Bienvenido! - Willkommen! - Welcome!

Bitácora Técnica de Tux&Cía., Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BO
Bitácora Central: Tux&Cía.
Bitácora de Información Avanzada: Tux&Cía.-Información
May the source be with you!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

backup - imaging - disk management

Acronis True Image / Partition Manager - BE WARNED

For imaging and disk / partition management software in general, the customer is generally at the vendor's mercy with respect to the Linux-based rescue disks that they provide, as they decide which Linux variant and version to supply and which drivers are included for disks, network, etc. Such rescue disks cannot generally be customized by the user.
Inclusion of a WinPE disk by the vendor has some advantages, including (usually) a set of drivers compatible with more PC configs than the Linux-based boot disk and the ability for the user to add drivers not provided by the base WinPE disk. I don't know how far back Acronis has been providing WinPE disks for its programs, but I understand the latest True Image and Disk Director Home products do, and I assume based on the first post that True Image 2010 also does.

I have not used / fooled around with WinPE 2 or 3, but I assume there are methods to build the disks with add'l storage drivers (preferred) or at least to add them dynamically at boot time. I have done such for the BartPE disk I have built to use programs of this nature (and I still use Acronis Disk Director 10 with a BartPE plug-in), as the relatively new PC I have requires pre-installation storage drivers compatible with my mboard's storage controller, based on my chosen BIOS settings.
As alluded to above, BIOS settings associated with the hard drives installed can affect the recognition of the hard drives when booting into these rescue disk environments. SATA settings such as Raid and AHCI can require additional drivers. For bootable rescue disks, changing AHCI mode to "IDE Compatibility Mode" or equivalent could get the bootable resue disk to recognize the drives. This is a simple / straightforward test both for WinPE and Linux-based rescue disks for trouble isolation purposes (though do change it back to previous value(s) when booting into installed Windows). Thus, it is a good idea to check the SATA interface settings in the BIOS to see if AHCI is enabled.
Use bootit bare metal partitioner  
Beginner's Guide to Creating a BartPE CD with a TI Plugin  
(Multi-page thread 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last Page)
Convert Dynamic Disk back to Basic Disk without data loss
EASEUS Todo Backup 2.5.1 released
Mount a backup as virtual disk and restore files from it:
see Acronis Backup & Recovery 10: Mounting Partition Backups.
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2010 »

1.  I really do not understand your problem with the drive letter C:\
I have used many different BOOT-CD's for many purposes, including sundry Partition managers and also Acronis 10 and Acronis 11.
None of these have EVER shown me any drive letters, they do not know such things.
Drive letters are something special to Windows,
and can be reassigned within Windows.
So if Windows is not running, i.e. Boot-CD is in total charge, drive letters can only be guessed at.
I learned a long time ago to change the label of every partition to show me the drive letter I wanted it to be, and also its purpose.

2.   There is a special GOTCHA with Acronis Secure Zone.
It is a hidden partition which is possible to boot into when otherwise the BIOS would decide there is no CD to use and it is time to run Windows.
Acronis patches the MBR to permit this bypass of a full Windows start-up.
If that Acronis Secure Zone is damaged or destroyed, or discarded by restoring to factory defaults, then if you restore an Acronis image that includes the MBR as it was, when you complete restoration and reboot the first thing to happen after BIOS is the MBR wants to see the Acronis Secure Zone.
It happened to me and I had to use another Boot-CD to fix my MBR before I could run Windows again.

I was using a Partition Manager under Windows to shift a data partition (i.e. no system files were at risk).
Something happened and all seven partitions vanished.
Even the Partition manager could not see them until I launched its Recovery Wizard.
That saw about 24 different partition boundaries due to many changes to the size of this partition and the replacement of that etc.  So many possibilities for overlapping partitions.
It was a great help to see my labels with the drive letter clues.
I think I need to add a further clue of the date whenever I change its boundaries.
I retrieved the six I needed.
The other partition was the Acronis Secure Zone which I have never needed,
and the Partition Manager had always said it was an unknown format at the best of times because of how Acronis had hidden and protected it.
I decided that I had no need for the Acronis Secure Zone,
and I certainly was not going to risk losing again the six which had caused me such panic,
so I got out of there as fast as possible.
I had the 6 partitions, but no Windows, no  Internet, and no Google to tell me how to fix things.
More panic until I worked out for myself that the MBR needed fixing.
I remembered there was something called fixmbr, but had no idea how to use it.
Google just is not around when you need it most ! !
All I had were my BOOT-CD's.
Relief, Partition manager CD had a rebuild MBR option.
Windows at last ! !
I now ensure the Internet is disconnected and all Comodo Security is disabled before using a partition manager under Windows to do anything more advanced than changing a drive letter,
and feel safest from any external disturbance if I use the Partition Manager BOOT-CD.

No comments: