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MBR Error 3 on boot of Windows 7 - Acronis TI 2009

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I get this every few days. The fix is to reinstall the recovery manager (F11 option at boot) from TI 2009. I have not defragged my hard drive so that is not causing the problem. Almost seems like Acronis is doing it to itself somehow during the automated backup session.

This is a very prevalent problem starting with TI 2009 and continuing with the current release. Why is there no constructive response from Acronis about how they are going to fix this problem?

Telling a user not to defrag their hard drive is a poor response, as is telling them to reinstall the recovery manager or run fixmbr from the Recovery Console every time it happens.

The problem is that this will happen when I want to use the F11 option and it will not be available.

This is a problem Acronis created and they need to fix it, via a patch for 2009 and 2010.

Rich

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#1

Rich:

It is defragmentation that causes this issue. Even though you have the Win 7 defragmenter disabled, Windows 7 will still do a boot optimization every 3 days. This involves optimizing the location of the files needed to start Windows by moving them to the start of the Win 7 partition. Look in your event log (Event Viewer > Windows logs > Application) for defrag event 258. You should see one of these occurring every 3 days.

Acronis made a fundamental design error when they moved the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager files from the Secure Zone to the Windows partition. They forgot about what would happen if the Windows partition was defragmented. Yes, they need to fix it.

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#2

Thanks. Any way to disable boot optimization then? I'll look around and see what I can find.

Thinking about it, every 3 days or so is about right for when it disappears. For now I just need to remember to reinstall it as needed.

Is there any way to check if it's still working or not without having to watch the boot process to see if you get the Press F11 prompt? Something I could do programatically would be nice. I could run it out of Startup and it will tell me to reinstall it. I'd really hate to need it and have it not be there. I know I can still boot the CD, but ...

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#3

If that is not possible, is there any way to automate the install of the Startup Recovery Manager? If it would install every night after my backup completes, that would resolve the problem for me (for now).

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#4

There doesn't seem to be much information about disabling boot optimization on Win 7, but there are a few articles written for Vista like this one. You could try it, but you may have to add the Enable key to the registry. The key is not present in my Win 7 installation:

No guarantees - I haven't tried this myself.

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#5

Thanks Kolo, I'll give it a try.

Wonder why I'm still not receiving notification of updates to my threads?

Added the Enable REG_SZ string and set it to N, now to wait and see what happens. I'll post back here with results after a week or so. Thanks again.

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#6

I did read you can force a Windows 7 Boot Optimization using the build in de-fragment program and a undocumented /B flag.

http://aspiregemstone.blogspot.com/2009/10/windows-7-boot-optimization-error.html

see for the information:
There migh be a clue here on how to deactivate it .

I mention the window-7 de-frag program because it seemed to auto activate itself on a schedule after I did a clean install of Windows-7 and it de-fraged all my drives including the DD OSS which always was a NO-NO for dual booting. I use disk keeper so I am almost positive I did not activate windows 7 defrag program.

I think this 3 day Windows 7 Boot Optimizing might start to explain why I have to keep disabling acronis startup recovery manager and I have to do an activate OSS from the boot CD every other day. (the Press F11 on boot message shows up and not the expected acronis loader)

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#7

The registry change seems to have worked Kolo. It's been 5 days now and I haven't lost the "Press F11" message at boot time. I'd say your Vista fix works for Windows 7 as well.

Thanks,

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#8

Rich:

That's good to know! Some registry keys that worked in Vista don't do anything in Win 7, but I suspect that most will work. Thanks for posting your results.

I think this is one of the unintended consequences that Acronis overlooked when they decided that it would be a good idea to move their boot environment to the Windows partition so as to avoid the need to create a separate Secure Zone partition. Whoops....

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#9

10 days and all is well. The registry hack definitely fixed the problem for me.

My response from Acronis was that there is only 30 days of support for their products and if I want any assistance I need to buy it. What a bunch of carp!

