Sector by Sector

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by gthomas, Aug 15, 2006.

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  1. gthomas

    gthomas Registered Member

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    In the System Requirements for Acronis True Image Workstation (and other versions) there is this statement: Special sector-by-sector support for other partitions and corrupted file systems.


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    Can you please explain what that means and is that automatic or do I select something?

    I am having difficulty because when I start up Acronis I get bad sector messages and chkdsk and defrag tools are not making any changes. This is making Acronis not work as it halts on those errors.
     
  2. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    This is good question.:( I'm curious myself.

    How many "bad sectors" does your "chkdsk" find??
     
  3. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    If you know that there are bad sectors do NOT use a defragger.

    First get rid of the sectors.
    If necessary buy a replacement drive.

    If chkdsk cannot fix the errors and you have tried th edrive manufacturer's tools to no avail, time to replace the drive.
     
  4. gthomas

    gthomas Registered Member

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    My feeling is that there really are not bad sectors and that XP is confused. There are many posts in other areas referring to potential false positives on MFT Bitmap Attribute issues, etc. Since everything except Acronis is running fine, I suspect they are not really bad.

    Hoping still to find out what sector by sector backup means. It specifically references damaged drive information and this is a way around it. However, I am not sure what they mean about running it in that mode.
     
  5. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    As far as I am aware, it means that TI will image the partition sector by sector (a mirrored image) when it meets a corrupt or unsupported file system.

    Namely, with supported and healthy file systems TI skips the sectors that are not in use and does not copy the contents of the pagefile and the hibernation file.
     
  6. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Guys, I have some questions about Chkdsk.

    1. After running Windows "Chkdsk", the diagnosis is displayed on the screen right before it boots into Windows. Is there a way to keep the statistics on the screen longer so it will give you more time to review its findings?
    Or rather...is there a say to save it's diagnosis as a file so you can review it later?

    2. Is there a better program out there that will do "Chkdsk", and scan your HD for errors, bad sectors, and etc more thorough than Windows?
    If there is, what do you recommend?
    I'm thinking "Perfect Disc".
     
  7. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Go to Windows Event Viewer and look under applications for a logon entry that is made after the CHKDSK reboot.
    There you will see all the information that you require.

    I am not aware of any deficiencies in the CHKDSK procedures. If you look into them you will see that there are several modes of operation available. However if CHKDSK does show up errors or bad sectors that it cannot fix I would suggest that it is probably time to buy a new disk sooner rather than later.
    The manufacturers of you hard drive will have their own diagnostic software and some are capable of bringing spare sectors into use to replace bad ones. This process usually involves destroying any data on the disk. As a temporary band aid it may be worth doing this but my own view is that if a drive is going bad get rid of it ASAP.
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    My opinion as well. It is going to get worse, not better and if anything is now floating inside the platter area it could get worse very, very quickly.
     
  9. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Perfect Disk is a defragger not a Chkdsk like utility.
    Perfect Disk uses the MS Defragmentation API and as such relies on the NTFS structure being correct.
    It is always best to run Chkdsk (fix mode) before any defrag program.
    I am unaware of any third party Chkdsk utility.
    I've looked for one since I have NTFS structural problems which Chkdsk does not detect (for example, folder and file with invalid names - so can't delete them using normal windows delete). I am currently testing third party delete utilities which do appear to work).
    Chkdsk also doesn't have a test for clusters which have been flagged by Windows as bad clusters in NTFS (in MFT $badclus) - again I've used a third party utility to fix (of course, after using SpinRite to ensure the disk is really OK).
    If you find an alternative Chkdsk utility please let me know as I still have one NTFS problem I'm trying to resolve.
    This remaining problem is causing TrueImage to do a 'sector by sector' image creation so the .tib file is huge!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  10. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Tachon42,

    I had a NTFS partition structure problem a while back. At first I thought it was a bad disk. CHKDSK refused at the first fence and the manufacturer's software could not fix it. It insisted that there were no spare sectors left. I even tried formatting it in Partition Magic 8.
    I was about to do a RTM but thought to try restoring a full disk image to it. Bingo! It booted just fine and CHKDSK ran and showed no errors. I can only assume that the wipe out that TI does before a restore really clears out everything so there is nothing to spoil a recovery.
    BTW I still have this drive in use as one of my main drive swaps.
     
  11. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Hi Xpilot,
    I actually don't have any problems using the disk on a day to day basis. Chkdsk doesn't show any errors (even though there are problems).
    Microsoft acknowledges that Chkdsk can not detect all NTFS structural problems.
    The one folder and one file (in a different folder) which can't be deleted using normal Windows delete don't impact my work - I've just left them on the disk whilst trying to find a utility which can delete. I found several utilities but only one which actually can delete them. I'm still testing to ensure that the utility deletes without leaving some further NTFS structural inconsistancy.
    The only software which tell me there is a further NTFS problem are PartitionMagic 8.01 and TrueImage.
    I'm currently examining the NTFS structure (and learning a lot about it!) to try to identify the exact nature of the problem.
     
