27368: Recovery CD Boot Hangs at Starting Acronis Loader / nForce motherboard

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Swain Valasek
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I've created a bootable recovery CD from 2 different computers (PC and laptop) running the same version of ATIH 2012 build 6131. In each case the CD boots the laptop fine but on the PC it always hangs immediately on the message 'Starting Acronis Loader...' and stays that way indefinitely. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the PC motherboard but no idea how to fix it.

PC:
Asus A8N32-SLI deluxe with most current BIOS 1409 (nForce4 SLI x16 chipset)
2x150GB WD Raptor SATA drives (no RAID)

I want to really like this software but since I can't actually use it to restore my boot drive it's kind of pointless. Anyone seen this before and knows of a workaround (besides just buying a new computer of course).

Richard Virtue
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Probably a driver issue. Do you get the same results with the bootable media ISO download from the web site?

If you still have time available on your free support period, your best bet would be to contact Acronis support directly with system details. (See "How to get Support" under Useful Links at left.) They may be able to offer you a "customized" driver replacement.

tuttle
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Hanging on 'Starting Acronis Loader...' is common. I've seen it on more than one computer.
In my current case, it will hang if my external USB hard drive (to which I save backups) is connected when I boot from the recovery disk.
Solution: I don't connect the external USB hard drive until after the ATI recovery disk has arrived at the blue Acronis menu screen, from which one may choose to boot into the full recovery mode, boot with minimal drivers, or boot to Windows.

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Babac
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Hi Swain,
Just recreate your recue media with a command line in the bootable media start up parameters, under command line parameters:
quiet acpi=off noapic
This should speed up and unhang the recovery process.

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tuttle
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Babac wrote:
Just recreate your recue media with a command line in the bootable media start up parameters, under command line parameters:
quiet acpi=off noapic
This should speed up and unhang the recovery process.

I've read about hitting F11 at the Acronis screen where you choose whether to boot to Windows or to ATI Recovery. However, when I see hanging it is before that point, as it hangs on the black screen when the white text 'Starting Acronis Loader...' appears. That's before I reach the blue ATI screen with boot choices.

I use the ISO that I download from the Acronis site. I copy the ISO onto an Xboot bootable USB flash drive, and boot from that flash drive.

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Colin B
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Tuttle,

You may not be aware, but from TIH 2011 onwards, you can now enter command line parameters when making the recovery CD via Media Builder, so no more pressing F11, once of course, you've found out which string solves the problem.

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tuttle
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That's a good feature.

I'm using the recovery ISO downloaded from my Acronis account, so I guess there's not a way to incorporate such command line parameters into it. I don't have ATI 2012 application installed yet, so can't roll my own recovery disks. Even once I do, I'll need to figure out how to output an ISO file rather than burning to CD-R. Running an ISO from an Xboot USB flash drive is a lot more convenient than CD-R.

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Colin B
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The Media Builder allows you the choice of making an ISO or burning direct to CD, with the Plus Pack of course comes the added capability of making a Windows PE ISO, so long as WAIK 3 is installed as well.

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Michal
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System frozen, no BOOT, no WINDOWS

I have the same issue. I have installed Acronis TI 2012 Home under Windows 7, 64bit because operation under BIOS does not work, once the CD is in: Starting Acronis loader... is the only one that can be done and nothing happens for hours therefore I decided to work under windows environment. In order to have an access in case of Windows fault I have activated Rescue boot at start up (F11), that was my worst mistake after that system failed. The situation is like with boo-table CD, what means no boot and words Starting Acronis loader... Press F11 and nothing. While the CD might be taken out to go further, system disk cannot. It is dead. Nothing can be done even Windows does not see system calims that there is no recognizable system on PC ???. I spent whole weekend on recovery the data (by means partition copy done by the competitive software year ago which means that I spent hours on manual updating of my PC, which used to work perfectly before, Acronis killed that. Other CD boots under BIOS normally, it is not a reason. I have tried original CD from BOX, I have also tried the burned CD by myself under Acronis.

It seems that Acronis does not work under certain configuration:

My cofig is: Gigabyte X58A-UD5 with latest BIOS, Intel i930, GForce 9800GT, 6GB Corsair Triple RAM (2x3), 4 HD'S (SSD OCZ 125GB, SATA 1TB Seagate, ATA 320MB WDC, external USB 350MB WDC)

Any ideas. Nowadays if I want to (but with no solution I am even afraid of deinstallation) I have to use Acronis on the other PC (on which works, for example on my HP EliteBook 8440p it works).

Colin B
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I'm sorry Micha?, as you can see the forum isn't displaying your name correctly.

