Restore to smaller partition

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by hauge48, Nov 21, 2008.

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  1. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Hello all,

    I am a situation where I have to choose the lesser of multiple evils, unless you can help me get sorted out.

    When installing Vista Home Premium back in time, I did so on an unpartitioned 500 GB drive. Only too late I realized that exploiting the remaining 400+ GB for other purposes than system files would explode the image backup of that drive.:gack:

    I have three options:
    1-have enormous backups :thumbd:
    2-leave the 400 GB free :eek:
    3-exclude "users" and other data elements - my present choice, but disencouraged by Acronis:gack:
    4-reinstall OS and programs on a fresh partition:'(

    I have tried to make a Computer image and restore it to a partition of appropriate size in version 11 without luck. I am now on 2009. Have I missed something?:oops:
     
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    You can restore to a smaller partiton if you manually adjust the target partiton size in ATI. The only requiremetn is that the amount of bytes to be restored fit within the target space. If you haf a 500gb partition but only 12gb was in use, then you could backu that paritition and restore it to any partiton that was at least 12gb in size.

    Check out the signature are of any message by groverH andyou'll find links regarding restoring to s diff size drive.
     
  3. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    I've restored to dissimilar partition sizes (both to larger, and to smaller than the original image partition size) many times with TI11 without any problems, what exactly do you mean by 'without luck'? What did you do and what went wrong?

    In my case I usually did the repartitioning first with Disk Director, but AFAIK the partition resizing can also be done within the ATI recovery process using the boot disk as well. If I'm not mistaken the graphical interface is the same with both tools when you do the actual partition resizing operation.

    And since you're using Vista and changing your system partition you need to know about the potential BCD problems you may encounter. BCD is the boot database Vista uses to manage things, which is a new method not previously used in XP and earlier OS versions. Its a topic you may want to research on the web to get an understanding of what its all about, but I'll warn you in advance the articles you find will require some knowledge of C/C++ programming and the boot process. The basic hazard is anytime you change the system hard drive or partition in Vista, there's a thing called the GUID that changes, and Vista will have trouble booting if it doesn't see the GUID it expects. I think I understand HOW its implemented, but what I haven't figured out is WHY they chose to use the GUID concept in the first place.

    The BCD topic has been discussed here in detail, I'll post another reply with Mudcrab's solution to the GUID problem, although in my case I didn't actually have to use the bcdedit commands he shows. You may not need to either, but knowing in advance what problems might occur would be helpful.

    In my case I got a few nasty looking error messages at bootup, but basically Vista was able to repair things on its own and everything was OK after a couple of boots.
     
  4. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    I cut/pasted Mudcrab's technique below:

    [begin]

    If the Command Prompt directory is not the \windows\system32 directory then type the following commands (<ENTER> means to press the ENTER key):

    Code:
    c: <ENTER>
    cd \windows\system32 <ENTER>
    If your Vista partition is a drive letter other than C: then use that drive letter.

    Once you're in the \windows\system32 directory, type the commands below:

    Code:

    bcdedit /set {default} device boot <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot <ENTER>
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot <ENTER>

    This assumes that the "default" booting entry in the BCD file is Vista.
    After these changes, your bcdedit output will resemble this:

    Code:
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device boot
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    default {default}
    displayorder {default}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier {default}
    device boot
    path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice boot
    systemroot \Windows
    resumeobject {d5f6f061-52c6-11dc-8f68-ff6d008c462c}
    nx OptIn


    instead of referencing a partition directly as in the example below:

    Code:
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=C:
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    default {default}
    displayorder {default}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier {default}
    device partition=C:
    path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice partition=C:
    systemroot \Windows
    resumeobject {d5f6f061-52c6-11dc-8f68-ff6d008c462c}
    nx OptIn

    [end]


    I believe the underlying problem is this: {bootmgr} is a reference to the GUID value, and when the GUID changes (as a result of swapping the hard drive with the boot partition, or changing the boot partition size or location) and no longer matches {bootmgr}, the boot manager 'device' entry becomes "unknown" and the boot process can't complete properly.

    Redefining the boot manager 'device' field to 'boot' instead of the partition value, somehow fixes the problem, although its not completely clear to me exactly why it works. I was able to find in Microsoft documentation that 'boot' is one of the allowable options for the device field, as is a partition, and a couple other alternatives. But I don't know exactly what about 'boot' is different than the other option of specifying the active (boot)partition letter that makes one method work and the other fail.

    Mudcrab, if you happen to see this and care to comment I'd appreciate it because I don't know if what I just explained is really correct or not, its just my best guess.
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    "Boot" becomes a synonym for "the active partition". Therefore, the boot manager need only find the active partition to locate things.

