TI9 - Restoring from a USB drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Tabvla, Jul 6, 2006.

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

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    For some time now I have been testing TI9 with USB drives.

    The conclusion that I have come to is that TI9 can create and verify an image on an external USB drive without any issues. (In all the tests that I have done I have never experienced a problem). However, restoring the image will result in a "Archive Corrupt" error message about 50% of the time.

    That sounds like bad news. But the good news is that the error message itself is a "one-size-fits-all" type of message and possibly has absolutely no meaning whatsoever to the actual problem. I have found that if you persevere and try restoring the image again (...and sometimes again and again...) you will eventually succeed.

    The very good news is that in all the testing that I have done I have in every single case been able to eventually restore the image perfectly.

    Is this important? Well yes, because in the world of small business (which are my customers) external USB drives are rapidly becoming the norm. Owners of small businesses find that external drives provide them with a very cost-effective and technically easy means of adding additional storage and sharing that storage between several users.

    So perhaps this is something that the Acronis Development Team may like to look into - providing a more robust method of restoring data from an external USB drive. (Also those error messages could be more indicative of the actual problem. Perhaps something like "Data transfer failed, please restart the restore process" would be much more helpful than "Archive Corrupt" )
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Without knowing the facts I have often felt the message is a "one-size-fits-all" approach that says the restore/validate failed and regardless of why, you had better try it again or do something else. It would be nice, if possible, to say read failure on source drive, can't decompress data, can't write to destination drive, or whatever.

    However, I don't think I agree with what I interpret as your view on the situation. A failure is a failure and 50% of the time is a lot of failures. I am not surprised that doing retries fixes the problem but to me that just says something is marginal on the system(s). Whether that is HW or SW in general, or TI in particular, is another matter for discussion.

    What is your restore success rate on these systems if you restore from an internal HD?

    I only have one USB drive and although I don't use it a lot, it has never failed.
     
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    IMHO restoring from an internal drive is the best way of all. Both in terms of speed and security. Since V 8 and now V 9 I have always backed up to an internal drive and done recoveries from there. 100% sucess so I see no value in doing it any other way.

    Xpilot
     
  4. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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

    Is that different USB drives on different computers or the same computer? The reason I ask is that not all motherboard USB sub-systems are created equal (i.e. some implementations can be a bit "iffy" when transferring very large data files).

    Also worth bearing in mind that a number of external USB HD enclosure USB to IDE bridge chipsets leave a lot to be desired.

    Regards
     
  5. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Posts:
    293
    Location:
    North Carolina USA
    I've had no luck, so far, using external USB 2 for backups. The Athena Power enclosure I tried, using either SATA or USB, didn't mesh well with my apparently iffy motherboard's subsystems. :doubt: But, since I have a fairly mainstream mobo, a Gigabyte GA 7N400S-L, I wonder if anyone can suggest a testing program, similar to Memtest 86 (which I ran for 8 hours with zero errors) that will test my iffy subsystems? I suspect my SATA, IDE, and USB subsystems may not be up to snuff. But, how does one find out?

    Since flaws in our systems seem to have intermittent effects on backup reliability, I would love to have a robust testing program to identify such flaws before I need to count on what appeared to be workable components in an emergency restore situation.

    Wouldn't Acronis benefit from including such a program with TI? So that users could identify and fix potential weak links, and use TI with a 100% success rate? I thought that was the idea of having a great BU program.o_O

    I second the motion that Acronis provide error messages that indicate what the actual error is, but, then, perhaps it doesn't know?

    I am going to try using an ATA/IDE to USB enclosure next, and will see if that works any better on my system as an external backup drive. Does anyone know of the best HD enclosure maker, who uses reliable chipsets, fans that last, and keep drives cool?:cool:
     
  6. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Posts:
    9,006
    i am interested about this because if my pc hard drive wne ti would be restoring from a external usb harddrive so of course i would want it to just restore.
     
  7. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    Lodore wrote....
    If you have not yet tested this scenario in full then I recommend that you do so before disaster visits. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is to purchase a similar disk to the one on which your system currently resides. (If the disks are identical this eliminates at least some potential issues. If the disks are at least the same size (e.g. 100GB) then imaging/restoring the disk as a single entity from a single .tib archive is easier).

    Create a full disk image of your system disk and store it on your external USB.

    Remove your system disk (remember to wear an anti-static strap :D ) and replace it with the new disk. Boot from the TI CD and attempt to restore the full disk image to the new disk. If it restores first time then boot into your OS (assume Windows) and see if everything is OK. If it does not restore first time then try again.... and again if necessary.

    Once you have successfully restored your disk you can then pack away in a safe place your original system disk as an emergency standby and continue using your new disk. You can repeat the process after you have made significant changes to your system disk - e.g. installed new programs etc....
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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

    Some light reading (!!) for you regarding external HD enclosures:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=65129
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=70258
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=86719
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=123659

    Regards
     
  9. Mooron

    Mooron Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Posts:
    15
    I have been using BYTECC enclosures without trouble.
    BYTECC also has a USB to IDE cable and power supply
    without the enclosure if you don't mind having a drive
    loose on the desk.
     