I'm not sure from what you've written whether th erecovery CD works or not. If it does, you need to de-activate the Acronis Recovery Manager, you should then be able to boot back into Windows.

If Windows still doesn't boot, you should try the F8 key just after the BIOS screen disappears, you should then get to a menu choice that allows you to 'boot last known good configuration'.

If none of those work, do you have access to a Windows 7 install DVD?

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Michal
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Colin, CD recovery does not work at all (I tried original and also burned from the program). So I can not deactivate Recovery Manager therefore I can not access to the Windows.

I have tried also last known good BIOS configuration then Default config. Other CD boots normally.

When I have tried to launch Windows DVD and then repair system I received comment "No recognizable system" like there is no windows partition.

That all happened when I activated Recovery Manager. I did it on purpose while I noticed that CD does not boot (I wanted to have any access to Acronis without Windows).

Richard Virtue
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All is not lost. You just need to get back your system's normal startup. From there, you can take whatever other corrective actions may be needed.

When the Acronis F11 "recovery" boot startup is activated, it modifies the master boot record (MBR) on your system drive. If you are unable to get to the Acronis product interface to reset it that way, the alternative would be to restore the MBR to its normal state by means of the Win7 installation disc's repair mode, or a Win7 rescue boot disc, or if neither of those is available, with something like the MBRWizard utility at http://firesage.com/mbrwizard.php

Michal
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Richard, you are right not all is lost. I launched Hirens Boot CD + TestDisk + PhotoRec via flash et voila access to the data ready but... it does not change Acronis software. Acronis does not boot from its CD and Acronis Recovery Manager via boot damages MBR!

Once the MBR and boot sector were overwritten by means of DiskTest under Hirens Boot and restart I received comment that Windows boot sector is improper -better then freeze-... please put original Win7 CD and then it came back to live.

by the way I have also received answer from the Polish official Acronis representative that it happens... , it is known and treated as solved (use other boot CD and then launch Acronis under that environment... and that Acronis does not guarantee that program works under all configurations... , especially under new ones. My PC is year old ??? Believe me nothing extra ordinary.

Richard Virtue
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Sigh. It was the MBR that needed fixing. Not the boot sector. Overwriting the latter with a third-party tool has only complicated the problem. I have no idea what "DiskTest under Hirens Boot" does to it. In any case, the Windows Recovery Environment can fix either or both MBR and boot sector. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

Michal
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Windows can do it but in my case Windows RE did not see any system to be repaired giving comment: No any system recognized or something like that I do not remember exactly the words but the message was more or less that there is nothing to fix because simply there is no any Windows [sic!]

Disk Test under Hirens means that I launched Hirens Boot CD rev. 10 (basically Windows XP environment) and then DiskTest from flashdrive http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Main_Page

To be honest I am bit surprised by the comment from the Acronis guy...

Richard Virtue
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Forget about the "Acronis guy" for the moment at least. The bottom line is that you MUST get the system drive's MBR back to its original condition (i.e., as set up by the installed OS prior to Acronis F11 activation) and that also applies to the boot sector now that it has been changed too by some other tool.

It's the ONLY way that you are going to get the problem fixed. If the Windows Recovery Environment can't do that by following the Microsoft KB instructions that I linked to above, then I'm afraid that you may simply be out of luck. Try again. You've got to get to the Windows RE Command Prompt and run the Bootrec.exe tool with /FixMbr and /FixBoot options.

If that fix is impossible, the only explanation I can think of would be that the Windows 7 hidden system partition has also been messed up somehow. Possibly related to Acronis Secure Zone setup on that system drive?

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I'm not sure if I am the 'guy' being referred to, but, for others; don't activate the Acronis Recovery Manager until you've made a recovery CD and tested that. The Recovery Manager uses the same environment as the recovery CD - Linux. If the CD has a problem starting your system, then the Recovery Manager will have the same problem.

The big difference is, that if you find one of the Linux parameter switches work for you from the recovery CD, you can burn a CD with these embedded. You can't however easily amend the on hard drive copy of the Linux kernel, so the Recovery Manager will still not work.

As Richard says, the F11 code works by overwriting the MBR, it should also be noted that if you have a Dell or other PC that has a manufacturer installed F11 diagnostic option the Acronis MBR change will wipe this facility as well, there are ways around this.

It should also be noted that some XP Media Centres (again mainly Dell) also cause problems due to non standard code they write to the boot sector and MBR.

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Michal
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Colin, of course not... I am not referring to you anyway do not you think that such a comment (about CD test) should be written in the guide on first page by CAPITAL letters?

if it is so common and so harmful with all that consequences?

