(The paranoia—making current OS drive inoperable) I am uncertain about cloning with A

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Monteagle, Feb 15, 2007.

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  1. Monteagle

    Monteagle Registered Member

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    My paranoia is because: I noticed posts here reporting some flaw in True Image caused problems with original operating system drive during cloneing. So I am hesitant to clone or use Acronis for backup images. Are those cases blunders or faulty software?

    I am considering buying Workstation 9.1 with Universal Restore, if WS has been upgraded to function with newest hardwires, and chipset. Will WS support Vista very soon? Is TI 10 a better choice? Also intend to try Firstdefense, and BING. This weekend, will begin to learn imaging/restore with the applications; or based on good advice some other application.
    4My first interest is backup applications for:
    1. Disaster recovery. Keeping my current operation sys and programs intact.
    2. Separate partitions for XP/programs, and data files, if possible without reinstalling XP and programs?
    3. Eventually will want to migrate to a new computer.
    4. File backup is last.

    Over time have acuminated an unreasonable excess of drives for manual backup; so available to clone operating system and programs have:
    • Two IDE/ATA hard drive enclosures in computer case, with several removable inner racks
    • Empty 80GB hard drives in inner racks.
    • 30, 40, and 60 GB drives; not useful except for OS clones, etc.
    • One medium size new internal Seagate SATA.
    • One 500GB Seagate eSATA; unopened.

    Have moved files from computers' 250GB SATA drive so 26GB remains for possible clone to a small ATA drive in a IDE removable rack, and /or to the small segate SATA drive.

    Downloaded TI 7.0 to try first clone; began a backup image but it required more than a day, so stopped the process.

    From reading, instructions, as well as discussions in this forum I believe for my hardware the process is:
    1) Clone current 250 internal SATA drive to 40GB ATA drive in rack, (A functional internal drive).
    2) Select "Automatic" to automatically scale down to 40GB from the current 250GB OS drive.
    4) Close down the PC.
    5) Disconnect internal SATA drive.
    6) Reboot the PC, the ATA clone will (should)boot?

    A) Elsewhere here read that, during the clone process the computer will need to reboot and that the first reboot needs to be allowed; I did not notice a specific response to the question about rebooting during the cloning?

    B) Found, read and understand, Acronis Support's: Do not boot after making clone, until either the original or cloned drive is disconnected.

    c) Do I need to reset the BIOAS to boot the ATA clone? Or with original SATA operating sys drive unplugged will XP find the clone and see as C: so will boot?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  2. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    I'm not sure that version 7 supports Sata. In any case since you have many drives in removable racks to "play" with, create the bootable Rescue cd which has the Backup, Recover, and Clone features on it and use that to "get your feet wet." You'll avoid possible problems that way.

    If ver 7 will not support Sata, download the trial version of the latest and use it to see if it meets your needs. Also be clear in your mind about the difference between Backup and Clone.
     
  3. Monteagle

    Monteagle Registered Member

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    Ralphie thank you very much, your reply provided overlooked insight. Though I understood the difference between clones and backup images, due to comments in forums, I am fixated with the notion; for safety first of all I need to clone a bootable spare drive with some safe program True Image or some other. Because keep-it-simple-…… is best, however if cloning with True Image destroys original during the clone as several people report, to clone with True Image fills in the stupid part of KISS cliché.

    1) If correct steps are followed, will a clone with True Image cause original OS drive failures, or does TI just occasionally “fry” the existing OS drive?

    2) Also does True Image also occasionally fry the original drive while making backup image?

    3) Does canceling the clone or backup change the original operating system drive or will TI roll back any changes it made to original OS drive?

    Ralphie thanks again for you time & reply.

    All replies with suggestions for applications to use or steps to follow will be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  4. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    I don't have SATA drives so I don't know how TI treats these. But since you have two ATA drives here's how you can test True Image to gain confidence using it.
    1. Make one of the ATa drives bootable with the OS and connect it as Master on the Primary ide channel in a removable rack. Call this Disk 1.
    2. Connect the second ATA drive as Master on the Secondary ide channel in a removable rack. Call this Disk 2.
    3. Install the True Image software on the hard drive that has the OS, and make the bootable Rescue CD from a menu item in the True Image menu. If your DVD drive is also a burner it will burn a CD. If not, you simply must get a burner.
    4. Boot with the Rescue CD and Clone Disk 1 to Disk 2.
    5. When the process completes, shutdown and remove Disk 1. Start the system again and it should automatically boot from Disk 2 even though you have not moved it. All motherboards made in the last five years will boot from any bootable device whether it is on the primary or secondary channel.
     
  5. Monteagle

    Monteagle Registered Member

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    Thank you Ralphie for your time and your replies.

    I have found what was driving my worries. A relatively new Maxtor III mini drive was malfunctioning intermittently and freezing computer, so I hope have a little breathing-room to selecting a backup application, “before-that-disaster”.

