Does Lenovo store the USB drives in the Bios or Windows UEFI partiton

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by Palladin, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    317
    127
    10
    I'm trying to help a friend of my set up a back up procedure using Acronis True Image Home. His system is a Lenovo A-730 AIO running Win 8.1 64-Bit. I had him buy an external USB 3.0 1TB hard drive and an enclosure, so we didn't have to deal with the build in encryption hassles of the skinny external USB drives. He got the drive, and enclosure and set up a weekly directory structure to copy the files from My Documents to the external USB hard drive. That went fine, no problems.

    In addition to the File Copy I wanted to create monthly image of the entire system, so I had him buy a copy of Acronis 2015 and after it was installed, we made an Bootable DVD from an ISO created by Acronis. The reason for creating the DVD is that I'm not keen on running Acronis from within Windows, so booting from a DVD takes Windows out of the loop.

    After a shut down and restart, and some fiddling to figure out what Lenovo called the DVD drive, Acronis started up and we stepped through the screens to get to where Acronis asked to save the image. When Browse was selected for a location to save the file, the USB drive was not listed. We went through the monkey drill of Shutdown/Restart but no matter what, the USB drive didn't show up.

    Unfortunately my friend is in a couple of states away, and we are trying to do this over the phone, and Teamviewer, but I can't run Teamviewer and Acronis so I have to take his word for what he says is happening. Although he's no expert he's pretty anal, and if he says the external drive isn't there, I can be pretty sure that it isn't.

    So I was wondering if maybe Acronis couldn't backup to an external USB drive. I attached an external USB 3.0 hard drive to my Dell Windows 7 and booted off my Acronis 2013 DVD. It showed the USB drive as Disk 2 which would be impossible to miss.

    I searched Acronis and Lenovo's support forum for a solution and I couldn't find any mention of my problem. The closest I could come was that the USB drivers are loaded as part of the UEFI boot sequence in Windows 8.1 and without them the external USB drive would not be visible as it is in my Dell Win 7 system that has the USB drivers in the BIOS. There was mention that no drivers could be loaded or added to the Acronis Boot media, so if this is the case, I guess we are SOL.

    BTW, the external USB drive is visible in Win 8.1 no problem, and he can copy files to it without any problems.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
     
  2. EFA11

    EFA11 Avatar Guru

    Oct 7, 2010
    8,796
    6,742
    270
    have him boot into the bios and set a delay in the boot time. Could very well be the enclosure+drive isn't picked up fast enough for the fast boot methods. I've had to give a 5 second boot delay for older 1TB drives. Might be worth trying.

    I agree as well, I will not backup anything within windows. One big factor out of the loop for sure.
     
  3. Flipp3r

    Flipp3r MDL Expert

    Feb 11, 2009
    1,473
    625
    60
    The DVD that Acronis built, is it WinPE based? If it's WinPE 4 then you probably need to add USB3 drivers to it.
    Perhaps when building this iso there's an option to add drivers.
    Does the AIO have USB2 ports? If so, try the drive on that, it'll work (but slower of course).
     
  4. EFA11

    EFA11 Avatar Guru

    Oct 7, 2010
    8,796
    6,742
    270
    #4 EFA11, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    hadn't thought of that flipp3r. Might want to try booting either of these two below, see if the drive shows up.

    You can try this Acronis Disk I made
    Code:
    https://cloud.mail.ru/public/e8041b9e9d0a/AcronisBootablePEMedia_ADK_8_1.iso
    or my Paragon hard drive manager media
    Code:
    https://cloud.mail.ru/public/e62c921b3c5d/HDM15_PREMIUM_WIN8.1PE_ADK_BOOT_MEDIA.iso
     
  5. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    317
    127
    10
    No it's Linux based, and there's no way to add drivers, at least, that I know of.


    Good suggestion. It might make a difference. I'm pretty sure there are USB 2.0 ports but I'm not positive. If there are, I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
     
  6. Flipp3r

    Flipp3r MDL Expert

    Feb 11, 2009
    1,473
    625
    60
    Get your m8 to download EFA11's build of Acronis. Looks to be built by ADK 8.1 so will natively support USB3. Thanks EFA11!!!
     
  7. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    317
    127
    10
    #7 Palladin, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
    Got 'em.
    I'll see if either of them does the trick.
    Thanks.
     
  8. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    317
    127
    10
    #8 Palladin, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    (OP)
    I appreciate all the suggestions that have been given, and as it turns out, EFA11 had the solution.

    Here's what I discovered. At first I thought it had something to do with the way Lenovo had set up the hardware on their computer. All of the major companies like HP, Dell add proprietary stuff to "enhance user experience" and sometimes it has unintended consequences, like when Lenovo added SuperFish. But a search of Lenovo's site didn't turn up anything relating to the problem.

    I thought it might be related to Windows 8.1 running UEFI, and instead of having the USB drivers in the BIOS, they were hidden away in the EFI boot partition. But as I thought about that some more, it made no sense because when Acronis boots off of the DVD, Windows doesn't have anything to do with anything.

