True Image 9 invalid backup or corrupted--fix

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by tbzep, Jan 29, 2008.

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  1. tbzep

    tbzep Registered Member

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    I've had TI 9.0 about a year. It's always made backups as easy as pie, and has always been flawless recovering a few files from within the program running on WinXP that were accidently deleted and eventually removed from the recycle bin. I've thought it was an excellent application until tonight.

    My wife got a trojan downloader (thus many more viruses) on her laptop that I couldn't remove without extreme measures, so I decided to finally use the program for it's true purpose, or for what I bought it for anyway, to restore a complete hard drive from a backup. With the recovery disk in hand, it should have been a simple 1-2-3 step process. But nooooo! After getting verified backup files every time I made backups, I found tonight that all of my backups were either invalid files or were corrupted.

    I got on the internet and read all evening. Almost everything I've read said that it's my computer's fault...bad memory, bad PSU, bad this, bad that, bad the other. I couldn't believe it was our computer, but I couldn't prove it because I couldn't even boot back into WinXP. Her laptop is the only WinXP computer left in the house. Two others are running Ubuntu Linux (great OS!) and one of them is dual booting Vista, which locked up when I tried to install 9.0 to see if it would read my external drive's backup files.

    I found only a small handful of people that said this is a problem with the Acronis backup disk, and that Acronis wouldn't or couldn't fix it. I decided to download the trial version of TI 11.0 and install it on the Vista machine and create a new recovery disk. With the new disk in hand, I booted the wife's laptop. It instantly recognized the .tib files and I started my recovery. It is currently about 50% into a complete disk recovery and still chugging along.

    Personally, I think this (or preferably a more concise version) should be a sticky for the folks with 9.0, with TI9.0 and corrupted files in the title. I'm sure it's in more than one thread, but that stuff gets buried and the search feature is worthless when it maxes out at 1000 hits on corrupted files. Folks that have 9.0 should give this a try before fooling with memory tests, buying new high end ECC ram, swapping PSU's, etc. It's worth a shot. I was lucky and had more than one computer capable of going online to research and download the trial TI 11.0 and fix my problem. I feel sorry for those who only had one computer and purchased the bugged 9.0 and lost all their precious data.

    Do I like the product? I love how easily it backs up and restores files while running in Windows. I hate that once Windows gets toasted that the recovery disk is a complete failure (the 9.0 disk). Will I keep using Acronis TI? I've paid for it, so if the recovery finishes tonight and her computer gets going again, I will. If it doesn't complete the recovery, I'll switch to Ghost or just buy the biggest external drive I can find and do a straight disk image and forget about backup software all together.
     
  2. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    What build of TI9 are you using? I've been using TI9 for two years and have not had a failed restore. If you're not using build 3677 or build 3854(latest) you ought to update to one of them. If you read this forum you will see that TI11 is no prize either and is one of the worst releases yet. You just learned a valuable lesson. You must test the restore and not assume that it will work.
     
  3. Peter Mac

    Peter Mac Registered Member

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    He tested the restore and it said it was valid.

    I made two images of Acronis TI 9 tonight.
    I verified them--they were valid. Then I copied them to a USB drive.
    The hard driver transfer somehow corrupted both of them. They won't work.

    Are you saying TI 11 can read corrupted TI 9 images?
     
  4. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    hi peter mac. plz read this post i made early this day >> https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=198888

    and for tbzep your problem is very familiar . the chance its your hardware problem is insignificant small.

    the image making process implement some mechanism into the image. if some thing went bad .. the file want work. also as big it is the vulnerable it is :)

    cheers :D
     
  5. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Note that avery 250K or so, ATI creates and embeds a checksum when creating a backup. When ATI declares an archive corrupt during a validation procedure what is is actually reporting is that it read the file, did checksums and these did not compare with the chckesums ATI made when it created the file. When it declares a backup corrupt during a restore process, it's actually reporting that it cannot read the file.

    Sometimes these conditions happen because ATI can't read a file correctly on aparticular drive (usually USB), not because there is anything wrong with the file.

