More on MBR & restore issues

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by nolonemo, Apr 21, 2005.

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  1. nolonemo

    nolonemo Registered Member

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    I'm in MBR issues land because of an accident while resizing partions:

    I have a dual boot system: Win98 on the active primary partition, WinXP on the D: drive, the first drive in the extended partition, then a partition for apps and a partition for data. The dual boot was set up without a third party boot manager, by first installing Win98 to the C: drive and then XP to the D: drive per Microsoft's guidelines. Works fine (on boot I get a menu asking which OS to boot)

    I needed to resize partitions because I was running out of space on the C: drive. So, using Partion Magic, I set up a resize of C: by taking a little space from D:. During the resizing operation, there was a loss of power to the computer, resulting in a corrupt D: partition (which was being resized during the power loss).

    Having learned from painful experience in the past, I had imaged the C: and D: partitions before beginning the resizing. But I didn't image the entire physical drive, I imaged the C: D: and E: partitions individually.

    After the failure, since the D: partition was now corrupt, I went ahead and resized C: and D:, and then restored the images I had made earlier.

    Result: computer wouldn't boot, all I got was a flashing cursor after the normal Bios flash screen.

    After a little reading around, I thought I had a toasted MBR, so I tried the MBR recover utility posted here. Didn't change things. So now I'm planning to do a basic reinstall of Win98 and WinXP to set up the MBR for dual boot and then restore the C: & D: & E: images, so I'll be back to the way I was.

    My questions are, though:

    (1) if the size of the partitions I'm reinstalling the OS's in is different from the size of the original partitons I imaged and will restore, will I have the same problem of not being able to boot?

    (2) or can I just fdisk the whole drive as unpartitioned and let True Image create the partitions when I restore (will True Image do that on separate partition restores, or only on a drive image restore?) Or would that be futile since (as I understand it) True Image only images the MBR when you image the whole physical drive?

    Any guidance would be much appreciated, before I waste more time trying stuff that doesn't work.-

    Many thanks for any help.
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello nolonemo,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis System Restore Software.

    First of all, you may at least partially solve the problem if you launch the Repair installation, i.e. boot with Windows XP Installation CD, choose that you wish to install new copy of Windows operating system (first screen) and then choose that you would like to repair the existing operating system (it will be the next screen). This may help you to boot Windows XP.

    If you restore the image of a single system partition we cannot guarantee that you will be able to boot disk after that. However, everything should work if you restore the image of a single partition to the same place of the same disk even resizing the partition (providing MBR didn't change after you have created the image).

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  3. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    nolonemo - I would do 2 things:

    1) Find out a sure method to restore your system:

    1a) Wipe the disk and use FDISK to setup your 3 CDE partitions. I assume that you will want C to be FAT32.

    1b) Install a temporary copy of Win98 to C. The only purpose of this is to install the necessary DOS/Win98 boot files/MBR changes.

    1c) Install a temporary copy of WinXP to E (not D). This install will pick up the Win98 boot files, save them and install the necessary WinXP boot files/MBR changes.

    1d) Restore your C and D partitions using True Image. It will complete overwrite the temporary installs you just did, but since you are restoring individual partitions, the boot code installed in MBR (and the partition boot sector ?) will not be touched. It *will* overwrite your temporary BOOT.INI, NTLDR, etc, etc, but so what? The BOOT.INI should contain the correct paths to your Win98 install on C, and WinXP on D.

    1e) Boot into the restored Win98. Note that if the Win98 install references files (data) on the not-yet-restored E partition, you might see some errors.

    1f) Boot into the restored WinXP. Note that if the WinXP install references files (data) on the not-yet-restored E partition, you might see some errors.

    1g) Restore E and verify that everything is back to normal.

    2) Find out a quick method to restore your system. Now that you know how to restore the system, you are free to experiement:

    2a) Wipe the disk again.

    2b) Experiment...
     
  4. nolonemo

    nolonemo Registered Member

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    Thanks, MiniMax, that was pretty much what I was planning to do. I assume you said to do the temp install of XP in E: so that I could do the restore XP restore to D: from TI installed on the computer? Wouldn't you be able to boot from the recovery CD and just restore the partition over the temp XP install?

    However, last night I discovered that I had made a full physical drive image immediately after installing both OS, + drivers + True Image when I built the system, so I restored that, everything boots fine, and tonight I'll restore the most recent partition images, which should work fine because the MBR is now fine.

    The thing that is both aggravating and embarrasing is that my routine practice is to image the drive immediately after installing the OS and drivers for every box I build, I forgot because I departed from my usual naming practice, so the image wasn't next to the more recent partition-based images. One can only say DOH! :p

    Lesson learned: when you do in the first place what you should have done in the first place, don't forget that you did it in the first place.

    Thanks to all who responded....
     
  5. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Well, having a working XP install on E could prove advantagous if something did not work as planned.
     
  6. nolonemo

    nolonemo Registered Member

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    Dang, didn't work.

    Well, when I restored the lastest partition images over the C: and D: drives, the computer wouldn't boot again. I booted from a win98 floppy and ran sys c: and that got the system files on the C: drive, but it wouldn't boot into XP. When I ran XP setup and chose the repair option, it went though the usual repair, but went into a full setup mode.

    I may have resized the partitions between the two restores. So I fdsk'd again, restored the 2 OS, everything is working fine, and I'll re restoring the latest partition images tomorrow, which I believe are the same size partitions as the original install.

    We'll see....
     
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