Restore on Vista requires Repair

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jmk94903, Apr 13, 2007.

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  1. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I made several TI 10 Home Build 4942 images of my P4 1.5GHz system's C drive to a second partition on the same drive. All the images completed normally and validated.

    I restored an image I made yesterday of the C partition back to the C partition. Everything went normally, I chose Active and didn't change the size. I just needed to get back to yesterday's conditions after some messy installation problems.

    The restore proceed normally, but on rebooting, Vista wouldn't start and I was told I needed to boot from my Vista DVD and select Repair. I did this and the Vista setup found boot errors and fixed them. After that the system booted normally.

    I never had this problem on this exact same hardware under Windows XP with TI 9 Home.

    Have others found this. Since most people don't get a Vista DVD with their computer, this is a serious problem.

    Is there a better way to restore? Is it necessary to also restore the MBR when restoring the boot partition?
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    John,

    I currently have Vista and XP dual booting (in isolation) on a test computer. I'm curious about this too and will run some tests.

    Is Vista the only OS installed on your computer?

    On a side note, does Vista run decently on a 1.5GHz system?
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I will be very interested in your results.

    Well, this is my test computer. It has three hard drives. WinXP is on one, Win98SE is on a second, and Vista is on a third. Each was installed by setting that drive as the boot drive in the BIOS, so they are three independent installations.

    The drive that Vista is on has two partitions. The first and Active partition is where Vista is installed. The second partition is used for backup images, etc.

    I have 1GB RAM and an nVidia 6200 video card with 256MB RAM, so I can run Aero. The system is a lot quicker with Aero turned off, but I wanted to see what it looked like. With Aero on, the system is just acceptably fast most of the time. If I were using this as my main computer, I'd turn Aero off to gain speed.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    John,

    I have run probably 20 - 30 restores (I lost count) using different configurations (restore from BartPE, rescue cd full mode, from Vista, etc.) and my findings so far are not what I expected.

    Test system: MSI P6N SLI-FI, Celeron 351 (3.2GHz), 1GB DDR2-800 RAM, 80GB Seagate SATA HD, TI 10 build 4,942

    My results are as follows:

    All tests in #1 were conducted on a clean install of Vista Home Premium (no other OS's or boot managers installed).

    #1a - Every attempt to just restore the Vista partition by itself (MBR unchecked, "disk 1" unchecked) failed with the following error:
    ** File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    ** Status: 0xc0000255
    ** Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt

    #1b - Every attempt to restore the MBR either at the same time as the Vista partition or afterwards in a separate restore failed with the same error ("disk 1" was not checked for these tests)

    #1c - Every attempt to restore the complete drive by checking the "disk 1" checkbox WORKED PEFECTLY. Vista booted right up.

    I then ran some test on the system setup as follows for test set #2:
    - BootIT NG (BING) was installed
    - Vista was installed
    - XP Pro SP2 was installed

    #2a - Restoring the complete drive ("disk 1" checked) worked okay. Everything setup just as it was, multi-booting works fine, etc.

    #2b - Restoring the Vista partition from a complete drive backup worked okay

    #2c - Restoring the Vista partiton from a "Vista partition" only backup worked okay

    #2c - Restoring the Vista partition from the #1 backups caused an error on boot. A simple edit of the BCD file using BING fixed the problem and Vista booted right up.

    It seems that Vista is "tagging" the partition that it's installed/booting from and when TI deletes it and creates it again the link is broken. This requires a repair or a BCD file edit to correct. When TI restores the entire drive this does not happen. Apparently TI is keeping everything as it was in the backup and the link is not broken.

    When using a third-party Boot manager (like BING) restoring the Vista partition seems to work okay. I haven't tried it with Acronis OSS yet, but intend to. I'm curious if it will exihibit the same behaviour as BING or require a Vista repair upon restoring the partition.

    I would guess that when you restored your Vista partition you just restored the partition, especially since you asked about the MBR. Can you confirm this? It would also be interesting to know if you did a backup of the entire drive ("disk 1" checked) and then restored that, if it would work okay as in my tests.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MudCrab,

    Great post.
     
  6. Bob_T

    Bob_T Registered Member

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    Hi JMK & MudCrab-

    I am dual booting Vista HP/Xp MCE.

