windows won't work after restore

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by millervt, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    OK, i'm new to TI, and I'm sure I made some newbie mistakes (unfortunately, after having this problem, I found this forum and read and printed out the excellent "how to do a backup and restore" FAQs...so I hope this won't happen again, but that doesn't help me for now.

    I have TI Version 11. I did what I thought was a full backup of my one Dell PC, which has two harddrives, each 80GB. The restore does, in fact, show two disks worth of backups, one of which has one partition of 74.52GB (more or less), and the other disk shows two partitions, one of 30MB and one of 74.47GB whatever it is exactly, just slightly less than the other, due to the second partition on this disk). I had the disks clobbered by kids fooling around with uninstalls, etc., so I said to myself, "self, why don't you just restore everything with your handy dandy TI full backup from a few months ago, and all will be well again".


    Long story short, no matter which physical disk I point each backup "disk" to, when windows boots it boots up to the login screen, but then I only get the floating login screen and no way to logic. From my lame attempts to figure this out myself, this seems to be some kind of MBR problem. Frankly, when I did the backups, I may or may not have done them properly.

    Bottom line - how can I make this work? Any help appreciated, since this is my PC that the younger kids use, and it has a whole bunch of programs that would take forever to re-install. I'm so frustrated that I did what I thought was a backup, and it has only made things worse. The backup passes validation using my restore CD, so I'm hoping there is a way to get things back with maybe a simple change or two to my boot.ini file (not that I've ever done anything like that before of course).
     
  2. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    No one has any ideas? This will take me days to reload/reinstall/configure this PC, and its so frustrating since I have a full backup (I think) available, I just can't use it, and I'm thinking there is something simple I can do to use it. Help?
     
  3. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    The information you give is not clear enough to be able to provide suggestions.

    You said, "The restore does, in fact, show two disks worth of backups, ...". I'm not sure what this means?

    Then here, " Frankly, when I did the backups, I may or may not have done them properly." Exactly how did you do the backup? Do you have seperate backups for each hard drive? Did you backup only the C partition on each drive?

    Is the OS XP or Vista? If XP have you tried a repair install and if Vista have you tried the repair feature?
     
  4. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    ok, thanks for clarifying what more you need. I'm relatively new to all this.

    I have XP, and I haven't tried any "repair" install. Is this an XP thing or a TI thing?

    In terms of the "two disks in the backup" I mean that when I restore from the backup .TIB file, there are two disks that I can separately choose to restore, and both are slightly different, so that means that I had backed up both of my original 80GB hard drives. I've tried both combinations of restoring "disk 1 to disk 1 and disk 2 to disk 2" and "disk 1 to disk 2 and disk 2 to disk 1", not being sure, I suppose, if the first disk in the .TIB file as originally my C drive or the D drive. I assumed that the first disk in the .tib file was C, and tried that combination first, but that didn't work (nor did the second combination).

    And the real problem is that I did these backups 3 or 4 months ago, and frankly don't remember specifics. I did "full" backups (as opposed to differential or incremental), but as to any other options (did I back up the MBR? I honestly don't remember).

    Anyway, I will be very grateful for any pointers to get my disks restored. I don't care if I have to reload windows and then restore partitions, if that would be easier. Its easy enough to reload windows from the dell recovery disks, if I can recover all the windows applications and such that I painfully loaded over time.

    thanks!
     
  5. jehosophat

    jehosophat Registered Member

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    There are several things that can be done but I dont want to confuse you or waste your time. So much depends on how you backed up.

    One possibility that comes to mind is that the MBR (the master boot record) was not backed up so the hard disk is not bootable currently. This would explain why when you do restore the computer does not boot.

    If you did do an image backup of your hard disk then if you restore the boot partition the computer will boot.

    But you may have done just a file backup which did not include the hidden boot files needed.

    So I suggest that you make the hard disk bootable and then restore the programs and data.
     
