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Backing up OS on a PCIe / M2 SSD

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Beginner
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#51

Glad people could be of assistance.

I sometimes think a more focused forum like this (IE. for a specific product/s) can be a lot more useful than say a more general computer forum (EG. HEXUS, OCuk etc. both of which I am a member of though). As threads on the more general forums tend to pretty fast get clogged up and a lot of the posts are often not very helpful and sometimes just damn stupid. As an exapmle ... I've been trying to postively contribute to a couple of forums (EVGA and OCuk) regarding the current "supposed" (long story) over heating issues with EVGA's current crop of 1000 graphics cards. And basically, I've now given up contributing, as 99% of what is getting posted is either very jouvanile, damn right inaccurate or at best, speculaton. Only my personal opinion obviously. But I think I'm starting to drift off topic here.

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#52

SG,

Glad you found the help you needed here on the Forum.  Looking at your post #46 it is clear that you will need to create a WinPE based recovery media and inject the Intel RST RAID drivers into it for your purposes.  That process is fairly straigyt forward and using the tools mentioned in this threads pages should make the process easy enough.

Because NVMe is the new kid on the block support for the devices is somewhat lacking as you have discovered.  Support is improving however so it won't be long before working with those devices becomes a standard no brains affair.  In the mean time users must use workarounds that thankfully in this case are readily available and are of little difficulty to implement.

If you run into problems along the way I am confident that those whom frequent these pages can help.

Forum Hero
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#53

Ditto to Enchantech's post and i'm glad to have been of some help.  Do make sure to make your rescue media and give it a try as soon as you get a chance.  Better to build and test now than to wait before you have to... just in case. 

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#54

Option #1

Already works.

Changing Bios setting from Raid to Ahci

Allows NVM to be seen.

 

Option #2

Create Win PE

That has drivers inserted.

 

Option #3

Create Universal USB whatever this is.

 

Question:

Is follow correct?

Based on what I read seems Entire PC backup and Disk/Partit ion backups are the same when if have UEFI as Disk/Partition backup will backup the whole drive including all Partition on that drive ( hidden or not )...

 

Is following correct?

And Entire PC & Disk/Partition backups are same as USB Disk Image backups with exception that system is not running when performing Disk Image backup when booting from USB..

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#55

I've made following backups:

Inside Win 10

2x EntirePC 

1x EntirePC with Sector by Sector

1x Disk/Parton

 

From USB 

2x Disk Image

2x Disk Image with Sector by Sector

 

When I selected sector by sector size went from ~300GB to ~960GB; however, once backup was completed file size was only ~310GB.

 

is the discrepancy in file size due to compression?

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
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#56

I wanted to purchase a Samsung 1TB PCIE NVMe SSD.m2 drive and restore backups to that drive with it installed in my laptop and original drive removed to confirm each of the backups I created works.

Unfortunately a 1TB SM951 Drive costed between $775 - $1200 and speed quota for I think it was a Toshiba 960GB drive was 2400 reads & writes per minute vs 550 to 600 RPMs.

 

I'd figured I could buy another system with 1TB that had a 1TB NVM PCIE already install and get the system too...

 

Since my data is only 300GB in size could I get a 512GB drive and restore image to it?  Is ATI smart enough to resize partitions and then restore all data to a smaller drive so long as all data is less than total size of drive it's being restored to?

 

 

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#57

Hi

Acronis will allow you to resize the partitions if you recover to a smaller drive. However, there may be issues if the backup backup being resorted is a sector-by-sector backup (I cannot remmeber if this is so). I suggest you read the section of the ATI 2106 manual on disk recovery.

You should make a new backup immediately before doing so. It is best to do the recovery to new disk drive using recovery media rather than usging ATI App. You will need to change the boot options to allow the PC to boot from the new drive. You should also confirm that the PC can boot from a NVM PCIE. Check the manual for the main board.

Ian

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#58

When I selected sector by sector size went from ~300GB to ~960GB; however, once backup was completed file size was only ~310GB

I would not select sector by sector as a choice.  Sector by sector backup up the current active data, plus all blank data on the disk.  If you backup a 960GB drive that only has 100GB of data on it with sector by sector, it's going to backup 960GB of data and be a lot slower and result in a bigger backup file.  

The only time you should do sector-by-sector is if your disk is corrupted, a chkdsk /f /r, didn't help and need to try to save your data as sector by sector will backup even the corrupted blocks of data.  

When you restore that large sector-by-sector backup file though, your resored image will only shows the used space again.

As for the file size only actually being 310GB, I'm not sure what happened there.  I suspect your disk is 310GB, but what you're seeing in Acronis being displayed as the size is actually the sum of all of your existing backup files.  This is a bug.  You can go to your backup folder >>> properties and chanceds are the size shown there is what Acronis was showing you... the combined size of all the backups for that job and not the total size of the actual backup taking place. 

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#59

S G,

You have backups now using the iWindows installed application and using the USB bootable media.  I presume that these backps are of one or maybe both of the Dell XPS machines you mentioned earlier is this correct and if so are we talking about 2 Dell laptops or a single machine?

I also presume that you used the Linux based USB recovery media to perform the backups mentioned and that you changed the SATA mode in the bios to AHCI to be able to work with the drives. Is this correct?

An Entire PC backup option found in the Windows version of the app is designed to backup all attached disks to the computer that are fixed disks.  This means that any attached disk that does not appear as a removeable drive will be included in the backup.  In your case you only have 1 fixed disk so that is all that was backed up.

A Sector by Sector backup is a backup of all disk sectors regardless if they contain data or not.  The end result in file size is of course only that of the real data on the disk but the image is of all disk sectors.  When you create a backup in the Windows application therre is some data that is excluded from the backup by default.  That excluded data is why your Sector by Sector backup ended up being larger than your non Sector by Sector backups.  If you would like to see what data is excluded from a backup you simply need to select the Options for the backup, select the Advanced tab and then select Exclusions. 

These same exclusions are not enforced when you use the USB media to perform a backup so such backups will be larger in size as well.  True Image is smart enough to resize a non Sector by Sector backup to a smaller disk as long as the disk has sufficient size to hold all the data of the backup.  So in answer to your question about using a 512GB disk for a 300+GB backup would be fine.

Other questions I have for you is, what did you store the backups you made on?  Is your intention with buying a 512GB drive solely to test and make certain that you can recover your backups and that they will boot as expected? 

 

 

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
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#60

Thanks IanL...

Laptop can boot from PCIE NVM as that's what's currently in it.  I switch Bios from Raid to Ahci to perform disk image backup using recovery media...   Then I switch bios setting from Ahci to Raid when done so it'll boot from internal drive ( SM951 which is PCIE NVM ).

Thanks again...

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#61

Thanks Bobbo...

The disk is SM951 1TB PCIE NVM.

Checked using Win 10 explorer & Disk manager:

Disk is 1TB

Data used is ~300GB

image backup ~300GB

Image backup with Sector by Sector ~300GB

I did image backup twice with Sector by Sector and without...

File sizes saved and reported in Win 10 says ~300GB...

Perhaps it's a bug:

When using recovery media:

a. sector by sector is selected and shows in recovery media that data backed up will be ~960GB, but actual file size seen in Win 10 ~300GB...

I suspect it's not backing up unallocated data blocks as there is an option / check box for that...

 

b. Or even though sector by sector is selected, maybe software is busted and doesn't actually perform a sector by sector backup.

 

Reason for doing both sector by sector and non sector by sector....

I've experienced issues in past when using ATI and disk image was captured without sector by sector and later restored some of my licensed software from various vendors didnt work...

And I suspected they stored information in certain sectors or blocks on disk that are not available to file system but are part of the raw fike system abd checked via application...

 

Because when I did sector by sector apps worked...  and didn't complain about licensing issues...

 

To best of my recollection I do believe I also performed sector by sector with unallocated blocks also checked and the actual  file size didn't change when using recovery media but backups made with ATI app in Windows were larger and took longer to backup as you mentioned...

 

I'll check and see if there's a bug already filed for sector by sector not actually being performed even though it's selected...

 

If one doesn't exists, I'll submit it...

 

I believe it was ATI 2014 that saved several times back when I had 1TB SSDs die in my new Dell XPS 15 9530? few weeks after I bought it but I made an image backup immediately after installing all software, applications and configurations...

 

Another instance ATI saved me was when I had motherboard in Dell XPS 15 9530? died and Dell replaced it under warranty...

