what it implies on the box, including making bootable DVD images of the system partition, without any other software except what comes with Windows.

    There. End of rant. I feel better now, and I didn't even use the F-word.

    I would like to say that this is one of the best designed forums I've seen. It's well laid out and easy for even a beginner to use. The posters are civil and seem to know how to spell better than most other forums I've seen, and the moderator(s) too.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.