Windows 7 goes wrong on DD-created partition

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Reed_Richards, May 5, 2009.

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  1. Reed_Richards

    Reed_Richards Registered Member

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    I have just tried, twice, to run Windows 7 (RC build 7100) on a partition created using Disk Director (version 9 build 51:cool:. I installed to a pre-existing NTFS partition without reformatting (which is what happens by default) but this seems to have been a mistake. When I started to run Windows 7 I soon started to receive disk errors and requests to run chkdsk. Chkdsk ran, found errors but said it could not fix them. I tried this on two different hard drives but the same errors arose. There is a report here of someone else experiencing a similar problem http://www.neowin.net/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t733350.html
    and something similar here
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com...48-ce50-4b49-9a91-847b20039757/?ppud=4&ffpr=0
    In both cases the fault is attributed to the use of Acronis software to create the partition on which Windows 7 was subsequently installed - which would fit my circumstances also. Reformatting during installation seems to have cured the problem for me.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I haven't tried Windows 7 RC1 yet, but there are problems like this with XP and Vista also. If I create the partitions with DD, I let the Windows installer do a quick format of the partition as part of the installation. So far, that seems to avoid the problems.
     
  3. Reed_Richards

    Reed_Richards Registered Member

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    The Windows 7 installer does not offer you the option to reformat the drive by default, if it is already formatted. The option to reformat is there but it is quite easy to miss.

    The problems that result from not reformatting the drive give a very good imitation of a faulty hard drive. I would have assumed my hard drive was faulty if I had not seen the same "fault" on two different hard drives. If this is a long-standing problem, maybe Acronis should do something about it?
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Since you're using DD 9, and DD 10 still has this problem, it has been around for a while. I've seen posts where people haven't had problems, but I've had enough with DD NTFS Windows partitions that I don't use the DD formatting.

    I think it must be how DD formats the partition. It must not be quite right for NTFS. There may be a difference between if the partition was formatted running DD in Windows or from the DD CD. DD in Windows may use the Windows formatting function. DD from the CD uses a different method for sure.
     
  5. Chubb

    Chubb Registered Member

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    Hi Reed_Richards,

    You may want to take a look of this article. It offered some hints on the format options offered during setup of Windows 7

    http://www.vista123.net/content/windows-7-setup-secrets
     
  6. Reed_Richards

    Reed_Richards Registered Member

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    I would certainly go along with:

    "Secret #2: Start with a clean disk"

    but to do this you need to

    "1. Boot from the Windows DVD and follow the prompts to choose a Custom (advanced) installation"
    "2. Click Drive Options (Advanced) to display all available disk management tools"

    So you have to look much harder for the opportunity to reformat the disk than you did when installing previous Windows versions.
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Director Suite

    Officially, current versions of our products do not support Windows 7, since this system is Beta. Most probably, the support will be added as soon as Microsoft release full version of Windows 7.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexander Nikolsky
     
  8. Reed_Richards

    Reed_Richards Registered Member

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    But what do you mean "support Windows 7"? I was NOT trying to run DD on Windows 7. I was trying to install Windows 7 on a partition I had created using DD running on Windows Vista.
     
  9. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    There are differences between NTFS partitions created by Windows and those created by DD 10, which can be examined in DD10's partition table. DD uses a sector offset of 63, Windows uses 2048.

    Like the OP, I found this out the hard way when trying to install Windows 7. On a dual boot machine I found it best to set up the partition in Vista's Disk Management before launching the W7 install.

    We are promised a new version of DD soon, so this should be resolved.
     
  10. Reed_Richards

    Reed_Richards Registered Member

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    Yes, but as you pointed out in another thread, the current version of DD is claimed to be compatible with Windows Vista so it would be bad of Acronis to make us shell out for a new version to achieve actual compatibility.
     
  11. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    There obviously ought to have been a new build of DD10 to correct this basic flaw. It does not do Acronis any credit that they have not done so.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Vista and Win7 don't care if they are installed into legacy cylinder-aligned or 2048 sector-aligned partitions. Both alignments work and either alignment can be converted to the other without any change in function of the OS.

    I did some tests with Win7 and DD 10. DD could resize and move Win7 partitions and the OS booted without needing a repair. This applied to both types of sector alignment. DD couldn't of course maintain 2048 sector alignment but attempted to cylinder align the partition. A weakness of DD was it couldn't align the resized or moved partition accurately on cylinder boundaries but practically this didn't seem to matter. This also applied to both types of alignment.