 

The drive was corrupted and wouldn't boot no matter what service tech or I tried...

 

Using recovery media, I was able to recovery / restore all contents to the drive from when image was made...

 

Thanks Bobbo...

 

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#62

S G,

Your software licenses for some apps that did not work upon restore hold license information in the Disk Signature.  When restoring to a new disk with boot media there is an option to recover that which needs to be checked.

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#63

Enchantech,

I agree with you about disk signatures...

in cases and scenarios I described above it was same / original disks...

 

I shouldn't have said drive died...   it wasn't viewable using recovery media at first ...  I had created a Bootable USB with Ubuntu ( Linux ) on it and had used Linux command " dd " to create a clone ( disk image of the drive )...

When drive wasn't visable when attempting to access reserved recovery partitions Dell puts on drives which are typically accessible using either F5 or F8 after POST when system is first booting up, i tried using ATI  recovery media which could not see drive...

So I booted off of USB stick that had Ubuntu on it, restored disk image  using " dd " command which writes to raw partition.

Afterwards I was able to boot from drive and get into windows...

I rebooted laptop with ATI recovery media and restored image and I was back up and running...

My point is it's possible to write to disk and place data on disk that isn't viewable via file system access...

 

So maybe there's tricks they do with registry, flags they put on files ( system, hidden, etc... ),  But all I know is regular restore didn't work and sector by sector did...

Just like deleting a file doesn't really remove data it just marks blocks as being unused, I'm sure their are sophisticated techniques they use...  I'm not that familiar with MBR ( master boot records & partition tables & GPT, etc... )  But just like there can be one partition & MBR is in first 512 blocks / sectors of the partition, the MBR cannot be overwritten via file system access but can be overwritten when writing to raw blocks...

When I have more time I will document sector by sector steps and take literal pics when using recovery media as its not running inside of windows where i can do a screen capture.  I'll also try and use a virtual machine ( VMware ) and perform screen capture when using recovery media inside vm ) assuming that's possible...

I saw someone using VMware and ATI in one of the youtube links in an earlier post in this forum

Enchantech,

Thanks for feedback...

 

Apologize for any typos, syntax or grammatical errors as Im using cell phone often when making posts to this forum and text is very, very small...

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#64

Happy ThanksGiving...

I've ordered another Dell XPS 15 9550 with same configuration except less memory to test and experiement with creating disk images, then restoring them.

Current System ( Sys #1 ):
Dell XPS 15 9550 : Win10 Pro : 32GB : 1TB PCIE : 4K / Touch : Nvidia GTX 960m 2G

New System ( Sys #2 : expect delivery either tomorrow or next week ):
Dell XPS 15 9550 : Win10 Pro : 16GB : 1TB PCIE : 4K /Touch : Nvidia GTX 960m 2G

 

I'm going to follow steps in Jerryyyyy's post #26 & 27 to create a WinPE drive with installed drivers so 1TB PCIE NVMe PM951 Samsung drive should be seen when booting from USB.

I'll then test on new system when it arrives.

#1 Sys #2 : Create & Save two images straight out of box before configuring
#2 Sys #2 : Create & Save two images after system is initially configured
#3 Creating & Saving two images just in case there are any issues
#4 Image creation & restore should be quick as there won't be much data on drive
#5 Sys #2 : Restore Image in #1, then boot system to confirm
#6 Sys #2 : Restore Image in #2, then boot system to confirm
#7 Sys #2 : Restore Image from Sys #1 ( Original ) to Sys #2 ( New )
#8 Sys #2 : Boot system and confirm it looks like Sys #1
#9 Sys #2 : Restore image in #1 to Sys #2, then boot system to confirm
#A Sys #2 : Restore image in #2 to Sys #2, then boot system to confirm
#B Sys #2 : Restore image of Sys #1 that was created using "Entire PC"
 

If all above works, then I'll test images created inside and outside of Windows 10:

Entire PC - created inside windows
Images - created using USB
Images - created using USB sector by sector
Images - created using USB sector by sector

 

 

Forum Hero
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#65

SG, check out our new MVP WinPE creator tool - this will simplfy your WinPE build process.  If you are using the Intel controller, IRST drivers will be injected automatically.  If you have an LSI controller or something else, then grab those from Dell first and put them in the driver folder.  Our tool will do the rest for you.  All you have to do is follow the pompts and pick the options.

Sticky: MVP Tool - CUSTOM ATI WINPE BUILDER

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#66

SG,

Highly encourage you to try the new MVP WinPE Builder tool!  Simple to use, just make sure the Windows ADK is installed first, and the tool will create the WinPE media with the appropriate drivers for your M.2 drive.  I have tested this myself having 2 PCs with M.2 drives and SATA mode set to RAID and can access and work with the drives on both machines without issue.

Let us know your results!

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#67

The MVP WinPE Builder Tool simplifies the task. I have used it several times and it works ver well.

Ian

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Comments: 18

#68

Thought I'd relay my personal experience with Acronis completely failing to restore on NVMe PCIe 3 x4 M2 SSDs:

I wish I'd known of this thread in the recent past.  I literally had more than 30 attempts to reinstall windows on my PC (which I built and continue to incrementally update).

I tried as many times or more to restore several versions of boot drives unsuccessfully with Acronis.  This was over more than 6 weeks with my main PC out of action to work on.

I found it was IMPOSSIBLE for Acronis to restore 2 x Samsung 960 Evo M2 PCIe 3 x4 SSDs in RAID 0. I NEVER was able to EVER restore a failed RAID 0 array despite numerous attempts for over a month.  The Acronis support left much to be desired.  The support I did get from the ASRock side did the best we could, but ultimatey all avenues were unsuccessful.

Additonally, I reinstalled and rebuilt my core systems multiple times on a single Samsung Evo of the pair.  I was again NEVER able to restore the M2 SSD boot drive when an ongoing Microosft cumulative update screwed the new installs over and over.  

I have over 500 Apps I run which takes around 3 days to manually install and set up.  This happend multiple times, and Acronis failed completely to deliver a restore that would actually ever boot.  

I followed all the published steps, and with other tech people we tried everything we could think of.  The so called Acronis support was unable to assist me to get to a state where any boot drives could be restored and successfully boot.

Franlky I have NO confidence in Acronis, and respectfully reading through this thread, two things occur to me:

Firstly, why oh why is Acronis NOT delivering a product that actually works, and why is the process so complex and prone to a multitude of issues?  Yet Acronis claims it should seamlessly and simply do backup and restores.  My personal experience is that Acronis has NEVER been able to restore one NVMe PCIe 3 x4 boot drive for me successfully.  NONE of them would boot despite trying to use a mix of drivers, diagnostics etc etc.  The insult is that Microsoft's crappy backup worked like a charm when Acronis FAILED.  What is going on here?  Why is this made to be complex even for quite technical people? For the life of me, if I and my colleagues cannot work it out, what hope is there for the non-technical people?  NONE is the answer.

Secondly, why is Acronis NOT upfront and honest about the fact their product has severe limitations.  Given the strong market move towards M2 PCIe SSDs this is so shortsighted.  It leaves all of those who have gone down the path I have with having to seek a backup and restore product that will actually work when it is needed.  Instead I lost weeks of time having to rebuild everything from scratch multiple times.  I know we can't talk about other products out there, but for those thinking about Acronis for backup and restore on an ASROCK Z170 Extreme 7+ with N2 PCIe NVMe SSDs, I can categorically say Acronis DOES NOT WORK.  Hence I've been researching commercial class solutions.  While significantly more expensive, if they work and save weeks of time lost, then it's probably worth it.

Apologies for the rave, but having over 6 weeks essentially lost with ineffective support is not acceptable.  I wish I'd seen this thread weeks back.  There may have been some remote possibility to difinitively know if there was any possible path to successfully restore.  From what I've seen here, none of those approaches worked either.  Unfortunately it's too late now as I just had to move forwards and deleted the lot, nuking everything and have spent the last week manully rebuilding everything.

Let this be a warning for anyone contemplating getting into the NVMe space.  Even if you're highly technical. backups with Acronis for boot drives is at best highly complex and problematic, if not, as in my case, a complete failure mutliple times.  (Note, Acronis has worked fine on HDDs and SATA SSDs - My experience is with NVME M2 on ASROCK Z170 Extreme 7+).

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#69

Rohan F.

You're absolutely correct in everything you've shared.

Acronis should defintely implement and release the tools the MVP volunteers here have created.

