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TI WD Edition bootable media loses access to USB external WD drive

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Beginner
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Hello,

  I don't exactly know where to post this. I've already posted to WD forum. Here's the post:

 

Hello,
I installed Acronis TI WD edition years ago and created a boot (rescue) disk.
I have used this boot disk to create numerous backups to my USB Easystore 4TB drive.
Today, I was not able to start a backup by choosing one partition on the Easystore as a destination. The Easystore has two partitions - a NTFS partition (for the backups) plus
a small FAT32 partition.
After I start the boot disk and choose the proper bit size, the first option is to choose the source partition. TI WD lists possible source partition selections properly including a proper
display of the two Easystore partitions along with their correct disk and volume names. However, the choice of destination drive in the next step only recognizes the FAT32 partition
and the NTFS partition is only listed as “Local Disk” with no content. Until now I’ve never
had a problem seeing and selecting the NTFS partition!
I’ve run the Windows installed TI WD and everything still works. There is no problem
selecting the NTFS partition. The problem only exists on the boot disk backup!
I’ve tried both of (yes I made two) the boot disks I made in the past. The problem
exists with both. I’ve tried different USB ports without success. I did a full chkdsk /f /r
on the Easystore with no indicated errors. I installed WD Drive Utilities and found no
errors with the drive.
Does anyone have an idea why this may be occurring? Are there any further troubleshooting steps that I might try? Do I need to create a new boot disk? On my Seagate USB drive I’ve noticed a small reserved partition at the beginning of the drive. My Easystore does not show something comparable. Did I delete it? Is it necessary?
Thanks for any help,

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Forum Hero
Posts: 68
Comments: 8297

#1

Could you take some cell pics and post for better reference?

After I start the boot disk and choose the proper bit size, the first option is to choose the source partition. TI WD lists possible source partition selections properly including a proper
display of the two Easystore partitions along with their correct disk and volume names. However, the choice of destination drive in the next step only recognizes the FAT32 partition

Did you pick the NTFS partition as the source already?  If so, you can not pick the same destination as the source. It sounds like you did based on the comment above, but I'm not certain.

 

Also have you also booted the rescue media to match your OS install type?  Legacy mode or UEFI mode?  This typically doesn't matter when backing up, but makes a huge difference when recovering.

Unfortunately, the WD versions are vendor specific and support is provided by the OEM, but they seem to rarely upgrade.  The rescue media in those is Linux as well, and drivers tend to fall out of date pretty fast which makes trouble shooting with that rescue media more difficult too.

Just to be certain though, when you boot the original OS, you can see all of the backup.tib files on the NTFS partition without issue?  

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#2

1) What exactly do you mean by "cell pics" - pictures from my phone?

2) No, I did not try to select the drive as source and destination. I was just commenting

that it was listed as a possible source, but not as a possible destination.

3) I created the boot disk years ago on Win 7 Pro 32-bit. That's the only machine I've booted it on.

The drive itself has been used on Win 7 pro 32-bit, Win 7 pro 64-bit, and Win 10 Home 64-bit.

It has the GPT partitioning scheme since it's 4TB.

4) Yes. I can see all of the .tib files when I boot Windows or run the TI WD Edition application.

Forum Hero
Posts: 68
Comments: 8297

#3

Yes, I was suggesting some pics from your cell phone since it's not in Windows (unless you have a capture card that runs separately from the OS).

I think you solved the issue in your last post. But we could clarify with some screenshots or pictures based on how the rescue media is booting (blue graphical icons or a black menu with white text to select True Image, Universal REstore, etc.)

3) I created the boot disk years ago on Win 7 Pro 32-bit. That's the only machine I've booted it on.

The drive itself has been used on Win 7 pro 32-bit, Win 7 pro 64-bit, and Win 10 Home 64-bit.

It has the GPT partitioning scheme since it's 4TB.

It sounds to me that you have a UEFI / GPT OS install, but are using legacy recovery media.  If this is the case, a restored image would not boot - hence, why I believe it is not allowing you to recover the bootable OS partition. 

You must boot recovery media in the same manner as the OS was installed (in most cases - there are a few exceptions when wanting to convert from legacy to GPT, but you can't go backwards and have a bootable OS). 

Likely, it is expecting an MBR formatted disk, since it is being booted in legacy mode... but, since the destination disk is formatted as GPT, it is preventing the recovery since you are trying to only restore a partition and not the entire disk layout.  The same behavior occurs if you use a Windows installer disc.. .if you boot it in legacy mode, but your disk is formatted GPT, it will say no partition available to install on.  Or if you boot it in UEFI mode, but your disk is formatted MBR, it will say no partition available.

