System Won't Boot After Install

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Matthew_C, May 14, 2005.

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  1. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    Hello,

    I installed desktop True Image 8.0. At the end of the installation I was prompted to reboot to complete the installation. I cancelled, closed all of my open applications and rebooted. I now get a BIOS message indicating that it cannot find a boot device. The system only has 1 SATA drive. IDE is not used at all. I went into BIOS and changed the boot order. Placing the SATA drive first. Still nothing. In addition, I made a bootable cd rom with Acronis during the installation process, and it won't boot either. I tried a bootable XP installation CD and it worked fine. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    When you said that you tried a bootable Windows XP installation CD did it see the Sata drive? I can't see how Acronis would make your drive unbootable and you certainly should not have had to change the bios after installing Acronis to boot from the hard drive. Have you tried safe mode and system restore? If that doesn't work there is a way to restore the main boot record but if it fails you would have to do a new install of Windows XP so a reinstall of Windows XP choosing a repair of the existing windows installation is the safest way to get Windows back up and running. You indicated you made a bootable CD with Acronis yet had to reboot to complete the installation of Acronis. The boot CD should work if you set the bios to allow booting from a CD before trying the hard disk but even if you could boot from it you do not have an image to restore.
     
  3. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    Thanks Mareke. The Windows XP boot disk does recognize see the SATA drive after I install the drivers from my floppy. It is listed in the drive list for installing the operating system on, but it says that the space is unallocated.

    You said something about repairing the MBR. When I go to XP recovery console, and type dir at C:\ it gives me a message that their is no floppy or cdrom present. I fear that this is something much worse, as in the hard drive is fried. I just keep thinking - what are the odds though of installing True Image and my drive dying on the next reboot? Horrible luck if that is the case. Any way, I now have the BIOS pointing to the HD as the first boot device. WHen POST gets done there is a blinking underscore at the top left corner, it sits there for about 15 seconds like it is trying to boot the SATA, and then it moves on to my floppy. I then get a BIOS message that indicates there is no valid boot device.

    Am I toast?
     
  4. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    No (I hope). As you said: "The Windows XP boot disk does recognize see the SATA drive after I install the drivers from my floppy". When you booted into the XP Recovery Console, did it also ask for the SATA-drivers? If not, then it is no surprise that it can not see the SATA-drives.

    I think you will have to wait for an official answer from Acronis Support. While you wait for that, download the Acronis Report Utility, write it to a diskette and boot from that. It will generate a hardware/disk report that Acronis loves to see when dealing with this stuff.

    Edit: Added link - http://www.acronis.com/files/support/AcronisReport.exe
     
  5. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    Thanks MiniMax. I will download the report utility. Since my last post, I disconnected the boot drive on another system with SATA, and attempted to boot using that system. I get a POST error that the BIOS was unable to find a bootable device. Excuse my ignorance, I am a software developer, but not as good as I should be at hardware. Is this an indication that the MBR is corrupt? How about the boot sector? Are those records not even used until after Windows starts to load itself?

    Finally, will Acronis support answer questions in this forum, or do I have to do something else? I noticed their is no phone support.
     
  6. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    For a drive to be bootable (by the BIOS that is), the BIOS needs to find a partition with certain characteristics: It has to be a Primary partition, and it has to be an Active partition. These flags are stored somewhere inside the partition table. Also tugged away inside that table is the actual boot code - the Master Boot Record (MBR). I don't remember if the MBR has a specific signature - like 4-5 bytes at the start - that the BIOS checks.

    Anyway, if the BIOS reports that it could find no bootable device, one of these characteristics are missing. Could be the Active flag (easy to fix), could be the MBR (easy to fix), or it could be Primary flag (hard to fix), or it could be a complete lack of a partition table (deep ****).

    Finally, yes Acronis support is following the threads here. You should see a post by regular Ilya or Irina soon. I suggest you do both: Run the Report, and send it to support@acronis.com along with a (short) description of your problem, and a link to the thread here (https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=80065).
     
  7. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    Thanks so much MiniMax. I have generated the report and sent a request. If you happen to read this thread again here is a snippet from the report concerning the MBR. WHat do you think?

    MBR 1-*:
    Sector 0 (0 0 1)
    Read error
    Free space 1-*:
    Disk 1 MBR
    First physical sector: 0 (0 0 1)
    Partition structure errors:
    Read error
    Disk 1 Free space of size 114G
    First physical sector: 1 (0 0 2)
    Last physical sector: 240107489 (14945 254 63)
    Total physical sectors: 240107489
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
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    25,885
    Hello Matthew_C,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    The situation you described is really strange since Acronis True Image doesn't change your disk until you start restoring the image onto it. MiniMax gave you the right advice to send the report to us. It will allow us to examine what happened with your disk. If you don't get any response within 48 hours please let me know your Acronis request # which was sent to you in autoreply. I will find out the reason for the delay.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  9. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    Thanks Ilya. I see there are paid support incidents. Does that include the weekend, or are we talking Monday at the earliest. This is my lifeblood and I cannot afford this computer to be down for the next two days.
     
  10. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    If you are desperate and in a great hurry and flush with money, this product has been recommended by many gurus and magazines. You can download a free trial to see if it would work.

    Hard Drive Mechanic

    As always this post has no warranty explicit or implied. Good thing too because on further checking, this looks old!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2005
  11. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Matthew, I am what I call a 'Jack of All Trades' when it comes to computers. It means I know something about a lot of things, and I know a whole lot more about a few things. Unfortunately, rescuing vital information from semi-corrupt disks, falls into the 'know something about' category, so I am feeling nervous and hesistant in advising you, when you say that you can not afford to be without your computer for 2 days.