    The next stop was Acronis, and I searched for any problems related to Lenovo and none turned up. Somewhat frustrated, I went to the 2015 forum and there was the answer stickied right at the top of the forum. The answer to the problem that Acronis suggested, just astounded me. In a nutshell they wanted you to do as EFA11 did, create Win PE Boot disk? And the instructions weren't even written by an employee of Acronis, just some volunteer.

    Here's the link: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/71918

    It's an easy simple to follow 10 step process to create something that will let Acronis 2015 access a USB 3.0 drive when booting from a DVD. /sarc

    When I saw this I just thought WTF is this? Acronis is telling their customers that the product they sell won't do something as basic as access a USB 3.0 external drive, as previous versions did, and they want you to follow this guys step by step process to create an alternate Bootable DVD. Why on earth doesn't Acronis just fix the problem, and offer an update instead of this monkey drill.

    But wait, there's more.

    When I tried with my copy of Acronis 2013, and 2014 I could access the external USB 3.0 drive no problem. I could back up the system drive, and then access the image on the external USB 3.0 drive, and selectively restore files, so it all worked as it should. But my PC is a Dell and my friend's is a Lenovo, and I figured that that might be the difference.

    I figured wrong. If you read through the thread, lots of customers are complaining about this. They could access their USB 3.0 external drives in 2013, or 2014 but when they upgraded to 2015 they could not. So it looks like what happened is that Acronis re-compiled the Linux kernel from 2014 to the latest and greatest 2015 and forgot to include the USB drivers that were included in the prior 2 years versions. This just doesn't pass the smell test. There's something else going on here. I would take maybe 10 minutes to re-compile the Linux kernel and add the drivers, but they didn't do that. This has been an ongoing problem for months now, and Acronis hasn't offered a fix, an update, or a patch.

    I think it's just absurd to ask customers download the Windows 8.1 ADK and some third party program called Download MustangPEBuilder 2 ADK 64 LaunchBar then download Acronis Universal Restore plugin and then download the Disk Director 12 plugin Then follow the steps to compile their own Win PE DVD. How bizarre is that?

    Here's the thread discussing the problem: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/76154

    There are lots of techo-snobs and senseless comments, but at the end of the day Acronis 2015 is broke, and if something as simple as the ability to access a USB 3.0 external drive can't be fixed, then there is probably lots more wrong with this version.

    I have been using Acronis since Norton broke Ghost back in 2006, and have always been pleased with the results, and have always recommended it as the Gold Standard image program. And it still is for the 2013, and 2014 versions. But there will be no more upgrades for me. Acronis and especially 2015 is at the bottom of the list from now on.

    What a shame.
     
  9. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    317
    127
    10
    #9 Palladin, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
    You can try this Acronis Disk I made
    Code:
    https://cloud.mail.ru/public/e8041b9e9d0a/AcronisBootablePEMedia_ADK_8_1.iso

    I just wanted to follow up on your handiwork. I made a DVD from the ISO, attached my USB 3.0 drive, and booted off the DVD. It was a little weird to see the Windows 8 logo, but after a while Acronis 2015 started up, and as predicted it saw the external USB 3.0 Drive.
    Very nice job of programming on your part, EFA11. :worthy:

    I backed up my system to an image on the external USB 3.0 drive, no problems. Then I went to the Data Copy module and the interface was pretty much the same as previous versions. This Data Copy module is really nice, because you can select the C:\users directory and copy everything in Windows native file format. You can't do that while Windows is running, too many locked files. More often than not, most people keep 100% of their files under C:\users\%username% and it's very handy to have them all available if need be. Just cut and paste. It shows a directory tree, and I checked off a couple, and selected the USB 3.0 external drive as the destination. I noticed that when I selected the destination, Acronis asked for a file name, and appended a .tib extension. (??) At first I thought I had check off the Image Backup module, and went back an selected the Data Copy module. Sure enough, same thing.I thought in all prior versions, Acronis just copied the directory structure and all of the files in the native Windows format, but I was mistaken.

    After I tried it in 2013 and 2014 the interface and the end result was the same. All of the versions create an image file, but unlike having to back up the entire image, you can pick and choose which directories you want. Then when you restore from that image, Acronis creates the exact directory structure, along with all of the files from the directories that you chose. This option saves a considerable amount of time if you have a very large C:\ drive, and only want a backup of a few directories.

    Bottom line I think Acronis 2015 is crap. They don't have native USB 3.0 external support, and even if you Kluge your way into a Win8 version that *does* have USB 3.0 external support, who knows what other problems might crop up. And it's hard to believe that they expect *you* to compile an entire new DVD to get features that were in prior versions. This has been an ongoing problem for months now, and Acronis hasn't fixed it.

    So it's off to the kitchen to bake up some Humble Pie so I can sit down and eat a little when I call my buddy and tell him that my recommendation to buy Acronis 2015 was a waste of money. :eek: