rescue boot from external USB HDD?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by saph03, Apr 19, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. saph03

    saph03 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    I've searched the forum for this topic, but have yet to find an answer...

    I have an external USB HDD to which I store ATI images.
    I'd like to also make this HDD bootable with the Acronis rescue utilities.

    This seems like an obvious thing to do: that way your rescue software and images are available on your portable USB HDD.

    I do not wish to use secure zone.
    I do not want anything to disturb the MBR of my system drive. I would just like to make the external USB HDD bootable and select that device in BIOS setup as the boot device for rescue purposes.

    Can anyone confirm that this is possible?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    3,335
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    Windows cannot yet be made to boot from an external USB drive. You will have to transfer the drive from the external case to inside the computer in order to use it as your boot drive.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    I think he wants to boot the Linux rescue environment which would mean some Linux boot trickery.

    Good exercise for somebody who wants to do it and there have been threads about booting TI from USB flash drives.

    I personally prefer to have a recovery CD that I know works and then it doesn't matter which of my various archive locations I wish to restore from. Fits nicely in my box of maintenance CDs. Also, the amount of use the CD gets (virtually zero) really doesn't make it worthwhile to spend time making the recovery process super-convenient. To each, his own!
     
  4. saph03

    saph03 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    Seekforever,

    You are right - I'd like to boot the Linux rescue environment from the external, USB HDD, which also would happen to contain the images. Seems pretty convenient to me to keep the images right with the correct version/software than can use them!

    Your points about CDs are well-taken, but I have a machine with no floppy, and no internal optical drive (because it just uses a network mounted optical drive and/or a USB optical drive).

    I've tested booting from a USB Flash Drive created using the Acronis "Create Bootable Rescue Media" option and it looks promising: Linux kernel boots all the way to where it is looking for ATI drives, but then fails. I've also created a bootable rescue CD which boots Linux to the same place and fails. This is a known issue and I have a support ticket open with Acronis on this.

    As an aside, I've created a successful BART PE CD with the Acronis tools and SATA drivers and succesfully restored images, so there is no fundamental hardware issue - there is just a known issue with the Acronis "Create Bootable Rescue Media" for this newer hardware.

    Returning to the key question: once Acronis fixes the "Create Bootable Rescue Media", why would it not work from any and all of:

    1. CD/DVD
    2. USB Flash "HDD"
    3. USB external HDD

    I was sort of looking ahead to ask if anyone has successfully booted the Acronis Linux rescue environment from an external USB HDD...
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    saph03,

    Yes, it is possible to install and boot the Acronis Rescue Tools from an external USB drive. I just read this thread and had to give it a try. I used my little test USB 2 drive (an old 6GB Toshiba laptop drive). It took about a half an hour or so to get it right, but it boots and works fine.

    I setup a small (300MB) FAT16 partition for Acronis to boot from and the rest of the drive is NTFS to which I copied a TIB file to do a test verify. It worked fine.

    I did it all with Acronis Disk Director 10, but you could probably use a different disk editor if you have one.

    Also, I can't take complete credit for this as K0lo helped me learn a lot of this while building my 2GB Flash drive that boots BartPE, Knoppix 5.1.1 and Acronis Tools (to which I added FreeDos).
     
  6. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Posts:
    1,389
    Location:
    Leeds, Great Britain
    The problem you have is likely to be related to the Linux drivers rather than a specific problem with booting from these devices. I suggest you resolve this so that you can boot from CD first before looking at any other medium.

    In order to solve this you need to resolve the problem with Acronis.

    F.
     
  7. saph03

    saph03 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    MudCrab,

    That's excellent - thanks for the update. I was wondering if I would need to create a little FAT partition for Linux and from what you say, it sounds like that will do the trick.

    I do not have Disk Director, but here's what I plan to do:

    1. use Windows Disk Manager to repartion and reformat the USB HDD into a FAT partition and an NTFS partition
    2. use ATI 10 to make the FAT partition into a bootable rescue media

    Seems like that's all I should need to do, right?

    (I still need to resolve the issue with the Acronis bootable environment not booting all the way, but if Linux starts to boot from the USB HDD, I'm sure I'll be on the right track.)
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    Unfortunately, it's not as simple as that. Acronis media builder won't let you use the USB HD as a target. If it did it would be much easier. It will let you select USB flash drives, so that's where I started.

    Not having Disk Director will make it a lot harder as you have to modify the boot sector. You also have to copy the MBR from the flash drive to the HD. This will destory all the partitions on the HD so they have to be setup after this step.

    You can do it with to tools in Knoppix, but DD is easier.

    I'll try and get the steps together and send you a personal message.
     
  9. saph03

    saph03 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Posts:
    20
    I wanted to follow up with a procedure I have used to successfully create a bootable external USB HDD that contains both a rescue environment and a True Image .tib file.

    Many thanks to thomasjk and mudcrab. Mudcrab has also succeeded with a procedure (slightly different) for creating a bootable USB HDD with an Acronis environment.

    I was able to get a bootable USB HDD with a BartPE + Acronis Plug-In environment.

    Here are the steps I took:

    1. Attach USB HDD. Using Windows Disk Manager, create two partitions on the external drive:
    - a 300 MB FAT16 partition, and
    - an NTFS file system with 64K block size for the rest of the USB HDD

    2. Created a BartPE build using various procedures described elsewhere, esp. by "thomasjk". I used the BartPE plug-in supplied by Acronis because I could not get the one from "Mustang" to work (kept complaining about a missing file during the BartPE plugin configuration check). (NOTE: I'm sure the Mustang True Image 10 plug in is good, its just that I could not get BartPE to use it without an error.)

    3. Used PeToUSB http://gocoding.com/page.php?al=petousb to transfer the BartPE build to the 300 MB FAT partition and make it bootable.

    4. Copied (Windows Explorer) an Acronis TI 10 image to the NTFS partition on the USB HDD.

    5. Boot from USB HDD and everything worked: the Acronis tool could "see" the image. I did not actually perform a restore this time, but Acronis could read the size information on the image on the USB NTFS partition.
     
  10. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Posts:
    1,477
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    Saph03 for future reference here is the fix to the missing files problem with Mustang's V10 BartPE plugin https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=959833&highlight=missing+files#post959833.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.