TI10 hangs on Backup during Hard Drive Scan

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ShawnRedford, Apr 2, 2008.

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  1. ShawnRedford

    ShawnRedford Registered Member

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    Hi, I'm hoping to get some help troubleshooting this issue which I have already spent many hours on. I've read several posts on this forum but have not found a solution. I'm using:

    Windows XP updated with new service pack
    True Image 10.0 build 4,871
    WD SATA hard drive
    No other Hard drives

    My hard drive has only one OS on the primary partition. My Extended partition has several logical partitions one of which I use for "my documents".

    I have never used the TI feature of backing up or restoring part of the drive. For over a year I have been exclusively using TI10 to make full backups of my primary drive, which I do from the desktop. Due to TI10's (4871)'s problem identifying the SATA HD drivers, I have been using the BART CD method to restore the primary image. (The Bart CD uses the same XP version that I normally use on the Hard Drive minus a few of the more recent windows updates). From this point on, whenever I speak of restoring an image it is always using Bart. In the last year I have created and restored images of the primary drive several times without issue. Up until now I have never use the restored "MBR and 0 track" option available during recovery.

    Okay, here's my problem. At some point, I attempted to use Windows DISK MANAGEMENT utility to change the sizes of two of my logical drives. (Found in windows control panel under administrative tools/Computer management). My intention was to delete two logical drives then recreate them both but with one drive taking some storage from the other. Well, I had trouble deleting one of the drives. The application froze and I force quit. I restarted the computer then successfully deleted the second drive. Well, long story short, I decided not to change the storage sizes and I ended up putting the drives back just as the were before with a clean full reformatting. Please note, I keep a clean OS. I never have crashes or bugs. I use TI regularly to restore images so that I usually have a pretty fresh OS install. I might be a little inaccurate about the problems I had with Disk Management, but this is essentially it.

    Anyway, after using Disk Management, everything seemed to function normally. About a week later I decided to restore an image I created prior to using Disk Management. I did so successfully using the BART CD. Again, no problems or issues. However, not long after that I decided to make a full drive backup and TI10 froze while scanning my hard drive. This happen just after the question "Select what you want to do" and you choose between "my computer" and "data". I had a hard time getting XP to force quit TI, but eventually it did. I tried a few more times to make a backup, but got the same problem. Each time TI froze on one particular partition. The same one I had trouble with using Disk Management.

    After a warm reboot, I went back to Disk Management and tried to delete the partition that I had originally given me trouble. It hung up for a long time then said something about the partition possibly containing a critical application. I knew this couldn't be true. This particular partition was purely for storage and had nothing to do with the OS. Only basic apps were running and they had nothing to do with this partition. Another pop up asked me if I wanted to Force delete the logical drive. I did this, but still TI would hang up during the restore process, this time on a different partition.

    Okay, after trying some other things, I finally did a fresh install of the last good TI image. I then rebooted to recovery console and ran "fixmbr". I ran it without parameters assuming it would address the primary drive. After executing this command, I restarted running the OS from the hard drive. No change in problem.

    Assuming it was my hard drive at this point, I restored a fresh image then used Disk Manager to delete every logical drive and even the extended partition. While deleting some drive, it would pause a long time then offer me the force delete option which I accepted. In the same setting never rebooting, I re-established and reformatted all the same logical drive partitions with the same names and letters but with different storage sizes. Everything went smooth when I restored and reformatted the logical drive partitions. Since restoring the image I had now deleted and restored my entire extended partition without a single reboot. Next, I created a backup of the primary drive. SUCCESS! TI10 did not freeze during the "analyze partition" step as it had before.

    I got online downloaded some updates for windows and my virus checker and moved some data from DVD back onto some of the partitions. I rebooted to activate the updates and decided to create another full drive image. At this point TI10 froze again during the same recreated partition.

    I rebooted with the Bart DVD and tried to make a backup image of primary drive. It easily moved passed the "analyze partition" step without freezing so I stopped creating the image. Next, from Bart, I restored the most current image of the primary drive (the one I created after recreating the logical drives). Still in Bart using TI10, I repeated the recovery this time just recovering the MBR and Tack 0. I rebooted. No change.

    I then rebooted running recovery console from the windows XP CD. I then ran "fixMBR", but again no success.

    I have not gone back to Disk Manager to try to delete the drives, but I suspect if I do I will get the same problem as before. I've spent hours and hours on this and I'm out of ideas. I do not want to reinstall my OS from scratch. I've put a lot of time into getting the image just where I want it.

