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HOW-TO: Fix Acronis Survival Kit fails to create

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Affected Products ATIH 2020 b22510 or earlier

Problem:
1a. ATIH reports there is no existing survival kit or it needs an update
1b. ATIH fails to create a survival kit initially on an external USB / NTFS drive

History:
I have seen this this issue on mine and other ATIH customers, even with completely new drives,. Everytime we looked on it with the support it was not reproducible or reappeared later when they were disconnected.

Workaround:
Press Windows Key + X > Open Disk Management
Select your backup disk
If there is a 2 GB partition in front of your backup data partition (backup target).
Delete the 2 GB parititon and try to create the Survival kit again.

It does not matter whether your disk is using GPT or MBR but I've seen it regularly failing on GPT disks.

Hope it helps anyone. Sticky could be helpful.

further workaround steps:
sometimes if this does not help create a new temporary job and create the survival kit from there
sometimes it helps to deattach and reattach the USB drive and also close / open ATIH.

Remarks:
In opposite to the support it is possible to create a survival kit on a disk that contains backups, or is empty. Acronis will realign the data if needed.

I still consider this to be a regression in ATIH 2020 as I've also seen it in the beta but this was fixed later. For now it is not perfectly reproducible but happens more often than I would wish.

3 Users found this helpful
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#1

this is how it should look like at the end.

Beginner
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#2

Driver issues are the number one problem in using UR that is posted in the True Image Forum.

Beginner
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#3

I had the survival kit Problem and found a workaround. Look into my screenshots of the process:

1. Survival Kit wants to format the Backup Device G:

2. and terminated with  Error: Cannot lock device

3. See Disk Management View of Backup Device G:

4. I looked at Security Attributes and saw that Full Access was off. I change Access to "Full"

5.Survival Kit created successfully 

6. Disk Management View of Backup Device G: after Survival Kit Creation

 

Beginner
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#4
  • Updated to Acronis True Image 2020, Build 25700
  • Tried updating survival kit but get this error: An error occurred while creating media - unable to copy the product files
  • Deleted the partition as specified in the first post. The partition still existed but was empty.
  • Backup option changed to "Create Acronis Survival Kit" - Tried that but receive the same error.

"ACRONIS HM" partition id 2.00GB FAT32

Second drive partition is 929.48GB NTFS

Now, what? Must I reformat the entire drive to make this work again?

April 14,2020 Update

"Resolved" by deleting all backup drive partitions and reformatting. All existing backup tasks needed to be deleted as well.  Then creating the survival kit, on this new blank drive, was successful.  Finally recreated backups and successfully did the backups.  Not an ideal solution but it worked.

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#5

I want to move from WHS2011 to Acronis, mainly because of what appeared (in ATI2019) to be a good Survival Kit facility. Deleting backup tasks is clearly unacceptable and ATI2020 has been around for a while, so when will this issue actually be resolved?

I am also not sure, from the literature I could find,whether backups from several PCs can be stored on the same external USB hard drive and accessed on any of the devices when they need restoration. Can somebody advise?

Legend
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#6

W Thomas Phillips, there should not be any need to delete all backups stored on a drive in order to get it to be recognised correctly as part of a Survival Kit solution.

Personally, I do not use the actual 'Create Survival Kit' option but have created a much easier to manage & use alternative rescue drive.

If an existing Survival Kit 2GB FAT32 partition already is present (shown as Acronis HM in Disk Management) then use a partition manager tool such as MiniTool Partition Wizard and delete that partition to remove it.

Next, using the same tool, create a new 2GB FAT32 partition and assign a drive letter to it.

At this point, you can simply use the normal Acronis Rescue Media Builder tool and point it to write the media to the new 2GB FAT32 partition drive letter.

For my own media, I use the MVP Custom ATIPE Builder script to do exactly that so that I have a more functional rescue media drive which can include other Acronis applications if installed, plus incorporated a web browser, PDF viewer, screen capture etc.  For my media I have created a larger FAT32 boot partition to accomodate extras!

If the above survival / rescue drive is large enough, then it can be used with multiple different computers to store backups or perform recovery.  The key factor in using any rescue media or survival kit with multiple computers is to identify the correct boot mode to be used.

See KB 59877: Acronis True Image: how to distinguish between UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot modes of Acronis Bootable Media

Note: Legacy/MBR computers may not be able to handle backup drives larger than 2TB in size due to the limitations of MBR architecture.

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#7
Steve Smith wrote:

Personally, I do not use the actual 'Create Survival Kit' option but have created a much easier to manage & use alternative rescue drive.

The attraction of the Survival Kit is that I do not need to handle WinPE, which is way too complex for me to handle.

If there is a bug that deletes previous backups, then surely Acronis should fix it with some urgency?

