Which product do I need?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Dewed_up_Scope, Feb 24, 2008.

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  1. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I've spent yesterday downloading trial versions and trying to get this to work without any luck, so figured I should ask.

    I have a laptop with no CD/DVD/Floppy drives on it and I want to make a disk image of the drive not only in case of failure, but also because it's sometimes nice to go back to a clean install. I've done this part, but it;s the restore that is a problem.

    The BIOS will only let me boot from the internal HDD or over a PXE link. Therefore what I need is a way to restore a disk image once the laptop boots over the PXE connection.


    I'm totally unfamiliar with Linux, but here is where I'm at:
    • I made a disk image using TI 11 Home (build 8,053) and placed the tib file on a second PC (call it Computer2). No problem there.
    • I created a recovery ISO and also put that on Computer2
    • I ran TFTP32 on Computer2 and managed to boot the laptop using the Acronis recovery ISO on Computer2

    My problem is that once it has booted, the laptop can not see the network connection to Computer2 (the same cable I booted using PXE) and hence I can not restore the disk image.

    Perhaps this is not the way to do it? Can anyone help? I don't want to store an image of my Laptop on the laptop HDD since if the HDD fails I will have nothing.

    I don't actually wish to restore the image at the moment, I'm testing this to know which product to buy. I then tried the Workstation version, but it seems to require XP Pro (I have home version) as it gave me an "Unsupported Platform" error on install.


    What I have:
    - Laptop with BIOS option for PXE boot or internal HDD
    - Second PC with network connection running Windows XP (Home Version)

    What I want to do:
    - Image the Laptop HDD (no problem to do this on the Laptop then move the image to the second computer)
    - When the time comes to restore the image I need the Laptop to PXE boot from the second PC then restore the image over the same network cable from the second PC to the Laptop.

    I'm really quite short on time with this since I have only the trial period to get this running. Once I'm confident I can do this I intend to buy the products required.

    Thanks.
     
  2. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    Nice, didn't know this was possible.

    Ok since you have the GUI up and running in the offline mode. We will first have to set an IP to that machine. Goto Tools>Options and set the IP and Subnet (if you have a DHCP server then it should automatically get an IP).

    Now when thats done and applied. press and hold ctrl+alt+f2 to switch to CLI mode and type in "ping xx.xx.xx.xx" the ip address of Computer2. It should wither say alive or unreachable.

    Once it says alive you go back to GUI mode by pressing ctrl+alt+F1 and then run the Recovery Wizard. I take it that you placed the TIB file in a shared folder in COmputer2. Once you get to the screen of locating the TIB file to restore you have two ways to input the address; either from the PCs near Me tree or by typing straight at the location text box: \\xx.xx.xx.xx\ . Once it sees the share; its pretty much very straight forward. Just read the user guide for additional help.
     
  3. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Thanks for that! It's verifying my tib file as I write.

    One other thing though. When I go into the recovery mode, the laptop tells me "error: Can't find any disk drives". Could be wrong, but it looks like I might not be able to write the image to the Laptop.

    As for the TFTP32, I'm not competent enough to do that myself. I got the information from here: http://thesystemadministrator.com/the_system_administrator/tips_%26_tricks/pxe%2c_aka_pre-execution_environment_and_acronis_-_part_2/. Works fine though and suggests to me that Acronis can overcome the PXE requiring XP Pro thing and make the whole operation really simple.

    So all I need to do now is get it to see the HDD on the laptop and I'll be confident enough to buy.

    One other thing :) The laptop has a 7" screen and the Acronis window buttons aer almost all off the bottom of the screen (next, procees, etc). Do you know a way I can boot so that all this fits into the 7" screen (it's 800x480 resolution but everything appears very big on the screen).

    Thanks for the help.

    Cheers.
     
  4. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    If your local drive is not being detected; you can try the BartPE+Acronis combination.

    the default liveCD is linux based and it might not have the drivers for your HD. Using a liveCD based on windows (having more compatible drivers) would most of the time solve the problem.

    FYI the Bootable Rescue Media is not limited to only CDs and Floppys; if there is a USB drive plugged in before you start the Acronis Media Builder; it will show up in the destination selection window. It will append files into your flash drive and make it bootable. All you need is a motherboard that can boot to thumb drives.
     
  5. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Can't seem to get the plug-in. Do I need to buy the product to get the Plug-in? Hmm. Without being sure this solution will work, I'm reluctant to do that.

    Hope so, but do I need the plug-in to test that?

    Yes, I tried the USB memory route first, but there is no boot option for it on the laptop :(

    Cheers.
     
