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Recovery Disc (USB) does not boot on Sony Vaio S

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#51

Yes, those are the numbers; the whole thing total about 596 gb so that's one way to double check the figures. I suspect Sony put the original disk image in their along with the Windows system stuff. Toshiba does that too, for another example.

ATI boot CD recovery shows all of partitions and partitions as partition 1 except for C:

Thanks for the link. Wiki also has an excellent article on GUID Partition Table (GPT)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

If only the ATI userguide had info on it ;)

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#52

Interesting. Acronis.com says ati2012 does not support GPT disks and the Plus Pack is necessary.

but I believe the PP was only needed for dynamic disks and not for basic GPTs.

http://kb.acronis.com/content/24018
which flat out says ati2012 DOES and without Plus Pack so long as not using Dynamic disks and using w7 64.

So, I guess it does. Now I only have to figure how ;)

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#53

Scott,
I think you will make an excellent guinea pig :)

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#54

Would like any specific comments from those with Sony 'S' series computers who have tried the booting procedure I posted, in order to correct it or make it more comprehensive for wider applicability. I made this procedure primarily for my own use to tuck away as a printed copy with my Recovery Disc for that rainy day, but would like it also to be useful to others.

Being naive about recovery, I thought the whole issue depended on getting to the Acronis recovery environment, but it sounds like there are other issues about the GPT hard drive on the Sony 'S' series computers, so I am staying tuned to try to understand the complete picture. As I think both James F and Scott put it, now is the time to work it out, before the panic of a failure that might lock out the way toward recovery unless one has prepared in advance.

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#55

Scott,

I had ATIH 2011 and it would not make a disc image backup of my Sony 'S' series C: drive because it is a GPT drive. At James F's suggestion I got ATIH 2012 (rather than the 2011 plus package) and it does make a disc image backup of the Sony GPT drive. I assumed it would handle a recovery as well, but because of current discussions here am no longer sure.

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#56

Being naive about recovery, I thought the whole issue was to be able to boot into the Acronis recovery environment. It sounds like there may be further issues havig to do with the GPT C: drive on Sony 'S' series computers. I want to get the whole thing written down and printed out so I can tuck it away with my Recovery Disk for that rainy day, before the panic sets in. I would also like to make it as correct and comprehensive as possible so it can be used by others, and would like to get any specific comments from anyone who has tried using it on a Sony 'S' series computer.

To Scott:

ATIH 2012 did make a disk image backup of my Sony 'S' GPT hard drive without any complications. I assumed it would also handle a recovery, but am now unsure because of the current discussions about recovery on the GPT type of drive.

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#57

So far, to me, it looks like this:

The Sony s-series w7s are 64 bit with a GPT disk. So it must boot UEFI. That trips up the boot CD. So you have to switch it to booting legacy to boot from the current ati2012 bootcd.

The nvidia card or it's presence in combination with the intel graphics processor confuse the bootcd ATI module but I think you can avoid that prob by setting the Sony to STAMINA before booting. Can anyone else test that? that that works consistently on their S-series or other Sony with two GPUs?

ATI2012 is supposed to be able to restore a GPT disk for a W7-64 OS provided it's a Basic and not Dynamic disk. I haven't done it, but. . .
It's diff than restoring an MBR drive as far as ati is concerned, but given that it's GPT, it shouldn't have a problem with any valid partitions -- each GPT partition contains the info about it. So, if you map the source partitions to the target partitions in order, then should be no probs. I'll let you know as son as I actually try this -- maybe tonight. The GPT issue has nothing to do with the other two issues; even if those other two issues did not exist, there's still the matter of how one restores multiple partitions (GPT to GPT) with ati2012 since the manual doesn't seem to cover it.

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#58

Typo correction here. ATI 2011 definitely did not handle GPT and ati 2012 definitely should handle GTP basic disks. I've made backups and gone through steps for a restore up to but not including final proceed. So, as advertised it works, at least that far. Assuming it doesn't mind advance format disks (and it doesn't mind when it backups) then I'll know in a day or so when I do the acid test.

Harold Pohl wrote:

Scott,

I had ATIH 2011 and it would not make a disc image backup of my Sony 'S' series C: drive because it is a GPT drive. At James F's suggestion I got ATIH 2012 (rather than the 2011 plus package) and it does make a disc image backup of the Sony GPT drive. I assumed it would handle a recovery as well, but because of current discussions here am no longer sure.