 

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#4

Here are some pics. NTFS partition is G:.  FAT32 is H:

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Legend
Posts: 98
Comments: 20906

#5

Bob, your screen images show that you are attempting to make a backup of partitions selected from 2 different disk drives (Disk 1: C,D&I / Disk 2: F) and your 3rd drive shows as having two partitions G: NTFS & H: FAT32, where G: shows as Local Disk G: and contains no existing .tib files.

This all looks perfectly normal to me for the backup activity you are showing.

There doesn't look to be any issue with access to the 3rd drive here, so am not sure what issue you are seeing if this is different to as shown?

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#6

Just to make clear, the Easystore NTFS partition is not bootable. It just has backups (.tib's)

If Linux is looking for a bootable partition it's not there. That's why I asked if a reserved partition before

the NTFS partition was required. I'm also not sure if a 4TB drive can be formatted for MBR.

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Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#7

But the NTFS partition does have multiple backups. They should display, shouldn't they.

Legend
Posts: 98
Comments: 20906

#8

Bob, where does the question about the Easystore partition being bootable come from?  If you are doing a backup then the target drive just needs to be present and have the capacity to store your backup image.

You have a System Reserved partition on your Disk 1 shown in one of your images, so there should be no need for any further such partitions.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#9

OK. So I don't need a reserved partiton on the Easystore. The NTFS destination should at least show its folders.

I also remember it showing all the tib's when it was selected as a destination. I would pick an old backup name

and edit it for a new backup name.

Beginner
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Comments: 11

#10

In the last picture I see G: Local Disk when I'm expecting (easystore) G:

Legend
Posts: 98
Comments: 20906

#11

Bob, I can only go on what is shown in your images - this shows that Acronis does see the 4TB drive correctly as drive letters G: & H: with NTFS and FAT32 respectively, and shows the total and used sizes for these.  It also shows that Acronis does not see any .tib files in the root folder of drive G:


Have you ever used this particular 4TB GPT drive from the WD ATI bootable media previously or has it only ever been used from within Windows 7 or 10?

When booting the ATI media, are you doing so as Legacy or as UEFI - only UEFI has full support for GPT drives though this is normally for the purpose of being able to boot from a GPT drive.  Acronis boot media is capable of booting in both Legacy and UEFI modes as documented in KB 59877: Acronis True Image: how to distinguish between UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot modes of Acronis Bootable Media

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#12

The boot disk was created on a Windows 7 Pro machine (Legacy). It has been used to make .tib's for a few

years on the Easystore drive. I've also used the drive, but not the boot disk,  on a Windows 10 Home 64-bit machine.

The same drive (NTFS partition) has multiple backups from Windows 10 for multiple backup softwares that do not

neccessarily  produce tib's. These other backups are all stored in individual folders on the drive. I also recently installed

TI WD edition on this Windows 10 machine. After a few missteps I did finally create a Acronis TI backup from

Windows10 on that drive. So there is a mixture of files and folders on the Easystore (just the NTFS partition).

So, yes, the drive has been used with a boot disk (Windows 7) and a TI application (Windows 10).

I just checked my partitioning software and it states that any partition over 2TB has to be GPT. I could split the partition

and convert to MBR if you think that might solve things? It had a single partition on purchase so I assume it was always

GPT!

Legend
Posts: 98
Comments: 20906

#13

Bob, what computer are you booting the ATI media on here, is this 32-bit or 64-bit, does it support both Legacy and UEFI or is it Legacy only?

What do you see when booting the ATI media with respect to the options shown below?

Which of the above do you see?

If available, please try booting the ATI media in UEFI mode and then check to see what is shown for your GPT drive contents / folders?

If you have a different computer where you can boot the ATI media and attach the GPT drive, check to see whether you see the same issue there, or whether all is correct as you expect?

Forum Hero
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#14

I'm not receiving notifications for this thread being updated for some reason.

Going back to the pictures posted (493346-165707.jpg) verifies that the recovery media is being booted in legacy mode.  You only see the blue gui menu in legacy mode. 

The recovery media needs to be booted in UEFI mode.

I'm still really confused on what the goal is here.   Are all these partitions for separate bootable operating systems or just data from different computers?  If they are for different bootable operating systems, then backup each physical disk separately if you want to be able to restore them and remain bootable.  And the same should apply for physical disk 2.  If it's all just "data" then it won't matter and you can backup whatever partitions you want across multiple disks, but it really makes recovery easier if you keep each physical disk as it's own separate backup.

 

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#15

I'm back. I've been experiencing some flakiness booting Win 7 pro with the

Easystore attached. I almost never boot Windows with the Easystore attached.

It seems to be OK now. Here is more information.

DISK STRUCTURE

The two internal disks, in total, have 1 boot partition, 4 Windows OS partitions,

3 Linux partitions, and 1 data partition.

BACKUP SOURCES

I always use TI WD edition to backup only one partition at a time. I'm sorry my

original pictures showed 3 partitions were selected for backup. Trust me, when I try to

backup only one partition I still have the problem of not seeing the NTFS partition fully.

