Recovering a disk without a hidden partition

At first let’s consider recovery of a system disk containing two partitions (none of them hidden). In addition, we assume that the system disk does not contain a recovery partition which may not be hidden. If the disk contains, for example, three partitions, the procedure will be similar. We will describe recovery using the rescue media. This usually gives the best recovery results.

Attach the external drive if it contains the backup to be used for recovery and make sure that the drive is powered on. This must be done before booting from Acronis rescue media.

  1. Arrange the boot order in BIOS so as to make your rescue media device (CD, DVD or USB stick) the first boot device. See Arranging boot order in BIOS.
  2. Boot from the rescue media and select Acronis True Image Home 2011 (Full version).
  3. Select Recovery ® Disk and Partition Recovery in the main menu. Choose the image backup of your system disk that you want to use for recovery.

    If the disks have different disk letters in Windows and the recovery environment, the program will display the following error message: “Acronis True Image Home 2011 cannot detect volume N of “Name” archive”. Here “Name” is the name of the required image backup. The volume number (N) may be different depending on the number of backup versions in the backup. Click Browse and show the path to the backup.

  4. Select Recover whole disks and partitions at the Recovery method step.
  5. At the What to recover step, select the boxes which indicate the partitions to be recovered. Do not select the MBR and Track 0 box, as this will result in selecting the entire disk for recovery. Recovering the entire disk does not allow you to resize partitions manually. In such an event, the new disk space will be proportionally distributed between the recovered partitions. If necessary, you can recover the MBR later. Select the partitions and click Next.

    Selecting partitions leads to appearance of the relevant steps “Settings of partition …”.

    Please note that these steps are in ascending partition drive letter order and that this order cannot be changed. The order may differ from the physical order of the partitions on the hard disk.

    In cases involving recovery of non-hidden partitions, the physical order of the partitions on the new disk is not significant. Acronis True Image Home 2011 automatically fixes the appropriate Windows loader files.

    This step allows you to find out whether the disk you are going to recover contains a hidden partition. Hidden partitions do not have disk letters and they go first in the “Settings of partition …” steps. If you find a hidden partition, see Recovering a disk with a hidden partition.

  6. You can specify the following partition settings: location, type, and size. Most likely, you will first specify the settings of the system partition as it usually has the letter C. Since you are recovering to the new disk, click New location. Select the destination disk by its assigned name or by its capacity.
  7. Clicking Accept will return you to the “Settings of partition …” screen. Check the partition type and change it, if necessary. You should remember that the system partition must be primary and marked as active.
  8. Proceed to specifying the partition size by clicking Change default in the Partition size area. The partition will occupy the entire new disk by default. You can resize and relocate the partition by dragging it or its borders with a mouse on the horizontal bar on the screen. Or you can enter corresponding values into the appropriate fields (Partition size, Free space before, Free space after). Remember that when resizing a partition, you need to leave enough unallocated (free) space for a second partition.

    Usually the free space before partitions is equal to zero. Click Accept when the partition is the size you want and then click Next.

  9. Begin specifying the settings for the second partition. Click New location and then select unallocated space on the destination disk that will receive the second partition. Click Accept. Check the partition type (change, if necessary). Specify the partition size which by default is equal to the original size. Usually there is no free space after the last partition. Therefore allocate all of the unallocated space to the second partition. Click Accept and then click Next.
  10. Carefully read the summary of operations to be performed. If you do not want to validate the backup, click Proceed. Otherwise click Options and select the Validate backup archive before recovery box before clicking Proceed.
  11. When the operation finishes, exit the standalone version of Acronis True Image Home 2011.

Windows should not “see” both the new and old drive during the first boot after recovery because this could result in problems booting Windows. If you upgrade the old drive to a larger capacity new one, disconnect the old drive before the first boot.

Switch off the computer, if you need to disconnect the old drive. Otherwise, just reboot the computer after removing the rescue media.

Boot the computer to Windows. It may report that new hardware (the hard drive) has been found and that Windows needs to reboot. After making sure that the system operates normally, restore the original boot order.

Recovering a disk without a hidden partition