TI8/Win98SE can not explore NTFS image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by dasheiff, Nov 21, 2006.

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  1. dasheiff

    dasheiff Registered Member

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    Background
    A long standing issue discussed in the Forum has been TI's failure
    to mount an image (assign a drive letter). This seems to only
    affect a few clients, sometimes solved with a fresh install.
    Registry solutions have been proposed which only work for NTFS OSes
    like Windows XP, 2000, 2003, but can't help Win98 since it doesn't
    have certain registry keys, nor ability to handle multi-string entries.
    See for example
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=131145

    My Problem
    Running TI8 in Win98SE I can Explore TIB files created from a FAT formatted partition
    but not TIB files created from a NTFS formatted partition.

    Details
    So you will ask if I checked the following
    1. Computer plugged in - check
    2. Operating system - reasonable but now unsupported, Win98SE
    3. TI version - TrueImage version 8, build 937, English, licensed
    4. Computer - Pentium II, 400 MHz, 192MB RAM
    but same results with a PIII, 500 MHz, 512MB RAM
    5. Do I know anything about computers - check, since punch cards, mainframes, UNIX
    (the PII is my sandbox computer, Win98 and Win2K dual boot,
    plus have Microsoft Virtual PC with DOS6, Win3.1, Win95, Win98
    and working on getting XP if I can get the Acronis problem fixed)
    6. Verified the TIB files - check
    7. On the PII, in WIn98SE, I can explore/mount 7MB FAT partition TIB
    but not a 1.6GB NTFS partition TIB, get the error
    "Cannot Assign a drive letter to a partition from the image archive"
    8. On the PII, in Win2000, running TI8 build 774, I can explore/mount both
    9. On the PIII, Win98SE, 512MB RAM (so more RAM), TI8, build 937
    I can explore/mount a 1.3GB FAT32 partition TIB
    but not a 7MB or 1.6GB TIB file (both were imaged from XP Pro)

    Summary
    TI8 can only explore/mount TIB files that were imaged from a FAT/FAT16/FAT32
    partition if TI8 is running in Win98 (FAT32). It can not mount a NTFS partition
    (I figure it also can't restore the NTFS partition to a damaged NTFS partition
    since FAT32 cannot see NTFS. But I hope the boot CD can do it)

    TI8 can explore/mount TIB files from FAT or NTFS when running in a NTFS operating system

    This does not appear to be a RAM problem, but a limitation of the parent OS.
    Nevertheless, I would like to explore a NTFS TIB from Win98.
    The CD rescue boot disk doesn't have explore function.
    Is there a solution?
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Windows 98 cannot handle NTFS file system so you cannot do what you want.

    Xpilot
     
  3. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Xpilot is correct.

    Remember that Microsoft have essentially 2 operating system kernels, DOS and NT. The DOS based systems use the FAT file system, while the NT based system use by default the NT File System (NTFS).

    Windows 3.1; 95; 98/98SE and Me are all based on the DOS kernel.

    Windows 2000; XP and Vista are all based on the NT kernel.
     
  4. dasheiff

    dasheiff Registered Member

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    True.
    But Acronis works independently of the OS when booted from a rescue floppy or CD, and has proprietary files (e.g. TI's TIB files are different from Drive Image pqi files). Partition Magic can see and work with NTFS partitions from within Win98. So I thought it might be possible for TI to at least mount the directory and file listing in a RAM drive which could be of any structure. And copying NTFS files to FAT is easy enough (yes lose some security properties but the files are still there to move). I'm sure someone is smart enough to do this, Acronis just didn't think it necessary. DiskExplorer for NTFS from Runtime Software lets you recover a file from NTFS while running in Win98.

    RMD :)
     
  5. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Interesting idea, and technically I cannot see a problem.

    My only concern is that backups are such a critical area of computing that it is always preferable to keep the entire disaster recovery cycle as clean, simple and technically correct as possible.

    The best disaster recovery plans are the ones that are designed so that your grandad can understand them :)
     
  6. dasheiff

    dasheiff Registered Member

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    Although it's now 2 months since the last comment, I post this for completeness as I have come across a (partial) solution to my problem of exploring a NTFS image from Win98.