    But hauge48 is using TI 11, so he won't have to worry about this. Acronis fixed TI 11 so that the BCD is automatically fixed when the partition is restored.
     
  6. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    Thanks for the explanation Mark. If you have the C: partition marked as active then would the string "partition=C:" work the same way?

    Since I used TI11 and Disk Director 10, which are both Vista compatible, I never actually had to do this step, so that's why I'm not sure about the details of how it actually breaks. I think the device field goes to 'unknown' is that correct? So as long as you go in and repair the 'unknown' with either option, do they both fix the problem equally?

    Then I would assume the further benefit of using boot rather than partition= is if you later decide to install Vista on another partition the BCD wouldn't need to be updated to reflect the new partition letter where Vista resides. Am I understanding it correctly?
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Yes.
    Yes; when it "breaks" the device field goes to "unknown". Either option restores the boot configuration database to a working configuration.
    Yes, if your new partition is then made active the benefit of using "boot" is that you won't need the new GUID to refer to the partition; Windows boot manager (bootmgr) will just look up and find the active flag in the partition table and go to that partition. If you use "partition=C:" as the BCD entry and you later modify the partition by changing its starting sector, the GUID of the partition will change and bootmgr will be unable to find it. The BCD entry will change to "Unknown", so you will need to change the entry back to "partition=c:".

    I have heard this process (changing the BCD references to "boot") referred to as "generalizing" the BCD. A generalized BCD is GUID independent, so you can modify your partition's location with impunity and the system will still boot.
     
  8. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Thank you all for your responses.
    I frankly don't remember precisely the reason for lack of luck when trying to restore using the TI11, but I think I was rejected when inputting a smaller partition than the original one. Anyway, I am on TI12 now and what is written above, applicable to TI12 as I understand it, is far beyond my PC comprehension. This is something that was corrected in TI11, but reappeared in TI12?
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    hauge48:

    No, the fix applied to both TI 11 and TI 2009, so you should not have that problem.

    I think all of us got way off your original topic, so please accept our apologies. I will respond to your original question a little later today but right now, work interferes...
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    hauge48:

    I think that another option is to do something similar to your #3 and #4 options, but in a different way. If you move your user files to another partition then backups of your Vista partition will be smaller. You may be able to accomplish this without reinstalling everything by using tools built into Vista:

    1. Defragment your drive thoroughly so that all of the data in your current Vista partition is moved towards the start of the partition.
    2. Consider using Disk Cleanup and allowing it to delete all but the most recent restore point.
    3. Use Vista Disk Management to shrink the size of your Vista partition to 100 GB
    4. Create a new 400 GB partition in the unallocated space. This will become your D: drive, or data partition.
    5. Using Windows Explorer, move as many of the user files to the new partition as possible. This would include your Documents, Music, Videos, Pictures and other user folders. For the "special" folders like the preceding you can right-click on the folder and choose "Properties". On the "Location" tab, specify D: as the new location and then click "Move" to re-locate your folders on the new partition. The idea here is to get most or all of your user files on the new partition.
    6. With user files removed from the Vista partition, the image file size of the Vista partition will be much smaller.

    Once you have things set up the way you like, make a full-disk image so that you can restore in the future if something gets messed up.

    You should not need to reinstall to accomplish your goal, if I understand it correctly.
     
  11. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    Sorry for the diversion, I had some minor glitches restoring Vista to a smaller partition a few months ago, and had forgotten that TI11 fixed the BCD issue just fine. The glitches I encountered were due to some other things, and while discussing those problems here we just happened to get involved in a BCD discussion. So I got a bit confused as to the original cause and effect, but Kolo cleared me up on that point.

    The lesson I remember learning from the original problems I had was to not do any manipulation of the C: partition size or location while running Windows, always do it from the recovery CD environment.
     
  12. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    I will try out your suggestions in the weekend when I have some peace and quiet.
    Many thanks.
     
  13. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Mark,

    I didn't even get through point 1! I have been through half a dozen defrag products and none is capable of real compaction! All but Diskeeper ignores system files and Diskeeper with not perform any disk compaction, just file defrag. So please advice me what product to use? In all fairness I have not tried Norton Diskdoctor, but I'm off Norton now after months of struggle to get rid of him. I seem to recall back in XP days Windows defrag did a proper compaction, but in Vista this is not the case. The odd system files lay scattered of over the disk.

    I am thinking, as an alternative, to slim the system as you described, take a backup and restore it to a proper sized partition on another drive. That should work, shouldn't it?
     
