Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 03, 2016, 09:45:02 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!  (Read 15020 times)

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« on: November 25, 2008, 02:40:56 PM »
i'm still wondering if i'm dreaming this but having pinched myself several times i 'think' i'm awake.

as i've got vista and xp nicely working on the same hard drive (on different partitions) i thought i'd have a go at making things smoother when selecting which to boot.

Acronis OS Selector seemed like a good idea to try. it sort of worked - almost. i was prepared to mess about with it a bit to get it working fully if things didn't go right first off.

so, vista booted fine, xp wouldn't boot.

no problem i thought i'll just disable the Acronis loader and go back to how i had things working with the GAG floppy boot loader.

how nice to find that after loading up vista and checking if all my partitions and drives are there i find that the Acronis loader has completely wiped out a 250 gig hard drive - one where i keep all my data. lovely. thank you Acronis, i will make sure you are first on my Christmas list.

the drive is now an 'unallocated partition'. i've tried a couple of programs to scan for lost partitions and they've found nothing. absolutely fantastic.

so, just an innocent bit of messing about has wiped an entire drive - one that the Acronis rubbish shouldn't have touched anyway - there weren't any operating systems on it.

now, at this point i would normally be preparing a noose to put around my neck after losing all that data (that's everything i've created and saved as reference material), but i was using MirrorFolder to keep a duplicate of everything in realtime on another drive. so i 'believe' everything is safe - if nothing else goes wrong.

there's a moral in there somewhere - possibly a few.

here's the bottom line (literally)... don't even consider using that Acronis piece of sh*t OS loader. how dumb can a piece of software be - Acronis should be ashamed to have created such an evil program. what a load of b*stards.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 02:42:47 PM by nudone »

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,405
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 02:42:33 PM »
that is evil.
it also just reaffirms my recommendation to stay away from dual booting / multibooting loaders.

hang in there nudone -- don't dispair.. hopefully the data is all mirrored.  if not you might still be able to get the drive partition back -- just dont do any more writing to that hard drive.

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 03:03:53 PM »
i'm currently scanning it with another program - which at the moment is telling me it's found 8 partitions. some bad, some not bad. well, that's nice then isn't it. with a bit of luck i'll be able to pick the correct one out of the 8 and have it working.

at least, i've learnt how "curiosity killed the cat" - Acronis OS Selector did it.


nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 03:05:42 PM »
er, correction. it's now found 41 partitions - i obviously am dreaming. there's no other explanation now.

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 03:15:47 PM »
oh i love computers. there's always an adventure to be had - all without leaving the safety of an armchair (i don't have an office chair).

the partition is now recovered (although it was reported as "bad").

software used: Active Partition Recovery.

i shall now crawl back under my rock. (i daren't check to see if xp still boots.)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 03:20:25 PM by nudone »

tsaint

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
  • Hi from the a*** end of the earth
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 03:29:49 PM »
On a sort of related note... I tried to install Ubuntu on a partition last night (have C for programs, D for data and created a newie for Ubuntu)
During the install, the "partitioner" fired up, showed me I diagram which looked to me like C, D were to be left alone and the diag had the word "Ubuntu" next to the 3rd partition.
Imaging my surprise when I didn't have my XP C drive or data D drive anymore. Wouldn't it be simple for the install routione to say in plain english "hey, you're about to lose XP and a data partition"?

I had a recent (acronis) image of C, partial data backups but lost heaps. I also had to mess about with the acronis disk director, which worked ok for me.
Had no joy with partition recovery or deleted file recovery.
I'll obviously have to improve my data backup management.

Bugger.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 03:30:56 PM »
it also just reaffirms my recommendation to stay away from dual booting / multibooting loaders.

Bummer!  :o

I'm on the same page as Mouser when it comes to dual-booting. Far better to get some swappable drive trays if you want to support multiple OSs on one machine. Alternatively, you could also just bring one of your SATA headers out to a plug, and use external drives for your OS if you don't like trays.

