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Problems with restoring and accessing backups in Acronis True Image 2011

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Hi folks!

On my WinXP SP3 I'm using Acronis True Image 2011 for its backup and restore functions.

After a backup of my older hard disk (in live mode with DiscWizard, since that is a Seagate HDD), I cannot restore or simply access .tib and .vhd backups (the last one created in ATI 2011 after a conversion of .tib backup).

I've even tried to restore files and folders (from a 56 GB backup), not the entire disk or partitions but no file has been restored (or just detected): the 2 listed partitions (first system, second data, both primary) have no file or folders to show inside.

And this has happened in the rescue media environment because attempting such operation in the normal desktop mode results in the unavailability of any destination: all the partitions of my current HDD are marked red even though I've enlarged one of them in order to save the old HDD content (say 62 GB vs 56 GB of my Seagate saved in a pendrive in .tib and .vhd formats).

My old PATA Seagate actually doesn't boot (perhaps an issue regarding the MBR or the filesystem), that's why I'm trying to save its content and get access to it.

Also, trying to mount the .tib backup in ATI 2011 results in a message of an unsupported format. Is that because of the malfunctioning of my Seagate (in terms of MBR and/or filesystem)? Then, any backup that I'm going to make will be unuseful because it couldn't be mounted nor accessed. Am I wrong?

I can add that even Gizmo Drive showed me a message of unsupported format. Only fixed and dynamics format are supported said Gizmo. So my .vhd is not supported because of the possible corruption, isn't it?

Lastly, I installed MS Virtual Server 2005 for the mounting feature but even there, at the command line, I received a message of unsupported format preventing me from successfully mounting and accessing the backup.

I'm just wondering whether there is a solution in ATI 2011 (or somewhere else) to get access to my old HDD. I only know that EaseUS, Bitrecovery and perhaps other programs are able to let me see the full content of my HDD, even with the original file names.

Is then more an issue of recovering data programs or should I firstly try to solve the problem regarding the possible corruption of the MBR / filesystem of my old HDD? And how?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Lorenzo, welcome to these User Forums.

If multiple programs are saying that your HDD drive has an unsupported format, then it sounds like the drive is failing and has lost some vital information regarding the partition structure or file table detail etc.

I would suggest downloading a copy Hiren's Boot CD and burning this to a CD disc, as this has some useful tools to try to identify and resolve some types of disk problems.  One tool is HDAT2 which is found in the DOS tools menu when the CD is booted.

Please see the PDF document: Hirens Boot CD HDAT2 that I wrote a couple of years ago to show how this tool can be used to try to recover bad sectors on a HDD drive.

You should also try booting into the Hirens MiniXP environment and looking at your problem drive using Explorer from there - see if you can see the files that you are wanting to try to save?

You should also try running CHKDSK /F against the problem HDD partitions while booted into the MiniXP environment, but do this after seeing if your files are there and can be copied as CHKDSK can both help and also can make things worse!

If you have a previous Acronis backup image .TIB file from before these problems arose, then you could try restoring that to a good spare HDD drive.  PATA drives are getting very old and a lot more difficult to find replacements for as all new drives are SATA.

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Thanks for your precious tips, Steve!

Unfortunately, I cannot boot mini XP in Hiren's, nor in Falcon which has even an option called "UniATA". The weird thing is that both boots work when I connect another hard drive that doesn't have any problem. This let me think that mini XP relys in some way to the hard drive connected. I cannot think of another explanation.

Always in Falcon's CD I managed to enter mini linux environment. There, in file manager I saw the 2 partitions listed, plus one of my external USB pendrives but I didn't find a way to access them. My pendrive contains some files but I didn't find a folder to explore.

I saw text files including names of connected devices (HDD and pendrive), but how to get access to their folders? Is it possible in mini Linux environment?

I've seen your useful HDAT2 guide and I think that my old PATA hard drive might be in the situation that you referred to as "some form of corruption".

I'm not an expert in reading HEALTH values but it seems that my Seagate could still work without that corruption. Could you please tell me your opinion on the HEALTH values showed in the photo below?

Actually, with HDD SCAN I've seen the only sector marked red (the grade above blue, used for bad sectors in that program) as the very first sector.

Then, someone has suggested to fix the MBR or erase the first track (write zero utility that even Seagate includes in its recovery utility). But doing so, will I run the risk of losing data in the 2 current partitions of my old PATA?

What if the problem is the file system integrity? You said that CHKDSK could be risky, making things worse. As far as you know, is there another utility that can be run in live mode (from Hiren's boot CD, Falcon or other similar rescue cds like Ultimate boot CD)?

What would you suggest in this case?


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Lorenzo, it is not sounding good for your old PATA Seagate drive and the information shown in the disk drive health image with the pre-failure indicators seem to confirm this.

Have you tried using the Seagate SeaTools utility to check this drive?

In risposta a di Steve Smith

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Of course, Seagate Seatools were the first I used but the tests can only confirm that the hard drive is not in a good shape.

In that utility a couple of actions sounds interesting: erase track zero and full erase. I think these are the last actions to fix the hard drive.

In my case, I give priority to recover data and I'm not sure whether erasing track zero is harmful for the HDD. I would lose my data.

So, at the moment I'm looking for alternative solutions, perhaps something included in the main rescue cds, in mini linux environment (in Falcon's CD), for example, which can be loaded by my hardware (while mini XP cannot be loaded with that faulty HDD).

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Lorenzo, if you erase track zero or do a full erase then you will lose everything as far as I am aware without being able to use forensic level recovery tools, assuming the drive is still capable of being accessed.

If you have a PATA to USB adapter (not so easy to find these days) then you could simply try connecting the drive to another working computer as an external USB drive and see if you can access the data by that method.

I have no experience of using Falcon but have used other Linux live distro CD's or USB sticks and have accessed data in that way, but doesn't sound like your PATA drive is wanting to play nice even in that environment.

I haven't had any issues with drives stopping me from booting Hiron's CD - it should be possible to boot this on a computer with no hard drive connected as it loads into memory.