Although I haven't ran it myself yet ( super paranoid of losing my system which has happened before using Acronis ), I'd highly recommend creating the MVP Tool on a bootable USB stick and testing in on one of your systems immediately after installing windows and before configuring anything special to confirm both the backup and restores work...  

Since you have several NVMe PCIE SSDs,

1. Create Bootable USB stick using MVP Tool
2. Create an image from a newly and fresh OS install ( not much configuration - to save time an effort and backup & restore time )
3. Restore immediately back to:
    a. the same drive   
    b. a different drive ( simulating replaced drive )
4. Let user community know about your experience

 

Best of success in your endeavors.   I can relate and feel your pain. 

One would think these Billion dollar companies, Dell, HP, Microsoft, etc...   would have solutions built into their systems, that could at least backup to an external drive and restore complete image back to the internal drive or a replacement of similar model, same size or larger...

 

You mentioned: "The insult is that Microsoft's crappy backup worked like a charm..."

Could you elaborate:

1. Did you create a System Image Backup?
2. Did you use the System Image Backup Image to restore?
3. Did you restore to the same drive you created the System Image Backup from or a diffeent drive?

 

Microsoft System Image Backups ( assuming that's what you used ) apparently works reliably without issues on desktop systems, but not laptops.

There's a huge thread on the Microsoft Forum that's been running for several years of users stores where it may create System Image Backups on laptops, but shortly afterwards fails to create System Image Backups on laptops in a short periold afterwards and Microsoft has never been able to resolve it, assuming they even tried...

If you do decide to try and use the MVP Tool to create a bootable usb and use it, please report back to this forum and let us users know your results...

I used to use bootable USB sticks configured with Ubuntu to create and restore images made with the *nix " dd " command ( read drive, write image to file ) which makes a literal block by block copy  ( clone image ) of any drive...    Then I use same " dd " command except change direction ( read image, write to drive )...

It's a very dangerous command, but extremely powerful and effective.  
A. Takes one command line of code to create image
B. One command line of code to restore Image.
C. Get even one typo or incorrect paramenter on the command line and drive / system is dead.

Unfortunately, last time I tried to read a NVMe PCIE drive in Unbuntu there were no drivers for it.  Perhaps that has changed...

 

You are absolutely correct when you said:

Let this be a warning for anyone contemplating getting into the NVMe space.  Even if you're highly technical. backups with Acronis for boot drives is at best highly complex and problematic, if not, as in my case, a complete failure mutliple times.  (Note, Acronis has worked fine on HDDs and SATA SSDs - My experience is with NVME M2 on ASROCK Z170 Extreme 7+).

 

The hoops I had to jump through to create reliable backups in past on "Non" NVMe PCIE SSD's.  Same routine didn't work last time I tried on later release of Ubuntu as there were no drivers that recognized NVMe PCIE SSD M2 Drives.

Dell came out and replaced a mother board ( SSD was transfered from old motherboard to new motherboard.   When laptop was powered backup, system failed to boot.  I had at least 3 Acronis System Images, none of the three were able to restore the drive so it would boot.  However, using one of the images i had created below using "dd" command I was able to restore the drive and system booted and no work was lost.

Compression really works...
1st image is 512GB
2nd image is only 9.8GB ( compressed )

##############################################################################
#
# Dell XPS 15 9530 : Disk Image copied to file using Ubuntu's " dd " command
#
##############################################################################
NON-COMPRESSED ~85 mins

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=./512GB-sda-bs4096 bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror,sync
125026902+0 records in
125026902+0 records out
512110190592 bytes (512 GB) copied, 5104.84 s, 100 MB/s

##############################################################################
COMPRESSED ~67 mins

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ sudo dd if=/dev/sda bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror,sync | gzip -c > ./512GB-sda-bs4096-compressed
125026902+0 records in
125026902+0 records out
512110190592 bytes (512 GB) copied, 4049.13 s, 126 MB/s

##############################################################################

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ ls -l
total 518370449
-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 512110190592 Aug 20 00:49 512GB-sda-bs4096
-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9350573365 Aug 20 02:10 512GB-sda-bs4096-compressed
-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9350573365 Aug 20 02:10 512GB-sda-bs4096-compressed-copy
-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 546 Aug 20 02:13 dd-time-nocompression.txt

##############################################################################
# Restore Image back to Dell XPS 15 9530 boot disk ( 512GB mSATA )

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ sudo gunzip -c ./*copy | dd of=/dev/sda bs=4096
dd: failed to open â€~/dev/sda’: Permission denied

##############################################################################
# Couldn't write to /dev/sda because of permissions

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ ls -ld /dev/sda
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 0 Aug 20 03:26 /dev/sda

##############################################################################
# Had to open up permissions

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ ls -l /dev/sda
brwxrwxrwx 1 root disk 8, 0 Aug 20 03:26 /dev/sda

##############################################################################
# Once permissions were opened, restore completed ~40 mins

sudo gunzip -c ./*copy | dd of=/dev/sda bs=4096

125026902+0 records in
125026902+0 records out
512110190592 bytes (512 GB) copied, 2389.14 s, 214 MB/s

##############################################################################
##############################################################################
# Restore original permission on /dev/sda

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ sudo chmod o-rwx /dev/sda
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ ls -l /dev/sda
brwxrwx--- 1 root disk 8, 0 Aug 20 12:36 /dev/sda

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ sudo chmod g-x /dev/sda
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ ls -l /dev/sda
brwxrw---- 1 root disk 8, 0 Aug 20 12:36 /dev/sda

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ sudo chmod u-x /dev/sda
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/wd2tb/XPS15-512GB-1/ubuntu/images$ ls -l /dev/sda
brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 0 Aug 20 12:36 /dev/sda

##############################################################################

 

I'm literally terrified at that thought of my newest Dell XPS 15 drive failing as I don't have a system image that I can restore from.  

I've backed up all my data.  But should drive completely fail, I don't think I could restore all applications and configurations back to state they were in before a drive failure.

I had bought a completely new laptop just to practice and experiement on, unfortunately time constraints preventing me from even opening the box.  I returned laptop within 30 days...

 

Backups and restores are a major pain consumer, business, etc...    Backups used to be so simply...

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 23

#70

You cannot imagine how happy I am to see these comments.  My Dell 5510 bricked after a W10 update and was unrecoverable with the Acronis tools.  The 5510 has this type of drive (the 960) in lieu of a standard SSD if you buy a lerge battery.  Dell has been no help either.  They suggest use the W7 MS backup tool, but it does not work in W10 with this system. 

Give the amount of time I have wasted on this software and the myriad of problems I plan to find another computer and go back in time to W7 and SSDs. 

BTW the 2017 model of Acronis is no better.  i bought it as I have a large research budget and cost is less an object that time.  It laso failed.  Out $50. 

Does anyone have an idea if I go back to W7 I'll have more luck or is it really an issue with these drives? 

Of course, if there were a product that work, would liek to hear about that too. 

Right now I have not backup except a file backup....

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#71

Jerryyyy,

If you have a dead system, I'd like to suggest use MVP Tool to create a bootable USB stick and try backing up and restoring using bootable USB stick.

Since you have a dead system, it should be quick to install Windows 10 only, back it up using USB stick, then restore right back to it.

Then update Windows 10 completely, create system image, then restore right back to drive.

Based on user reports, the MVP Tool should definitely work.

I'm just reluctant to try on my only laptop that has slightly different hardware and configuration than all previously owned laptops.

Forum Hero
Posts: 36
Comments: 7445

#72

Jerryyyy,

The issue is not with the M.2 PCIe drives themselves.  The issue is that Dell and other laptop makers using these drives set the machines up to use RAID even for machines with only 1 such drive.  Therefore, the necessary RAID driver for the drive controller is not available in any Linux based recovery media so that a restore to such drive is possible.  The reason these manufacturers configure the mahines to use RAID is so that a RAID driver can be used so that the PCIe based drives can reach full performance levels.  This all has to do with IOPS rather than MBPS for these drives.

The advantage of the MVP tool is that we designed to tool so that the user can choose to inject the necessary RAID driver into the WinPE media build so that the True Image app which is also installed with WinPE can access and work with these drives.

In answer to your question it will not matter if you go back to W7 or not when it comes to working with the PCIe based drives and the machine is setup to use RAID.  Without a WinPE boot media with injected drivers you will not be able to work with the PCIe based drives.