    Using Acronis to restore some files/partitions has run into boot problems with Vista for me also. This include the "winload.exe" problem. The first time I got this, I think I reformatted my Vista partition and still had the problem?

    I found this article from Microsoft that has solved the problem for me without much effort:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

    It does involve the "Repair" of Vista and using Bcedit.exe.
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/images/smilies/cheesy.gif
    :D
    Maybe you already know this? If not I hope it helps.
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Thanks.
     
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, we are aware of repairing the Vista partition so it can boot. Thanks for the direct link, though.

    To me, this is not a problem of having to repair, but a problem of not having to repair. We shouldn't have to run Vista repair just because we restored the Vista partition. I think Acronis needs to look into this more thoroughly.
     
  9. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Wow! Talk about over the top help! I really appreciate your work, and it looks like you have nailed my problem. I'll expand on that later.
    This is essentially my setup. A clean intall of Vista Ultimate to a hard drive with no other operating system but there is a second partition.

    Does your Case #1 have a second partition on the hard drive also?

    Since I have been making my backup images to the second partition, I didn't include it in the image. Therefore, I restored only the C partition. Just as you describe, that fails to boot and requires a repair with the Vista DVD.

    I was thinking about moving my backups off the second partition to an external hard drive so that I could back up the entire drive and restore it. You beat me to that, but I will try it tomorrow and report back whether I have a success as you did.
    Who would have thought that a more complex system would restore correctly when the simple system did not.
    I'm glad this didn't work, or I would have been really confused.
    That is exactly what I did. I won't bother with trying the restore with the MBR, but I'll move my backups and make an image of the entire disk and try restoring that.

    Remember back with TI 8, if you didn't make an image of the entire disk, there was no guarantee that a restored boot partition would actually boot if you restored it to a new hard drive. It looks like we are back to that same sort of problem with Vista.

    However, with TI 8 and Windows versions prior to Vista, if you didn't change anything else on the drive so the MBR remained in tact, you could restore just the boot partition. It was only when you tried to restore to a brand new drive that you had the boot problem. Of course, if you simply ran FDISK from a Win98SE floppy and partitioned the disk which created an MBR and partition table, you could successfully restore just the boot partition even to a brand new drive.

    The Vista boot failure problem is worse in that it is happening with a drive that has not been changed in any way except to restore an image to the same partition from which is was made.

    Acronis should have tested this. I can't imagine not doing so and releasing a product that can't restore this way without a big warning.

    I hope we get some others reporting on whether they can successfully restore only the C, boot, partition on a drive with other partitions and boot successfully. My guess is that this is a general problem since we both see it.

    By the way our hardware is very different. I'm using an older Intel D845 motherboard with with a 1.5GHz P4 with 1GB PC133 SDRAM and an 80GB WD IDE hard drive as my test machine. So, we have the same problem on both IDE and SATA drives which makes it sound like it's pretty likely to be general.

    I'll report on the Full Disk restore shortly.

    And thanks again for jumping on this so quickly and thoroughly.
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    No. It was to simulate a simple install of just Vista. I haven't tried a full drive restore with another partition (except for the BING setup). All my backups/restores were to/from an external USB 2 hard drive.
    As I understand it, TI deletes the partition and recreates it prior to the restore. I think this creates a different "partition id" value or something that breaks the link for Vista's boot manager.
    I agree completely.

    I have yet to run extensive tests using OSS as the boot manager, but I seem to remember that I restored the Vista partition on my P5B system and it worked okay. It may be the same as BING and because Vista's boot manager isn't installed to the MBR it doesn't have a "partition id" link problem.
     
  11. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    OK Mudcrab, here's my latest findings.

    I made a full image of my 80GB Vista hard drive (partition C, and a second partition by checking the box for the whole drive).

    I removed the drive I backed up and replaced it with a 100GB drive that had alll the partitions deleted.

    1. Booting from the TI 10.4942 Recovery CD, I restored the entire backup (both partitions and MBR) to the 100GB drive. On rebooting, it said Windows had not shut down properly, but I chose to boot normally. Vista loaded, the hard drive was detected, I had to reboot to use the new hardware, and Vista booted normally.

    OK, as long as the full drive was imaged, it restored properly and booted.

    2. Booting from the Recovery CD, I restored only the C partition to the drive after step 1. I got exactly the same messages as in step 1, and after rebooting, Vista ran normally.

    OK, restoring the C partition only from a full disk backup results in a bootable disk.

