Problem with Acronis True Image Home v 9.0 and Boot Magic v 8.0

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Nosmas, Sep 12, 2006.

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

    Nosmas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Posts:
    9
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    My system is WXP Home - SP2 (fully up to date), AVG Free anti-virus and Sygate Personal Firewall.

    When I upgraded my system (new motherboard, replaced 10GB Fujitsu HDD with WD 80GB HDD and added WD 80GB External HDD USB2) about 15 months ago I divided the new HDD into 5 partitions and labelled them W98SE, WXPMAIN, WXPTEST, DATA PARTN (M:) and XPIMAGES (N:) and formatted each partition FAT32 using Partition Magic. One of the first three partitions becomes drive C: and the other two are hidden according to which OS to boot into is selected from Boot Magic. The multi-booting under BM has been running without any problems since the upgrade. Recently I re-installed the Fujitsu HDD, deleted all the contents and re-formatted the entire disk FAT32.

    I recently purchased a boxed copy of ATI and when I found it was Build 2302 I downloaded and installed the latest Build 3677. Subsequently I successfully made full images of WXPMAIN and Drive M: onto folders on the External HDD. I then wanted to test the Restore function, but in case anything ‘went wrong’ I did not want to restore to and overwrite the main OS on WXPMAIN, but wanted to prove what can be done if a disaster strikes, rather than wait till the disaster is upon me, so I restored to the Fujitsu disk - i.e. the restored image was all that was on the disk. I then configured BM (including Options > Advanced Partition Hiding in order to boot from a partition that is NOT on the FIRST HDD) to include the OS on the Fujitsu in its menu as XPBackup, but when I selected that option on a reboot it failed to boot up and went into a cycle of starting the boot process but failing to boot into the selected option.

    Researching the problem led me to these threads: - One, Two and Three and from my understanding of the points discussed I deduced that my problem might be resolved if the image was restored to a disk, the layout of which ‘mimicked’ that of the disk from which the image was first made. So with the aid of PM I created ‘dummy’ small but empty partitions on the Fujitsu, one before and three after the position occupied by the restored image. Unfortunately this made no difference and BM behaved in exactly the same way i.e. recycling through the boot process.

    As an aside to the main problem, one annoying feature of ATI is that it insists on changing the label of the target restore partition to that of the imaged partition so that one ends up with an identically labelled partition on BOTH HDD’s. If NOT restoring to the original partition it would be useful to have the option of cancelling the change of name.

    Has anyone experienced similar problems to those related above and found a solution? If not are there any suggestions for testing the restore procedure WITHOUT overwriting the partition from which the image was made?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2006
  2. Nosmas

    Nosmas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Posts:
    9
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    In the absence of any responses I have been mulling over my problem and am beginning to think it may have something to do with the MBR (Master Boot Record). I must admit my knowledge of that subject is rather lacking, and I would appreciate input from someone whose knowledge/experience is superior to mine.

    I had always thought that in any PC system there was only one MBR, but it now occurs to me that probably there is an MBR (or at least the space to accommodate one) for EACH HDD on the system. Q1 – Is my supposition correct?

    I assume that on a brand new disk the first physical sector on the HDD is blank and only when an OS is installed on that disk will something be written to the MBR. Q2 – Correct?

    The installation of a second (or more) new HDD’s will not have any impact on the MBR of the first disk, and the first sector of each of the new disks will remain blank until such time as an OS is installed on one of them. Q3 – Correct?

    Once a disk has had an OS installed on it the MBR will retain its information even though the disk is ‘wiped clean’ and re-formatted. Q4 – Correct?

    Assuming my above statements are all correct, it would seem that my problem stems from the fact that the OS image (of WXPMAIN) from Disk 1 was restored to Disk 2, which is not the same as installing the OS on that disk which would cause something to be written to the MBR. However since the second disk on my system was originally the system disk there will be information in the MBR relative to the old system, which would be at odds with the details of the new system. I think this might explain the error message I got last night after I had changed the BIOS to boot from HDD1 instead of HDD0: - “Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: - <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll Please re-install a copy of the above file.”

    When I originally restored the image, the ATI Wizard would not accept checking of both the WXPMAIN partition and MBR and Track 0 so I checked only the former. I have now revisited the restore procedure and find that if MBR and Track 0 is checked then ‘Next’ opens another window in order to select either Disk 1 or Disk 2. It is then possible to get back to selecting the WXPMAIN partition. Unfortunately none of this appears anywhere in the Acronis User Guide.

    I am however unsure about selecting to restore the MBR of Disk 1 to the MBR of Disk 2, since it will have information relative to what is on Disk 1, whereas Disk 2 is different even though I have attempted to simulate Disk 1 by creating dummy partitions on Disk 2. Although I did this it does seem to be a rather complicated way to have to do things., and so far hasn’t worked anyway.

    I would welcome comments on the above together with ideas for achieving my objective of testing the Restore procedure WITHOUT actually restoring to and overwriting WXPMAIN on Disk1.
     
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    The method I use to test restore my main drive is to image the complete disk which by definition includes the MBR.
    I then remove the old main drive and replace it with another drive to which I restore the image I have just made. The computer will then start and ask for a reboot if it has never seen the new disk before. If the swapped disk has been used in this role before a second booting is not needed.
    There should not be a problem with your multi booting arrangements or hidden partitions as the whole of the main disk will be reproduced.
     
  4. Nosmas

    Nosmas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Posts:
    9
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Thanks for your suggestion Xpilot which is a very good method. However this isn't an option for me since you will see from my initial post that my present main HDD is 80GB and the second (old system) HDD is only 10GB.
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    Oops! I missed that. I had forgotten that they were made that small [​IMG].

    Anyway, planning ahead why not get a larger drive into stock now rather than wait till you get a real drive breakdown ? " You know you're worth it"
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    I forgot to mention that if the total used space on your new drive is less than 10GB it can be restored to the 10GB drive without difficulty.
     
  7. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Posts:
    188
    But have you tried XPilot's suggestion? Is your used space on the 80GB small enough to fit on the 10GB? If it is then try it out. It definitely does work.

    If there is not enough space then image your first partition and try and restore it. It probably will not work because you have BM installed.

    I suspect that it's the BM that is causing the problem. It is is confused because the other OS are not available when you restore. BM probably has a connection to every OS on your disk. You could uninstall BM, image your first partition and then restore it and see if that works. If it does, then experiment with the second partition.

    As XPilot suggested, get yourself a larger disk, (cheap on eBay) and restore your original to it. You will find that TI does it's job.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.