Acronis – Disk Director – 12.5 – User Manual

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Acronis Disk Director 12.5

USER GUIDE Revision: 2/7/2019 2 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

Table of contents
1 Introducing Acronis Disk Director ………………………………………………………………………….5
1.1 What`s new in Acronis Disk Director 12.5 ……………………………………………………………………… 5
1.2 Key features ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
2 Installation and upgrade ……………………………………………………………………………………..7
2.1 Hardware requirements ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
2.2 Supported operating systems ………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
2.3 Supported file systems ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
2.4 Supported media ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
2.5 Installing Acronis Disk Director …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
2.6 Updating Acronis Disk Director …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
2.7 Removing Acronis Disk Director …………………………………………………………………………………… 9
2.8 Upgrading Acronis Disk Director …………………………………………………………………………………… 9
2.9 Demo version information …………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
3 Basic concepts ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11
3.1 Basic and dynamic disks ……………………………………………………………………………………………..11
3.2 Types of basic volumes ………………………………………………………………………………………………12
3.3 Types of dynamic volumes………………………………………………………………………………………….12
3.4 Active, system, and boot volumes ……………………………………………………………………………….13
3.5 Dynamic volume types support …………………………………………………………………………………..14
3.6 Volume alignment in disks with a 4-KB sector size …………………………………………………………15
4 Getting started ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
4.1 Precautions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………17
4.2 User privileges ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….17
4.3 Running Acronis Disk Director …………………………………………………………………………………….17
4.4 Acronis Disk Director main window ……………………………………………………………………………..18
4.5 Disk and volume information ……………………………………………………………………………………..19
4.5.1 Disk statuses ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
4.5.2 Volume statuses ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
4.6 Disk layout ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….21
4.7 Performing operations ……………………………………………………………………………………………….21
4.7.1 Pending operations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
4.7.2 Undoing pending operations ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
4.8 Log …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..22
4.8.1 Actions on log entries…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
4.8.2 Filtering and sorting log entries …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
4.9 Collecting system information …………………………………………………………………………………….24
4.10 How to …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….24 3 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

5 Volume operations ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 26
5.1 Creating a volume ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..26
5.2 Resizing a volume ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..28
5.3 Copying a volume ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..29
5.4 Moving a volume ………………………………………………………………………………………………………30
5.5 Merging basic volumes ………………………………………………………………………………………………31
5.6 Formatting a volume …………………………………………………………………………………………………32
5.7 Deleting a volume ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..33
5.8 Splitting a basic volume ……………………………………………………………………………………………..33
5.9 Changing a volume label …………………………………………………………………………………………….34
5.10 Changing a drive letter……………………………………………………………………………………………….34
5.11 Converting a primary volume to logical ………………………………………………………………………..35
5.12 Converting a logical volume to primary ………………………………………………………………………..35
5.13 Changing a partition type …………………………………………………………………………………………..36
5.14 Setting a volume active ………………………………………………………………………………………………36
5.15 Adding a mirror …………………………………………………………………………………………………………37
5.16 Removing a mirror …………………………………………………………………………………………………….37
5.17 Breaking a mirrored volume ……………………………………………………………………………………….38
5.18 Browsing a volume`s content………………………………………………………………………………………39
5.19 Checking a volume for errors ………………………………………………………………………………………39
5.20 Defragmenting a volume ……………………………………………………………………………………………39
5.21 Changing a cluster size ……………………………………………………………………………………………….40
5.22 Changing a file system ……………………………………………………………………………………………….40
5.23 Hiding a volume ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..41
5.24 Unhiding a volume …………………………………………………………………………………………………….42
5.25 Specifying i-node density ……………………………………………………………………………………………42
6 Disk operations ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44
6.1 Disk initialization ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….44
6.2 Basic disk cloning ………………………………………………………………………………………………………45
6.3 Disk conversion: MBR to GPT ……………………………………………………………………………………..46
6.4 Disk conversion: GPT to MBR ……………………………………………………………………………………..47
6.5 Disk conversion: basic to dynamic ……………………………………………………………………………….48
6.6 Disk conversion: dynamic to basic ……………………………………………………………………………….48
6.7 Changing a disk status: online to offline ……………………………………………………………………….49
6.8 Changing a disk status: offline to online ……………………………………………………………………….50
6.9 Importing foreign disks ………………………………………………………………………………………………50
6.10 Removing a missing disk …………………………………………………………………………………………….51
6.11 Cleaning up a disk ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..51 4 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

