Will Acronis TI 8.0 restore to a different sized drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Rickk, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. Rickk

    Rickk Registered Member

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    On a new Dell laptop I've used Add Remove from control panel to try and lessen the bloat with the pre-installed Dell "freebies" such as trial versions of McAfee, Office, ESPN, etc... and also Cyberlink Roxio etc. (which I replaced with Nero).

    Computer worked fine for a few days (except I hadn't yet tried the Media Direct functions)

    Using Acronis True Image, I then imaged the Dell laptop (and stored this image to an external HD) before changing from one 120GB "C" partition (with a couple of FAT 32 partitions in there for the MediaDirect, Dell restore etc) to 2 partitions (approx. one 25GB partitionfor Windows& programs and a 95BG partition for data) using Acronis Disc Director.

    I then made another Acronis image post-partitioning and saved these images to both an external HD and the internal Data 95GB partition.

    The computer was working fine for a few more days.

    Then I tried using MediaDirect (basically a function allowing the user to use the media center ouside of Windows without firing up the computer).... Blue screen! Computer would not shut, off had to remove battery and AC supply.

    Seems like I may have lost the original FAT 32 files or partitions, whilst changing to 2 partitions with Acronis Disc Director, according to the Dell tech's on-line analysis of the laptop.
    Since they don't support partitioned drives, he couldn't help me besides suggesting a restore to original bloated state or alternately, a tedious Windows manual re-install...

    Question: Did I originally screw up while creating the 2nd partition with Disc Director because of the FAT 32 files?

    Question 2: Can Acronis True Image now restore the laptop back to the pre-partitioned state (ie. post-removal of bloat programs) and re-capturing the original FAT 32 files (and functions of Media Direct re-enabled?) using my images made before the partitioning of the 120GB drive?

    Question 3: If yes, can I then ever re-return to the post-partitioned state using the other TI images?

    Thx
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
  2. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    Well, that's the whole idea of True Image - to Restore an image so your computer will be put back in the state when the Image was made. But whether the Restore will be successful is another matter. And you will not know until you try. If you have another laptop hard drive, you might try restoring to that to see if the Restore works. On the other hand, since you probably have not added any additional programs yet, I don't think you have much to lose by trying the restore on the existing drive.

    Did you make the bootable Rescue CD - you will need this to perform the Restore.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I have experienced problems created additional partitions in two Dell computers with DiskDirector 9. In both cases the Dell_Restore partition, which is used to restore the factory image and was moved in the process, resulted damaged and became unbootable.
    This caused a system freeze when I tried to boot with the Control + F11 keys to try the process to restore the factory image.
    Now, Dell_Restore is an special FAT32 partition. MediaDirect is another thing altogether. See http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/mediadirect.htm.
     
  4. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    If the image you created was of the ENTIRE DISK before you changed any partitions and before you modified the master boot record of your hard drive by repartitioning, then you should be able to restore that ENTIRE DISK image to the laptop and regain full functionality of the Media Direct, Diagnostic and Dell PC Restore partition capabilities.

    Otherwise, you should give up and reinstall your OS and personal files, etc. from scratch. As for Dell's Media Direct, you must reinstall that from a Dell-supplied CD. Once you modified the MBR by repartitioning your drive, you "broke" it. Your second TI image backup after repartitioning isn't worth much as long as restoring it restores a bad Media Direct partition that gives you a blue screen.
     
  5. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    To clarify my previous post:

    1. According to my experience, creating additional partitions in a Dell computer (desktop or laptop) with DiskDirector 9 damages the Dell_Restore (FAT 32X) partition. This partition becomes unbootable after the process.

    2. I think that the process does not damage the MediaDirect "partition" (which is a very special "partition"), but I cannot confirm this. I do not have access to the laptop (which is my son´s) at this moment, and I think he never uses MediaDirect.
     
  6. Rickk

    Rickk Registered Member

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    Thanks guys, I love this forum, very informative!

    Ralphie: I shoud've clarified.
    The laptop is still functional, so far. Blue screen only happens if I push MediaDirect "on" button while laptop is shut off. If otoh, I try to turn on MediaDirect while laptop is already on, nothing happens to the computer but MediaDirect simply refuses to turn on.
    Dell tech warned though, that the blue screen may eventually come back to haunt me soon, which is why I'm considering either going bacl to the previos one drive image or re-format.

