True Image trashed a Dell Dimension

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ackray, Jun 20, 2006.

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  1. ackray

    ackray Registered Member

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    Hi
    I recently started using True Image Home version 9.0 (build 3,633). I am using it in a small hotel office setup with 4 workstations and an argosy HD-363N SAN device. The workstations are all Dell Dimension 3000. In this setup one of the workstations is set up as a file server for the reservation database and the others all point to it.

    All of the workstations had a Dell partition boot Manager running for system restore. Apparently when you create a secure zone and then run the startup recovery manager it trashes the FAT on the HD.

    Does anyone know of a workaround for this?
     
  2. N0XPD

    N0XPD Registered Member

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    For what it's worth, every time I try to use TI9 build 3633 on my Dell Optiplex GX240 (test machine) with a clean install of XP Pro from the Dell XP CD the MBR is corrupted. I can seem to image to my external USB HD and make recovery disks from that, but the SZ and the Boot Manager seem to not work. I get BSOD.

    Might this just be with Dell PC's?

    I would not think so because it's NOT the OEM HD, and I delete all the partitions installing on "C" being the only partition.

    I'm trying to find a reliable imaging solution to recommend to customers, Ghost 2003 does not seem to work with newer PC's 100% of the time, and I'm hoping Acronis is the answer, but I'm not real impressed right now.
     
  3. egghead

    egghead Registered Member

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    If the creation of the secure zone changes the MBR, it will be impossible to restore the factory image stored in the Dell Restore Partition. :mad:

    See
    http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    From what I understand (I don't use either) creating the Secure Zone does not alter the MBR but the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager does.
     
  5. N0XPD

    N0XPD Registered Member

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    Agreed, on my test machine I deleted all the partitions and created a new single "C". This was not the OEM HD, so there was none of the Dell partitions there to begin with. This was a clean CD install of XP Pro SP2 from the Dell XP CD. It just seems as though the new MBR that TI creates either fails or it somehow incompatible with Dell PC's because of them being proprietary in some way. I am little more than a lay person, so that is my best explanation of my experience. Any thoughts?

    thanks
     
  6. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Are you referring to pressing the "F11 + Control" with Dell computers, and it taking the computer back to the first day you got. If so, ...why would you want to?
    First, they put SOOOO much garbage and crap on a computer. Most of it is Standard or Limited Edition software - which means you have to buy the program if you really want to use it. Booting up a New Dell takes forever with all the crap running in the background.
    Second, they partition the HD with that special F11 restore feature which is totally uselss unless you want to restore your Dell to the day you got it --2 years from now.
    Also, using the F11 feature means you'll always have to always "Over Write" software and drivers that are already on the computer (video graphics, sound, ethernet, DVD-Rom + Burner Firmware updates, and much more). Also, it's recommended that when you update the BIOS, you should Reinstall XP.

    I really advise you guys to forget about restoring to the day you got it out the box. It's useless. A Fresh Install of XP (Home or Pro) is recommended because you'll get all the trash off the computer, and put programs YOU want on it. I believe in it so much, and have done so often...that I now call it..."Operation Wipe-Out"! It's very healthy for a computer to have the OS freshly installed. You'll see a HUGE difference in performance as well.

    Currently, I have 2 Dells (Dem 8400, and a XPS400). I did "Operation Wipe Out" immediately upon their arrival,..and then later, put Acronis on both. Didn't have any problems making the Backup, or Restoring it. The box beside "Restore MBR" was also checked during the process. Everything verified, and validated afterwords. I'm running a WD Raptor 74gb 10,000rpm HD, and haven't had any problems with Acronis v3633.

    NOTE:: Once you Re-Install XP on a Dell, it wipes-out that "F11 + Control" feature, so you might as well delete that partition during the Install. Then you'll have as Solid C:/ Drive..with NO partitions.
     
  7. egghead

    egghead Registered Member

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    "Are you referring to pressing the "F11 + Control" with Dell computers, and it taking the computer back to the first day you got."

    Yes, I'm referring to that

    " If so, ...why would you want to?"

