Booting from a tib image of your Windows 7 system partition

As already mentioned, users of the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 can boot from tib images of Windows 7 system partition. This allows you to test bootability of the backed up system without actual recovery. Booting can be done only when running Acronis True Image Home 2011 in Windows.

If you have Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate and want to test whether your Windows 7 system partition backup will recover to a bootable operating system, proceed as follows:

  1. Open Acronis Boot Sequence Manager by clicking Boot Sequence Manager on the Tools & Utilities screen.
  2. Click Add on the toolbar of Acronis Boot Sequence Manager and browse for the required tib file, then click OK.
  3. Because actual booting is performed from VHD, the program needs to convert the selected tib file so the appropriate dialog will appear.
  4. Click OK if you want to save the converted file to the default location with the same name or browse for another location. Saving to another location allows you to change the name of the vhd file.

    Booting is possible only when the vhd file is located on an NTFS-formatted local hard disk.

    If there is not enough space for the converted file in the selected location, the program will notify you. You can delete unnecessary files and click Retry or cancel the conversion and repeat the operation choosing another location for the converted file.

  5. After the conversion process finishes a new line with the vhd filename will be added to the Acronis Boot Sequence Manager.

    To use the VHD for booting, the partition with the converted vhd file must have sufficient free space. Tib files are converted into dynamic VHDs with the maximum size that equals the size of a partition backed up into a tib file. When you boot from a dynamic vhd file, the VHD is automatically expanded to the maximum size. If the physical host partition of the vhd file does not have enough free disk space for the maximum size of the dynamic VHD, the boot process will fail. Furthermore, you need to have additional space for the paging file (Pagefile.sys), as the paging file is created on the host partition outside the virtual one. Microsoft states that you should estimate approximately 5 GB of available space in addition to the maximum size of the vhd file. So the estimated free space is the size of your system partition plus 5 GB. From the above, it follows that you cannot boot from the vhd file if it is located on your system partition.

  6. Reboot the computer and select the new entry in the Acronis Boot Sequence Manager list for booting, then click OK. If Windows boots normally, you can be quite sure that the backup will recover to a bootable Windows 7 operating system.
  7. After making sure that the tib image is bootable, you can remove its entry from the Acronis Boot Sequence Manager list. To do so, select the entry and click Remove on the toolbar. Acronis True Image Home 2011 will ask to confirm removal. You may also want to delete the vhd file used for booting. If so, open Windows Explorer and delete the file.

Booting from a tib image of your Windows 7 system partition