New hard drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Jon_Cosby, Jun 16, 2006.

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

    Jon_Cosby Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Posts:
    3
    I am replacing my hard drive. The plan is to partition the new HDD and install Windows, then boot to the TrueImage cd and restore the system partition from the backup archives I've burned to dvd. Am I on the right track? Would this put the new hdd in the same state as the old one?
     
  2. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Posts:
    1,477
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    I don't think you will end up with the same state, but there are better experts here to say so for sure. Cloning the old hard drive to the new will do what you want. I've used it successfully to install a new larger hard drive. The other option is to create an image of your old drive and then restore it to the new drive. Beware that you may end up with unallocated space if you do this. See the following thread Post #5 for the workaround:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=135246&highlight=unallocated space

    Also beware of issues burning direct to DVD with B3633. Look here for some suggestions:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=132574&highlight=dvd burning Post #7
     
  3. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    For a new disk the procedure recommended by Acronis is to use the Clone utility. This will build an exact sector-by-sector copy of your old disk. Most importantly it will transfer the critical elements that are needed to make a Windows disk bootable.

    To make a disk bootable under Windows you need the MBR (Master Boot Record), Disk Signature and the Partition Table. The code associated with these functions needs to be written to specific areas on the disk. The TI9 Clone utility will do all of this automatically.

    WARNING : NEVER delete the files on the old disk until you are 101% sure that Windows and all your software and all your data files are working correctly on the new cloned disk. (I have no idea why Acronis ever made this an option in the Clone utility. In my view it should be removed. Deleting the data on the old disk as part of the clone process is akin to playing Russian roulette with 5 bullets in the chamber!! )

    Disks are so inexpensive that it is good practice to keep the old disk in a draw for a few weeks to give yourself the assurance that the new disk is performing to your expectations.

    Restoring from an image is the preferred process to reconstruct a bad partition, lost or corrupted files or to recover from a serious virus infection.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello Jon_Cosby,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please note that there are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - transfers the entire contents of one disk drive to another;

    Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes;

    Please read more in this FAQ article.

    Actually, Clone Disk approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while Backup approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes.

    We recommend you create the bootable rescue media with Acronis True Image, boot your computer in rescue mode and follow Clone Disk approach.

    Please remember that in order to clone or migrate your Windows system to a different hardware, you should first prepare Windows using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (Sysprep)http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/faq.html#30

    Please also note that we recommend you to unplug one of the hard drives right after the disk cloning process has been finished, since keeping both original and cloned hard drives connected might cause different boot or drive letter assignment problems.

    You can also find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
     
  5. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    I don't agree with the advice given by Acronis Support.

    From Acronis Support post
    If by "...different hardware..." Acronis Support means a complete new PC then I agree, but this is not the correct advice in terms of what Jon_Cosby is trying to achieve. All he wants to do is install a new System Disk.

    I quote from the Microsoft TechNet article on this subject: -

    One of the underlying purposes of Sysprep is to deploy Windows across PC's that have different SID's as you cannot have more than one PC with the same SID on the same network. In the case of a single PC where the old system disk is being cloned to a new system disk, the PC SID will remain the same and there should be no conflicts within Windows in accepting the new system disk as part of the existing system configuration.

    When replacing a faulty System Disk or upgrading to a larger System Disk on a single PC where the other components are remaining "as is" there is absolutely no requirement to run Sysprep.
     
  6. Azdon

    Azdon Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Posts:
    90
    If all I want to do is replace the HDD in a computer with the same XP Pro OS and all the installed programs, drivers, up-dates, data, etc. do I have to make a clone image, or can I do a complete disk back-up image to a USB external HD and restore it on the new drive? I am asking because the current HDD is 250 GB and I store full disk back-ups on a USB 100 GB external drive. If I understand right a "clone image" of the 250 GB HDD would be much larger and might not fit on a 100 GB drive. The full disk back-up image is about 8 GB and my plan was to use this image to put everything that was on the current drive when I backed it up onto a new drive if the current one had, for some reason, to be replaced. I would plan to accomplish this using the rescue boot CD. I assume for this question that the new drive would be the same size and have identical partition layouts as the old drive. The other advantage seems to me to be that I also could 'mount' the back-up image and restore individual data files if I needed to, and I don't know if you can do that with a 'clone image' What am I not understanding?
     
