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MVP Tool - CUSTOM ATI WINPE BUILDER

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#101

Thanks, User error here, I didn't see the other programs on the taskbar and am so used to Linux that didn't think to look at the Programs folder....I updated to the latest 18.6 version now for good measure and all seems to be ok now ;)

Thanks for the creation of this great tool!

Oh the only thing that worked strange was that when you open up Univ Restore to look and then close it by selecting the X at the top right it closes/kills the whole WinPE environment and reboots a bit annoying, am I doing someting wrong? Thanks

Anhang Größe
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Forum Hero
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#102

Excellent! We appreciate the positive feedback too!

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#103

Yeah, unfortunately that's the way the UR application is coded within itself. No way to change that behavior for us. Snap deploy and Backup are similar in their app behavior too. 

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#104

Robert,

You're not doing anything wrong with Universal Restore. Acronis has coded the reboot on closing into the program. We have no control over that behavior. This is something I complained about years ago. I really wish they would change that.

EDIT:

You can minimize Universal Restore if you want to continue in the recovery environment and use another program without the reboot.

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#105

Thanks Bobbo & Mustang, Yeah I figured out that minimize was the best route, just wasn't sure how much memory it gobbles up leaving them open/minimized, I have 32GB so shouldn't be an issue, but over the years (way to many) I have been trained to free up as much Memory when doing system critical events, such as backing up data ;)

Thanks again and glad to have found MVP Builder, as since ATI 2018 the Linux media wont Validate or Restore my backup images from USB3.x external drives, but will work with USB2. Although It will create images VIA USB3.x. My ATI 2017 Bootable Media works just fine on USB3, so go figure.

I have worked with Support on this issue, but so far no go :(

Thanks again!

Anhang Größe
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#106

Robert,

No need to worry about memory usage in WinPE.  Well, not really.  It only needs as much physical memory to load the image into memory to boot from (for the most part).  It doesn't interact with the main system OS in any way (other than physical access to the drive / files shares if unencrypted).

So, is the 2018 WinPE having better luck with the validation over the LInux media in 2018 now?

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#107

@Bobbo YES! I tested WinPE and it works perfectly with ATI 2018 & ATI 2019 when using USB3 during Validation and or Restore.

The Linux bootable media is broken in ATI 2018/2019 when using USB3 during validation and or restore, however it will backup using USB3, just not validate or restore. which i find rather odd and I have been working with support on this issue ever since ATI 2018 came out. No matter how much I try to tell them and show them... they just dont seem to understand the issue.

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#108

Excellent - at least the part with winpe solving the issue.

I have a feeling the Linux media may be going the way of the DoDo now that WinPe and WinRE builds are being streamlined.

The Linux media is stills kind o nice, simply because it can be distributed as a direct .iso, but busybox support and driver availabilityafor Linux serms to have really slowed down (pcie NVMe support) which is making it less useful on modern systems that are built with Windows in mind primarily.

As you have your new Swiss army WinPE working though, I wouldn't worry about it too much for now. Glad it's working as intended!

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#109

Robert,

I can understand why Support is not acknowledging your problem. It is quite illogical. If you can run a backup to your USB 3.0 drive, you should be able to validate/restore that backup. I just ran a test using the Linux recovery media created with TI 2019 build 14690. I was able to boot it from a USB 3.0 flash drive and run a backup to a USB 3.0 external HDD. I was able to successfully validate that backup from the Linux media.

Are you able to start the validation process from the Linux media and then it fails; or, do you not get the option to validate?

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#110

@Mustang YES I agree it is illogical as I can backup but not val/rest on usb3... using ATI 2018 or 2019, however I can do so successfully with ATI 2017. I can reproduce the issue on all THREE (3) of my ASUS P8Z68 MB builds I have. I did not make any hardware changes either. I provided them with videos and logs of the issue, to prove the issue.

Yes I CAN start the validation or restore process but within 7 seconds I get the failure error which I posted the image of earlier.

Interesting on how you were able to do so successfully. I tried booting from USB media and from disc and still the same. When I boot from usb it is usb2, so thought that was an issue but its not.

Here is a reply I just got today:

"I'm sorry for the confusion in the previous email. I do apologies if this may have caused you any  inconvenience howsoever.

Robert, like I mentioned in the previous email- With Acronis True Image linux based bootable media you are unable to validate or restore with USB 3.0 as this is the design behavior of the software.

As with Linux based this task is not possible with Linux based bootable media via USB 3.0 but this can be achieved with  Winpe bootable media."

.........................

Now this is the first time they told me that Linux isn't capable and a design behaviour.

So why does USB 3 work with ATI 2017?
 

