XP not booting after restoring image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by doveman, Apr 26, 2005.

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  1. doveman

    doveman Guest

    Of course in other scenarios there may be another reason for this, but when it happened to me, as other people have posted, only Windows 98's fdisk /mbr could fix this problem.

    A couple of weeks ago I had to restore a TI of XP and it booted but stopped just before the welcome/logon screen. During the boot process, scandisk/chkdsk wanted to check the XP partition, and I could see that it had now been allocated drive letter H instead of C . Prior to the restore, there were two Primary partitions, and I had used Partition Magic 8 to delete both and create a new one using all the free space, so it wasn't the case that there was another, old C messing things up.

    This appears to be because True Image doesn't backup/restore the GUID of the partition (which makes a bit of a joke of the name 'True Image'!). So when XP tries to boot, it sees that the GUID of the new partition doesn't equal the GUID already allocated to C in the registry, so it assigns the next available letter (in my case H) to the new partition.

    It took a whole day of panic before I stumbled across the fdisk /mbr solution. I think I danced when it worked :)

    I really think TI should copy this GUID. I don't recall ever having a similar problem when using Ghost. If this problem can't be fixed (and I don't see why not), then TI should warn the user in big letters that they will need a working 98 boot disk to successfully restore a XP boot partition image.

    It's also rather pathetic that XP's recovery console doesn't have a command to either do whatever 98's fdisk /mbr does, or to clear the GUID assigned to C in the registry so that on the next boot the new partition is allowed to be C.
     
  2. doveman

    Sorry to disagree with you, but it can do all most anything.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  3. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Must be an WinXP or TI 8.0 thing. I have been busy all afternoon wiping and restoring from an TI 6.0 image containing 3 partitions:

    1) Primary/Active with Win2K Pro + Recovery Console (drive C, NTFS)
    2) Extended with data (drive D, NTFS)
    3) Extend with alternate Win2K Pro (drive E, NTFS)

    No problems so far, except for an initial message from Win2K about having discovered & installed a new device and a request for a reboot. Not sure what that is about. The C drive? A network driver? I had a similar message pop up after a restore from a file-level NTBackup...

    Right now, I am trying a restore + resize from a network share.
     
  4. doveman

    doveman Guest

    No need to apologise, you might well be right :) But can you tell me how to do what I asked about with XP's RC?
     
  5. doveman

    doveman Guest

    Are you using a complete drive image, or individual partition images? If the latter, you might want to try creating and formatting a primary partition in different ways (as I said I used PM8 so I don't know if doing it any other way would result in the same difficulty) and then restoring just the primary partition from it's image and see if W2K still boots OK.

    I don't have any experience with W2K, but I'm guessing it uses the same GUID method as XP. The GUID's are stored in the registry under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    If your OS partition was assigned H, did you also have a C partition? My OS is ALWAYS assigned C drive after a restore. Win 95, Win 98, Win ME, Win XP. Haven't tried Win 2000.

    Were you restoring into the same primary partition number as the image? If not it won't boot and the boot.ini needs editing.



    Brian
     
  7. doveman

    doveman Guest

    No, there was no other C partition (or any other primary partition for that matter) when I did the restore.

    Partition number was the same (1) when I imaged and when I restored. I didn't have to change the boot.ini.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello doveman,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Acronis True Image does save all the data (including registry entries) and the partition should be assigned C letter. Could you please describe how you creaed the image? Did you image all the disk, did you do it under Windows or after booting from Acronis Bootable CD?

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  9. doveman

    doveman Guest

    Hi Ilya

    I'm not saying that TI doesn't include the registry in it's image, that would be crazy! TI obviously images all the files on a partition and the registry is just files. What I'm saying is the registry associates an ID code with each drive letter, and because the ID code in the registry and the ID code on the new partition were different, XP assigned the new partition the next available letter. I don't know where on the partition/drive this ID code is stored.

    Basically what I had was a dual-boot system, using BootStar to choose between Win98 and XP. I booted into XP, and BootStar completely hides the 98 partition when doing this, so XP was the only visible Primary partition.

    From XP, I made an image of the XP Primary partition. Then I used Partition Magic 8 to delete both Primary partitions and create one new one from the resulting free space. I think I told PM8 to format the new partition as FAT32 (the XP partition was FAT32) as well. Then I booted with the TI CD and restored the image to the new Primary partition.

    And then it wouldn't boot.......
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello doveman,

    It seems that the problem is likely to be in the BootStar rather than in Windows. Since the drive letter assignment is stored in the registry and the registry is transferred correctly there shouldn't have been any problems. I am afraid it will be very difficult to investigate this problem now when you have restored the partition especially since we do not know how BootStar works.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I agree BootStar is the likely culprit. If you had not deleted Win 98 (and left it hidden) I doubt you would have had a problem. I've seen similar errors when PQ BootMagic is looking for an OS which is no longer present.