  10. bulldog356

    bulldog356 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    137
    Re: True Image error messages that aren't really errors...

    I've been using True Image Home for a while, and occasionally encounter nonsense error messages. For example:

    ...a given backup job was created by a version of TI that is later than the one I'm running. I always use the latest build and have never gone back to an earlier build.

    ...for a given backup job, that the script is corrupt, when the backup job runs (and restores) just fine.

    ...for a given backup job, that either the source or destination cannot be resolved, when both are correct and neither has been changed. And the backup runs fine.

    Here's my favorite ATI error message: When editing a backup job, an error message pops up and prevents me from editing. The message ends with "You should edit this backup job."

    But even with all this, I'm quite happy with True Image Home. I would never go back to Norton Ghost.
     
  11. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    If I'm in a hurry, I usually copy/paste my .tib-file from my external harddisk (Seagate) to my internal harddisk (WD Raptor) and restore from there. It is a considerable difference in speed.
     
  12. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Posts:
    293
    Location:
    North Carolina USA
    Thanks for the light reading. :rolleyes:

    I did dive in, and found it quite engaging. However...knowing that the best enclosures use an NEC chipset (best running under TI at that time) doesn't make finding the right ext. HD enclosure simple. Since enclosure specs don't state which chipset they use (likely so they can use a cheaper chipset later)...I'm still experimenting.

    Today I'm testing a new ADS USBX-834-EF USB2 enclosure, given to me by a friend. I put a new WD 320 GB ATA 100 HD inside. Easy to set up, Windows sees the drive, Disk Director 10 partitions it. I created 2 partitions for my tests, one, NTFS, the other FAT 32.

    TI 9.3667 running in Win XP SP2 cannot create a valid archive to the external USB2 HD. - on either the NTFS or FAT32 partitions. Error: Archive is corrupted. :thumbd:
    [and yes, this error also occurs in Windows copying large files to external USB2, so it is not unique to TI. No memory errors. Hard drives all fine]. Source, new internal SATA system drive, on the mobo SATA. I even disabled the PCI SATA card for the test, just in case the Plextor DVDR or 3rd SATA HD were causing conflicts with the mobo nForce2 SATA chipset...

    Next, since I had luck earlier using Boot Mode to write an archive to an external SATA enclosure, I tested creating an Archive in TI 9.0.3667 Boot Mode.

    16 GB image of 3 partitions; source: internal SATA system drive on the mobo SATA; destination: external USB2 drive, FAT 32 partition. Which created four @4 GB files, took 35 minutes, and validated successfully!!! :thumb:

    So, TI Boot Mode seems to be able to use the USB subsystems on my mobo better than either Windows XP Pro SP2 or TI running in Windows. Any ideas on whyo_O?

    From what I've read, TI doesn't update Boot Mode as often, and Boot Mode may be a better match for my older motherboard/cpu/memory? If so, I'd best hang onto this version of the boot mode TI, so that I don't get left behind when it gets updated...

    Since I'm beginning to think this all centers around the mobo/nForce2 chipset problems, I've written Gigabyte support to see what they can/will do about my mobo's issues with USB/SATA.

    Mobo: GA-7N400S-L w/ f-5 bios (Which doesn't have the bios support of the pro-level board, nor modded bioses available.)

    I just tested once more to be certain...don't want to report what isn't so...TI 9.3667 Archive, in Win XP, int. SATA to ext. USB2 HD, only 2 GB this time, result: Archive corrupted.

    I also notice that, at least on my system, running in Windows, TI writes at a much faster speed than in Linux Boot Mode. Could this be part of the problem, as it seems to be with Direct-to-DVD?
     
  13. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Posts:
    649
    Location:
    London, England
    I have had considerable success with Enermax EB305C enclosures.

    They accept both IDE and SATA disks. Installing a disk is very straightforward. All cables and connectors supplied. Separate power supply and ON/OFF switch. Cooling is provided by the aluminium case which acts as a heatsink, very effective and quiet because there is no fan. Tested with a disk brand that is known to run very hot and the cooling arrangement worked perfectly under continuous heavy disk usage.

    Good professional quality product at a very good price. Looks good and works very well under Windows XP. Also - and most importantly - works well with TI9. Transfer speeds are about 30% more than for an internal disk, which is good by USB standards.

    Click here for more info : http://www.enermax.com.tw/english/product_peripherals_detail.asp?PrID=32

    Click here for a review: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/shopper/reviews/87639/enermax-laureate-eb305cs.html
     
  14. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Posts:
    293
    Location:
    North Carolina USA
    I'm happy to report that I just completed my first successful image from internal SATA to external USB HD!

    The key to success was installing an Adaptec PCI USB controller, since my mobo chipset seems to be problematic.

    Tests copying large files with Windows Explorer, and Archives created with True Image 9.3677 both succeeded. Verified!

    Thanks to all for your invaluable assistance.:thumb:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.