Would this procedure avoid ruining my OS & MBR?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by RetiredBri, Dec 31, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    I've had great advice before - Can anyone help here?

    I have a PC with two HDs - Drive 0: 60Mb, the master primary drive with C: (boot/OS) D: and E: partitions. Drive 1: 80Mb is the slave with just one partition H: It runs XP Home so no Recovery Console available. Drive 0: has been defragmented and Chkdisk run - all OK. Seagate Drive test says no errors. Everything is fine.

    1 I then install TI9 in C:/Programs and create the boot CD. Since I only want to clone, I do not make any images nor create a Secure Zone.

    2 I switch off, remove Drive 1 so that XP does not recognise H: Switch on, H: is not there, XP is fine. I do this because I've heard of problems with drive letters changing when I clone.

    The aim is now to use TI9 to clone Drive 0 to the larger Drive 1 so that Drive 1 can become my new primary drive with same C: (boot/OS) ,D: and E: partitions. Drive 0 will then be kept as a “safeguard drive”

    I believe the steps to be:

    3 Fit Drive 1 again as Slave and then only boot from the TI9 boot disk. This instruction "BOOT only from the CD" is not in the TI9 manual!!!!!

    4 Perform the cloning while running TI9 outside of windows using the “Manual” method to alter the partitions to suit the larger Drive 0:

    Question A: Using this method and since TI9 is running from the CD, does TI do anything to Drive 0 except read it (There are lots of posts on this forum about altering MBR, drive letters and ruining the OS)

    5 On completion, remove the TI Boot disk, switch off, remove the 60Mb Drive 0: and make the 80Mb drive the Master. Switch on and allow to boot from XP.

    I'd expect everything to work just as it did with the old drive 0 and for the new cloned 80Mb drive to be Drive 0 with C: (boot/OS) ,D: and E: partitions.

    Question B: Is this assumption correct? Will XP report it as Drive 0? Will it be as fast as the older drive when booting up etc? Is the layout of the files the same as before?

    7 To check that the old drive has not been altered, I remove the 80Mb drive, refit the 60Mb drive, make it the Master and switch on and allow to boot from XP.

    I'd expect everything to work just as it did originally - the machine should not know that this 60Mb drive has been cloned - It should be EXACTLY the same as before.

    Question C: Is this assumption correct? Has the original drive been left INTACT?

    I'm sorry to labour the point but having studied the posts for over 3 weeks (my original "Peace of Mind" question posted 11 Dec 2005 is now on page 16 of this forum) there is so much confusion about even the simplest of "cloning" jobs and so many “ruined” systems.
    All I ever wanted was "Safeguard" drive in my drawer for "Peace of Mind" . From reading the posts, I'm terrified that I'll ruin my good drive trying to get there.

    Finally, has TI got worse over the years because Acronis has been adding features to allow for Incremantal Backups, Multi-disk DVD images, Networked Systems, Secure Zone, Snap Restore, External USB Drives etc. Was there ever a version that worked perfectly to do the simple job on a standalone PC such as mine. I would trawl back thorough the 287 pages of this forum but I feel I would just get more disillusioned.

    Please - could someone confirm the procedure above so I can get on with life. Hopefully then Acronis could add the important detail "you must boot from the CD when you clone"" into the FAQ's and section 7 of the instruction manual.

    Looking forward to lots of good advice, Happy New Year to you all.

    RetiredBri
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2005
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello Retired Bri,

    Sounds o.k. to me other than there is no need for Step 2.

    You can commence the clone operation either from within Windows or after booting from the TI rescue CD. Having said that, many users feel happier imaging or cloning via the rescue CD. The key point is not to let Windows see both the original and cloned drives when it first boots up after cloning has been completed, otherwise you will be faced with the DiskID problem.

    As you want to retain your original drive intact as a safeguard, make sure that you do NOT select the option to erase the data from it during the clone.

    Hopefully, you haven't previously carried out lots of changes to you hardware. Therefore replacing the hard drive shouldn't drive Windows Activation over the edge.

    Other than that, I think you should be good to go.

    Regards
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    IMO, probably yes but that is a problem with any software package; the more it does the more there is to go wrong with it. Look at the USB situation, if TI didn't do USB, a huge number of posts would not be present. However, a lot of people bought earlier versions TI because it supported USB devices whereas Drive Image and Ghost didn't at the time. Secure zone and Snap Restore are a complete waste of time from MY perspective because it is not how I want to do my backups.
    My Drive Image 2002 did the basic tasks and was great. Where it came unstuck was having to fiddle with XP NTFS permissions to do anything with the created image files.

    In reading this forum since I bought TI9 it has become obvious to me that there are a huge number of configurations, hardware types, different OS, and ways of working than I ever would have dreamed of. It is not surprising that some people have trouble given what they want to do with some rather uncommon hardware configuration. These things would be impossible to postulate and test prior to releasing the product given its pricing point.

