Unable to Boot after System Restore

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Lewis68, Jul 2, 2006.

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  1. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I was running Windows XP SR-2 on RAID 0 using two 60GB drives, but one drive failed. So I decided to use only one drive and restore the system not using RAID.

    The drive had four partitions, C: System, D: Work, E: Apps and F: Data. I have Drive Images of the System and Apps partitions using True Image 9.0. The Work and Data drives are backed up by other means.

    I recreated the partitions using Partition Magic 8.0. Then I restored the System and Apps partition using True Image 9.0 Recovery Manager Boot CD. However, it did not boot. It hangs before it gets to the Windows screen. I decided to test the backup and restore process. So I installed Windows clean, and made a backup image. I restored the image using the Boot CD, but had the Same problem, no boot.

    I then read on the forums about True Image 9.1 and Universal Restore. I purchased it and created a Boot CD using it. I restored the System again using the new boot CD, but it still hangs.

    I'm at a loss. Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jelenko

    jelenko Registered Member

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    I've found that after drives are in a RAID array, they must have their master boot record erased to work as a single drive. Deleting and recreating the partition isn't enough.

    I've used Hitachi's Drive Fitness Tool [I mainly use Hitachi drives]. The mfg of your drive should have similar tools for download.

    Using the Recovery Console in XP and running fixboot and fixmbr might work [I haven't tried that].

    HTH
     
  3. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll check into the MBR drive tool. I did try the FIXMBR, but it didn't work.

    However, I don't understand why the Test Backup/Restore didn't work.

    1. I installed Windows clean on C, and it booted fine.
    2. I made a backup image of C on another drive, from within Windows.
    3. I reformatted the C drive.
    4. I restored the C drive from the Boot CD.
    5. It didn't boot.

    That tells me there's something else wrong. How can I depend on this software if a simple test doesn't work.

    Could the HD have problems? If so, why can I install Windows and run it fine?

    Any idea's?
     
  4. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    UPDATE!

    1. I created two primary partitions.
    2. I installed Windows clean on Primary Partition 1.
    3. I installed TI 9.0, and restored the System Image on Primary Partition 2 from within Windows.
    4. I made the 2nd partition Active, and hid the 1st one.
    5. I changed the boot.ini to boot from the 2nd partition.

    I rebooted and it worked!

    So when I restored from within Windows it works, but when I tried restoring from the Boot CD, it didn't. Anybody know why that is, or have a similar experience?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Determining the exact source of a problem is often a matter of a process of elimination. In your setup, as you are still at a "try & test" phase it would be helpful to eliminate the possible culprits.

    1. RAID. It is very unlikely that with RAID set at 0 that this would create any type of problem. RAID=0 essentially means that RAID is OFF. I have never encounted a problem with TI9 with RAID=0. (However, I have experienced problems with RAID ON and don't believe that TI9 is compatible with RAID).

    2. Disk. Seems unlikely that the disk is at fault. But it is very highly recommended that you ALWAYS run chkdsk with the /f switch before creating an image of any disk or partition. (You can run it with the /r switch but this takes considerabley longer and is usually unnecessary unless there is a specific file that is giving you a problem).

    3. Windows. As a general rule you cannot have 2 instances of the same licensed version of Windows installed on the same machine at the same time. Windows usually gets hysterical about this. You can have 2 instances of the same version of Windows (e.g. XP Pro SP2) on the same machine providing they are separately licensed.

    4. TI9 System Disk Images. Acronis Support won't agree with my next comment. But, in my view, based on practical experience, I strongly recommend that you ALWAYS create an image of the system partition or system disk via the Acronis Linux Kernel and not via Windows. It is essential that the OS is "at rest" when you make an image of the system disk. My recommendation to ensure that this is the case is to boot via the Linux Kernel and make the image from there. That way you are 100% certain that there is nothing going on in the background.

    5. Building a System Disk. Building a system disk is relatively easy. Again use the Linux Kernel as this cuts out any unwanted background processes. If you have an image of the complete system disk then this should be a very simple task.

    6. Building a System Partition. This is a much more complex task. Remember the image that you have of the system partition will have the MBR of the original system disk. The MBR contains the Master Boot Code, the Disk Signature and the Partition Table. The important variable of these is the Partition Table. Your new system disk must reflect the same geometry as the old system disk otherwise the information contained within the Partition Table will not correspond to the disk and Windows will have a little fit.

    If all of the above are OK then it is extremely unlikely that you will not be able to boot into Windows without any issues.
     
  6. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Regarding the copied MBR, the Partition Table and the need to recreate the partition layout, you may want to see the clarification given by Acronis Support in posts #14 & #18 of this thread.
     