At the moment, it looks much more simple to use the Win 7 / 10 Pro backup facility to save multiple PC images on a USB hard drive, then restore that image using the normal Windows repair facility on any of the PCs. I am only talking about using this for the OS SSD and not for data drives so the data on the drive hardly changes over time.

Legend
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#8

There is no need to 'handle WinPE' - the standard Acronis Rescue Media Builder tool does all that for you automatically if you have a valid Windows Recovery Environment from which to take the PE files needed.

This topic was aimed at those users who had an issue with getting the Survival Kit updated after a new build of ATI 2020 was installed.  The majority of users do not need this as the update process works just fine for them.

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#9
Steve Smith wrote:

There is no need to 'handle WinPE' ... if you have a valid Windows Recovery Environment from which to take the PE files needed.

Your answer is just what I want to avoid as I still need a Windows Recovery environment with PE files, which is way beyond my comprehension.

This thread is about the Survival Kit which seems to be what I want, but if there are bugs for which a fix is not being mentioned, then despite having purchased Acronis 2019 and wanting to use it, I will need to look elsewhere for a more user-friendly environment.

 

Legend
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#10

Creating WinPE rescue media using files from the Windows Recovery Environment does not make any changes to that source environment. Files are just copied as needed for the media.

See KB 60091: Acronis True Image 2018: how Simple bootable media creation mode works which explains how the process works.

I do not believe that there are bugs that need to be fixed here but rather there are situations with all the different variations of backup drives being used for the Survival Kit which gives rise to some users seeing an issue whereas the majority of users do not.

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#11
Steve Smith wrote:

I do not believe that there are bugs that need to be fixed here but rather there are situations with all the different variations of backup drives being used for the Survival Kit which gives rise to some users seeing an issue whereas the majority of users do not.

 

 Sadly the link meant nothing to me. I am looking for a simple reliable / repeatable backup and restore utility for the OS SSDs of all my PCs / servers.

If some users experience the problem described here, then it is a bug that makes the results of using Acronis unreliable. If this is the official stance, then this product and company are not for me and my investment is a bust.

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#12

Hi everyone, thanks for such a vivid discussion on my guidance.
I have to disagree that there is nothing to be fixed. Also I can disagree that running Survival Kit the external disk has to be empty.

I still see issues where the Survival Kit fails to upgrade (see latest ATIH update), but I have given up to get in the loop with the support since it is so hard to reproduce, and so to find a root cause for this, perhaps because there are working workarounds, the support - this time - was not eager to investigate it further.

Personally suspect this is still a widespread, yet not recurring issue which spawns at first time creation or upgrading the Survival Kit in ATIH 2020, at quite any version since the beta. 

 

Let me share an example:
PC1 running the latest ATIH 2020 trying to upgrade the Survival fails.
PC1 deleting the 2 GB Acronis HM partition and trying again fails again. Deattaching the disk and reattaching (another workaround we found in the support session, ATIH / Windows seems to have issues to lock the drive or enumerate partitions, while diskpart and diskmanagement mmc are ok)

So in a summary it was not possible to upgrade the existing survival kit. The last resort would be to format the entire drive (diskpart, clean etc) which disqualifies deleting all backups BUT

attaching this same disk on PC2, upgrading ATIH 2020, then trying to upgrade the survival kit > works at the first attempt.

Certainly something is broken in the code or the procedure.

 cannot tell if it is Windows or Microsoft Defender or ATIH 2020 is locking up the drive sometimes, again hard to repro.

It would make neccessary to investigate with procmon or even deeper.

Everytime discussed this in the support ticket their statment was: Creating Survival Kit does not work when data is on the disk - that's untrue, provingly. 

Hope my story helped you too.

tl:dr:
If one computer fails to first initialize / upgrade ATIH 2020 survival kit try another computer / device. There is a very high chance that this will work, eventually follow steps as in the original post. Even a restart  might help to circumvent the drive lock problem.

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#13

to post #4 deleting the whole drive only raises the chance of circumventing the problem. My sister's computer refuse to create the survival kit often enough and I have a number of relatives and friends that see same issues, and also for myself after upgrading the Survival Kit update ATIH 2 and 3 https://forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-true-image-2020-forum/acronis-true-image-2020-update-3-available.

I have even seen survival kit fails to create on an empty disk after diskpart clean or a newly unpackaged drive. As said hard to reproduce so me and support gave it up.

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#14

Thomas to your post #11 this is not the survival kit but another option. The Survival Kit is an integrated solution that works independent from ADK and apparently uses native dism / disk commands to create a bootable drive.

Unfortunately, but understandably limited with external devices not internal harddisks (Windows 10 dualboot). 

