XP running Very Slowly after Acronis Restore

  Inside Edge 10:34 19 Jan 09


I have just installed a new HDD to replace a flakey one. I used Acronis True Image to clone the old drive content, (MBR, Boot Sector and all) and after some problems getting the new drive recognised by my BIOS, I restored the Image to it and successfully booted into XP. The problem is that after the first couple of background programs load and show in the system tray, everything slows down to snails pace. Although not all such background programs seem to be loading at all, it does reach a point where I can access the Start Menu - however, it takes about 10-20secs to respond to any mouse click. I haven't successfuly opened a program.

I've cloned a drive that had no apparent problems beforehand so I'm a bit mystified. I note that Norton 360 isn't getting started, but since it's not using resources I can't see that that's the cause.

I can open Task Manager, and it shows 30-odd processes going on, but the only one using any CPU resource is "SYSTEM", which is using 99. "System Idle Processes" is using 00. Clearly something is chuntering away leaving no resources for anything else - does anyone have any ideas what it might be? Nothing seems to be occupying excessive RAM.

Thank in advance for any suggestions.

  Inside Edge 22:25 19 Jan 09

Has anyone got any ideas on this one?

Additional Info: Booting into Safe Mode seems to work ok but reducing the amount of stuff running at start up by editing msconfig makes no difference.

  gazzaho 23:16 19 Jan 09

I don't have an answer I'm afraid but you might get a response from asking the question at this forum. click here

  Inside Edge 00:31 20 Jan 09

thanks for that tip. I just had a brief look through some of the threads and it'll be worth a post.

  birdface 00:47 20 Jan 09

Beside system there should be a program that is using the system does it say what it is.I have 17 systems running.But on the left hand side of it .It should tell you what program it is.

  Inside Edge 11:39 20 Jan 09


Thanks for that.

- the Image Name in the left hand column is "system" and the User Name is "SYSTEM". I too have a number of entries attributable to "SYSTEM" but all the others have identifiable programs associated with them.

I just checked my notes - after restoring the cloned image to my new drive, which I did while running XP from the old drive, I used Acronis Disk Director to view what had been transferred. The two partitions from the old disk had been reproduced. One is about 110Gb and has the operating system and my files and programs, the other is a small hiddedn partition of about 3.5Gb which (I understand) contains boot and rescue information placed there by MESH during the original set up and configuration. Disk Director showed a small red circle with a white cross against this partition, indicating a problem with it. I disconnected my old drive and tried booting to the new one anyway, and in the excitement of what began as an apparently fast and successful boot, I forgot about this little detail.

I would emphasise that I had no problems prior to the cloning/imaging exercise apart from the HDD regularly going into spasms of clicking noises and freezing the PC. Boot up was OK, if a bit slow but I always put that down to Norton and operating speed was fine once fully booted up. I'm thinking that perhaps one of the HDD hiccups corrupted something during the cloning, and that I should try repeating the whole task.

  Inside Edge 14:05 23 Jan 09

Further update:

I am still having problems trying to clone my old, unreliable HDD to a new one. I have installed Acronis True Image and cloned an image which I have resored to the new drive. This boots up but is unworkably slow in operation.

I re-connected my old HDD and booted to it to take a new image to try again, but found that it too had slowed down appreciably. Task Manager showed that Image Name "system" was using 99% of CPU resources. I removed Powerquest (Symantec) Partition Magic and Drive Image software, as I thought these may be conflicting with my new Acronis equivalent products. This resulted in a return to normal operating speeds and a swing of CPU resources bacl to "system idle processes". I also removed Norton 360 as this tends to slow everything anyway.

Next I tried to make a new drive clone/image using Acronis True Image, however when I selected the drive to image, I got a message stating that " some partitions contain errors and can only be copied sector by sector, do you want to continue". I checked the box for a sector by sector image and pressed OK, ........and the PC crashed instanly to a BSOD. I've re-booted and tried this 3 or 4 times now with the same result.

I used Acronis Disk Director to look at the partitions - I have just the original two set up by MESH (the manufacturer) on it - and it claims there are errors in the hidden partition. The error description is given as "invalid format". I thought this partition was an NTFS one but I can't recall what was showing previously.

I ran scandisk from XP Disk Manager and it reported no errors or fixes required. In XP Disk Manager, both partitions show as "healthy" ! !

I had no problem making the image before, only that on restore, XP runs very very slowly. Now I don't seem to be able to make an image at all.

Can anyone advise?, Does the content of this 3.4Gb hidden partition only get used during a recovery ?

Any suggestions gratefully received.

  Pineman100 15:38 23 Jan 09

I don't know how much help I can be, but I thought it might helpful if I highlight one slightly confusing aspect of your explanations that I have noticed.

You seem to be talking about restoring an image from a clone. To the best of my knowledge of Acronis, that's a mix-up of two different processes.

An 'image' can be restored back to your computer's hard drive from an external (or indeed a second internal) HDD. In other words, you image to the backup drive, then restore back to the system drive (either the same one, or a replacement).

However, if you clone your system drive, then the clone *becomes* the system drive. So, assuming you clone your C: drive to an external HDD, you then install the external HDD into the computer as the system drive.

As I said, I've no idea whether that's any help, but maybe...?

  Inside Edge 16:03 23 Jan 09

...thanks for your thoughts.

I felt that Acronis was using the terms Image and Clone a bit interchangably but what I did was follow their Cloning procedure which as you say copies the entire disk contents, and I restored it to the new HDD. Everything worked - the PC booted from the new drive into windows and all my applications and files were there, just as on the old drive but something seemed to be running in the background and using so much resource that XP was taking 20 secs to respond to any mouse click. The culprit is not readily identifiable (to me) from Task Manager.

I re-connected the old HDD and it too was slow, although I'd not had that problem before I installed Acronis and did the Cloning stuff. Since I'd noticed that Acronis Disk Director and True Image both scan the HDD partitions when they start up, I wondered if they were conflicting with my Symantec versions. I no longer use those but they were still on the HDD. The old HDD worked just about fast enough to remove these and XP speed was restored. My intention had been to re-run the cloning process and restore once more to the new HDD. Alas, Acronis has other ideas and is now crashing the PC - apparently due to a formatting error it can see in the hidden partition on my drive, that XP's Disk manager claims is healthy. I think I'll re-install Acronis TI and DD and let them look at the revised disk afresh - I've no other ideas. I've put a query on their forum but there's no response there yet.

  Pineman100 16:14 23 Jan 09

The only other idea I can come up with is to try cloning *just* your C: drive, and not the additional partition (that you believe is causing the problem).

I know that this would deprive you of your Mesh Windows restore sector, but if you can get Windows running normally on your new drive, then you have Acronis to back it up with.

  Inside Edge 16:48 23 Jan 09

...you know I was thinking the same thing. I'll try that tonight and report the outcome on here. I've also put a query on the MESH Forum asking what exactly the Hidden Partition is for. I do recall reading that it comes into play when you have cause to put the MESH Recovery Disk in, and that it contains data to recover original sytem settings.

Thanks for your help

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