The case of the "Disappeared" HD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by BasiliskPie, Dec 4, 2006.

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  1. BasiliskPie

    BasiliskPie Registered Member

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    I'm reasonably experienced with Windows, and a longterm UNIX admin/Sysprog; my problem occurred with my first use of TrueImage10, today: Where did my disk go?!

    I had two task items: copy -my- EIDE boot drive to a larger SATA drive; and copy a friend's getting-flakey EIDE boot drive to a larger, new EIDE.
    Initial disk layout:
    C: my -EIDE- src;
    [L: my DVD RW, temporarily a secondary on boot drive's cable]
    D: friend's EIDE dest;
    E: friend's EIDE src;
    F: my -SATA- dest

    [System: WinXP (up-to-date) w/ AMD A64, 6150/430, 1GB; abv HD's.]


    I first tried an older Ghost, but I'm guessing it didn't build the MBR or set some flag as I couldn't boot either cloned drive. I was fed up with that and decided to try TrueImage10[TI] for the first time. TI seemed more intuitive than Ghost in its details, cloned quickly, and rebooted my new SATA HD after I changed the BIOS primary-boot-disk setting. Hurrah!! :D

    Then to my friend's disks: as I double checked my selections before initiating the second cloning, I noticed an anomaly: all four disks were detected by TI, but Windows Explorer[WE] failed to see the original EIDE boot drive! Instead of there being four HDs displayed by Windows s/w, there were only three.
    The then-current disk layout:
    C: my -SATA- dest/boot drive;
    D: friend's EIDE dest;
    E: friend's EIDE src;

    I completed the second Cloning task and rebooted. WE still showed only three HD's; TI still showed four HD's; and ComputerManager/DiskManager showed all four HD's, but had no drive letter alongside the original C-drive. Huhn? o_O I've never seen that for a partitioned/valid drive!


    - Is this expected behavior?! I can fantasize this was done "to guarantee the correct disk is booted [blah blah blah]", but I don't fully believe that, and I'm curious as heck as to why the drive was marked [unmountable?]! If this is documented, could you point me in the right direction for reading up on it.

    - I found I -could- assign a drive letter to that disk, and doing so made everything functional/normal.

    I've no lingering Problem, just the bafflement of a thoroughly unexpected event. I'd like to better understand when I should expect such behavior.

    Thanks for any pointers! John
     
  2. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    John,

    Acronis advise that as soon as the cloning has finished you shut down and disconnect the original drive so that on the first next boot Windows does not see two C: drives and get confused.

    Could it have been that?
     
  3. BasiliskPie

    BasiliskPie Registered Member

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    I read that, and it might -be- that:
    - When I read it, I took it to mean "if you are not bright enough to switch the BIOS settings, you could boot from the wrong HD." However, I did NOT disconnect or oherwise alter the cabling/jumpers -- I just switched from EIDE to SATA boot -- and things booted just fine.

    - HOWEVER, you have pointed up something I'd given no thought to: In ye olde days -- and I -am- an olde person -- Windows adjusted drive letters freely [for which I yet-again consigned MS to Hell's fires]; today you can assign a drive a letter that tends to stay put [unless it's a CD/DVD, in which case the system all-too-often discards my drive-letter settings]. I hadn't thought through the implications of booting with two "C:" drives, I just expected WinXP to assign the next available drive letter to the de-commissioned "C:"... an obsolete expectation.

    Perhaps, then, it was WinXP, not TI, that blanked the drive letter and did so BECAUSE it was a duplicate "C:". Still seems to me the TI manual should indicate such an effect of not disconnecting the drive... IF THAT's WHAT HAPPENED.

    Thanks for the suggestion... I'll be interested if someone having greater one-ness with MS logic or knowledge of TI can confirm or clarify what occurred.
     
  4. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    It's quite simple. The partition on your "disappeared" drive has been maked as "Hidden". You just need to use a disk partitioning program and use the "Unhide" feature.
     