    If Acronis reviews their problem tracking system they likely would be able to pick out a few issues that if modified would make a significant number of their support calls go away. An example, is doing something about making tailored .iso files available for downloading by registered users and time-limited ones for trial users so people can easily create the stand-alone version. One of the tailored .iso files would have that "quiet no apic"(or whatever) built into it. Although there have been Acronis posts saying the MBR issue is complex, if it were addressed with a tool or some better documentation another large group of problems would go away. I am sure there are others.
     
  4. OldITGuy

    OldITGuy Guest

    The only thing I do not see mentioned is the affect on the BIOS. I have seen a number of situations where changing hardware, in this case disk drives, causes the BIOS to do a rescan and change the default disk drive settings. In every case where I do an operation such as cloning a drive I check the BIOS after each hardware change. In a number of cases I find that the default boot order has changed when the detected hard drives changed. Not a big deal. Just make sure before you try to reboot into Windows that the detected hard drives reflect exactly what the hardware is at the moment, and that the boot order is correct including that the drive the BIOS thinks is the C: drive is really Drive 0.
     
  5. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Hello all.

    Thanks for the info - I feel happier that for my simple application and using the TI9 boot disk should avoid altering the existing Drive 0 (with the C: partition/boot/OS data). I’ll also check the BIOS – although to date, the drives are reported correctly.

    I’m away for a few weeks so will try everything out on my return.
    Have any others had problems with activation codes when swapping drives around - particulary while testing?

    Regards
    RetiredBri
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2006
  6. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello again RetiredBri,

    Merely swapping hard drives around shouldn't trigger Windows re-activation as they have a pretty low weighting factor in the list of things being monitored. If you haven't already done so, have a read of this previous thread titled <Windows XP Re-Activation>.

    Regards
     
  7. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Thanks Menorcaman - it makes for interesting reading while I'm away.

    There are lots of posts at the moment about the steps/procedure for proper cloning.
    I just wondered, when using TI9, have the steps for proper cloning (including the reasons for doing things) ever been written down?
    Also what you must not do (again with the explanation of problems they could cause)?

    Regards
    RetiredBri
     
  8. MikeC578

    MikeC578 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Posts:
    8
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hey RetiredBri...

    Well? How'd your cloning go? I too have purchased TI9 for cloning only purposes... and like you, I've had some serious concerns having read through the cloning questions and all the problems experienced. I'm looking to install a newer larger HDD as my new system drive without all the bother of reloading everything & all the acxtivations required - that part is just too scary. Perhaps I should've accessed these forums BEFORE purchasing and not fallen for the other web hype about what Acronis TI can do in regards to cloning. I have printed off your steps and will follow them if it's worked for you. How long can I expect this 'cloning' process to take. My current C Drive is a 200GB 7200 SATA, being replaced with a 300GB SATA and will I be able to manipulate the partition to show the new drive as being 300GB? (Instead of a 200GB Partition & a 100GB Partition).

    Regards,

    Soon to be Retired Mike
     
  9. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Hi MikeC578

    I can recommend the retiring - beware though, it gives you time to read this forum and frighten yourself silly. I'm away from my Desktop PC for a few weeks but able to keep up with the posts.
    There is broad agreement with the steps but I haven't had anyone answer:
    While awaiting the answers, I have only cloned my drive using the free Seagate DiskWizard programme (I thought that since both drives were Seagate, the company wouldn't produce a programme that would ruin your drives).
    Sure enough, it worked but the cloned drive was slow to boot, had messed up some Office programmes and was slow to shut down. For now, it is in the drawer as a "half working" safeguard drive and awaits my return. By then, I hope to see the steps written in tablets of stone!
    I believe that TI will not allow you to alter the number of partitions so if you only have one at the moment, the clone will only have one. TI should allow it to be resized upwards. Not sure if there is a limit on size.
    Before I did anything about cloning, I fitted the drive to check that windows would see the drive ok - some posts indicate size/driver problems. I think you must remove it, reboot so widows forgets it before refitting it and then booting from the TI9 CD although Menorcaman says this is not necessary.

    I think that you should ask your specific questions - SATA/Size/Partitions as a new thread so that the title gets the attention of the experts.

    Regards

    RetiredBri
     
  10. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello Bri,

    Just so there is no confusion, what I said was that it's not necessary to disconnect the new drive prior to the cloning operation (your Step 2). However, after connecting the newly cloned drive as the bootable master, you will definitely need to remove the original drive prior to booting into Windows for the first time. This will allow Windows to assign the correct DiskID to the new drive, after which you can reconnect the original drive to your system.

    Regards
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.