7 Tools …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52
7.1 Acronis Bootable Media Builder ………………………………………………………………………………….52
7.1.1 How to create bootable media …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 53
7.1.2 Working under bootable media ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 58
7.2 Acronis Recovery Expert …………………………………………………………………………………………….59
7.3 Acronis Disk Editor …………………………………………………………………………………………………….60
7.3.1 Starting work with Acronis Disk Editor ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 61
7.3.2 Main window, menu and controls ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 61
7.3.3 Editing disks ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 62
7.3.4 View ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 63
7.3.5 Search …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 63
7.3.6 Usage examples …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 64
8 Glossary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 69
5 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

1 Introducing Acronis Disk Director
Acronis Disk Director is a powerful and easy-to-use tool for managing disks and volumes. With a
comprehensive set of operations, you can organize your hard disk and volume configuration for
optimal performance, while keeping your data safe.
In this section
What`s new in Acronis Disk Director 12.5 ………………………………………………………………… 5
Key features ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

1.1 What`s new in Acronis Disk Director 12.5
 The same Acronis Disk Director 12.5 product now supports the server and non-server operating
systems. The Server license is required for server operating systems, the Workstation or Home
license for other operating systems.
 Support for Windows Server 2016.
 Support for native 4K disks (disks that report a 4 KB logical sector size). Previously, only 512-byte
emulation disks (512e) were supported.
 The maximum size of a volume that Acronis Disk Director can manage in the Demo (trial) mode is
increased from 100 MB to 10 GB.
 Compatibility with Acronis True Image 2019. Both products can operate on the same machine
and on the same Linux-based bootable media. Use the media builder provided with Acronis Disk
Director to create this media.
 Updated Linux kernel in bootable media to support modern hardware.

1.2 Key features
Acronis Disk Director features include:
 Create both basic and dynamic volumes
The handy Create Volume wizard has been improved to support dynamic volumes creation. Now,
in addition to basic volumes, you can easily create dynamic volumes in Acronis Disk Director to:
 Increase the volume size beyond the capacity of a single disk, by using a spanned volume
 Reduce access time to files, by using a striped volume
 Achieve fault tolerance, by using a mirrored volume *
 Add, remove, or break mirrored volumes *
Make your basic or simple volume fault-tolerant in just one action by adding a mirror. If you need
extra unallocated space on a disk containing one of the mirrors—remove a mirror. Break a
mirrored volume to get two independent simple volumes with initially identical content.
 Copy or move a volume of one type as a volume of another type
Change the type of a volume when copying or moving it. For example, you can copy the contents
of a mirrored volume to a spanned volume.
 Convert primary volumes to logical and vice versa
Convert a primary volume to logical to create a fifth volume on a disk that currently has four
primary volumes.
 Convert basic disks to dynamic and vice versa 6 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

Convert the existing basic disks to dynamic to achieve additional disk reliability for data storage.
 Convert GPT disks to MBR and vice versa
Change the partitioning scheme of your disk the way you need it.
 Import foreign disks
Make dynamic disks added from another machine accessible for the system.
 Changing a disk status: online to offline and vice versa *
Change a disk status to offline in order to protect it from unintentional use.
 Disk cloning
The Disk Cloning wizard lets you replace the old basic MBR disk with a new one without
reinstalling operating systems and applications. It transfers all the source disk data to a target
disk. The source disk volumes can be cloned to the target disk “as is”, or resized automatically
with respect to the target disk size.
 Disk and volume management operations
Experience the vast array of disk and volume management operations:
 Resize, move, copy, split and merge volumes without data loss or destruction
 Format and label volumes, assign volume letters, and set volumes active
 Initialize newly added hard disks
 Delete volumes
 Change file systems
 Clean up disks
 Hide/unhide volumes
 Specify i-node density
 Change a cluster size
 Explore volume data, even on Linux volumes before performing operations
 Preview changes made in disk and volume layout before applying them
 Browse through the detailed information about all hard disks, volumes and file systems
 Acronis Recovery Expert
Helps you to recover accidentally lost or deleted volumes on basic MBR disks.
 Acronis Bootable Media Builder
Now, you can create bootable media based both on WinPE and Linux to use Acronis Disk Director
on bare metal or outside of an operating system.
 Acronis Disk Editor
A professional tool that performs a variety of actions on a hard disk.
 Log
Examine information about disk and volume operations, including reasons for failure, if any.
* For the operating systems that support such functionality.
7 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