S G
Regular Poster
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#73

Enchantech,

Has there been any reports of MVP tool every making a drive ( HDD,SSD, NVMe PCIE ) unreadable or unbootable whether creating the bootable USB, creating a backup image or restoring a backup image?

I'm simply paranoid about running anything on this one Dell XPS 15 9550 i7, 32GB GTX 960M, 1TB NVMe PCIE M2 laptop.

I've experienced numerous drive issue / failures on my previous Dell XPS 15 9530 ( same config as above ); however, I was fortunate enough to be able to recover it using images I created with *nix " dd " command.

Can MVP Tool be used on any system / Laptop to create bootable USB that will be ran on a different system?

 

Beginner
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#74

S G wrote:

Enchantech,

Has there been any reports of MVP tool every making a drive ( HDD,SSD, NVMe PCIE ) unreadable or unbootable whether creating the bootable USB, creating a backup image or restoring a backup image?

I'm simply paranoid about running anything on this one Dell XPS 15 9550 i7, 32GB GTX 960M, 1TB NVMe PCIE M2 laptop.

I've experienced numerous drive issue / failures on my previous Dell XPS 15 9530 ( same config as above ); however, I was fortunate enough to be able to recover it using images I created with *nix " dd " command.

Can MVP Tool be used on any system / Laptop to create bootable USB that will be ran on a different system?

 

I believe your xps system is analogous to my Precision Workstation M5510.  I forwarded all this discussion to Dell and asked specifically if we can avoid the RAID configuration, if that is the deal killer. 

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#75

I have no knowledge of the tool ever making a drive unbootable.  The MVP tool Basic version 5.9 itself is a simpe script tool that uses the Media Builder feature of the True Image application to build the WinPE media.  An advanced version 9.9 is now availabe that includes many useful tools and support for Bitlocker, PDF viewer, etc. and does not rely on the True Image Medai Builder feature to build a WinPE recovery media. 

You must have the WinPE ADK installed on your machine so that the tool has access to to it to create the media.  You can get the ADK by running the True Image Media Builder and selecting the WinPE option.  The Medai Builder will advise and provide link to download the proper ADK for your system.  When the download of the ADK is complete you only need to select the first 3 items in the list of components to install the ADK.

After that using the Adcanced version of the MVP tool which again is a script you will be asked if you wish to build a 32 bit or 64 bit version.  Select the version that matches your current Windows installed version.  You will also be asked if you wish to add drivers to the build, select yes and the proper drivers for your Dell machine will be added to the WinPE build.

Once WinPE is built you simply need to boot to the created media.  You should have not problem seeing your NVMe PCIe based drive using the True Image app from the WinPE media.  Once booted to the media you do not have to perform any actions like restore for example but you can run a backup job of your machine which will verify that it works with your drive.

Once you are finished with the WinPE media select to Shutdown your machine.  Once the machine is shutdown remove the media, restart the machine and it will happily boot back into Windows for you.

The above step is VERY important.  Some users run afoul of booting back into Windows because they do not remove the WinPE media from the machine and the machine bios then refuses to locate the Windows Boot Manager entry to boot Windows.  Remembering to shutdown and remove the WinPE media solves that issue.  This holds true as well for the default Linux based Recovery Media.

The WinPE media can be used on other machines as well but I would caution that the other machine needs to have the same version of Windows installed as the machine which was used to create the media originally to work correctly (ie. Win 10 X64). 

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#76

Jerry,

You can disable the RAID option in the Dell machines then boot to either the standard default Linux media or a plain vanilla WinPE media and work with the drives.  The caveat here is that once you finish working with the drive ( backup or restore) you then need to reenable RAID prior to booting into the installed Windows OS.  I do not recommend this practice but it does work.

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#77

I'll try this again.  Did not seem to work before but I made a new USB. 

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#78

Jerry,

What are you trying, disable RAID and use the default media or create an MVP WinPE media?

S G
Regular Poster
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Comments: 104

#79

Jerryyyyy,

When you said you made a new USB are you using the MVP Tool?

If so, please let community ( this forum ) know what results ( creation, ability to create disk image and also restore ).

I've manually created several disk images as Enchantech mentioned via disabling and enabling RAID.  However, also as Enchantech mentioned I don't like doing that and that's why I don't have a current Disk Image.

 

Thanks to both of you: Jerryyyyy & Enchantech for your recent posts..

S G
Regular Poster
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Comments: 104

#80

Enchantech,

If one forgets to remove the media ( USB ) and reboots with the USB installed, does the system just boot back into the USB?

And if so, then you're saying just shutdown system ( there's some option on screen to do that ), then remove USB, then powering system on again will boot into windows?

 

It was mentioned that MVP Tool is just a script file.  What scripting language is used ( bash, python, perl )?  

 

Is the source code available to look at on the Advance USB media since there is a file explorer and shell?

S G
Regular Poster
Posts: 1
Comments: 104

#81

Is it possible to delete a post?

I was testing to see if I could paste an image here into the comments screen, but it didn't work.

Can I delete this post?

Beginner
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#82

Enchantech wrote:

Jerryyyy,

The issue is not with the M.2 PCIe drives themselves.  The issue is that Dell and other laptop makers using these drives set the machines up to use RAID even for machines with only 1 such drive.  Therefore, the necessary RAID driver for the drive controller is not available in any Linux based recovery media so that a restore to such drive is possible.  The reason these manufacturers configure the mahines to use RAID is so that a RAID driver can be used so that the PCIe based drives can reach full performance levels.  This all has to do with IOPS rather than MBPS for these drives.

The advantage of the MVP tool is that we designed to tool so that the user can choose to inject the necessary RAID driver into the WinPE media build so that the True Image app which is also installed with WinPE can access and work with these drives.

In answer to your question it will not matter if you go back to W7 or not when it comes to working with the PCIe based drives and the machine is setup to use RAID.  Without a WinPE boot media with injected drivers you will not be able to work with the PCIe based drives.

 

As the original person that kicked off this thread.

I can confirm that Enchantech is correct. Raid is the issue here. Single drives like this in non raid configuration are not a problem. I myself have both recovered my SM951 (due to a virus) from a full disk image (this is my boot drive). And lately upgraded my SM951 to a Samsung 960 by again recovering a disk image to it.

Just thought I'd mention this in case anyone thinks Acronis TI has issues with these sorts of drives in general.

PS. I use TI 2016 version.

Forum Hero
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#83

S G,

Sorry, no way to delete a post.

 

If you reboot with the WinPE or Recovery Media still attached to the computer the computter will likely boot back to it.  If all you see with WinPE booted is the Acronis True Image app and a Command Promt window you can shutdown the computer using the command prompt by typing:

wpeutil shutdown

I believe the script used for the tool is a text script but I did not write it.  Bobbo and Mustang are the authors.

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#84

Ditto to the last post. I don't have raid 0 across multiple disks but have used a 850 pro and a my digital bpx nvme pcie drive for backup and recovery with boot ability. The 950 pro has been my primary drive for about 2 years now and I've recovered images yobjt without issue. I originally had it in AHCI but specifically converted to using it in RAID to troubleshoot and help build the MVP pe builder.

no, the tool has no bearing on the is when building it. Doesn't mess with partitions or do anything crazy. It calls on ADK files and dism commands, the same as any other pe builder. Now, when it asks if you want to make a bootable USB and it asks what drive to use, you better be sure you put in the right letter and when it asks you to confirm again, if you entered the wrong drive, that would be on you. This is why Acronis only allows media to be built in removeable flash drives but so many people want to use external drives to boot recovery and store images so this will format any drive you tell it to. This is using straight adk and dism commands so there's no tinkering with this process.

As for notability and recovery, most systems... my z170x has 2 m.2 slots and that's all I can raid. I did it as a test and restored and it worked. I can boot a single nvme on a pcie addin but my board does not allow drives to be raided on these cards. 

After recovery, you have to check the bios for the proper boot order. I've had other bios issues that caused bootability issues in some test. I've been able to repeat behavior of locked drives with Macrium too. Raid 0 with multiple nvme disks adds mor complexity, but I can restore from 1 nvme to another all day long. Every now and then ill get a message telling me no device found with a blue windows background. This has been due to a locked drive. I don't have f8 safe mode on my bios so I have to let it fail to boot 3 times and the Windows offers f8. I can then safe boot and that unlocks the drive. After that it boots normal again. Again though, depending on my specific task, I can repeat the same behavior with other backup products too. Not sure what causes the locked drive, other than a fastboot shutdown that maintains an active hibernation file which is known to lock drives to protect the fastboot hibernation file. I have hibernation and fastboot disabled on all machines now- I don't like the Microsoft behavior.

back to the first comment... you absolutely need IRST raid drivers in your WinPE for pci nvme drives ilysing RAID as the SATA mode. The MVP pe builder process is safe. Just make sure you format the correct drive if you create a USB bootable drive.

