TI 7 royally corrupted my system; pls help

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ambush19, Aug 6, 2004.

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  1. ambush19

    ambush19 Registered Member

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    What a mess!!

    I purchased and installed TI 7 build 613 two weeks ago. I made an original full backup of my XP Pro system partition into the Acronis Zone, and then made several more incremental backups there. Everything was working fairly well with two problems which are not related to the current fiasco (the backup process under Windows would hang when it got to the very last step, and the Acronis TI startup recovery offering at boot time wouldn't recognize my PS/2 mouse or keyboard. I could work around both problems by using the Safe startup diskettes.) Acronis Tech Support told me to update to the latest build, and that seemed to solve the first problem.

    Thinking that the startup recovery whatsis needed updating too, I used the only option available: Setup Startup Recovery (or whatever it's called). That was apparently a serious mistake. Since then I keep getting the error message (at boot time): "Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (partition) Not Found". Yikes! Why the hell didn't it warn me? It then says that I should press enter to boot the OS, but it almost never gets as far as the login screen. The Acronis error even ignores the F8 key and so I can't even boot into Safe Mode or recovery mode! Furthermore, the Acronis Zone is now completely lost! How do I fix this? What kind of partition was it, so that I can use that info in some kind of partition recovery effort?

    Since I couldn't boot, and there was far too much valuable data on the existing system partition, I decided I'd use TI to "restore" the good Acronis Zone backup onto a different disk and partition, whereupon I could use the BIOS settings to force it to boot from there. So I fired up TI (using the safe diskettes) and restored/placed the good image file. This was apparently a HUGE mistake -- all the partitions on that disk got totally lost and corrupted as a result!

    What can I do? Why did TI screw up my disks so badly? Can I recover these lost partitions?

    Recap of problems:

    (1): How do I fix the boot-time error message: "Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (partition) Not Found". Especially considering that I can't boot because of it?

    (2) How can I recover the Acronis Zone partition (and ideally the other lost partitions, too)?

    TIA for your assistance!
     
  2. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, ambush19

    Welcome to Wilders and Acronis Forums.

    When you set the Startup Recovery Manager? where you all ready using SRM?

    Warn you of what? sound like a user error to me :doubt:, could have been fix easily I think.

    Sound as if you made two SRM's running at the same time some how. o_O

    YES HUGH.
    How do you know all Partitions are lost and corrupted, what are you using to see them.

    How big is the HDD and how many Partitions do you have.

    Try FIXMBR or FIXBOOT.


    Take Care,
    The Quest :cool:
     
  3. ambush19

    ambush19 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your time and reply, Quest! I appreciate it.

    You ask: "When you set the Startup Recovery Manager? where you all ready using SRM?"

    Yes, I had previously set up the Startup Recovery Manager with the earlier, buggy build of TI 7. However, even then Startup Recovery Mode wasn't working properly (i.e., it would ignore my keyboard and mouse), so when Acronis told me to update to the latest version of TI 7, I figured that -- in order to get the Startup Recovery Manager working properly -- I should update it, too. I did that as described, but I got no warning message that anything might be destroyed or corrupted by that action.

    You asked: "Warn you of what? sound like a user error to me , could have been fix easily I think."

    Just for the record, I've been a programmer for more than 20 years, and I know that professional programmers will always provide a warning beforehand if the user action might destroy data. TI 7's programmers apparently did not do this. How was I to know that my simple, easily-foreseeable and intuitively sensible action would corrupt things so badly?

    And please note that I did't have even the tiniest clue that I had a problem until the next time I booted, whereupon I got the "Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (partition) Not Found" catastrophic error that kept XP from booting 99% of the time, even in safe or recovery mode.

    So, if fixing it was possible, it still IS possible, since I know of no other damage that was done to that particular partition (the Windows XP system partition). How do I fix it? Remember, I can't even boot into command or safe mode because the fatal Acronis error somehow keeps the F8 key from being recognized. Is there some other way to boot into safe mode without the F8 key? And, if so, what do I do then? That is, how do I stop that fatal error from arising? Do I delete or edit some file?


