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Cloning GPT disks with Acronis True Image 2016

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Cloning GPT disks with Acronis True Image 2016

Use Acronis True Image 2016 to clone GPT disks with multiple partitions.
Clone OEM system restore partitions and keep multi-boot functionality.
Other Acronis versions like ACR 11.5 may prompt convert the GPT disk to MBR, not helpful.
Windows Computer Management does not show all partitions in the correct order.
Acronis does not show all partitions in the correct order.
Use Minitoool Partition Wizard Free to graphically view partion order.
Use the Windows command DISKPART to view partition order.
Use DISKPART to prepare the destination disk with partitions.
Do not rely on True Image default restore settings.
Use the True Image 2016 restore wizard to image each partition to a "new location".

In October 2015 Mustang (Acronis MVP Volunteer) explained in spectacular detail cloning of UEFI/GPT disks with True Image 2016.
101550: Guide to Restoring a UEFI/GPT Windows System to a New Disk with True Image 2016
Original post: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/101550


It's a great post with over 50 helpful comments.
I successfully cloned my GPT system disk after reading this.
I'm thankful to Mustang and the other contributors.
I'm respectfully expanding on their work here.
Use DISKPART to read all of the partitions on the old source disk:
Command prompt
> diskpart
> list disk
> select disk #
> list partition

Use DISKPART to create the same partitions on the new destination disk:
Command prompt
> diskpart
> list disk
> select disk #
> clean
> convert gpt
> (Delete MSR if created in the wrong place) delte partition override
> create partition primary size=xxxxx   (for each primary partition)
> create partition msr size=xxxx         (for the system reserved partition)

Create an Acronis TIB backup of the entire source disk.
Prepare the destination disk by creating partitions
Restore the TIB to the prepared destination disk.
Use the restore wizard to select "New Location" for each partition

The original post...
1. assumed familiarity with the True Image product.
2. assumed only one computer was available.
3. didn't include "delete partition override".
4. glossed over some partition sizing info.
5. wasn't clear on the "MBR track 0" checkbox.
6. was pretty awesome regardless of my notes and advice.

1. So, the original instructions assumed familiarity with the True Image product.
Start by purchasing and installing Acronis True Image 2016.
We can't simpy download the boot media. (No ISO or stand-alone media creator)
Install the True Image product in Windows, then we can generate boot media.
Disregard the Linux boot media, choose the WinPE boot media.
Install WinPE boot media on a blank flash disk.

2. The original instructions assumed that only one computer was available.
I first attempted to do everything from my laptop.
I had trouble correctly loading multiple USB devices at each boot.
SATA/USB docks and USB 3.0 devices don't always perform as desired
In the end I used a desktop with four SATA ports and a couple of extra SATA cables.

In the preparation phase, it's nice to mount the source and destination disks on the same computer at the same time for a side by side comparison.

A "reference desktop" can be any Windows OS running Acronis True Image 2016, Minitool PW Free, and of course DISKPART. See image attachments on this post.
Disks connected for Preparation Phase
-- Reference Desktop Computer (SATA)
-- Original Source Disk (SATA)
-- New Destination Disk (SATA)

Three disks were required to make the TIB file.
-- Acronis WinPE Boot Media (USB STICK)
-- Original Source Disk (SATA)
-- Storage for TIB file (SATA)

Three disks were required to deploy/image the TIB file.
-- Acronis WinPE Boot Media (USB STICK)
-- Storage for TIB file (SATA)
-- New Destination Disk (SATA)

Switching through these scenarios it's nice to use a desktop instead of a laptop.
3. My system reserved partition (MSR) was not in the beginning of the disk.
Mustang actually documented this issue in the comments a couple months after his orignal post.
So, In my case Lenovo inserted the MSR as the fourth partition.
Unfortunately "convert gpt" creates the MSR at the beginning of the disk
I ran "convert gpt", then used the "delete partition override" command to delete the unwanted MSR.
Then I manually created the new MSR in the correct spot.

4. The original instructions glossed over some partition sizing info.
I made my new MSR exactly 128 MB, and that worked.
All of my other destination partitions were sized slightly larger than the original partitions.
Larger sizes help to compensate for the Windows minimum sector size and/or Windows allocation units.
The word "exact" in the original post shouldn't be taken too literally
For example, you are probably migrating to a larger disk.
Create the new C drive size with the new larger size.
All of the disks in this process are basic disks, not dynamic, so it's difficult to resize the disks when the process is complete.

5. The original instructions provided detail on the MBR Track 0 check box.
Hours later Mustang commented,"I did some more test restores here. I have found that checking or not checking the MBR Track 0 box made no difference." Thus, we can disregard MBR Track 0.

6. The original post was awesome regardless of my notes and advice. It filled a huge gap in my understanding of GPT disks.

I hope this helps new users and people who don't normally read comments! Happy imaging. - I'm a new member to the Acronis forums. Cheers, - DelawareValley05


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DelawareValley05, welcome to our user forums and thank you for the work you have put into preparing the information you have put together on this subject of cloning GPT disks with ATIH 2016.  I am sure that this will prove useful for other users in these forums.

Regular Poster
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Acronis needs to fix this problem with the MSR partiton. It's ridiculous how many builds have been released and this problem still isn't fixed. I couldn't use Acronis on a job this weekend for this very reason. AOMEI Backupper (Free) does a much better job for backing up and restoring disks. The partitions are restored in the proper order. The UEFI WinPE boot disk can be created without any added software and even automatically added my network drivers. I did have to repair the EFI bootloader after restoring the backup. I performed a clone with this software and it worked perfectly. It even automatically resized partitons for the smaller destination drive. It was loaded on a computer with Acronis installed and worked without interfering with Acronis. Amazing! I'm also a fan of AOMEI Partiton Assistant (Free).

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Hi Steve Smith,

Thanks for the greeting.

There are very few comments here, but I can only hope that's because my post is free from mistakes!

The original post will reign supreme in the Google rankings; that's for sure. I suppose some very persistent readers will make it over here for the beginers version.




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Hi Technogod,

I went out of my way to explain the best way to use Acronis True Image 2016 for GPT imaging because it's an Acronis forum. I figure, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Now, if you are going out of your way to highlight a different solution, then maybe you should go the extra distance to talk about multi-boot functionality. Did  your customer's computer have a system restore partition, and did you actually test it after deploying the images?

I definitely tested the Lenovo system restore partition on my computer; and it definitely boots up, as originally intended by Lenovo. That was the point of my post. I wanted a solution that allowed me to restore the machine, even if I was traveling and away from my fancy boot disks and tools.

And you had to do a repair? I never had to think about the UEFI bootloader.  When I used Acronis everything booted up immediately without any repairs.

I'm curious about AOMEI, but I'm not racing to get a copy.  Thanks for the tip; I'm just not completely sold.

I've used Acronis products for years, so the devil I know might get me better results than a free download that may or may not keep up with the industry.



Regular Poster
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Acronis just needs to fix this problem. It's alot easier to do a repair than manipulate the pertions on the disk. Yes, restore partiton works fine.