Recovering ATIH11-blanked HD?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Frankinho, Jul 8, 2008.

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  1. Frankinho

    Frankinho Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Could anyone here please answer the following question(s)?

    I wanted to clone the internal drive of a laptop that didn't boot anymore (blue screen, MBR problem?). That laptop ran on Win XP Home (German), latest SP was installed.

    Bought a new Vista laptop and, because a leading German comp mag said ATIH 11 was best, Acronis True Image 11 Home. Installation went fine.

    Tried to clone the "old" HD and made very sure by ticking the right boxes in ATIH that the source HD would keep all its data.

    First run was aborted automatically after a lot of bad sectors couldn't be read from the 1st partition of the old HD. Tried a second run with manually hitting "Ignore" a lot, which ran thru to the end. Fine, I thought.

    Yesterday, I wanted to work with the old HD in order to try and repair the (MBR?) damage. But I found out the source HD, that originally sported 2 partitions, had obviously been formatted (?) by ATIH. It is now absolutely blank and it was given the name "free" *lol* for its now one and only partition ...

    The target HD is fine, seems to be the clone I had wanted to create. BUT I still have only one HD with data on it. Now I could try and clone the new one again by using ATIH, of course, but I fear that I will get, again and at best, just one HD containing data - instead of two.

    I had explicitly allowed ATIH to create new partitions on the TARGET drive but made sure the box "Keep data" was ticked for the SOURCE drive.

    And now, finally, my question:

    (1) Is there any way to recover the data on the old (source) HD or has ATIH 11 "shredded" all that data in the process I've described above?

    Another question of mine would be:
    (2) Do you know of any (free) program that would do the job I want to have done: Getting TWO HDs with exactly the same data on them? (Must frankly say I don't trust ATIH 11 anymore after that experience. At least I still have one HD with data. But for that result there would have been no need to shell out 45 euro for ATIH 11, I gather ...

    And because I'm of the curious kind:
    (3) Could it have been wrong from the start to use a Vista system trying to clone an XP system drive? (Both the source and target drives were on USB ports, btw.)

    Thank you in advance for any helpful hints.
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    If the clone hard drive is working properly, I'd just discard the original bad drive with the bad sectors. Bad sectors are a sure sign a drive is failing. It's not just an MBR problem.

    Since the partitions were deleted from the original drive, recovery would be more difficult. It's not just a case of unerasing deleted files. I can't recommend any particular program to do the recovery, but someone else may have one.

    Cloning is normally used to replace a drive not as a backup. It's not a very efficient method for backing up a hard drive.

    Why not create a backup image the cloned drive with TI 11 instead of trying to clone it? A backup image is a much more efficient way to save the contents of a drive. It compresses the data and only copies the used portion of the drive. If you have a 300GB hard drive with 75 GB used, a backup image will be around 50 GB, but a clone will require a 300 GB drive.

    Store the backup images on an external hard drive for when you need them. Since there should be room for several backups, you can keep older images and so on for a more complete backup scenario.

    With a backup image, you have the option of backing up and restoring the entire drive or just individual partitions. With a clone, it's the entire drive only.

    A full system backup image can be restore to a brand new drive (or an old drive), and it will boot up exactly like the drive when the image was made.
     
  3. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    You can use the free "testdisk" with the photorec addon to try and recover your data off the hard drive. Testdisk can run from within windows/from a livecd/or with a bartpe plugin.

    But first try and run a "chkdsk x:/f" (x= the drive letter of damaged drive). or you can do a scandisk make sure you check the box to fix errors. Maybe an improper shutdown cause hard drive corruption especially since you didn't check the box to erase the source drive. The data should still be there. If the drive shows up as "raw", that can be a sign of data corruption something that chkdsk can fix. I've encountered that before and it was easy to fix.

    I also agree that doing individual image partition backups and restores is the safe way to use true image. Any "system" partition is automatically bootable when restored, it doesn't matter if you backup the MBR or not.

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
     
  4. rolfie3876

    rolfie3876 Registered Member

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    I guess you have used the Windows desktop version and not the rescue CD.

    No, Vista should not be the problem, nor is ATHH-11.

    The problem is that you allowed creating new partitions. On a bad drive (the story with the bad sectors tells the disk was bad), never do this. Probably the partition table was damaged, and ATIH was mislead by this. Make sure you have in hand what happens, no automatisms. And you should exactly know what you are doing.

    My personal procedure: I always use the rescue CD, the backup always goes to a different drive, no creation of partitions (I make sure this is done before with tools I know how to handle).

    The SW is worth the money, definitely. You need to learn how to use it safely, there are many many options that can go wrong.

    Try testdisk to rescue the old drive. May be you fail, in any case take it as a learning example.

    Good luck, rolfie
     
  5. Frankinho

    Frankinho Registered Member

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    Thank you for your advice, I do appreciate it very much!

    Actually, I got that fatal blue screen after I wanted to upgrade from Norton 360 to Norton 360 2.0. When I had uninstalled Norton 360 and had to reboot the system, that's when the blue screen came up. No way for me to work around that problem, so I finally bought a new laptop to do my day-in-day-out private stuff *lol*.

    The old drive had two partitions, c: for the OS and programs, d: for "my" data. I do have back-ups of all data on d: and, thank goodness, I was able to smoothly import all my Outlook data from the old system into the new one (except for the many accounts' details).

    But I had forgotten that some e-mail data of high importance to me (like lots of license codes for sw bought online) were being kept in an ISP specific program ("T-Online E-Mail 5") on c:. Most unfortunately, I don't have back-ups of these data, I gather, so I think I must be able to invoke that program again after booting the old system to get back those data (there's a program specific routine for creating back-ups of those e-mails that can then be imported into newer versions).

    That's mainly why I have to get back a workable, bootable system drive for that old laptop. And I can't afford to lose any of those data by experimenting with that now one and only clone. (I had kind of the same problem about a year ago and was then advised to make a clone of the old drive, I think I used Acronis True Image 7 (?) for that purpose and it went perfectly fine (if my memory is serving me right) - that's why I've chosen the same approach this time.

    So thanks for your hints so far, I will try some of them - and come up with additional questions, I predict ;-).

    But for the time being I have this question:

    On my new Vista laptop, I now have that Norton 360 2.0 program and Acronis True Image Home 11 running. Which of these two programs would you experts advise me to use for my now even more regular back-ups? (Definitely don't want to encounter the same situation ever again, what a waste of time ...)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I am not familiar with the backup program in Norton 360, but are you sure it's a full disk imaging program as opposed to a data backup program.

    I'd use TI since you know you can restore the entire hard drive.
     
  7. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    In addition to this, Norton is notorious for causing conflicts, whether it is its own fault or because of an update of its own software or an update of some other software (think Windows updates).

    I wouldn't touch Norton when you can find alternatives to everything it does, some of which happen to be free.
     
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