 

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#85

It's just a bat file. The new GUI is a wrapper to help protect the method from being pirated and to help keys Acronis uses to make things work (although you'd still need them installed on your machine or they wouldn't be available to add to the WinPE during build).

The older method has portions of old code but all of the actual injection of Acronis was done by the Acronis media builder which is limited by not allowing you to also add UR. The new version handles that all in the bat with mostly adk dism commands.

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#86

Hi Michael,

Interesting, as I on the other hand have NEVER been able to get the restored M2 960 PCIe SSD to boot with ANY of the methods outlined at all.  

Hence suspect there is more going on here, but seriously, I have lost almost 2 months (with other things still going on of course, I'm talking lost availability of the PC, and to an extent the significant time lost trying to solve multiple bizarre issues that come from Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, and a variety of other players NOT working well together - In fact I suspect they are DELIBERATELY NOT working well together since they are in some ways competitors).

I have in the past successfully cloned to dissimilar SATA based SSDs (OCZ Vertex 460 for example from other SSDs, and from HDD initially way back).  But it is since Windows 10 came on the scene that the "fun" has accelerated, and add in NVMe and for whatever reason, I have NEVER been able to get ANY kind of Acronis restore to work for NVME SSDs.  Cloning is the next test so we'll have to see about that.

Unfortunately one of the two 960s failed and is going to be sent back via RMA.  Hence I cannot test cloning etc.  It would be helpful to have them both working.  The windows restore was via going back to a previous restore point which worked.  Full image is yet to be tested, but I'm doing both Acronis AND Microsoft backups, but truthfully, I have even LESS confidence in Microsoft's "vaporware" (I have a LONG history since the early DOS days on 8088/2 IBM XT's onwards - punchcards before that, LOL).  :)

Hence since I know the IBM commercial class data protection suite well, which allows crazy deduplication (in some cases around the 98% mark in the real world), maybe I can leverage some old contacts and see if I can get an affordable way to do that, but I'm not holding my breath.  Honestly there is no way you should have to spend multiples of what your PC costs in order to successfully and seamlessly back it up.  SERIOUSLY!  :)  ROTFLMAO

I'll have to make a determination I suppose on what I thinik the time lost and the disruption is worth.  In my view, in the PC milieu, this is FAR simpler than the enterprise space where we're talking multiple PB levels, and highly complex global organizational restore capablity leveraging deduplicated replication.  I have no need to deposit massive amounts of data in the cloud, JUST simple boot drive restores of a "Microsoft" kiddie OS, vs AIX etc...  It should not be hard at all (but now that I think of the less than stellar way MS develops it's "mouseclicker" OS, then maybe not so hard to believe, LOL).  Yet ironically I have seen monster amounts of PBs restored in a FRACTION of the time and effort it takes vs what we're talking about here.  Honestly, this is beyond ABSURD.  I mean, how hard can it be?  This really isn't rocket science.  Not even close.

But it stumped me and my whole set of contacts developed over several decades around the globe.  NUTS!  Maybe I should just bite the bullet and kit out a server and build a small SSD array, and run VMware and set up some PC VMs instead, LOL!  That would be fun, but honestly, that's surely way way way... way overkill, and really shouldn't be necessary should it?

Sorry to say from my perspective this is looking more and more like a CIRCUS guys, a bad farce and a "goat rodeo", and kind of silly really, LOL.  :)  Good to hear it's working for you Michael, wish I was experiencing the same buddy!  :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#87

**EDITED - i typed this on a phone originally and wanted to clean it up a bit**

Rohan, what is the specific failed behavior after restore?

If you have a full disk backup, I know we can make your restore bootable. The thing is there are more variables these days with bios behavior and settings.

1) You definitely need WinPE rescue media with the RAID controller driver for your system. IRST is sufficient for most, but double check to make sure it's not LSI, RocketRaid, or some other custom RAID controller (Sufrace Pro4 / SurfaceBook are strictly IRST which are the drivers we provide in the MVP PE builder tool). It sounds like you can see the RAID PCIE NVME Drive, so if that is correct, drivers aren't the issue.

2) How you boot the rescue media makes a huge difference. Is your OS is GPT/UEFI installed and you boot rescue media as legacy mode, you end up with an MBR/legacy recovered OS, which will not be bootable.  You can go legacy to legacy, legacy to UEFI or UEFI to UEFI, but you cannot go from UEFI back to legacy (well, you can, but again, it won't be bootable).

3) FYI - after every restore with my Gigabyte board, I have to go into the bios and re pick the boot priority because the bios changes it.  Check your system to see if the boot priority changed after the restore too. 

4) Are you using encryption or secure boot?  If so, these can cause issues.  Some people use the rescue media to backup their encrypted drive "offline" with Acronis rescue media.  This is encrypted and can't be read so although it backs up and says success, when you restore, you're restoring encrypted garbage back to the drive.  Only way to backup an ecnrypted drive is when Windows is running, via a backup application like Acronis.  Then, when you restore, it will restore it "unencrypted" as well. 

5) If all the above items are good to go, have you tried to boot in safe mode (in case the drive is locked)? That one gets me sometimes when moving from ssd to nvme or nvme to ssd.  Haven't had that issue going from ssd to ssd or nvme to nvme though. However a fastboot enabled machine "shutdown" can lock the drive too because fasboot will put the systme in hibernation and Windows wants to protect the hibernation file.

6) Have you tried restoring the disk with track 0 as well as without track 0 to see if one works better than the other?

7) I believe my bios firmware is retarded - those with custom motherboards may experience similar behavior.  I've actually had to reload the same firmware to get it to update settings and properly detect drives a few times (we're talking in general - Acronis not even in the loop). I'm using a z170x gigabyte gaming 3 board with f20 firmware, but have had to do this a few times throughout all revisions so far. I am blaming the board/firmware here as other recovery software I've tested with has required me to reload the firmware to properly detect all drives afterwards.  

There are so many variables these days it's crazy. I can't even use RAID on my board unless it's strictly the two m.2 PCIE NVME\SATA slots... AND I change the bios from "other OS" to "Windows 10" and disable CSM/legacy mode. Manufacturers need to standardize UEFI bios configurations better to help us end users as there are so many nit picky variations from one UEFI bios to the next. When it was only legacy/CSM/MBR/bios this was all so much easier. 

Back to my original question for you though, what is the error or behavior when you restore and/or it's nonbootable? And are you 100% you booted the rescue media in the correct mode before starting the recovery, verified the bios boot order after restoring, etc.?

 

 

Beginner
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#88

Guys, I downloaded the MVP tool, made a USB using the internal drtivers, Followed the instructions and the USB boots and sees the disk!

Does not get any better than that!

Forum Hero
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#89

Jeryyyyy

Awesome! That's what it's supposed to do and why we developed it. Glad all is working on your system!!

im 99.9% sure it will work on any system - even the surface books with pcie nvme and raid, just using the custom drivers injection and IRST, but thats also why the system drivers can be used too- just in case.

S G
Regular Poster
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#90

Jerryyyyy,

Whoo hoo...

Thanks for sharing...

Please share more after creating disk image and restore.

 

 

 

Forum Hero
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#91

Jeryyyyy,

Glad to see you had success.  The MVP tool makes it easy. 

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#92

Rohan,

Like Bobbo I have no idea what issue you had with doing this.  Did you try the MVP tool?  I recently built a machine using the ASRock Extreme 7+ motherboard with two M.2 Samsung SM951 256GB PCIe X4 Gen 3 drives in RAID 0.  I have backed up and restored to those drives using a WinPE USB thumb drive with injected Intel IRST RAID drivers that are standard default using the MVP tool without issue of any sort.  I think you should try again!

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#93

Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

**EDITED - i typed this on a phone originally and wanted to clean it up a bit**

Rohan, what is the specific failed behavior after restore?

If you have a full disk backup, I know we can make your restore bootable. The thing is there are more variables these days with bios behavior and settings.

