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Stop converting disks to GPT please!

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Beginner
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Comments: 4

When I'm cloning a disk it always insists on converting it from MBR to GPT. I understand that this is so it will boot in UEFI, but the disks I am cloning are not from this PC and will not boot in GPT on other machines.

I cannot fathom how the concept of cloning a disk, making an exact copy, is interpreted and making a fundamental change along the way. This software is rendered totally useless for me.

2 Users found this helpful
Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22921

#1

Daniel, welcome to these User Forums.

The only reason why Clone should convert your disks to GPT is if you are booting the Acronis Rescue Media in UEFI mode which does this to conform with that mode.

If you want to keep the disks as MBR for a Legacy machine then you need to boot the Rescue Media in Legacy mode.

See the ATI 2018 User Guide:Migration method where this is documented.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

#2

I am using Acronis desktop application on my PC. I don't want to have to leave my work to reboot in to a rescue media just to clone a customers disk.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 5

#3

I have to agree with the OP. This is complete nonsense. I too use the desktop version, and sometimes have the need to clone an MBR drive to another. Yet, the software insists on setting up the new drive as GPT. I don't want GPT, and neither does the computer the drive came out of.

Instead of allowing the software to determine what it "thinks" is best, please adjust it … give us the option to keep MBR. So annoying!

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 4

#4

I switched to Macrium Reflect in the end, the free version does everything I need and it lets me make an actual clone instead of deciding things for me.

Forum Hero
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#5

Well, if you found something you prefer - good deal.  Use what works best for you.

Just want to point out you may be in violation of licensing with Macrium Free in your work environment though. Might want to contact them to be sure.   

Acronis True Image is also geared at home users and requires a license on each system used on (legally) even when booting rescue media, so not sure if you're on the mark there either or not, but we'll assume yes.

As Steve pointed out, the default settings are to clone and convert the disk type to match the system the clone is being completed from.- which makes sense for most HOME users who will be cloning an old drive to a faster/larger one in their own system.   However, it is absolutely possible to use the manual option to change this behavior and it's pretty black and white in the user manual, but if you chose to not read it, then well...

 

Beginner
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Comments: 4

#6

I bought the 2017 version and it doesn't seem to have any options as described in the link.

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22921

#7

Daniel, see the ATI 2017 user guide section on Cloning where it states:

[This step is only available in the manual cloning mode]. On the Change disk layout step, you can edit settings of the partitions that will be created on the destination disk. Refer to Manual partitioning for details.

Beginner
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Comments: 4

#8

I don't see any option to specify MBR there?

Legend
Posts: 102
Comments: 22921

#9

Following the links from above brings you to:

Partition type (these settings are available only for MBR disks)

You can define the new partition as primary or logical.

  • Primary - choose this parameter if you are planning to boot from this partition. Otherwise, it is better to create a new partition as a logical drive. You can have only four primary partitions per drive, or three primary partitions and one extended partition.

    Note: If you have several primary partitions, only one will be active at a time, the other primary partitions will be hidden and won’t be seen by the OS.

    • Mark the partition as active - select this check box if you are planning to install an operating system on this partition.
  • Logical - choose this parameter if you don’t intend to install and start an operating system from the partition. A logical drive is part of a physical disk drive that has been partitioned and allocated as an independent unit, but functions as a separate drive.

So the question here is to ask if you see these partition type settings options, which show that the target is recognised as MBR for the options to be shown?

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8343

#10

Ultimately (and probably ideally) use the rescue media to start the clone on a dedicated system instead of from Windows.  Boot the rescue media in the mode you want the disk layout to be.  If you are cloning an MBR disk, boot the rescue media in legacy mode and the default clone should result in an MBR clone.  If you are cloning a GPT disk, boot the rescue media in UEFI mode and the default clone should result in a GPT disk.

Wouldn't hurt to submit feedback to Acronis directly either though.  Seems like a simple fix could specifically allow the user to select the option, with one of 2 default options:  1) clone the drive exactly or 2) clone the drive and partition to match the source of the system the clone is being performed on (then have a small description of each).