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Michal wrote:

do not you think that such a comment (about CD test) should be written in the guide on first page by CAPITAL letters?

if it is so common and so harmful with all that consequences?

Yes I do.

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Swain Valasek
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Same result with the ISO from Acronis. I also burned a new CD using command line option 'quiet acpi=off noapic' but this made no difference. I will check the support option RV mentioned, not sure if I'm still eligible for free support.

I did the same thing Michal did too and just as with him it only made my situation go from bad to worse. Basically a virus crippled my Windows install and there was no hope of recovery so I wanted to restore from my fresh Acronis backup. So first I of course made an ATIH boot CD and soon realized my PC wouldn't boot from it. So I then told ATIH to install the F11 prompt, thinking I'm a smart guy and will bypass the boot CD issue altogether...big mistake. All this did was prevent me from even getting back into Windows at all with the dreaded 'Starting Acronis Loader' all I ever got, CD or not. I even booted from my XP CD and neither fixmbr nor fixboot could get me back into Windows and ultimately I ended up with a permanent BSOD. So I spent the majority of the following day manually formatting, reinstalling and restoring. Not the end of the world as this is what I had always done in the past but certainly thought was behind me with the purchase of ATIH. This has got to be some low-level issue with my motherboard and what the Acronis boot CD is expecting.

Michal
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Swain, please share your config (motherboard, bios (rev), cpu, memory) and if you are also have any USB devices connected on startup (HD, CD, DVD etc.) we can compare maybe there is something in common.

Richard Virtue
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Swain Valasek wrote:
I even booted from my XP CD and neither fixmbr nor fixboot could get me back into Windows and ultimately I ended up with a permanent BSOD.

WOW! That is an extremely serious death trap, even worse that I thought! In the past, the Acronis F11 "recovery" activation has only modified the master boot record (MBR). Based on your experience, it would seem that it's now making some other alterations as well. And, since WinXP doesn't use a hidden system partition like Win7 does, my guess about that is obviously not the right one.

Just to be doubly clear on the point. Do I understand correctly that, in your case, your were able to run the Bootrec.exe tool with /FixMbr and /FixBoot options from the Windows XP Recovery Environment? And, despite doing so, it just didn't fix the problem?

Swain Valasek
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Bah, my free support ended 10/30/2011, that just figures. Michal here's all the specs.

Motherboard: Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe, nForce4 SLI x16 chipset, AMI BIOS version 1409
Power Supply: Cooler Master RS-650-ACAA-A1
Processor: AMD Athlon FX-60 Dual-Core S939 mPGA @ 2.8 Ghz (a very mild overclock)
Memory: 2GB Kingston at 400MHz DDR Dual Channel
Floppy: Sony 1.44MB
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDR-205
Video Card: EVGA Nvidia 8800 GTX KO ACS3
Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Music
Storage: 2x150GB WD Raptor SATA (no RAID)

No USB or other external devices are connected on startup, well except my Kensington Slimblade trackball and Cherry keyboard via USB. OS is Windows XP SP3 with all the latest updates from Microsoft.

Michal
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... nothing in common

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
CPU Intel Core i7 930 @ 2.80GHz Bloomfield 45nm
RAM 6,00 GB 3-Channels DDR3 @ 532MHz (8-8-8-20)
Motherboard Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. X58A-UD5 (Socket 1366) BIS ver. Fe5
GPU 1024MBGeForce 9800 GT (Gigabyte)
HD 313GB Western Digital WDC WD3200JB-00KFA0 ATA Device (PATA)
HD 977GB Western Digital WDC WD1002FBYS-02A6B0 ATA Device (SATA)
HD 125GB OCZ-VERTEX ATA Device (SATA) SSD
HD 320GB WD 3200BMV External USB Device
BR ATAPI iHBS112 2 ATA Device
DVD External USB HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-E50N USB Device

plus wireless Trackbal M570 Logitech, CanoScan LiDE 110, hp deskjet 5100

which compilation do you use? Polish the latest is 5545

Swain Valasek
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Richard Virtue wrote:

Swain Valasek wrote:
I even booted from my XP CD and neither fixmbr nor fixboot could get me back into Windows and ultimately I ended up with a permanent BSOD.

WOW! That is an extremely serious death trap, even worse that I thought! In the past, the Acronis F11 "recovery" activation has only modified the master boot record (MBR). Based on your experience, it would seem that it's now making some other alterations as well. And, since WinXP doesn't use a hidden system partition like Win7 does, my guess about that is obviously not the right one.

Just to be doubly clear on the point. Do I understand correctly that, in your case, your were able to run the Bootrec.exe tool with /FixMbr and /FixBoot options from the Windows XP Recovery Environment? And, despite doing so, it just didn't fix the problem?