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#59

Scott,

Don't understand the typo comment.

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#60

His typo was to correct the comment he made earlier about 2011 supporting GPT disks. It does not support GPT disks without the Plus Pack. The 2012 version includes (according to the 2012 information page) "Full support for UEFI and GPT disks." UEFI systems with GPT disks are not supported in 2011, even with the Plus Pack.

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#61

"Full" means diff things to diff people. for ati2012 it means in a limited way. ;)
2012 supports GPT basic disks, not dynamic. You need Plus Pack for GPT Dynamic disks.

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#62

Do I understand this correctly that 2012 may not handle all aspects of a recovery with these UEFI machines unless it has a plus package? Depending on if it has a 'dynamic disc'? How do you find out if your machine has a dynamic hard disc?

I did try booting from a recovery disc with the STAMINA/SPEED switch in both positions before knowing about Leagay v. UEFI and it made no difference. Didn't work either way. If there is more to it than that, I could try it again.

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#63

Harold, 2012 will handle your system as you have it configured now. The disk drive in your Sony laptop is set to basic not dynamic. You can see the designation for your disk is set as basic in the disk management screen you posted on the first thread. See: http://forum.acronis.com/system/files/forum/2012/07/33546/diskmanagementdiagram.png. You do not need the Plus Pack to use 2012 on your system at this time. If you convert your disk to dynamic, then you would have to purchase the Plus Pack to be able to use 2012 with your system. There is no reason for you to change your disk type to dynamic on your laptop.
Scott's suggestion was to set the laptop to the "Stamina" position, and restart your laptop with the recovery CD in place and with the UEFI/Legacy BIOS option set to Legacy BIOS. When he did this on his laptop, he did not have to use the "F11" method to set the vga=ask option, as the recovery CD detected the graphics with no problem when the laptop was set to the "Stamina" postion. You could test on your system as well. His laptop is a different model, but very similar to yours with dual graphics controllers.
I had a customer call me today and tell me they had 2 Lenovo T420 laptops delivered today. They want me to transfer their data and install additional programs that they use. These laptops have UEFI firmware, but I won't know until next week if the drives are GPT or not. I will be testing 2012 on these systems and let you guys know of my results.

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#64

James F,

Thanks for pointing out that my hard disk is set to basic and not dynamic and thus ATIH 2012 will handle recovery without installing a Plus Pack. Knowing that, I think I am prepared as much as I can be. I'm still going to try YUMI and a flash drive and that will be more insurance as far as booting into Acronis is concerned.

Before I knew about Legacy and UEFI, bit did know about F11, etc., I tried booting from a Recovery Disk with the STAMINA/SPEED switch in both positions. The boot didn't work in either position on my Sony 'S' series. I guess there are many configurations and you just have to keep at it until you find what works on your particular machine. All of ths seems to indicate that nothing can be taken for granted. You need to prove it to yourself that you have the complete means to recover when needed, and keep it where you can find it.

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#65

The F11 bit should be unnecessary if you set your Stamina/Speed switch to Stamina before reboot. The lease only the Icore graphics processor engaged and ati has no problem dealing with that. I successfully restored last night and will post the steps as soon as I have some time. But I urge everyone to do go through the steps for a restore from a bootCD, imagining your hard disk has ceased to work, up to , at least the final Proceed, to ensure that you will be able to restore when you need to.

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#66

ATI is quirky with the Sony S-series (and possibly others) plus there is virtually nothing in the manual about Advanced Format drives or dealing wih GPT layouts. The whole thing was easier than I first suspected but it can easily get confusing. So, attached is a MS Word doc with the steps that proved successful for me restoring GPT to GPT, going to larger drive on a Sony S-Series.

I know it looks long buts only because I tried to be comprehensive -- Hold swatter, turn wrist to raise swatter, swing arm downward to bring swatter rapidly onto fly. So if you read through it, hopefully you will find it makes a restore easier rather than harder.

Thanks to Grover for providing a reformatted version in the more universal file type, pdf., which is also attached.

