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Cloning from SSD to NVMe wiped my USB drive

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Posts: 3
Comments: 5

I followed all of the instructions, but Acronis apparently decided I didn't need it anymore and formatted it NTFS. Very annoyed, and I can't even repartition it back to a USB drive. What do I do?

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Welcome to these user forums.

Sorry but more questions than answers at this time.

Please give us a detailed description of what instructions you followed here, how your drives were (are) connected, what Windows OS is involved, how you performed the clone operation etc?

How is the USB drive involved in the clone if your source is an SSD and the target is NVMe?  Do you have a backup image of the USB drive that got formatted, and if it is now NTFS, what was it formatted as before?  Were you booting from the USB drive with the Acronis Rescue Media on the drive?

Posts: 3
Comments: 5

I followed the wizard in TrueImage 2017. Connected through the motherboard (SATA6 -> M.2). W10. Just used the wizard. I didn't do anything strange.

The drive wasn't involved in the clone at all. I don't have a backup image - only backups for my computers. I'm not sure how it was formatted before, but it only shows 500 MB of space now (system recovery). I wasn't booting from the USB drive. 

I paid $100 for this software - I like it overall, but I'd like a partial refund or something because I lost many hours of work due to what (I presume) is an error in the program.

Forum Hero
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You can contact technical support and speak with them, but in the user forum, we have no ability to negotiate pricing or do anything related to accounts, purchases or licensing. 

Do you have access to the hard disk content from another computer?  If so, please show us what computer management is displaying for it.  If Windows detects the disk, you can use "diskpart" in Windows to clean the disk and go back in disk management and initialize it again.  Alternatively, you can use an offline tool such as minitool parition wizard free (one of my favorites) and you'll be able to do the same from within Windows, or can grab their bootable .iso and use it do this outside of Windows as well.

You have to be careful with what disks you select when it comes to cloning and/or recoveries.  The disks are not labeled with the same drive number n the Linux environment as they are in Windows. The best way to identify the disks is the disk name that was set in Windows File Explorer and making sure it is uniuqe and absolutely identifies the disks so you know for sure which one you are selecting for the source and parition.

Even the clone documenation recommends taking a backup first as a precaution because of this possibility:

FAQ about backup, recovery and cloning

  • What is the best way to migrate the system to a new disk: cloning or backup and recovery? - The backup and recovery method provides more flexibility. In any case, we strongly recommend to make a backup of your old hard disk even if you decide to use cloning. It could be your data saver if something goes wrong with your original hard disk during cloning. For example, there were cases when users chose the wrong disk as the target and thus wiped their system disk. In addition, you can make more than one backup to create redundancy and increase security.
  • Could you tell me how to clone: in Windows or after booting from the rescue media? Even when you start cloning in Windows, the computer will reboot into the Linux environment the same as when booting from the rescue media. Because of this, it is better to clone under rescue media. For example, there may be a case when your hard disk drives are detected in Windows and not detected in Linux. If this is the case, the cloning operation will fail after reboot. When booting from the rescue media, you can make sure that Acronis True Image detects both the source and target disks before starting the cloning operation.

Preparing for Recovery

Assign unique names (labels) to all partitions on your hard drives. This will make finding the disk containing your backups easier.

When you use the Acronis True Image rescue media, it creates disk drive letters that might differ from the way Windows identifies drives. For example, the D: disk identified in the standalone Acronis True Image might correspond to the E: disk in Windows.

Disk Cloning Utility

Please read before you start:

  • When you want to clone your system to a higher-capacity hard disk, we recommend that you install the target (new) drive where you plan to use it and the source drive in another location, e.g. in an external USB enclosure. This is especially important for laptops.

     Warning! Your old and new hard drives must work in the same controller mode (for example, IDE or AHCI). Otherwise, your computer will not start from the new hard drive.

     Warning! If you clone a disk with Windows to an external USB hard drive, you will not be able to boot from it. Windows does not support booting from external USB hard drives. Please clone to internal SSD or HDD instead.

  • The Clone disk utility does not support multiboot systems.
  • On program screens, damaged partitions are marked with a red circle and a white cross inside in the upper left corner. Before you start cloning, you should check such disks for errors and correct the errors using the appropriate operating system tools.
  • We strongly recommend that you create a backup of the entire original disk as a safety precaution. It could be your data saver if something goes wrong with your original hard disk during cloning. For information on how to create such a backup see Backing up partitions and disks. After creating the backup, make sure that you validate it.

Cloning your hard drive


Posts: 3
Comments: 5

So even if I followed all of the documentation (which, if there are critical risks the user should know about, should at least be linked to in the wizard itself - as a programmer, no one expects to have to proactively read documentation every time they use every product), it wouldn't have helped. The clone operation succeeded - that is, I correctly specified the source and target drives. I didn't make an error - I went from a 64GB drive to a 256GB drive. My flash drive is 128GB, and I double and triple checked source/target before cloning. Acronis just decided to format the USB drive, too.

I ended up having to reformat the drive in Linux since it wouldn't let me do it in Windows. Beware everyone reading - as of posting this, all uninvolved USBs should be taken out of the system before cloning.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8346

Can't say I've experienced this.  I always use a USB drive to start the aCronis offline recovery media and it has never been wiped in the 4+ years I've been using Acronis.  Haven't cloned in quite some time, and not with 2017, but I will test as well.  You're the first I've seen in the forums report such an instance.  If you could replicate the behavior and record the procedure steps and the resulting outcome with the UsB drive being formatted, it would certainly prove the instance.  As of right now though, if this was done with the offline recovery media, we can only take what your saying occured by your word (which I'm not saying we shouldn't - but that there's no other basis to show this to be accurate behavior).  I will clone to another internal drive and check my USB later tonight.

Posts: 3
Comments: 5

Sure, that's reasonable. I suppose I wanted to come and check I didn't overlook something before going and talking to Acronis themselves. Love love love the product, just kinda irked that this happened. Thank you for taking the time to try and troubleshoot :)

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I've had some strange things happen, but never what you describe. I have done one clone using the ATI 2017 recovery media (Beta 1). I cannot remember if it was USB stick or CD ... possibly the former as the system does not have DVD drive) without issue.