Good luck.  (BTW: What does Acronis' Tech Support have to say about what happened?)


40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 03:37:42 PM »
On a sort of related note... I tried to install Ubuntu on a partition last night (have C for programs, D for data and created a newie for Ubuntu)
During the install, the "partitioner" fired up, showed me I diagram which looked to me like C, D were to be left alone and the diag had the word "Ubuntu" next to the 3rd partition.
Imaging my surprise when I didn't have my XP C drive or data D drive anymore. Wouldn't it be simple for the install routione to say in plain english "hey, you're about to lose XP and a data partition"?

That's a weird one. I've installed Ubuntu alongside WinXP for about thirty people to date, and so far (knock wood) it's behaved perfectly. The WinXP environment worked fine and GRUB reports and boots into either OS without a hitch.

Now I'm nervous.

What version of Ubu are you running? And did you install Ubu on a drive with a native Microsoft MBR - or did you modify it previously with some other security utility, boot loader, or manufacturer's formatting tool?



tsaint

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
  • Hi from the a*** end of the earth
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 03:51:50 PM »
[That's a weird one. I've installed Ubuntu alongside WinXP for about thirty people to date, and so far (knock wood) it's behaved perfectly. The WinXP environment worked fine and GRUB reports and boots into either OS without a hitch.

Now I'm nervous.

What version of Ubu are you running? And did you install Ubu on a drive with a native Microsoft MBR - or did you modify it previously with some other security utility, boot loader, or manufacturer's formatting tool?
8. something...have to check which (only downloaded a week ago so v recent)
Acronis OS selector had been activated

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 03:55:52 PM »
sorry to hear about that, tsaint. this tip may not have helped you but it can be handy to provide sensible names to each drive, i.e. if the menu that appears provided drive names/label information then it obviously helps when making a selection. so xp may be on drive/partition C: but you could also give it the label "xp_01" or something.

since messing about with all this dual booting stuff i've realised that the bios order of the drives and what it considers the boot order doesn't necessarily match what software/boot loaders and operating systems consider to be the drive order - that's where the accidental deletions occur (but probably not if you can give labels to things).

i shan't be investigating what Acronis have to say about it, 40hz. they really could not say anything that i'd consider a satisfactory answer. i didn't do anything unusual during the install and disabling process - their website says that several partitions and drives will work with their boot loader thing. i was prepared to fix the mbr or something like that but not restore an entire drive - that it had no reason to touch.

i shan't be trying any more dual boot experiments. i'll stick with the GAG floppy loader - that works and doesn't destroy things.

tsaint

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
  • Hi from the a*** end of the earth
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 04:00:02 PM »
thanks Nudone. I had labelled the destination partition "Linux" - that didn't show up. I like Ubuntu so the pain's worth it. As my chinese wife says evry time I mess around - if you go to the mountain often enough, you're sure to meet a tiger

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 04:46:43 PM »
since messing about with all this dual booting stuff i've realised that the bios order of the drives and what it considers the boot order doesn't necessarily match what software/boot loaders and operating systems consider to be the drive order - that's where the accidental deletions occur (but probably not if you can give labels to things).
Yeah, PCs are extremely crap in this regard - if you have mixed SATA and PATA drives (or RAID, to make things even worse), things can get extremely messy. The retarded standard partition table layout doesn't help either. Mess, mess, mess.

Did you by any chance have any of your drives set up as "dynamic disks" in windows, instead of using the old-style partition format?

Can't really think of a good reason why your disk would be nuked, though... sounds weird. Btw, never do "in place" recovery if you can avoid it, the best solution is always to restore files to another partition. The best recovery software I've found so far has been GetDataBack. It's slow, but it's been able to recovery pretty well.

Thanks DOYC you had MirrorFolder running, I hope it means you didn't lose any data after all.
- carpe noctem

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,471
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 04:48:19 PM »
If it helps, I can thoroughly recommend GetDataBack (NTFS/FAT).