Attachment Size
106059-102373.docx 17.43 KB
106059-102376.pdf 68.17 KB
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#67

In providing pre-sales info to potential customers, doesn't Acrronis have the obligation to instruct customers to look at Disk Management on thier computers to see if the hard drive is GPT or MRB and also if it is Basic or Dynamic, and then point out which version of the product must be used to successfully backup and recover on thier computers?

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#68

Just looked at Scott's procedure for restoring a hard disk on a Sony 'S' computer, no matter how it is configured. From my view, this is the ultimate information to have on hand when you find yourself in this dire situation. No matter how you are able to boot up to Acronis TIH, the procedure for doing the restoration is invaluable to someone who doesn't really know what is gong on (me). I am going to print this and put it in the jacket with my Recovery Disk. I am very grateful to Scott for making it available on this forum.

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#69

Thanks, glad you find it helpful.

Meanwhile, I fear it will be more difficult to put the hairs back in my head. ;)

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#70

See post # 72

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#71

Harold,
You effort to document this procedure for those folks with Sony laptops will sure come in handy. Thanks for taking your time to do this.
Everything looks good, but I think you have step 10 and step 11 reversed. You should select your screen resolution before starting Acronis recovery with the '/bin/product/' command.

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#72

I did the recovery boot with the STAMINA/SPEED switch in both positions a number of times and have tried to make my procedure match what actually happens. Essentially it had the slecting of screen resolution when the slider is in the SPEED position out of order, which is what James F pointed out. There were some other things that I thought needed changing also. As before, it would be helpful if anyone with a Sony 'S' series computer would give it a try and report any errors or omissions in this forum. Another concern is removal of past versions that contain errors so that someone who happens into this forum can only get the latest one. I'm not sure how to proceed on that. Here is the newest rev:

Procedure for booting a Sony 'S' series computer from an Acronis Recovery Disc into the Acronis recovery environment if the hard disc has failed.

If at any time in this procedure you get hung up, press and hold the power button until the computer shuts down. Start over again.

Note

If your computer has a STAMINA/SPEED slideswitch on it above the
keyboard, put it in the STAMINA position and omit steps 7, 10, 11 and 13.

1. Power on and immediately tap F2 rapidly to get to BIOS. (If you don't tap at the right speed,
you will get a different screen than BIOS. Power off and try again.)
2. In BIOS, on the BOOT tab, under Boot Configuration, use the F5 key to change 'UEFI' to
'Legacy'.
3. In BIOS, on the BOOT tab, under Boot Priority, use the F5 and/or F6 keys to move 'Internal
Optical Disc Drive' to the top of the list.
4. Insert Recovery Disk in optical drive.
5. Save changes and exit BIOS by pressing F10, then click YES.
6. The computer will boot from the Recovery Disk to an Acronis screen but
not the recovery screen.
7. Press F11 immediately. A box will pop up asking for a Linux instruction. Erase what is on
the entry line and enter 'vga=ask'.
8. Click on 'Acronis True Image Home'. You have limited time to do this before the screen
disappears.
9. Another Acronis screen appears, still not the recovery screen, and remains during a long
pause.
10. A prompt appears to press ENTER to select a video mode
11. Press ENTER and a menu for selecting screen resolution appears. Enter your
choice. Choose one close to your screen resolution. It doesn't have to be the exact
number.
12. A long screen of Acronis code appears that self scrolls.
13. At the completion of scrolling, at the '#' sign, enter '/bin/product'.
14. The Acronis recovery screen appears with all options for recovery available. Start recovery.

When you have finished with recovery, return to BIOS (as above) and on the Boot tab change 'Legacy' back to 'UEFI'. Otherwise, you will not be able to boot normally into Windows.

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#73

You have to reboot for the speed/stamina switch to change processors -- once the video software is engaged, just moving the switch won't do it -- you can find this in the Sony literature. But you have to reboot to start the bootCD anyway so it's no big deal. The two diff processors will display slightly diff even at the same resolution. But resolution isn't the issue, I'm 99% sure that it's just a matter of the processor being accessed properly by the linux on the Boot CD -- it can handle the Icore gpu but not the icor and the nvidia both. Setting to Stamina, essentially decircuits the nvidia card. Try that without trying to manually set the resolution at all -- should work. Then you can just skip those steps whichever order they are in ;)

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#74

Harold, you can edit a previous post. You can delete everthing in the post, and reference your post number 72 in this thread.

