Problem restoring backup to newly created RAID

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by undecided, Aug 22, 2006.

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  1. undecided

    undecided Registered Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    I had 2 SATA drives. Drive 1 had partitions C: (System) and F:
    Drive 2 had partitions D: and E:.
    All the partitions had names so I can identify them easier.

    Backed the whole thing up into a .tib on a separate drive. I used backup instead of "clone" and that may have been a mistake. I also selected backing up of the MBR for both drives (perhaps another mistake).

    Then, I reconfigured my two original drives into a new RAID 0 drive.

    Then, I tried to restore the tib onto the RAID. It seems like the restore said something like:
    Restoring C:->E:
    Restoring F:->G:

    etc.etc. So it seems that the restore may have rearranged the drive letters.

    I got no errors during the restore but now my XP won't boot. It's telling that it has an invalid boot drive or something like that. My guess is that the MBR is hosed. What do you guys recommend I do to reset the MBR to boot from the C: partition as well as fix and drive letters that may have been rearranged?

  2. gcoleman

    gcoleman Registered Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    I had the same problem, and have found a solution that works for me.

    Asus A8NSli deluxe
    Nvidia raid not used
    Sil 1394 RAID used in RAID 1

    Two maxtor 250 gig SATA drives.

    Start your system
    Go into the the RAID BIOS (For the SIL it is F4)
    BREAK the mirror.
    Exit, insert your acronis disk, make sure your system boots to CD rom first,reboot
    Start Acronis in Full mode.
    Restore the archive, MBR and the Data portion to BOTH DRIVES!
    This creates an identical copy of the MBR and DATA to both the mirrored drives, even though currently they are not part of a raid.

    go into the RAID bios
    Create a mirror raid, same as the original.

    Now that the RAID 1 mirror is made, reboot

    Your system is restored.

    Please post if this works for you!
  3. popabear

    popabear Registered Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Very clever of you, gcoleman, to get out of a sweaty situation. Phew!

    I wonder though whether the drives are now genuine mirrors. Without knowing how your RAID application works under Windows, maybe this suggestion is way off the mark: I would try to verify and repair the mirror if possible.

    My scepticism is somewhat based on my history as a tech in the days before hardware RAID was possible. Various RAID configurations were done by the modified hard disk drivers and a modified OS kernel, ie, all software. The principle was much as you have done manually by bypassing the hardware. Software mirroring errors were definitely not rare. Good system maintenance procedure required utilities to do background mirror checking and repair.

    My concern is based also on really stupid mistakes I made recently when trying to restore a bootable WinXP C: partition. I had done both practice and real restorations before using ATI but always to non-RAID drives, both SATA and IDE. I was impressed with the ease of doing it.

    On this occasion, the bootable partition was on a RAID0 pair of SATA drives. This C image (and D & E images) were all on the "Acronis secure zone" of a 180Gb IDE drive.

    The attempted destination of the restoration was to a RAID5 trio of SATA drives. I wanted the added security of RAID5 and therefore added a third drive to the original pair. The solo IDE drive was to become a hand-me-down to one of my grandkids.

    Anyway to my horror, the ATI9 boot CD saw the 3 SATA drives as separate units irrespective of their RAID Bios definition. Oops! It saw them as 3 drives only AFTER the original RAID0 definition had been deleted during Bios setup. It seems that the RAID Bios setup writes something to the drives for the OS to read during hardware identification and boot.

    Anyway, too late I realised the awful mistake I made. The ATI9 (Linux) boot CD clearly knows nothing about an Intel 82801 RAID chip and how to drive it. Having properly sniffed around the Acronis site very recently, I realise I should have done my research a lot more carefully and made a BartPE CD (which I have yet to do.)

    My tedious solution was to restore the C image *and* MBR to a single SATA drive to begin with and booted to my original Windows. I burned a CD with the output of the Windows Transfer Wizard - a fantastic utility. I remembered to make an Intel RAID driver diskette too.

    Using the XP 'Disk Managment' utility, I next deleted all the partitions to start with 3 clean drives, created RAID5 in the Intel RAID Bios setup and did a clean install of Windows using Intel's RAID drivers when needed. (Had to telephone Microsoft to ask their permission to load their OS again!! Fortunately it's a 24hr service here in Australia.)

    I then reinstalled other software including ATI9. Next, my precious email + other settings from the transfer wizard CD. Finally I recovered other files from a mounted old C image on the IDE drive. Restoring D and E was a breeze from the Acronis created images in the secure zone.

    Next time, I shall not presume I know what I'm doing. (I always say that.)

    To "undecided":

    I think you are making the same mistake I did. Probably your ATI boot CD knows zippo about RAID so the attempted restore is seeing the drives as separate physical drives and assigning 2 logical drive letters, one for each drive. You may be able to recover/boot by removing RAID settings in the Bios (eg, a No RAID option) and then ensuring that the restore (both MBR *and* C image) is done to the first physical (bootable) drive (drive 0). Then, having booted to the restored image of your old OS, make a BartPE CD and begin to get out of the hole you're in.

    Have fun.

    My suggestion to Acronis is as follows:

    I understand the difficulty and expense of finding Linux drivers for every possible make and version of RAID hardware and I am not asking for it. I think the BartPE solution is a valid option for the forseeable future at least. However, it appears that my experience regarding restoration of boot volumes to RAID drives is not unusual judging by the volume of posts, resultant confusion and user anger that this problem is generating already. I think the situation will get worse as hardware RAID becomes more widespread.

    Perhaps it may be possible to at least raise an alert for the user when the following conditions are met:

    1. Active partition.
    2. Image backup.
    3. RAID of some sort.

    The alert might say something along the lines that the Acronis boot CD will not be able to restore a bootable C image to a *new* RAID drive. Providing a link to the appropriate Q&A on your website might be a nice added touch.

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