To clone or not to clone

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Peter_L, Jul 20, 2006.

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  1. Peter_L

    Peter_L Registered Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    I believe I goofed using Acronis TRUE IMAGE 9.0 build 2,337
    My primary hard drive is 80GB partitioned ('c' 50GB NTFS, 'd' 30GB FAT32)
    My secondary drive is 40GB partioned ('f ' 25GB NTFS, 'g' 15GB Fat32)
    I cloned my primary drive onto the second drive in my belief that I would be safely backed up. There was enough room on the second drive for all the files contained on the primary. A few days ago I had a problem logging on to the computer (kept coming back to the XP logon screen). It was time to recover so I cloned the secondary drive back to the primary. Now I only have access to the 'c' drive. ,'d' 'f ' 'g' drives are no longer listed in XP explorer. 'c' functions normally but the others don't exist.
    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing...Will someone help.
  2. dld

    dld Registered Member

    May 6, 2005
    I suppose you realize that you effectively cloned 80 GB into 40 GB. I didn't think this was possible, but after reading through the User Guide I didn't find anything that said this could not be done.

    I presume also that you chose the Automatic mode of resizing. Did you not get at some point the following window:
    Instead of Acronis SZ you should have seen your 32 GB FAT32 partition.

    Be that as it may, I think your lucky you didn't wipe out your system. At least you have a bootable C: drive.

    In the future why not consider creating an image of your system rather than cloning. You can create multiple images as well as make incremental and differential changes, something you can't do in a clone.
  3. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    Unfortunately you have. It's a shame but sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

    When you cloned your disk, didn't you check to see whether your secondary disk still had two partitions? If the check revealed that you only had one partition then it probably would have had you thinking that the revese would would also occur.

    Unfortunately, when you clone, you wipe all the information off the disk that is being cloned. As the previous poster said, you would be better off to create images of your first disk or, of only C Drive, as D drive backup can be better accomplished using Windows.

    Normally, you only clone when you intend to replace your current disk with a cloned disk. Using cloning as a backup is a waste of a disk as updates involves the whole process all over again. Whereas with an image, you only need to create an increment or a differential.

    I have empathy for you but unfortunately, anything that you had on the other partitions is lost. If you are prepared to pay, you could get someone who specializes in recovery of lost data to try and recover it for you.
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hello Peter_L,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are very sorry for the delay with the response.

    First of all, please be aware that there are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - transfers\copies the entire contents of one disk drive to another;

    Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes;

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more details.

    Generally, 'Clone Disk' approach is used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while the 'Backup' approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes. As you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, we recommend that you follow 'Backup' approach.

    Moreover, there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure such as: you can create an image without rebooting your PC, image creation can be scheduled for the particular point in time, Acronis True Image allows you to create incremental and differential images, image archive contains only the actual data and so it has a smaller size, images are ordinary files and can be stored on any type of the supported media (e.g. any internal, external or networked drives, CD, DVD, ZIP, etc.), etc. However, the final choice is always up to your needs.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 Home in the respective User's Guide.

    Please also note that when doing a disk clone you should unplug one of the hard drives prior to booting into Windows for the first time because keeping two hard drives having identical digital signatures connected at the same time is "unpleasant" for Windows and might cause a number of boot or drive letter assignment problems. See this previous thread for details.

    The above is the most probable reason for both problems you have encountered. Moreover, the inability to log in most likely appeared after you unplugged the second (cloned) hard drive. However, if you did everything correctly then two partitions that disappeared are not lost, but simply have no letters assigned at the moment.

    If that's the case then please go to Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management -> right click on the partition having no letter assigned and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" option in order to assing a letter to this partition. Repeat for another partition.

    If my assumption is not correct then please create Acronis Report as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    If you are unable to boot into Windows for some reason then please create Acronis Report in the following way:

    - Download and run Acronis Report Utility;
    - Select the "Create Bootable Floppy" option;
    - Insert a blank floppy disk in the A: drive and proceed with creation of the bootable floppy;
    - Boot the computer having the issue from this beforehand created diskette and wait for the report creation process to finish;
    - Collect the report file from the floppy.

    Please also describe actions taken before the problem appeared step-by-step.

    Then please submit a request for technical support. Provide the report.txt file collected in your request along with the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    Alexey Popov
  5. Peter_L

    Peter_L Registered Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Thanks to all for your replies and help.
    Thanks especially to Acronis support, your instructions solved my problem, all I had to do was assign letters to the partitions.
    Sorry for the delay I was offline for a while.
    Peter L
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