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#111

I took a look at the manual of your motherboards. The USB 3.0 controller is from ASMedia. I have a newer Asus motherboard (Maximus VIII Hero) that has an ASMedia USB 3.0 controller. I was able to do a successful validation from the Linux recovery media using a USB 3.0 external HDD connected to the ASMedia USB 3.0 port.

I have a good idea why you are seeing what you see. I think because the ASMedia USB 3.0 controller on your motherboards is much older than mine, it requires a different driver. My best guess is that the TI 2017 Linux media was using the correct driver for your motherboard. In TI 2018/2019 the ASMedia USB 3.0 driver was updated to support the newer ASMedia USB 3.0 controllers. I would say they could not leave the older driver in place because it would conflict with the newer driver. If I'm correct, it can't be fixed. Sometimes you just have to live with the hardware limitations of older motherboards.

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#112

@Mustang, Yeah I figured it to be a driver issue and have been trying to tell them this for the last year. All they had to do is find out if the drivers were updated and just tell me that. You have no idea of how much time and hoops they made me jump through over the last year. In there defense, a few months ago they did offer me a refund if I wanted it. But I declined. 

One other issue I figured out on my own was that the ATI WinPE and the MVP Builder would not work for me as I am working with Stablebit drive pool and I moved my TEMP/TMP environment variables off the standard windows root directory to the POOL drive (to save wear on the SSD), which I didn't know at the time but Stablebit drive pool WONT work with HARD links, which WinPe/MVP use. As well as the TEMP/TMP folder to build the media. So I moved my TEMP/TMP env/var to the root of one of the physical HDD and all is well. 

So if you hear of anyone not being able to build media that is using a virtual pooled drive, this could be one reason, depending on were they have set Environment Variables to.

Anyway, I am happy to be using the MVP Builder of which I can combine all the programs on one bootable media.

Glad to have found this....Thanks a ton!

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#113

Just recived an email from support today....

" My name is Irshad Hussain. I am a Supervisor from Acronis Customer Central

I have read the case history and the issue you are having with Linux bootable media on USB3.0

Robert, Acronis Linux Bootable media is developed with minimal kernel drivers. The Kernel drivers which was made for Acronis True Image 2017 did supported your machine, however in recent days after updating the product the kernel drivers which was applied in Acronis True Image 2019 didn't supported for USB 3.0.

With that being said we always suggest WinPE bootable media which helps in detecting the hard drive and USB3.0. I also understand that your experience did not meet  expectations but believe me this was an unfortunate situation where the product failed to work. We have already forwarded your feedback to the development team of Acronis and we thank you for sharing the feedback. It is only through your valuable inputs that we can identify and work on our areas of improvement.

If you are good with the approach I suggest you to please start using WinPe bootable media for USB 3.0.  If you do not have any additional queries please let me know if we can archive this case."

.......................................................

Actually the issue started with ATI 2018, but anyway.

I told them to archive the case and wished that I had been told this a year ago as you wouldn't imagine the Time spent and all the hoops I went through to satisfy the support requests... anyway MVP Builder is working for me and I know now specifically why Linux bootable media wont work on my machine. So when I upgrade my MB I suspect it would, but the MVP Builder is working for me and allows me to have ATI, DD, Univ Restore, Snap Deploy etc on ONE bootable medium, which is what I was wanting to acomplish...

So thank you Mustang and Bobbo for the help in this situation it is very much appreciated.

I did save my DISM error log file when I used MVP Builder when I had my Environment Variables pointing to the pool (this gave me the clue about the hard links issue). If you want to take a look at it, I included it here for you....

Anhang Größe
487571-163536.log 310.6 KB
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#114

Thanks for the great feedback and follow-up to your support case. Yeah that's a bummer you had to go through all the hoops like that, but good to know for future questions about this now  I wouldn't mind taking a look at the DISM log or having it posted here for reference down the road, if you're up for it.

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#115

We've added a how-to video tutorial to the stickies now - for those wanting to know how it works or what it does, please check it out.

How To Tutorial: MVP Tool - CUSTOM ATI WINPE BUILDER

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#116

@Bobbo I DID include the DISM log in my post, the last sentence and the attachment indicates the DISM log file, for some securoty reason the file name gets changed when you uploaded.

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#117

Really greate work, thanks for it.

Using the MVP Tool 18.6 I found two bugs.