    At this point I've deleted and recreated the entire extended partition. I THIN I've repaired and recreated the boot sector. I've restored the primary image writing over the entire primary partition with and image that worked many times in the past. What else is there? I'm stumped.

    I'm sorry for the long long post. Please help.

    Shawn
     
  2. ShawnRedford

    ShawnRedford Registered Member

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    UPDATE:
    As reported, when trying to make a full backup image of the primary drive (containing os), TI10 seems to hang on one partition in particular. My hard drive is about 320 Gigs. This time I left it alone and after 35 minutes, it moved passed the partition and successfully created the back up image. I rebooted and restored that image (with Bart) then tried again to make a backup. It still pauses on the particular partition. So, I guess things seem to be working, although I haven't played around with Disk Management lately. If nothing else, my question remains, why does it take 35 minutes for TI to analyze my hard drive when in the past it never took more than a minute?
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Have you run CHKDSK x: /R where x: is the drive letter for every partition on the drive?

    Do this from the Run command window, and then reboot. There might be either a logical or physical (bad sector) error on one or more partitions.
     
  4. ShawnRedford

    ShawnRedford Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I tried running CHDK /r on every drive as you suggested. The problem drive said "Checkdisk cannont run becuase this volume is use in another process. Checkdisk my run if this volume is dismounted first. All open handles to this volume would then be invalid. Force dismount?" I answered yes and it seemed to run through. I ran it again on this drive, but this time it told me something was running on it and I should reboot and have it run prior to the OS loading. I did this as well. I also ran checkdisk on every other drive, then warm rebooted and tried TI again, but still the long hang by TI when reading the problem partition. There's NOTHING on this drive. Just the Recycling folder and the System folder. And it's been deleted and recreated along with the entire extended partition. Anyway, no partitions, including the problem one, reported any errors. Something on the freshly restored OS image is making the computer think that there's a process running on that partition. Puzzling.

    More to the point when I try to backup or run recovery from Bart CD, there is no problem and no delay whatsoever when reading the hard drives. My conclusion is that something is making the OS believe something is running on the problem partition. The first time I created a backup with TI after deleting and recreating all the logical drives it worked perfectly. But I did this all in one sitting. Upon the very first restart (warm) the problem returned.

    Another test, when I check the properties of the problem partition with TI, and select errors, it takes a very very long time to scan the drive and yet comes up reporting no errors. (This is probably just CHKDSK).


    I think I'm gonna download spybot and a few other malware/trojain cleaners. Maybe I have a virus in the boot sector that is somehow not getting erased? I have no idea. I also have a very old image of the OS that wouldn't have matched the current logical partition, but i'll see what happens if I copy that to the primary drive. Also, I'll try a safe mode windows boot and see if that stops the phantom process from running.

    Anway, thanks for the post. My knowledge is very crude on this so any help or advice is really appreciated.
     
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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  6. ShawnRedford

    ShawnRedford Registered Member

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    Thanks for the post jmk,

    Well, I'm closer to solving the problem but not there yet. I have few more anti-malware scans to do, but so far things appear clean. (Thanks for the links BTW).

    In a bit of a breakthrough, I realized that when I boot in safe mode, the problem goes away. Naturally, I went back and played process of elimination with msconfig.exe. (Get it... "Process" of elimination. *wink)

    Anyway, turns out that under the Services tab of msconfig.exe and within the Microsoft Services, there is a process called "Distributed Link Trading Client". I'm only just now looking into what this does, but when I leave all the same and only uncheck that box, the problem goes away. Strangely, I had it work once by unchecking the "Theme" box, but when I did it again, it didn't help.

    I am still working through the anti-malware scans to make sure everything is clean but whatever else I discover, I still have no idea why this problem is occurring on a fresh install of an image known to be clean and good. Also, I tried restoring a much older image of the primary drive with no change in results. Of course this older image had a different expectation of the number and size of the logical drives, although I did not restore the MBR.

    I'll check back after the virus scans and some more research on the Distributed Link thing. Very strange problem.
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Nice detective work. Looks like you can set that to start Manual instead of Automatic and avoid the problem.
     
  9. ShawnRedford

    ShawnRedford Registered Member

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    Thanks jmk and kolo,

    I ran a few more anti-malware tests and things seem to come up clean. I really do appreciate having a good forum like this to go to when trouble shooting. Much appreciated.