I didn't know about the bootrec tool, I booted to the recovery console from my XP CD and ran chkdsk /r then fixmbr. When that didn't undo the Acronis loader I booted to the recovery console and ran fixboot and after that is when I ended up with a permanent BSOD. Perhaps the virus that waylaid my Windows install had something to do with why fixmbr didn't work originally.

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With XP based systems with a XP install or recovery CD, if fixmbr or fixboot doesn't work , the answer is to select install and then assuming the installer finds your current XP system files it will offer a repair option. Select this and all your Windows system files will be re-installed and the MBR corrected. None of your installed programs will be touched or their registry entries. The downside will be that, all your XP updates and service packs that aren't part of the CD will need to be redownloaded.

But you will have a running system again within fifteen minutes or so.

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Swain Valasek
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Colin B wrote:

With XP based systems with a XP install or recovery CD, if fixmbr or fixboot doesn't work , the answer is to select install and then assuming the installer finds your current XP system files it will offer a repair option. Select this and all your Windows system files will be re-installed and the MBR corrected. None of your installed programs will be touched or their registry entries. The downside will be that, all your XP updates and service packs that aren't part of the CD will need to be redownloaded.

But you will have a running system again within fifteen minutes or so.

Ya did that too, agreed under normal situations that should have gotten me back into Windows to at least do some basic recovery but in this case did not help me. I attribute the tenacity of the virus I had for a good portion of all that but in the end, I still manually rebuilt my system and manually recovered everything and still can't use ATIH as anything more than a token utility. =)
I guess Acronis needs to start distributing free software and 'WORKS WITH OUR STUFF!' stickers to all the vendors so they'll test this thing ahead of time and consumers aren't the guinea pigs.

Swain Valasek
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I came across EaseUS Todo which has a free version so ran it through a partition backup/restore cycle and it worked fine on my PC with their boot CD so lesson learned the hard way for me with dollars spent on a product I can't use. I hope for the sake of any future ATIH users others out there that Acronis figures out how to support more hardware.

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There appear to be a lot of TIH 2012 users with Rescue Boot CD problems! Me included. I've been using Acronis since 2005 and had the occassional "Kernel Panic" error when "hot" booting from the Rescue CD, but this latest version won't boot at all - just gives me a blank black screen after selecting "ATIH 2012" for loading. I've tried the built-in creation option and the downloaded ISO option and both give the same reults - NOTHING! I've read a lot of other comments about this including building a WinPE version boot CD, but I don't have the Plus Pack installed.

Acronis don't seem to care about it. They're currently ignoring my e-mail requests for help (presumably because I'm out of my 30-day help period), but to my mind if a backup system won't restore then its useless!

I have also come across EaseUS Todo and have tested everything SUCCESSFULLY (Recovery boot CD included)) except an actual restore. The software is free, they charge $29pa if you need support. I'm on the point of removing Acronis Secure Zone, et al!

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David,

Are you still wanting ideas on the CD problem or are you now using other software, your post isn't clear to me?

Assuming you would like to get it working, what disk controller is being used by your motherboard and if Sata do you ahve it setup in BIOS as AHCI or as IDE?

Make sure no card readers or external USB hubs are attached when booting from the CD.

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David Platt
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I would much prefer to continue using ATIH if possible. Been using it since 2005 but its no good if I can't boot from the Recovery CD.

I've seen suggestions about using Windows AIK and WinPE to create a boot CD but the instructions only seemed to apply to the Acronis Plug-in Pack.

With regard to my disk drives. The motherboard has 6 SATA connectors; I've got 4 SATA disk drives and a SATA CD/DVD R/W drive connected; I also have a PATA drive in a Caddy connected via a Sil 0680 ATA Controller, but this drive is only powered up once a week for backup purposes.

According to BIOS, the SATA drives appeared to be running in IDE mode and, eventually, I found a configuration switch set to "Configured as IDE".

I have Digital Camera Card reader but only plug it in when necessary. The only other USB devices connected are my keyboard and Mouse (wireless mouse via Logitech Unifier Device).

Thanks.

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David,

Are you able to try the CD in a different PC just to make sure it isn't the CD itself that is the problem?

It might be an idea to download the ISO version of the CD from your account and burn that to a CD (I suggest using a rewritable so you don't end up with a spare coaster) and see if that works.

Do you ever get the 'Acronis loading.........' logo? If you do, does it die when it actually goes to load the TIH loading screen?

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Hi Colin

My wife's PC (Compaq Presario) will boot from both the CD created from the downloaded ISO and from the CD built by ATIH2012 on my PC - no problems.