1. When path where application is stored include closing bracket, the MakeWinPEMedia.cmd script crash in line 27 "if /i "%~2"=="/f" (" what resulting missing ISO file and message "\ISO\Acronis_MVP_PEMedia_amd64.iso was unexpected at this time." MVP Tool doesn't recognize that as an error and still allow you to normally finish building process. Because all three files MakeWinPEMedia.cmd are the same all should be updated 
afolder\Other\MakeWinPEMedia.cmd 
afolder\Other\Deployment Tools\amd64\DISM\MakeWinPEMedia.cmd
afolder\Other\Deployment Tools\x86\DISM\MakeWinPEMedia.cmd
or maybe easy check at the beggining of xtmp\tmpxxxxx.bat if path include brackets and short notification for user to rename the folder/path
Tested with bracket at the end "L:\WIM\AcronisTrueImage_PE_BUILDER (MVP_v186)" and in the middle "L:\WIM\AcronisTrueImage_PE_BUILDER-)MVP_v186"

2. Second one is simple. Links to not exisiting Apps from Acronis should be removed. for example I have licence for ATI and DD, but still see links for all other like "Snap Deploy", "Universal Restore".

I have also an idea for next version which is missing me now. You can add additional tools putting them into "Extra" folder. Everything is perfect as long as you use portable applications. Problem is when you want to use non portable applications which require entries in registry. I found three workarounds.
a) use DISM or other PE builder to modify the WIM file - usually require a lot of time and attention. You can always create a batch file to do all steps in one click, but creating tool for tool it's not lovely solution 
b) create a batch file which add required information to the registry before lanching the correct app - not really nice solution, but it works
c) (not tested, but should work) probably you can add required entries to the registry using MappedDrive\Map.cmd file which is loaded automatically during booting - it's still not nice workaround
Maybe MVP Tool could check if in the app folder there is a batch file with the same name as folder and execute it if found it? Eg. if in \Extra\x64\MyTool1 there is a file \Extra\x64\MyTool1.cmd then execute it

Thanks again.

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#118

Thanks for the feedback.  

Can you give an example of an application that has a closing bracket in the path?  Are you talking about this name being present on the local system where the media builder is being run or in the WinPE itself?  It looks like you named the media builder folder with the brackets yourself?  I personally would not use special characters in folder names as scripts rely on brackets, slashes and variables such as % which can have negative behavior.  The underlying script is just a .bat file and using () or % as a file name can cause issues.  Instead of using () in your own folder name, I’d recommend use using something such as an underscore or hyphen for the time being.

Makewinpemedia.cmd is actually default commands from Microsoft ADK media creation.  We don’t modify this file.  I believe that if you change your folder name for the tool without the brackets, you’ll get the correct media output at build.

As for the non-existent Acronis apps - we can probably fix that.  This is not a true “file explorer” though and are working within the limitations of the tool that emulates it.  It has it’s own rules for what is displayed and has to call on other .txt files.  I’m sure there’s a way to limit what shows up based on what’s installed.  The problem is that “black box” also has a unique configuration and makes it more challenging.  If you right click in the open desktop, you’ll see a different method.  For simplicity and to keep them in sync, it was easier to just include all of them.

For the “Extra” folder - yes, this is designed just for portable apps because WinPE has limitations of the types of executables that can run - even on a 64-bit WinPE, you can’t natively run a 32-bit application.  Since we have no way of knowing who’s adding what there, there is no way for us to include the registry keys for those apps.  Your suggestion of creating a simple .bat file to inject the regrets and then launch the app would be ideal for what you’re wanting to do.  We are doing something similar for a couple of the extra tools as well instead of building them directly into the WinPE in every case).

All good feedback and suggestions though.  This started as a simple test to build better recovery media and allow driver injection (which is new as of only the most recent version of 2018).  There are plans to make some changes when 2020 is released, but need to get our hands on it first to we can test it out.

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#119

Thanks for quick answer :)

Yes, the bracket in the path being present on the local system where the media builder is being run. As you suggested, I removed the bracket already, but just want to inform that I found such issue.

I am waiting for the new edition. If you need some external tests before release date, I'm open minded to find some time for it

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#120

Hi - I'm using ATI 2018 and attempting to build the MVP tool. I've run into a problem with the final burning to USB. It stated the USB couldn't be formatted. It already was formatted. Anyway, is there a way to get the files to the USB manually. 

Thank you.

Vince

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#121

Vincent, the tool will want to still format the USB stick as FAT32 in order to write the required files to it.  The USB stick should really be of 32GB or smaller size (down to 2GB minimum).

Some USB sticks may have a write-protect switch or else you may have security software installed which will try to prevent the USB media from being formatted.

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#122
Vincent Winterling wrote:

I've run into a problem with the final burning to USB. It stated the USB couldn't be formatted. It already was formatted. Anyway, is there a way to get the files to the USB manually. 

Thank you.

Vince

In the past I've run into this (or a similar sounding) problem. For some reason I had to format some (but not all) USB devices using RMPrepUSB or a similar utility before the MVP Tool could use the device. Using the Windows Format was not sufficient.

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#123

You could try diskpart /clean, then initialize as FAT32 and due a full format instead of quick format. That usually helps. 

The MVP tool is using purely windows dism commands to format and make a bootable USB or .iso. i

it is failing, it is likely an issue with the local system or the USB.