SOS... Please help me with Acronis!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Arai_F, Aug 18, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Arai_F

    Arai_F Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Posts:
    5
    Yup Hi...

    As part of an DR strategy at a firm I'm working for, I 've been asked to test cloning software to be able to restore images from various workstations to different computers at a warm site if case of disaster. Now I'm becoming aware that this might not be possible, as I ve been trying to do this for a few days now. Now My manager swears this is possible, but I'm no einstein, but its becoming apparent that its not technically feasible. I'm kinda hoping for some feedback to confirm my suspicions.

    Here's the score: The machines at the warm site are going to have IDE disk sub-systems & be compaq. The machines I'm imaging mainly contain SCSI disk sub-systems & are all DEll's (different models) There's a couple of IDE boxes thrown in.
    These workstations all have XP os running on them. The partitions reside on 1 HHD. The disks inside the machines can be a variety of sizes (mainly 78GB & 112GB HDD's). The first partition on the HDD is usually the dell fat16 segment, followed by the NTFS segment which is the 2nd partition, that holds the XP operating system files and some small user data ( nothing major as most files are saved to the network).

    I'm sucessfully imaging the HHD & the partitions. Its when I come to restore the image ( the image from the original machine that was lifted off a scsi disk) onto a different computer with an IDE disk that I'm starting to have problems. The restore goes well, but when I reboot and bring the machine up, it doesn't boot properly.

    I can restore the XP os on the new machine by reinstalling windows xp over the default image burnt onto the IDE disk - from the boot up XP cd. but this kinda seems to negate the imaging process altogether. Even though the machines become just like the original one that was imaged, apart from some discrepancies in the devmgmt.msc, this solves the bootup problem.

    I feel that looking at my old microsoft books, sysprep with Acronis/ghost is a similiar concept. Without the identical HAL's the identical ACPI bios's & mass stoarge devices between the machines , I'm not going to have much luck. Can anyone tell me if I'm right? If the machines that I'm restoring to, have to be identical in respect to the disk sub-system, the HAL & the ACPI BIOS, HDD sizes, models etc for this to come off?

    My boss threw me acronis and said that I could do it with that. But I'm thinking not. Please let me know if this is actually feasible with this scenario: SCSI image from 1 machine being restored on an entirely different computer that has an IDE drive & different hardware. I would really appreciate it... Cheers... :rolleyes:
     
  2. napoleon

    napoleon Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Posts:
    110
    This is not likely possible, at least not without a lot of pre and post work that will negate any time saved by an image. Whenever you restore to different hardware (especially drive types and drive controllers), you are asking for trouble. I have never restored an image/clone successfully between vendors. This product works best when the image/clone is dropped in the same machine or an exact duplicate.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello Arai_F,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that in order to transfer your Windows system to a different hardware, you should first prepare Windows using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/faq.html#17

    Here is the scenario you should follow:

    - Prepare Windows using sysprep;
    - Create an image;
    - Restore an image to a different hardware;
    - Try to boot as usual;
    - If your PC does not boot then perform Windows Repair Installation as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Please note that we can not guarantee the successful transferring of the operating system to a different hardware. Actually, no one can guarantee this.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  4. Arai_F

    Arai_F Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Posts:
    5
    Cheers Napoleon & Alexey for giving it up to read my dilemma and posting feedback, its much appreciated.

    Napoleon, what you are saying puts weight behind my creeping suspicions. I've found i'm doing a lot of post work which negates the graceful migration that I'm hoping for. Speaking to someone else this morning, also confirms the issue between pc vendors as he's been stuck with this problem. I 've just run a demo on my identical machines ( identical motherboards, HHD's, BIOS's, HDD controllers etc) here at home and it all goes beautiful, one program has been scrambled some how and sends the windows installer into a loop (its no biggie, uninstall & re-install), but between identical machines, it works a treat. PNP devices are re-enumerated & everything is sweet.

