Recovering damaged partition

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by wan2no, Aug 14, 2008.

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  1. wan2no

    wan2no Registered Member

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    Customer Support directed met to the user manual, I am sure most of you can, however, I was not able to get detail (as a non-tech person) information I need from the manual. I am hoping someone in this forum is kind enough and will take the time to help me.
    I am using ATI Home 11. I am running Win XP. Due to a problem (virus?) windows does not recognize partition “C” on main HDD anymore and looks at it as an unallocated space and want to go into recovery mode using factory installed partition on the hard drive to revert back to the original factory installed state.
    I have an Acronis Secure Zone backed up on a secondary drive (in the computer)
    What is the best way for me (with limited computer knowledge) to restore partition “C” using one of the backups from Acronis Secure Zone?
    1) Restore windows – using factory recovery procedure, install True Image 11, try to restore from the secure zone?
    2) Boot up from Acronis Recovery CD and restore partition “C” from one of the secure zone backups.
    Option 2 seems to be best approach; however, I have never done that. I will be much obliged if someone can help with set by step directions on how I can restore my PC using Acronis recovery CD.
    Thank you so much in advance for your help.
     
  2. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    First I would do a chkdsk c: /f on that partition. If the partition on c: drive is showing unallocated (raw) that's usually a sign of corruption. I've encountered this numerous times usually when my computer freezes when I'm playing a game or running software and I have to do a "hard" shutdown.

    Chkdsk has always fix the corruption and got my computer running again. All your data is still there and recoverable.

    The best way to run a chkdsk is to use a "bartpe" boot cd and run the chkdsk from the command line. That's the only thing I ever use a bartpe for, and it works very well.
     
  3. wan2no

    wan2no Registered Member

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    Thanks jonyjoe81!

    I don't have "bartpe" boot CD, is that something I should have already made- like Acronis recovery CD?
    Is there a way I can make "bartpe" boot CD now using a different PC?

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    If you have a Windows XP CD then you can run chkdsk /p or chkdsk /r from the recovery console on the disk. Info here. No need to make a BartPE disk.
     
  5. wan2no

    wan2no Registered Member

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    Thanks Guys!
    Unfortunately, My recovery back up is in a separate partition on my HDD, I don't have a CD (XP) for it.

    I tried using the PC recovery process, however when it gets to the recovery console, it does not give me recovery options to perform chkdsk, it wants to go straight to HDD formating and install original factory SW

    Do you think if I can find any XP CD (not a recovery CD) it may let me boot from it and perform chkdsk?

    If yes, then would it matter if it is XP pro? On my PC I have XP-media center

    Thanks
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Yes, borrow an XP CD. Media Center is a superset of XP Pro, so an XP CD should still work.
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    It seems to me we got side tracked into trying to fix the installation with CHKDSK.

    Is one of the backup images in the Secure Zone recent enough that it is a good replacement for your existing C installation? If so, it's time to boot from the TI Rescue CD and do the restore.

    This isn't difficult, and you don't have to change anything until you are confident that you have made the right choices.

    When you boot from the Rescue CD, select Restore. You will first have to select the image to restore, so navigate to the Secure Zone and choose the backup you want. You will then have to choose the partition in that backup to restore, probably only the C partition, but you may want to also select the MBR.

    The next step is to select the partition that you want to restore the image to. That's the C partition on the drive, or if it shows as unallocated space, choose that.

    Until you click the "Proceed" button, nothing will happen and you can simple click cancel or turn the computer off and start again. If you are unsure, come back here for more advice. Otherwise, click Proceed.

    After the restore is finished, remove the Rescue CD and reboot your system.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    It's probably a good sidetrack, however. If wan2no has never done a restore with TI then there is a small risk that TI's recovery environment will not work properly with his hardware. Of course if there is no other way to recover then he's got nothing to lose by trying.

    jonyjoe81's suggestion to try a chkdsk first is a good one. If chkdsk fails to fix the corruption then yes, by all means, a TI restore is called for.
     
  9. wan2no

    wan2no Registered Member

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    Thanks everyone!! it's good to know there is help out there.

    I was unable to find an XP disc to perform CHKDSK, so I went ahead with restoring from TI Rescue disc.

    I was able to go through all the steps; found SZ and selected the last backup from the list. At the step "select partition to restore", the old "C" drive appeared as "unallocated space', I selected that. The restore process went through with no problems with the message "Restore successful". However, after re-boot the PC went back to the factory recovery screen "did not see the partition"

    I went through the above procedure again up to the step "select partition to restore"; however this time the old "C" drive appeared as partition "F" rather than "C" or "unallocated space" like above. Instead, my factory "recovery partition" on HDD appeared as "C" instead as "E" as it used to be before.

    jmk94903 in the post above mentioned "...but you may want to also select the MBR." I do not recall doing that, could that - not selecting MBR - be the cause of unsuccessful recovery?
     
  10. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Well, I hadn't expected that, and I don't think restoring the MBR will fix this. However, there's no harm in trying as far as I can tell. So, give that a try. Just repeat the restore procedure but check only the MBR box.