2 Installation and upgrade
This section answers questions that might arise before the product installation and guides you
through the installation and upgrade of Acronis Disk Director.
In this section
Hardware requirements ………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
Supported operating systems ………………………………………………………………………………… 7
Supported file systems ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Supported media………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Installing Acronis Disk Director ………………………………………………………………………………. 8
Updating Acronis Disk Director ………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Removing Acronis Disk Director ……………………………………………………………………………… 9
Upgrading Acronis Disk Director …………………………………………………………………………….. 9
Demo version information …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

2.1 Hardware requirements
The table below lists the minimum and recommended hardware requirements to install and run
Acronis Disk Director.
Item Minimum
requirements
Recommended
Boot firmware BIOS-based
UEFI-based

Computer processor Modern processor,
800 MHz or faster
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or
64-bit (x64)
processor
System memory 256 MB 512 MB or more
Screen resolution 800*600 pixels 1024*768 pixels or
higher
Installation disk space 150 MB
Other hardware A mouse A CD/DVD recording
drive, or a flash drive
for bootable media
creation

2.2 Supported operating systems
The following operating systems are supported by Acronis Disk Director:
 Windows XP Professional SP3 (x86, x64)
 Windows Server 2003 SP1/2003 R2 and later – Standard and Enterprise editions (x86, x64)
 Windows Small Business Server 2003/2003 R2
 Windows Vista – all editions
 Windows Server 2008 – Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, and Web editions (x86, x64)
 Windows Small Business Server 2008 8 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

 Windows 7 – all editions
 Windows Server 2008 R2 – Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Foundation, and Web editions
 Windows MultiPoint Server 2010/2011/2012
 Windows Small Business Server 2011 – all editions
 Windows 8/8.1 – all editions (x86, x64), except for the Windows RT editions
 Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 – all editions
 Windows Storage Server 2003/2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016
 Windows 10 – Home, Pro, Education, Enterprise, and IoT Enterprise editions
 Windows Server 2016 – all installation options, except for Nano Server

2.3 Supported file systems
Acronis Disk Director supports the following file systems for performing operations:
 FAT16
 FAT32
 NTFS
 Ext2
 Ext3
 Reiser3
 Linux SWAP
The operations resulting in a change of volume size—that is: Create (p. 26), Resize (p. 28), Copy (p.
29), Move (p. 30), Merge, Split—are not available for the XFS, Reiser4, and HPFS file systems.
JFS file system is not supported in the current edition of Acronis Disk Director.

2.4 Supported media
 Hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD)
 Support for IDE, SCSI and SATA interfaces
 CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R (including double-layer DVD+R), DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, BD-R, BD-RE
for bootable media creation*
 USB 1.1 / 2.0 / 3.0**, FireWire (IEEE-1394) hard disk drives
 PC card storage devices
* Burned rewritable discs cannot be read in Linux without a kernel patch.
** Reboot is required if you perform any of the following volume operations on a USB flash drive:
resizing, splitting, moving, deleting, converting, changing a cluster size.

2.5 Installing Acronis Disk Director
To install Acronis Disk Director
1. Run the setup file of Acronis Disk Director.
2. Click Install Acronis Disk Director.
3. Accept the terms of the license agreement.
4. Type in your license key. Skip this step if you want to evaluate the demo product version (p. 9). 9 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

5. Select whether you want to install the program for all users on this machine, or for the current
user only.
6. Proceed with installation.

2.6 Updating Acronis Disk Director
To update Acronis Disk Director
1. Download the latest product update from the official Acronis web site.
2. Run the Acronis Disk Director setup file.
3. Click Update/Remove Acronis Disk Director.
4. Select Update.
5. Proceed with the update.

2.7 Removing Acronis Disk Director
To remove Acronis Disk Director
1. Go to Control panel, and then select Programs and Features (Add or Remove Programs in
Windows XP) > Acronis Disk Director > Uninstall.
2. Confirm your decision.

2.8 Upgrading Acronis Disk Director
Before proceeding with the upgrade, make sure that you have the license key for Acronis Disk
Director.
Upgrading from Acronis Disk Director 11
If you already have Disk Director 11 installed and want to upgrade it to Acronis Disk Director 12.5:
1. Remove Acronis Disk Director 11 from your machine.
2. Follow the on-screen instructions as described in Installing Acronis Disk Director (p. 8).
Upgrading from Acronis Disk Director 12
If you already have Disk Director 12 installed and want to upgrade it to Acronis Disk Director 12.5,
follow the instructions described in Installing Acronis Disk Director (p. 8).
Upgrading from the demo version of Acronis Disk Director 12.5
If you already have the demo version (p. 9) of Acronis Disk Director 12.5 installed and want to
upgrade it to a full version:
1. Run Acronis Disk Director.
2. Select Help > Enter license key from the top menu, and then type in your license key for Acronis
Disk Director.