  7. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello Azdon,

    A slight case of "mixed metaphors" here I'm afraid :). In True Image speak there is no such thing as a "Clone Image"; it's either a disk "Clone" or backup "Image".

    Disk cloning will copy the contents of the complete source disk, including MBR and partition layout, to a replacement hard drive. This can be larger or smaller (provided it's large enough to accommodate the total used space on the source drive) than the original source disk. The partition sizes can be adjusted automatically or manually during the Clone process.

    On the other hand, "Imaging" creates a backup file to another location e.g. internal/external hard drive, CD/DVD, Acronis Secure Zone, etc. The backup image can be of the whole source disk (including MBR and partition layout), which is probably why you and many others tend to call it a "clone", or of one or more partitions of a multi-partitioned disk. As you rightly say, an image file can be mounted and used to recover specific files or folders. Additionally, a number of other things can be carried out via the "Imaging" function, e.g. scheduled backups, incremental and/or differential images, Files & Folders imaging and restoring, etc.

    In the example you provided I would create a whole disk image (tick the checkbox adjacent to Disk #1) to the external USB HD and restore it via the boot rescue CD to the replacement hard drive. Again, you will need to tick the checkbox adjacent to Disk #1 when selecting what to restore in order that the MBR and Track 0 data is written to the new drive. In the event the replacement drive is larger than the original then either resize after the restore via use of suitable partition management software, or use one of the True Image workarounds detailed in the links below:

    For Single Partition Source Drive

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=712183&postcount=5

    For Multi-Partitioned Source Drive

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=769388&postcount=5

    Hope the above info helps :cool:

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  8. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    When using software utilities it often helps to try and understand what the software developers had in mind when they designed the software.

    When Acronis designed the "Clone" utility in TI9 their stated purpose was to provide the user with a means of copying a primary disk (which would by default contain the system and which may also be divided into partitions containing perhaps another OS and data files) to another larger disk. There is therefore no need for the "source" and "destination" disk to be the same, in fact the primary purpose of the Clone utility is to copy an entire "small" source disk to a "big" destination disk while retaining the essential geometry of the disk on a proportional basis.

    The reason Acronis provided this functionality was that over the past few years the price-per-gigabyte of disk storage has dropped considerably and a 200GB disk today costs less than a 20GB disk cost only a few years ago. The popularity of storing large media files (videos, music.. etc) on a PC has created a consumer demand for large-capacity disks. The Clone utility provides a reasonably easy way for non-technical users to setup, partition and make bootable a new disk that can benefit from the ever-decreasing cost of data storage.

    The Acronis documentation makes it very clear that the Clone utility should not form part of an ongoing backup and restore policy. It should only be used for the purpose that it was intended - as stated above. Ongoing backup, restore and data recovery should be implemented using the TI9 "Image/Restore" functionality.

    However - and this is VERY IMPORTANT - if you want to use the Image/Restore functionality to setup a bootable Windows partition on another disk then you must plan for that in advance. Windows requires 3 essential areas on a disk (or partition) to be setup to enable the disk/partition to be bootable. These are the MBR, the Disk Signature and the Partition Table. If any one of these does not correspond to Windows expectations the disk may become unbootable.

    If your system won't boot because Windows has become corrupted then, if you have a good image, you simply restore the image back to where it came from and hopefully your system will then be back up-and-running.

