TrueImage and Dell System Recovery Partitions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by JoeDude, Feb 10, 2006.

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  1. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    I would like to have a backup of the Dell System Restore (DSR) Image for my laptop on DVD. I have Norton Ghost 10.0 but, from my understanding, it won't handle the hidden partitions correctly and CTRL F11 function, which restores all software back to factory condition, would no longer work after an image installation. I have read Acronis True Image handles the hidden partitions better. Does anyone know for sure if Acronis can create a disk image complete with the Dell hidden partitions that when installed would still have CTRL F11 capability? For instance, if I installed a whole new drive would I be able to just load this image to the blank drive and have it like factory? I really like the Dell System Restore but really want a DVD backup in the event the partition gets corrupted, the drive fails or I do something stupid like run Fdisk.
     
  2. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Spend a few minutes searching my previous posts on this subject. I and others have laid out some pretty specific instructions for what you want to do. No sense repeating everything here. If you have specific questions after reviewing those posts, feel free to ask.
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Select the entire Drive 1 when you make the backup image. That way the MBR will also be backed up and can be restored to make the drive function with the Ctrl-F11 capability.
     
  4. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    I have done research on this board and have read the online manual but there really is nothing which says that Acronis True Image can actually create a successful image with CTRL F11 functionality. I did see some reports that if you do install Acronis using the defaults it actually destroys the CTRL F11 functionality. So you can understand my wanting to know specifically what to do and not to do. Is there a thread which specifically has the procedures to create an image which will retain the CTRL F11 functionality?
     
  5. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Check this - it may be what you're looking for:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=108656
     
  6. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    Thanks for the link. I will not be cloning to another installed drive as this is a laptop unit. I wanted to burn to a DVD but I see in another recent post True Image doesn't burn directly to DVD. I have an external USB/ieee 1394 drive which I could use. Would the procedure be the same to back up to an external drive? I don't think using CDs would be an option as it would take so many to complete. Also, would the trial version allow me to do this to see if it works? As I understand it the trial doesn't allow restore.

    Thanks
     
  7. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello JoeDude,

    TI can image "direct" to DVD, albeit with the help of third-party UDF packet writing software. Check out <Acronis True Image 9.0 Online FAQ #27> plus this <previous reply> for more details.

    Imaging direct to an external HD should be no problem. After the image has been created verify it by means of the Check Archive Wizard. Also, boot from the Acronis rescue CD (the Full mode) and check that the external HD and image are detected correctly (USB and/or Firewire connection).

    The trial version of TI 9 has the following limitations:

    Windows mode - Full funtionality during 15 day trial period.
    Bootable rescue CD/floppies - Restore function only (no time limit).

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  8. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    Thanks again for the help. Following are the steps I took, please let me know if what I did resulted in an image that should retain CTRL F11. I really can't test it because if there is a problem with the image and I write over my drive it creates the problems I am trying to prevent.

    I first did a factory restore using the CTRL F11 and went through the basic computer setup. I then installed my USB 2.0 drive and formated the drive since it had some errors and I wanted a fresh start and have it formatted under Win XP. I download the trial version and I installed it on my Dell Laptop. I had a little trouble getting True Image to install as Norton Internet Security must have been blocking my outbound registration. I turned it off and it accepted the registration. I used the custom installation setting and made sure not to set up a secure zone or the recovery manager. After the program was installed I did the following:

    1. Selected Backup
    2. Entire Disk
    3. Selected Disk 1 and made sure everything was checked
    4. Selected USB drive
    5. Created New Full Backup
    6. Accepted the default backup options and created the image

    After the image was created I burned a rescue CD. I then used the check archive wizzard as suggested and saw all 3 of the partitions including the 2 dell hidden partitions. It ran the check and reported operation succesfully completed. Finally, I used F12 to change my boot sequence and booted from the recovery CD and selected USB support. The CD was able to see my USB drive and the newly created image.

    Hopefully I did everything correctly. I did run into a problem when I tried to copy the image to a second USB drive. It won't let me copy it and reports there isn't enough room on the disk. The image is only about 7gigs and I have over 200gigs of free space on the drive. Any idea why I can't copy the image over to the other drive? Lastly does the rescue CD have full restore capabilities or must I burn a new one after purchase?

    Thank you!
     
  9. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Everything you listed looks good. However,.......