  5. BasiliskPie

    BasiliskPie Registered Member

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    The solution wasn't in question: I used WinXP's DiskAdmin to assign a disk-Id letter and that ended its disappearance.

    The question was WHY did this occur? What would have prevented it from happening. That hasn't really been answered... although I have my guess.

    Ne'ertheless, I thank you for helping. I still don't have any sense of mastery of this event! :blink:
     
  6. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    The best I can say is cloning can be a little unpredictable. The problem is TI is trying to figure out what you want for you. You will see different screen and be presented with different choices depending on what is on you hard drives.

    Probably the only mistake you made was having all four drives connected during both cloning operations. I would have suggested only connecting the source and destination drives for each operation. My guess is that when you did the first clonning, TI saw two physical drives with active partitions and you asked it to create a third. It got confused as to your intent and set your source drive to hidden to protect the data. They had no way of knowing you intended to remove three of the drives when you were done. For people that know what they are doing, it would be better if the program just did what it was told. For others, maybe the program anticipating the users need has done some good.
     
  7. BasiliskPie

    BasiliskPie Registered Member

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    [... double-post -- the Forums s/w indicated it hadn't accepted the post!]
     
  8. BasiliskPie

    BasiliskPie Registered Member

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    I noticed the different screens in different circumstances... TI's logic seemed decent. In general, I'm all in favor of s/w that reduces the number of pointless check-boxes and decisions.

    I'm inclined to agree: only have the SRC and DEST disks connected if at all possible.

    Of course... that brings up another issue: how to clone for a different system, as I was trying to do with my second pair of disks. The easy answer of "clone on the intended computer" wasn't working: that system was having intermittent problems when both disks were attached, so I was going to have to clone elsewhere or identify/fix the problem on that system first.

    While cloning the other system's disks appeared to run normally, that DEST disk didn't work when transferred into the other system -- just locked up during boot. Since it was copying a disk with full boot flags/details, I presume those were preserved.

    When I tried to run TI on that other system, it spontaneously rebooted in the middle of the TI run -- not a problem the system has demonstrated before!.

    I'm not asking for help on -that- problem: I'll bring over a new PSU as my instinct is that the existing one's marginal and two disks spinning up is too much, and maybe even the new one alone is too much; and a new EIDE cable as problems are usually occuring when two drives are attached. Oh, the mysteries of aging h/w! [Hmmm. might be time to dust the interior of that PSU as I've seen that be a problem elsewhere.]

    So it goes. Thanks to all!
     
  9. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    As for your question of how to clone for another system, just put the other system's disks into your computer as the only two disks connected. Then boot with the Acronis Recovery Media disk and do the cloning.

    As for the issue of the cloned disk not booting in the other PC, this is usually related to the MBR. Just run fixmbr on that disk. Nine out of ten times that will make it boot normally.
     
  10. BasiliskPie

    BasiliskPie Registered Member

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    That A.R.M. disk must be interesting... I'll have to read up on it!

    When Ghost cloning failed on the friend's disks, I expected the MBR hadn't copied. Next I made my 1st use of TI on my disks and had no problem; then I tried TI on the friend's disks (on my computer) and it hung in the boot just as the Ghost clone failed] -- so I've doubted it's the MBR twice in a row. My friend's system just seemed to have intermittent problems when I put both disks in it, or even just the new one.

    This a.m. I tried a new cable -- to no gain. Then I slapped a spare PSU inside and the TI cloning worked just fine on mys friend's computer. Upon reboot, I pulled out the original C: and everything booted fine off the clone. Haven't had the courage to go back and see if that system will now boot with the old C: installed as a secondary drive. If it does, I'll shotput the old PSU -- unless it has a great wooly blanket of dust inside, in which case I'll give it another chance after cleaning.

    Thanks for mentioning FIXMBR: I had searched the XP tools for whatever did that, but I guess it was removed when FDISK was pulled. After your mention of it, I found it on the web.
     
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