Need advice creating a spare Bootable HDD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by appster, Jul 17, 2007.

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  1. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    My desktop PC (running WinXP and ATI 9) has an 80GB hard drive with two partitions, C: (about 30GB) and D: (about 50GB). I have a spare (but slower) 30 GB hard drive which I just installed as E: I want to either clone my existing C-partition onto E: or create an image backup of my C-partition and restore it to E: Then in an emergency, I could change hard drive jumpers and cables and bootup with the 30GB drive.

    Please note that I want E: to contain only that which is on my C-partition, including the MBR, boot-track, etc. Should I use cloning or imaging to produce the desired result? Also, are there any special precautions or procedures that I should be aware of?

    PS., I do have an external USB dirve which I normally use to store my image files.
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    A partition image is the way to go. Include the MBR if it is an option when making the image.
    Now remove your 80GB drive and replace it like for like with the 30GB. Run the restore making sure you have checked the C partition and the MBR. You should then be able to boot to the replacement C drive. When I have done a similar exercise in the past the downsizing and missing partition did not present any problems I just let TI take care of it. YMMV depending on which build of V9 you are using however as your original drive will be safely outside the computer you could always get back to the original state. With this in mind I would not even bother to run any validations on the image as you will find out if it works when the restore completes.

    Xpilot
     
  3. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice - I have a couple of questions though:

    With my copy of v9, the backup wizard presents a check box for the 'parent' HDD (Disk 1) and checkboxes for the 'children' (C & D partitions). Since I just want to image the C-partition, where/how do I instruct it to backup the MBR?

    After I complete the restore process to my spare 30GB hard drive, will it boot if I simply switch the cable connectors that are now connected to both HDDs?
     
  4. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    appster, I believe starting with v9.0 TI backs up the MBR and Track 0 automatically even when you backup an individual partition. However, during Restore you must instruct TI to restore the MBR and Track 0. You would first select the C-partition to restore, followed by checking "I want to restore another partition or hard disk drive" (or something like that) when prompted. Then you will then be given the opportunity to check the MBR and Track 0, so that they are restored along with your C-partition.

    Regarding your 2nd question, I believe switching IDE connectors on the drives will do the trick if the drives are both Master and on separate IDE channels. If they are connected as Master-Slave on one channel it may also work if your drive jumpers are set to Cable Select. Otherwise, you will have to change the jumper settings on each drive. Note: If your original hard drive boots up instead of your spare drive, you may have to disconnect the original drive to allow the spare drive to boot.

    Jo Ann
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I'd think cloning would be the easiest. Whatever you do.

    Don't consider it done. Until you've done a real restore.

    Otherwise it's just wishful thinking.
     
  6. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    The only problem you might have following restoration of the spare drive is drive letter changes.
    I use windows xp pro and True Image version 9.0 and only do C: drive image backups and restorations (you don't need to check the MBR box). I would say 75% of the time my restored hard drive boot's up, the times when it wouldn't bootup, it's always been a drive letter change problem.
    I would recommend you have a utility that can changed drive letters on a non-booting hard drive handy at all times. The only programs that I have used to change drive letters are "paragon justboot corrector" and "vcom partition commander pro version 10" both are bootable cd utilitys. With either of these boot cd's you can change drive letters on the non-booting drive reboot and be back up in 5 minutes.
    That's my experience with backing up and restoring windows xp. I've never had to use a BartPE boot cd, but a utility that can change drive letters has saved me many times.
     
  7. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Hmm, getting mixed signals here, so I guess I'll just have to depend on the 'ol trial & error method. :doubt:

    Thanks to all for the advice and comments.
     
  8. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Sorry if we confused you appster, but it's simply a matter of preference as to how to go about accomplishing your task. TI is flexible in that regard.

    You can use either Backup (imaging) or the Clone approach; either will do the job. If you decide to Clone your C-partition, you will have to select the Manual method, as the Automatic method would clone the entire drive (i.e., both of your partitions).

    So choose the approach that sounds best to you and it should work just fine.

    Good luck,
    Jo Ann
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello appster,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that clone operation can only be performed for the whole drive, not for separate partitions. Therefore, we would recommend you to go image-restore way. As it was already said, all latest builds of Acronis True Image starting version 9.0 Home back up MBR and Track 0 during creating partition image as well.
    Please make sure to disconnect one of the drives before booting after restoring, as Windows can become confused if it sees two identical system partitions on boot.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  10. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Marat, thanks for the assistance. Just to confirm, are you saying that TI's Cloning Operation, even in Manual Mode, is not capable of cloning the C-partition of a multi-partitioned HDD?

    Btw, I did read the User Guide, but it is way too brief in describing the distinction between the Automatic and Manual Cloning modes (more or less just stating what appears on the Wizard's screen)...
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  11. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Yes, that's what he is saying. Cloning is used to replace an old drive with a new one and only works on the entire disk. Use "Backup" to create an image of an entire disk or one or more partitions.
     
  12. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation. I will proceed to use TI's Backup Operation to accomplish my goal (but imho Acronis should enhance the Clone operation to allow the user to choose the partition to clone)!
     
  13. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    I may be wrong but most software that uses the term Clone means an entire disk. The other description used is "Copy". If you can still find it Paragon Hard Disk Manager V8 Special Edition (free) offers a "Copy Partition" feature. I found the link which appears to still be active http://www.computeractive.co.uk/hdmanager8/index.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  14. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks Tom, but that offer expired. However, your point that Paragon provides "Copy Partition" functionality supports my remark to the effect that Acronis' Clone Operation should be able to do that as well. :doubt:
     
  15. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    I know the link says expired but when I clicked on download the file popped up and I can download it. Did you try that? Also click the registration link and see if you get a response.
     
  16. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Right you are - it still seems to work! Tom, have you been using this? If so, how do you find it compares to TI as far as disk-imaging goes?

    Thanks ;)
     
  17. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    I'm not using it but it seems to offer very similar features. The Rescue CD is DOS based and there is a plugin for BartPE available.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    appster,

    If you want to clone (copy) partitions you can use Acronis Disk Director Suite. It's a painless way to copy partitions.

    I agree with Xpilot, I'd image the partition.
     
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