Unable to save a backup - Image is corrupted

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by plegron, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    I am having problems trying to save an image of the primary C drive on a new XP machine. Its a very basic build of just the OS, Office 2003 and a few utilities. I have done this process many times before and used the restored image as a starting point for different machine builds without any problems.

    As this 'basic build' image is nearly a year old, I want to update it, so I restored the image as I've done many times and had no problem. I then made the few required changes (updated MS Updates, Java, etc) and tried to create a new full backup image. This is when I hit the problems.

    Firstly I tried to save the image to a network folder where I normally store my backup images, but the backup froze the system when the progress bar was about 30% done (time left showing about six minutes).

    Then I tried saving locally to a different partition on the same drive. This time the backup completed successfully (apparently), but when I restore or check the archive I get the following error message:

    Acronis Error E0007020: The archive is corrupted.

    Lastly I tried saving to the Acronis secure Zone, but the backup failed giving the following message:

    Backup archive has been completed with errors.

    I have tried all three scenarios repeatedly and get exactly the same results every time.

    I've used TI for years and, aside from the occasional problem, fund it to be very reliable. This is the first time I've seen a problem like this and I'm completely perplexed because I'm using the same Acronis rescue disk on the same hardware that I've used successfully so many times before. It also makes no sense that the results are so different when the only thing that's changed is the target location.

    I've tried searching the Knowledge Base for the errors but there's nothing there (not the first time this resource has yielded nothing).

    What's going on? Any ideas?
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello plegron,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Could you please clarify, if you performed the backup operation from within Windows, or using Acronis Bootable Rescue Media? Please also clarify, what version and build of Acronis True Image are you using? You can find the full version name and build number by going to Help -> About... menu in the main program window.

    It's possible that the computer has some hardware problems. We recommend you to run "chkdsk /r" on all partitions of the hard drive in question.
    Also, we recommend you to make sure that the memory modules of your machine are not corrupt. Please download one of the archives depending on what media type you are going to use:
    - memtest for diskette
    - memtest for USB Flash drive
    - memtest for CD
    Unpack the archive and create bootable media with the test. Instructions on how to do it can be found in README.txt in the same archive. After that boot your PC from the media, memtest will start automatically. Please leave it running for several hours (for example, overnight). There should be no errors reported.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  3. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    Thanks Marat.

    I ran the backup using the same CD I've used successfully many times before. The PC itself is also one I've used to successfully backup and restore several times. The version is 9.0 (build 2,273).

    I'd run the memtest for CD, but there's a problem saving the file using the link in your reply. I found the memtest site. Which file do I download? Is it important to run this from a CD as this is how I'm running TI or is it just checking the system RAM?
     
  4. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    I've run CHKDSK on primary (C) partition and saw no errors on screen, but the last stage (5) completed whilst I was not looking. Is there a log created so I can be sure? I haven't run it on D as I'm not sure how to do this, but if this were the source of the problem I wouldn't have had problems saving to a network drive or the Acronis Secure Zone would I?
     
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello plegron,

    Please notice that build 2273 is a very old one. We recommend you to use the latest build (3854) of Acronis True Image 9.0 Home. To get access to updates you should first register your software. Don't forget to recreate Acronis Bootable Rescue Media after updating.

    Memtest is a tool to test computer RAM under load. It's designed to be run at boot time, hence the need to write it onto CD/diskette/flash drive. Please download the precompiled package corresponding to the boot device you will use.

    You can view chkdsk log at Windows Event Log as "winlogon" event under "Application" branch.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  6. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    CHKDSK was fine, but I will run memtest just in case as I can't rule out the possibility of this being a RAM problem.

    However, your comment about the problem being related to the version seems a little odd. How can it be anything to do with the version? As I'd stated very clearly, it had been used many times before without any problems on this and other similar machines (same batch of CPU/MB/HD etc.). Is there's a known problem with this version that fits these circumstances?
     
  7. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    I have used a rescue CD made with a new version of TI (Workstation 9.1) and it works fine in all three scenarios, so my backup problem is solved, but it's still a mystery as to why I started having problems with the CD created on the earlier version.

    The explanation of a developing RAM problem was the only one that fitted the symptoms and that's now looking unlikely as I've had Memtest86+ running for over five hours with no errors.

    What does the error message actually mean and why does a search of the KB bring up no results? I've had other errors in the past that have returned nothing when searching the KB. This doesn't seem to be a very helpful approach.
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    There may be other reasons that cause this error message to be displayed but I have no way of knowing.

