Unable to Boot Acronis True Image on an Acer Aspire V3-772G-9829 Laptop

I had an Acer Aspire V3-772G-9829. Its Windows 7 installation suddenly went south. I needed to reinstall Windows. I had used Acronis True Image Home 2011 to make an image of drive C, where the operating system was installed. Now I wanted to use Acronis to restore that image, replacing my defunct Windows 7 installation with the working earlier installation saved in that drive image. I ran into some problems with that. This post describes steps I took in response.

I had Acronis in two forms: on CD and on two different USB drives. I tried booting the Acer with one of those USB drives. This one had been created using Unetbootin or some similar tool to create a single-purpose bootable USB drive. That is, the Acronis USB drive would function about the same as an Acronis CD: just plug it in, turn the machine on, keep hitting F12 during the initial power-up to bring up a boot menu, choose the appropriate (USB or CD) drive, and Acronis would run.

When I tried booting the Acer with this Acronis USB drive, it looked like Acronis was going to run, but then it started scrolling what appeared to be Linux command-line information down the screen. It ended with these two lines:

usb 1-1: new high speed USB device number 2 using ehci_hcd

Reading all physical volumes. This may take a while. . .

It did take a while. And then it took another while. That is, the system seemed to be frozen. The hard drive light displayed no sign of disk activity. I believed the system was frozen.

A search brought up a discussion thread in which the problem appeared to be the computer hardware. In another thread, a simple system restart apparently solved the problem. Another search led, like the first, to a number of remarks focused on the Linux kernel. It did seem possible that the Linux programming in that version of Acronis was not compatible with the Acer’s hardware. It was also possible that there was a problem with the Acer’s hardware itself; possibly some hardware problem was also the reason why Windows had suddenly gone flaky on this machine. The USB drive itself seemed to be OK: it would start Acronis without problems on another laptop.

I did a cold reboot. Checking that term, it appeared that definitions differed. Normally I used it to mean just that I powered down the machine and waited 30 seconds or more, but this time I disconnected the power cord as well. (I had already disconnected the battery to keep it from being worn down by constant charging.) Then I tried again with the same Acronis USB drive. Again it scrolled numerous Linux lines, but this time it froze with several “Using /lib/modules” messages, the last of which was “Using /lib/modules/nfs.ko.” On another occasion, it had frozen with what was, I think, a line saying something about “end trace”: I could see a similar line onscreen this time.

Next, I tried booting with the other USB drive. On this one, I had used YUMI to create a multiboot drive. That is, when I booted the system with this USB drive, I got a menu offering a choice among multiple tools, one of which was Acronis. When I chose the Acronis option, I was presented with choices between 32-bit and 64-bit Acronis. I had been puzzled to see this recent innovation, after years of just going directly into Acronis. These days, when I chose the 64-bit option, it did not work. On this particular occasion, when I chose the 32-bit option instead, the system scrolled Linux commands and concluded with the “using ehci_hcd” line quoted above. This USB drive, too, did work properly on another computer.

Then I attempted to boot from an Acronis CD (not multiboot). Although I did select the DVD drive as my boot choice after hitting F12, the system seemed to disregard it, proceeding directly to run Windows instead. I did not recheck this CD, but I assumed it had functioned adequately in the past, else I would not have kept it.

I had installed Acronis on the Acer’s Windows installation. At this point I went into that Acronis installation and saw that it offered no obvious means of restoring Windows from an Acronis backup (which would be saved as a *.TIB file). That is, among other things, it did not show any of my existing TIBs. I went into its Tools and Utilities > Mount Image, and then canceled out. That step was sufficient to get it to scan my drives. Now its main screen allowed me to browse to a recent TIB, click its Recover button, and indicate that I wanted this TIB to overwrite my existing Windows partition. Acronis began its recovery process. It said, “Reboot is required.” We went ahead with the reboot. The Windows restoration finished, and I was able to boot the restored system. Mission accomplished.

If I had not been able to run Acronis from an existing Windows installation, I could have installed Windows temporarily for the purpose of then installing Acronis on it. Alternately, I would have considered removing the drive containing my Windows (drive C) partition, putting it into another computer capable of booting an Acronis or YUMI USB drive or CD, and restoring the Acronis TIB to that partition in that other computer. Another possibility was that Acronis True Image Home 2011 was out of date, at least for purposes of the Acer’s hardware, and that the problem would have been solved if I had installed True Image 2014 onto the USB or CD drives instead. But I heard bad things about True Image 2014, and decided not to go that route.

I had already booted those USB drives successfully on the Acer. This led me to suspect that the problem was not with the Acer per se, but rather with the mSATA drive that I had lately installed; that was where my Windows drive C partition was now located. The solution I eventually reached was to use a multiboot DVD as an alternative to a multiboot USB drive; the mSATA drive did not interfere with booting from the DVD.

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