    3. I repeated step 2, but I started the restore of just the C partition in Vista. It completed successfully exactly as in 2.

    OK, it doesn't matter how the C partition from the full backup is restored. Both the Recovery CD and starting in Vista work the same way.

    4. I restored only the C partition from a backup of only the C partition (not the full disk). The system would not boot. I got the winload.exe errror message and was instructed to use the Vista DVD to repair the boot.

    Bad news, I can't restore C if only C was backed up. At least not without doing a Vista repair.

    I stopped and didn't bother with the repair.

    5. I repeated step 3, restoring the only the C partition from the full disk image. The result was exactly as in step 3. I selected the normal boot and rebooted after the new hard drive was found. Vista then ran normally.

    At this point, it appears that only a Vista boot partition from a backup image of the entire hard drive can be restored and booted without repairing the restored image. That's a surprise.

    I guess I will only make images of the entire hard drive for now since images of just the C partition cannot be restored without doing a repair.

    What have others found?
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    This is the same as what I got, except I restored to the same hard drive. If you backup from BartPE or the rescue cd then you don't get the "shut down" error, otherwise it's the same.

    I tried to duplicate this, but I got the "repair" error. I can't restore the Vista partition from either a full drive backup or a single partition backup with the "repair" error. I just tried this on your setup to check, but got the same results. I restored the plain Vista install, shrunk the partition, created another NTFS partition, then created a full drive backup. Same results. Apparently, for some reason, you can restore the Vista partition from a full drive image and have it boot. I can't.

    Same on my tests.

    Same on my tests.

    I agree.

    If I only have Vista on my computer (no other partitions) then I'd probably just do a whole drive backup. Otherwise (with other partitions, data or OS's) I'd use a boot manager so I can restore just the Vista partition as needed.
     
  13. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Great thread. Hopefully by the time I use Vista for real all of this will be history.
    Hope I don't have to wait for Acronis 11 and Vista 2008 :D
     
  14. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Hi MudCrab,

    Well, I now am quite confused. The work I did yesterday agreed well with what you found. However, what I found today did not agree. TI is working too well. :)

    After restoring the full drive image from my previous drive to the new one, I got a bootable drive. That's good and agrees with your experience.

    I then made another image of just the C partition. Here's where the confusion started. If I restore just this C partition, I get a bootble system. That didn't happen with my other drive. It's what should happen, but it didn't with the other drive. I double checked this, and it's correct.

    I then used Darik's Boot and Nuke to wipe the drive. That removes everything and leaves a drive equivalent to a new drive out of the box.

    I restored just the C partition from an image I had made of only the C partition prior to Boot and Nuke. Naturally, it wouldn't boot. So far, so good.

    I then restored the MBR and Sector 0 from that same image with just the C partition. Previously, you had shown that that didn't help. In this case, the system now booted perfectly into Vista. Go figure.

    A backup of just the boot partition may or may not be bootable without a repair when restored to the drive from which it was made. I've had both results, and I can't explain the difference.

    A backup of just the boot partition along with the MBR and Track 0 in a second step may or may not be bootable without a repair when restored to a new drive. Again, I've had both results, and I can't explain the difference.

    At this point, I believe that an image of an entire hard drive will always be bootable, and that's the only safe backup to make. This is what I will be doing until I have a better understanding of all this.

    I have a head ache.
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    John,

    It's interesting that you got the wiped drive to boot by restoring just the Vista partition and then the MBR. I wonder if TI does something different if the drive is "empty" as opposed to being the original drive. It certainly seems that way.

    I'm testing with OSS right now. I'm curious to see if the results are the same as what I got with BING.
     
  16. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Well, I did somethinking which is always a dangerous thing, and I learned something important.

    It occurred to me that after I restored the image of just the C partition to my original 80GB drive and had to do the Vista DVD Repair, I made a new image and then switched to using the second 100GB hard drive.

    What ever I did with the 100GB drive, restore just C, the whole disk image, etc., it always worked except when I tried to restore a C partition only image made on the 80GB drive BEFORE I did the Vista Repair.

    I went back to the 80 GB drive and made a new image of only the C partition, It restores perfectly without any errrors at all.

    So, after the Vista Repair, TI can now work perfectly with both drives with the exception of images of C only made before the repair.

