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  1. #1
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    Acronis imaging process suddenly fails

    I have been using a two-pronged approach to DR (backing up my system weekly) for the past five years. (Longer than that if you include previous computer systems.) I image my boot drive (an SSD) to an external hard drive by booting to an Acronis boot disk (version 2013) and backing up my other files on other drives via XXCopy (XXCopy.Com) to the same external drive.

    This plan has worked seamlessly and flawless until a few weeks ago when the imaging process simply locked up. The resulting file had 0 bytes. A chkdsk of my external drive indicated problems. I let Chkdsk /f run for several hours and with miniscule progress in terms of the processed file count, I decided to retire that external drive and replace it with a new one. The XXCopy backup always ran fine.

    Everything was smooth with the new external drive for about a month until the same thing happened again during imaging. Chkdsk was able to repair the disk this time in less than twenty minutes, deleting lots of orphan files and ‘finding free space marked as allocated in the MFT’. I tried the image again with the same failure and the same Chkdsk results. Again, the XXCopy backup ran fine.

    I imaged the boot drive again, this time to another internal drive, flawlessly, and then just copied the image file back onto my external drive without incident. Chkdsk was clean this time.

    So what happened? Why is the Acronis imaging suddenly failing? And, does it still seem as if my old external drive is indeed failing?


    Specs:
    Alienware Aurora, Intel(R) Core(Tm) I7, CPU 920 @ 2.67GHZ; Intel64, Family 6 Model 26, CPU Current Clock Speed: 2668mhz; 6GB DDR3 Memory, Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64 bit.

    Seagate Backup Plus 5 TB USB 3.0 External Drive.

    (Previous drive retired, Seagate 4TB Drive USB 3.0 (Nemko))

    Current on patches.
    Last edited by WSC3; 2015-06-19 at 11:01.

  2. #2
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    As it's an external drive I would be looking at your USB ports as the culprit.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    My USB ports are not on hubs. Would it be likely that one port would be different than another or would the problem be more likely to be systemic (all bad)? And, is there a way to test/assess these ports for issues and to confirm a problem? I have a USB flash stick I use daily w/o issue.

    Thanks.

    WSC
    Last edited by WSC3; 2015-06-19 at 14:42.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    WSC,

    A bad connector should only affect one port (pretty much unfixable unless you're really hand with a soldering iron). A bad USB controller (think replacing the MOBO or at least adding a USB Board) would affect all. HTH
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  5. #5
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    RetiredGeek

    How can I test this in Windows? I have a slew of USB attached devices including my mouse, keyboard, Audio-to-digital converter, several flash sticks, etc. that all work fine. that would seem to rule out a bad controller.

    Thx.
    Last edited by WSC3; 2015-06-19 at 17:11.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    WSC,

    So have you tried any of these devices in the port used by the backup drives that failed? Were all the drives used in the same port? Generally, finding a problem like this is a matter of change one thing and test, rinse, repeat! Also are the drives powered by the USB port or external power bricks? Could be they are not getting enough power with all the other things you have installed, although I don't know why this would show up so late unless you are having a power supply that is failing. Yes there are a lot of things to check.
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2015-06-19 at 16:51.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  7. #7
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    RetiredGeek,

    Great ideas. My other USB devices are all plugged into the back of my computer, and I use the two easy-access USB ports in the front of my computer for temporary devices, and they work fine. These include USB sticks, scanner, and my external drive when Windows 7 is running. I've never noticed a problem with any.

    I have a USB powered scanner that i plug in here and it works fine. The power brick for my Seagate as the source of the problem is an idea, but I am using the new one that came with my drive......

  8. #8
    jwoods
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    Have you checked what errors are being logged in the Windows Event Logs?

  9. #9
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    Hmm. Great idea. Since Windows is not engaged during the imaging from Acronis boot disk action, I wouldn't expect but so much help here. But, I do see several errors that say, "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk4\DR4" at the time i had my external drive connected. Disk 4 is my flash stick, and I guessing, my external drive if it were connected. So the USB controller is throwing errors, at least from this port? I don't see any errors related to anything else hardware related.

  10. #10
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WSC3 View Post
    ...I do see several errors that say, "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk4\DR4" at the time i had my external drive connected...
    In several cases w/ newer Seagate HDDs I have seen these "controller" errors in the event logs. In most cases updating the firmware fixed the problem.

    You could look up those HDDs on Seagate's support website to see if newer firmware is available.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  11. #11
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    This may or may not be helpful. Earlier, my older laptop's two external-HD-stored restores failed. After some troubleshooting, I discovered a very likely cause for the errors on both restores: C:\Windows\winsys on the backups was corrupt because very likely the original C:\Windows\winsys [?or was it winsxs?], the source, was corrupt. After a clean reinstall, I was able to make all the backups I wanted, I only had to make one restore ['cause of Windows Updates got dorked up].
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  12. #12
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    Did you add any new USB devices when the problems started happening?

    cheers, Paul

  13. #13
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    I do have a new flash stick, but that's never plugged in when I do my imaging. No other new USB devices.

  14. #14
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    Unplug other USB devices before imaging?

    cheers, Paul

  15. #15
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    I don't leave anything USB plugged in while imaging except mouse, keyboard, and Audio-Digital converter.

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