Partition numbers and restore

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by enonod, Dec 12, 2008.

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

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    I am desperate and hairless! I backed up two partitions, each contained Windows XP. Each was hidden from the other and I used OS Selector.
    I changed partition sizes and it all went wrong in that the MBR was corrupted and then the Boot.ini.

    I sorted everything and restored the first partition. OK
    When I restored partition 2 it would only allow a drive letter (L).
    I can't hide partition 1 while restoring partition 2 to force it to be (C).

    I presumed and perhaps someone can confirm please. Any backed up partition can go back in any position within unallocated space (i.e. 1 could become 2).

    How do I get for example, 3 partitions all bootable as C: and hidden from each other, without re-installing windows please?

    Also I presume I should be able to use a partition saved with Basic Windows only and recover it twice as two separate partitions and then add different software to eacho_O

    When I first did this it was from installs not recoveries.

    Thank you.

    p.s. Should the two Boot.ini files be the same for two partitions?
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Since your question involves OS Selector, then I presume you have Acronis Disk Director. You should probably first disable OS Selector until you get things set up manually. I would suggest posting your question in the Disk Director forum. What you are trying to do should be rather straightforward. Paul (MudCrab) and I would be glad to help out.
     
  3. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    Sorry for the wrong forum, I didn't really notice. I will repost there in the morning and await a response. Thank you.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    enonod,

    The thread can be moved so a repost shouldn't be necessary.

    ---

    As posted in your other thread, the restore procedure will depend on which version and build of TI you're using (assuming you're using TI).

    Is OSS currently installed or have you uninstalled or deactivated it?

    Do you have a problem starting over with the restoring procedure, if necessary?
     
  5. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    I think it best to continue with this thread and thanks for moving it and your continued assistance. Sorry I was vague about version, I thought they all did the same at basic level.
    TI v10 - DDS v10 includes OSS. Yes I can start over restoring and have tried several times, but retained the large Logical partition, which is backed up but takes hours to copy back.
    I have unallocated space, visually) at front of drive.
    I did have two partitions A-B. I created an image of each.
    I decided A was cumbersome and wanted to split it after Virtualbox didn't solve my problem.
    I deleted A and reinstalled XP from scratch, with drivers and basics, no software. I imaged that, now called C. A no longer exists.
    I resized C to make room for a third partition.
    In the end I removed OSS (inelegantly) then I had a problem.

    I then added a set of software to C and imaged that. Call it D.
    I now cannot remember all I did (repeatedly) with partition moving etc.
    I installed OSS, which required a partition, so I moved the first partition to make room. More disasters.
    I edited the Boot.ini to try to use windows boot but couldn';t remember whether I needed all three entries in each partition with a different default etc. etc. End result, the missing Hal.dll error plus sometimes no operating system etc.

    I decided to wipe the primaries and load C. Failed with Hal, so I set Boot.ini to show only one partition. Failed, Hal. I then lost my presence of mind and assumed that the images contained the original partition number, then it got worse.
    I now tried D only and Boot.ini to partition 1. Success.
    Restored B and set boot.ini to patition 2 but set partition 1 boot ini to show both. Failed. I have failed ever since and wondered again whther the partition numbers don't match.

    Lost faith in OSS. Tried simple OSL2000 boot manager because it doesnt require any partitions and no Bootwiz. It Boots C but calls it Primary 2 even though it is the only partition other than the Logical.
    I then repeated trying to get B to boot (Primary 3 but is it partition 3?). Failed with Hal.
    When I attempt to restore the second partition B with TI it won't allow 'C' drive. I cannot at this stage change drive letter or hide C.

    That is where I am stuck.
    I need the three partitions on. I have at present C working and B - D images.
    What have I done in my repeated circles of confusion.
    Sorry for the length.

    [EDIT] Attempting to restore the 2nd partition, say D, gives the choice logical, primary, active but indicates logical (which I have tried as both primary and active (no change).
    Both offer a higher drive letter not C. No facility to change it. I would have expected, say active, to then change it to C and hide the existing partition.
    I used to use Partition Magic and Boot Magic with no problem until I tried DDS which indicated PM8 had caused corrupted partitions. I then changed to DDS.

    Partition D restored in 2nd position and unable with DDS to edit boot.ini.
    [EDIT 2]
    Part. C is (1) and OK. Restored B to position 2. Boot.ini already says (2).
    Try to boot B and get Hal error. Boot back to C OK. B verified OK.
    While on C then B is hidden.
    The boot manager says C is Primary 1 and B is Primary 3.
    There are two partitions plus the Partition containing the Logical drives.
    Changed B boot.ini to (3) just in case; Hal error. Hal.dll is in the right place so it is looking in the wrong place??