If I could find another backup program as good or even nearly as good, I'd switch in a heartbeat, but there just isn't anything out there that I'm aware of.

I even tried Windows 7 Backup. It works but the interface is crappy and there is no ability to have a F11 type of recovery, and it's SLOW!!!!!

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#10

Ztruker wrote:
...I even tried Windows 7 Backup. It works but the interface is crappy and there is no ability to have a F11 type of recovery, and it's SLOW!!!!!

Actually, there is, but it's F8 instead of F11.

By default, Windows 7 will install the recovery components. If you have a hidden, protected folder named C:\Recovery then you have this capability. Just press F8 immediately after the BIOS splash screen to boot to the Windows 7 recovery environment.

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#11

I did see a second way to disable using regedit- - Actuall same as reported before by K0LO but from:

http://www.theeldergeek.com/automatic_boot_disk_optimization_[defrag].htm

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: REG_SZ [String Value] // Value Name: Enable
Setting for Value Data: [N = Disabled / Y = Enabled]
Exit Registry and Reboot

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#12

I've tried this and it doesn't always work. The only thing i can see to do here is to turn off the Defragmentation service (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproappcompat/thread/f81fb245-3eec-4d03-8908-8c1bd5355bf4) until such time as Acronis fix it or make you deal with the problem as this has not been a 100% successful fix for me as we have multiple machines running Windows 7 HP and Pro and there's no correlation between OS and machine type etc. Oh and i'm using TIH2010 OEM and xml scripted installs to activate a SZ and F11 recovery options.

Any comments on success with the other method would be useful as it appears that no fix for this exists and pleanty of people are having issues, some without support as they are out of their 30 day warranty etc.

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#13

This might be old news (sorry if so), but I note that on SSD drives, Windows 7 automatically disables defragmentation, although it doesn't disable the actual Disk Defragmenter Service.

Here's an MSDN note on this -
http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx

And here's a related viewpoint -
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/windows-solid-state-drives-ssd,7717.html

I invested in an SSD for my Windows 7 64-bit PC, but I haven't yet installed my TIH2010 upgrade on it, so I can't yet verify that my SSD System drive will help me avoid this "missing F11" issue.  I'll report back here if/when I do install it.

(My TIH is an upgrade from TrueImage 9.0 Home, which has run since 2006 on my XP box.  I might leave my TIH licence installed on my old faithful XP box until TIH has 'matured' a little longer on Windows 7)

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#14

Yeah i heard the same that SSD Drives will not be affected. I wish they were as cheap to buy as regular HDD's.

Well from all this i can safely say that i'm fairly hopeful of fixing the issue with MBR error 3 by disabling Defragmentation and therefore Boot Optimisation although quite how it will affect the machines over time will have to be dealt with at a later date. Currently about to force boot optimisation an a test machine and see if that definately ruins the F11 after reboot and then find a suitable way to reinstate the F11. Given we use Acronis OEM solutions i can't have any issues with systems once they leave us or it'll be an expensive issue to sort out.

Cheers for the links, saves me finding out why SSD's are so good.

Rey
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#15

Hi,

I have about the same problem on boot with Win7 and TI 2009, the message MBR Error3 appears at every boot of my laptop. I have reviewed the above but it seems the problem is slightly different. I have not noticed any problems with TI 2009.

Shall I apply the solution as mentionned above or is it another kind of problem? Is the quicker fix to upgrade to TI 2010?

Beginner
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#16

Dear all,

I have installed acronis on my system and taken backup for the same.now i am trying to start system but getting error, ie . MBR error 3

pls help me out

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Posts: 87
Comments: 9250

#17

Did you activate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager (F11)? If, yes, deactivate it.

Did you make changes in the Acronis Boot Sequence Manager? Verify the information is correct.

If the issue is not fixed, rebuild your MBR.

Boot from Windows Installation Disc (CD/DVD), go into Recovery Console and run "fixmbr" command.

If you have a multiple OS system, use the Acronis Boot Sequence Manager to edit your multiboot if needed.