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Boot AND recover from the same USB flash drive

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M Z
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Hi all,

I have the following software:
Disk Director 11
True Image 2013
Plus Pack

My original goal was to create a fast and reliable backup of my MSI laptop, one I could use to recover the system when I don't have all the 'home' resources.

The laptop came with recovery image which is great but, as you all know, requires hundreds of Windows updates, let alone all the software I need. Time-consuming and inconvenient.

What I would like to achieve:
Ability to recover my custom system image (appx 15GB) at any time, using the least amount of resources. I would prefer to boot from AND recover from a flash drive (I have several 32GB and 64GB flash drives I could hopefully use.)

I created two partitions on a USB stick; one FAT32 to make it bootable, the other NTFS to fit a large backup. But I keep having trouble adding drive letters and/or accessing the NTFS partition. Multiple sticks, so it's unlikely they are the problem.

I did quite a bit of searching but did not find exactly what I was looking for. And my head is just exploding at this point and I don't understand what I am reading. Need a little help here.

Thank you all in advance.

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Forum Star
Posts: 51
Comments: 3768

I think you're making it more difficult than it needs to be. Create the bootable Rescue Media on either CD-R or USB flash drive, and make your backups to a different drive. While you may be able to do what you want, the complexity seems needless just to avoid using a second drive.

M Z
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

tuttle wrote:

Create the bootable Rescue Media on either CD-R or USB flash drive, and make your backups to a different drive.

I appreciate the suggestion but that requires carrying around a thumb and/or external drive, which is exactly what I am attempting to avoid. I just want to explore my options before resorting to that. There would not be another reason for me to carry a drive around; I backup online most of the time on the road.

I am also exploring Secure Zone functionality, though because it's FAT32, I cannot store large images there without breaking them up.

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

M Z,
I believe one of the things MVP Tuttle was suggesting was that for you to make an Acronis bootable USB stick (such as PNY but not SanDisk) (can be Fat32) Note: Current 2014 premium iso is 446,080 kb.

Then boot from the usb flash drive and create a backup onto another USB flash drive which is NTFS and 32 or 64GB.

Question. Will your planned 15GB backup contain all the partitions you need on your current system disk to create a new system disk if the old system disk goes bad? Which OS are you using?

M Z
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

GroverH wrote:

M Z,
I believe one of the things MVP Tuttle was suggesting was that for you to make an Acronis bootable USB stick (such as PNY but not SanDisk) (can be Fat32) Note: Current 2014 premium iso is 446,080 kb.

Then boot from the usb flash drive and create a backup onto another USB flash drive which is NTFS and 32 or 64GB.

Question. Will your planned 15GB backup contain all the partitions you need on your current system disk to create a new system disk if the old system disk goes bad? Which OS are you using?

Thank you, Grover.

I think I understand and definitely appreciate what MVP Tuttle suggested. I already have and successfully tested a 4GB Acronis bootable SanDisk USB stick. Booting from it, I can recover a backup, as long as it's on another media, be it a USB stick or an external hard drive.

Since my 'essential' backups aren't huge, I was hoping to combine the two functions and use a single stick as both the bootable and the image storage.

The 15GB (or so) backup only includes the C drive and most programs I use. Also Windows updates and drivers, of course. My 320GB laptop hard drive has another partition which stores documents and non-essential files. I backup those online and occasionally onto an external desktop hard drive.

Hope this answers your question and clarifies my situation.

Regular Poster
Posts: 16
Comments: 249

What might work is: to place the Acronis .iso file onto a (single NTFS partition) USB stick, and then use EasyBCD on your laptop to make a startup selection that would normally boot to (what, Win7 or Win8?) but has a selection to use the iso on the stick as well.

I do this myself, with my Acronis bootable .iso file on a different hard drive in my desktop PC. Seems it oughta work for a USB stick (or any external drive) also.

Forum Star
Posts: 51
Comments: 3768

[quote=M Z]

GroverH wrote:
I think I understand and definitely appreciate what MVP Tuttle suggested. I already have and successfully tested a 4GB Acronis bootable SanDisk USB stick.

It doesn't need to be that big. True Image will happily live on a 1 GB flash drive, probably even a 512 MB flash drive (though I haven't tested a 512 MB for a while as I don't think I have any that small anymore).

M Z
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

tomf wrote:
What might work is: to place the Acronis .iso file onto a (single NTFS partition) USB stick, and then use EasyBCD on your laptop to make a startup selection that would normally boot to (what, Win7 or Win8?) but has a selection to use the iso on the stick as well.

I do this myself, with my Acronis bootable .iso file on a different hard drive in my desktop PC. Seems it oughta work for a USB stick (or any external drive) also.

I'll test it out when I have more time!

tuttle wrote:
GroverH wrote:
I think I understand and definitely appreciate what MVP Tuttle suggested. I already have and successfully tested a 4GB Acronis bootable SanDisk USB stick.

It doesn't need to be that big. True Image will happily live on a 1 GB flash drive, probably even a 512 MB flash drive (though I haven't tested a 512 MB for a while as I don't think I have any that small anymore).

It's the smallest I've got.

But, here is what I think my question boils down to:
Is it possible to take a USB stick (32GB, for example) and create two partitions on it? I'd prefer one small FAT32 (say, 2GB) and the rest would be NTFS.

Thanks!

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 1

Are you still looking for the solution? This is very easy to do. I have done it on Windows 10 (build 2004) with Acronis 2019. Here is the procedures:

1. Use Disk Management to create the first boot partition with FAT32, I name it BOOT (you can name it anything you would), if you have a large USB drive, you can make this partition about 1GB or larger. If you have a smaller one, the partition size would be about 670-700MB for Acronis 2019. Please deselect "Quick Format" if you are not sure your USB drive is a reliable one. Doing this way will let OS rescan for bad sectors.

2. Select the remaining "Unallocated space" and create another partition, select NTFS format. Enter your own partition Name.

3. Now use Acronis 2019, select  Rescue Media Builder. From Choose creation method form, select Advanced then select Linux-based media. From the Choose media destination, select BOOT partition (it appears like an USB drive) then click Proceed. That's it.

Note: You have to do this on Windows 10. After it is done, the USB drive can be used on Windows 7. However, Windows 7 will not see the second partition on this USB drive. When you boot this USB drive, you will see the second partition, you have no problems to backup or recover.

Peter