    I then spoke about how the private Acronis Backup Zone was ALSO lost, as were all the partitions on that disk (not the system disk). This problem occurred as a result of a TI 7 restore operation (done from the bootable TI floppies) from a good system partition's (a smaller one) .tib file stored in the Acronis Backup Zone to a different partition on the disk that coincidentally also contained the Acronis Zone. NOTE that I did NOT do anything so foolish as to try to restore anything INTO the Acronis Zone partition itself! No, I restored it -- a 7.9G partition .tib file stored in the Zone (which was at the END of the disk space) -- to the first partition (15.9G) on the disk. Total disk size is 80G, and the Acronis Backup Zone partition I set at about 24G. That left about 40G of disk space in between the first partition and the Zone partition, so it's hard to imagine how it could have been corrupted by my action.

    In any case, that was when all the partitions on that one disk were totally lost.

    You comment: "Sound as if you made two SRM's running at the same time some how."

    I'm afraid that's not what happened. The SRM (Startup Recovery Manager) is entirely distinct from the Acronis Backup Zone. The two very different structures were corrupted by two separate severe bugs in TI 7: the first one being the way an attempted update of the SRM actually DESTROYED the SRM, and the second one being a restore operation to the first partition on the disk that destroyed the Acronis Zone partition way at the end of the disk.

    You asked: "How do you know all Partitions are lost and corrupted, what are you using to see them."

    All the partitions on the disk that formerly held the Acronis Backup Zone are corrupted. All other disks and partitions are fine, unless the SRM is in it's own private partition (in which case it's corrupted also). To learn this, I booted up from emergency media the following utilities:

    - Acronis Partition Expert (which told me the corrupted partitions on the disk in question were now inexplicably FAT-32 partitions, even though they HAD been all NTFS partitions with the exception of the Acronis Zone, which is it's own private kind of partition).

    - OnTrack Easy Recovery Professional v6, which couldn't recognize ANYTHING on the disk in question. (Well, there was the quick mode which couldn't find anything and the exhaustive mode which took 18 hours just to scan 2% of the disk before I cancelled it! Needless to say, I'm not going to wait 900 hours just to probably get the same result!)

    - Drive Mechanic Pro Demo which couldn't even find the disk in question (their tech support told me it couldn't handle my system's components, such as my two SATA-150 disks, etc.)

    - Finally, I was able to boot XP from the Windows install CD and go into repair mode (or whatever they call it). Only the partitions on the bad disk in question couldn't be recognized in that mode; all the others were fine. However, there's not much you can do in that mode. I ran chkdsk /r and fixboot and fixmbr, but nothing worked.


    Sorry for all the verbiage, but I'm trying to be complete and to provide all the relevant info.

    Let me recap again:

    (1): How do I fix the boot-time error message: "Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (partition) Not Found". Especially considering that I can't boot because of it? Can I delete or edit some file, something vaguely similar to autoexec.bat that tries to run the SRM?

    (2) How can I recover the Acronis Zone partition (and ideally the other lost partitions, too)? Or if the partitions are irreparable, how about just restoring files from the damaged disk?


    Thanks again, TheQuest, but I still need more help.

    System: Abit IS-7 mobo, running Windows XP SP1
    Intel 865PE Chipset
    1G Crucial DDR-400 PC3200 RAM (checked out exaustively by memheck 86)
    1 WD Raptor 73G 10000K rpm SATA-150 drive
    1 WD 120G 7200 rpm SATA-150 drive
    1 WD 80G 7200 rpm ATA-100 drive (the drive that has the problems)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2004
  4. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, ambush19

    That's a long post to answer in detail, so I will not try.

    Partition Expert will see the SZ as a Non file system as will every tool you use.