  7. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Questions:

    1. If I have to backup the system from the BootCD, I can't schedule backup's of my system. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a scheduler?

    2. Why then was I able to Restore the System to an In-Active partition from WITHIN Windows, using an Image that was Backup up from WITHIN Windows? BUT, when I tried restoring the Image from the BootCD, I got TONS errors and it didn't work.

    3. Could it be that you have to Restore the system using the same Kernel that you Backed up witho_O

    That is the million dollar question.
     
  8. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Your comment about the scheduler...
    Well not really. You can schedule backups of your Data from within Windows. And as can be expected, in most situations these are the files that are most subject to change. If you use your PC as your means of earning a living then you would probably schedule data backups everyday, at the end of the working day.

    The System Disk or Partition changes much less frequently. The system disk is only changing when you install new software or when you do updates, both actions are, relatively speaking, infrequent. (Even Microsoft only release updates once a month).

    Although Acronis will vouch that you can image the System via Windows there are any number of activities that may occur during this process which would be impossible for the Acronis developers to take into account when writing the code. On a normal PC under normal conditions you will probably have anything from 50 to 70 processes loaded at any time, any one of which can activate at any time with unpredictable results.

    My personal view is that as one only does a backup of the System infrequently, probably once a month in most cases, and because of the criticality of the system files and everything else associated with the system it is prudent to do this task manually and via the Linux kernel.
     
  9. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    Actually I backup my Work/Data every night using other software. But I schedule my System/Apps to be backed up once a week Incrementally, and once a month Fully. The reason I used Acronis is because (they claim) it will backup the System from within Windows, and can be restored using the BootCD without having to install Windows.

    Regardless of that, what about the million dollar question? I was able to successfully restore my System image within Windows, that was backed up within Windows.

    If I know there could be problems backing up Within Windows, I'll just use the BootCD to backup and restore. However, because I haven't got the BootCD to restore successfully yet, I don't trust it.
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The Boot CD version is intended to restore your archive regardless of whether or not the backup was initiated in Windows or by the Boot CD.

    When you restore the C partition from within Windows it will reboot and the version it loads from HD is the same one as on the Boot CD including the Linux environment.

    My first guess is that your Boot CD is bad or is not being read correctly by your system. Try making another one. Note that the Boot CD should be created by the same version of TI that is running on your PC.
     
  11. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    You would think, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Actually I restored the System to the 2nd Primary Partition D:, within Windows (it never rebooted). Then I used PartMagic to hide the 1st Partition, and make the 2nd Active making it C:.

    This could be the case, however if the BootCD was bad, would I be able to boot to it and restore the image without errors? The versions matched (9.0), because I created the BootCD with the version running on the system. However I did try using 9.1 Workstation BootCD (Trial) with Universal Restore after the fact, but that just gave errors during the restore process.

    It sounds like in order to get a clean Backup/Restore it should be done completely using the BootCD, not from within Windows. So that pretty much renders the scheduler useless for backing up the System drive.

    Also the version I'm using is 9.0 build (2303). Is that an old version, with bugs? What advantage does TI 9.1 WS have over 9.0? Is it worth it to upgrade?
     
  12. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    That's definitely not so.

    I always create system partition images from within Windows and restore them (of course) from the rescue environment. Disk to disk - never had a single problem. Some members even reported that they regularily carried on with their work while the system partition imaging process was under way. I don't go that far, but I don't disable any processes running in background either.

    The question has been brought up several times on this forum and the verdict has always been: this technology works. There is an article on the Acronis site explaining how.
     
  13. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    I would tend to agree that TI does not have a problem Backing up while in Windows, because I did it and got it restored. That quote of mine was based on previous posts. However, my problem is with the BootCD. I was not able to restore my system using it.

    I think I'll try ugrading to the latest version and do a full test.


    Slightly off topic question.

    I want to replace this drive with a larger one. What problems might arise if I try to restore the system on a new drive, and what should I do up front to avoid them?

    Thanks
     
  14. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    By the book, cloning should be your first choice.

    But I would prefer imaging/restoring, since this process is more robust. If you choose this option, you shall first restore the whole disk image to the blank new disk and then run the restoration of the same image again (this time as a partition(s) restore), to be able to increase the partition(s) size to full capacity of the new disk. Only partiton restore allows resizing, disk restore does not.

    Another way to resize is to create the Secure Zone in the unallocated space resulted after the whole disk restore and then removing Secure Zone assigning it's space to one of the regular partitions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2006
  15. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    I'm a little confused about why do a whole disk restore first. Why not just restore the individial partitions separately?
     
  16. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The current version is 3677 your is way out of date and indeed does have a lot of bugs that were corrected. Update!