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#75

Scott,

I put in the note at the beginning to set the switch to STAMINA before the computer is turned on and in each of my tries, it seemed to have the desired effect in eliminating four of the steps, one of which is setting resolution. I suspect that the STAMINA/SPEED switch is on all of these Sony 'S' series computers, and if I knew it for a fact, I would make putting the switch in STAMINA the first step of the procedure and eliminate the note and the steps it says to omit. It would be a much neater, shorter procedure.

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#76

all that matters is that it's in stamina position before booting up with bootCD

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#77

Tonight, I tried to play a DVD movie on my Sony 'S' series laptop and it wouldn't auto start. I went to BIOS and took my internal optical drive out of the top Boot Priority position where it has been for several days and then the DVD did play. Anyone know if that was cause and effect or a transient anomaly? Maybe the Boot Priority has to be changed back to hard disk as well as the Boot Configuration back to UEFI when recovery is completed in order for everything to work normally. Though Windows will boot up as long as UEFI is the Boot Configuration even if the optical drrive is the top Boot Priority, maybe other things will not work nomally.

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#78

If what you describe is repeatable, I'd contact Sony Support Chat or Email and post the apparent bug and ask them what's the deal.

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#79

Two things:

1. My last post described a problem playing DVDs in the optical drive when the optical drive is at the top of the boot list in BIOS. After several more tries, the first few of which failed, as it did on the first try, it finally worked. It seemed to act as though something had to adjust itself to the new setting, and it only worked after changing the boot priority back to hard disk and then back again to optical drive. But now it works consistenty with the boot priority set to optical drive.

2. I had decided to use the YUMI program to put the Acronis ISO boot file on a flash drive as others described doing, as added insurance for booting to Acronis if the hard drive fails. I started to do that and was scared off by some warnings on the YUMI setup as shown in the attachment. I wonder if making this bootable flash drive would change something in my USB ports that might adversely affect other uses of them?

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#80

Whatever protocol or procedure you decide to use, it is crucial that you do a test restore, at least up to the final Proceed to ensure that you will be able to restore and that you will know the process steps when the time comes. Keep things as simple as you can and still meet your goals.

RE your question, will it cause any permanent damage? No. Will it work? Maybe. The answer should be yes, but you never know until you try.

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#81

Harold,

I swear I have been holding my breath until you tried YMUI so that you could create a successful boot up environment for ATIH 2012 without changing parameters in the bios and jumping through hoops to get things done, but I am about to run out of breath!

Yumi is only telling you that it is going to replace the master boot record of the flash memory stick that you are working with, and that it is going to name the drive "MULTIBOOT". THAT'S IT. It isn't going to change your USB ports or any other kind of witchcraft. Yumi has to put something on the MBR of the memory stick so that it will appear as a boot drive and can successfully boot up from it.

Don't forget on your Sony Vaio S (SVS), like mine, you will have to start pressing F11 immediately at boot up so that the Sony will look for a boot device on the USB ports.

PLEASE set up YUMI and be HAPPY that it solves this problem for you!! You will be amazed at how quickly you can get past this problem IF you really want to get it solved....

DO IT, HAROLD! I want you to!

Good luck and the next message I see from you I hope is that you have a bootable USB flash drive using YUMI and that you have successfully booted into ATIH 2012 recovery, in UEFI mode, no bios switcheroos....

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#82

Making the Yumi has a higher value of hoop-jumpiness than sliding one switch and making a BIOS change. I tried it both ways and gave up on the Yumi. But I concede it's not just a matter of number of steps and things to remember; it's also partly a matter of subjective preference. It depends on how you feel most comfortable working.

BTW, wait til you get w8 and you won't have time to press F11 -- unless they get that fixed before the rtm goes out. ;)

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#83

I used YUMI to put the Acronis ISO boot file on a flash drive, which went very easily. I shut down, put the flash drive in a USB port, turned on power and immediately pressed F11. The YUMI screen appeared and indicated I could initate booting or wait a few seconds and it would start automatically. I let it starf automatically. The YUMI program screen disappeared and the word 'BOOTING ... ' appeared. However, it did not get beyond that screen. I waited about 5 minutes and decided to start over. I shut down and this time when I got to the YUMI screen I initiated the boot, but it again went for at least 5 minutes without gettiing beyond the 'BOOTING ...' screen. The YUMI program didn't indicate any problem with the ISO file but I wonder if I have a good file. Something seems wrong. Or does it take more than 5 minutes to boot?