  6. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    There is a folder located in my "C:\Program Files\Acronis\TrueImageEchoWorkstation\BartPE". Not sure about ATI 11. Make sure you installed everything during installation; if it was set to minimum then the bartpe folder might not have been copied.
     
  7. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Played with this non-stop today again and I feel I'm getting close.

    Perhaps the issue is that I need to mount the HDD on the Laptop since it can't see it? However, I can't seem to do that. Mount -t ntfs /dev/sda1 /mnt doesn't seem to do anything.

    Gave up with BartPE. I even bought Mustang's Plugin build thing... o_O

    The HDD in the laptop is a Toshiba MK8009GAH. Nothing really special about it at all.

    I did notice a message just before it loads up the Acronis screen saying "No block devices found". But I guess that's just because it can't find the HDD (?)

    Cheers.
     
  8. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    Sorry to here about that... :( o_O

    I'd suggest trying the following:

    1. when in the boot loader press F11 and type in:

    Page 118 from the ATI Home 11 User Guide

    and then continue and see if it helps in anything.

    2. If that still doesn't work then I guess you should try to send a report to Acronis Support asking for a customized boot cd. But I doubt they will do anything since you haven't bought the product yet.
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    What brand and model is the laptop?

    I don't know if mustang's BartPE plugin will work with the trial versions of TI. They work fine with the retail versions.

    Depending on the age of the laptop, it may have some settings in the BIOS for the hard drive controller. Look for anything like "IDE Mode" or "IDE Compatible Mode" and try setting it to that.

    If the laptop's an older model, it's possible that TI 11 doesn't include the drivers for it. TI 9 or 10 may have supported it better. Do you know the chipset?

    Does a Live Ubuntu or Knoppix CD boot up correctly on the laptop and see the hard drive?
     
  10. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Thanks for the help again, but I think I've gone beyond the manual (F11 didn't work anyway) :) I don't boot from the Recovery disk directly perhaps is why. The article I posted before told me to take the Kernel and ramdisk files (plus pxelinux.0 file from syslinux) then boot over PXE using the lines:
    I was bashing F11 from the moment PXE started running and it never did anything, however I think acpi and apic are set as you suggested.

    I'd agree :) I'll play about more after work tonight and see how it goes. I might even email the chap in that article since he appears to have done what I'm trying to do.


    Hi MudCrab, the laptop is a Belinea s.book 1 and the bios is very limited. there are no options beyond boot order (PXE or HDD). In the HDD options it's set to Mode 5 and FPIO 4/DMA 2, LBA enabled, 32-bit IO disabled and SMART monitoring enabled. A little slow perhaps, but much like any HDD.

    I thought the Trial version was th same as the full version for 15 days? That's what it said on the web page anyway.

    The chipset is VIA VX700. Possibly too new for this assuming I need chipset drivers.

    I'm not a Linux user and I know very little about it, so don't have a Linux boot disk. I can only boot the laptop over PXE and Internal Hard Drive anyway, so even if I had a Ubuntu or Knoppix disk I don't know that I could boot it.

    Cheers.
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    In the BIOS, do you only get to select the "Internal Hard Drive" to boot or does it give you multiple hard drives to select from if there are more than one? For example, if you have a USB hard drive connected, does the BIOS show it in the hard drive list?

    I don't know that much about PXE booting, but if you could boot BartPE or VistaPE via PXE, then that would be an option as you could include the necessary drivers.
     
  12. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    I don't know that much about it myself other than it appears to be a limited Phoenix BIOS. I've never seen a BIOS that searched for attachments before giving you the option to boot from them, usually the option is there (or not) regardless of what you have connected. But it is an unknown as I don't have a USB HDD. I do have a memory stick though and no option appeared when trying to use that.

    I may be able to boot BartPE or VistaPE over the PXE link (which is just an ethernet connection built into the BIOS that boots whatever it finds I think), it's more likely that I just don't know how to do it.

    I ended up with a 400+MB ISO file when I ran the BartPE build (with Mustang's Acronis Plug-in - it was 230+Mb with BartPE alone) and I don't seem to be able to boot ISO's (likely just me again). The code I use to boot ISO files is:
    Code:
    Kernel memdisk
    append initrd=<filename>.iso
    I think that code is good because the I can boot the ISO of a version of DoS that I created out of Bart's Network Boot Disk (BFD full package v1.0.7.zip).

    Edit: After booting the tools using the kernel and ramdisk, when I go to the BusyBox command prompt (ctrl+alt+F2) I notice that sda is in the /dev directory but not hda. could that be my problem? I have an IDE HDD and I thought hda was the thing to use for IDE devices?

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I think all the newer Linux kernels use "sd..." for all hard drives instead of "hd..." for IDE and "sd..." for SATA/SCSI.