    WS is intended more for the corporate market dealing with many machines. See the description on the Acronis site. I don't think the average home user would need it at all but there may be some feature you would consider worth the extra money. The internal backup/restore engine is the same in both products.
     
  17. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    The only reason I was thinking 9.1 WS, is because it mentioned being able to restore to any machine (hardware independent). The funny thing is, I thought this version was able to restore to another machine. I'm a programmer, and I upgrade machines more often then an average user. It would be nice to clone my machine (or at least a clean installation with my minimum applications and settings).
     
  18. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    From what I understand, I think you really need the Acronis Universal Restore product with WS to get a good degree of hardware independence. You can't use it with Home.
    Perhaps some of the WS and UR users can give some help with this.
     
  19. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Lewis68,

    If using True Image Build 3567 or higher you can restore the individual partition(s) plus the MBR and Track 0 info separately, thereby enabling the resize function. See this <previous reply> for details.

    Regards
     
  20. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    Question though. If I have the partitions backed up as separate Images (System.tib and Apps.tib), instead of the whole disk, can I restore them one at a time without a problem?

    i.e. Restore the System image with MBR & Track 0 first. Then restore the Apps image.
     
  21. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Can't think of a reason why not. In fact, if restoring to the same drive that the images were created from, and provided its MBR & Track 0 isn't corrupted, you don't even need to bother restoring the original MBR & Track 0 data.

    Regards
     
  22. selkov

    selkov Registered Member

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    I have not read the entire post so this may have been tried or even not apply...sorry if that is the case.


    But....I had similiar issues with the RAID to NON RAID application.
    This sounds to basic but did you Deactivate RAID support in bios?
     
  23. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    I'm going to repace the drive with a larger one, so I just wanted to know what I should do up front to minimize problems.
     
  24. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    Well, actually I was running two RAID's. One RAID 0 with two 60G drives containing the System, Work, Apps and Data1 partitions. And a RAID 1 with two 250G drives containing Backup, Data2 and Data3 partitions. The Backup partition is where I stored all my backup images of the first RAID.

    The RAID 1 did not change, and is still running. However one of the drives in the RAID 0 failed. Once I figured out which one it was I deleted the RAID 0 in (High Point Tech is the RAID controller built into the ABIT TH7II motherboard.) BIOS, and I unplugged the drive. That's when I tried restoring to the single (NON-RAID) drive.

    Now, I'm debating on going back to a RAID 0, with two larger 120G drives. But if I can't figure out a way to get restored quickly in a drive failure, I won't bother. Being a programmer who uses my computer to make a living, I can't afford to be spending days trying to get back running. My other option is to setup a RAID 1 as the system, but I'll take a performance hit.

    I think I'll buy two 120G drives anyway, and try to run full restore tests to totally new drives. Though to be honest I'm tired of messing with it, because it's working now albit with one system drive. Although I still have a hidden partition taking up 10G with the Clean Windows install that I'd like to get rid of.

    What's a boy to do?
     
  25. Lewis68

    Lewis68 Registered Member

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    UPDATE!

    I just purchased two 80GB drives and installed them. I decided to do a test restore first. Here were the steps:

    1. Installed ONE 80GB drive as the Primary drive.
    2. Unplugged the old working 60GB, to protect it just in case.
    3. Created 4 partitions using PartMagic 8.0, just like on the old drive, but larger (20GB each)
    4. Restored all four current images one at a time, WITHOUT restoring the MBR. These images were backed up using Ver 9.0.3677 from within Windows, and restored using BartPE boot cd with the same version plug-in.
    5. Rebooted and NO GO! It did NOT reboot. Same as before, it hung before the Windows screen.
    6. Booted back to BartPE and restored ONLY the MBR from the System Image.
    7. Rebooted and Volla! It Worked!

    CONCLUSION!

    Because of my older version of TI, AND I wasn't backing up the WHOLE DISK, the MBR was not being backed up. When I tried restoring the System drive, regardless of the TI version, it wasn't restoring an MBR. Even though the Partition Table was created using PartMagic, the MBR was not created completely enough for Windows to boot. However, it still doesn't explain why FIXMBR didn't work, but that's another thread.

    Also, when I restored the MBR, it was coming from an Image that was created from a different disk drive, with different SIZE and NUMBER (The old drive had a hidden primary partition) of partitions. So, that tells me that the MBR that TI backs up does NOT contain the Partition Table. Which confirms post #14 of this thread.

    What does all this mean? It means that you should restore the MBR whenever restoring a System (Windows boot) image. And in the case of a NEW drive, you MUST restore the MBR, or it will NOT boot. The only case where you would NOT want to restore the MBR, is if you already have a working System drive, and you want to restore other partitions i.e. Data, Media etc.

    Let me know if this is NOT correct.
     
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