2.9 Demo version information
The demo version of Acronis Disk Director is fully functional, except for the following limitations:
 All volume operations can be performed on volumes whose initial and resulting size is not larger
than 10 GB. Operations on volumes whose size is larger than 10 GB cannot be committed. 10 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

 The following disk operations can be committed only if the total size of all volumes on the disk is
not larger than 10 GB:
 MBR to GPT (p. 46) and vice versa (p. 47) disk conversion.
 Basic to dynamic and vice versa disk conversion.
 Clone basic disk (p. 45).
11 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

3 Basic concepts
This section gives you a clear understanding of basic and dynamic disks and volume types.
After reading this section, you will know the advantages and limitations of each possible volume
configuration. In addition, you will be able to decide what types of disks and volumes best suit your
needs for organizing data storage.
In this section
Basic and dynamic disks ………………………………………………………………………………………. 11
Types of basic volumes ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Types of dynamic volumes …………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Active, system, and boot volumes ………………………………………………………………………… 13
Dynamic volume types support ……………………………………………………………………………. 14
Volume alignment in disks with a 4-KB sector size ………………………………………………….. 15

3.1 Basic and dynamic disks
Each disk on your machine can be one of two types: basic or dynamic.
Basic disks
This is the type of disk that most computers originally have.
Basic disks can normally be used by any operating system, including any version of Windows.
A basic disk can store one or more volumes—called basic volumes. A basic volume cannot occupy
more than one disk.
When to use basic disks:
 On a machine that has only one hard disk drive
 On a machine that runs an older Windows operating system, or an operating system other than
Windows
By using Acronis Disk Director, you can convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk.
Dynamic disks
These disks provide a greater functionality as compared to basic disks.
Dynamic disks can be used only by the Windows operating systems starting with Windows 2000.
A dynamic disk can store one or more volumes—called dynamic volumes. Unlike a basic volume, a
dynamic volume can occupy more than one disk.
When to use dynamic disks. Dynamic disks are most effective if your machine has more than one
hard disk drive. In this case, you can:
 Create a large volume that occupies several disks.
 Add fault-tolerance to your system and data, by mirroring a volume—such as the one with the
operating system—to another disk. If a disk with one of these mirrors fails, no data will be lost on
such volume. 12 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

By using Acronis Disk Director, you can convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk. You may need to do so,
for example, to install an operating system other than Windows on that disk.
Converting a dynamic disk to basic may require deleting some volumes on it, such as volumes that
occupy more than one disk.

3.2 Types of basic volumes
A basic disk can store two types of volumes: primary volumes and logical volumes.
The main difference between a primary volume and a logical volume is that a primary volume can be
used as the system or active volume—that is, a volume from which the machine or its Windows
operating systems start.
On each basic GPT (p. 74) disk, you can create up to 128 primary volumes. The maximum volume size
on a GPT disk is 16 exabytes.
Unlike basic GPT disks, on each basic MBR (p. 76) disk, you can create either up to four primary
volumes, or up to three primary volumes plus an unlimited number of logical volumes. The maximum
volume size on an MBR disk is 2 terabytes.
If you are not planning to use more than four volumes on the disk, all volumes can be primary
volumes. Otherwise, you can leave the active volume and the system volume as primary volumes,
and then create as many logical volumes as required.
If the disk already has four primary volumes and you need to create a fifth volume, first convert one
of the volumes—but not the system or active volume—to a logical volume, as described in
Converting a primary volume to logical (p. 35), and then create a new logical volume.

