Newbie attempt at restore not working. Confused!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by David Brown, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. David Brown

    David Brown Registered Member

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    Wow! Am I lost. I thought I’ve been pretty good doing backups with True Image Home 10, but have never needed to restore until now. Here’s what happened:

    I backed up my laptop (Windows XP) to an external USB hard drive: a WD Passport. I some weeks previously had created a rescue disk on CD.

    I then wiped the laptop disk and re-installed Windows, but now want to go back to my original setup as before I did this, but now on a different HD in the laptop.

    I restored the archive from the WD Passport to a new, blank laptop hard drive (they were plugged into my desktop computer running True Image), and then I foolishly assumed I could drop the new HD into my laptop and it would boot up just like old computer. But it didn’t do anything after some initial BIOS stuff; just a blank black screen and a blinking cursor.

    Should this laptop HD be blank and formatted? Do I then boot from the rescue disk and True Image will walk me through the recovery? How will it access the external WD Passport if I am not in Windows? I tried booting from the rescue disk, which was encouraging until it couldn’t find the external WD Passport.

    What am I doing wrong? (I haven’t had any luck learning anything through the Knowledge Base, etc., and am getting more and more confused.

    Help appreciated!

    Thanks,

    David
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The procedure that works the best is to install the new drive into the laptop, connect the USB drive and then boot from the TI CD. This way the image gets restored to the drive while it's installed in the laptop.

    If , when you boot the laptop with the TI CD, TI doesn't see the USB drive, the first thing to try is using the quiet acpi=off noapic option detailed in Section II of the PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU POST thread.
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    What version of TI and what Build are you using?

    What brand of notebook is this. Lenovo/IBM notebooks require that the drive be in the notebook when the image is restored.

    Did you make an image of the entire notebook hard drive (all partitions and not just the C: partition)? Booting depends on the partitions being in the right order, so it's easier if you image all of them at once. Many manufacturers put hidden diagnostic or recovery partitions on the hard drive, but all you see is C: in Windows.

    The boot partition has to be set Active in TI when you do the restore.

    You also need to restore the MBR to make the disk bootable.

    It doesn't matter. TI will wipe out the existing partitions when restoring the partition(s) from the image.

    The Rescue CD has to be able to see both the internal hard drives on the notebook and the USB drive. If it doesn't, you need to try a newer version of TI. The Rescue CD from the TI 11 Trial will restore images at least as far back as TI 8.
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Registered Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for the replies so far.

    I tried a few things mentioned, including the "quiet acpi=off noapic" in "Please Read Before You Post" (which I hadn't), but I always got the same result each time when I booted up:

    The TI recovery seems to load OK, the light on my WD Passport blinks a little, giving me the impression it is involved somehow, but when I start the Restore Data Wizard it immediately reboots the computer from the beginning, and would repeat the cycle as long as I repeated these steps.

    I am now going to download TI 11 to my other working computer and make a rescue disk from it to try. Do I need to remove TI 10 before I can do so?

    As far as the other details: It's a Dell Inspiron 8200 notebook, running Windows XP SP2. AFAIK, I backed up the entire disk, which is a single partition. As far as the MBR, I haven't done anything special with it. I don't know whether it is backed up somewhere or not. I basically used TI's default options for backing up the whole computer.

    Thanks, again, for everyone's help. I really appreciate it! I hope we can get this thing solved.

    David
     
  5. rwt325

    rwt325 Registered Member

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    Hi David Brown,

    Your new disk should be formatted NTFS. Acronis image is a single large file, and FAT 32 will probably not handle such large file size.
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Suggest you use the Windows Disk Management option and look at how your disk is partitioned. This display may show more partitions than you are aware of. This partition information can be very important in your decision on restore methods.
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Yes, on the system where you install TI 11.

    Most Dell's have a hidden Diagnostic partition (FAT 16) about 5-10MB in size and a hidden Recovery partition (FAT32) about 3-10GB in size.

    You will see these hidden partitions in Windows XP Disk Management and in True Image.

    The MBR has often been modified by Dell so that pressing Ctrl-F11 will bring up the Diagnostic or Recovery partition. As long as you make an image of the entire hard disk, all partitions, the MBR will be included in the backup image and you can restore it.
     
  8. David Brown

    David Brown Registered Member

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    I made a rescue disk using TI11, which, sure enough, doing the f11 and "quiet acpi=off noapic" command, found my WD Passport when I booted up my laptop. I ran through the wizard to restore the entire drive. Things looked really encouraging as it chugged through the restore process over my slow USB 1.0 connection for 16 HOURS. It finally finished, and gave me a message the process had been completed.

    I disconnected the external drive, removed the rescue CD, and booted up, thinking I was ready to roll. Immediately after the first Dell logo screen, it stopped doing anything, and I got the blank screen with blinking cursor.

    I'm about to go crazy. Why am I having such a difficult time with this? What do I need to do now?

    I appreciate the efforts of everyone here who has tried to help, and hope you can help me figure this thing out.

    David
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    As a diagnostic step, can you boot your PC with the Acronis recovery CD and start the Backup wizard. Make believe that you are going to back up your internal hard disk. Choose a "My Computer" type of backup and proceed to the screen that lists the available disks and partitions to back up.

    Each partition will be represented as a disk drive icon with a little flag on top of the drive. Green flags indicate primary partitions and the one with the red flag is the Active partition.

    Which of your partitions has the red flag? It should be on your main Windows partition; NOT on one of the Dell recovery partitions. Is it?
     
  10. David Brown

    David Brown Registered Member

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    I may have found a workaround that solves my problem.

    When I did my original reformat & reinstall, I had backed up all my data the old fashioned way, by simply copying and pasting to another drive, or so I thought. It turns out I missed a very important database file that was tucked deep in the Documents and Settings/User/Application Data/etc. etc... directory, that was vital to my work. This one file was the main reason I wanted to restore the original system.

    It appears that in Explorer, I can simply go through the TI archive file and pick out this file and restore it, which is great. I have done this, and everything appears cool. I still need to run it through its paces and make sure I got it back intact.

    I still would like to figure out how to restore the whole system, in case I ever lose an entire disk. I can't believe it is so cumbersome and difficult. It seems to be a total contradiction of what Acronis claims to do. A few minutes browsing the posts here on the forum, and you realize a lot of people have some very complicated situations with software that is supposed to make this easy.

    Is there any reason that I can't rely on TI in the future to do what I did with it, i.e. to simply recover individual files a la carte?

    Thanks to all for your help. I will still try to get the restore thing to work, and may be back with more questions.

    David
     
  11. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Have you looked at my guides listed on line 2 & 3 of my signature? Perhaps these could help.

    The guides listed on line 2 can help with the basic disk backup and disk restore.
    The guide listed on line 3 is an example of how to upgrade to a new or larger drive.
     
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