    Maybe because your magical TI messed things up ;)

    "I really advise you guys to forget about restoring to the day you got it out the box. It's useless."

    Not useless, but I did not get it to work. Reason probably was that I partitioned my C drive. If I remember well when you make a partition F11 does not work anymore.
    <snip>

    edited to remove software plug - Detox
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2006
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I quite agree with your assessment of most of the software they provide being little more than junk and going back to day 1 is actually less desireable than reloading XP and your desired apps.

    However, if a person wishes to take advantage of Dell support it might be detrimental not have the standard setup with the Dell specific partitions. What Dell has provided in the way of XP and other CDs is also a consideration before blowing it away.
     
  9. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    You're probably referring to the "Resource CD's" that have all the drivers you need to Reinstall XP. These disc's contain your Chipset, Video, Sound, Ethernet, and other drivers you need.

    Dell's Tech Support will NOT turn you away just for Re-Installing Windows XP. Of course, they would PREFER you do "F11 + Control" because it saves them time from sitting on the phone with you. But...this is a "true blessing" because you can't understand half of the people you speak to, ...and they DON'T KNOW CRAP about a computer!! They'll have you doing all kinds of things to it. Before you know it, you won't be able to boot it up. :blink: o_O
    You're better off learning the ends and outs of Reinstalling XP anyday...than to sit for hours with Dell's "Tech Support".

    A lot of people never Re-Install XP. They just keep piling software and drivers upon top of one another. Then wonder why they get an "Error" with the Video Card settings.
    (Example: Your computer has version 12 for the Video card software & drivers, and 2 months later ...version 13 comes out. You download the new update, ..."Uninstall" the old version. Then Install the new. ====_2 months later_....version 14 comes out, and you do the same thing)Now, imagine doing this to a lot of other programs as well.
    This is solid ground for Error's and conflicts. Everything on a computer is in the "Registry", and WILL conflict sooner or later...if you do the method above.

    Overall...you're just better off Re-Installing XP ...rather than Uninstalling a hundred programs, and Reinstalling them (updates).
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  10. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    as far as i understand the secure zone, if you don't activate the Startup Recovery Manager, it will only add a new partition to the HDD which naturally has to be registered in the MBR/partition table.

    These systems with their own recovery feature (ok, namely i only know my IBM) seem to react allergic to everything that modifies the MBR. The cause seems to be, that there is a proprietary "link" pointing to the recovery partition. If one now goes and overwrites the MBR, ie. for updating the partition setup, this link gets lost and therefore the recovery partition gets useless.

    So like others recommended already, i would go for a clean XP install, with my own programs and then create a secure zone or use the server to store my own "recovery image".
     
  11. ackray

    ackray Registered Member

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    Wow, I completely agree with what everyone has said. :)

    Dell's come pre-loaded with junk. Something that all OEM's do and it is really annoying. Supporting the trailware that comes on those machine is a pain.

    However the problem here is about licensing. We do not have a Dell OEM install disk for windows and the one disk I have has already been used to rebuild this workstation. I would need to purchase another disk. Most clients do not like spending more money on something they already purchased.

    Right, the Startup Recovery Manager is what I am thinking caused the problem. A conflict between Dell's CTRL + F11 and Acronis's F11. I would much prefer to use the Acronis solution as Dell's recovery option is indeed a joke.

    Just as a note, I backed up the new clean machine after reinstalling all of the programs that they use and the image size was around two and a half gigs. I then backed up another identical machine with all of the Dell crap and whats been collected from general use in about six months. This backup was around nine and a half gigs! :blink: The my documents folders do not contain much either.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    There is a chance that some of the extra size can be accounted for by System Restore. If enabled, its default settings can allow it to build restore point histories up to around 10% of the partition size.
     
  13. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    As long as you have a license for Windows, it should not be a problem to install it from another setup source. You could try to use "nlite" on the Dell's I386 folder (but AFAIR especially Dell is known to be problematic as souirce for a clean disk) or find another Windows Installation-CD which accepts Dells key.
    AFAIK this would be perfectly legal, since the license is what you need, where you "find" the setup files is irrevelant.

    Just my point of view.
     
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