    The archive is corrupted message means that TI couldn't read the archive and obtain the correct checksums for the data it contains. To make sense of this you need to know that when TI creates an archive it writes a checksum for every 256K bytes of data. That's 4000 per gigabyte of data. When the archive is validated or otherwise read when doing a restore, it re-calculates the checksums based on the data read from the archive and compares them with the checksums stored in the archive when it was created. They all must agree perfectly or the archive is declared corrupt.

    As you can see any link in the chain that is capable of upsetting the data integrity will cause the error. This could be data getting corrupted when being transferred to the processor, a bad memory location, faulty CPU behaviour with an instruction, etc. Of course, it can also be improper behaviour of the TI program itself for whatever reason.

    Your case is peculiar in that it used to work and now it doesn't yet WS 9.1 works with the archive. I could make wild speculations but that's all they would be. Your TI home build is old and it could be that your data has changed to trigger an error in the process that wasn't triggered before, a lot of bugs were fixed since build 2273. I'm going to guess the WS9.1 version is newer and the bug may have been fixed. Also, the TI "engine" was changed with a resulting change in format around Build 3567 (I can't remember which one), so there was a change in the validation routine alright. It still can read the old format such as yours though.
     
  9. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    Thanks seekforever.

    That's a very helpful reply and I'm pleased hear you acknowledge the possibility of a bug which is being triggered by the 'updates' applied to the PC build. Further dissection and investigation is probably not of any value to anybody especially given that we have a solution and, as you say, the likelihood that any bug may have already been fixed.

    Just for the record, however, I'd like to point out that the scenario isn't that I'm having problems trying to restore an old image using the old rescue CD. The old image restored fine. I then applied some updates which, of course does introduce some changes to the data. The problems came when taking the backup of the updated build (see original post for details).

    Since you've suggested that the change to the data may have combined with a bug somewhere, this would appear to be the most likely explanation for the problem. However, it does seem implausible to me given that I'd always understood that the way any imaging software worked was independent of the actual content of the partition being backed up. Is this not the case?

    There are a number of things I haven't tried. I haven't used the CD to save/restore any other PCs/images, so I can't rule out the possibility of a problem with the CD having developed. I also haven't tried saving the PC image immediately after restoring it which would rule out your suggested explanation if the same problems arose (or have I misunderstood something?).
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    When I mentioned something changing in the data I was thinking more like a larger amount of data to backup and that has caused the old build to choke for some reason, maybe a different pattern of bits that is causing a problem with the checksum or compression algorithms, maybe it doesn't like some disk addresses now in use; like I said, wild speculation.

    You are correct in that the actual data itself should have no effect. However, and I wouldn't say this is related to your validation error, TI has to examine the file system and this plays a part in what it backs up and how it is restored. Also, if you are backing up in Windows then how Windows is operating is a factor since the technology is capturing disk activity etc.

    Trying a new CD created by your old build would be interesting although I would have thought that if it couldn't be read properly it would return a "unable to read file" type of error when it was loading. Stranger things have happened though.

    I don't know where you are with trying a newer build of TI in total. I think it would be a good thing to do since this could end up as another of the mysteries of PC life.
     
  11. plegron

    plegron Registered Member

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    Thanks again seekforever.

    Best we just leave it there then. I don't have the time to go fault finding for something that may never yield any answers, let alone be of any benefit.

    We're using TI Workstation 9.1 and if this works well, we'll try the Server or Enterprise products, too. At the moment everything looks good although there seems to be little difference to the earlier version when it was working without problems.

    It's rather a shame the development team haven't really cottoned on to the fact that professional users are not easily impressed with the kind of minor eye-candy improvements that seem to have characterised the upgrades from 9 to 11. Maybe that's a little unfair since the introduction of features such as the 'bare metal' restore and ability to selectively back up 'system files and settings only' keep Acronis ahead of the pack. I'm just disappointed that I still have to put up with niggles like always having to remember that when I load TI from the CD it always disables the Num Lock - Gets me every time even after years of use! ..and the stupidly small browser window - I spend more time dragging it out to a reasonable size, dragging the divider across so I can see what's in the window and scrolling up and down than I do actually navigating. It's little things like this that if corrected would save so much time for users doing repetitive basic tasks in a professional environment.

    I've made some suggestions that I believe would hugely improve the usability of TI's ability to back up selected files, but I've obviously been talking to the wrong guys (in sales) as it's clear they don't really have any appreciation or understanding of what I'm talking about.

    I'll try the Wish List forum if there's good dialogue there, but if it's anything like Adobe's, I'm not interested - I don't have the time to provide detailed quality feedback to an organisation that's not going to consider suggestions on the basis of merit. Taking notice of user feedback only when hundreds of people complain about something is all too common in product development, but it's the companies that take the time to listen and really take on board quality feedback that can truly claim to be working with their customers rather than despite them.
     
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