1) You definitely need WinPE rescue media with the RAID controller driver for your system. IRST is sufficient for most, but double check to make sure it's not LSI, RocketRaid, or some other custom RAID controller (Sufrace Pro4 / SurfaceBook are strictly IRST which are the drivers we provide in the MVP PE builder tool). It sounds like you can see the RAID PCIE NVME Drive, so if that is correct, drivers aren't the issue.

2) How you boot the rescue media makes a huge difference. Is your OS is GPT/UEFI installed and you boot rescue media as legacy mode, you end up with an MBR/legacy recovered OS, which will not be bootable.  You can go legacy to legacy, legacy to UEFI or UEFI to UEFI, but you cannot go from UEFI back to legacy (well, you can, but again, it won't be bootable).

3) FYI - after every restore with my Gigabyte board, I have to go into the bios and re pick the boot priority because the bios changes it.  Check your system to see if the boot priority changed after the restore too. 

4) Are you using encryption or secure boot?  If so, these can cause issues.  Some people use the rescue media to backup their encrypted drive "offline" with Acronis rescue media.  This is encrypted and can't be read so although it backs up and says success, when you restore, you're restoring encrypted garbage back to the drive.  Only way to backup an ecnrypted drive is when Windows is running, via a backup application like Acronis.  Then, when you restore, it will restore it "unencrypted" as well. 

5) If all the above items are good to go, have you tried to boot in safe mode (in case the drive is locked)? That one gets me sometimes when moving from ssd to nvme or nvme to ssd.  Haven't had that issue going from ssd to ssd or nvme to nvme though. However a fastboot enabled machine "shutdown" can lock the drive too because fasboot will put the systme in hibernation and Windows wants to protect the hibernation file.

6) Have you tried restoring the disk with track 0 as well as without track 0 to see if one works better than the other?

7) I believe my bios firmware is retarded - those with custom motherboards may experience similar behavior.  I've actually had to reload the same firmware to get it to update settings and properly detect drives a few times (we're talking in general - Acronis not even in the loop). I'm using a z170x gigabyte gaming 3 board with f20 firmware, but have had to do this a few times throughout all revisions so far. I am blaming the board/firmware here as other recovery software I've tested with has required me to reload the firmware to properly detect all drives afterwards.  

There are so many variables these days it's crazy. I can't even use RAID on my board unless it's strictly the two m.2 PCIE NVME\SATA slots... AND I change the bios from "other OS" to "Windows 10" and disable CSM/legacy mode. Manufacturers need to standardize UEFI bios configurations better to help us end users as there are so many nit picky variations from one UEFI bios to the next. When it was only legacy/CSM/MBR/bios this was all so much easier. 

Back to my original question for you though, what is the error or behavior when you restore and/or it's nonbootable? And are you 100% you booted the rescue media in the correct mode before starting the recovery, verified the bios boot order after restoring, etc.?

 

 

Hi Bobbo!  Interresting points, thanks for your efforts, much appreciated!

 

Key Notes:  

There are two distinct restores FYI:  A/ RAID 0 (in RAID mode in BIOS), and B/ Single Samsung 960 Evo M2 PCIe 3 x4 NVMe, running in AHCI in the BIOS.

Please note, I no longer need to try to restore either of these backups, and in fact, the RAID 0 backups have been deleted, I have no desire to set up RAID 0 for these SSDs for the present.  I have a good version running currently.  However, I am concerned if any boot drive backup will be able to stand my current system up if the need arises, certainly to a 960 Evo in the ASRock mobo.

Not sure if this is a factor, but the BIOS is ASRock's UEFI BIOS 7.30 with the ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ Mobo.  This I believe is at the core an American Megatrends BIOS.  

Also, the single M2 SSD scenario was installed with the BIOS in ACHI mode, NOT RAID FYI. 

In both cases they were backup up via the chain method with fulls then 5 differentials.  But I also did several fulls while I was rebuilding.  NONE of these in ANY combination were able to boot.  They were validated.  

I did not use the Legacy settings in BIOS initially thinking this would be problematic, and as you say deliver an unbootable drive.  In each case the data was restored but none of them would boot successfully.  Error screens ere BSOD each with some kind of boot error.  Sorry I can't remember now what these were. But I tried multiple ways to try to sort this out with many different support teams, plus my guys.  No dice.

To your last question:  Both scenarios were unbootable.  While I think we followed all the "correct procedures" for the bootable media, it is certainly possible that a step or setting or something was not 100% correct, however I and those supporting me did this over and over and over... so pretty sure we did all the right things... 

OK, lets mix the order up intuitively (Sorry, I'm notorious for NOT following sequential protocol sometimes - sometimes gets you there faster... and annoys some more "linear" people.  lol):

5) Re "Safe mode", LOL: I knew someone would raise that.  I said exactly this the other day, but for the life of me how do you get Windows 10 to boot in safe mode, LOL?  It's funny but such a basic thing eluded me on and off for a few days. I briefly tried to remember how to do this, but couldn't do this basic thing, and ironically no one else could remember either, and all the approaches I Googled didn't work either.  LOL  - That may have been a way to work out what was going on.  Part of the issue was that the new Microsoft Windows install required a highly problematic "cumulative" update to the OS, and it screwed my builds every time (must have reinstalled windows over 30 times - frustrating!).  The current version they finally got to work, but even then had some weird errors show up.  :(  LOL

4) Yes, the RAID 0 version had encryption initally, which now that I think about it, was not a great idea in retrospect.  And yes, having been around enterprise backup systems was aware that restoring encrypted "garbage" is a trap.  I think this wasn't the issue as the restore was I believe unencrypted.  And yes, this did cause issues.  Honestly I can't remember what I did, given I've been fighting multiple issues.  What I do remember was RAID 0 (which I know is highly vulnerable, I was looking for I/O, but now think the high chance of failure outweighs the I/O performance) is a royal pain to try to restore to, as you indicated having to ultimately have the RAID 0 array seen as a single volume, and the BIOS needing to be in RAID mode (Very familiar with the BIOS space - origins date back to the good old machine code etc... ancient history.. lol).

2)  So yes, noted the issues with UEFI, Legacy, which is partly why the RAID 0 with encryption did not restore at all.  Thanks for pointing out the "logic" between the UEFI and Legacy settings.  I kind of intuitivey tried to stay in UEFI, but as you say, the MBR/legacy.  The Boot drives are GPT.  Maybe something in the order was messed up each time, but I worked through this each time with differnt tech support teams, trying everything everyone could think of, and trying variations etc, and I believe we followed most of the sequences you have outlined in this thread, although maybe we missed a step.  

7) As mentioned above have the latest ASRock BIOS installed now.  However, the RAID 0 Array was with an earlier version, and in fact I flashed BACK to that version, and tried several steps of BIOS upgrades, all ultimately unsucessful.  For the single drive, the BIOS was at the latest 7.30 version, so not thinking this is an issue.

3) BIOS order can be determined in more than one way in the ASRock BIOS.  You can actually force what it boots if needed.  I did carefully order the boot order, and was careful to check all the BIOS settings were correct, or tried varients where it made sense.  Overall the ASRock BIOS has been very reliable and intuitive, I have no qualms there, however as with all IT something could be wrong there, but I really doubt it.

Also, CMS must be disabled as you point out, and it was...

1) We did try the WINPe apprroach as well since the documentation and threads are unclear on this, and sometimes are at odds with each other, or following very different logic.  For the RAID 0 scenario, the chipset is Intel, and the drivers I had to use to install the RAID 0 (which was NOT trivial I might add, that was quite a journey too, lol) was the letest version of the IRST.  Again, the detail escapes me now (didn't see the point in pursuing this after testing RAID 0 out and ultimately deciding the complexity and high risk of array failure outweighed the performance benefits - In fact, the ASRock Guru over on the ASRock community outlined the prevailing wisdom is a single M2 NVMe SSD, the bigger the better depending on budget and Mobo).

(LOL. LSI!  Wow, that takes me back.  IBM used to use those Wichita guys for their arrays, but they fell out... )

For the single SSD, however, I got all sorts of weird Microsoft errors, and drove them crazy with tech calls trying to work out why it wouldn't boot.  (Probably should have documented this in hindsight, but the pressure is to perform now, and messing around with complex restores was not an option.  Sure, it took around 3 days to rebuild and get back to square on, but I got there that way.)

6) Yes noted that and tried both varieties...  unless there is a step we missed.

