Restore from DVD set

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by DonDodge, Mar 26, 2008.

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  1. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Is this really possible?

    I have one of the dirtbag HP/Compaq laptops with the genuine HP reverse engineered aberration of Vista Home Premium in the recovery partition. No real operating system and no real Microsoft disks.

    I've managed to trap most of the bugs that result from uninstalling the many gigabytes of trashware HP installs in this software sales counter disguised as computer. Now I need to get a complete backup image before the next HP bomb goes off and it dies.

    I made a True Image v.11 recovery set on DVD-RW with the program installed on the first disk to make the archive bootable. Burning and verifying went okay. No problems at all.

    Doing a test restore to see if it actually works is very scary.

    First thing is: when booting, it comes right up to a screen asking if I want Windows or Acronis. I choose Acronis. Then it goes to black and that's where it stays until I tap the power button. Last time I let it sit a half hour to see if it would finish booting on it's own but it didn't. However, as soon as I tap the power button, away it goes. Is this normal or a symptom of bigger problems?

    Regarding the test restore: it's looking like a revolving exercise in futility which arrives at one dead end or another. After several rounds, I finally got the thing to proceed when I told it I wanted to resize the partitions. Otherwise, forget it.

    Now it seems to be stuck in an infinite loop of asking me to swap back and forth between Volume 1 and Volume 2 and retry. I must have swapped volumes at least 30 times so far and this has been going on for 1½ hours. I'm afraid I'll wear out the drive tray on this junk before I ever get this restore done. Is this the way it's supposed to work?

    I know I need really need an external USB hard drive for this but I still want to have a base image on disks to put away in the safe.

    I do need to get a good, restorable image so I can wipe the drive so clean that the HP recovery partition will be nothing more than a bad memory.
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    In addition to a usb hard drive, in the case of a laptop I would also recommend a spare internal drive for the laptop to do your test restore. I know it involves some expense, but it gives you peace of mind when testing the restore. After you're comfortable that your restores will be successful you can always put that other drive in a usb enclosure to be used as an external drive.
     
  3. shuttrbug

    shuttrbug Registered Member

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    I too am having this same issue. I was told by 'presales' that the image is being set up to be restored temporarily on the drive. I don't think so. I have been switching a 6 dvd set in and out for about 6 hours now.
     
  4. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Thank you for that advice. I've already realized the combination of True Image v.11 and DVD is about as elegant as repainting a new Porsche with a gallon of interior flax latex wall paint and a brush. Consequently, I ordered in an external USB drive last night. I really don't want to buy another internal laptop disk for testing purposes so I suppose the smart thing to do is try test restores on another computer that has two physical drives, each with multiple partitions.

    Meanwhile, you didn't answer any of my questions.

    Is it even possible to restore an image from a set of DVD's before the hardware breaks from over usage?

    Is the booting issue I describe normal or is it possible I have a conflict between Acronis and the HP recovery manager already installed on the computer?
    Is it normal for all recovery options to seemingly lead to a dead end when using DVD?

    Is it normal, if selecting "Yes, I want to resize the partitions" to reach a constantly repeating W000400011 Warning window that requires eternal switching between Volume 1 and Volume 2? Or even worse, an inability to even recognize Volume 1 of a validated archive?

    Is it normal to reach a dead end when selecting "No, I do not want to resize partitions"? Doing this generally leads to a situation where all targets are disabled.

    On occasion, it's possible to move past this to a point where I reach a stop error that disallows the changing of the default primary partition to a primary partition even when no changes are specified. And then get a similar error if trying to change to another partition type.

    And finally, now I've managed to reach a point that will supposedly proceed to: "Disk Partition Recovery from Archive".

    I'm wondering about the continual inconsistencies I experience with this program. Does True Image need a lot of hammering to function properly or is this a situation caused by my inconsistency and not hitting the right combination to make it work? Is all this normal and to be expected? I really don't want to trash the system and go back to square one where I have to restore the computer from the original HP recovery partition. I'd rather air mail the computer out my truck window before I do that.

    What I'd really love to do is boot the computer with Gparted, scrub the disk clean and re-do it with a whole new Acronis Recovery Manager setup but True Image isn't giving me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I don't use any optical media as a backup device for precisely what Shuttrbug is relating in his restore attempt.
     
  6. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    The problem seems to be with the computer and the garbage HP recovery manager. Ask me if I'm surprised.

    I moved my TI program to another computer and burned an image of my Windows partition to dvd-rw. Then I disconnected that drive and made my second hard disk the boot drive. The TI rescue boot disk brought the system up perfectly and the image dumped right onto it with no hesitation or problems. This restored image booted with no problems. The only trick I had to pull was booting up with a floppy bootloader because the image dumped my grub MBR onto it and that choked when it couldn't find my linux menu.lst file on the main (disconnected) drive. After that I did a re-restore and partition resize and it did that very nicely too.