    If file is moved to a usb drive and is reported corrupt by ATI, trying moving it back and see if it willvalidate. If so, then ATI has a prob with your USB --especially if it is declared invalid when using the BootCD but not when validating within windows. If not, then you probably have a problem with one of your drives or possibly your memory.
     
  6. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Validating the image using TI and running an actual restore are not the samething. Until you have actually run a test restore you don't know for sure that it will work when you need it. He said he restored a few files not a complete image.
     
  7. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    It's possible that ATI 9 has a bproblem reading the files on the USB and so declares them corrupt while ATI 11 can read from that disk. No version of ATI can restore or validate tibs that are actually corrupt. It has no corrective feature.
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Sheiber's statement that a corrupt archive message really means TI can't read the file is right on the mark. You can validate all you want using Windows, you can mount and restore some files using Windows all you want but guess what - when the active partition needs to be restored it isn't Windows or the Windows version of TI that does the work. It is the Linux version either on the rescue CD or booted up from your HD during the restore.

    If the Linux drivers or anything else has problems with your hardware it doesn't work. Very few applications are actually as stringent as TI since it must have perfect agreement with 4000 checksums per gigabyte of archive - 1 bad bit and the archive is declared corrupt. A further benefit is this test is done on what the data actually transferred and stored in RAM not just at the disk drive level before the data is moved into RAM.

    To be certain you really have an archive that will work with your hardware you must, as has been said many times before, do a test restore. If you don't want to risk it then the next best thing is to boot up the rescue CD and validate the archive with it - not Windows.

    As far as bad hardware goes - yes, it should be fairly rare but it is certainly a possibility and one that is easy to rule in or out as a probable cause. Pretty easy to run memtest86+ or chkdsk /r and if you are serious about things, it isn't a bad idea to run these things from time-to-time anyway. TI assumes your hardware is rock solid and it will show up faults in marginal hardware faster than many diagnostics since it is transferring huge amounts of data as fast as it can go and it is also embedding checksums to validate the result.

    There are various reasons why the corrupt archive message appears and so far there is no magic bullet that fixes all of them. Like most troubleshooting it is a process of elimination starting with the most likely cause or most easy to rule out based on the description provided. Over the years there have been several "Solution for corrupt archives" but none ever fixed all the problems - would have been nice!
     
  9. tbzep

    tbzep Registered Member

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    The build is 3,677. I never ran a test restore because I don't recall it being an option or in the documentation. I expected the software to work as advertised considering that the program ran fine to make the backup image and the program ran fine in Windows to restore a few files. If a program can run in a crappy MS WinXP environment and recognize the .tib file, it should be able to run in its own Linux DOS boot and recognize it's own .tib file. It's ridiculous that it didn't.

    Obviously it was a problem with the recovery software because a newer version recognized the .tib file and restored the computer easily. It's now running just like it was on Dec 14 when I made the last image.

    To be honest, I don't recall an option to do a test restore either within the program or within the documentation. All I recall is the option to verify the integrity of the backup. I did verify the integrity each time I made backups.

    I don't think I should back up a disk and turn right around and try to restore it just to see if it will work. Is that what you guys are calling a "test restore"? If it fails in the middle of it for any reason, I've just screwed up a perfectly good drive of programs and data. On top of that, I don't think I should have to search left and right on a forum to find that advice in the first place. If it is that important, it should have been in the documentation to begin with.

    The last sentence above is the first time I've seen that advise listed anywhere. It's not in my documentation or on the Acronis program that I can remember. It would make a ton of sense to fire up the rescue CD and see if it will validate the archive. I'm sure it's been written on this forum, but that advice is useless for a person with a single computer and no internet access because their computer crashed. They've just found out that their recovery program can't read a perfectly good .tib file. It's a bit too late then to try to go surfing for advise that should have been in big bold print at the top of the documentation.