  6. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    thanks...what's the best way to make it bootable? reload windows? fool around with boot.ini? do some kind of /mbr commands? I know just enough to be dangerous, from reading these forums....I don't care if it takes a little more time to do this, if it guarantees I can restore partitions after that and have it work, since the huge time loss would be in reloading all the windows apps.

    I apologize for not knowing exactly what I did back in september. I now have the tutorial on how to do a backup, and will follow that... as soon as I have something restored...
     
  7. jehosophat

    jehosophat Registered Member

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    Give some of the other users a chance to respond before you rush off and try what I suggested.

    To make your hard disk bootable I would put the Windows cd in the computer and switch on. If your BIOS is set to read first from the cd, rather than the hard disk, then it will boot from the cd.

    If you want a clean install then one way is to format the hard disk with the command at the command prompt format C: /s and check using Fdisk that C: drive is Active. There are many tutorials on the Web how to do all this.
     
  8. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    I'm knowledgeable enough to boot from cd instead of HD, and do a clean install on a repartitioned/reformatted hard drive(s), so that would be easy enough - I know how to start over, its fixing existing oddities that I rarely try. I guess the part that confuses me (or worries me) is that if I do a fresh start, do you think I can then "simply" restore the two backed up disk images ("disk 1" and "disk 2") to the new C and D drives? I worry, for example, that somehow the new C and D won't be identical in size to the old ones (off by a few megatypes for example), and then the restore would fail?
     
  9. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    More than likely you have a "partition ID" drive letter problem, I see it all the time with windows xp. When the "restored drive" hangs or reboots at the logon screen that is usually a symptom of a "partition ID" drive letter problem.

    When I encounter these I just use a "boot corrector" to change the "drive letter" a 5 minute fix and the "restored drive" will boot up. That's how I fix the problem.

    Whether you backed up/restored the MBR makes no difference, I never back it up. Fixmbr/Fixboot/repair installations of windows won't fix a "partition ID" drive letter problem. Whenever you backup a partition, it's never going to be an exact duplicate there will be size differences but these will not prevent the "backup" from working when restored. From my expierence as long as your backup completed with no errors and isn't corrupted, it will always be bootable when restored.

    The main thing that causes "partition ID" problems is if the "source" windows xp, was exposed to the drive it will be restored on. If that hard drive "ID signature" is in the registry of windows xp, when it boots up for the first time it will cause drive letter problems. The only way to fix it is to try a different hard drive or sector by sector backup. The quickest is to use a "boot corrector".

    You can use a bartpe (with the savepart plugin) to bootup with the restored drive and verify if you have a "partition ID" problem. To me it looks like that's your problem.
     
  10. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    ok, I googled bartpe and found that. I'll have to try it out later today. Will that let me correct the problem, or just let me verify it?


    hmm..and reading the description, do I need to build the bartpe cd on the "broken" system? I have other pcs around that I can do this on, but i'll have to read more I guess.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  11. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    The bartpe needs the savepart plug-in both are free downloads. But to make a bartpe you need a windows xp installation cd (that's where the bartpe will get the files to build the bootcd).

    The bartpe bootcd will bootup your computer, from there it will let you analyze the non-booting hard drive. This is where the "savepart" plug-in comes into play. The savepart program will read the registry from the non-booting windows and will show you both the "mounted devices" drive letter and the "partition ID" drive letter. In order for windows to boot properly, both of these drive letters must match. In most cases the "mounted devices" drive letter will be c: (same as on the source drive), if the "partition ID" isn't c: than you know that's your problem.

    The bartpe won't fix the problem, but it will let you verify if that is indeed your problem. I always think it's important to pinpoint the problem in case you see it again.

    directions to check "partition ID"
    1.)bootup with the bartpe cd, go/partition saving
    2.)next choose "update windows2000/xp/vista registry" doubleclick on it.
    3.)next doubleclick on the "disk number 0" this is usually the hard drive that has your partitions.
    4.)next click on the partition that has your system (make a note of the drive letter, this is your mounted device drive letter) most default installations it will be "c".
    5.)the next screen is blue and has directorys, here choose the "WINDOWS" directory and doubleclick on it.
    6.)On next screen just double click on the partition shown.
    7.)It'll take you back to the screen on step 4, doubleclick on the "C" partition.
    8.)Finally your in the "drive letter to affect this partition" box. This is where it will show you the "partition ID drive letter" it should be the same as the "mounted device drive letter". If it doesn't match than you have a problem.
     