    I have had it happen to me once, on a 2HDD all 3 Partitions 80gb [22 Images :'(]. which was seen as yours with PE. [I turned the HDD on in Mobile Racks to a live system not a good Idea :eek:]

    I was lucky to have Acronis Recovery Expert, which I ran and all was well for me. [I purchased all Acronis Produces except OS, not needed as I use Mobile Racks]

    That being said, I would not put a guarantee on restoring all your data.

    I would do a quick install a OS on a spare HDD, then see what data it see on the bad HDD and move all you can before trying to do a Partition restore.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  5. mike_wells

    mike_wells Registered Member

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    Wow! 20 years of experience as a programmer and you got yourself into this kind of a mess? What have you been programming? I've got you beat by about 17 years so I just had to go there! TI is not a partitioning program per se and what you have described is beyond belief, that is, for TI to have done all that damage. I am so confused after reading your tale of woe that I do not even know where to begin, so I will start here; anytime you put a backup/restore procedure/strategy in place you have to assume the worst possible case. And, that would be for your boot drive to stop fuctioning. What good is the Recovery Mgr if you can not spin up the drive or the heads are french kissing the platter surface? F11 AINT gonna happen! Plan for that and nothing else and you will never find yourself in a situation like this again. I wish I could tell you how to sew your system/drives/partitions back together but again, I am so confused that I could not possibly make any sense out of this. I have to agree with TheQuest in that you have to do a work around at this point to get yourself up and running and see what it really is that you still have intact. Once that is accomplished you will have to take whatever steps are necessary to start putting it all back together again. I am willing to bet that once you can actually "see" what remains, it will not be as ugly as you have described.

    Best of luck. *puppy*
     
  6. ambush19

    ambush19 Registered Member

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    I fixed it!

    Well, ZAR32 did it, actually. Zero Assumption Recovery. *GREAT* tool, even if it's extreme power makes it potentially risky to use.

    Like most Acronis tools, Recovery Expert wouldn't even boot (it said there were conflicting resources, which is not suprising considering how XP doubles up on IRQs and such). What a waste! They fail utterly EXACTLY when you need them most!

    And that F11 nonsense proved to be a waste of time, especially since the main problem I had with it was that it ignored my mouse and keyboard. Acronis told me to press F11 again immediately after pressing F11, but it never acknowledged the second F11 -- SINCE IT WAS IGNORING MY MOUSE AND KEYBOARD! Duh! -- What the hell did Acronis expect? No matter WHAT I did, I was never given the chance to enter the kernel boot options. My guess is that Acronis foolishly assumed that everyone's using USB for their mouse and keyboard, even though I and a great many others are using PS/2 for both.

    So I stopped wasting my time with Acronis software and used ZAR, which worked like a dream. I got back my Acronis Safe (Backup) Zone partition (it was restored as a FAT-32 partition), WITH all the files in it. They're named now, though: i.e., AAAA.tib, etc.

    I also recovered the rest of the clobbered partitions also with ZAR. In the process, the "Acronis Loader Fatal Error: Boot Drive (partition) Not Found" just went away, and afterwards I could boot normally. Thank you, ZAR!

    Also, the malfunctioning SRM version of TI 7 is, as I feared, the OLD version (build 613). How in the hell are you supposed to update it if not by the straightforward way I tried (and which caused most of these problems in the first place?) Why is Acronis so apparently dead set against communicating with it's customers? Things like actually helpful help files and helpful tech support?

    This whole experience was 100% Acronis' fault, and it took ZAR to fix it 100%.

    Sheesh!
     
  7. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    Great Job ambush19
     
  8. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, ambush19

    quote=ambush19]I fixed it![/quote]
    With a bit of help from your ZAR32 :D, Good on you.

    Why not ZZZZ.tib. ;)

    I think it is because a lot problem are caused with USB or Firewire devices.

    I have USB wireless keyboard and mouse with PS/2 Adapters and have never had any real problems of which I posted about, hang or freeze. [do not use any drivers for them though] but that was with the Beta #619 no Biggie though.

    I always thought XP was pretty good at sharing them, also depends on your BIOS setting.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
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