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Backups, Restores, and Partitions

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ATI2009 b9796. Windows XP-PRO sp-3. Dell Inspiron desktop.
I’m manually creating FULL backups (My Computer) of my internal HD using the rescue CD. The backups are stored on an external USB2.0 HD. Disk Management shows there are two partitions on my internal HD. One is the OS (C) which is shown as NTFS. The other partition is EISA configuration which is shown as FAT. Questions:
1. When I do a FULL backup, are both partitions included in the .tib file?
2. If so, and I need to restore a disk using the backup, are both partitions restored?
3. Does the fact that one partition shows as NTFS and the other as FAT affect the restore in any way?
4. What is the EISA partition's purpose?
I’m preparing to do a FULL restore test to a spare internal drive and trying to get a better understanding of all things involved.
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dh27564 wrote:
 ...

1. When I do a FULL backup, are both partitions included in the .tib file?

2. If so, and I need to restore a disk using the backup, are both partitions restored?
3. Does the fact that one partition shows as NTFS and the other as FAT affect the restore in any way?
4. What is the EISA partition's purpose?
I’m preparing to do a FULL restore test to a spare internal drive and trying to get a better understanding of all things involved.

1. A Full means that it is a "new backup" not an incremental or differential based on a previous backup. Only the selected partitions are included. If you select the whole disk then all of the partitions on the disk are included.

2. In the restore wizard you can select which partitions to restore or you can restore the whole disk.

3. No problem. TI understands both.

4. These partitions are typically the manufacturer's backup partition and/or a place for diagnostic programs.

You could make a whole disk backup which would give you an image of everything on the disk and its structure. After that, you only need to image the C drive partition since it is the only one that is changing.

By all means do the test restore to the spare HD. The TI CD is Linux and you want to verify that it does work properly on your system before you really need it. The fact you have already created images with it is a good sign. Be sure to do a Validate with the CD as well. If this works then you will have some confidence your test restore is going to work OK too. The Validate does not do a byte-comparison with the source HD but reads the archive into RAM and recalculates and compares thousands of checksums.

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Very helpful, understandable information!  I have only been using the basic features of ATI.  No SZ or Recovery Manager, Scheduled Tasks, Try & Decide, etc.  The basic features seem to work well.  All my backups are made with the rescue CD and validated with it as well.  I have restored individual files using the rescue CD and worked my way through a FULL restore up to the point of hitting PROCEED.  I have developed a "plan" for this restore test and will probably post it here in the future so it can be examined by others before I try it.

When doing the practice restore ( I will restore to a second, empty, internal HD), would just restoring the "C" partition be all I need to do to see if the disk is bootable?

Thank you for helping me understand this.

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Restoring the C partition may be all that is required to make the disk bootable. The unknown is what the disk would do without the EISA partition. In other words would the disks MBR look at the correct partition to load Windows. There are others on the forum who understand the boot process better than I do. If you restored the whole disk structure which would be both partitions and the MBR it should work since the layout is the same as the original.

Since you have a spare HD to test, try the C drive restore only and see what happens. You will likely have to restore the MBR as well.

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Restoring the entire disk (EISA, OS, & MBR) certainly sounds like the safest approach and I would welcome advice from the others you mention.  I'm getting closer to completing this test.  Today, I disconnected the original internal HD, booted from the rescue CD, validated the backup, selected the spare internal HD as the destination and worked through the wizard up until PROCEED, cancelled, shutdown, reconnected original HD and restarted.  All went well although the BIOS order had changed so I had to restart and select the original HD as the 1st HD to boot from (the spare HD was shown as #1 on the HD prioity page and the original had been moved to #3). Yes, I know - I should have gone ahead with  the next step but I'll be out of town tomorrow for a few days and didn't want to worry if things didn't go well.  Just trying not to rush and make sure I understand what to expect.  I am getting more confident.  At least I know I can always reconnect the original HD and I'm back in business.

I'll probably have a few more questions before this is all done.  Thanks for helping me with this!

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A Successful Test!  I disconnected the ORIGINAL internal HD, booted from the rescue CD, restored from the external USB HD to the SPARE internal HD, rebooted (had to change the BIOS startup order), and everything restored perfectly.  Next, I shutdown, disconnected the SPARE, reconnected the ORIGINAL HD, rebooted, and again, everything is good.