  12. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Thanks Pilot.
    I checked into this, and sure enough Western Digital has some nice tools to run Full tests on their HD's. I have 7 WD's Hard Drives, and figure their tools would be the best to use.

    If you have a Western Digital HD, and would like these tools, go to the links below.

    For ALL External WD HD's. = Install this so Windows will pick up of USB drivers. You run this program to scan All WD Externals.

    Windows Install = http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=999&swid=3

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    For ALL Internal WD HD's, you need either the Boot Floppy, or Boot CD. Either one will allow you to boot into DOS to run the Tests. Afterwords, it boots into Windows.

    ISO Boot CD file = http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=999&swid=30

    Floppy Disc file = http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=999&swid=2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    NOTE:: Please reply back, or PM me ...IF you were able to make a successful Boot CD from the ISO file. I couldn't do it.o_O It's probably my software.
     
  13. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello starsfan09,

    I don't have WD drives but I thought I'd see if I could successfully burn the ISO file as a bootable CD. No problem at all using Nero Burning ROM (from the menu bar select "Recorder" then "Burn Image ...".

    You don't say what software you're using but I take it you realise that you're not trying to create a normal CD-ROM (ISO) disk? If you're not sure how to burn a bootable ISO image to CD then the following links may help:


    Nero Burning ROM and Roxio Easy CD Creator
    http://trb.org/publications/burning_iso.html

    Other Applications
    http://iso.snoekonline.com/iso.htm or http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm

    Regards
     
  14. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Oh, sorry....I use Nero, NTI Titanium, and Sonic.

    Boot CD's created from the WD ISO file will take longer to load.
    Eventually, after what I thought were bad CD's, I called Tech Support at WD. They comfirmed the CD takes about 2 minutes longer for the "Agreement" screen to appear...than the Floppy disc.
     
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello gthomas,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Please note that if a file system is not supported or is corrupted, Acronis True Image can copy data using a sector-by-sector approach. Acronis True Image analyze the partition and the filesystem and if it is not supported or corrupted the image will be created using sector-by-sector approach. You can find more detailed information in this article in the Acronis Knowledge Base.

    Please also have a look at this thread about backing up disk/partition that contains bad sectors.

    Could you please download Acronis Report utility run it, create a report. This would provide us with detailed information on the hard disk partition structure. Then submit a request for technical support. Attach the collected report file. We will analyze it and let you know the result.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  16. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    That article does not tell us HOW we can FORCE TI to make a sector by sector backup.

    Users need to be able to choose whether to make such a backup, not TI attempting to determine whether the entire partition is covered by a particular "known" file system.

    For example, one could have the following within a partition:

    1. A recocognized file system, say, NTFS, that does not encompass ALL sectors in the partition.

    2. Another file system, that records its structures outside of the space covered by th NTFS file system, but references files that may also be in the space of the NTFS file system. These structures are INTENTIONALLY recorded outside of the NTFS space so NTFS does not wipe them out.

    In this case, there is space in the partition outside of the space encompassed by NTFS. In this case, a full sector by sector backup is required.

    I have not yet seen a descripton from Acronis how to achieve such a backup.
     
  17. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I didn't know you could have different file systems in the same partition; live and learn.

    It seems forcing a sector-by-sector backup would be extremely easy to do; just bypass the clever stuff and do it all.
     
  18. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    How can NTFS occupy only part of a partition?
    Please give link(s) to website(s) which discuss this matter.
     
  19. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Howard, I finally found and posted the procedure (Acronis doesn't make it easy!) in...
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=144887
     
  20. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    The usuall supsoects have disk check utilities, Norton, PC Mechanic, etc. but generally they don't do anything chkdsk won't do. And fixes genearlly require a reboot.

    sh
     
  21. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Various programs, including PartitionMagic 8.01 (now from Symantec/Norton) and the Acronis products, do some checking before initiating certain actions on the file structure, for example resizing partitions. In the case of Acronis TrueImage these checks may cause 'sector by sector' mode to be activated.
    These are not the equivalent of MS Chkdsk.
    I have only ever seen such programs run in fix mode by rebooting and just using the usual Windows Chkdsk utility.
    Can anyone tell me of a utility which performs a similar function to Chkdsk and has a fix mode which doesn't actually use Chkdsk?
     
  22. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    THe gold standard is the drive diagnostics from the drive manufacturers.
    I expect that none of them use chkdsk. Indeed, some/all of them will not even accept chkdsk results as the sole report of whether a drive has problems.
     
  23. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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  24. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Manufacturer's diagnostics do not perform the same function as chkdsk.
    chkdsk analyses the NTFS structural consistency not the physical drive.
    TrueImage will operate in 'sector by sector' mode if it detects what it regards as an NTFS problem.
     
  25. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    The problem is that when using the Backup Wizard, ATI either doesn't recognize sectors with a non-Windows format (or it simply ignores them)!
     
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