  14. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    If you have restored partitions on your disk before and are confident that a restore works correctly, then back up your Vista partition to somewhere else (another disk). Then restore it to the same location, but choose a smaller size when restoring. Make the partition the size you want (100 GB?) if everything will fit. If not, make it about 25% larger than the absolute minimum.

    Leave the rest of the disk as unallocated space. After the restoration use Vista Disk Management to create partitions in the unallocated space.

    TI makes a good defragger - it will compact the files upon restoration.
     
  15. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    I am close to moved for your interest in my problems..

    I simply have no luck with ms. Acronis. I am not sure whether it is her (because it has got be a female, right) or me. The behaviour is completely unpredictable.

    Uninstalled previous build and downloaded 9646.
    Added a 250 GB disk with Acronis from Windows, with 2 partitions, 100 + 150 GB
    Backed up system disk (ca. 50 GB now)into the 150 GB partition. All well according to ms.
    Asked kindly for a restore, unticking MBR
    Was offered a restore on original C drive, the rest greyed out. (but I don't trust her, so I want to try the restore on the 100GB partition and even boot from there to see if she is trustworthy)
    Went 1 step back and reordered space for restore; this time all the other disks and partitions were offered.
    Could not choose any single one, all remained selected. Moving forward the original c: was selected all the same.
    What is going on?

    I have a life to live. After reading some of the posts in this forum I wonder if she is worth while.

    Greetings from Stockholm.
     
  16. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    hauge48:

    This shouldn't be so difficult. It sounds like you are doing things correctly, but I am having a hard time figuring out a reason that you are unable to select the desired target for the restoration.

    One area that has confused new users in the past is the order of choices in the restore wizard. The first screen should ask for the source of the archive. The next should ask for the desired partition from the archive. The next should ask for the desired destination for the restore.

    If you choose a single partition from the backup archive then you should also be offered a dialog asking you to choose a size for the restored partition (TI will let you resize a partition upon restoration and you can then choose to make it either larger or smaller).

    Forum member GroverH has written some fully-illustrated guides showing this, but the illustrations were taken from an earlier version of TI (not the 2009 version), so they may differ from your software, but may be worth a look.
     
  17. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Mark,

    as long as you don't give in, I certainly will not! I'll try what you suggest.

    As it happens I have a lisence for TI9 and TI11 (used them only for cloning, though). Any ideas of trying any of these versions?

    Rgdrs Finn
     
  18. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Finn:

    Since version 9 is getting dated then I would try version 11. The screens and dialog boxes should be similar to those in GroverH's illustrated guide.

    If you get a successful restore to your new drive then shut down and disconnect your existing drives. Connect only the new drive and try booting into Windows. If you boot the new disk with the existing disk attached then Windows may change drive letters and generally make a mess of your new disk.
     
  19. como

    como Registered Member

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    Have you tried Perfect Disk? Do a offline defrag and a normal one.

    As I am buying a new computer with Vista installed I have been looking at Vista related stuff on the internet and found this so I would have a go at shrinking the partition as Marks post 10 above
     
  20. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Thank you Mark,

    that was very informative, but brings me back to square one, if I understand you correctly. I have no use for the 500 GB disc after the transfer to another disc..
     
  21. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Thank you Como,

    the clue here is to get the disc compacted. Vista will shrink the partition, but in my case only a few BG until it encounters a system file. But I'll try the Perfect Disk once more; may have overlooked the offline option.
     
  22. Tuxy

    Tuxy Registered Member

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    hauge48,

    I have not read this thread word-for-word, so forgive me if I've ignorantly overlooked something, but I don't see why you are blaming Acronis TI for this. This is a Vista problem.

    If you are unable to shrink the Vista partition with the Disk Management tool or with any other 3rd party tool specifically designed for Vista resizing, why do you expect Acronis TI to fair any better? Although TI can shrink/expand in the overall process, by design it's not a partition resizing tool, it's a backup program.
     
  23. como

    como Registered Member

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    You don’t say whether your computer is a laptop or desktop.

    If a laptop buy an external disk enclosure and install it into that, if a desktop or tower you can add it as a second or third disk, if not see laptop.

    Both solutions will enable you to use it for data and/or TI images

    I would not recommend using a partition on your system disk for data, if the disk goes down unless you have backed up the data you are in trouble
     
  24. hauge48

    hauge48 Registered Member

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    Tuxy,

    you are right, of course. The strategy outlined in the off-set has nothing to do with Acronis. But as outlined by Marc, a backup/restore of the system partition is a very effective way to get the compaction I am after - if only I can get it to work.

    Shame on he who thinks badly of others....
     
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