    The funny thing is that most of my data, photos, etc. are fairly safe because they are on a couple of computers. I mainly bought Acronis to keep me from having to do the hours long process of reinstalling WinXP and associated programs by hand if a major problem developed. If the recovery disk had worked as advertised, it would have been a painless repair...a quick CD boot, a few clicks, and I can walk off and leave it to do it's job. However, after fighting with this problem, the end result is that it would have been easier to reinstall WinXP, download drivers, reinstall other programs, and copy the files and photos back to the computer from one of the other ones. On the bright side, I now have a recovery disk made from TI 11, so future restores should be a piece of cake. I've already chunked the TI 9 recovery disks in the garbage and I'll be making an extra copy of the TI 11 recovery disk for safe keeping.
     
  10. tbzep

    tbzep Registered Member

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    Since this was a laptop, the USB was my only choice. I guess firewire options are available, but it might have had the same problem. I do have a home network. I wonder if it could have read the file if I'd hooked up the drive to one of the other computers and copied it to a shared folder.

    At any rate, the problem was solved and the wife's happy again.
     
  11. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    No, there isn't an option and AFAIK they don't tell you that the recovery environment is not Windows and it may not be able to properly read and validate an archive even though Windows does it.

    You may not think you should back up a disk and then tray and restore it to see if it will work but you should and that doesn't mean only for TI. Where I used to work, when they put a new backup program in place it was tested exhaustively and then when it was put in place, it ran in parallel with the old one for a period of time before it was trusted.

    You are right, if it fails you blew away your disk which is why it is recommended you put in a spare disk and try it.

    The Linux recovery environment is the Achilles heel of TI. There often is a lag between good drivers and the introduction of new hardware; this isn't a problem with Windows because Windows drivers are required for any mainstream product. Also, there are some older systems that have less common hardware and TI may not be aware of a problem until somebody reports it. To be fair, there is no way they can test the software on every possible hardware configuration available.

    Glad you got if resolved!
     
  12. tbzep

    tbzep Registered Member

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    The Ubuntu Linux I'm running right now was really good with drivers on this machine. It's not a cutting edge gaming machine by any means, but it is fairly decent. It sure was easier to install than Windows. :)

    Believe me, I'm glad it's resolved too. I've got my wife off my back and off of my computer. :D
     
  13. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    The OS on your machine isn't the issue for ATI restores; what matters is the implementation of linux that ATI uses to run restores. Acronis changed the linus implementation with version 11. . .


    RE validation: generally, ATI validation means a backup is okay however, it is ony an ersatz indicator. There are important and not uncommon situations where a backup declared invalid is in fact valid and where a backup declared valid can not be restored by ATI. In most of these cases the problem is not bad disks or bad memory but ATI's inability when running under its implementaiton of linux to properly hand some hardware set ups.

    The only acid test is an actual restore -- this will confirm that ATI can make a good backup and restore it on your pariticular hardware set up. The same holds true for any backup/imaging program that I'm aware of.
     
  14. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    TI 11 uses yet another type of algorithm for image verification purely to try and solve this corrupt archive problem. That might be why in this instance it was able to read and not sulk with your image.

    Colin
     
  15. tbzep

    tbzep Registered Member

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    The machine with the restore issue was a WinXP machine. I just meant that open source Linux distros have pretty good hardware compatibility now, so if ATI is using Linux, they should have the same access to drivers. Where Linux seems to have most compatibility problems is with software codecs and such to handle multimedia files. Most of that stuff isn't open source. That doesn't have anything to do with being able to boot a machine, though.

    I'm not trying to start anything about what ATI should be doing with the program itself. They seemed to have fixed the problem I had with ATI 11. However, I do think that I shouldn't have to go to a forum to find out that test restores with the recovery disk should be an essential part of the backup verification process. It should have been in the documentation from the very first version. 95% of the buying public will have no idea that the recovery disk is Linux and may end up having the trouble that I had, especially after the program worked perfectly while running under Windows. A considerable portion of the buying public (home personal use) will only have one computer and won't be able to get on the internet to find answers to problems, or to download an update (or trial version) to fix the problem like I was able to. They would likely never buy the product again because of its failure.
     
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