It recovered all files off of a 320GB HDD in about 2 hours after a format in which the single partition on the HDD was described as "unrecognised filesystem" by the system, ie. all the partition info had disappeared.

EDIT: Dang It!  f0dder beat me  :(

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,044
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 05:18:09 PM »
I've possibly had exactly the same experience as tsaint.

Linux-using daughter needs Dragon Naturally Speaking; no good equivalent that I know of on Linux. Am aware of the reports saying its best for Linux to be put onto a Windows machine rather than the reverse. Never had problems setting up dualbooting with this before. Had working windows machine available; installed Naturally Speaking etc and then put in the latest Ubuntu release. Started it and then left it with daughter to follow instructions, not to overwrite anything and let me know if there's a problem. When I go back there is only one partition on the hard disk - the Ubuntu one and Windows has entirely disappeared. I couldn't understand how she could make such an error as it had always been very obvious when I was watching previously, but it seems that things have changed - sometimes at least.

As an off topic addition, I've still not been able to reinstall Windows. First had problems with it not recognising the usb keyboard. The bios did but windows install did not. Thought it might be because it was wireless, but found a wired one and it was the same. Checked all through the BIOS; everything correct. Only has usb connections. Eventually saw a tip on the net which suggested putting the keyboard on to a usb hub and surprisingly (to me) that worked. Then it said it was an upgrade (solved by finding an old disk of W95) though it was never an upgrade. Then I found that the Windows disk I could find would not go with the key for the windows on the machine. So I now have to go looking for all the Windows disks I have and all the keys I have to try to find the two that go together. (PS I know this does give an indication of a level of disorganisation - but in this case there is a slight excuse since the machine had been lent to someone else and had become detached from its documentation.)

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,471
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 05:38:17 PM »
On a sort of related note... I tried to install Ubuntu on a partition last night (have C for programs, D for data and created a newie for Ubuntu)
During the install, the "partitioner" fired up, showed me I diagram which looked to me like C, D were to be left alone and the diag had the word "Ubuntu" next to the 3rd partition.
Imaging my surprise when I didn't have my XP C drive or data D drive anymore. Wouldn't it be simple for the install routione to say in plain english "hey, you're about to lose XP and a data partition"?

In the times where I've managed to summon enough enthusiasm to install and play with Linux, (dual booting with XP), I have always set up the necessary partitions and filesystems first so that when the Linux installer fires up it already selects the correct partitions.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 05:45:45 PM by 4wd »

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2008, 06:24:00 PM »
Quote
[nudone]: so, just an innocent bit of messing about has wiped an entire drive - one that the Acronis rubbish shouldn't have touched anyway - there weren't any operating systems on it.

As tsaint and 4wd note, this is not exclusive to Windows users. I've unintentionally formatted 2nd drives with some Linux distros during setup. Even with advanced settings and telling it to leave the other drive alone, there are still a few that will confound you with a mere OK button rather than checkboxes. If you're really scared, just unplug the 2nd drive and remount it after installation.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2008, 06:26:50 PM »
The lesson I learned the hard way a long time ago is if you are going to do something that messes with partition tables backup your drives first!!

I learned the lesson but I don't always live by it and guess when things go wrong ....

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 04:51:38 AM »
f0dder, i shall have to invest in this GetDataBack thingy - because i know it's going to be required at some point. i think i've mentioned Davory in the past - it worked for me several years back when every other recovery software failed. how well Davory works by today's standards i don't know (at the time, i was alarmed that there could be such a difference between detection software).

i didn't have any dynamic disks (though i did convert one about a month ago - not the one that was killed).

i didn't mention when the drives partition was really removed. it happend when the Acronis loader was installed - not actually when i disabled it. i noticed one of my drives had gone immediately, but i first assumed it was just a small partition - the 3rd and last one on my raid drive - i wasn't concerned as i thought it was merely hidden by the loader.

rather than waffle on, it seems like what happened is just the same as the Linux install problems. the menu selections you make when installing these drive tamporing things can't be trusted.

in the past i would have done what zaine said and unplug the other drives. i'd just become over confident by how well everything else had worked with the GAG loader, etc.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2008, 02:26:52 PM »
Can't really think of a good reason why your disk would be nuked, though... sounds weird. Btw, never do "in place" recovery if you can avoid it, the best solution is always to restore files to another partition. The best recovery software I've found so far has been GetDataBack. It's slow, but it's been able to recovery pretty well.