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#15

Edited my post #12 to with a better wording. If there is anything unclear, please let me know. My goal wasn't not bs or fingerpointing but to provide a working workaround for this complex problem. 

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#16

Got my 2 terabyte hardisk to boot at last as well as DVD and USB stick.

1.  I deleted the 2 gig partition with disk Management. That let the partition empty.

2. I reformatted that 2 gig partition as 32fat that then gives you a drive letter for that 2gig      partition.

3. I then downloaded the AcronisTrueImage update 3 from the Acronis website.

4. I created a DVD as well as a USB stick from the .iso file.

5. I copied the content from the USB stick to the 2 gig 32fat partition of the USB hard drive.

If the Acronis 2020 wants to create a Survival Kit do not let it do it. Acronis 2020 will create another useless 2gig partition on your hard disk.

Beginner
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#17

I just plugged in a brand new WD 2TB Passport USB drive. Ran Acronis 2019 (Win 7 system), tried to do a Entire PC backup immediately. Stopped all other programs, selected option to create survival kit, and confirmed to reformat drive. Partition creation failed, and now the drive cannot be recognized. I can't fix it using any tool I know of, because it does not have a logical partition letter to talk to. My list of drives is C, and E, skips D which was the new external drive.

I think this may be the same problem described above, but slightly different method to create it.

To be clear: I did not do anything exotic or complicated, just told it to create the survival kit bootable drive, and now my computer can't talk to a brand new empty drive that was working moments ago. I am afraid to let Acronis do anything on my computer now. This should be simple and ALWAYS work, or offer a graceful recovery. To simply inform me that there was an error while formatting really sucks.

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#18

Hi Kent quite unfortunately that's exactly what I am seeing. I cannot even tell that it is worse for external WD drives.
even fresh unboxed drives may fail to install the survival kit. As I've said I am not able to reproduce this 100% after manual actions so we stopped the investigations with the support / dev team. 

Be assured that other alternatives to Acronis, namely Veeam, might be even more disappointing as it needs to delete the whole drive for updating their recovery, while ATIH can update it without deleting all data or backups on the recovery drive. 

I really hope that we can find a root cause for this for ATIH 2020 or 2021, as it is really a problem.

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#19

I found some more information that may be useful. After rebooting the system , I used the Admin tools Disk Management, and found the drive was now showing up in the list of drives (it was not before reboot). The D: drive label was removed, but the disk was visible as disk 5. There also was visible a 2GB partition on it that was bootable. So the creation of Survival disk was partially successful. I assigned the D: label to the 1.8T drive, and then it was visible in the File Explorer. It was empty. Then I tried to run Acronis and do a back up, but it could not talk to the new D: drive. I rebooted again, and the D: label was gone, and I could no longer change it to D:. That label is  now unavailable on this system. I set the drive to N:, put one file in there, then tried to do a backup. This time it worked. I skipped the survival kit for now.

So it appears D: is gone forever, no assignment and cannot be assigned. I assigned the new boot disk for survival kit to be O: and it is visible in File Explorer and I can write to it.

The survival kit utility got as far as separating the disk into two partitions, and failed before it assigned drive labels. I did not reformat. The original problem occurred while the screen said it was reformatting, and the status indicator got about 5% into it when it stopped progress. I left and came back to an error message.

I have not upgraded to ATI 2020 yet. Still 2019.

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#20

what does diskpart tell you in list volume? is D allocated?

 

also try powershell with admin rights get-volume is D in use there?

 

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#21

diskpart list volume does not show D

I don't have powershell. Worth the trouble to get?

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#22

sure you have it. which is your windows version?

windows key + R > winver 

enter 

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#23

Win 7 Pro X64 ver 6.1

ATIH 2019

I found Powershell, what command to type? I tried get-volume, not recognized.

 

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#24

Use an admin PS prompt and type Get-Partition

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#25

Doesnt work for me either...

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#26

Get partition and volume are not found. With some Powershell get-help I discovered get-PSDrive, which lists all of the drives including network drives. D: is not there. Everything from C to O is listed except D. The new USB drive is N and O.

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#27

Looks like your D drive is hidden. I use ACMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition it’s free to unhide - hidden drives.

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#28

that's also a feature of diskpart. you need to select the volume that has no drive letter (list volume / select volume, then assign a letter, assign letter=L)

Oliver if you need assistance to have a smooth migration to Windows 10 let me have a private message. 
Your powershell in Windows 7 misses many commands as it is outdated. You could upgrade to WMF 5.1 / Powershell 5.1, but this does only add a limited set of what later and supported OS like Windows 10 has. 

I would propose to take a backup and migrate to a supported OS then caring further about your issue with the survival kit. 
I am aware ATIH still supports Windows 7, but imho that was not a good decision. Other vendors are more strict about that.