For both restores however, Acronis kept asking for out of date and often unavailable specific drivers.  I have the most up to date ones, but could not locate several bizarre and way out of date drivers it required to move forwards, or "ignore".  Not sure if this is an issue too.  That Acronis will ONLY work with specific drivers and NOT the current ones, or drivers that will suffice.  This was one of the issues that an Acronis support supervisor even weighed in on.  Hence still don't really understand how the Acronis software has been developed, and if this is a software issue.  Still unclear to me.

Maybe Bobbo, if you could please  run through how you'd restore in my case with my hardware and software (Windows 10 home - nothing fancy, LOL) from and to a single Samsung M2 NVMe 960 Evo SSD in an ASRock Z170 Exteme 7+ Mobo.  I tried the different media, and was in each case able to perform the restoring of the data, but understood there are some traps to get the SSD to boot (including with the BIOS).  Again, I've lost the detail now, but did work a couple of times with Acronis support.  Seeing your exact path may be valuable.  Currently I'm waiting for the second 960 to be replaced.  Until then there is not way to test this, and I'm not going to wipe out my current work, which is incidentally 2 months behind now.

 

However it would be valuable to know if it is actually possible to restore my system using Acronis, and I would apprecite working with you once I'm in a position to test it out on the second 960 Evo.  Once again, greatly appreciate your help here Bobbo!  

 

To the Genearl Readers:

My main concern now is how to restore now if I have another reason to.  I don't think either Acronis or Microsoft backups will be successful, hence have resigned myself to backing up files, and understand if there is a need to restore the boot drive, I will follow what I know works in the shortest time under the current circumstances - go back to square one with a clean install, and manually rebuild and install over 500 aps and all that goes with that.  Takes around 3 solid days, but gets me there.  Honestly I think that's the way it's going to be until I get time to rethink this. 

My main point is that a backup company surely is in the business of doing the hard work to make their product work, so we don't have to.  I mean it's like walking into a restaurant, and they expect you to bring a table and chairs, shop for the food items, bring your own cooking gear, cook your food, then do the washing up, while they watch and make sarcastic comments like the two old muppets  that used to sit up the back, ROTFLMAO!

Given the inordinate amount of time and effort it took, even with reasonable technical knowledge, makes me wonder how non-technical people would fare.  Honestly if you don't understand BIOS and some of the challenges, and don't have an IT background, it's going to be a major challenge for them, isn't it?

I thought the point of Acronis is to make this basically a "point and click" excercise.  Sure, that's a bit of an exageration, but a "leading" company providing a PC "Backup" product should do exactly that.  And, frankly, they have NOT.  This, in my view, is squarely on the shoulders of the "provider" - Acronis.  We should NOT have to waste DAYS of effort and have to poineer how to restore.  That in my view is THEIR job.  Clearly there is a "disconnect" here.

I think Acronis should "pony up", and do what is needed to cover at least 80-90% of the obvious scenarios and make this seamless.  Otherwise, what are they doing in the Backup and Restore market at all?  That is what we are paying for after all, isn't it?  And just watch the market as NVMe/M2 PCIe 3 x4 takes off once everyone realizes the quantum leap this provides.  What are they doing?  Sitting on their hands hoping it won't happen?  LOL  - Madness, and VERY shortsighted indeed, wouldn't you agree?  :)

We don't want to spend hours and hours messing around, we just want to get on with what a PC is for (whatever that is for each user).  Hence my frustration at what is basically a redundant product that is actually MORE trouble than it is a help.  That's certainly been my experience.  

 

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 68
Comments: 8216

#94

Rohan - that BSOD makes me wonder if it was telling you "no bootable device found"?  When I go from PCI NVME to SSD, the resulting drive is "locked" in the process.  I don't have F8 to get in SAFE MODE in my bios either.  I have to let it hit the error, reboot, I actually get 3 loud beeps and it goes into my bios wanting me to do something...

I have to repeat this 3 times.  If the OS fails to boot twice in a row, the third time, Windows will offer up an F8 button to get into safemode.  It is then, that safemode would immediately unlock the drive and I could see my login screen.  After that, I could boot normally again!

Again though, this only happened to me going from SSD to PCIENVME or vice versa. My restores from NVME to NVME have all gone fine.  Curious if 3 failed boots would give you an F8 safemode menu and be the key in your situation too. 

Other keys... keep the SATA mode in the bios the same.  Windows 10 handles the driver change way better than Win 8.1, 7 and XP, but doesn't always make the switch gracefully.  Keepig the SATA mode the same as the image was taken is important for the restore too - it's a Windows driver thing and Windows normally pukes if you have an OS in AHCI mode and try to switch to RAID or vice-versa.  Windows 10 actually works quite a bit in this regard, but not always. 

So, now that you're back to a single drive in AHCI mode - you should be able to use Linux or WinPE rescue media - just make sure you have the latest if possible - you're using 2016 which has bugs that still aren't addressed.  I'm using (2017 8029) and my other tests were all with 2017 as well so maybe that's the key (or maybe it's really the locked drive which can be fixed by getting into safemode).  

If you test....

1) shutdown the main OS using shutdown /p (this guarantees a full shutdown and not a hibernation shutdown which can lock the drive too).

2) boot the rescue media and take a full disk backup of the drive and store it somewhere else. EDIT** - Make sure it's WinPE rescue media with the IRST drivers injected - the MVP WinPE builder tool (9.9 advanced recommended at this time) and selecting the option to "YES" inject custom drivers will add these for you automatically. 

3) Pop out the old PCIE drive and pop in the new PCIE drive in the same slot - leave the old one out for now

4) Make sure you boot the recovery media in UEFI mode now (just to be sure) assuming your OS is still UEFI and on a GPT disk (which it should be most likely with these drives). Each bios is different, but here are some screenshots of what booting Acronis UEFI or Legacy looks like and a sample of a bios that shows a USB flash drive as both UEFI and Legacy options (using the one time boot menu - F12 on a Dell). 

5) Restore the image and shutdown.  Unplug any external drives or boot disks (CD/DVD, flash drives, external USB...)

6) Boot directly to the bios before doing anything else.  Check the bios boot order just in case and make sure the PCIE NVME drive is listed as the first boot priority.  If need be, save the changes in the bios and reboot. 

7) Boot up normally... hopefully it works just like that.  If not, try the 3 failed boots to get to F8 and try safemode.  I think that would do it every time.

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 36
Comments: 7445

#95

Rohan,

You must have the worst luck imaginable!  I note that in the last rant you post you mention that:

" For both restores however, Acronis kept asking for out of date and often unavailable specific drivers.  I have the most up to date ones, but could not locate several bizarre and way out of date drivers it required to move forwards, or "ignore".  Not sure if this is an issue too.  That Acronis will ONLY work with specific drivers and NOT the current ones, or drivers that will suffice.  This was one of the issues that an Acronis support supervisor even weighed in on.  Hence still don't really understand how the Acronis software has been developed, and if this is a software issue.  Still unclear to me."

The only time True Image will ask for drivers is when the user is using the Universal Restore application.  If that is what you were using then it is no wonder that all your attempts failed.  Universal Restore is only used when restoring an image made from one machine to a machine with a different motherboard. 

True Image Recovery Media is used to perform image restore operations.  That media is much different than Universal Restore but the two look very similar.  Maybe this is at root of what caused you to go wrong?

I have 2 machines running NVMe PCIe based drives.  One is a single drive machine on an ASUS Z97 Deluxe board and the other is a 2 drive RAID 0 on an ASRock Extreme 7+ board.  I have performed restores on both of these machines using True Image Recovery Media.  In the case of the single drive machine I use the default Linux based media to restore the drive without issue.  All that is required is to select the backup image file, select the target disk, and click Proceed.  On the 2 drive RAID 0 I use the WinPE version made with the MVP WinPE builder tool with injected Intel RAID driver, perform the same steps as I do with the Linux version on the single drive machine and the end result is a bootable system.

In no case am I ever asked for drivers of any kiind!  I think you really need to read the documentation or even watch the available videos on how to perform a system disk restore and see if that will help you. 
 

Forum Hero
Posts: 68
Comments: 8216

#96

Enchantech - good catch/thought!  Yup, there should be no UR involved if using the same system and that is the only time I've ever been prompted for drivers with Acronis as well.  

Univeral Restore WinPE and Acronis Rescue Media WinPE are two separate items!  However, with the latest MVP WinPE Advanced builders - both products are available in a single WinPE.  True Image is right on the taskbar and launches automatically.  One would have to purposely launch UR to run it, but should only run UR if changing computers or changing motherboards in the same case (also - possibly if changing to a newer CPU on the same motherboard, but not likely). 

