Windows Vista Boot Problem.

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by stormlifter, Nov 8, 2008.

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  1. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Alright, here's what's happened. Anyone who has a clue on what's up go ahead and throw your opinion or knowledge in here.

    1. Made a Actronis True Image backup for 400GB off two different hard drives in my laptop to a 1TB external eSATA hard drive

    2. Using Intel RAID controller on my laptop I made a RAID0 w/ 128kb Stripe (wouldn't allow a larger one)

    3. Then used Acronis True Image restore disc to bring 6 partitions from the 2 different hard drives back to their respective locations.

    4. Booted to a gParted Live disc to make sure everything was in order and all partitions were up and in their right locations and with their right sizes.

    When I boot up I get a blank flashing underscore in the top left corner.

    My guess is something is up with the fact that the backup images were from a NON-RAIDED hard drive and now that its raided something is messing it up.

    Anyone have a clue? I'd rather not have to reinstall windows and all that and restore everything again.

    If anyone has a clue as to what I can do to restore boot that'd be great.

    some things to note:
    * GParted Live CD and Acronis say they can see the partitions and hard drives and used space on them like they should be
    * Vista installation CD cannot only shows one partition and it is empty with no used space.

    Things I've tried
    bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd - won't work since windows can't see the hard drives as having anything on them.
    Re-restoring from acronis
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Is your installation a single-boot Vista system, or are there other operating systems installed? If the latter, what do you use for a boot loader? Vista's or GRUB or ??

    What cluster size did you choose for the Vista boot partition? The Vista boot loader will only work from a partition (NTFS or FAT) with 4 kB cluster size.
     
  3. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Just Vista.
    Cluster is set to 128kb, so i'm going to set it to 4kb for the vista partition and then see what happens.

    Thanks for the suggestion, sounds promising.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That could be the issue. Vista's bootmgr requires 4 kB cluster size. However, after writing my previous post I felt rather stupid. If you had a working Vista system that you imaged, it wouldn't matter what cluster size you had formatted the target partition to. The image would have been restored with the same cluster size as existed on the source.

    I got around this limitation on my system by creating a small (100 MB) partition for Vista's boot files with a 4 kB cluster size. You would need to move bootmgr and the /boot directory into this partition, and then edit the BCD appropriately. The rest of the disk can have any desired cluster size.
     
  5. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Something I just noticed is that Acronis doesn't see my RAID as one hard drive. it can also see two hard drives just as if they weren't RAIDed. The 2nd hard drive still has all the partitions on it from before and the files are even still there.

    What I did was set two Raids. One size 29.5GB with 4kb stripe size and the other with the rest of the two hard drives combined space left over in a 128kb stripe size. Shows up right in the RAID panel, but acronis still sees two hard drives in their normal layout so (186.3gb each)
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I should read more carefully. If the Vista installation DVD can't read the disk it points to lacking the proper RAID driver. You may have to put your RAID driver on a USB flash drive and then load it with F6 when booting from the Vista DVD in order to be able to "see" the disk.

    That's going to be another issue that you will need to fix before restoring your image. What happens if you boot into the "Safe" mode version; does it see your array properly?
     
  7. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Thing is Vista sees it perfectly as one disk I setup in RAID of size 29GB and another I setup for the rest of 345GB.

    Acronis sees the 2nd hard drive as having all the data on it that it had before I started the RAID.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    OK, starting to make sense. Then the Vista DVD does have the correct RAID driver, so that's not the problem.

    The problem appears to be that when you did the restore, TI did not see the array, but rather it saw separate disks. So it probably restored to disk 1 and left disk 2 as-is.

    You will need to get TI to see the array properly and then repeat the restore. I would try the safe mode version first. If that doesn't work, you could download the trial version of TI 2009 and install it on another PC. Use that PC to create a boot CD and then see if TI 2009 sees the array properly. If it does, the trial version boot CD will do the restore for you.
     
  9. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Not sure what you mean by "safe mode" for Acronis, but if you tell me I'll try it.

    I'm going to try to see if TI 2009 will see my RAID. Yeah I'm sure it's something with Acronis, because I installed Vista on the RAID and then loaded up Acronis on it and it saw the RAID, but when it restored it the computer wouldn't boot and it says "no opperating system found".
    So something is up with Acronis and how it is restoring it.
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Which version of TI are you using? If TI 10 then you can include the "Safe" mode version when building the bootable CD. If TI 11 then you need to download the "Safe Media" version from your account on the TI web site and include it in the CD build.

    "Safe" mode uses the PC BIOS and a version of DOS to access hardware, so it will lack network support and if you use USB peripherals they may or may not work, depending on how your BIOS supports USB. If USB works at all it will probably be at USB 1.0 speeds, so a restoration will be slow.

    TI 2009 supposedly has better Linux driver support so its "Full" mode version may likely work with your RAID array. There's one way to find out...
     
  11. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Alright, well I'ma go figure out. I'll report back.
    really do wish this would have gone more smoothly :p sure was the reason I bought this software in the first place
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  12. stormlifter

    stormlifter Registered Member

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    Nothing. It still sees it as two hard drives. This is really depressing. Oh well. Was wishful thinking that my backup software would actually be able to restore.
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Don't get too depressed yet - there are always multiple solutions that can work.

    First, which version(s) and which mode(s) (full or safe) did not work for you so far?

    Since Vista's install DVD contains the correct RAID drivers for your hardware, then I highly recommend VistaPE or MustangPE as a recovery environment. I couldn't be happier with VistaPE; it's my boot environment of choice and works with every piece of hardware that I've tried it on. VistaPE will take a little work but MustangPE is drop-dead simple to do.

    And there is always the option of filing a support request with Acronis (on their web site) and asking them to make you a custom ISO image of the boot CD containing the needed RAID drivers.
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    As far as I know, the stripe size used by the RAID setup should not affect the cluster size used when you create and format a partition on it. Reading this, it sounds like the two are getting mixed up. You can have a 128KB stripe size and still have 4KB clusters when you create the partition.

    I think it's normal for TI (and Linux in general) to see one of the hard drives as partitioned and one not when it can't see them correctly in a RAID 0 configuration. This is because the stripe causes all the partitioning information to be present on one drive. If you used TI to restore to this (as you say you did), you must have only restored to one drive. Is that correct?

    If Vista can correctly see the RAID 0 setup, it should be repairable if you can get TI to restore it properly.

    I didn't see where you posted what version and build of TI you originally used. Also, did you try the Safe Mode version? If so, did it see the RAID setup and your eSATA drive?

    For any of the TI Full versions from the CD, have you tried the quiet acpi=off noapic option detailed in Section II of the PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU POST thread?

    You can have problems going from a non-RAID to a RAID setup. However, it doesn't sound like it's getting to the point where you can tell if you'll have a problem or not.
     
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