    It is one thing for me to experiment with my own system, secure in the knowledge that I have at least a semi-current backup some where; it is quite something else to give advice about how to recover some elses data. If your livelihood/business depends on it, you should not have to rely on free advice from me or anyone else. If Acronis can help you, even for a fee, do use their service.

    Now, if I remember correctly, the Report also includes a dump of some of the import disk/partition structures. Let me check... Yep, here's an example:
    Code:
    Disk 1 properties:
      BIOS number:   0x80
      Geometry:      24793 255 63
      Total sectors: 398297088
    MBR 1-*:
      Sector 0 (0 0 1)
        000  33 C0 8E D0 BC 00 7C FB 50 07 50 1F FC BE 1B 7C  3ÀŽÐ¼.|ûP.P.ü¾.|
        010  BF 1B 06 50 57 B9 E5 01 F3 A4 CB BD BE 07 B1 04  ¿..PW¹å.ó¤Ë½¾.±.
        020  38 6E 00 7C 09 75 13 83 C5 10 E2 F4 CD 18 8B F5  8n.|.u.ƒÅ.âôÍ.‹õ
        030  83 C6 10 49 74 19 38 2C 74 F6 A0 B5 07 B4 07 8B  ƒÆ.It.8,tö µ.´.‹
        040  F0 AC 3C 00 74 FC BB 07 00 B4 0E CD 10 EB F2 88  ð¬<.tü»..´.Í.ëòˆ
        050  4E 10 E8 46 00 73 2A FE 46 10 80 7E 04 0B 74 0B  N.èF.s*þF.€~..t.
        060  80 7E 04 0C 74 05 A0 B6 07 75 D2 80 46 02 06 83  €~..t. ¶.uÒ€F..ƒ
        070  46 08 06 83 56 0A 00 E8 21 00 73 05 A0 B6 07 EB  F..ƒV..è!.s. ¶.ë
    For the right People (armed with the right manuals), this information is like gold, when it comes to restore a corrupt disk. In your case, something looks seriously wrong:
    Code:
    Disk 1 MBR
    First physical sector: 0 (0 0 1)
    Partition structure errors:
    Read error
    Appearently, the partition table is not recognized as a valid partition table at all by the Report utility ("Read error").

    If you are lucky, it is only the partition table/structure that is corrupt, and not the actual data that makes up the partition. Acronis have a product, Recovery Expert (or maybe it was "had", since I think it is now part of their Disk Director Suite), that will scan the whole disk, sector by sector, for anything that looks like a valid partition, and allow you to rebuild the partition table using information about the actual partitions it found. It might be the "silver bullet" you are looking for.

    I don't know if it is available as a trial version. If it is, it should be safe for you to download & burn a Recovery Expert Rescue CD, and let it scan the disk and see what it finds. If it comes up with all your missing partitions, then there is good chance that you can have all your data back.
     
  12. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    Thanks once again MiniMax. Fortunately 12 hours later I have resolved the issue.... hurrah! It was indeed a corrupt MBR. I did some research on Google and found the following recovery software.

    http://bootmaster.filerecovery.biz/

    From a bootable dos interface I was able to build a virtual MBR, preview the partitions that would be produced by that virtual MBR, and then commit the changes to disk. I was stunned that this app could talk to the SATA, considering I have to manually provide the drivers to Windows during installation. Heck even Maxtor does not provide a diagnostic utility for SATA implemented on VIA chips. I almost wept with joy when previewing and seeing my old familiar partition names. I heard about Acronis True Image on Dot Net Rocks, and was not even aware they had a recovery product.

    Needless to say, I am a little concerned that my MBR was corrupted. I cannot definitvely say that the True Image installation was the culprit, but I had successfully rebooted an hour before I installed. It would be an amazing coincidence that something else happened to corrupt the MBR during that timespan. I guess I will search the forum and see if anyone else has had this issue.

    Again, I appreciate the help MinMax

    Cheers
     
  13. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Do you recall whether you activated the Recovery Manager when you installed True Image? The Recovery Manager adds the feature of a "Press F11 to start True Image" message when booting up. In order for the Recovery Manager to work, the MBR is altered. Perhaps this is where the problem originated.

    The Recovery Manager and Secure Zone is not needed to use True Image, it is just an added feature.
     
  14. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    I know the feeling :)
    Well, with a product like True Image, in particular the newer versions with bells and whistles like Secure Zone Manager that likes to resize partitions and install custom boot loaders during install, how can they NOT have a recovery product? :mad: I am thankful for my old 6.0 which do not include these things.
    And so you should.
    You are welcome. And do pursue the problem you had with Acronis. The need to be made aware of such serious flaws in their installation process.
     
  15. Matthew_C

    Matthew_C Guest

    JMK, I am not exactly sure. I believe I chose all of the defaults for the installation. The installation prompted me for building a bootable cd rom. I did not read the language carefully when doing this. It may have been a 'Recovery' cd rom as you describe. Problem is, the cdrom would not boot either during this fiasco. Maybe the cdrom is dependent on changes to the mbr in order to work properly, and of course the mbr had been hosed. I will investigate further this evening when I return.

    I wonder if Acronis pays its users for beta "incidents". Similar to a "service incident", but different in that the paying customer spends many hours of 'their' time figuring out serious flaws in the product 'for' Acronis.
     
  16. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Matthew - The Secure Zone (Recovery) Manager is a slimmed-down version of TI that can be installed on a special hidden partition on your hard disk. It is totally different from the Rescue CD version of TI. For the SZM to be installed, Acronis will mess(!) with your partitions and your MBR.

    > Maybe the cdrom is dependent on changes to the mbr in order to work properly

    No, but the hosed MBR made the disk impossible to work with.
     
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