TrueImage 11 corrupted my backup drive's partition

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by TomLocke, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. TomLocke

    TomLocke Registered Member

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    Hi, all...

    I'm a registered user of TrueImage 11 and wanted to report a serious issue that I encountered today. I don't have exact version numbers handy, because I'm currently in the process of reformatting the corrupted drive. Here is the information I can provide:

    First off: Windows XP, SP3. I typically back up two drives (C and D) to an external USB Lacie drive (G). Have had no problems until today, until the following occurred:

    Started TrueImage. When the initial dialog came up, it analyzed C and D's partitions, and then I realized that my USB drive wasn't plugged in (it was powered on but not connected to the machine). I connected the drive, and waited a good 15 seconds for it to fully mount. Clicked on "Backup and Restore".

    At this point, a dialog popped up saying, "Analyzing partitions..." I'd never seen this dialog before, presumably because I'd always had my USB drive connected prior to starting TrueImage in the past.

    As this dialog was on-screen and TrueImage was doing its thing, a Windows notification popped up in the tray (two or three times), saying "Delayed write failure, $bitmap". I'm sure about the "delayed write failure" part; I'm pretty certain (though not 100%) about the "$bitmap" part.

    After I closed the Windows notifications, I waited for the TrueImage dialog to close to continue the backup. The dialog never closed. After six hours, I was forced to shut down TrueImage.exe via Task Manager.

    I restarted TrueImage and was presented with a few error messages. I don't recall the exact verbiage, but they were along the lines of "unable to access/read partition".

    I rebooted, and upon coming back up, I found that my USB G drive had a corrupted partition. Windows indicated that "the drive is not formatted". I started TrueImage, and it displayed G as "FS partition 0x****" (**** being some hex value which I didn't make a note of). In any event, G wasn't identified as an NTFS or FAT partition.

    I was forced to re-format G and will proceed with another backup.

    In any event, I found this whole situation to be entirely un-nerving. Had this occurred on either of my two primary drives, I would have had major, major issues.

    If you need exact version or build numbers, I'll provide them as needed. All I know off the top of my head is that I haven't installed any updates, as I never had any issues until today.

    Any feedback is welcomed.

    -Tom
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  2. oldaussiedog

    oldaussiedog Registered Member

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    Tom,

    I'm not sure about the Lacie drive, but I have seen first hand what can happen when you plug in a USB drive that is already powered up from a mains adaptor. In my case it was a Western Digital Elements 1TB USB drive and I not only had data on the drive corrupted, but the mains adaptor died in the process and had to be replaced. This had nothing to do with Acronis software.

    The instructions for the WD drive do clearly indicate that the USB connection should be set up before power is turned on. I know that the USB port does provide wakeup/sleep signals for the drive so perhaps the corruption has something to do with that. So much for USB Hot plug in - I haven't made that mistake again.
     
  3. TomLocke

    TomLocke Registered Member

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    Well, I've been doing it "both" ways for ages -- power on, then USB connect, and vice-versa, and never had any issues. Never even really dawned on me that either way was correct (or at least preferred).

    I guess having TrueImage running was just one more variable in the whole thing...

    Any other input is welcomed -- and thanks!

    -Tom
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    "Delayed write failures" to USB drives are not specific to True Image. You can go to the USB drive properties in Device Manager IIRC and turn off write caching if it is on and see if it helps.
     
  5. TomLocke

    TomLocke Registered Member

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    My problem was not the delayed write failure; I believe that was simply a side-effect of what else was occurring. Seeing as how my issue is something that has occurred once and is not a recurring problem, it's unlikely that any write cache setting is the issue here.

    I'm not blaming TrueImage just for the sake of pointing fingers. TrueImage may not have *caused* the corruption, but it definitely contributed to it, given the course of events that led up to the failure.
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    This issue caused by device plugging during the backup creation, the safest way is to plug and turn on the device prior running our program.

    Let me explain several common reasons of delayed write errors:

    1. Problems with a device driver, especially a SCSI or RAID device driver. Some RAID device drivers are known to issue spurious "Delayed Write Failed" errors in XP Service Pack 2. Most manufacturers have been alerted to this, so check to make sure the disk drivers are up-to-date.

    2. Cabling problems. A faulty or broken cable -- especially for an external USB or Firewire enclosure—can generate this error. It can also happen if the cable is too long, or if it is hooked up through a hub that isn't up to spec. Another possible culprit is if you have a UDMA drive that requires an 80-pin cable, and you are using a 40-pin cable.

    3. SCSI termination errors. This has become less likely with the advent of self-terminating SCSI hardware, but it shouldn't be counted out.

    4. Media errors. This is the worst possible scenario -- essentially, drive failure.

    5. BIOS settings on the computer are forcing faster UDMA modes than the drive controller can handle. This is unlikely, especially with newer hardware (which can support UDMA far more flexibly), but it can usually be fixed with a BIOS upgrade, or by resetting the BIOS entries for the hard drives to auto-detect settings. Devices set to UDMA Mode 6 that produce this error, for instance, might need to be set to Mode 5.

    6. Controller issues. I've observed that USB controllers that contend strongly with other hardware can produce this error. In systems that have both "long" and "short" PCI slots (i.e., 64-bit and 32-bit), try moving the USB controller to the long slot. Older PCI cards will not fit in such a slot.

    7. Memory parity issues. If the problem appears after installing new memory, the memory in question may be faulty or not of the correct type for the motherboard in question. (This may go hand-in-hand with other problems such as random lockups, too.)

    8. The LargeSystemCache Registry tweak and video adapters. One peculiar set of circumstances that has been observed on multiple machines with video adapters and more than 512MB of memory involves the LargeSystemCache Registry setting, a DWORD entry found in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management. This setting governs the amount of memory set aside by the system for certain kernel processes. If it's set to 1 (which allegedly improves performance on systems with more than 512MB of memory), it can cause data corruption on some systems, and produce the "Delayed Write Failed" error. Try resetting it to 0 if it's been set.

    So, the main recommendation is to turn your device on, then run our software and let it analyze the partitions.

    If the issue still persists, please feel free to use our Live Chat service. We will do our best to investigate the problem and provide you with a solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexander Nikolsky
     
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