New user -- multiple problems

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by arth1, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. arth1

    arth1 Registered Member

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    Up to now, I have, for Windows, used a product which unfortunately was engulfed and devoured, and after 15 years on the market isn't made anymore. So I'm looking to buy around 5-6 copies of a replacement backup software.

    Acronis True Image Home 2009 is one of the products I'm looking at.

    However, I am having multiple showstopper problems:

    1: No matter what I try, I can not get the bootable rescue media to boot, on any machine. I format a USB keyfob to FAT32, and use the Acronis Media Builder to install the Recovery Manager on it. So far so good. Then I try to boot it (a backup is worthless unless you have successfully done a restore and know it works). And it boots, for about a millisecond, after which the screen displays "1File not open" one one machine, and just a blinking cursor on the other.
    Trying to turn off apic and acpi by editing the boot menu doesn't help -- not that I thought it would, because the boot never get as far as the boot menu. One system is a P9300 based laptop with EFI instead of a BIOS, and another is an Opteron based workstation. The USB stick boots fine if I put a linux distro on it.
    Any suggestions?

    2: One of the machines is a laptop, which backs up to a remote CIFS storage over a wireless connection. Due to the nature of wireless connections, interruptions can occur. With Acronis, what happens then is that I get a requester stating that the media could not be read (Error -1), and gives the options Retry and Cancel. No matter what i hit, this requester comes back over and over and over again -- even after the network connection has been restored. Even trying to cancel out of the backup in-between this requester showing has no effect -- it reappears again and again, until I reboot the system. I need to be able to perform unattended backups. Failing if the network goes down is OK, but requiring user intervention is not. And getting a looping requester that never (well, after 200 clicks or so, I gave up trying) quits won't do at all.
    Even with a "silent" backup, this requester pops up.
    Any suggestions as to how to get a truly unattended backup working?

    3: 8+3 file names on media that supports long file names. An example of the problem might illustrate it best: When backing up "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office" and "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Street & Trips", the folders also have 8+3 names -- let's say MICROS~1 and MICROS~2 for simplicity. The registry entries for the application often refer to these 8+3 names instead of the long names. When restoring, it's important to get the 8+3 name correct too, else the registry entries will look in the wrong folder. When I restore and try to open a .DOC file, I get an error message which boils down to a file not being found, because the registry entries use an 8+3 path which has changed.
    Is there a way to get Acronis to restore not only the long name, but also the 8+3 name?

    4: Housekeeping. If manually removing backups, the backup files being used are deleted. However, if a backup fails, is interrupted, or superseded, the resulting and unusable backup file appears to stay forever. Is there a way to get Acronis to keep the backup directory tidy?
    Or, if this is not possible, to not have it use incremental names, but only the exact names you specify, overwriting existing files without adding a number to the end? I don't want to see backup, backup2, backup3, backup4, backup5, backup6, and no way of knowing which ones are active and which ones can be deleted The restore manager won't tell you the name of the individual files -- only the last one used.

    If the above problems aren't fixable in Home 2009, is trying Echo Workstation worth it, or is it just a different interface and remote control capabilities on the same engine?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  2. arth1

    arth1 Registered Member

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    Even if not knowing any workarounds for the main questions, surely someone must know whether Echo Workstation is the same product with different options, and thus subject to the same showstoppers, or a different product, and thus worth evaluating?
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This usually means that either the loader isn't working (if you don't even get the Acronis Menu) or the drivers in the Linux version (Full Mode version) don't correctly support the computer.

    If it's a loader problem, contact Acronis Support and ask for the alternate loader version (Live Chat is probably the quickest method).

    Alternate methods of booting Acronis programs from flashdrives can be found here:
    Create a Bootable Flashdrive Using Vista's DISKPART Program
    Create a Bootable Flashdrive Using Grub4DOS

    Acronis doesn't support doing backups or restores over wireless connections.

    Is this when doing a "My Computer" backup (partition image) or when doing a "My Data" backup (files & folders)?

