not impressed; external drive problems

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by i am not impressed, May 8, 2005.

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  1. i am not impressed

    i am not impressed Registered Member

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    I had no problem creating a disk image on a firewire external drive. The idea being to restore that to another identical computer. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?

    Well, I can't seem to do this when running TI on the other computer. After making a bootable CD I find that there is no way to recognize the external drive, whether it is attached by firewire or USB. And thus no way to restore an image from it.

    I'm now reformatting and repartitioning the external drive. But its 120 GB and everytime I try anything with TI it takes forever just to assess the disk. When it can find it at all. Disk Director will take a couple hours to reformat it now.

    What should be a fairly simple process has left me $50 and several hours worth of time in the hole. I am not impressed with this product so far. Nor with the support - I have to register for a forum and look for help here? Or pay yet more money?

    Is there any trick to using an external drive? After all, thats the most likely place people will want to put an image.
     
  2. Euser

    Euser Registered Member

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    Request the Bart's PE plugin from support and build the bootable cd. Do a forum search for Bart's PE plugin and you will see that this is the answer to your problem. After you have done this take a look at Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. Creating this CD is not as hard as it may look and has some very useful utilities (saved my bacon many times ).
    The acronis bootable cd uses linux which is incompatible with many external enclosures/hard drives. The Bart's PE uses a bootable windows environment.
     
  3. i am not impressed

    i am not impressed Registered Member

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    After yet more time spent I determined that the disk was not friendly to TI. I managed to reformat it as one large NTFS partition and now it works ok. TI also scans the external drive much faster than before.

    It looks like it was partitioned in some non-descript way. Somre reports called it FAT and others couldn't seem to determine a format at all. There was no problem using it for storage but TI could not work with it when working from a bootable CD. It did recognize it when run within windows (but in that case a restore isn't possible).

    If Barts PE plugin is really useful to numerous people why does it have to be requested? Its been recommended to people on several threads here. Why isn't it included or available as a download?

    I also did not find this forum very helpful. The downside of steering everything here is that there are quite a few similar problems with different solutions and recommendations. People following the wrong ones seem to be able to get things more screwed up.

    I do quite a bit of computing work and tend to try things until I get a solution, even if it takes a lot of time. Way too much time in some cases. I would not recommend this product to anybody without a solid background in computers, and even then with the caveat that getting it to work right may take a good bit of time and trial-and-error.

    I think I have the ultimate boot CD someplace. I had a VAIO notebook crash and attempted to use it then. Unfortunately the motherboard had died, but the CD did seem to have quite a collection of things on it. What it would do for me in this particular case is unclear, but it may be a useful thing to keep on hand.
     
  4. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Well, you can't hold Acronis responsible for a hard drive manufacturer using some non-standard format for their disks. I'd blast the manufacturer for creating so much trouble for you. If the data sheet with the drive had explained what the formatting was, you'd probably have reformatted it immediately.

    We could all benefit if you would post what brand and model this drive is since you have found the cure for others who might purchase the same product.
     
  5. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Hi, Not Impressed - glad you finally got it working.
    How did you discover this? Was it by examining the disk with various free-ware/trial disk partitioning tools?
    I think a lot of people are to blame for problems like this - all they way from clueless loosers to marketing droids to programmers/manufacturers. Despite what the droids and the commercials says, a desktop PC is a very versatile piece of equipment, made up of the bits and pieces produced by different companies at the lowest cost possible, and put together by a reseller with very low margins. Things are bound to wrong, and so you end up with "innovative" solutions like an Hidden Restore Partition or special-made Windows Wipe-And-Install CD's. And "user-friendly" strangely, pre-formatted hard disks.

    Being a paranoid (read: experienced) computer user, I have always insisted on having access to all the software needed to manually rebuild my system from scratch using diskettes and/or a CD's. That means no amputated install CD's, no pre-installed software, etc. In case of hard disks, I always start by running some kind of diagnostics software (usually downloaded from the manufacturers site), then a low-level format, then a full partitioning and formatting of the whole drive - all to make sure that it works, and that no strange BIOS overlays, hidden partitions, etc, etc exists before I commit to the disk. So far, it has worked (*knocks three times on wood*).
    Indeed.
    Acronis plan to sell it as part of their Enterprise offering, but they also recognize that it might be the only solution for a small part of their customers who have problems getting the ordinary Home User edition to work with troublesome hardware. In that case, those users will be given access to a copy of the plug-in.
    I am not sure about who is doing the "steering". I don't know what the manual, guide, web-site says about support, but I have alway started a support case by sending the request by e-mail to Acronis. I view the forum here at Wilders - while designated as an Official Support forum - as an lesser alternative than directly contacting Acronis.
    Well, that is the way to go if you want to become an expert. You seldom learn from your succeses, but always from your failures.
    I agree - unless you (the expert) sits down and gives the end-user a piece of paper with written instructions on how to 1) Create an image of the whole disk, and 2) Restore from the image. But isn't that the case with any piece of software that has the task of securing, and the potential to destroy large amounts of data?
    Indeed. I have one, and while I don't know *when* I will need it, I will sure miss it some day if I don't have it.
     
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