    As you guys have said, I'm ready to conclude this is all due the "Distributed Link Tracking" process. I was hoping to find a way to reset it or delete its associations with the now dead logical drives. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to do this. Although I'm still not entirely clear on what this process does, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with what I do on this home pc. I do a little networking once in a while, but most of the time it's not even set up.

    It's not a very satisfying solution, but I know if I uncheck the box in msconfig.exe that the process will be disabled and maybe nothing else will be effected. However, I'm not sure how to "set it to start manual"? Where is the option for this?

    Also, while I'm here, a couple quick TI questions...

    1. Overall I've been happy with TI10 and don't need to upgrade. However, I have a Sata Hard Drive so to restore an image with TI10, I have to boot from the Bart PE CD and restore from there. It would be more convenient to setup to restore the primary partition from the desktop and then have it restore during a warm reboot. Does TI11 have the Sata driver support to be able to do this or would I still need to use Bart?

    2. Let's say in the future I rearrange my logical drives by deleting some and/or changing their size and I then decide I want to restore an older TI image which completely replaces the primary drive partition. If I do this without restoring the MBR, then it should work fine right? The Master boot record remains the same which means it will recognize the new logical drives so the non-MBR restore of C: should not cause a problem. Is this a correct assessment?

    Thanks again guys. Really appreciate the help.
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Shawn:

    John is on California time so I'll try to answer your questions.

    1. For the Distributed Link Tracking Client service, leave it enabled in msconfig but set the service to not start automatically. To do this go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services. Find the service in the list and double-click on it. In the dialog box that opens, click on the "Stop" button to stop the service from running. Next choose the "Startup Type" as "Manual" from the drop-down list. Click OK and you're done.

    2. TI 11 may or may not support your SATA drive. According to what I've read on this forum, some devices that used to be supported with the recovery environment of TI 10 no longer work with TI 11, and some that never worked with TI 10 now work fine with TI 11. So the only way to find out is to download the trial version of TI 11, make a bootable CD with it, see if your SATA drive is supported, and then make your decision.

    3. You can restore individual partitions either with or without restoring the MBR. It won't matter. Restoring the MBR does not replace the partition table so your new disk partition layout will be preserved in either event. This is an area of much confusion and misunderstanding with TI. There are only two cases where an MBR restoral is needed; (a) if your disk won't boot because the MBR is damaged, and (b) if you are using a third-party boot manager that resides in the first few sectors on the disk, and it got damaged. For people using Windows and only Windows then you almost never need to restore the MBR. Then again, it won't hurt to do so either.

    Just to be clear, if you do a full-disk restore from one of your old images then the partition table will be replaced and your disk will return to the layout that it had when you created the old image.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
  11. ShawnRedford

    ShawnRedford Registered Member

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    Mark,

    Sorry for the long delay. The last couple days I had my OS crash to the point I thought I was gonna need a new hard drive. I was able to restore it, but it was really strange and it happened right after I felt I had things all set. I've been running some more anti-malware software and I did actually find a latent virus in the system volume information of one of my partitions which I eradicated, but the primary drive was clean. I thought maybe this would effect the "distributed link agent" issue, but clearing the virus changed nothing and I'm essentially back were I was a couple days ago with the decision to disable the process. Been a long week...

    Anyway, thanks for the info on TI11. Maybe I'll mess around with the demo, but I doubt I'll upgrade until these compatibility issues are resolved for certain.

    So when it comes to restoring the primary partition with a back up image, if I just select to write the main drive "C" then the MBR is also over written. So as a rule, any time I ever change the logical drives in anyway, I should make a backup image soon after because if I change the logical drives and then restore the primary partition to and older version either the OS or the MBR might have a different idea of they layout and it might not adjust properly.... I guess that's the idea.

    Well, thanks to you and thanks for the forum for all the help. Much appreciated. It's not a perfect fix, but it will have to be good enough.
     
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Shawn:

    It isn't necessary to worry about the disk layout when you are restoring a single partition with TI. You can add/change the layout of your partitions on the disk and still restore an older image of the OS partition. When TI restores it will ask you where to put the restored image. It will only modify the partition that you restore to. Although the disk layout is different, and the partition table is different, TI does not change your other partitions.

    Restoring the MBR with TI does not change the partition table, so you can safely use an older image that was created when your disk layout was different.
     
  13. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello ShawnRedford,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    We may recommend you to try the latest build (4942) of Acronis True Image 10.0 Home. To get access to updates you should first register your software. Don't forget to recreate Acronis Bootable Rescue Media after updating.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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