    About True Image: talked with a couple of IT acquaintances about True Image. One bought it, but does not use, because Acronis was slow to fix application problems, etc.

    Also I bought a second internal SATA drive yesterday, I have work enough to do, so may simplify and pay an IT acquaintance to make the bootable clone I want.

    Clone technology has been around for many years; so is difficult to imagine True Image clones are not reliable. After reading many forum posts relatively to True Image my thoughts are:

    a) Maybe True Image makes fine clones and the disasters reported here are easy to avoid blunders. Most responses dwell on benefit of backup images and do not get to-the-point with help for cloning difficulties.

    b) I did not find answers here or on Acronis web page to help several other folk’s clone successfully. I wanted to find a list of blunders to avoid while cloning, etc. Guess that information may be scattered somewhere in the semi-on-topic post and links.

    c) Acronis Support has not defended True Image cloning; instead has with silence allowed naysayers to divert interest in cloning with suggestions of their preferred alternatives.

    If I want to clone my drive, (or alternatively create a backup image,) by now after these many past years, True Image or other applications should be able to make clones safely for 97% of users, 99.99% of the time. Period.

    Like very many others, I will buy any backup application, that works-first-time every-time.
     
  6. rayh78

    rayh78 Registered Member

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    I will tell you I also did not trust it or at first did not think it was that simple. So I bought an external hard drive and extra internal to be safe and test it before messed with my master drive.
    I have not tried cloning but with the imaging this way it is simple and no risk.
    Put in new slave drive and restored an image from external to it. This is a new dell pc but cant boot from slave drive. Just had to go into case and switch plugs with slave and master. Have Sata drives and where the plug is plugged into tells PC which drive to boot from.
    Did a restore from windows worked fine. Then tried another with the boot CD and same thing.
    I just did this yesterday for first time and worked great. Was not fast but seems to have worked great. Been using the new drive today as my master and seems same as the old.
    Getting ready to switch back to old master drive and save this new drive as a tested backup.
    At least in my case I don’t see why I would ever clone. But I strongly agree that the software people should test things better instead of rushing things to market. If one part does not work, don’t include it until it does or wait to release the whole thing. Will hurt sales in the long run with the reputation. Just because Microsoft can get away with it and make money does not mean everybody can.
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    And any product that promises that still needs to be tested with a restore before you can trust it.

    I think making backup images makes much more sense than cloning your hard drive. With images, you can easily update the system and make a new image. With clones, you are constantly swapping drives in and out.

    If you want to be sure the image is good, make the image and restore it to a different drive. Boot from that drive and you know it worked properly.

    By the way, keep Windows and all applications (programs) on one partition. You can't separate applications from Windows. That worked in DOS days only, but old myths die slowly. You can separate your data if you want to onto a different partition or a different drive.
     
  8. bfedwards

    bfedwards Registered Member

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    Re: (The paranoia—making current OS drive inoperable) I am uncertain about cloning wi

    Hello, I cloned ( imaged) my HD this last weekend and came away with 2 functional HD's. However I failed to disconnect one drive and reassigned my boot sector......simple fix once found is loading the w98 boot floppy and at the prompt do fdisk/mbr to reset the boot sector. On restarting windows 2k or above a new boot sector will be assigned. Be sure you only have one HD attached while doing this.....

    Transferring to my rebuild is another story....6 years of bios age difference and my imaged disk will not boot as it will not recognize my new bios....I can still reload the programs and drag the files from the slaved imaged HD to my new HD.

    Given the software tendencies, I will next purchase a decent hardware raid card and rely on raid for data redundancy....

    regards,

    bfe
     
  9. Monteagle

    Monteagle Registered Member

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    Rayh78. Thank you for responding and the assurance. Is good to hear, your former uneasiness has been replaced by making and restoring a backup image that works.

    I just want a backup application, so been trying to ignore the compulsiveness which caused learning aggravating application in the past. Fortunately, except for that rush of, wow I am safer; good backup applications are not entertainment, and if good not complicated to use. Sounds like you found the program does as you want and expect.



    Imk94903 thank you. I had overlooked that XP and programs cannot be separated. The intent was the operating system and program on a small hard drive, with backups to a bootable replacement stored on the shelf.

    Most files I want to keep are already stored on non-spinning drives, and new files copied to a separate drive. When I get the backup application may or not automatic backup new files.

    About testing products, I agree: whether or not there is just one error reported among hundreds of successes, any product still needs to be tested before you can trust it. To restate the obvious a product that works-first-time is expected, and for backup applications every-time is the unquestionable necessity.
     
  10. Monteagle

    Monteagle Registered Member

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    Re: (The paranoia—making current OS drive inoperable) I am uncertain about cloning wi

    bfedwards thank for your response. I noticed that link about assigning drive letters and the 98 boot floppy yesterday. While reading that, for quick reference I took easier to read equivalent cheat notes. So wondered how well using 98 boot floppy works.

    From near the first, has been my suspect, True Image will make successful clones if the correct steps can be followed, and when care is used so XP can correctly reassign drive letters.