    So... it looks like I'll probably have to repartition and format the laptop drive before I can do anything with it as far as the Acronis program is concerned. At least now I know what's going on and know True Image really does work.

    I'll have my USB external drive tomorrow.
     
  7. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    DonDodge,
    The reason you're not getting many answers is that most of us that normally might respond do not use CD/DVD for routine backup imaging. We will use other hard drives--either network, external or other internal or a combination of all. For added security, we may copy an existing backup onto DVD just to save to another type media.

    The HP Recovery should not be an issue as long as your backup is of the full "disk" type where all partitions (both hidden & disagnostic) are included in the backup.

    If you have not reviewed my guides below, perhaps they can shed more light on some of your questins about the routine use of TI.
     
  8. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    I don't know Grover. The experiment I just finished was taking a full disk image of my main XP partition (only) off a drive that has two Windows partitions, two Linux partitions and the Linux swap partition. I restored that image to a drive that I had just made into a single Fat32 Windows partition and the whole deal worked perfectly. Dumping the image onto the drive even converted the file system back to NTFS. After that I did it again to be sure and for good measure, broke it back out into two separate partitions.

    The only reasonable explanation I can visualize for the utter and complete failure of True Image on the laptop, including the failure of even being able to properly boot the Acronis rescue media, is the HP trash and the recovery partition.

    Thanks for the links to the guides. I'll hope to find some good stuff in there. All I really have to go by so far is the Acronis pdf users guide.
     
  9. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    What usually prevents the Rescue disc from booting completely is some unfamiliar hardware it encounters, not software on the hard drive, be it network device, usb items, wireless devices. There are some workarounds in the stickies which may or may not work for you.
     
  10. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    What I was referring to was that I have recently restored two different HP XP desktop system hard drives from an USB external drive. Both restores was a full disk identical restore from a full disk backup. One had the recovery partition as the first partition and the other machine had recovery partition as the second partition. Both restored routinely without problem. Version 10, 4942 was the TI CD restore program used.
     
  11. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Thanks for the idea DwnNdrty but there really isn't anything I can identify that could cause a conflict. No wired or wireless network, no USB devices, no printer, no internet except dialup, wi-fi adapter turned off.

    I can't find anything in the stickies that addresses such conflicts and workarounds. Can you give me a clue?

    I imagine I'll eventually find the bit of malicious programming that is preventing TI from working properly. HP adds all sorts of traps that cause erratic behavior designed to influence the user to restore the computer to factory original condition, thus causing reinstallation of all their promotional trashware from the recovery pertition or recovery disks. A program like True Image would pose a major threat to the HP master plan since it can negate the probability the user will ever restore the computer using their garbage.
     
  12. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    This is almost getting to be comical.

    I tried to make a bootable Acronis flash drive for the purpose of making a bootable Acronis USB hard drive. I used a Corsair 2 gb Flash Voyager that is definitely bootable.

    No matter if I format the flash with the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool or with XP or Vista, no matter if I format it to Fat or Fat 32, it won't boot the HP Vista laptop to Acronis. Any other OS, no problems. The flash works just fine for booting my main computer and starts True Image just as it's supposed to..

    But when I boot the HP laptop, I get this message:

    Starting Acronis Loader
    Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (Partition) not found
    Press <Enter> to try to boot your OS

    After pressing Enter, it goes on to boot Vista just fine.

    I found a sticky post about this happening with a USB flash but there never was a resolution posted. The thread just fizzled out. There's quite a bit about this on the internet but only when it happens to a real hard drive, not a rescue drive or a flash drive.

    Next step was going with the syslinux "empty image" method using:

    SysLinux_256MB_FAT16_USB-ZIP_Acronis.tib.

    Again, this booted my main computer to Acronis but when booting the HP laptop, I get this.

    "Non-system disk. press any key." Of course, pressing a key boots Vista, not Acronis

    So then I just make a full disk backup of the HP Vista and validate it. I do this in Windows to the USB hard disk. No problems there. I check out the recovery function from Vista and it looks like it will go just fine but a reboot is required in the middle.

    Next, I boot up with my Acronis rescue cd, which doesn't work right but works better than the flash which doesn't work at all. True Image can't find the USB hard disk.

    This HP junk won't play nice at all with True Image. Any ideas?
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    DonDodge:

    Just on a hunch, does your HP laptop have an "IDE compatibility mode" setting in the BIOS? If so, try that setting instead of "AHCI" mode for your hard disk. Then see if any of the bootable environments will see your hard disk.
     