    I didn't use DD to create the partitions prior to installing Vista and Win7.
     
  13. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    But if you had done you would have had all the symptoms of a bad disk, as the OP described in #1. My experience was identical, and I had to remove the DD created Win 7 partition and recreate it with Vista's disk management. Win 7 then installed and ran without further problems.

    Afterwards I had a 689.5KB unallocated space between the Win 7 and Vista partitions (first and second primary partitions) as a result I guess of the differing offsets.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Although I didn't use DD to create a partition for Vista, MudCrab did and it worked. I'll do it if you like and I'll report if it fails but I expect it to work the way MudCrab described.

    There are several varieties of NTFS. WinNT, Win2000, WinXP and I'm not sure about Vista or Win7. So it's better to let the OS do the formatting. That's what MudCrab did.
     
  15. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    Well, must admit I did format in DD as well as create. I'll accept your assurance that it was the formatting rather than the creation that caused the problems, though by all means test it if you've nowt else pressing ;)
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, that was interesting. I created a NTFS primary partition from the DD CD and set it active. Booted from the Win7 disk and at the "Install" stage I clicked Advanced and clicked Format.

    The OS works fine and there are no errors with chkdsk.

    I checked the partition and it was cylinder-aligned at the end. But about half a cylinder out at the start.

    On my computer at least, there doesn't seem to be an issue with DD and the recent OS.
     
  17. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    Would be edifying if you now did it it the other way and let DD format it first. Win 7 seems to install OK, but just watch the problems develop afterwards.
     
  18. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I haven't run extensive tests with this problem on Vista or Windows 7 because I prefer to just avoid it (let the Windows installer format the partition). I don't want to run into problems later because of an incorrect NTFS format.

    The problem is when you have DD format the partition (I think when using the DD CD) and then install Windows without reformatting using the Windows installer.

    Note that the problems don't seem to happen on all systems.

    XP would usually error on the first reboot during the installation. I forget exactly what Vista did, but I know there was a problem.
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Just tried it. I didn't click Advanced, Format. The install hung after the first reboot. "Press any key to boot from the CD or DVD....." has remained on the screen. At least you got further than I did. But that turned into a disadvantage.
     
  20. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

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    Well, at least I blamed the right guy, just the wrong reason.:argh:
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I create my partitions with BING. It can create cylinder-aligned and 2048 sector-aligned partitions. When BING creates a NTFS partition, it is not formatted, despite being labelled NTFS in BING. You have to format the partition in Windows. The reason given is each OS has its own variety of NTFS.

    When you install WinXP/Vista/Win7 into this partition you don't have to click Advanced, Format. The installer must realize it isn't formatted and format it anyway.

    Just an observation.
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That gave me an idea. I created an active, unformatted partition in DD and tried to install Win7. I couldn't as "Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. Windows must be installed to a partition formatted as NTFS". I don't know how BING gets around this.
     
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    One other observation. Even if you only have one 2048 sector-aligned partition on your HD, Partition Magic can't see any partitions at all. The entire HD is error #105. So DD is miles ahead of PM.
     
  24. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Great thread! To add another perspective, I normally use VistaPE as the boot environment for both DD and TI. So when installing Win7, I first used DD to wipe the drive, then set up a cylinder-aligned partition structure. The NTFS partitions were then formatted from the command prompt in VistaPE (I could have done the same from a VistaPE Explorer window). The Win7 installer took it from there - no further formatting was needed.

    XP, Vista, and Win7 all use the same version of NTFS (NTFS v3.1). However, the format utility for XP creates a partition boot sector that boots the file NTLDR, whereas the format utilities for Vista and Win7 create a boot sector that boots the file bootmgr.
     
  25. ProblemCity

    ProblemCity Registered Member

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    I found exactly the same when installing Vista 64.

    So now I partition all my drives and format them in ntfs with DD10 and when it comes to installing Vista on the C: drive I reformat the C: drive using Vista's advanced feature first. That then stops Vista "hanging" upon setup reboot.

    I've had no problems with my Vista 64 install or any of DD10 created partitions. CheckDisk reports OK and PerfectDisk 10 works fine too.

    I also use a utility called "Checksum" made by Corz (google it) that allows automatic batch MD5 creation & checking when moving data around. This is particularly useful when moving data between file systems and/or external drives, as you can quickly check if your data is intact.
     
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