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#84

No, YUMI is very quick. It will boot into Acronis in no time at all.

The trick is that the first time you run YUMI on your computer, it will put the YUMI/bootup information on the flash drive. After that, you have to tell YUMI about the boot image(s) that you wish to place on the flash drive. So, you run YUMI on your computer, and go to STEP 3 (Step 2 loads Linux variations, but is not necessary for what we are doing here). In step 3, you direct YUMI to where your Acronis .iso boot image file is on your computer. Yumi will then copy the file to your flash drive, and change the configuration in the boot up file of the flash drive, so that Acronis becomes a boot up option.

After doing that, the next time you boot up with the flash drive, you'll see Acronis as a boot up option. You select the Acronis.iso file that is listed on the screen, and then you'll see Acronis start loading.

Let me know how it goes.

Mark

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#85

Ignore. Posted in wrong thread.

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#86

mhodgin,

I'm still having trouble with YUMI. I run the program with a flash drive in a USB port and browse for the Acronis ISO file. I select 'Unlisted ISO' as the category. Then YUMI runs and says it has successfullly put the ISO on the flash drive. I shut down in order to boot from the flash drive, pushing F11 as soon as power is applied. The YUMI program screen appears and looks normal, EXCEPT it has no ISO listed on it. I think it should have a list of ISO files that are on the flash drive to choose the one to boot from, which in my case would be just the one Acronis ISO. But it has none on the list. It doesn't comment on that fact. Instead, it starts trying to boot but apparently with no boot ISO, so it just shows a screen saying 'Booting ...' and nothing further ever happens. It seems to me that the Acronis ISO file that I browse for, and that YUMI says has been successfully put on the flash drive, is not actually getting put on the flash drive. I wonder if my copy of the ISO is corrupted? Or if something else is going wrong?

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#87

Just remember, if the iso is updated, you might have to go through this yumi building all over again.

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#88

Scott,

Would the same be true for an Acronis Recovery disk? How would someone know if an ISO gets updated?

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#89

Yes, whenever the build changes you should make a new bootcd because the bootCD version is usually changed too. Or you can check the build number of the bootable media on the acronis.com site (log in and go to Get Updates).

Making a bootcd is much easier than making a winPE or a yumi disk--no hunting for drivers or renaming directories, etc. I've used bartPE (with older version) and winPE before but I always use the ati bootcd if it will work on my machine.

I tried the yumi but after a certain number of steps, quit. Toggling the boot in the bios was much simpler and easier than building the yumi. That was my experience. Yours might differ. But after 30 years of coding, building and repairing pcs, and managing IT projects, I've developed a policy -- too many hoops and I cut my loses, especially if there are alternatives. There are some features of ATI that I won't use because they are too troublesome. E.g., I wouldn't use the task scheduler in ati2011. And certain programs and hardware I won't fiddle with.

A guy goes into a store to buy a suit and the clerk has him try one on:
Guy, "Hmm, looks nice but one sleeve is longer than the other."
The clerk gently pushes one of the guy's shoulders shoulder up a small bit, "Just shift your shoulders like this and it will look fine, see."
Guy nods in agreement then notices aloud, "The pantlegs are uneven."
Clerk, "Well, just shift your weight onto one hip and, yes, you see, it looks fine."
Guy, "But the collar rides low on one side."
Clerk, "Here, hold that side in place with your chin against your chest like you're holding a violin. Voila!"

This goes on for bit with different "features" of the suit and the guy, for some reason, buys the suit and wears it out of the store and down the street with his chin clamped to his chest, and one leg sort of dragging and his shoulder cocked, etc.

Two doctors walk past him and one says, "Oh that poor fellow'" And the other says, "Yes, but that suit he had on sure looked nice."

I think yumi is a nice looking suit. But I prefer not to wear it. ;)

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#90

Scott,

I like your story and I get your point. My brief experience with YUMI so far is not that it takes too much effort but that I can't get it to work, whereas the Recovery Disc in the optical drive has worked every time since someone pointed out the need to change UEFI to Legacy before booting. I would also like to have the added assurance of an alternate means of booting like the YUMI flash drive. But if a change by Acronis would affect both of them, how is one to know it has happened? Until the day when you need to use it and it won't work? Does Acronis update everybody? When you have lost the means to burn a new recovery disk or make a new flash drive booter yourself, you are in kind of a hole.

