TI-9 near-disaster. Advice needed please

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by porty, May 2, 2006.

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  1. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    XP Pro>Athlon 2800>1GB ram>C drive 40GB>D drive 200GB>Running TI (Help about says version 9.0, build 2,323).

    Several times in the past I've used TI to clone template drives to bare metal drives in a separate machine - no problem. Both drives would be 'guests' in a host machine running True Image.

    Last night I attempted to clone my 200GB D drive to a spare identical 200GB drive in my running system. The spare drive was in a bare metal state, ie unallocated, and connected to a spare IDE port (my Gigabyte board is RAID-able but I have it configured to use the two extra ports as IDE)

    I disconnected from my LAN and internet connection and turned off all unnecessary programs. I carried out my usual TI cloning procedure, including Manual settings, and opting to 'keep' the data on the 'old' drive. TI asked to reboot and the clone began. It took 5 hours to complete. As directed, when it finished I hit 'any key' and the computer switched off. I disconnected the 'guest' drive and rebooted.

    However, after the reboot, my heart stopped briefly when I discovered that my D drive was now empty. It seems that the TI process had wiped the source drive, in spite of me having specified otherwise.

    Fortunately, the cloning worked and the target drive is now in place as my D drive. But I'm really concerned that this occurred. If anything had gone wrong with the transfer of data to the target drive, I would have lost 150GB of very valuable data.

    My questions are:
    Has anyone else had this experience?
    Is it likely that I can run a recovery program to resurrect the original drive?

    Thanks.
     
  2. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

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    I have not tried cloning with TI and after reading about your experience, probably will not try it unless I take some precautionary measures beforehand.

    As for checking whether you can resurrect the original drive, this is a golden opportunity to use some date recovery programs to see if it works for you.

    Free one here:-

    http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm

    Commercial ones here:-

    http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm

    http://www.easeus.com/

    http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoverydatarecovery/

    http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm

    Or you could create an image of your new disk and restore it onto your old disk.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello mark3,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please note that during the clone process the original disk is only being read (no partitions are changed or resized) until data transfer is completed, therefore no data will be lost. The original drive will change if you select to "Create a new partition layout" or "Destroy data" when cloning in manual mode.

    Could you please explain how you figured out that the source drive is empty? Could you please clarify if you received any error messages when tried to boot your computer up from the source hard drive?

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  4. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

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    Porty, this is meant for your attention.
     
  5. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    Alexander, thanks for your response.

    I've used TI 30 or so times to clone template drives to bare metal drives, ie, brand new drives, straight out of the box. In the past, this has always been done with both the source and target disks as guest drives in a host system. So I've some experience with the program, and I know enough to set up the correct parameters, particularly with regards to specifying that the source disk's data should be left untouched.

    On this occasion it was the first time I'd tried cloning one of the operative drives in a running system, in this case, my own personal computer. My XPP system has two drives - a 40GB C drive and a 200GB D drive.

    I set out to clone not the boot C drive, but the secondary D drive. The target disk was an identical 200GB drive.

    After the clone process finished, the prog called for a shutdown; it said something like 'the job has finished, press any key to shutdown'. I did this and took the opportunity to remove the target drive, the one that I had cloned my D drive to. In theory, when I rebooted, both my C and D drives should have been entirely normal in all respects.

    But this wasn't the case; in My Computer, the D drive was nowhere to be seen - all that was showing was the C drive, the floppy and the CD drive.

    Also, the numerous shortcut links on my desktop that had been pointing to all of the software that had been installed to the D drive, were displaying the blue and white icon that indicates a non-existent target.

    Hoping that there had been a minor glitch, I rebooted, but nothing had changed - there was no sign of my still connected, running D drive.

    After shutting down and switching the original D drive for it's clone, I rebooted and everything was back to normal, indicating that the clone process had worked. However, the original drive now appears to have no identity.

    So, that's how I figured that the source drive is empty.
     
  6. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Excellent description.

    Can you see the D drive in Drive Management? Even if it were not partitioned, it would appear there. It would also appear in the CMOS Setup. If not, then my guess is that either a signal or power cable was disconnected when you were working on the other drive.

    Otherwise, the drive just chose that magic moment at the end of the cloning to die, a most unlikely case. :)
     
  7. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    John, I don't think there was any hardware failure or disconnection - I believe that True Image acted contrary to my instructions and wiped the source drive.

    I've always felt that the cloning option to 'keep' or 'delete' the data on the source drive is inherently fragile. I believe that this option should be locked up somewhere in a set of basic preferences, so that someone like myself, who never wants the source drive erased, never has to make the choice or risk losing valuable data.

    Regarding a more detailed examination of my original drive, all I've done so far is to switch the power and data cables to the clone drive, while I consider alternatives to a TI backup system. However, I'll post again when I've had a closer look at situation.
     
  8. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    OK, problem solved. Dunno how it happened but during the cloning process, the source drive had lost it's drive letter. I restored it through Disk Management and it's now back to normal.

    Weird, right?.......
     
  9. rbmorse

    rbmorse Registered Member

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    As I recall, the convention used by Windows is to first assign a drive letter to the first partition on each physical drive, after which it goes back to assign letters to the other partitions on each physical drive in order. Optical and removable drives are assigned next, except for floppies which by convention get drive a: and b:.

    Initially, your new drive didn't have any partitions defined so Windows skipped it and didn't assign it a drive letter. After the clone and reboot, Windows detected the partition(s) on the new drive and assigned drive letters according to convention which changed the assignment of the source drive.

    As you indicated, the default drive letter assignments can be overridden in Disk Manager.
     
  10. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    What you say certainly has relevance in other circumstances, but in this case, as you'll see if you read the other posts, the drive that lost it's letter wasn't a new drive but the original D drive.

    The cloned copy ended up with a letter, but the drive that had been the data source for the clone ended up with none.
     
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