    Brian
     
  12. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi there TheQuest,

    Are you away on holiday? If so have good time!!

    Unfortunately Win XP's "fixmbr" command stops short by a few bytes from zero'ing out the DiskID. Hence the need to use Win 98's "fdisk /mbr" command.

    Check out Method #3 ("Kawecki's Trick") in this <article by Dan Goodell> for the details.

    Kind regards
     
  13. doveman

    doveman Guest

    I probably wouldn't have had a problem, but that means TI isn't able to restore an image to a partition other than the one it was imaged from.

    Bootstar wasn't 'looking for an OS which is no longer present', because Bootstar wasn't on the drive any more.
     
  14. doveman

    doveman Guest

    What a cop-out! Perhaps your technical guys should have a look at the page Mencorman linked to (thanks mate, I needed a good explanation of how this works).

    To quote from the page , "The partition signature is derived from the DiskID and the partition's starting sector number.".

    It is this signature that is stored in the registry and associated with a drive letter, so if TI restores an image to a different partition than it was made from, the new partition's starting sector will be different and therefore it's signature will be different to the one stored in the registry, so XP assigns the new partition another letter.

    However, the page also says "Note that if a partition no longer exists in the system, any drive letter previously assigned to that partition may be available for reallocation to new partitions. "No longer exists" means the partition tables no longer show any partition beginning at the same sector location."

    In my case, the original XP partition was the second primary partition on the drive, and I'd deleted both this and the 98 partition (which was the first partition). So the partition table shouldn't have "shown any partition beginning at the same sector location".

    The only explanation I can think of is that at some point in the past the 98 partition HAD been visible to XP and therefore XP had assigned it a drive letter (say H). The new partition I made and restored the image to started at the beginning of the drive, so would have begun at the same sector as the old 98 partition, therefore the restored XP would have carried on using H for the partition. I think fdisk /mbr fixed the problem because it changed the 4 bytes in the MBR that XP uses to calculate the partition signatures and forced XP to reassign letters to all the partitions. Method #3 ("Kawecki's Trick") referred to by Mencorman explains this fully.

    However, I'm not sure if this method would always work because if 98's fdisk /mbr (which 'zeroes out' the 4 byte Disk ID) had been used previously, then the partition signatures in XP's registry might still match existing partitions. I suppose it depends whether XP, or another program such as a boot manager, had changed these bytes since the previous time fdisk /mbr was done.

    Anyway, as far as I can see it's not Bootstar's fault, as the same would have happened with any boot manager. I really think you should have some way of dealing with this situation in TI, particularly as 'Partition Saving' (a freeware program) can handle it. I've never heard of this program before, but I'm certainly gonna look at it, although as it's a DOS program you'd need to use a bootable floppy or CD.

    NB. It seems imaging a dual-boot partition (IE 98 and XP on the same partition) and restoring it to a different partition will also break the 98 part, because BOOTSECT.DOS, which the 98 system needs to boot, will be referring to the wrong place. (See Chapter 12 of Partition Saving's manual).
     
  15. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Great article! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Hi, Menorcaman

    I wished :D, just not on my own system, so do not wont to use my passwords.

    Great link very informative.

    Yes I understand that, but I am sure it would have fixed doveman problem.

    But know he has read your link, seem to have become an expert, :D

    You know what they say about Knowledge, a little bit is Dangerous.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:

    PS:If doveman read this post I hope he can understand my sense of [meant to be] humour and does not take insult.

    PPS: As I can not edit the other post [being a guest I should have privew it first] I have corrected this one.

    Edited by snap - TheQuest, I've removed your non-edited post since this one now replaces it, and I've added back in the quotes from non-edited post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2005
  17. doveman

    doveman Guest

    Hi TheQuest

    If you mean you think XP's FIXMBR would have fixed my problem, I'm afraid that I tried it and it didn't!

    Funny thing is, I probably won't need this new knowledge ever again. I'll try and forget it so I can use my memory for something more useful like my Mum's birthday, I can never remember when it is!

    Sir, I take offence and challenge you to a duel at dawn tomorrow :D
     
  18. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    @Menorcaman

    Wow, that is a great article. I never did completely understand how XP handled assigning drive letters to partitions. I knew that you could fix problems by erasing the disk signature, but I did not know how that interacts with the partition signature. Anothe piece of the puzzle falls into place!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2005
  19. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi Guys,

    Glad you found the link informative. However, I take no credit as it was posted in this forum a couple of months ago and I found it so interesting that I felt it worth adding to my Favorites for future reference. Anyway, for those so inclined, it's worth starting at the beginning and reading the whole of Dan Goodell's article titled <Understanding MultiBooting and Booting Windows from an Extended Partition>. Enjoy :).

    Regards
     
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