If it helps, I can thoroughly recommend GetDataBack (NTFS/FAT).

It recovered all files off of a 320GB HDD in about 2 hours after a format in which the single partition on the HDD was described as "unrecognised filesystem" by the system, ie. all the partition info had disappeared.

GetDataBack is an excellent utility. Highly recommended. FWIW: I've also had equally good luck with EASUS's Data Recovery Wizard Professional. It works particularly well with Dynamic Disks although I like GetDataBack a lot more.

EDIT: Dang It!  f0dder beat me  :(

He usually does me too... ;D

« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 02:29:02 PM by 40hz »

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,471
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2008, 02:30:33 PM »
in the past i would have done what zaine said and unplug the other drives. i'd just become over confident by how well everything else had worked with the GAG loader, etc.

If you want to try something a little more up-to-date interface-wise than GAG, you could try XOSL.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2008, 04:03:35 PM »
in the past i would have done what zaine said and unplug the other drives. i'd just become over confident by how well everything else had worked with the GAG loader, etc.

If you want to try something a little more up-to-date interface-wise than GAG, you could try XOSL.

Is XOSL still under development? Last time I heard, they stopped doing anything with it after 2000 or 2001 - and XOSL2 (its successor) seems to have died around the beginning of 2007. Last news on SourceForge is 16-FEB-2007, and the xosl2.com website looks like it's been abandoned.


nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2008, 04:45:12 PM »
here's a good link for an overview of what to expect from boot loaders: http://www.multiboot....co.uk/managers.html

having said that, i obviously decided to ignore what it said and tried the Acronis loader anyway.

back when windows 98 was all the rage i was using XOSL and it certainly was magical back then with what it could do. i'm tempted to give it a try but you'll see the drawbacks to using it on the page i linked to above. nothing a bit of time and effort can't resolve though.

worth thinking about...

...maybe i'll unplug the other hard drives this time.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,471
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2008, 10:18:38 PM »
in the past i would have done what zaine said and unplug the other drives. i'd just become over confident by how well everything else had worked with the GAG loader, etc.

If you want to try something a little more up-to-date interface-wise than GAG, you could try XOSL.

Is XOSL still under development? Last time I heard, they stopped doing anything with it after 2000 or 2001 - and XOSL2 (its successor) seems to have died around the beginning of 2007. Last news on SourceForge is 16-FEB-2007, and the xosl2.com website looks like it's been abandoned.

Maybe it has been abandoned but since the only really new boot loader is Vista's Boot Manager, it's still relevant for 98% of the other systems still running XP, 98, Linux, etc.

Otherwise, there GRUB4DOS, syslinux and Vista's own Boot Manager.

Personally, I'd probably go with GRUB4DOS, (in fact I use it on my external recovery drive), because it can do things that leave the others for dead, eg. boot ISO/floppy images.

kcs3295

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2008, 07:01:53 AM »
I kept a 2006 version of Norton System Works which had PTedit. It can still be loaded and used to see if the drive is bootable. Second digit set should be 80 & if "00" the drive will not boot. Change the 00 to 80 and the OS may still be there.

Ken

y0himba

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Yar.
    • View Profile
    • y0himba.net
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Acronis total dirt OS selector - kills hard drives!
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2008, 11:14:10 AM »
Whatever program you are using to scan is not just finding the partition with a damaged MBR but also any partitions you have deleted, hence the large amount of partitions being found.  You should try repairing your MBR (Master Boot Record)
My Web Site:  http://www.y0himba.net