    The inherent problem was Acronis TI uses the host OS for file management. I suggested that it should be possible to use a NTFS file system driver to make an NTFS image explorable (and that having this native to Acronis would be nice). The need to access NTFS from DOS had been address by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell of Sysinternals many years ago (I'm just late to the party). They created two NTFS file system drivers, one for plain DOS and one for Win9x. Their free version is read/copy/execute only (which is fine for Acronis to explore an image). The Pro (paid) versions have write to disk ability.

    WINTERNALS NTFSDOS http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/NtfsDosProfessional.html
    NTFS for Windows 98 http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/NtfsWindows98.html

    NOTE: Microsoft acquired Sysinternals in July, 2006 and everything is being migrated to
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx
    I suggest you d/l these and many of their other fine utilities from either site as soon as possible while they're still free and easily available.

    There are differences between the NTFS file system in WinNT [NTFS 1.2, you need Service Pack 4 to upgrade to version 3.0], Win2K [NTFS 3.0], WinXP [NTFS 3.1].
    See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q310749 or http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs_vs_fat.htm
    And note the confusion in nomenclature: NTFS has its own version numbers but is often
    referred to by the version of Windows that it was used in, i.e. version 3 of NTFS came out with Windows 5.0 and thus is often called NTFS5.
    NTFS Versions
    1.0 found in NT 3.1
    1.1 found in NT 3.5
    1.2 / 4.0 found in NT 3.51 and NT 4
    3.0 / 5.0 found in Windows 2000
    3.1 / 5.1 (5.2?) found in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
    You can only boot Win98 with one set of the six helper files [NTFS.SYS, NTOSKRNL.EXE, AUTOCHK.EXE, NTDLL.DLL, C_437.NLS, C_1252.NLS, L_INTL.NLS] from one of these NTFS systems. I experimented with Win2K and WinXP(SP2) as to how well TrueImage could mount and explore a NTFS image from Win98SE. Depending on your particular setup (i.e. BIOS, number of hard drives and partitions, OSes [at least one NTFS], programs and drivers loaded, etc.) results will vary.

    Bottom Line it can work.

    ##########################################
    Details of various mix and match scenarios
    ##########################################
    =======================================================================
    In Win2000 (SP4), TrueImage8 (build 774) can Explore a WinXP(SP2) TIB image
    from a FAT32 HD and a FAT32 USB drive (USB1.1)
    =======================================================================
    #
    ====================================================
    In Win98SE, NTFS for Windows 98, loading Win2K files
    Explore with TrueImage8 (build 937)
    ====================================================
    Win2K TIB image on a FAT32 HD
    - worked three times but gets mount drive letter wrong sometimes.
    Win2K TIB image on a FAT32 USB drive
    - failed. Reported "successfully assigned drive letter"
    but no new drive letter was created.

    WinXP(SP2) TIB image on a FAT32 HD
    - worked.
    WinXP(SP2) TIB image on a FAT32 USB drive
    - failed.
    ====================================================
    #
    =========================================================
    In Win98SE, NTFS for Windows 98, loading WinXP(SP2) files
    Explore with TrueImage8 (build 937)
    =========================================================
    Win2K TIB image on a FAT32 HD
    - worked but instead of mounting as drive "Y" as I requested
    it mounted it twice as drive "N" and "O"
    (which were next available drive letters).
    - failed 2nd time.
    - worked but instead of mounting as drive "M" as I requested
    it mounted it as drive "K" (which as next available drive letter).
    Win2K TIB image on a FAT32 USB drive
    - failed. Reported "successfully assigned drive letter"
    but no new drive letter was created.

    WinXP(SP2) TIB image on a FAT32 HD
    - worked.
    WinXP(SP2) TIB image on a FAT32 USB drive
    - failed.
    =========================================================
    #
    =========================================================
    CONCLUSION
    In Win98SE, NTFS for Windows 98, Explore with TrueImage8
    works on NTFS TIB images if they reside on a hard drive
    not through a USB 1.1 connection.
    =========================================================
     
  7. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    I'm pleased you found a workround. However, note that things will get harder for Win9x users. The platform is no longer supported by MS, and should WinFS ever become the standard NT filesystem, NTFS adapters are not going to help you. Sorry for sounding gloomy, but that's just how I see things.

    F.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
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