    I don't remember reading anything about this problem before.

    If TI leaves the file, then I don't think there's a way to have it remove it as it should have already cleaned it up.

    As far as I know, if you schedule Full backups, it will overwrite the existing file (that's what it's supposed to do, anyway).

    Echo Workstation is a different program and has a different engine and kernel. The interface is more like TI 10 so don't expect it to resemble TI 2009. It may be worth it to download the trial and see if you get better results.
     
  4. arth1

    arth1 Registered Member

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    That's the case -- it doesn't proceed to the boot menu.

    (8+3 file name restores not working)
    At least when doing file backup/restores - I haven't tested with a partition backup yet.

    An example:

    c:\Temp>dir /X tmp
    Volume in drive C is Vista
    Volume Serial Number is 6CDC-0E40

    Directory of c:\Temp\tmp

    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> .
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> ..
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~1 Microsoft A
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~3 Microsoft B
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~2 Microsoft C
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~4 Microsoft D
    0 File(s) 0 bytes
    6 Dir(s) 86 652 796 928 bytes free


    I then back up the directory using Acronis, delete the original, and restore it. I then get:

    c:\Temp>dir /X tmp
    Volume in drive C is Vista
    Volume Serial Number is 6CDC-0E40

    Directory of c:\Temp\tmp

    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> .
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> ..
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~1 Microsoft A
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~2 Microsoft B
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~3 Microsoft C
    2009-02-09 17:58 <DIR> MICROS~4 Microsoft D
    0 File(s) 0 bytes
    6 Dir(s) 86 652 796 928 bytes free

    Note that "Microsoft B" and "Microsoft C" have had their 8+3 names swapped. Scripts and registry entries that point to C:\TEMP\MICROS~2\ will now go to a "Microsoft B" instead of "Microsoft C", and thus not find the expected files.

    This is a big problem with Microsoft Office, which uses 8+3 links to the registry entries all over the place, while lots of different Microsoft applications also install in C:\Program Files\Microsoft [something]. The 8+3 name must be preserved for Office to work correctly after a restore.

    Probably because it's far from trivial to find the root cause, and this very real problem might be attributed to something entirely different.

    I'm pretty sure that at least some of the Office restore problems that have been attributed to .bak files were instead due to the 8+3 path not being restored correctly. If someone restores Office, and it doesn't work, they run Office "Detect and Repair" to get things to work again.
    Next time they back up WITH the .bak files included, restore again, and Office continue to work. So they might conclude that including the .bak files was what did the trick.
    However, the real problem and fix might not have been that at all, but because the 8+3 paths have changed in the registry after running the "Detect and Repair", and now conforms to what Acronis will restore them to (alphabetical order, and not what they were before).

    True, but that doesn't help for incrementals and differentials, which only seem to have dynamic names.

    I will most certainly give it a spin then! Thanks!
     
  5. arth1

    arth1 Registered Member

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    Unfortunately, True Image Echo Workstation didn't make a difference. The difference between Echo and 2009 seems to be mostly cosmetic, with Echo being based on an older version of TrueImage. The backup methods seem the same, and the bugs likewise.

    Especially the inability to make truly unattended backups is a showstopper. If there is a possibility for an error requester instead of a silent failure, or files that can't be maintained on the server side because the name might change (as with incrementals), it just won't do.

    The inability to handle 8+3 name restores is also a big showstopper.
    (To see whether this problem might affect you, open regedit, and search for "~2". If you find anything, chances are there is also a similarly named file or folder with "~1". With no guarantee that Acronis will restore the correct 8+3 name, yes, you are affected.)

    So, in short, I've given up on Acronis, and will be looking elsewhere for a new solution for our big handful of Windows boxes. Hopefully I can find something that can do backup in levels too, like I'm spoiled with on the Unix side.
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    My experience is that if I create a boot CD it works, if I try to do it on a USB drive I have problems.
     
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