    I have no explanation of what is "bad" about those C partition images that makes them not restore like images made after the repair.

    My 80GB drive had been used previously; and although I deleted the boot partition (but left the second, data partition), I did not wipe it clean with Boot and Nuke before installing Vista. Apparently, something left over was creating a problem which didn't appear until I tried to do a restore of just the C partition. After the Vista Repair, the disk is fine.

    So, I assume (and that's very dangerous) that the installation of Vista on a new PC would be good and would boot if just the boot partition were restored. I don't know any way to test this except to try a restore. However, it you don't have a Vista installation DVD, you won't be able to repair the installation if it won't boot.

    So, it's essential to make an image of the entire hard drive (all partitions) before trying any restore. If the restore of just the boot partition fails, you can restore the image of the entire disk to get up and running again. After that, I assume an intelligent person would either acquire a real Viste installation DVD or only make backup images of the entire hard drive.

    I want to thank you again MudCrab for pointing out that the full drive image is always bootable - at least so far as we have been able to test. That's the key to piece of mind.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    John,

    You beat me to it. I found out exactly the same thing during my latest tests. After the Vista partition is repaired further backups and restores of that partition don't require a repair.

    Also, I can verify that a wipe of the drive before a restore does sometimes allow the restore to work when otherwise it wouldn't. I have restored over and over to my test computer's drive and then when I went back and tried to restore the OSS backup, it booted straight to Vista's "repair" screen. I gave up on trying to get it to work after several hours and restored the BING drive setup. Guess what? It wouldn't boot correctly. BING was corrupted. So I did a wipe of the drive and restored it again. It worked just fine and BING booted right up and I could boot into either Vista or XP with no problems.

    I'm going to do a wipe and try the OSS drive restore again and see if it works. I wanted to do a repair on the OSS Vista partition, back it up and restore it to verify that a backup of a repaired Vista partition doesn't require a repair to boot. Your tests seem to validate this theory.

    I can also confirm that TI does not create the exact same partition when it does a normal partition restore. This is what causes the Vista repair problem. When TI restores the entire drive it must put things back differently than when it just restores a partition.

    For example, see the following picture. It shows how the partition is setup by Vista.
    http://www.purviancecs.com/images/acronis/VistaPartitionBefore.jpg

    Here is the same partition after TI restored it.
    http://www.purviancecs.com/images/acronis/VistaPartitionAfter.jpg

    As you can see, they are not the same. TI changes the bootsector and offset. This also changes the actual size of the partition. You can see this if you look as the final screen before the restore, it will show something like "50GB -> 50.8GB" or "50.8GB -> 50GB", I forget which.

    This is just one example of what TI changes. It obviously changes more that that, though, because I ran some more tests with two partitions. A small primary partition and then a large one. I installed Vista to the second partition so it wouldn't be affected by the "offset" change and did the backup partition and restore partition test. Vista needed the repair to boot.

    Hopefully, this will be fixed in the next build of TI. It seems to work fine once you've done the repair, but it shouldn't be needed in the first place.
     
  18. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Hi MudCrab,

    Well with your confirmation, I don't feel so foolish. This is really intriguing. It seems that things are more complicated than they used to be. Of course, that's probalby going to seem simple in the future.

    The fact that a Repair by Vista changes the future backups is very interesting. I'm glad that I'm not alone in finding this.

    I still believe that your finding that an image of the full drive (all partitions) will restore to a bootable drive is the most important finding. That provides the way to backup with full confidence of a successful restore.

    I have advised all my clients to do only full drive backups until we know for sure that boot partition only backups are bootable. Fortunately, external USB drives are large, and this isn't normally a problem.
     
  19. chuckenheimer

    chuckenheimer Registered Member

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    Who uses SCSI drives as the boot drive? Vista installation of the drivers fails yet the same drivers work fine for the up and running system. Seems MS and Acronis figures no one uses SCSI drives anymore.

    This repair technique yanks my chain anyway. Seeing how Acronis rushed version 9 out to compete with Ghost and the problems that created for TI users, I would think version 10 would have been more well thought through. I suppose too many system combinations justifies the situation and provides an excuse, lame as it might be.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I suppose I'll solicit some advice, if any is to be had. In the meantime, I'll just get back to my experimenting. Jeesh, I hate experimenting when I should otherwise be busy with real work.

    Thanks for listening to my rant.
     
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