  12. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    1. done
    2. done
    3. done
    4. this shows as drive D, not C. Support = "main part", size = 76GB, num = 1 if that is important
    5. done
    6. Wasn't sure which partition was "shown", it shows 2 partitions - drive 0 has a black background, drive 1 has a blue...so I clicked on "OK" assuming that referred to the one that was desired
    7. yes, it again shows the drive D line from #4 above, but it only shows this one, no drive C, so I doubleclicked on the drive D
    8. In this screen, it shows on the first line, black background, drive D. it also shows a drive C and I with a blue background. Clicking on Drive D offers me to change the disk hex ID to some other key value that doesn't match the drive C or I hex value.


    So now I have no idea if I have a problem or not? It seems like the drive ID matches, albeit it is a D and not a C?


    thanks again for any help in figuring this out.
     
  13. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Usually when I have "partition ID" drive letter problems, in step 8, I will see different drive letters but never a c: . For the time being you can rule out a "partition ID" problem because on step 4 you have d: drive, on "partition ID" problems that will always be c: drive.

    On your original windows xp, was the OS installed on c: or d: drive? If it was on the default c: , you might be able to fix this problem by deleting the "current mounted devices" entries from the registry (using the bartpe command line), this will change the d: to c: during reboot.

    If your original windows xp was d: , then you might have to check your boot.ini file to make sure that it's pointing to the right partition.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=210322
     
  14. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    ok, i've ready the thread and can see how I'd have problems. From what I recall, I think I ended up with windows on drive D - this is my kids' PC, so I don't really use it much ,and I had problems when I added a second hard drive. I'm sure I violated some of the rules mentioned, since I do recall having lots of problems with windows booting after I added the second hard drive - I must have reloaded windows 10X, fooled around in the bios, changed jumpers, etc., - I really didn't know what I was doing, I just kept trying various things until finally it booted...and I invoked the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" rule.

    Do you think this is as simple as reloading windows from the original dell disks, and then restoring the partition, or do you think the problems that I have now are "baked" into the registry and are going to follow me even if I do that?
     
  15. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    I always read about "dells" being problem systems to backup and restore because of the "recovery partitions" causing problems, but I don't think it's anything that can't be fixed. I would still try and fix your restored drive instead of reloading windows which previously also cause you problems. Some people here in the forums would recommend you start back in the beginning, but on a simple problem like yours where windows actually starts to boot (a good sign that it's not a major problem) but reaches a point where it stops it's best to fix it.

    Since "d" drive was where your originally installed windows, you can rule out the "mounted devices" as being your problem. But I would start checking the boot.ini file next and make sure that it's referencing the correct partition where windows is installed. The bartpe can open up and edit the boot.ini file, it will be in the system partition. When you doubleclick on the system partition you will see the boot.ini file it will be a notepad file.

    The "backup" that you have currently, will always be the same even if you restore it over a dell recovered partition, it will just overwite the partition. You can always change your system partition "mounted devices" back to c: (from current d: ) by deleting the "mounted devices" in the registry (this will work because during bootup windows will always reset the system partition to c: ), but then you will also have to change the "partition ID" to c: (from the current d: ) , the only way to change that is with a "boot corrector". But if d: has been working for you with no major problems you can leave it as is.
     
  16. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    ok, boot.ini has
    [boot loader]
    default = multi(0) disk(0) rdisk(1) partition(1) \window
    [operating systems]
    multi(0) disk(0) rdisk(1) partition(1) \WINDOWS=HOME EDITION


    Now, my "disk 0" has 1 partition (main partition) with drive D, and windows is on it.