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#91

This applies not only in this case but EVERY case involving imaging/backup/restore software. If there is a new version ofr build, you should test it to be sure it can recover. IF you don't want to to do an actual recover, then go through all the steps yup to but not including the final proceed that actually starts writing to the disk.

You should have recovery disk/bootcd already on hand when a failure occurs. When you machine goes wonk, that's no time to be trying to build a boot disk or test the imaging software, etc. Jsut ask the people that waited and lost everything that was on their machine. Learn how to swim before you get in deep water.

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#92

Scott,

But, for example, if you have ATIH 2012 and have a recovery disk made using the correct ISO, and have tested it thoroughly right up to Proceed, and are just sittiing back assuming you are ready for anything, is there any way that Acronis (or even Microsoft) can revise something and send an update to your computer that would affect your ability to recover using your recovery disk? Something you wouldn't know about until the fateful day when things are crashing and your recovery won't work? My hope is to do a thorough job of preparation for a catastrophe right now on this forum but after that spend my time playing Free Cell or on some other gainful occupation with my computer.

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#93

No. The prorgram on the disk is not the same program as one the PC. The bootCD version is a linux version -- that's the OS that the BootCD uses. So long as the backup is good and the bootcd works on your pc, the it will work despite any changes one might make to ati on the pc. The only thing that might affet your bootcd is hadware changes if the new hardware isn't compatible with the atibootcd (liek the nvia card as implemented inthe sony s-series).

Btw, it's a good idea to have more than one backup saved, jsut in case yu ever get something wonky in one -- say, your storage disk develops a weak spot and and you get a bad byte in the backup after you create it.

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#94

Scot,

There is more to this than I ever would have guessed. But I do feel safer now with this recovery disk that works and your restore procedure with it.

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#95

mhodgin,

I finally woke up and realized that the YUMI screen that appears after pressing F11 was asking me to move the highlight down to the line about ISOs, although it is not the specific Acronis ISO. When I did that and pressed ENTER it led me in a few steps to the Acronis recovery screen. It works very well and, as you said, is quite fast. I now have two ways to boot to the Acronis recovery environment and feel I can use one to do the booting if the time comes that I really need it.

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#96

I'm absolutely positive about the size of the partitions. The hidden is where Sony stores the original image and where the win boot manager is located. The other two tiny partitions, window doesn't recognize and I believe, after discussions with Sony, that they are Sony partitions but it's still not clear what the heck they are for--possibly "fingerprints" of some sort necessary to be able to restore the original image. Of course, if you have ATI working, who cares about the Sony original image ;) ?

Just as a note to folks reading this thread, I have happily made backups and restores on the Sony S-series by following the workarounds I noted above. I believe that ati2013 will not require a workaround. Not sure if they are going to include the fix in ati2012 since its ripeness has almost passed (Acronis seems to come out with new versions each September or thereabouts). If you have this restore issue, contact Tech (restore issues are charge free) and refer to this thread re a fix or update.

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#97

just fyi, this isn't fixed in ati2013, you still need the workaround-- set stamina/speed switch to stamina and in BIOS set boot to legacy

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#98

Turning off the Stamina/ Speed switch to Stamina is the only easy workaround. I have been informed that "currently updates for Linux-based bootable media are made only with product updates releases."

Since hybrid GPUs are becoming more common now that Intel has put a GPU write on the CPU, I think it's likely Acronis will address this sooner or later.

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#99

I also see TI2013 is not able to make a restore on my SVS machine because of the graphics issue.
After reading through the whole thread, it seems there is no easy solution, right?

I must say I'm not an IT expert, so struggling with Linux or other complicated things do not come in question.

Is this, as a long term Acronis user, time to say good bye?
I don't want that really.

My wish is to have a solution, some CD image to download or something.

Any chance?

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#100

There is an easy workaround: set speed/stamina to stamina; set bios to Legacy boot method, run your restore. Return BIOS settings after restore is complete. It's no more complicated than. I've successfully restored several times. It works.