    Alexey you have made me see another angle to my problem. Just gonna check out sysprep & report back here. I tried everything else, might as well give this a shot. I'm only aware of loading sysprep images onto identical machines that the sysprep image is tailored for. Sysprep only really clears out the SID's. I can't see how sysprep is gonna win the day for me here. I'm still loading an image which has been tailored for the specification of a certain brand of PC onto another completely different computer! I believe the spec of the motherboard & hard disk controllers with the acpi BIOS & HAL is what is defeating me here. And looking at it from that perspective, it makes sense, why the images are not compatible.

    Let me dust off the cobwebs on sysprep and I'll be back....

    Thanks again, didn't expect such prompt replies... newbie grateful. ;)
     
  5. mathiaslink

    mathiaslink Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Posts:
    5
    Wonder how this guy made out. Very interesting thread!
     
  6. Arai_F

    Arai_F Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Posts:
    5
    Alrighty-then... here's my conclusion.

    Alexey you threw me a red herring by discussing sysprep. But I'm glad you did. It led me to the support.microsoft.com site when I magically clicked right into what I needed to know (what a 1st!). If you are interested you can click into: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;828287

    When you mentioned sysprep, something was offkey and didn't fit. Napoleon grabbed the essence of what I was trying to achieve. I found myself re-reading my first post, as I was typing it, more than a few times to get it all right, as it sounds more complex than what it actually is. This microsoft article discusses unsupported sysprep scenarios, and it is very eye-opening. I knew there were restrictions on its versatility and these stretch to upgraded installations, production environment installations, incompatible HAL's, OEM installation images & different processor vendors. I cannot use sysprep to achieve what I need to do. In fact, perhaps I shouldn't of got as far as I have.

    A successful graceful migration cannot be done, unless it is to a machine that is identical in nature. If you got the time to run thru recovery console and run fixboot to get some options at least, at startup when you restore to a machine that is entirely different, from the one it was imaged from, you can then go on to re-installing XP over the image that was blasted back on the HDD by booting from the XP cd-rom, to give you a OS that boots up. I'm gonna run a couple more tests, but it seeems pretty conclusive to me. I would like to look at the NTBTLOG.txt to see what it is failing on.

    Thanks for the input.... :cool:
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    3,329
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    If you restore the image to the different computer and test that it tries to boot into Windows to confirm that the MBR is appropriate, and then do a Windows reinstall (follow the Microsoft instructions for an "upgrade in place"), that's as graceful as it's likely to get.

    The total time is the restore time, plus a test boot and use of FDISK /MBR is Windows doesn't boot, plus a full install of Windows. On office systems with not too much software or data, it should take between one and two hours per system.
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hi Aai_F,

    Nice link and probably essential reading for anyone thinking of cloning to different hardware.

    Perhaps Acronis could add it to the links already contained in <Acronis True Image 8 Online FAQ #17> ?

    Regards
     
  9. Arai_F

    Arai_F Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Posts:
    5
    Right I'm back again.... its almost too impossible to believe, but I was experimenting with NTBACKUP: doing restores of backup files to a fresh installation of WINXP to achieve what I needed, when I finally recieved the machine that would be in place at the DR site. This was a HP d530 SSF machine. The machines I was trying to restore were a variety of DELL 470, 530 etc.

    Out of pure curiousity I restored the clone image of a DELL on the HP machine ( when I was doing this on another DELL, the image was failing and leading me into blue screen land and error codes), it actually migrated perfectly. The OS would boot up fine and everything was wonderful... apart from one thing: the windows activation prompt. Cause the OS knew the hardware was different, it was prompting me to re-activate. Now , this isn't a problem with retail versions or volume license versions, but you are f*cked when it comes to OEM installations of XP. The line from Microsoft is that the XP OS lives & dies with the motherboard on which the OEM version is installed. It is non-transferable to other machines.

    In the department, there is a variety of volume license & OEM versions of XP. Basically I found a way of doing in-place upgrades on the OEM versions to get the replicated machine up and running just like the original that was cloned. Do I feel like THE MAN or what!

    Just to backtrack, in this instance I have managed to clone a variety of DELL models with various HDD sizes & specs to a HP d530 SFF machine, with no problems what-so-ever apart from the cloned images that were taken from the machines that had the OEM installation of XP (in this case, I did a in-place upgrade to get it functioning).

    Don't know if this helps someone out at all, but I would like to think that maybe it might at some point. :cool:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.