BIOS

The Windows 7 machine is from 2008; therefore it is only Legacy. Until recently,

the boot disk fully recognized the Easystore as a destination even after it had been

connected to a separate Windows 10 UEFI machine to do non-TI backups.

In the recent week I installed Acronis TI WD edition on the Windows 10 machine and

completed backups to the Easystore drive. I don't know if that could have caused any

problem on the drive when I use it with the Windows 7 machine.

TESTING

I dug out some old WD USB drives. Both are single partition and 1TB capacity.

One is MBR, the other is GPT. When I use the boot disk, both drives are fully

recognized as a destination by TI WD. So, we know that my Legacy booted boot disk

can recognize both MBR and GPT disks. My suspicions involve that extra

FAT32 partition or the fact that the NTFS partition is >2TB. Those were somewhat

recent changes. Does this information help at all?

Forum Hero
Posts: 68
Comments: 8297

#16

I think the larger than 2TB is the issue with having legacy boot rescue media.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2581408/windows-support-for-hard-disks-that-are-larger-than-2-tb

I'm not sure the additional limitations of the Linux rescue media either in this version. You might be able to overcome the ability to see the full 4tb in legacy mode with Win 10 winpe rescue media though. You would need to download and install the latest windows 10 ADK, then use the MVP custom winpe builder. It only works with current 2016 version and newer though.

Alternatively, if you're able to, you could try creating separate 2TB partitions (be careful not to lose existing data in the drive though). This also requires the 4tb disk to be GPT.

 

Forum Star
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Comments: 1690

#17

Let's go back to the beginning here. If I understand you correctly, your first post states that you are using the exact same procedure that worked in the past. All of a sudden it stopped working and the destination partition stopped being available. Think about that. Something must have changed with the destination drive. It's almost impossible to diagnose something like that over the internet. We can only make guesses.

There could be something wrong with the destination drive. You've done what you can and seem to have ruled that out. There could be something wrong with the partition structure on the destination drive. There could also be permission problems with the destination drive. The Linux media may be having trouble reading the files on the drive because the permissions were changed. Two of your comments resonate with me. You are having intermittent problems booting Windows with the drive attached. You didn't elaborate, but this is not a good sign. You also stated that the destination drive has been used with both Windows 7 and Windows 10 computers. Did you ever see Windows tell you the drive needed to be scanned when you first booted with it attached? It doesn't happen all the time, but I've seen drives get their permissions modified when going between Windows 7 and Windows 10.  Again let me state this is only guess work.

How important are your backups? Hers's what I would recommend. Get another external drive. 8 TB USB drives are reasonably priced now. I don't think GPT versus MBR structure on the external drive is an issue here. I also don't think booting the Linux media in Legacy versus UEFI mode is an issue here. That is only important for restores not backups. Try to copy the existing tib files from the old drive to the new drive using only the Windows 10 computer. Don't connect the new drive to the Windows 7 computer. Boot the Linux recovery media on the Windows 10 computer and see if things go to back to normal. If all is good, boot the Windows 7 computer with the Linux media and see if things are normal. Don't attach the new drive to the running Windows 7 computer. After you're satisfied that the new drive is working properly and you can run backups from both the Windows 7 and Windows 10 computer, deal with the old drive. Make sure you have all the backups transferred to the new drive. Test a few of the backups to make sure they can validate. Then delete all partitions from the old 4 TB drive. Using the Windows 10 computer, create a new NTFS partition keeping the GPT structure. Copy the Windows 7 backups to the old drive using the Windows 10 computer. Boot the Windows 7 computer with the Linux recovery media and try to run a backup. If all is good, just use the old drive with the Windows 7 computer and use the new drive with the Windows 10 computer. This may not be necessary, but again we don't know what caused the problem in the first place.

If all that sounds like too much work and your backups are not that important, just delete the partitions from the old drive and start over again to see what happens. Then you will know if you need to purchase a new drive or not. You may also want to seriously consider buying the full version of True Image.

 

 

 

 

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 11

#18

How about some late Sunday night SUCCESS!

 

I split the NTFS partition in two, transferred  about 600GB from the old

NTFS partition to the new NTFS partition, and shrunk the old partition to

under 2TB, and success - all partitions are recognized by the LInux boot

disk! I think the fact that the used space had grown beyond 2TB was the

source of the problem. It had recognized the 4TB partition as long as the

used space was below 2TB.

It might be helpful in the future to place a warning in the boot disk creation

procedure. It's a surprise no one else has reported this. 4TB drives have

been available for some time.

Thanks for everyone's help,

Legend
Posts: 98
Comments: 20906

#19

Bob, thanks for the update with your resolution for this issue, which is good to know and may be able to help others who have such a large drive in conjunction with a legacy system.