When I attempt to boot my PC from the downloaded ISO, I get the screen asking for ATIH2012 or Windows selection; selecting ATIH, I then get the pale blue ATIH2012 screen; this disappears and I'm left with nothing but a blank black screen.

When I attempt to boot my PC from the CD built by ATIH2012 on my PC, I get exactly the same results, except that after selecting ATIH as option to load, the pale blue screen displays "ATIH2011 with Plug-In" (I used the plug-in to transfer everything to new hardware about 12 months ago, but didn't upgrade it when I moved to ATIH 2012).

The Recovery CD from ATIH 2011 will sometimes boot, so long as I make sure its a "cold" boot. If a hot boot with ATIH 2011 I get a "Kernel Panic" error.

Cheers.

David

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David,

Could you just explain what you mean by 'hot boot'?

As you get past the Acronis Loader part, I think the problem is a Linux driver can't handle part of your hardware. There are some command line switches that can be tried. Whilst the 'Loader...' message is shown press the F8 button and at some point you should get a command prompt appear with the word - quiet... try adding after the word quiet ACPI=off .

If that doesn't work, here is a list of other parameters you could try.

***edited the link so it actually appears in the post!***

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Hi Colin

Thanks for the suggestion will try in the very near future.

I use "hot boot" to indicate a reboot without actually switching the PC off at the wall - maybe "Start Shutdown Restart". I sometimes think this doesn't completely clear memory or settings or something within the PC, because I then usually get different results to a reboot after an actual "power off" for a minute or two (which I term "cold boot").

Will post results when tested.

Cheers.

David

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Hi Colin again!

Tested!

First, I have a lot of "coasters" on my desk and I grabbed the first that came to hand and was staggered when this ATIH2012 Recovery Disc booted! F8 had no effectl! Not after "Starting Acronis Loader" nor after "Acronis. Loading please wait". Although after this second "loading" message it did display a string of 4 or 5 characters, but I was not presented with an opportunity to enter any boot parameters.

This successful boot CD was created on 24th Sept 2011, which should be Build 5545 according to my records.

I retried booting with another two CDs (one created from Build 6154 on my PC and one from the downloaded ISO) and neither would boot, presenting me with a completely blank screen where I should have had the "Acronis. Loading please wait" message. This time F8 had no effect what-so-ever.

Cheers.

David

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Posts: 8402

Interesting, I'll double check that on my copy.

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Colin

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 + XP Pro SP3 32 bit + Vista Ult 64bit + Server 2008 R2, SBS2011. Testing Environment VirtualBox VM.
TI Lite:3029, TI2014:6614, ABR11.5A WRKST Adv:37975, DD11 Advanced WRK:12603, vmProtect 7.0:5173, SnapDeploy 4

On a clear disk you can seek forever

Scoots
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Joined: 2012-10-10
Posts: 2

I'm using Acronis 2013 and had the same problem - Windows 7 64 bit wouldn't load after converting try and decide changes. ( got stuck on 0%)

I Have previous Acronis backup CD but could not boot from hard disk or try the windows repair disk because of a Acronis install chances procedure seemed to block booting from disk (?)

However it somehow started working after numerous black screens not too sure if it will help but i was bashing f8 trying to load last known config and the changes just started installing -phew!!

Maybe I got lucky but couldn't find much online so thought I post to give somebody else some hope!!

Good luck people and I hope acronis fix this somehow because its a bit scary and doesn't give much faith if you get stuck and can't do anything about it!

Scoots
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Beginner
Joined: 2012-10-10
Posts: 2

Actually doesn't look like my drive is responding on windows (?) anyhow so mabyee its not all acronis fault for hijacking the startup boot although I could not boot last know good config so.... ???

Colin B
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Acronis MVP Volunteer
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Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 8402

Scoots,

If you have made a Windows repair CD run that and see if it can fix your start up problems, alternatively see if you can boot into Windows Safe mode.

If you have now been able to boot into Windows itself, open a command prompt and type in chkdsk /r - you will need to reboot as checkdisk can't run on a the system disk whilst Windows is running. See if checkdisk finds and repairs anything. It will also be a good idea to check the Sata/IDE cables to drives, make sure they are making good contact and if you have spares in good condition try swapping them.

__________________

Colin

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 + XP Pro SP3 32 bit + Vista Ult 64bit + Server 2008 R2, SBS2011. Testing Environment VirtualBox VM.
TI Lite:3029, TI2014:6614, ABR11.5A WRKST Adv:37975, DD11 Advanced WRK:12603, vmProtect 7.0:5173, SnapDeploy 4

On a clear disk you can seek forever