Preparing For The True Test

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by dh27564, Aug 10, 2009.

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  1. dh27564

    dh27564 Registered Member

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    ATI2009 v9796, XP-PRO SP-3

    I want to perform the final “test” of restoring. I have installed a second internal HD in my Dell Inspiron desktop. This second drive is the same make, model, and size (Samsung HD502IJ 500GB) as the original drive purchased with the computer. Both drives are NTFS and the spare internal HD is presently empty.

    Up to this point, I have created a rescue CD, performed several manual FULL backups to an external USB2.0 HD using the rescue disk, validated the backup with the rescue disk, restored single files, and worked my way through a complete FULL restore to the new empty drive up to the PROCEED button. I have unique names for the drives so I know I’m aiming for the blank one. So far all is well but not quite ready to press the PROCEED button yet.

    Questions:

    1. When doing the backups, I’ve always selected “My Computer”. In the restore process, is the correct choice Disk 1 which includes the OS (C) and MBR/Track 0 or should I restore simply the OS (C) (read a few messages on this but still confused)?

    2. Assuming the restore goes well, now I’ll have two internal drives with OS (C) installed on each. Is this going to confuse Windows?

    3. Once the restore is complete and the rescue CD removed, the computer will start booting right away. Which drive will Windows boot from? How do I select the spare drive to boot with to see if the restore worked?

    4. What are some other gremlins am I overlooking?
     

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  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Since your backups are on an external drive, you can disconnect the original BEFORE you restore to the new drive.

    1. Select Disk 1 as you did for the backup. (I know, this always looks confusing to me).

    2 & 3. Does not apply since you have now disconnected the original.

    4. I don't see anything overlooked.

    Good Luck ... You've done well so far.
     
  3. dh27564

    dh27564 Registered Member

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    Disconnecting the original drive - is this just to avoid the confusion of having two drives each with an OS installed? Also, would I disconnect both the power and data cables on the original drive?
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    While just the power cable should be ok, I would just go ahead and disconnect the data cable also - you're in there anyway.

    Having the drive disconnected means it can, in no way, be affected by any unintentional mistakes and therefore your original is safe in case the process on the new drive does not go as planned.

    BTW, once you are successful in booting the new drive for the first time, you can reconnect the original. Which one boots then is determined by whichever one is in the Primary channel. If you want to boot off the other drive the easier way is to change the boot order in the Bios. The other way is, of course, to connect the other drive in place of the original.

    Yet another way is to install a mobile rack - requires a blank 5.25 bay. The drives then fit in a tray which slides into the rack, i.e. you don't have to open up the computer to change drives.
     
  5. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    When you backup your source windows xp drive, was the spare drive "slaved" into the computer and showing up in "my computer"?

    If the "partition ID" of the drive that windows xp will be restored on is in the registry of the source windows, it might give you problems. The symptoms will be windows xp hanging or rebooting at the xp logon screen.

    2 general rules when restoring windows xp or nt OS.
    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm

    My advice get a "boot corrector" bootcd (free paragon rescue kit 9.0 express) that will fix a "partition ID" drive letter problem. Better to have a "boot corrector" and not need it, then need it and not have it.
     
  6. dh27564

    dh27564 Registered Member

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    DwnNdrty and jonyjoe81 - thank you both for your help. I need some time to think this all through and formulate a plan. I may have more questions before hitting that PROCEED button. Each message gives me a little more understanding (and sometimes puzzlement-Ha!) I'll be back here in a day or two.
     
  7. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Running the " final test" can really be a simple and risk free event.

    Just sit back a moment and pretend that your original OS hard drive has failed totally. The steps to get going again would be to remove the supposedly broken drive and replace it with the spare drive. This should be connected up in the same way as the original drive was connected.

    You already have an up to date "My Computer" image on an external drive so the next and final step is to boot from the recovery CD with the backup drive connected and follow the restore Wizard. Check the Disk box so that both the partitions and the MBR are automatically included in the restoration.
    Re boot into windows and you are finished.

    The reasons for actually physically replacing the old and new drives are:-
    Safety; The original drive is safely outside the computer and it is of course the perfect ready to go replacement to get you back to square one.
    No possibility of any drive letter confusions as mentioned by joney joe81.
    After the restore Windows will recognise the the new drive as Drive 0 on the first boot and will assign C to it.

    The reason for including the whole drive and the MBR in the restore is that the OS is on the second partition and not the more normal first one.

    For the future I suggest you follow up the mobile rack idea. It make swapping drives a very simple operation. I have been doing this for years and have actually built it into my backup strategy.
    No one off tests for me but regular restores to a swapped drive instead.

    Xpilot
     
  8. dh27564

    dh27564 Registered Member

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    Thanks to everyone who offered help with my question. I believe it all makes better sense now. One final question before this forum is no longer available -Would it be correct to say that after a restore and a successful boot, I should disconnect the spare internal, reconnect the original internal, and leave the spare disconnected? I'm guessing having an OS on both of them and having them both powered at the same time would be asking for trouble. That seems to be what I'm reading.
     
  9. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Once you've booted the restored drive on its own and it boots successfully, you can reconnect the original and leave the restored drive connected, and safely boot from the original or whichever one is connected as Primary/Master. Of course you cannot have both configured as Primary/Master so change one to Slave or put it on the Secondary channel.
     
  10. dh27564

    dh27564 Registered Member

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    I'm not sure what is meant by primary/master, slave/secondary channels. Do you mean the boot order in BIOS?
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Primary/Master - Secondary/Slave is for IDE drives. If you're using SATA drives, it doesn't apply.
     
  12. dh27564

    dh27564 Registered Member

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    Both are SATA drives. Does that mean I can leave them both powered up at the same time (after restore)? The original disk will remain in its original slot. The spare, restored disk occupies the spare slot. If I boot with both of them installed, will the original be the boot drive? That's what I would want.

    Hope I'm not overwhelming everyone with questions. I'm learning a lot as I go along but want to make sure I fully understand, especially with this forum closing Friday.

    I do appreciate your help with this!
     
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    After the first boot-up with only the spare connected, you can leave it connected or disconnect it. If you're just using it for a test, I'd leave it connected. If you're using it as a backup, I leave it disconnected to there's no chance of it getting messed up.

    Any time you change drives or change the boot order, check the BIOS boot order is correct. Some will change automatically and it won't be what you expect. For example, some will change any newly added drive to be the booting drive and some will leave the previous drive as the booting drive. When you remove a drive, some will revert to the last settings and some will just select another drive at random. It's best to check, especially when you want to be sure to boot to a certain drive.
     
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