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Booting and restoring from secondary hard drive

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At my workplace we're currently looking into Snap Deploy as a solution to keep a small fleet of 8 laptops in sync. I think it's ideal for creating a master image from one machine and deploy it to the other seven whenever we need to make a change to the configuration.

Since we're using the laptops for in-house training at our customers' places, we'd also like to be able to reset each individual machine to a known state without a network connection and ideally without an external bootable USB drive.

All of the laptops have two hard drives and we wouldn't mind dedicating one of them fully to the backup solution. Is it possible to install Snap Deploy to the second hard drive in a dual boot setup along with the regular Windows installation and also copy the master image there whenever we deploy a new image over the network?

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#2

Hello Moritz,

you may want to consider using User-initiated deployment in your scenario, here you'll find more details https://www.acronis.com/support/documentation/ASD5/#13421.html 

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#3

Using User-initiated deployment, as a software tester intending to deploy a created tib stored at second disk drive attached to VM booted from iso with standalone Acronis snap boot medium, the issue turned out that the standalone mechanism wouldn't recognize the second drive that has had tib file on it. However at the boot time the drive was detected and available from pre-boot menu.

Any insights?

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#4

Andrey Volodin, thank you for your posting!

As far as I understand, you tested the following scenario: 

A VM has been booted with a bootable media of Acronis Snap Deploy. An image is stored on a second drive. The VM has no problems detecting the drive, however, when one boots the VM with a bootable media, the drive is not detected anymore. Is that correct? 

Could you please describe the second drive - is that a virtual disk attached to the VM? Do you use any hypervisor or is that a VMware VirtualBox or any other tools? 

The VM cannot detect the drive only when we place an image there, right? The drive without the image can be detected? Would it be possible to move the image to another location, eg. a network share, to localize the issue? 

Waiting for your reply. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to post them.

Thank you!

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#5

Thank you for following up!

The environment is virtualbox;

""however, when one boots the VM with a bootable media, the drive is not detected anymore. Is that correct? 

No, it still detects the drive by system means, it is just bootable medium that won't reflect the second attached disk drive that contains the tob image. Boot is processed from iso. It is a standalone effort that doesn't use network and already uses iso cd-rom to boot from it the bootable medium.

Lets sum it all up:

1.Q.  bootable media, the drive is not detected anymore. Is that correct? 

1.A. The bootable medium [ standalone boot procedure interface] doesn't reflect disk D where tib image is stored

 

2.Q. Could you please describe the second drive - is that a virtual disk attached to the VM

2.A. The second disk drive is a dynamic Virtualbox disk drive that contains tib image on it and that is detected during the boot of the VM, but is not reflected by the standalone boot solution [ see the 1.A for details]

3.Q. Do you use any hypervisor or is that a VMware VirtualBox or any other tools? 

3.A. IT is VirtualBox 6.0 that is being used

4.Q. The VM cannot detect the drive only when we place an image there, right? 

4.A. The VM can detect the drive, but the standalone boot medium Acronis interface can not. 

5.Q. The drive without the image can be detected?

5.A.Exactly. Disk C: is displayed within the standalone boot utility menu. However, as VM has two disks attached there should have been reflected two disks as C:/ and D:/ to where [ C:] the image from, [D:] would have been restored

6.Q. Would it be possible to move the image to another location, eg. a network share, to localize the issue? 

6.A. I am afraid moving a disk image out of standalone boot medium paradigm would be out of the context of the issue as the concern is to restore a disk image in a standalone mode when no network is presented at all. I checked network installation and it worked in previous attempts. It would, however, require to use e.g. PXE boot method which I tested and which worked.

 

Reference: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggpf9t4ci47pvps/output.mp4?dl=0

 

 

 

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#6

Andrey, thank you for your detailed reply and for the video!

In disk management the letter E: is not linked to the "New volume", however in Windows Explorer the disk has the correct letter E:. In bootable media, however, the "New volume" is linked to C: and is empty. 

I suspect, this may cause issues. I would suggest you reboot the VM, and create a WinPE-based bootable media. In that case, the media will take all the drivers from %SystemRoot%\System32\, it will help us eliminate possible driver issues. 

Please let me know the results. If you have additional questions - do not hesitate to post them