    However, if your system won't boot because the System Disk has failed (mechanical or electrical) then restoring your system image to a new disk will probably not work because the information in the Partition Table will most likely not correlate to the geometry of the new disk. In this instance what you need is a spare disk that has been prepared in advance, the geometry of which is identical to the disk that fails. You don't actually need to have anything on this disk, it just needs to have an identical layout to the system disk. If the system disk fails you then simply restore your latest good image of the system partition to the corresponding partition on the spare disk. Once you have done that you can then boot into Windows, start up TI9 and restore the other partitions.

    Does this answer your question?
     
  9. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    Hi Tabvla,

    I do not understand most of what you say above.
    Provided a user has a complete image of a system disk there is no need at all for any pre-preparation of a replacement disk.
    All that is needed is to physically install the disk in place of the bad one and then boot from the rescue CD to perform a restore. I have done this using a replacement drive straight out of the box and also to one that had been taken from a PVR box which had totally different geometery.
     
  10. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    Yes, clone. You don't need sysprep just to replace a system disk.

    Clone from disk x (current system disk) to disk y. Remove disk x from computer, attach disk y where disk x used to be connected. Boot up. then you can shut down and reconnect disk x if you want as a second drive.

    sh
     
  11. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    Reply to Xpilot.

    Correct. But the key term that you use here is
    My apologies if my statement was not clear. In many cases users will have a number of partitions on the system disk, for example, Partition_1 will contain the system and programs and there may then be 2 or 3 other partitions containing data.

    For purely practical reasons they will take images of the various partitions at different times. For example, the files on the system and programs partition may only change occasionally such as when there is a Windows update or a new program is installed. This could happen only once a month and therefore an image only needs to be taken once a month. In a commercial environment the files on the data partition(s) are changing daily. The user will then take an image every night after the close of business. The files in another partition might only change once a week. For example, a user might keep all their accounting data in a separate partition but only run the accounting program weekly. (With automated scripts this is common practice). In this case the partition with the accounting data files only need to be backed up once a week.

    In addition to the above examples users may change the nature of partitions. They buy a big disk - say 500GB - but leave most of the space unallocated. As a partition starts to fill up they allocate more space to it.

    All that I am trying to highlight is that it is critically important that if you take an image of the System Partition (as opposed to the full System Disk) that in the event of a failed system disk you need to restore that image to a disk that has already been configured to match the geometry of the failed disk.

    None of the above is relevant if you take a full image of the full System Disk - so my apologies for any confusion.
     
  12. Azdon

    Azdon Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Posts:
    90
    Thanks for the replies. I think I understand now. If I just want to up-grade to a bigger drive then 'clone' is a good way. If I want to protect against a future disk mishap/failure then a 'full disk image backup' is best. Another way to look at it might be: 'Clone' assumes the original disk runs fine and just needs to be up-dated to a larger disk. 'Cloning' is done in real time from old drive to new. 'Full disk image' is done now, for future use on the original, or replacement drive.
    As I related some time ago in another thread, I recently bought this new computer (Dell E-510). Once I finished adding all my programs, up-dating OS, etc. I installed Norton Ghost 2003 to back everythiing up. Either because of the special Dell hidden partitions, or the SATA HDD, etc. Ghost installed and booted to a Ghost DOS 7 new partition but then locked up. Working with Dell we ultimately had to reformat the drive and re-install windows. In that process I, of course, lost the utility Dell partitions, etc. Dell installed when they shipped the computer, plus all my additions and up-dates. Had I made a full disk image with TI before I installed Ghost (I realize one would NOT do that) I asume I could have restored the disk to exactly as it was before the lock-up. including all the Dell hidden stuff. Thats why I bought TI. Again, thanks for the valuable responses.
    Don
     
  13. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    Caution....

    I would check with Acronis Support. There have been numerous issues reported on this Forum with regards to Dell hidden partitions.
     
  14. Azdon

    Azdon Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Posts:
    90
    It is academic now, since I already lost them. I just wanted to be protected for future mishaps. I just hope 'restore' works if or when I need it. Thanks again.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.