TI_10, Consolidation, NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, USB Cable

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bbtaylor, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. bbtaylor

    bbtaylor Registered Member

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    I use WinXP SP2 in classic view mode. My menu navigation might be different than yours.

    I spent a lot of time trying to get TI_10 to work for me because it seems it must be working for some folks, as well as because I haven't seen my issues specifically mentioned anywhere else in this forum. And, I didn't want to have to learn anew the issues of some other backup program. For example, I've used Retrospect before and the arcain terminology and user interface structure was difficult to understand (I work with computers just about all day long, every day, as an engineer. So I wouldn't have guessed Retrospect_7 would have been as confusing/convoluted to me as it was. Plus after a system corruption during an uninstall of Nortons software, it didn't get my PC working properly again -- although that might be due to my business_class_notebook's built in security hardware).

    Perhaps this will save someone the many, many, many painful hours that I've put in to getting Acronis True Image 10 to [apparently] work as intended.

    If any of the following has been resolved in the TI_11 release, please let me know.

    These are my issues (which I grant, could be an exception to the rule -- perhaps due to software conflicts, etc)...

    Incremental backup set consolidation did not work using FAT32 file system on my external HD (MyBook Essential 320GB). When the size quota was reached for the first set of original backup files (about a dozen 4GB files), TI Home 10 would create a second set of many GBytes of additional temporary files, and then delete only the first 4GB file of the dozen files created during the initial full backup.

    Consolidation continued with a third set of many temporary files while ALL_but_one of the first full backup files remained UN-deleted, and all of the second set temp files also remained. After the third set of backup files was created (remember that now two sets are temp files), TI_10 reported that it failed due to a missing file. The log shows that it knew that "specified file does not exist" before it even started the prolonged third set of files.

    I don't know what the cause of the "missing file" was, but I believe it's apparent that something is not being done properly when the consolidation process does not delete ALL of the original full backup instead of just the single FAT32 sized file (4GB).

    So, next I changed the external hard file system to NTFS since using that would create only a single file per each backup operation. This way, when the size quota is met, it will use and delete the "unsplit" single earliest file of the incremental backup set after creating successive temporary files.

    This finally worked with my incremental backups (using more drive space than the quota -- as indicated it would in other posts here).

    However, the following day after converting to NTFS, TI_10 hung when I tried to set up a scheduled time for auto backup. Looking into the system errors (see how below note:#1), I found Event ID 7011 trkwks, dmserver, and shellhwdetection errors. Unfortunately, a web search turned up nothing applicable about these.

    I spent many hours of fussing (using TI's repair installation program, uninstalling other software, restoring to past times, etc). Then I remembered I had read on this forum that the USB cable has been an issue with Acronis TI. I checked the cable and it seems I must have grabbed the wrong spare cable when I had connected the external hard drive. I had two MyBook HDrives so I was able to find another USB cable that looked the same as the better looking cable on my other MyBook. It was a few inches shorter and the cable was thicker (as though it had better isolation/transmission qualities). Amazingly, this made the operating system errors cease. These operating system errors were caused by an Acronis piece of software as I could later see in the error reports (see next paragraph). Once Acronis caused these errors, they affected OS performance for other things besides the Acronis TI application (hanging things such as drive letter re-assignment).

    So I finally got past that problem, but that's not the end of it. You have to be careful about repairing TI using the installation repair program. Seems the repair installation remembers something about the identity/drive letter of backup NTFS drive that might not be the same as what the TI application remembers. If you change the drive letter (see note #2 below), the TI application and the repair install program might get out of sync and then you might start getting application errors along with system errors showing up in the event viewer.

    Perhaps I should have done a complete uninstall and fresh reinstall of TI when the drive letter changes caused problems, but I thought I might lose my Backup_Locations by doing that. Then I wouldn't be able to refer to my previous backups using Backup_Locations. Can someone tell me whether this is correct?

    To get around this, I removed the external NTFS HD and changed the drive letter of another FAT32 drive to be the same as what the NTFS drive was. This way, the repair program would have to no longer expect the NTFS drive to show up at the previous drive letter. The repair worked. Then I changed the FAT32 drive assignment back to it's original letter and plugged the NTFS drive back in. This worked. It would be hard to describe the full process I used here, but this is the gist of it.