    If you go to the TI Linux prompt (#) and run this command:
    Code:
    cat /proc/partitions
    does your hard drive and any partitions show up? What is the output?
     
  14. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    That command returns
    Code:
    / # cat /proc/partitions
    major  minor  #blocks  name
    
    / # 
    So I guess neither the HDD or the partitions are recognised.

    I think this has moved from an TI problem to a linux issue. Is it still OK to discuss it on the forums (technically it is still TI)?

    Thanks
     
  15. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It's still a TI problem. The Full Mode version of TI runs in Linux so it's not off-topic.

    Have you tried any of the other kernel parameters listed in the TI 11 manual to see if any of them would help? You could just add them to your "append" entry. (You said you tried F11, but I didn't see if you said you tried any of them on the "append" line.)

    The Belinea s.book 1 looks like it has a DVD-RW drive as an option. Do you know if it connects via USB or a special port? If it's USB, a regular USB CD/DVD drive may boot.
     
  16. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Never occurred to me that you could do that :) I tried, nodma, nopcmcia, pci=bios, pci=nobios and pci=biosirq (even tried removing the apci=off command). No joy with any of it, though I didn't do any mixing, just individual commands added to what I have above.


    Its USB (I think - no other ports to connect to). Do you think it would boot but not offer the option in the BIOS? I could buy a case and a DVD drive and make one I suppose, but do you think it will boot? I had noticed it came with an optional DVD writer. It also has a recovery disk and I wondered how one might use them unless it had working boot files with USB and DVD driver on the HDD.

    Cheers.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It may be that the boot option won't show up if the USB device is not connected. You might want to look in your manual or contact their support and find out if USB booting is supposed to work. If it is, then that may be the easier way to go.

    Do you have a friend or a local computer repair place that would let you test booting a USB CD/DVD drive? That would save you the trouble of building or buying one if it didn't work.

    When you tried to boot from the USB flashdrive, did you get any specific error message? Do you know for sure the flashdrive was created properly? (Sometimes Media Builder doesn't write the MBR to the flashdrive. See the link in my signature for more information.)
     
  18. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Sir, you are a genius. Clearly my USB stick was not properly done the last time and your images worked fantastically. The option for USB boot did appear in the bios with the stick properly formatted. Even the screen resolution was good.

    However, I tried both the FAT32 images and the FAT16 HDD image and still have the No Disk Drives Found message. All of them booted but wouldn't restore due to the HDD issue (which is E000101F4: Acronis True Image Home has not found any hard disk drives).

    Wonder if I put BartPE on it if it'll work.

    Cheers.
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    That's good news. That means you can boot from a USB flashdrive (and probably a USB HDD/CD/DVD drive).

    You will still get the "No Disk Drives Found" error because it's still TI 11 and it doesn't detect the controller properly (probably no drivers).

    I would think a BartPE or VistaPE flashdrive should boot okay. Like I said before, I don't know how the Trial Version of TI works in BartPE or VistaPE. However, you can do your build without TI and make sure your hard drive and network is seen properly (drivers may need to be added).

    You may want to consider getting a USB hard drive for your backups. It will be much faster than over the network and it won't require network access to work.
     
  20. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Got a BartPE install going thanks to the link in your guide (PEtoUSB) :)

    My large USB stick was too slow for PEtoUSB I think as it failed on format but my smaller one worked a charm. Once BartPE installed, I loaded up the network drivers and I'm sure it will read the image from my other PC over the Ethernet (it tried to logon to the other PC, requesting a username and Password - but I never set one up).

    So that clears the way for me to buy TI Home official product :) I had taken the BartPE folder from Workstation version as NumLock said above, so I hope it all still works as good with just the full version of TI Home.

    I'll still play around with the PXE thing to see if I can get it going.

    Thanks again to you both.

    Cheers.
     
  21. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Dewed_up_Scope,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please submit a request for technical support. Attach all and information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with a solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  22. Dewed_up_Scope

    Dewed_up_Scope Registered Member

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    Just to close this thread out. After buying the software, the Acronis Support team emailed me continually in order to solve my 'No HDD Found' problem.

    They made me a custom ISO (which I expect the changes will be incorporated into a future update) and the result is that I can boot over a PXE link, into the rescue software and backup/restore my laptop HDD to a remote PC.

    Absolutely first class support service. Rare to see anything like that these days.

    Thanks to everyone who pitched in to help (NumLock and MudCrab).

    Edit: It was also a lot of fun to play about with BartPE - but its a lot of work and quite complex. Much easier to deal with the support team here :)

    Cheers.
     
  23. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Dewed_up_Scope,

    Thank you for your warm words. We are glad to hear that your issue has been solved and you can use Acronis True Image successfully.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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