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Recovery Disk Doesn't See Internal Drive

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I've gotten several HP laptops recently, HP 15 DY... versions. One of the first things I do, or try to do, is back them up with Acronis, just so I can get back to the initial image if needed. On more than one now the recovery disk, from Acronis 2021, doesn't see the internal drive at all, only the EHD I've connected to back it up to. How do I get the recovery disk to see the internal drive so that I can back it up?

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Legend
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Joel, I suspect that given you say 'Recovery disc' that you are using Linux based media, perhaps created from the Acronis ISO image that can be downloaded from your account pages?

If so, the Linux media has a number of known limitations that would prevent it from recognising certain types of internal drives including some NVMe M.2 SSD card drives and any using RAID and/or BitLocker encryption etc.

The way around this is to install Acronis on the computer then create new rescue media using the 'Simple' option that uses PE files and device drivers from the Windows Recovery Environment on the PC.

There are some other types of internal drive that require additional special device drivers if they use either Intel VMD controllers or employ Intel Optane memory as part of the drive.

KB 58006: Acronis software: NVMe drives in RAID mode are not detected by Linux-based bootable media and Acronis startup recovery manager

KB 46250: Acronis Linux-based Bootable Media: Troubleshooting USB HID Devices Detection Issues

KB 45330: Acronis Bootable Media Does Not Detect HDD, RAID or NIC

KB 45331: Acronis Bootable Media(Linux-based): Troubleshooting NIC Detection

KB 59947: Acronis True Image Linux-based bootable media boots into black screen after selecting any option in the option menu

See KB 65508: Acronis True Image 2021: how to create bootable media and KB 59877: Acronis True Image: how to distinguish between UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot modes of Acronis Bootable Media

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Steve: First, I get excited when I see you respond because it's always a great answer. Yes, this is the Linux based media from the downloadable ISO image. So if I have things right, on a brand new PC, I have to first go through all of the initial setup to get to a Windows desktop, then install Acronis, then create the rescue media from within Acronis, and then back it up. That wouldn't be giving me an image of how the exact drive as shipped, but decently close, except for having to use a Microsoft account on the setup (grr). Is all that correct? And thanks for such a speedy answer. - Joel

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Joel, I understand what you are wanting to do and have done the same myself in the past but have been caught out by advances in technology!

The options here (other than doing as you describe above) would be to:

  • Create rescue media on another PC with the same or very similar hardware.
  • Remove the internal drive and attach it to another PC in an external caddy, dock etc to create an image of it.
  • Try a competitor product to see if their rescue media can see the internal drive?

I believe that you can still get around the requirement to use a Microsoft account on initial setup by doing this without any internet connection.  It will still ask you to enter a Microsoft account but you can enter whatever you want and then let it fail due to not being connected, then elect to use a local account.

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Steve (or others), let me ask some follow-up questions. But before I get started, is Acronis not going to provide a restore disk in the future that allows for seeing the internal drive without having to create one from within the software after installation? That seems like a gap, especially since you'd have to be keeping different restore disks for every different machine you have. Or is this a limitation of TI vs. Cyber Protect?

Next, what you said worked on creating the disk and using it for backup/restore. However, and I'm sure this is unrelated to the recovery disk issue, we're wanting to take an image from a legacy boot MBR system and restore it onto a new machine using UEFI / GPT disks. Is that possible. Thanks - Joel 

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Joel, I would expect Acronis to continue to provide a basic rescue disk as a downloadable ISO file based on Linux.  The key issue with that form of media is that it is not keeping up with the range of modern technologies being used for internal drives.  The reason for using Linux is simply that it allows them to distribute it at low or no cost.

The focus from Acronis since around ATI 2018 has been to get users to create 'Simple' WinPE media using the files from the WinRE folders which is then 'customised' to each individual PC to match the hardware installed, plus is a valid option for using Microsoft PE components where the PC holds a valid license for Windows.

I don't expect the above focus on WinPE / RE media to change with ACPHO new versions because again it uses a feature integrated into Windows with the recovery environment and driver support.

Migrating systems from Legacy / MBR to UEFI / GPT using rescue media has been available in all versions of ATI since UEFI was supported and is covered in the user guides of those versions.  The process is simple, create the backup of the Legacy OS from Windows, then boot the PC in UEFI BIOS boot mode and Acronis will do the changes necessary to create an EFI System Partition and associated Windows BCD store for the Windows Boot Manager etc.

See the Migration method section of the ATI 2020 User Guide where the different options are listed according to what you are starting with and migrating to!  The section primarily is looking at using cloning but applies equally to using Backup & Recovery.  I have used it for the latter in the past when migrating virtual machines from legacy to UEFI.

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Let me make sure I'm clear on the Legacy / MBR to UEFI / GPT part. Are you saying that if I backup the current legacy boot machine using Acronis, which I already have, and then change the boot mode in the BIOS to UEFI, that Acronis will change the backups already done to accommodate the changes needed for a recovery with them using UEFI/GPT? 

Legend
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Joel Schwartz wrote:

Let me make sure I'm clear on the Legacy / MBR to UEFI / GPT part. Are you saying that if I backup the current legacy boot machine using Acronis, which I already have, and then change the boot mode in the BIOS to UEFI, that Acronis will change the backups already done to accommodate the changes needed for a recovery with them using UEFI/GPT? 

No, any migration will only take place after booting the Acronis rescue media in UEFI boot mode and then doing a Recovery of the legacy backup in that changed boot mode.

Once you have a working UEFI system, then you should protect it by making a new backup that includes the changes and new EFI System partition.

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Well, before I get that far I just ran into this. I initiated a new machine, installed Acronis TI 2021, and then created new ISO rescue media for it using the 'Simple' option under Tools/Rescue Media Builder. But when I try to using it, booting up to the ISO DVD, I get "Boot device failed - press enter to continue". I've done this before and it worked on another machine, but I can't get one to work here. Any ideas?

Legend
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Joel, I have found that some systems simply do not like booting from optical media but will normally work fine when using USB media.

If you are migrating a legacy OS to a totally new machine with new hardware, then you should also create the Acronis Universal Restore media in case this is needed after doing the Recovery.

See KB 65413: Acronis True Image 2021: Restoring to dissimilar hardware with Acronis Universal Restore and in particular review Steps 4 and 5 of this document.

Also KB 2149: Acronis Universal Restore

KB 36187: Windows activation required after restore with Acronis Universal Restore, cloning or converting backup to virtual machine

KB 45432: Acronis Software: Troubleshooting Universal Restore and Bootability Issues

KB 46405: Acronis True Image: Restored Operating System Fails to Boot

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Steve: In this specific case all we're trying to do is create a boot disk and test it out, on a single new PC. You were 100% right, it didn't like the DVD but accepted a USB. But after all that this Win PE USB ISO doesn't see the internal drive. I contacted Acronis since I hate bugging you, and I thought even without a maintenance agreement they would provide support for recoveries. But apparently not so. Any next ideas? Thanks - Joel 

Legend
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Joel, this is where it is advised to create rescue media on the system where they will be used which in turn requires Acronis to be installed to allow this to be done, but which when using the 'Simple' method will capture device drivers for the internal hardware from the recovery environment.

The one current potential gotcha is if the internal drives are using Intel VMD drivers or using Optane which then pose further challenges to create working rescue media for!

Note: one option that could help with identifying drivers is to install a copy of Macrium Reflect and use that to create its rescue media, where it will show a list of device drivers that it would want to include.

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Steve: You were great, but I wound up just using Macrium Reflect. It didn't have any problems with seeing the internal drive and ran backup and recoveries just fine. Thx for all of your help. - Joel