Question:  I'm considering reconnecting the SPARE and formatting it.  Since I have two internal HD's, is there a problem with reconnecting the SPARE, rebooting with the ORIGINAL, and then formatting the SPARE?  Both HD's are the same manufacturer, make & model (Samsung 500GB SATA 502IJ) and in doing the restore, in the "Select Items to Restore" choice, I selected the "Disk 3" checkbox which includes NTFS (OS) C, MBR & Track 0, and FAT16 (Unlabeled).  I also selected "Disk Signature".  Both drives are now the same.  With both powered and having the same partitions, disk signature, and files on each, should I expect any problems during startup? 

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I just made a total backup of my old hd. I want to take the new hd (which is on usb now) and put it in comp as only "new" drive. 

If I put it in comp now, all that will come up would be a .tib file ? right ? how do I get windows to boot

T

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Tim - I am relatively new with ATI and certainly not as knowledgeable as others on the forum.  I am using Acronis TI 2009 build 9796.  I am using the rescue CD to perform all my image backups to an external USB HD.

A couple things.  I don't believe Windows will boot from a USB drive.  I purchased a second internal SATA HD and installed it in the computer to see if I could restore without actually selecting my original internal HD as the destination for the restore.  I didn't want to wipe out my original HD if the restore wasn't successful.  The .tib file is an image of your "old" HD which can be restored if your "old" HD crashes.  You would use the rescue CD (which can be created from within the ATI program) to perform a restore.

Others will probably jump in here and help you as they did me.  Again, I consider myself a novice with ATI and would not want to pass along bad advice.

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dh27564 wrote:

With both powered and having the same partitions, disk signature, and files on each, should I expect any problems during startup? 

I think Windows will change the disk signature on the non-booting drive. If you do run into a problem, remember that you can restore your backup image.

If you don't want to boot into Windows with duplicate drives, you can boot to the TI CD and use the Add new disk feature in the Utilities section to setup the drive how you want.

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Tim Zurawski wrote:

I just made a total backup of my old hd. I want to take the new hd (which is on usb now) and put it in comp as only "new" drive. 

If I put it in comp now, all that will come up would be a .tib file ? right ? how do I get windows to boot

You would need to restore the image file (the .TIB file) to another drive. You can't have it saved on the USB drive and restore it to the same drive.

If you don't have another drive available and you have enough space on the old drive for the image file, you could save it there and then boot to the TI CD and restore it to the USB drive. The hard drive in the USB enclosure would then need to be installed into the computer in place of the old drive.

You could also clone the old drive to the USB drive and then install the USB drive into the computer in place of the old drive.

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What issues might I be facing if Windows DOES NOT change the disk signature?  Would the computer still boot up (the original HD is listed first in the BIOS HD Priority)?  Once Windows is up and running I should be able to reformat the spare drive.  Of course, I could simply leave the spare HD disconnected and just there if I need it.

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I just ran a quick test on this using using XP Pro SP3. The disk signature on the duplicate (non-booting) drive was changed. Windows detected the new drive and installed it.

If Windows didn't change the disk signature on one of the drives, it would have identical references to the partitions and would probably corrupt the drives, cross-link or crash. However, this shouldn't happen because Windows won't allow duplicates.

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OK, thanks for that test!  It makes me feel better.  In any event, before I try all this, I'll make another full backup just in case.  How can you tell if the disk signature is changed and when you say Windows detected and installed it, what does that mean?  Thanks for your patience.  I'm learning a lot through this entire process.

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I looked in the Registry and examined the MountedDevices values for the partitions before and after.

The detection was just that Windows popped up the little balloon message saying that it found a new drive.

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Thanks MudCrab!  I reconnected the spare drive and rebooted.  Checked the BIOS during startup to make sure the system was booting from the original HD, which it was.  All went well and I got the "Found New Hardware" balloon also.  I did notice that the volume name of the spare drive had changed to (OS) E (probably because the 2 internal HD's are identical).  Anyway, I reformatted the spare drive, shutdown, restarted, changed the name back, and all is well.  I'm satisfied ATI is doing what it should and I feel safer knowing I've completed a complete restore test. 

Thanks to you again and all the others who have walked me through this process for the last several weeks.