    "disk 1" has two partitions, one a small, 30MB one with no drive letter, and the other is the large, 76GB Drive C with no windows install

    So, thoughts on what to fix?
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    millervt,

    Can you remove the second HD from your computer. Now you will only have one HD, your "disk 0".

    What happens when you now try to boot from this HD?

    Has this always been your first HD? The one with WinXP?

    How did you obtain the boot.ini information?

    How did you see this partition to determine its drive letter?
     
  18. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    i'll open up the box later tonight and power off each harddrive in turn and see what happens in terms of booting and such.

    I'm not sure which of the two was my original HD. When I added a hardrive, I went through a terrible time of getting windows to boot and such, involving all kinds of different steps I tried including swapping harddrives, changing jumpers, reloading windows, etc. I'm sure that is the ultimate cause of all this.

    I saw the drive letters using the bartpe partsave plugin, as described in the step by step post earlier. Handy thing, that bartpe. Also explored boot.ini using bartpe.

    Next time I'm buying a big honkin' HD and just having one HD in a system....
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Make sure you remove the power and the IDE cable from the non booting HD. Make sure the booting HD is on the end of the IDE cable (Cable Select or Master). I assume you have IDE HDs.

    Try both HDs on the end of the IDE cable if you aren't sure which is the WinXP HD.

    It's far easier to troubleshoot with only one HD connected.

    Don't do that. Two HDs are incredibly useful for backup and for running certain applications. eg video editing.

    Do you have a floppy drive? Does your computer boot from a USB flash drive?

    Thanks for answering my questions. I'm sure your problem is fixable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I suspect your "disk 1" is the Master HD that came with your computer from Dell as it has the 30 MB Dell diagnostic partition.

    Your boot.ini is strange as it's for a second HD OS.
     
  21. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    no floppy, although I do have a USB floppy. Boots from the harddrive in general (although of course I can set the boot sequence at boot time to start with the cdrom drive so I can boot from the bartpe cd).

    I'll try not to screw things up later tonight. :)
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  23. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    well, with either harddrive disconnected, it won't boot at all...it hangs with a mesage to go into setup...where the harddrive configuration keeps saying "unknown" for each of these. the only way I can get it to successfully boot is with both.

    Just for laughs, I switched master/slave jumpers on the drives, to see if that fixes it, but no joy - still the same hang.

    so i'm stuck again I guess.
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    millervt,

    Would you mind posting error messages in full? What model Dell computer do you have? How old?

    In the BIOS, the IDE Configuration area, is it set to AUTO? Can you change the Unknown HD field by pressing Enter? Is there an AutoDetect setting for the HD?

    Have you tried Cable Select (CS) for the HD jumper? That is the Dell suggested setting. Can you reset the BIOS to Default settings if the HD still isn't recognized?

    Do you have another IDE cable that you can try?

    This must be terribly frustrating for you. One problem after another. After you get the HD recognized in the BIOS could you boot from your BartPE CD and let us know about the boot.ini?
     
  25. millervt

    millervt Registered Member

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    dell 2400, about, oh, 3 to 4 years old.

    I can try CS, i'll do that now and post results.

    When I try booting just one HD, it forces me to go to the bios, and I can try setting it to AUTO, but it never finds anything other than UNKNOWN device. With both, it cheerfully finds a HARD DRIVE for both.

    And the error message when I try to boot with one HD is "press F1 to retry boot or F2 to enter SETUP"...pressing F1 is an infinite loop, and going to SETUP doesn't solve anything since I can never get the BIOS to recognize the single hard drive. It does find the two "CDROM" (actually dvd drives) on the secondary IDE channel.

    I'm sure I have another IDE cable somewhere inthe basement, but I don't see how that is the problem given that it works fine with both harddrives on it? I hate changing the cable out since it isn't easy to get to the motherboard end, and I figure every time I try to plug and unplug it is one time closer to bending a pin or something equally bad on the motherboard itself, which would then be "game over".

    let me try some of these things.
     
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