    You will NEVER know if it works until you restore the image!!!!!

    Nothing short of restoring it and rebooting will finally prove its effectiveness. You've exhausted the limits of a trial so now you have to either buy the program and use it for what it was designed or live with all those creeping doubts. :eek:

    If it will help, I have used TI8 for over a year and hundreds of times to do what you say you want to do and it works for me on my system. You can't say that until you buy the full program and try it on your system.

    The only thing I would do that you haven't done is to freshly Dell PC Restore my drive; boot with the full TI program-burned Rescue CD; and make a full backup on CD's. It's tedious but the best insurance you can have against future restore problems.

    So, get off the dime, spend a few bucks, live dangerously and restore your image, then move on..... o_O
     
  10. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    Thanks, I was planning to copy the image onto DVD but I might just take the CD approach. One thing, you mention boot from the full program rescue disk and do the backup to CD. Does this mean one can make a back up image directly from this CD? If so, if I bought the retail version, which as I understand already has the bootable rescue disk, would it be possible to make an image without even installing the program to the harddrive? If this is possible I would think one could make a backup while the computer is in Dell's "sealed" condition? I guess you would just interrupt the reboot after a CTRL F11 restore by hitting F12, boot from the rescue CD and then do the image.
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi again JoeDude,

    There have been reports of corrupted images when verified from within the Linux based rescue environment. Therefore, the only thing I would add is that, after upgrading to the full version of TI 9.0, create a new Acronis bootable rescue CD and then use the Check Archive Wizard after booting from it. I didn't include this in Post #7 above as the Trial version rescue CD doesn't have the capability to verify an image.

    Ummm, let me guess - the first USB hard drive was NTFS formatted whilst the second one was FAT32 formatted. If I'm correct then your 7GB image will exceed the 4GB maximum file size limitation of a FAT32 disk when you try to copy it across.

    The recue CD created by the trial version of True Image isn't fully functional. Therefore, yes, you need to burn a new one after purchasing the full version.

    Regards
     
  12. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    Yes, that is probably the reason I can't copy the file. I reformatted the drive with the image using Win XP so it must be NTFS. The other drive is a Maxtor One Touch and is probably FAT32. I guess I will have to back up the files and reformat it as NTFS.

    Also, in my reply #10 I was trying to determine if the Retail version of the restore disk would enable an image to be created directly from the CD version so a dell "sealed" condition backup might be possible. Would what I outlined actually work?
     
  13. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Let's be real clear about terminology and process or you'll be disappointed with a broken CTL+F11 Dell PC Restore function.....

    Here's what I suggest:
    1) Buy TI and install it so you can burn a full version Rescue CD.
    2) Do a Dell PC Restore. Enter your Windows XP setup info and let the computer boot all the way to the newly restored desktop, then shut down.
    3) Press the Power button and immediately press F12 and when you see the one-time boot menu, set the CD/DVD drive as the boot device.
    4) Insert the TI Rescue CD you just burned and let the machine boot up. You'll see the TI 'create image' selection.
    5) Create an image of the entire drive, selecting the topmost checkbox so the mbr and all three partitions are checked. Proceed through the TI selection menus and choose 650 or 700MB as the image size to match the size of the CD-R's you are using.
    6) TI will allow you to remove the Rescue CD (which is now read into RAM) and begin to insert the CD-R blanks. Have patience because it's a slow process.
    When you're done, you'll have a reliable set of backup CD's which you can restore with virtually 100% certainty and have CTL+F11 functionality.

    When you talk about imaging a Dell sealed drive before the Dell program has been allowed to boot and create its partition structure, there are limitations to TI's ability to successfully image different types of Dell drives. For example, Dell-imaged warranty replacement drives cannot be successfully imaged by TI until after the Dell drive fully executes its initial partition structuring program and fully boots to the desktop. Interrupting the Dell program after a CTL+F11 partial restore without the full program execution will result in a dysfunctional image which, when restored, will fail to boot and/or fail to execute the Dell PC Restore function.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  14. JoeDude

    JoeDude Registered Member

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    Thank you very much!!!
     
  15. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    The only other comments I can offer you are the obvious but sometimes overlooked:

    1) Scan and repair your drive under XP.
    2) Boot into Dell Diagnostics and run the suite.

    Good luck.
     
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