Although I can agree that in most cases, a clone should be exactly a clone - one for one, that is not exactly what is always needed.  For instance, when cloning from SATA to PCIe NVME, if expecting to bootable, it has to be GPT, or if cloning a smaller drive to something greater than 2TB, to be bootable, it also has to be GPT to be bootable.  This is why (I'm guessing), Acronis has opted to clone based on the system's current OS install, so that the increased chance of bootability for that particular system is taken into consideration.

Forum Moderator
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Comments: 5711

#11
Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

Wouldn't hurt to submit feedback to Acronis directly either though.  Seems like a simple fix could specifically allow the user to select the option, with one of 2 default options:  1) clone the drive exactly or 2) clone the drive and partition to match the source of the system the clone is being performed on (then have a small description of each)

Hello Everyone,
I've noted this suggestion as a feature request, but no guarantee it will be implemented. I'll continue gathering feedback, so that the product management can consider adding two modes for cloning/recovery.   

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

#12
MrPyle wrote:

I have to agree with the OP. This is complete nonsense. I too use the desktop version, and sometimes have the need to clone an MBR drive to another. Yet, the software insists on setting up the new drive as GPT. I don't want GPT, and neither does the computer the drive came out of.

Instead of allowing the software to determine what it "thinks" is best, please adjust it … give us the option to keep MBR. So annoying!

As an Acronis Partner, I feel exactly the same as MrPyle. Clone means "clone" - it doesn't mean "decide to change from MBR to GPT" . I spent 3 hours of my life trying to rebuild the MBR/BCD after Acronis clone, (2019), and the competitive product did what I wanted it to do, which is "Clone the drive as it is, partition format and ALL". Sorry Acronis, technical people know what they want, Your competition won on this one. 

Forum Moderator
Posts: 162
Comments: 5711

#13

Dear Stefan,

thank you for sharing your feedback and experience with recovery, I'll pass it to the product team for review. 

I can only add that Acronis True Image in its current implementation is mostly focused on the individual home users with the general knowledge of computer systems. If you are using the product in the business environment, we'd recommend evaluating Acronis Backup 12.5 solutions, which are more suitable for the business use-cases (here it is possible to select the boot mode Windows will use after the recovery).

 

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

#14

Surely you can not blame business user vs. home user for this idiocy?!

Even as a home user, one would expect to be able to 'clone' a drive, and have the layout matched, as to be able to boot straight into it - NOT to sit, dumbfounded as their drive fails to boot (going by your own statement, a home user would simply stumble at this point and also render your software unusable!). You've added a completely pointless feature, with no easy workaround and made your software unusable! Completely useless tool! I'll be requesting a refund for my subscription.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

#15

I came here looking at the exact same issue, where the new 2020/2019 version "clone" setting isn't a clone, but yet converts to GPT. STOP IT! At least give me an option to do an exact clone. I wasted my money on this new version and wish I could have my old one back that just worked, and the 3 hours of my life I spent trying to get a usable clone from this version.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 162
Comments: 5711

#16

Hello Royce,

added your feedback as a vote for the existing change request, thank you!

Beginner
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Comments: 1

#17

Wasted a lot of time with trying to "clone a 128gb SSD to a 1TB HDD" when Acronis converts MBR to GPT. This is ridiculous. I bought Acronis True Image because it used to give me a TRUE image when I cloned. Very disappointed there is not an option or a question asked by Acronis if I would like to switch to GPT to match the computer. 

Forum Hero
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Comments: 8343

#18

Joseph, just curious, but did you clone the drive on the same system or with rescue media?  If using the live clone, it should clone the drive to match the original drives disk type 1 for 1.  However, if cloning on a different system than the one the disk is going into, then it will create the disk type to match that of the system the clone is being done on and may not match what is needed on the other system.

If you want to always be sure what type of disk, use the rescue media and your bios one time boot menu to specifically launch the rescue media in either legacy (MBR) or UEFI (GPT) mode.  The resulting clone will then have that disk type in the end. 

