TI-9: Recovery -- MBR and/or XP Problem?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Soniclight

    Soniclight Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Posts:
    11
    Hello,

    I am trial trying out True Image 9 due to problems with Ghost 9 and my frustration with Symantec products overall... yet the same thing is happening with both applications. Now, before I go there...

    Some brief system stats:

    --- WinXP Home on Pentium D 820, 2 Gb DDRM, 3 internal hard drives, one external Firewire. Drive capacities are 250 and 120 Gb, two of them SATA.

    Back to what's going on.

    --- The new/recovered partition boots up into Windows GUI, but instead of showing the "Welcome" on blue background (I have a standalone system, am its sole user and so use autologin), there is just the Windows XP logo on the blue background and no disk activity. In short: dead air, no go.

    From what I'm gathering this sounds like an MBR problem. As to how this may be showing up in TI-9, here is what I have done so far:

    1. I created a *.tib file on one partition. No compression or security, just plain exact copy modality. I avoid compression unless absolutely necessary.

    2. I tried to recover this file to a partition or even totally blank drive (which I have tested for any errors via firmware in full and with chkdisk), and I can only choose the disk or the MBR/Track 0, but not both for some reason.

    I've included .jpgs of this either/or situation, AND... as you may notice, there is no check-able "Disk" option box above it (whereby it would choose everything by default).

    3. I have gone ahead and tried to recover ignoring that I couldn't choose the MBR, but all I get is what I described above (dead air, no go).

    ------------------

    As stated, the same thing happens with both applications, so maybe there is some system service or ? that is interfering with system backup processes overall. Symantec mentioned that having a page file may interfere and to shut it off (set page file to 0), but I already have it set up that way. And it didn't solve the problem with their app either.

    I've downloaded the suggested floppy and CD MBR fixes mentioned in the "Please Read Before You Post..." at this board and will try that later on today. Yet that's a fix --- I need True Image and my system to pull off the procedures right the first time. Having to backup and/or restore in Safe Mode or similar or from a CD just isn't work-flow practical.

    -------------------------

    So the general situation as of now is that I have no system backup that works, be it by one app or the other. I would be willing to cross over to True Image for it does have certain advantages over Ghost, incl. not requiring .NET. I like my system to run with as MS few services and background junk as possible :)

    Thank you for reading and hopefully I'm just missing something and/or this is not a big problem to solve --- and my apologies for mentioning the competition here, but I'm trying to solve a problem that is rather critical.
     

    Attached Files:

    • AC2.jpg
      AC2.jpg
      File size:
      27.3 KB
      Views:
      494
  2. Soniclight

    Soniclight Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Posts:
    11
    Second image related to the above.
     

    Attached Files:

    • AC1.jpg
      AC1.jpg
      File size:
      27.3 KB
      Views:
      492
  3. Soniclight

    Soniclight Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Posts:
    11
    UPDATE:

    I used the flopy version MBR fix (mbrautowrite_en.exe mentioned above that can be downloaded at the "Please Read Before You Post" page), and it seems like it resolved the issue for now.

    The only thing that threw me off as it was working in DOS mode was after the line "- Write MBR" -- it said "No commands for booting operating system. Press <Enter> to reboot." This reads like something went wrong, and I I pressed Enter and it kept ending with that line, so I just shut down, pulled the floppy out to reboot figuring nothing had been fixed.

    But it had been fixed. For now.

    I underscore "for now" because I'm concerned that this fix would have to be done every time I either create a backup or restore a drive or partition. I want to avoid MBR corruption however and wherever it is that is happening so no fixes would be necessary.

    Short version: Partially solved. Advice still sought. Thanks.
     
  4. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello Soniclight,

    After selecting your C: partition, you should have continued through the Restore Data Wizard until you reached the "Next Selection" screen and then selected the option to restore another partition or hard disk drive (see screenshot below). You will then once again be presented with the choice of which partition or disk to restore. This time tick the "MBR and Track 0" checkbox and then click the Next button to proceed. On the screen that follows you can choose which disk to restore the MBR to (Disk 1 in your case). When you reach the "Next Selection" screen for the second time, choose the option not to restore another partition or hard disk drive. After continuing through the Restore Data Wizard, TI will proceed to restore both your C: partition and the MBR/Track 0.

    Regards
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  5. Soniclight

    Soniclight Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Posts:
    11
    Thanks for reply and clarification. My only Q about this is why have to go through this convoluted method--or does this only happen upon the first time one does so?

    Seems to me that one should be able to load up both the disk/partition contents and the MBR together, yes? :) Visually speaking, this would mean that the "root directory" check box above both should appear as I have seen in a screenshot within a recent thread here dealing with an other MBR issue.

    Let me know, I'm learning here -- the more I grasp the intricacies and workarounds, etc. the better. Thanks.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Your problem aside, unless you are restoring to bare-metal there is usually no need to restore the MBR so the procedure isn't that much or a problem and it also provides flexibility to restore or not. I have restored many times but have yet to do the MBR - probably time to buy a new disk! :D
     
  7. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    You will need to go through the above procedure whenever you want to recover a separate partition and the MBR. However, as seekforever indicated, you would normally only do that if restoring a single partition image to a new, unpartitioned, replacement hard drive.

    When restoring from a "single partition" image using the latest build of True Image you are no longer presented with the "Disk" tickbox. I will leave it to Acronis Support to explain the rationale behind their implementation of this new MBR restoration feature :).