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 18

#97

Enchantech wrote:

Rohan,

You must have the worst luck imaginable!  I note that in the last rant you post you mention that:

" For both restores however, Acronis kept asking for out of date and often unavailable specific drivers.  I have the most up to date ones, but could not locate several bizarre and way out of date drivers it required to move forwards, or "ignore".  Not sure if this is an issue too.  That Acronis will ONLY work with specific drivers and NOT the current ones, or drivers that will suffice.  This was one of the issues that an Acronis support supervisor even weighed in on.  Hence still don't really understand how the Acronis software has been developed, and if this is a software issue.  Still unclear to me."

The only time True Image will ask for drivers is when the user is using the Universal Restore application.  If that is what you were using then it is no wonder that all your attempts failed.  Universal Restore is only used when restoring an image made from one machine to a machine with a different motherboard. 

True Image Recovery Media is used to perform image restore operations.  That media is much different than Universal Restore but the two look very similar.  Maybe this is at root of what caused you to go wrong?

I have 2 machines running NVMe PCIe based drives.  One is a single drive machine on an ASUS Z97 Deluxe board and the other is a 2 drive RAID 0 on an ASRock Extreme 7+ board.  I have performed restores on both of these machines using True Image Recovery Media.  In the case of the single drive machine I use the default Linux based media to restore the drive without issue.  All that is required is to select the backup image file, select the target disk, and click Proceed.  On the 2 drive RAID 0 I use the WinPE version made with the MVP WinPE builder tool with injected Intel RAID driver, perform the same steps as I do with the Linux version on the single drive machine and the end result is a bootable system.

In no case am I ever asked for drivers of any kiind!  I think you really need to read the documentation or even watch the available videos on how to perform a system disk restore and see if that will help you. 
 

Hi Enchantech,

 

LOL, you have an ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ too!  

 

So, to clarify, we tried the True Image Recovery media first for the single drive.  Failed.  On the advice of support after running through a series of failed attempts, moved to try both WinPE and Universal Restore to see if they would work.  I believe Universal restore although primarily designed for dissimilar hardware, can apparently be used for like to like restores too, unless the information I was given was incorrect.  I was determined to make it work, and spent days trying to solve the puzzle.  Then time ran out, and so went back to square one.

Firstly the RAID array failed.  Cound not recover.  Decided to go to a single drive. Microsoft also screwed that up multiple times too after I'd spent days rebuilding. Believe me, incredibly frustrating for what should be install, boot, use.  Not pull every hair out of your head over two months of compete BS...

As for following the videos etc, believe me I tried them all, and variants, and then experimental attempts.  NOTHING worked.  What can I say?  :)

 

Oh, and thanks, was I really "ranting"?  Oh yeah, I suppose I was.  I kind of feel a little bit justified though... but then again this is kind of your hang out, so I get it.  The reality is if the software did what it was supposed to do, then I wouldn't be posting, would I?  The key thing I've learned is if you want something to happen, be the squeakiest wheel in the galaxy.  Finally the top guns usually take action and fix whatever it is.  If they don't, that also tells you something. :)

 

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 18

#98

Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

Rohan - that BSOD makes me wonder if it was telling you "no bootable device found"?  When I go from PCI NVME to SSD, the resulting drive is "locked" in the process.  I don't have F8 to get in SAFE MODE in my bios either.  I have to let it hit the error, reboot, I actually get 3 loud beeps and it goes into my bios wanting me to do something...

I have to repeat this 3 times.  If the OS fails to boot twice in a row, the third time, Windows will offer up an F8 button to get into safemode.  It is then, that safemode would immediately unlock the drive and I could see my login screen.  After that, I could boot normally again!

Again though, this only happened to me going from SSD to PCIENVME or vice versa. My restores from NVME to NVME have all gone fine.  Curious if 3 failed boots would give you an F8 safemode menu and be the key in your situation too. 

Other keys... keep the SATA mode in the bios the same.  Windows 10 handles the driver change way better than Win 8.1, 7 and XP, but doesn't always make the switch gracefully.  Keepig the SATA mode the same as the image was taken is important for the restore too - it's a Windows driver thing and Windows normally pukes if you have an OS in AHCI mode and try to switch to RAID or vice-versa.  Windows 10 actually works quite a bit in this regard, but not always. 

So, now that you're back to a single drive in AHCI mode - you should be able to use Linux or WinPE rescue media - just make sure you have the latest if possible - you're using 2016 which has bugs that still aren't addressed.  I'm using (2017 8029) and my other tests were all with 2017 as well so maybe that's the key (or maybe it's really the locked drive which can be fixed by getting into safemode).  

If you test....

1) shutdown the main OS using shutdown /p (this guarantees a full shutdown and not a hibernation shutdown which can lock the drive too).

2) boot the rescue media and take a full disk backup of the drive and store it somewhere else.

3) pop out the old PCIE drive and pop in the new PCIE drive in the same slot - leave the old one out for now

4) make sure you boot the recovery media in UEFI mode now (just to be sure) assuming your OS is still UEFI and on a GPT disk (which it should be most likely with these drives).

5) Restore the image and shutdown.

6) Check the bios boot order just in case.

7) boot up... hopefully it works just like that.  If not, try the 3 failed boots to get to F8 and try safemode.  I think that would do it every time.

 

Thanks Bobbo,this is helpful.  Once I can test this out, that will tell us something.  Given Enchantech thinks this should be straight forward for the singe SSD (and I agree, it SHOULD be), I can only surmise something critical is wrong somewhere to have this kind of a result.  Unless most people encounter this but just give up and don't comment too maybe... We shall see! :)

 

Forum Hero
Posts: 36
Comments: 7445

#99

Rohan,

Bobbo's examples for doing this are sound.  In my case I find the ASRock bios more friendly than the ASUS even though both use American Megatrends bios.

Accoring to your last post your first attempt to restore failed due to the default Linux Recovery Media and the WinPE media less the required RAID drives and that would be expected.  You must use the MVP tool so that you can inject the drivers during the build of the WinPE media to work with machines using RAID.

When you get your replacement drive give it a try as Bobbo outlines, I think you will have success.

Beginner
Posts: 4
Comments: 17

#100

Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

....

So, now that you're back to a single drive in AHCI mode - you should be able to use Linux or WinPE rescue media - just make sure you have the latest if possible - you're using 2016 which has bugs that still aren't addressed.  I'm using (2017 8029) and my other tests were all with 2017 as well so maybe that's the key (or maybe it's really the locked drive which can be fixed by getting into safemode).  

If you test....

1) shutdown the main OS using shutdown /p (this guarantees a full shutdown and not a hibernation shutdown which can lock the drive too).

2) boot the rescue media and take a full disk backup of the drive and store it somewhere else. EDIT** - Make sure it's WinPE rescue media with the IRST drivers injected - the MVP WinPE builder tool (9.9 advanced recommended at this time) and selecting the option to "YES" inject custom drivers will add these for you automatically. 

3) Pop out the old PCIE drive and pop in the new PCIE drive in the same slot - leave the old one out for now

4) Make sure you boot the recovery media in UEFI mode now (just to be sure) assuming your OS is still UEFI and on a GPT disk (which it should be most likely with these drives). Each bios is different, but here are some screenshots of what booting Acronis UEFI or Legacy looks like and a sample of a bios that shows a USB flash drive as both UEFI and Legacy options (using the one time boot menu - F12 on a Dell). 

5) Restore the image and shutdown.  Unplug any external drives or boot disks (CD/DVD, flash drives, external USB...)

6) Boot directly to the bios before doing anything else.  Check the bios boot order just in case and make sure the PCIE NVME drive is listed as the first boot priority.  If need be, save the changes in the bios and reboot. 

7) Boot up normally... hopefully it works just like that.  If not, try the 3 failed boots to get to F8 and try safemode.  I think that would do it every time.

 

 

Can I just confirm that this is the exact series of steps that I've taken both times that I've sucessfully restored my drive (SM951 and then SM951 to 960 EVO). And that's using Acronis TI 2016 (latest version). The only issue that I've encountered. Is that I have to make sure that "Windows 8.1/10 WHQL support" must be set to "disabled" in the BIOS, otherwise my rescue CD wont boot. Though my mobo is an MSI Z170A Gaming M7.

Rohan. Sorry to hear this is still giving you grief.