I still agree with everyone here - a clone should be a clone (exact copy) the majority of the time, but with many people cloning from SSD's to PCIe NVME, there are many cases where an older legacy MBR disk needs to be converted to GPT to be bootable too.  I just feel that the default should be an exact clone and an option (advanced mode or something) should be available if the user needs/wants to make the conversion.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

#19

I tried it both ways. Obviously I tried the direct clone tool first because it would be quickest. Then after trial and error finding out it wouldn't boot I did a disk backup then restore to the new HDD. Both ways the disk clone operation resulted in an unbootable disk. The abovementioned other clone software worked perfectly the first time and was a free version and also maintained the disk signature, making sure I didn't have to reactivate all my software. Big failure for Acronis in this case. Usually True Image works very well.

Beginner
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Comments: 1

#20

Been using this software for years, with a business license, and this automatic conversion BS has forced me to go with an alternative solution. Shame on you acronis

 

Forum Moderator
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Comments: 5711

#21

Dear Jan, sorry to know that you're disappointed with the software because of the auto-conversion. I've added your feedback as a vote for the change request TI-179333 Allow selecting the boot mode (BIOS or UEFI) after recovery/cloning.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 2

#22

TrueImage - what a trainwreck.

Had to clone a new SSD into my wife's PC.

Installed TrueImage - it installed so many services on my system that it broke Photoshop CC Raw. I had to manually disable the Acronis services to get Photoshop to work again.

Imaging the disk, I created TrueImage bootable media on a USB stick. That wasted an hour with none of the bootable images actually being able to boot - either wouldn't be recognised or would try to load the Acronis software and fail with MBR errors.

Ended up having to do the clone on my PC and guess what... The cloned disk was magically converted from MBR to GPT and wouldn't boot.

By now I've probably wasted 4 hours and had to download 3rd party free software to do the job instead of using the TrueImage software that I paid for.

The TrueImage experience has become so fragmented and flaky that you've lost me as a customer I'm afraid.

When you load True Image on the desktop it consists of so many separate tools, each with so many suboptions, such that you never really know what you're supposed to be clicking. And when the software does try to hide the complexity and automate something it changes the disk partition scheme such that the disk won't boot.

This used to be a great product that used to "just work". The past 2 or 3 times I've used it over the years something always goes wrong and wastes hours of your time.

MBR -> GPT = LAST STRAW

 

 

Forum Moderator
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Comments: 5711

#23

Hello Richard,

sorry to know about your negative experience! Currently the default behavior is that formatting is based on the machine running the clone tools boot mode. UEFI boot would result in GPT format and Legacy boot results in MBR format. This behavior depends on the choices you make during that cloning process, i.e. if you choose Automatic (recommended) on the cloning panel, then the target drive if using a UEFI system will be migrated to GPT if was MBR. If you want to clone MBR to MBR from a UEFI system, then you will need to choose Manual on the cloning panel, then choose the partition format used for the target drive when asked.

I've added your feedback as a vote for the feature request TI-179333 Allow selecting the boot mode (BIOS or UEFI) after recovery/cloning.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 2

#24

There was no option to select MBR in manual mode. And blaming the problem on me making bad choices is not good customer service.

Beginner
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Comments: 1

#25

Count me as another dissatisfied customer. I will not jump through hoops to get software I paid for to work as it should. Quit automatically converting MBR to GPT! I guess I just wasted money buying a new version for my new PC. I will be going with a different solution.

Forum Star
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Comments: 3958

#26
Paul Thomas wrote:

Count me as another dissatisfied customer. I will not jump through hoops to get software I paid for to work as it should. Quit automatically converting MBR to GPT! I guess I just wasted money buying a new version for my new PC. I will be going with a different solution.

Paul, you do not need to buy a new version for your new PC, you can transfer the licence from you old PC to the new one. Although ATI 2017 is getting rather dated. If you are looking for information on alternatives to ATI, there is a review of 20+ backup solutions in the latest edition of PC Pro (January 2021 edition). There are some free solutions that may meet your needs.

Ian