Restoring an Image of an OS Partition to a Different Partition

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Peter John, Jun 15, 2008.

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  1. Peter John

    Peter John Registered Member

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    My PC has two hard drives, each 160GB (153GB when formatted) arranged as triple boot as follows

    Drive 1
    C 39GB XP Pro
    E 30 GB XP Pro
    F 30 GB XP Pro
    G 54 GB Data

    Drive 2
    D 153 GB Data

    My problem is that my C drive has slowed down to the point such that drastic action is needed.

    As my F drive is working well and was installed with SP3 and some of my most used programs, I would like to take its latest image and replace C with it and rebuild C.
    Is this possible and would it then boot?
    If so I guess I may have to copy over the boot.ini file and ntldr from C before imaging F.
    I would be pleased to have advice particularly from anyone who has done this.
    I am using ATI Home 11

    Peter
     
  2. MrMorse

    MrMorse Registered Member

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    Hi Peter,

    I think it doesn't work.

    Imagine that all installed Software in the XP-Prof from drive F: has the "F:" in his registry.
    If you restore it as "C:" the entries are wrong.

    I think the work is to complex to get it running.

    But you can try it. Please wait for other opinions from this forum users...
     
  3. JustAnotherNoob

    JustAnotherNoob Registered Member

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    My first reaction was: yes, it is possible, and I have done something similar a few times already - you can read about it here. HOWEVER, I use an independent boot manager that keeps my OS partitions hidden from each other, and each carries the drive letter C. Since you mention C - E - F, I suspect your multi-boot is set up "the Microsoft way", with which I'm further not familiar. If that is the case, things are probably more complicated.

    I agree with the previous poster - you'll need the advice from more experienced members. In the meanwhile, it might be useful if you could provide some more details on how your system is set up. How where the OS initially installed ? In what order ? Which bootmanager ? Are the partitions hidden from each other ? And what was/is the intended difference between the three WinXP installations ?

    Good Luck !!

    JustAnotherNoob
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I would take a cautious approach on this and wait till the the poster in the above thread actually completes his project. From the advice given so far it probably will result in a bootable system but I have my doubts whether the installed programs will still work.

    Xpilot
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    A long while ago I had Windows ME on one hard drive and XP on another.
    My goal was to get rid of ME and to keep XP and end up with just one hard drive.
    To avoid any problems with boot or progams not working I proceded as follows.

    The boot INI was edited to remove reference to ME and it was deleted from C drive 0. The boot INI was also edited to point to XP on disk 0 and partition 2.

    An image of the XP drive D was restored to the first drive as partition 2 and it retained its D letter automatically.

    All that remained was to shrink C partition to a few Mb and allocate the space to the D partition.

    Leaving C partition to still hold the vital boot records and keeping XP as D ensured that all the pre-existing relationships in the registry were preserved and everything worked as it should.

    Xpilot
     
  7. Peter John

    Peter John Registered Member

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    It's a straightforward Windows installation, no external boot manager, partitions not hidden, install order C,E, F. Reason C for general use, E for video editing, F being set up to replace C (Hopefully!!!)

    I am very grateful for the comments posters have made but am not yet confident enough to give it a go. Perhaps there will be an update from the thread referred to by Brian K.
     
  8. Peter John

    Peter John Registered Member

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    No new posting on the referenced thread & no input from Acronis support in this thread.

    Also I've emailed support with this question but have had no reply as yet.

    I live in hope that someone may have done this sort of thing already. Otherwise on the basis of what posters have said, I shall have to give it a go (& restore my original image if it all goes wrong !!!!)

    However I shall wait for a reply from support first before doing anything rash.

    Peter
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Peter,

    If you installed C: first, then E: and F: will be booting from the C: partition (C: will be the Active partition). If you restore F: to C:, it won't boot because the files are missing. As you say in post #1, you'd need to save the ntldr and boot.ini files from the C: partition so you can copy them back after the restore. An easy way to do this would be to copy them to the F: partition prior to imaging it.

    I assume that when you are booted into each XP, that each partition is assigned the same drive letter. That is to say, C: is C:, D: is D: and E: is E: and all of them refer to the same partition no matter which XP you boot into. If this is correct, the restored partition should remain C: as it will be the Active partition and should be reassigned (if necessary) correctly.

    Before you begin, I would recommend you create an Entire Disk Image backup (check the Disk # checkbox). This will let you restore your drive to its current state if something goes wrong.

    After the restore of F: to C: (as an Active partition), you may need to boot to an XP cd, run the Recovery Console and issue the fixboot command. The boot sector on the F: partition may or may not be correct since it was booting from the C: partition. This procedure will reset the C: partition's boot sector.

    ---

    At this point, you should be able to boot into either the E: or F: XP installations normally. The C: XP should boot, but will probably be "cross-linked" with the F: partition because all of the XP drive letter references on C: will be F:. You can try and change these manually or use special programs, but it's probably more trouble than it's worth.

    An easier solution is to boot into E: or F:, mount the Registry on the C: drive and change C: to F: (you'll have to change F: to something else first). Make sure you boot into C: (or at least try) before you edit the Registry so the new values are in there.

    ---

    With that being said, I prefer to keep C: as the Windows drive letter and would probably just reinstall C: instead of trying to restore F: to C:. I also don't like using any other drive letter than C: for the booting Windows partition or using the Windows boot manager. Any of these things can cause all sorts of problems when you need to restore or recover things. If you had a multi-boot system where the operating systems were isolated and each was C: when booted, restoring F: to C: would not be a problem.
     
  10. Peter John

    Peter John Registered Member

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    Thanks Mudcrab for your post. Most helpful.

    Added to the other info in this thread it now seems to me that perhaps I should abandon my idea & go for a straight re-install.

    I will do nothing yet until I have a reply from Acronis Support.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Backup software.

    Could you please let me your Acronis request # which was sent to you in autoreply to your letter? I'll try to escalate issue processing.

    Thank you
    --
    Nikita Sakharov
     
  12. Peter John

    Peter John Registered Member

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    I have now had replies to the email to Support regarding the question I raised in this post.

    My first email was practically the same as the original post.

    I asked:-

    "As my F drive is working well and was installed with SP3 and some of my most used programs, I would like to take its latest image and replace C with it and rebuild C.
    Is this possible and would it then boot?
    If so I guess I may have to copy over the boot.ini file and ntldr from C before imaging F. I would be pleased to have advice as to whether this is possible."

    The reply:-

    "Yes, this scenario is possible with Acronis True Image 11 Home.
    Additionally, I strongly recommend replacing the NTLDR boot loader system files below:

    * NTLDR, which contains the main boot loader itself;
    * boot.ini, which contains configuration options for a boot menu;
    * ntdetect.com, the hardware detection system component which is invoked by NTLDR."


    I followed this up with a supplementary question:-

    "If my C: drive is a now copy of my F: drive & I am able to boot to it, when I try to run programs from C: using Start/ All Programs will they access the program on C: or where it was originally pointed, that is on F:
    If the latter is the case then if I uninstall a program on F: then the link on C: will have nothing to point at.
    Your clarification would be most helpful."


    The reply:-

    "Please note that the F:\ partition exact replica taken onto the C:\ partition is a self-contained/independent entity as of now; thus, by no means any changes applied to either partition under consideration will actually affect the other one.

    So it all looks possible. In due course, full backup first, with time & courage permitting, I will give it a go & report back.
    Thanks again everyone.

    Peter
     
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