My Backup Image has a bad MBR

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by CJofCA, Jul 27, 2007.

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  1. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    Don't be misled by the title - its not Acronis' fault this happened. I made a backup of my System drive and partitions before I discovered this. Okay - so I have a usable Image. But I really want to repart and format this system drive and start over. What I'd be looking to do is repart, manually format each part, and then restore everything I backed up onto the system drive - minus the MBR. I was then figuring I could use Fixmbr, then Fixboot to make the drive bootable rather than do a repair install.

    Anyone feel this is Doable - or Not?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Use your partitioning program set setup the drive as you want, then just restore the Windows Partition to the new partition you have setup for it. Don't check the "MBR and Track 0" box, just check the Windows partition box. If you have other partitions, you can choose to restore them at the same time or do them one at a time.

    Shouldn't be a problem.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    That's the way I always install a new disk. Setup the C area outside of TI then restore my C image without MBR. I then use Windows Disk Management to partition the rest of the drive. Since I have native copies of my data files I just copy them into the appropriate partition with Explorer but restoring from images will work too.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    CJofCA,

    Why do you think that your HD "has a bad MBR"?
     
  5. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    I'll try to be brief explaining what happened. My neice came down to visit us a couple of months ago. She brought along a set of 3 DVDs made of her school jazz band (she's a drumset player) performing at The Pavillion in Disneyland - in Southern Ca. Unbeknownst to anyone, (to include my neice) one of the DVDs oxide coating was damaged to the point it wouldn't play in a DVD Player unless you fought with it. As my parents wanted copies of all three DVDs, I offered to attempt copying them.

    I did the first two Discs with no problems - copying each to individual folders in a logical partition on system HD, then remastered them to new DVDs.

    The 3rd Disc caused Windows to lock up when trying to play it, and worse whilst trying to copy it into its own folder. (I told her she should get a new Disc from her school - as on close inspection - it appeared the oxide coating on writable side of disc was tarnished or coming apart from the disc.)

    A few days after they left to go home, I began to experience problems with my computer. I'm a musician/composer... some of my projects wound up becoming unplayable with the program they were authored with. Then it was problems with system files at startup. Every other Boot was causing WGAtray.exe to App Fault on the desktop, and in succession IE, OE, Help and Support... would all error as well. The final straw was getting the dreaded Disk Error: Press ctrl - alt - del to restart. I slaved the drive behind another Windows XP harddisk and chkdisk /f /r all three parts. That seemed to do the trick in restoring its ability to boot, except some of my programs were fried beyond repair.

    Now - I've used Acorn Ez-Gig for a couple of years to image drives, and the appearance of its Recovery Disc /Windows GUI interface led me to finding Acronis 10 (they're identical so I suspect Acronis might of made it for Acorn.)

    I decided to try Acronis, and make an image of my drive, with the idea I could attempt to do a repair install on the drive first, and not be out of anything if something backfired. Well - the repair install failed. So I wiped the drive using mfgrs utility.

    I parted and formatted using their drive setup utilities, and instead of using the image I backed up, I put a clean install of windows on the drive. I made a 2nd image of the drive C partition only. Since all my software was available to me... all I had to do was reinstall it.

    This has proven to be the worst clean install I have ever done. What should of taken me a few hours to set up, has taken me over 4 days - with sorting out Program and Windows XP problems one after another with my DSL connection and firewall, MSI installer, IE6, OE-express, and Windows utilities (msconfig, Taskmgr,Eventviewer) locking up. Scanned for Malware, viruses etc.. all come back clean.

    Finally, a buddy of mine told me lastnight to run Fixmbr from the Rec Console, off booted Windows CD - it detected a corrupted MBR. I entered "Y" when prompted to fix, and on reboot this corrected a good chunk of the problem with the drives performance. However, a subsequent chkdsk /f I did lastnight has produced more errors found with the Security, Indexing and USN Journal descriptors/services - post installation - so aside from the MBR being bad - I suspect there is file corruption as well post reinstall in 2nd image due to using drive makers utility. The 1st image could be unusable, I haven't tried installing it yet to see.

    I've already scanned the drive surface for defects, using Hdtune and the drive tests Ok (its not failing.) Even if I use the original image - I'm still probably looking at doing a repair install anyways. I'm just hoping to avoid having to do this using either one.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    CJofCA,

    Thanks for the details. Did chkdsk report any bad sectors?
     