    I noticed one possible problem posted; at end of clone process, True Image may automatically reboot and not allow an opportunity to shut down machine and disconnect the original XP drive. If true the original XP boots it will assign some drive letter to the new XP clone. However because needed drive letter is in use XP can not assign correct drive letter to the clone.

    So if True Image automatically reboots at the end of clone process, folks who attempt to clone an end up with a drive letter assignment mess to fix.

    Is that what happened to you?

    I suspect another complication for me is, have SATA-150 for operating system and IDE for target. I am wondering what happens when ATA boot drive is introduced into a SATA enabled environment, of my aging Intel D875PBZ MB.

    That mother board has RAID support--supposedly can automatically mirror with second SATA drive is installed. Zero chance I will try that without a bootable clone on the shelf.

    Are you using Workstation with Universal Restore, I wonder if that is worth buying?

    Like you my next machine will have hardware backup solutions: RADE and one removable SATA rack as well as a removable IDE rack for my ATA hard drives.

    thanks again for the reply and information.
     
  11. bfedwards

    bfedwards Registered Member

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    Re: (The paranoia—making current OS drive inoperable) I am uncertain about cloning wi

    Hello again,

    To paraphrase dirty harry, " to tell you the truth, in all the excitement I forgot whether i lost my boot drive on cloning restart or not." When the limited virual memory screen came up I went into a 6 hr hunt to correct the problem.
    Of note the fdisk for w2k will not correct the problem. Only fdisk on W95 and 98. Different segment lengths are deleted and you need the longer one from the w98 software.

    My new computer is sata 300 and software raid is available, but I am wary of software raid and will go with hardware....transferring a raid disk requires using the same propriatary initiation sequence and its much safer to be able to transfer the hardware raid card. Plus its not as easy to corrupt a hardware raid card with a virus.

    My cloned drive came off of W2K with a MB having only ide drives. It seems that W2k on initial setup makes a decision to acknowledge the bios and now on transfer to a much later bios can not recognize it properly (w2k is sensing that the system is not the same and is not happy) On attempted boot with the clone on the new system,I get a warning just past the W2K logo screen stating to "Stop, w2k does not recognize that the bios is acpi compliant ....."

    I know of no work around....yet

    So I made a bootable w2ksp4 cd and have loaded a fresh copy of w2k onto my sata drive and am now in the process of dragging my old files from the cloned drive, which is loaded now as a slave drive, over to the sata drive. It ain't pretty but it gets the job done.....and keeps the initial computer unfettered while i build the data on the new one.

    I have not used Workstation.

    So long as the MB has the hardware to accept ide and sata as primary hd's and the bios to allow ranking of hd's on boot for OS you should be able to mix/match sata and ide.....

    If you boot from multiple partitions ( not the usual setup) and trying to clone then here's some advise from techspot:

    <<I searched all over and found this and other discussions with people (even Microsoft) trying to correct this pagefile problem after cloning or copying a partition. The problem I had was that the FDISK /MBR solution doesn't work for me because I use a partition boot manager to boot multiple partitions. Using FDISK absolutely clobbers the installation preventing it from booting correctly. On top of that, I'd rather PREVENT the problem than have to try to fix it, so here it is:

    1. PRIOR to cloning or copying a Windows 2000 partition, use REGEDIT and browse to the following branch:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    2. DELETE all the keys in this branch.

    3. Shutdown and clone away prior to booting that partition again.

    I imagine if you clone or copy your partition live (while booted) that this will still work without shutting down. I happen to boot to the Partition Boot Manager (PBM from sadevelopment.com) or use Acronis True Image boot media so I haven't tried doing it that way.

    When you boot the OS (the restored clone or the cloned system) Windows will, :bounce: first of all allow you to log in, :bounce: and second remount all drives and assign C: to the booting partition. The drive letters may have to be changed if you've reconfigured your drive(s) or if you had higher letter drive assignments with blanks in the middle, but that's easy.

    For example, if the cloned system had drives A:, B:, C:, D:, F:, and H:, you will now have A:, B:, C:, D:, E:, and F:. Just go into Disk Management and reassign the letters as you like. At least C: will be the booting drive and Microshaft Windows will be able to locate the pagefile.sys.

    Here are some of the fixes MS recommends:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321/en-us
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223188/
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812448/en-us

    Again, those are to fix, mine is to PREVENT when you know the drive/partitions are going to change. >>

    Of course, altering the registry is not with out risk......

    regards,

    bfe
     
  12. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Re: (The paranoia—making current OS drive inoperable) I am uncertain about cloning with A

    Hello Monteagle,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    You may find useful this article regarding transferring your operating system between different types of hard drives. Please also take a look at this post containing more detailed information on how to transfer your operating system from a single hard drive to a RAID array.
    This article describes how Windows manages drive letters, why it's important to remove one of the drives before booting after cloning, and how to fix the consequences if precautions were not taken.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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