    Robin A: Thx for the goodels' link. Very interesting. Possibly a bit too difficult for me but maybe not.
    Basically he's saying I may be able to repair the damaged MediaDirect FAT32 using either a Dell tool or something else (dsrfix). It all depends on which type of FAT32 hidden partition I had in the first place.
    Hmm, he doesn't explain how to determine the type of FAT32 originally on the laptop.
    According to your experience, you say whenever you've used Acronis Disc Director to resize your partitions, you basically lose fincyionality of the Dell Restore and possibly that of MediaDirect.
    That sucks.
    I suppose that one way around this would be to: A) Wipe out the partitons and B) Reformat, but this time create the desired partitions b4 reloading Windows and the MediaDirect (& Dell Restore).
    Does this make sense & will it work?

    bobdat: This is the answer I was looking for, (although the other repliers have brought up new things to consider...)
    Yes, I have a verified Acronis image b4 partitioning with Acronis DD (and after cleaning out some some of the Dell programs).

    Btw, is anyone aware if I do install Nero again afterwards, will there be a conflict between MediDirect and Nero (or vice versa)? I ask because MediaDirect is "powered by Cyberlink" according to the Dell site and others here have mentioned possible conflicts between Nero and Roxio.
     
  7. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    I know of no conflict between installing Nero (on your C partition) with Dell Media Direct (on a hidden partition). However, as you already know, having more than one burner software can cause conflicts. I'd remove all Sonic/Roxio software including DLA (use Add/Remove) before installing Nero (I use Nero with no problems on my Dell).

    Be aware that in some cases Dell installs various 'parts' of hidden partition software on your C partition, such as PC Restore and probably Media Direct. Therefore, if you remove these 'parts' in Add/Remove you will cause the hidden partitions to stop functioning. If you see Cyberlink software on your C partition, you should leave it alone because it most likely relates to Dell Media Direct's operation.

    If you do not have the Dell Media Direct reinstall CD, you should call Dell to get it for possible repair and reinstall if you decide to later dump the Dell partition layout.
     
  8. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    MediaDirect repair: yes, there is a "Dell MediaDirect Repair Utility" in the Dell support webpage. You can try it * before * you reinstall Windows, or after.

    Dell_Restore repair: if this partition becomes damaged and unbootable after adding partitions, there are workarounds and solutions to restore its functionality, * without * restoring images or losing the additional partitions that were created. If you reinstall Windows, Dell_Restore will be lost.

    Deleting Dell_Restore: you can do it, if you want to rely on TI images to restore in case of problems. You can also save the factory image (which is a Ghost image) to DVD to restore it manually if necessary * before * deleting it.

    In fact, you can have a Dell with additional partitions and Dell_Utility (the diagnostics partition), Dell_Restore (the factory image restore partition) and MediaDirect all working perfectly.

    What I would do: 1. Try to repair MediaDirect, if you use it. 2. Read carefully Mr. Goodells´s excellent webpages on Dell_Utility, Dell_Restore and MediaDirect. 3. Try to repair Dell_Restore, or save the image (and the program to restore) to DVD and delete it. In the meantime, avoid using Control + F11 to boot it.
     
  9. Rickk

    Rickk Registered Member

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    Ok guys, thx again for the tips.
    I do have all the CDs including Windows, MediaDirect etc. In my case they were shipped with the laptop for no charge.
    The laptop is still displaying blue screen when I try to use MD ouside of Windows. This may or may not be because of the DiscDirector partitioning I'd carried out. Haven't tried to revert back to the pre-partitioned image state yet and may not (see below).
    Dell tech re-checked the codes on the screen, then surprizingly uni-lateraly decided it was more feasable to authorize an exchange for another laptop, than to try and troubleshoot or repair it, since I'm still in the initial 30-day post-purchase period.


    Here's a fyi for anybody reading this with Dell laptops:
    -As bobdat stated, I'd "cleaned out" the pre-installed bloatware on the lalptop, along with Roxio and Cyberlink also, (since I was intending on using Nero anyways). I must've also removed some key files necessary to run MediaDirect, since it is "Powered by Cyberlink!" according to Dell.

    -Be aware to those that are using add-remove aggressively, along with a reg cleaner and possibly disabling start-up programs (ex. msconfig, or in my case with WinPatrol) in their quest to lighten the start-up load.... Apparently YOU NEED to KEEP Dell QuickSet ENABLED in the Start-Up menu or else MediaDirect will not work!

    -At least after re-enabling Dell Quick set, I could get MediaDirect to work without blue screens after Windows is booted up and running (although this defeats the purpose of MD).
    Otoh, If I try to use MD when the laptop is off (Windows off), then I still get a blue screen and am now also beginning to get them in other situations with Windows on as well :-((
    Regardless, they authorized a new laptop.

    You guys are great, thx.
    I'll stick around this forum,
    Rickk
     
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