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View Full Version : SCSI drives, clones, and Acronis, oh my!



Tom Wood
03-29-2009, 05:39 AM
I have an older machine with four Seagate SCSI drives. One is the C drive, the others are used for content. I have Acronis, and there is an option to clone a drive. But then it says that drive should be disconnected from the system, I guess to avoid having two system drives.

The system drive C is on SCSI channel A, the other three are on SCSI channel B. Once I clone C to one of the other drives, is there a way to 'remove' it from the system without physically removing the SCSI connector from the drive? SCSI connections have to be terminated and I'd rather not have to get into that.

I want to end up with a full clone of my current system drive that I could swap out with the clone when/if it goes down.

Win XP Pro

Thanks,

PIZAZZ
03-29-2009, 10:20 AM
I have an older machine with four Seagate SCSI drives. One is the C drive, the others are used for content. I have Acronis, and there is an option to clone a drive. But then it says that drive should be disconnected from the system, I guess to avoid having two system drives.

The system drive C is on SCSI channel A, the other three are on SCSI channel B. Once I clone C to one of the other drives, is there a way to 'remove' it from the system without physically removing the SCSI connector from the drive? SCSI connections have to be terminated and I'd rather not have to get into that.

I want to end up with a full clone of my current system drive that I could swap out with the clone when/if it goes down.

Win XP Pro

Thanks,

Try these steps:
1. Go to Fry's in Austin
2. Buy 2 small SATA drives -- We use 250gb drives
3. Buy 2 SATA HotSwap drive carriers
4. Buy SATA controller if your motherboard doesn't have SATA
5. Install everything in System
6. Reinstall Windows and Programs you need on SATA drive 1
7. Use Acronis to clone to SATA drive 1 to drive 2
8. Shut down - Remove drive 2
9. Put drive 2 on Shelf for backup
10. Open Texas native beer either Shiner Bock :rock: or Lone Star :hey:


Just a suggestion from another Texan. :) It has been years and years since I used SCSI drives as system drives. It was always too much trouble for the return in performance. If you want to kick up your performance on the Operating System drive then buy a SATA Solid State Drive. I just got one for a system build yesterday and it only cost my client $145 for the 32gig version. The speeds are insane. Sequential Read Rate: 150 MB/s (max)
Sequential Write Rate: 100 MB/s (max)
Access Time: 0.1 ms
You SCSI drive would not be able to come close to that.

One other thing you could do is clone the SCSI drive to the SATA instead of the complete install to save some time.

Just some thoughts.

Tom Wood
03-29-2009, 02:42 PM
Thanks Jef,

Everything you say makes sense, but I'm strapped for time and cash at the moment and really just want to clone the drive and then take the clone offline. Is there no easy way to do that?

Psyhke
03-29-2009, 03:07 PM
If I understand you correctly...what I would do is just use Acronis' primary functionality and create an archive image of your system drive. You can make that backup to anywhere and won't conflict with anything until you need to use it.

PIZAZZ
03-29-2009, 03:07 PM
Thanks Jef,

Everything you say makes sense, but I'm strapped for time and cash at the moment and really just want to clone the drive and then take the clone offline. Is there no easy way to do that?

You are probably looking at $50 for the Sata drive and $25 for the trays, maybe 75 for a Sata controller if you need one. I understand being cash strapped but keep in mind how much it would cost you if you lost the drive and became unproductive for a day.

Only other thing I can think of is you could always save the image to an external drive instead of the internal one. The image is an image with Acronis. It can work kind of like the XP restore feature is supposed to. Incremental saves, etc. to the external.

Otherwise, if you want to use the internal one to clone to then you are going to have to open up the box and disconnect the SCSI cable from it in order for the system to not see it.

Tom Wood
03-29-2009, 04:06 PM
Yep, you are both right. Buuut.....(Everybody has a big but. - PeeWee's Big Adventure)

Acronis tech support said I can't write to an external firewire drive and use that to restore.

I'm not really a 'computer person' so I have no idea how to start down the SATA path - the loss in time right now trying to figure it out is what's bugging me. For me, something like that always turns into a two week ordeal of back and forth frustration.

I've been doing an image with Acronis, so I guess I'll keep doing that. I verify it and everything, but since I don't know if it will really work until I really need it, it's a nag...

Thanks guys!

Psyhke
03-29-2009, 04:12 PM
I've restored a system image many times from an external USB drive. I don't know why an external firewire drive wouldn't work. I know they don't recommend using an external drive while using the 'protected' acronis partion (can't recall the exact naming). But if you're making a straight-up full disc image to a .tib file, then it will definitely restore from an external USB drive.

A way to test that you will at least be able to start the restore process if necessary, is boot up from an Acronis bootable recovery CD, and click far enough to see if your system will recongnize your external drive and allow you to browse the available .tib files. If that works, you're good. Although, occassionaly, no matter what the setup is (internal, external, etc), there's always a small possibility of the restore process not working, but, it has been pretty reliable in my experience.

Tom Wood
03-29-2009, 05:41 PM
LOL

This is what I mean about this stuff, it never works for me...

I made an image file of the 'C' drive on one of the other internal SCSI drives, validated it, made a bootable CD, reset the boot drive to the CD in the BIOS. Now I get a splash screen for Acronis, no mouse cursor, no choices except 'Turn off Computer' or 'Continue to boot Windows'. Hitting enter is the only key that does anything, and best I can tell, when I hit that it boots from C as normal.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks,

Psyhke
03-29-2009, 07:51 PM
LOL

This is what I mean about this stuff, it never works for me...

I made an image file of the 'C' drive on one of the other internal SCSI drives, validated it, made a bootable CD, reset the boot drive to the CD in the BIOS. Now I get a splash screen for Acronis, no mouse cursor, no choices except 'Turn off Computer' or 'Continue to boot Windows'. Hitting enter is the only key that does anything, and best I can tell, when I hit that it boots from C as normal.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks,

Computers are so much fun sometimes. :)

I have experienced issues with booting up with and Acronis CD, too. It seems to happen when the computer is 'too new' or 'too old' (differences in bios or i/o architecture or something). What has worked in those cases is trying the different versions of the Acronis boot OS. When you made the bootable CD did you check the options for 'Full Version' and 'Safe Version'? If not, make a bootable CD with those two options installed.

If that doesn't work, there is an alternate Acronis bootable OS version that is available from the Acronis website. I can't recall the name offhand, but this third option is the one that has worked when others haven't. I'll try to find the info on this one again when I'm back in the office.

Tom Wood
03-30-2009, 10:18 AM
Thanks Psyhke, I appreciate your help. I'll try again later tonight and look for the check boxes you mentioned.

Psyhke
03-30-2009, 04:17 PM
The third option for bootable media I mentioned is called "BartPE". You can find info on it here:

http://www.acronis.com/support/kb/articles/105/index.html

Glancing at the instructions on that page, something must have changed a bit since I made this type of bootable CD, as it seems like there's a few more steps. But, the info is there.

Also, they have a support forum that may be helpful if need to resort to a making a BartPE bootable disc:

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=64

Tom Wood
03-30-2009, 08:24 PM
Thanks,

I've joined their forum and am getting some direction, plus contacted tech support. So I guess this is a wrap! :thumbsup:

Psyhke
03-30-2009, 10:35 PM
Good idea. It may be a pain now, but you'll thank yourself for checking to make sure things are in working order on the day you eventually need it. Good luck.