  7. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    No - It just reported correcting errors with Security, Indexing and USN Journal /descriptors.
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you have DD or another program that will wipe drives, you could wipe the drive and zero-out the MBR before you try another clean install. When you do the clean install, let Windows do a "long" format so it checks the drive for bad sectors as it formats.
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Heaven knows that strange things happen on PCs but reading a flakey optical disk shouldn't necessarily trash the HD.

    For good measure, I'd run a memory diagnostic for a few hours just to make sure bad memory isn't causing a corruption.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    CJofCA,

    I think you may have been misled by the Recovery Console. When you typed "fixmbr" did you see, "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid MBR. fixmbr may damage .......".

    This is a normal message and doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the MBR. It appears on all computers that I've used.

    You certainly have data corruption but I think your MBR is probably fine.
     
  11. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    I dread having to do another clean install. :blink: Couldn't I wipe drive, then repart using Diskpart, and long format part 1 using Format C: /fs:NTFS from the Recovery console? Then restore C: with acronis from 2nd image?
     
  12. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    LOL. I was really surprised I was having all these problems too - and trying to copy that (expletive) DVD was the only thing I had trouble with - recent to all this error crud starting up. I read in another forum running a memory test for IE errors I've had would be good idea. I've got Memtest86 on a floppy.

    Yanno....it wouldn't surprise me all that much if the memory might be going flakey now - its several years old. I'll test that tonight. I've got 1 GB DDR Memory in PC now.

    I have been thinking of upgrading to 2GB with new Modules anyways. So if memory testing goes south - I could pick up new memory and see if this works - before I try anything else.
     
  13. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    Yeah I saw that message too. But as I stated in my explanation post. The drive was running like Mudd before repairing the MBR lastnight. It was running so bad - I couldn't even connect to the internet 2/3 of the time.

    Post repair of MBR - drive is running fine... what problems I have left are with a couple of windows programs (IE, DSL connection, Firewall,) and two others I installed prior to making image #2
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Coincidence, maybe?

    What does "fixmbr" do? It writes new boot code only. It doesn't alter the DiskID or the Partition Table. All that code does is allow Windows to boot. It has no function thereafter.

    Your Windows was booting before you wrote new code.
     
  15. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    While I can't disagree with you there, it could be a coincidence as you say.

    But what a noticable improvement. Instead of a 4 min scramble to get onto the desktop and face lag hell trying to do anything - now it boots, and is ready to go in less than 1 min and 20 secs. Memory and harddrive both test OK.
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I can't explain it either. I'm not trying to be difficult, just trying to keep the focus on data corruption which I see as the main problem.
     
  17. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    Yeah np, and I appreciate all the advice I've recieved from everyone... this has really been some annoying krap. I'm almost half tempted to wipe the drive - and then slave it in behind another older XP system drive, and use windows XP's own disk management to part and full format each part on drive.

    When I initially parted this drive over a year ago I created 1 Primary and 1 Extended Partition with 2 logical drives - using Maxblast 4 that came with the drive. (its a 6L300R0 Maxtor 300GB) I selected sizes of 101 GB for C: partition for D: 100, and 90 for E: A few days ago, I set C: for 105 GB, but used the same sizes for the logicals when I redid the drive.

    After booting windows cd and running setup I saw the primary part windows was going to install to - was only 98.0 GB. So I exited setup... booted back into Maxblast 4 and double checked the Partition size info again: Said Partition 1 was 105 GB,Partition 2 - 100 GB, Partition 3 - 90 GB.

    So I figured - Windows was mistaken somehow, but all would be right after Setup finished. PFFFFT! I loaded Windows Setup, Selected the C: partition, and to "Leave partition as is" rather than let windows full format the drive (only time I've ever done this - and it will be the last time.)

    Setup took way over an hour to run to completion - minus formatting (another 1st - usually its about 40 mins to format, and 39 mins or less to install,) When XP rebooted for the last time I could tell something was definitely wrong, when it took a couple of mins to get from Posting to the Welcome to windows XP screen. After setting up an account, I rebooted after installing Mobo drivers... same thing again time wise getting from Posting to Welcome screen to sign in. From there was another couple of mins getting onto desktop. I should be thankful at least that has stopped.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    CJofCA,

    Have a look at your partition table with Partition Table Doctor. Any errors?

    http://www.ptdd.com/
     
  19. CJofCA

    CJofCA Registered Member

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    From inside of windows XP none are detected... when running to test from the floppy it says straight up that there are partition errors on harddisk 1 and it asks me if I want to rebuild the partition. I think the floppy disk is useless because it tells you if you select anything that its a demo.
     
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