    [EDIT 3]I can't do a screen image but with C part(1) booted and B (2) hidden, the partition table looks like...

    type-Boot * Cyl-Head-Sec * Cyl-Head-Sec * Before-After
    07 - 80 * 0 - 1 - 1 * 1023 - 254 - 63 * 63 -35101962
    05 - 00 * 1023 - 0 - 1 * 1023 - 0 -5 * 101080980 - 107972870
    17 - 00 * 1023 - 0 - 1 * 1023 - 254 - 63 * 35102025 - 26828550
    Num 4 all zero

    [EDIT 4] All three restores done. DDS shows C as Pri/Act - B as Pri/Hid - D as Pri/Act and I cannot edit boot.ini on the last one. The partions have changed in the other boot.ini to C (2) and B (4), don't know what D is. I dare not boot with two Actives or I may get lost.
    Right, solved that and hidden D and made it not active. Try booting.

    [EDIT 5 the last] By restoring all 3 BCD two now work C & D which have changed their positions by themsleves C (2) Primary 2 & D (1) Primary 1. B I cannot open Boot.ini but in the boot manager it is listed as Primary 4. It gives the Hal error.
    I am now stuck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    enonod:

    Wow, you've been through the wringer here. One of the problems that you're fighting is TI10 (which build? The latest was build 4942) attempts to avoid the need to edit boot.ini by being clever and restoring to the "slot" in the partition table that corresponds to the entry in boot.ini. For example, if you create an image of an XP partition that is in the second primary partition, boot.ini would contain a reference to Partition(2). If you then restore this image to unallocated free space at the beginning of the disk thinking that you are wanting to place it in partition 1, TI10 will write the entry in the second slot of the partition table so that the boot.ini reference to Partition(2) is still valid. The partition is physically restored to the start of the disk but the entry in the partition table goes into the second slot. In doing so, TI makes life simple for the user with a single-boot operating system because it will boot without the need to edit boot.ini. But for a multiboot system, TI outsmarts itself and creates confusion. Note that Acronis "saw the light" and changed this behavior in TI 11. In TI 11 and I assume TI 2009, the boot.ini file itself is modified.

    In principle, here is how I would proceed:

    1. Start with a good working image of each XP partition that you want to restore
    2. In all of the succeeding steps, run TI and DD from the boot CD. Boot into DD and delete all partitions from the disk except your logical partition containing data.
    3. Hide the logical partition.
    4. Restore one of your images to the unallocated free space. In the restore wizard, select only the OS partition from the backup archive. Be sure to designate "Active" as the partition type and locate it at the beginning of the disk. Choose an appropriate size, then let the restore proceed. Do not boot into Windows yet.
    5. Check the result of the restore with DD. Did the partition end up in slot 1 of the partition table? If not, use the disk editor or ptedit32 to fix it. Edit boot.ini using DD10 to point to Partition(1). Then try a boot into Windows.
    6. To restore the next XP, run DD10 and hide the first XP installation. Repeat steps 4 and 5 but for Partition(2).
    7. Restore the third XP OS. Now you should have three primary partitions in partition table slots 1, 2, and 3, with an extended partition in slot 4.
    8. You should be able to boot manually to any of the three XP installations by hiding the other two and making the desired partition active. Try this manually with DD. If all are OK, then un-hide the logical partition and boot manually into each installation of XP. Check the drive letter assigned to the logical partition; it should be D:. If not or if you want something else, use XP Disk Management to reassign drive letters. The system should be C: in all three.

    Assuming that you get this to work manually, then and only then install your boot manager and set it up to do this automatically.
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    When I first saw this, I wondered if TI 10 was being used. It had all the signs. In my opinion, it's one of the worst bugs/features of the program. It can run you in circles and drive you nuts trying to figure out what's going on.

    enonod: If you want to read up on the problem, you can find more information in this thread: TI Restore Changes Partition Order in Partition Table

    Restoring the partitions in the correct sequence can avoid the problem, but you have to figure out what the correct sequence is. A better solution is to use TI 9 (build 3,677) or TI 11 or later to do the restore. Note that TI 9 (build 3,677) will not change either the partition table order nor any boot.ini files -- the boot.ini files would need to be changed manually (using DD, for example).

    ---

    In addition to Mark's plan, I would note that I would do all three restores before making any changes to the partition table or any boot.ini files. I say this because the next restore may change the table and move the slots around causing extra work. For example: You restore an image that was originally in slot 2. You then manually move that to slot 1. If you later restore that image again, TI will put it back into slot 2. You'd be okay the first time, but the next time, things would move. In your case, it looks like you have two images and want three partitions. This means that one of the images is going to be restored twice. Depending on which partition slot it used, it may shuffle the slots around after you already fixed the other two.

    Also, TI 10 will automatically change the boot.ini files for the other XP partitions so they should be correct after a restore (even after the partition table shuffle). Of course, if you manually fix the partition table order, you'll have to fix the boot.ini files too.