  14. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Mark, there's nothing there. It is the latest Phoenix bios for the computer but there's very little to choose from. Basically, you can set the date and time, administrator and power on passwords, bios language, virtualization, video memory, boot order and F10-F12 delay time at post. That's it.

    I did check the flash in linux to verify the boot flag and just for fun, I added a 100 mb partiton at the front nad made it the active boot partition. Haven't gotten back to Windows yet to reinstall the Acronis but I don't think that's gonna make any difference.

    I don't know how it's happening but I feel sure all this Acronis failure is caused by HP's insipid Recovery Manager and/or their firmware rootkit.
     
  15. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    It's probably just lack of support in the Acronis Linux drivers for an AHCI SATA hard disk. Too bad that HP gives you access to so few of the BIOS settings.

    You might want to consider making a VistaPE disk, which should have native drivers for modern disk drives already integrated. Once you have VistaPE working, then you can run the Windows versions of the Acronis software in the VistaPE recovery environment. There is a thread with details here. It works really well and will back up and restore faster than the Acronis recovery environment.
     
  16. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    I looked into BartsPE a while back and have just started looking at VistaPE. Not sure I can even make a VistaPE disk since I don't have a Microsoft Vista installation disk. These P.O.S. computers come with HP Vista in the recovery partition. Nothing else.

    Do you know if I can build a functional PE disk from only what's available in the installed OS or maybe with the Windows Automated Installation Kit?

    Edit: I just chased the link your offered and that has answered my questions. Looks like I may be able to pull it off. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  17. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    You can build VistaPE using only the WAIK. Mustang's instructions cover that very case.
     
  18. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    I'm collecting stuff to study now. I can see this will require a trip to town to hook into a wi-fi. That dang WAIK is a gigabyte. That would take me a month to download here at home.
     
  19. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Have a look at the project page to whet your appetite...

    *Edit - make sure if you're going to make a special trip to download a 1 GB WAIK that you get the original version. Don't download the new WAIK that is based on Vista SP1. Read this post also.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  20. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Heheh, my appetite is whet enough. The problem now is keeping my supper down. This VistaPE business looks like a whole lot more than I need to learn at my age.

    You say maybe it's a problem with Acronis Linux drivers for an AHCI SATA hard disk? Is there an easy way to verify that or analyze what else it may be? Would it be possible to do something like boot with a Ubuntu Live CD or systemrescuecd and run True Image from there?

    Man, I really hate spending a few weeks fighting this thing just to make TI work with this lousy computer. This just ain't right.
     
  21. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Actually, if you follow Mustang's instructions in the previously-referenced thread you can have VistaPE up and running pretty quickly. There is no need to figure out WinBuilder and add every conceivable bell and whistle to the VistaPE build.

    An Ubuntu Live CD will not be of help, other than you may be able to demonstrate to yourself that something, other than Windows, will correctly see the hard disk on your HP machine.

    You always have the option of contacting Acronis and filing a support request. They may be able to provide you with a version of the boot CD that works with your hardware.
     
  22. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Thanks Mark. I'm looking for the path of least resistance and have a new idea I posted about.
     
  23. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello DonDodge,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please make sure you use the latest build (8053) of Acronis True Image 11 Home. To get access to updates you should first register your software. Don't forget to recreate Acronis Bootable Rescue Media after updating.

    If the latest build doesn't solve the problem, please try booting with "acpi=off noapic" parameter as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    If the issue persists, please collect some information to let us investigate it thoroughly:

    Please create Acronis Report and Linux system information (sysinfo.txt) as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    If you are not able to create Linux system information (sysinfo.txt) then please do the following:

    - Boot your computer from Acronis Bootable Rescue Media and press F11 key when the selection screen advising you to select either "Full", "Safe" or "Boot into Windows" option appears.
    - After you get the "Linux kernel command line" prompt, remove the word "quiet", click on the OK button and choose "Full Version".

    When the screen stop scrolling please write down the output information you receive (last 5-10 lines), or use a digital camera to make shots of the output screen. You can use Shift+PgUp and Shift+PgDn keys to scroll the screen manually.

    Then submit a request for technical support. Attach all the collected files and information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with a solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  24. DonDodge

    DonDodge Registered Member

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    Thanks Marat but the problem isn't with the Acronis program. The problem is with the computer. An F11 startup, as described in the help post, completely screws up the computer and turns it into a locked up machine that's noisier than a fire alarm. It's impossible to even remove the "Quiet" word much less add any parameters in it's place. The only place to go from there is power-off.
     
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