    Regards
     
  8. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954
    On the other hand, if you are restoring from an entire disk image, you can select any one component (any single partition or MBR) or the whole pack - this time there is the Disk1 box to tick.
     
  9. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954
    Maybe we can find the rationale in this recent statement by Acronis Support:

    "As for restoring an image of the two of three partitions to a replacement hard drive (e.g. in case the old hard drive has filed), we recommend that you re-create the same partition layout on the destination (i.e. new) disk as it was on the hard drive this particular image was originally taken from. The sizes of partitions can in fact be different but the quantity should be the same. Otherwise, the restored operating system may no boot. Please take a look at these previous threads for more details: auto logoff problem, Re: Mr. " (my italics)

    It would seem that the image of a single partition (one of several) and the included MBR (reflecting a multi-partition structure) are just not meant to be both restored in the same operation, since a conflict between the restored partition table data and the actual partition layout would (might) arise.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  10. Soniclight

    Soniclight Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Posts:
    11
    Thanks for replies. I don't have time to study and apply right now but wanted to aknowledge said replies. Will be back when I can later tonight or within 24 hours.

    But for now...


    1. "Need for new drive":

    Nyet. This IS a brand new 250 Gb Hitachi Deskstar SATA2 drive (as is the primary master drive which is the same model and size -- they were purchased at the same time) and as stated above, I did a full PC DOS firmware test on it (on both, actually) that took an hour per drive and no errors or glitches were reported for either drive.


    2. Multiple Partitions/Single Overall MBR for Drive:

    Maybe the issue here for I'm still setting up this second drive but have not decided on size or number of partitions to add past the primary "duplicate of primary drive" partition I am testing.


    2. Recovery Destination Partition Smaller than Original:

    I like my system drive with progs to be as fast and streamlined as possible, and the original C:\ partition is 40 Gb, which I wanted to change to 20 for I have plenty of space left (even if I upgrade to Vista one day) -- 9 or so Gb of free space). Acronis had no problem setting the recovery second C:\ partition to the desired size.

    Now...

    If I could just resize the first C:\ on the first disk that would be easier than having to go through all of this. But I doubt one can resize a system drive of of which one is working :) Windows has certain limitations. And/but...

    MAYBE I could resize the first C:\ using Acronis boot disk (floppy made)? Let me know if that is possible and safe.


    3. Maybe Once All Partitions Are Set = Problem Will Go Away:

    Whatever modality I use (resize first C:\ or recreate a second and swap drives) as one of you stated that the MBR relates to the whole disk, not single or multimple partitions on it. Once I have nailed down all the partitions permanently, this MBR fix thing won't me necessary anymore.

    OK, that's it for now, I gotta outta here. Am I getting closer to capiscin' all this? :)
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hi there bVolk,

    Sounds like a good enough reason to me :).

    Forcing the user down the two-step road requires that he makes a conscious decision before embarking on a course of action that may possibly result in an unbootable system ;). Or at least it should!! :p

    Regards
     
  12. Soniclight

    Soniclight Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Posts:
    11
    OK, back to wind this up. Thanks to all for feedback and while I still have some learning to do, I'm getting a better sense of it all.

    I'm really tired of Ghost 9 now after having worked with TI trial version. G-9just won't work correctly anymore since I've upgraded to SATA2 drives and/or whatever the other glitch reasons are. Besides that, being a review-hog, the Net has definitely helped me make my decision:

    -- I've got 10 or so days left on my trial version for TI, but I'm going to order the retail box from NewEgg (by far best price on the Net -- and, they have about 130 user reviews of TI-9 with an overall excellent rating. Not bad :)

    So this is my last post here in this thread. Again, thanks for all the feedback (user and support) -- such things also factor into a big part of a purchase decision.

    All the best to all. NRN.


    ~ Soniclight/a.k.a. Philip
     
  13. woodp

    woodp Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Posts:
    5
    Hm, I have an archive of a two-partition disk (Drives C: and D:)and I'm trying to use it to create a single partition disk (Drive C: only). These are 2.5" laptop disks and I want to be able to swap back and forth between them.

    I can restore just fine but the new disk is not bootable. This thread seems to mirror my concern but I never see the "MBR and Track 0" box. Where/when is that supposed to show up?

    I just get the same "Partition or Disk to Restore" window. What am I missing?

    Running Version 9.0 (build 2,337) on XP SP2
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello woodp,

    There's your problem - the new MBR/Track 0 feature was introduced in Build 3567 :).

    Log into your Acronis account and download the update but make sure you uninstall Build 2337 before installing Build 3567.

    Regards
     
  15. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954

    I'm afraid that even build 3567 will not let you do that directly.

    The impeding factor being, that you shouldn't put on the new disk an MBR with a two-partition table inside it and a single partition actual layout (see the quote in post #9 above).

    IMO you have two options. One would be to preformat the new disk creating one partition only along with the matching MBR and then restoring to it the contents of C: by partition restore, leaving the imaged MBR alone.

    The other option would be to first restore the entire disk image to the (blank or not) new disk and then proceed to eliminate D:. I would delete D: with the Windows Disk Management tool and assign the resultant unallocated space to C: by restoring C: partition again, this time stretching it's size across the whole disk.

    I did the latter not long ago, only reversed, since I wanted to split the existing C: into C: and D:. It worked well.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2006
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.