    I agree that having the partition table in the physical order is the least confusing and worth the effort to do.

    When you get your system setup and working correctly, I would create new image backups of the partitions (or an Entire Disk Image backup) so that when they are restored they'll go back into the correct partition table slots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    Just so it's clear, OSS does not require a dedicated or non-OS partition. It can be installed and work just fine from an OS partition (one of your XP partitions, for example). However, I recommend that OSS be installed on a non-OS partition for the simple fact that it keeps the files from getting messed up when you restore any of your OS partitions.
     
  9. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    Temporary reply...
    Thank you both immensely for the support and very clear instructions; I cannot say how grateful I am.
    Yes the Boot.ini has been changed each time I restore another partition. The reason for not going for v11 was that I tried it but there weren't all the drivers available for my system and it caused more trouble.
    This will take me some time and I will return with the result and hope it is not for more help.
    Thank you both.
     
  10. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    All partitions restored and partition table set to correct order to match each boot.ini.
    The first two partitions boot OK the third gives Hal.dll error. This is also the most important partition.
    Table...
    0 1 1 1023 254 63 63 35101962
    1023 0 1 1023 254 63 35102025 32001480
    1023 0 1 1023 254 63 67103505 26828550
    1023 0 1 1023 0 5 101080980 107972870

    The last being the Logical. The third being the one with Hal error.
    Any suggestions please?
    [EDIT]The only difference while restoring P3 was that the select partition to restore window showed 'MBR and Track 0' above the partition item whereas all others always show it the other way round. Probably nothing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  11. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    enonod:

    It sounds like you made a lot of progress; congratulations!

    There are several articles that deal with the Hal error, like this or this. The most-frequently mentioned cause is a problem in the boot.ini file. Can you post yours from partition 3?
     
  12. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks for coming back.

    [boot loader]
    ;timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\windows
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\windows="OFFICE" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    That looks correct. The articles referenced in my last post seemed to indicate that if the "default" line in boot.ini was missing then you would get the Hal error. I've never commented out the "timeout" line so I don't know what effect that might or might not have.

    Other things to check:

    Use DD to explore the root partition of the problem OS partition. Make certain that you have the files \ntldr and \NTDETECT.COM in the partition. I would think that ntldr must be there or the boot process would come to a screeching halt. You could also try copying the hal.dll file from a good partition to the problem partition.
     
  14. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    A few days ago I had the same problem with partition 2. I booted XP recovery console and it offered to repair the partition. It appeared to reinstall windows but it did come out with all the original software.
    The files are present in root in P3.
    I cannot copy hal.dll into the partition, though it is there. I can only copy (out)?? or delete using DDo_O

    I may try the recovery console. P3 when recovered, tried to set itself as P2 in Boot.ini, so I changed it. I now understand from your guidance, what the partitions should look like. Maybe this is corrupted, though it says not, but maybe it had the wrong start/end position when it was saved, since I saved it after having trouble.o_O A partition Doctor said the partitions were out by 5 sectors and I allowed it to correct.
    Is there a way to alter that now??
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  15. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    You could use DD to unhide P3 and then reboot into one of the other partitions. Use Windows then to do the file copy. Since you have all of the partitions seeing their own drive letter as C: then you should be able to now do this without getting drive letter reassignments.

    If there were problems with the partition table's starting sector then you wouldn't be able to even see the partition, so that's not it. From your previous partition table description I can see that your extended partition in slot four is off by 5 sectors. While this won't hurt anything, some partition software (like Partition Magic) may give you an error message. One way to fix these is to back them up with TI and then restore the partition over itself. TI will realign things properly. So, to your original question, if the original source of P3 was realigned by a previous partition program, then it would not have mattered since when you restored its image, TI aligns it on cylinder boundaries anyway.

    I don't know why the hal.dll error, but you are probably getting closer to resolving it. Do you have a spare hard disk? What happens if you restore your problem image to a completely blank test disk?
     
  16. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    I am really grateful for your continued hand-holding.
    I have not tried to another disk, but could if I made room (and risk all this??) I don't have a blank.
    I think you are suggesting that by unhiding, and booting another P a letter should be assigned to P3 and then I can look at it. I have never tried this and I certainly will.

    I am pleased to know that my other fears are unfounded.
    You have given me a few things to try and my wife calls me to bed now!!!
    I will try again tomorrow and hopefully will be back later to thank you.
     
  17. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    I am back!
    Unhiding in DD was successful and a letter assigned, but the drive was not visible. I follwed instructions and rebooted to another partition, but the unhidden drive was automatically hidden again.
    The only access; without booting again; is through the DOS window, while still in Windows.

    [EDIT] End of the road.
    NTLetc are in the root but the horrifying truth is that this 'verified' backup has an empty Windows directory !!!

