How do I align partitions doing a clone operation with Acronis?

Discussion in 'Backup Software' started by Mark F, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Mark F

    Mark F Guest

    I want to clone a drive and get the partitions to be aligned
    16x1024*1024 bytes on the clone?

    Acronis True Image Home 2012 seems like it could be used to
    do the job, but I would have to calculate how much space to
    leave before each partition and I'm not sure how to do that.
    (The GUI lets you specify sectors to skip, but it doesn't let
    you specify a particular sector to start in.)

    Can someone give me some simple rules to get things aligned?
    On some disks there is one partitition at the start or end
    that I can't change the size of, so I have to be able to
    make the alignment of the 2nd partition be correct.

    I can change the size of the partitions a "little bit" (a few GB),
    but I can't control the actual partition size, so I may
    have to skipped space for each partition.

    What size is used for "cylinder" these days?

    Do 16MB and cylinder size have a Least Common Multiple of under
    2GB? If so, then I only need to align the second partition and
    everything else comes out a multiple of 16MB.

    I tried using some other Acronis products, but they seemed
    to be missing needed functionality:

    Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Advanced Workstation Standard
    Plus Universal Restore doesn't let you specify size other
    than unchanged or proportional. In addition, you can't
    specify the location on the output side. It is supposed
    to look at the hardware and perhaps the disk type, and do
    alignment if needed, but that doesn't help me since I
    want a higher level of alignment than is required.

    Acronis Advanced Disk Director 11 might be convinced to
    align an existing partition, but the Acronis people said
    you could only do the alignment in place, meaning many
    extra seeks, in addition to having to do a clone first.

    Windows 7 will, I think, automatically align to 1MB.
    It might then be possible to use Acronis Advanced Disk Director
    to copy the partitions one by one to pre allocated partitions
    (volumes?), but the would give me 4 times as many chances
    to mess up since I have 4 partitions on most drives.

    More information:
    I don't want to have to worry about if the drives actually have
    sectors of 512, 4K, or another size, I want to make sure that
    each partition starts at a 1MB boundary.

    It would be nice if I didn't have to worry about if the
    drives were MBR or GPT drives. If that isn't possible,
    the only cases I care about now are MBR in and MBR or GPT

    I only care about FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.

    I only care about Basic volumes.

    I don't use RAID

    I have a bunch of Acronis products, but the support isn't
    very good. In particular the Home support people don't know
    about the Business products and the Business support people
    don't know about the home products.
    Mark F, Nov 8, 2011
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  2. Mark F

    Mark F Guest

    I think I have a procedure that accomplishes what I want, but
    it is a kludge.
    1. On Windows XP:
    Using an MBR disk with sector size of 512 create empty
    partitions of the existing original sizes, including the
    special ones that have to be at the start or end if needed.
    2. Format each of the partitions. (I don't think the file system
    type matters.)
    3. On the stand-alone system use Acronis True Image Home
    2012 to clone to a disk with a sector size of 512.
    Switch from GPT to MBR or MBR to GPT if desired.

    Use manual resizing and attempt to get things
    aligned properly.

    Remember how much space was left between partitions
    and the exact sizes used.
    4. See what really happened.
    5. Repeat until get things right
    6. Now use Acronis True Image Home 2012 to do the
    real clone operation.

    Hopefully this gets things aligned as desired with
    True Image taking care of any on-obvious complications
    in partition sizing and without having to clone all
    of the data multiple times.

    One wonders why True Image can't just allow you to
    specify positioning and alignment directly and then
    show you what it actually is going to do.

    One wonders why Backup and Recovery can't even do
    as well as True Image Home 2012.
    Mark F, Nov 10, 2011
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