    If that fails, what I'd do is use the manufacturer's restore. The only risk I see in this is that it might wipe out the SecureZone which has your backups. Boy, I wish you had a recent backup on an external hard drive. Unfortunately, you can't move backups out of the SZ to an external drive, so that's a risk you'll have to be willing to take.

    Run the manufacturer's backup and watch for any way to avoid overwriting the SZ. With any luck, it will just use the space now called E: and leave the SZ alone. After the OEM restore, reboot and see if you have a normal, "as purchased" system. That is, it boots normally to Winows XP and Windows is installed on C as it should be.

    Now, with things normal again, boot from the TI Rescue CD and restore your best SZ image to the C: partition. When you reboot all should be back to when you made the image.

    Before going to bed that night, go out and buy an external hard drive and make an image there. External drives are so much safer than putting your only backups on a single internal drive. :)

    If you have valuable data in the SZ backup images that you just can't risk losing, you could use the TI Rescue CD to make an image of the SZ partition to the external hard drive before trying the OEM restore. Then if the SZ is overwriten, you can install TI, create an new, empty SZ and restore this SZ image to the space of the new, empty SZ. The backup images in the restored SZ will then be available. However, this probably won't be necessary. I include it in case you can't risk losing your backup images.

    If anyone else has a better way to proceed, jump in here now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  11. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Something sounds wrong here. If you are new to TI then it can be easy to confuse the "partition to restore from" with the "partition to restore to". You have to be careful to read the screens in the restore wizard carefully and make the proper selections.

    When you are going through the steps to restore, they should be as follows:

    1. For the "Archive Selection" you would choose your latest backup from the Secure Zone
    2. For the "Type" you would choose "Restore disks or partitions"
    3. For the "Partition or Disk to Restore" you would put a checkmark next to the C: or Windows partition. This step selects the old C: partition from your backup image as the source
    4. For the "Restored Partition Location" you would choose what looks to be your former C: partition on your hard disk, whether it appears now with a different drive letter designation or as unallocated space. This step selects a partition on your hard disk as the destination
    5. For the "Restored Partition Type" you would choose "Primary"
    6. On the next screen you can change the size if necessary. If not, leave as-is

    In your above quote it sounds like there was some confusion at step 4 because the wording you used is what is in the wizard on step 3. Or, maybe I'm not reading your quote correctly.

    It may be worth one more try at a restore before doing what John suggests.
     
  12. wan2no

    wan2no Registered Member

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    Mark, John - success!!! I am up and running with everything back to the last SZ back-up before the crash.
    Guys, I can not thank you enough!!!, I was able to save 70 GB of photos and docs that I really needed to save. Not to mention my settings and all the applications I would have had to load again.

    Mark, Thank you so much for taking the time to write down step by step procedure(below). It was Step#5, selecting "Primary" at "Restored Partition Type" that did the trick. The default selection (on TI11 screen) at that step is "logical" with a footnote "that original partition is selected by default". The default selection "logical" turned out be wrong (in the case of booting up from rescue disk and restoring your "C" drive).
    Acronis needs to fix that, or at the very least provide a better explanation.

    If it wasn't for your help, that one little confusing step would have been enough for I to loose (not able to recover) very important data and Acronis loosing a paying customer.

    I just hope that Acronis appreciates your help in keeping them in -at least my- business.

    Now at least I know who to ask if need help with Acronis :)
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    wan2no:

    That's great news! I'm glad that this had a happy ending for you.

    I'm not sure why "Primary" was NOT the default in step #5; usually it is. I had thought that this piece of information was taken from the backup image so the former partition "type" should have been entered for you on this screen as the default choice for the restored partition type.

    Now that you've had this close call with disaster you may want to think about providing another level of protection for your valuable photos and docs. If they currently reside only on your one and only hard disk, I think that you know what will happen if that disk fails.

    It is always good practice to have more than one level of backup. So, for example, you could either make copies of your photos and docs to DVDs or else you could go purchase an external USB hard disk to copy them to. The external disk is a great solution. They have become very affordable lately and you can not only store copies of valuable files on one but also several TI backup images of your PC. For even more protection, don't keep the external connected to the PC in case you have a nearby lightning strike or a power surge. Better yet, keep it or your backup DVDs somewhere else in case you have a fire, heaven forbid.
     
  14. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Great news.

    That Mark hits the nail on the head so often it has a headache.:)

    I'd add to Mark's backup suggestions that on-site backups are usually useless as protection against theft, fire or other natural disaster. I've even read of fireproof safes being stolen, so it's good to consider alternatives.

    Online backups provide off-site protection, but only for data (not the operating system and installed programs). However, the data has the greatest value.

    Mozy Online Backup is what I use (www.mozy.com). The upload for lots of data is slow, but it's a cheap way to protect yourself for $5/month.
     
  15. wan2no

    wan2no Registered Member

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    Thank you Guys for sound advise, a good lesson learned!
     
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