    [EDIT] Success from disaster. I found an old backup for P3, it attempted to set itself as P2 and did change the partition table which I corrected.
    THANK YOU BOTH FOR YOUR HELP.
    If there is a lesson from this it is... Don't rely on simply restoring a partition. If there is more than one partition, before rebooting, the boot.ini must be checked that it has the correct partition number. That is not enough! The partition table must be checked using DD File\Advanced\Edit while pointing at the drive not the partition (or PtEdit32) to see that the partitions match the Boot.ini as well, because they can change at restore.
    Happy Christmas both, if you celebrate it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  18. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    enonod:

    An empty Windows directory would certainly cause the problem that you were experiencing! Another lesson to take away from this is that it's always good practice to have more than one backup image. Glad that you got it sorted out. Merry Christmas to your family also.
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    enonod,

    I'm glad you got your system working. If you haven't already, now is the perfect time to make new backup images of your partitions. Then you'll be able to restore those without messing up the partition table (assuming you restore them back into their original positions).

    You didn't say anything about TI 9 so I guess you don't have that version. If you did and it supported your computer's hardware, build 3,677 would have been the easiest solution. I keep that build around just for that purpose. It works with TI 10 images and doesn't have the partition table problems. However, I think you have gained a much better understanding of how the computer works, how hard drives are setup and how Windows boots. That knowledge will most likely come in handy again.

    Thanks for the Christmas greetings. Merry Christmas to you and your family too.

    ---

    I'm curious why the Windows folder was empty. TI 10 doesn't exclude files/folders in image backups so something else must have happened. Do you have any ideas?
     
  20. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    @MudCrab: Yes I have learned enough to sort the problem even if the partitions go back in the wrong order, I can sort it, thanks to the pair of you.
    Also thank you for your good wishes, both.

    Well I have since mounted the image and sure enough several folders empty.
    What I discovered (am am currently trying to correct) is that the folder BootWiz contains (in a sub-folder) a copy of the empty folders, complete with their contents. I have mounted in read/write mode and am currently copying the contents back to the empty folders and presume the second image (incremental due to my changing the original) will contain the proper archive. I don't suppose it will be successful but I don't really see why not and it is a learning exercise.

    The cause of this was probably?? due to my mistrust of OSS thinking it was causing the Boot.ini and partition table problems. What I did after loading this partition and it not working (probably only due to my not knowing at the time what you both told me) was to, in DD, rename the BootWiz folder and delete an accompanying BootWiz file in root. (That having gone will probably make my experiment fail.) BootWiz also contained several sets of Boot.inin and ntl***files as well.
    I do not have OSS on at present and may well not do so. The boot selector osl2000 that resides only in sector 1 and not in a partition seems to work fine without all this moving Windows/Program Files/Documents and Settings folders around. (Why does it do it anywayo_O?).o_O :doubt: :(

    [EDIT] No version 9, but then I don't need it now, I played around putting the partions in different orders and resetting the partition table in DD etc. several times OK
     
  21. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,481
    Location:
    California
    This may very well work.

    OSS has the option to boot multiple copies on a single OS in a single partition. If this option is turned on, OSS will copy/move the system files/folders for the booting OS into the correct folders and save the existing ones (these are stored in the BOOTWIZ folder). I don't like this option and keep it disabled. Apparently, the option was activated on your system. It's not needed when you're booting only one OS per partition.
     
  22. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    Well I certainly was unaware of this feature and do not know how it was enabled. Seeing this BootWiz folder caused my lack of confidence. I thought it was a bit much to simply switch a flag or whatever in the boot record.
    Anyway I will persevere and see what happens.
     
  23. enonod

    enonod Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Posts:
    109
    Location:
    UK
    Success.
    For anybody in a similar situation... unlikely.
    Mount the dodgy archive as read/write. Open and inspect folders to see they are complete. A subfolder of Bootwiz may contain a copy of the three folders (Windows, Documents & Settings and Program Files). This may also be a source for Hal.dll NTldr etc. even if the main one is present.When transferring them do not copy. Delete the original folder in root, then copy/paste the folder found in Bootwiz back to root (that way it instant, otherwise it will take hours). During this process an incremental addition will be made to the mounted drive to take account of these changes.

    When this is done, modify the boot.ini if needed, to the partition position required for restore. Unmount the drive from My Computer. Restore the now incremental archive.

    One word of warning which applies to any archive recovery. If the system seems to die during restore and shows the desktop picture but no icons or task bar for some time, DO NOT GIVE UP! WAIT! It took 15 or so minutes for mine to finally load the desktop icons, then it was perfect. It seems that it must be searching and waiting for something (hardware response??). During the wait the mouse should work and Caps Lock should light the Caps light. Have a coffee.

    I hope this helps somebody.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.