    I have a feeling I haven't seen the end of drive letter assignment issues.

    Has anyone had experiences like this? Most important for me now, is to know about how to best manage NTFS drive letter assignments so Acronis doesn't screw me up again if I use the repair_install utility again.


    Notes:
    #1) Settings, ControlPanel, Adminisrtative Tools, EventViewer. Look in "Application" and "System". I have seen Event ID 7011 trkwks, dmserver, and shellhwdetection errors.

    #2)To change drive letter assignments: right click "My Computer" desktop icon, Manage, Storage/Disk_Managment. Then right click a drive and "change drive letter and Paths", Change.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2007
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Drive letter issues? .... this is a job for ... tadaaaaaaaaa.....

    Okay we'll wait for him to come by. But it's odd, I've been using True Image from ver. 7 and haven't had a drive letter issue yet. Mind you I currently use ver 9 build 3677 and have no intention to go to any later version since this one works for me even with Vista. I also use only the Rescue CD to do all my TI proceedures, and do not do any automatic scheduled backups.
     
  3. bbtaylor

    bbtaylor Registered Member

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    Can someone from Acronis (or some other expert TI_10 user) state whether or not consolidation is fully supported for incremental backup sets on FAT32 formatted external USB drives? Seems it would be good to provide the answer here since I don't believe this has been addressed anywhere else.

    Also, are there procedures to use to assure that the installation repair utility does not fail (as it did for me) after an NTFS drive assignment change has been made?

    Thank you.
     
  4. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The TI help pages for Version 10 and probably Version 11 do not state that the backup "Locations" facility will not work properly with FAT 32 files. AFAIK this also is an omission in the dowloadable manuals.
    Perhaps this limitation is detailed in a sticky somewhere but I have not found it.

    Will Acronis please confirm that FAT32 should not be used with backup locations and amend their documentation to reflect this.

    Xpilot
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I do not use the "locations" facility myself but I understand that it cannot work properly with any split .tibs be they as the result of using FAT 32 or deliberate splitting to copy them later to DVDs. Just glad that I do not use them either.

    Xpilot
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I don't think you can consolidate base and incs/diffs is they are split files -- which easily happens with FAT lmitiations, so FAT doesn't sound ammenable to Locations.
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello bbtaylor,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that we have not heard about such problems of Acronis True Image 10.0 Home before and so we would like to investigate this one with your assistance, if you have time for this of course. Could you please collect some information?

    - Please download the latest version of Acronis drivers and install it with enabled logging;
    - Reproduce the issue and collect the log file without closing any application windows (including the error message windows if there are any). The log file will be created at C:\ . The name of the log file will be snapapi [date-time].log

    Please create Acronis Report and Windows System Information as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Please also collect the application log of the operation:
    - run the program;
    - select Show log on the toolbar or from the Tools menu;
    - select the log with error messages;
    - click "Save the log entry to file" (the diskette icon).

    Then submit a request for technical support. Attach all the collected files and information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with a solution.

    Regarding the problem with changing drive letters: please be aware that Acronis True Image addresses hard drives by their device numbers, so cahnging drive letters will most likely confuse existing tasks.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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  9. bbtaylor

    bbtaylor Registered Member

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    Because my TI_10 works after I converted two of my three external MyBook Essential HDrives to NTFS from FAT32, I am not interested in going back to put more time into this. However, please contact me again if you would like to hire me to work on this. Of course, I still welcome any feedback offered.

    I've attached the whole log file that goes along with the jpeg view of my backup folder while in progress. Match the file creation times to the times in the log file. The first file in the original backup set was "2007...D1.TIB". You can see that it was deleted. The second set of temp files were created during lines 47 thru 54 of the jpeg log file shown below (that was the third set of files).

    One thing that I had done that might be considered unusual is that I reduced the size quota slightly after saving a few incremental backups so that it would hit that quota and consolidate upon the next incremental backup. I made sure there were a few incrementals so that the consolidation would put the backup size below the quota after it was complete.

    I'll look into device numbers versus drive letters.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2007
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Xpilot,

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Please notice that the mentioned thread concerns a different issue. Specifically, Acronis Backup Location is created on NAS, as opposed to USB external drive in this thread.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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