3.3 Types of dynamic volumes
The following are the types of dynamic volumes that are supported by Acronis Disk
Director—provided that they are supported by the operating system, as shown in Dynamic volume
types support (p. 14).
Simple volume
A volume (p. 80) that consists of disk space from a single dynamic disk (p. 72).
Physically, a simple volume can occupy more than one region of disk space, which can be logically
perceived as a single contiguous region.
When you extend a simple volume to another disk, the volume becomes a spanned volume (p. 78).
When you add a mirror to a simple volume, the volume becomes a mirrored volume (p. 76).
Spanned volume
A volume that consists of disk space from two or more dynamic disks (p. 72), in portions that do not
need to be equally-sized.
A spanned volume can reside on up to 32 disks.
Unlike mirrored (p. 76) and RAID-5 volumes, spanned volumes are not fault-tolerant. Unlike striped
volumes (p. 78), spanned volumes do not provide faster data access. 13 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

Striped volume
A volume that resides on two or more dynamic disks and whose data is evenly distributed across
equally-sized portions of disk space (called stripes) on those disks.
Access to data on striped volumes is usually faster than on other types of dynamic volumes, because
it can be performed simultaneously on multiple hard disks.
Unlike a mirrored volume (p. 76), a striped volume does not contain redundant information, so it is
not fault-tolerant.
A striped volume is also known as a RAID-0 volume.
Mirrored volume
A fault-tolerant volume whose data is duplicated on two physical disks (p. 77).
Each of the two parts of a mirrored volume is called a mirror.
All of the data on one disk is copied to another disk to provide data redundancy. If one of the hard
disks fails, the data can still be accessed from the remaining hard disks.
Volumes that can be mirrored include the system volume (p. 79) and a boot volume (p. 70).
A mirrored volume is sometimes called a RAID-1 volume.
Note: No redundancy provided by the dynamic volumes architecture can replace the proper backup procedure.
If you want to be sure of the safety of your data, the best policy is to combine both precautions.
RAID-5 volume
A fault-tolerant volume (p. 80) whose data is striped in equally-sized blocks across an array of three
or more disks (p. 71).
Fault tolerance is achieved by using parity, a calculated value that can be used to reconstruct data in
case of a failure. Parity is also striped across the disk array. Parity is always stored on a different disk
than the data itself. If one of the hard disks fails, the portion of the RAID-5 volume that was on that
hard disk can be recreated from the remaining data and the parity.
A RAID-5 volume has a higher volume-size-to-disk-space ratio than a mirrored volume. For example,
suppose that you want to use 120 GB of disk space to create a fault-tolerant volume:
 By using two 60-GB disks, you can create a 60-GB mirrored volume.
 By using three 40-GB disks, you can create an 80-GB RAID-5 volume.

3.4 Active, system, and boot volumes
Some volumes on the disks of your machine contain information that is necessary for the machine to
start and for a particular operating system to run. Each such volume is called active, system, or boot,
depending on its function.
If only one Windows operating system is installed on your machine, a single volume is often the
active, system, and boot volume at the same time.
Because of their special role, you should use extra caution when performing operations with these
volumes. Some operations with these volumes have limitations as compared to ordinary volumes. 14 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

Active volume
This is the volume from which the machine starts after you switch it on.
The active volume usually contains one of the following programs:
 The operating system
 A program that enables you to choose which operating system to run (if more than one is
installed), such as GRUB
 A diagnostic or recovery tool that runs before the operating system, such as Acronis Startup
Recovery Manager
In Acronis Disk Director, the active volume is marked with a flag-like icon:
If you choose to run a Windows operating system, the start process continues from the volume
known as the system volume.
System volume
This is the volume from which any of the installed Windows operating systems starts—even if more
than one is installed.
The system volume contains files that are necessary to start Windows, such as boot.ini and Ntldr.
There is always one system volume, whereas each of the installed Windows operating systems
usually stores its files on its own volume, called a boot volume.
Boot volume
This is the volume on which the files of a particular Windows operating system are stored.
A boot volume contains folders such as the Program Files folder and the Windows folder.
Note: The notions of system volume and boot volume apply only to Windows operating systems.

3.5 Dynamic volume types support
The table below lists the operating systems that support certain dynamic volume types.

Simple Spanned Striped Mirrored RAID-5
Windows XP Home
– – – – –
Windows XP Professional
+ + + – –
Windows XP Professional x64
+ + + – –
Windows Vista Home Basic
+ + + – –
Windows Vista Home Premium
+ + + – –
Windows Vista Business
+ + + – –
Windows Vista Ultimate
+ + + – –
Windows 7 Starter
+ + + – –
Windows 7 Home Premium
+ + + – –
Windows 7 Professional
+ + + + –
Windows 7 Ultimate
+ + + + – 15 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

Windows 8
+ + + + –
Windows 8.1
+ + + + –
Windows 10
+ + + + –
Windows Server 2003 SP1+ any edition (including R2)
+ + + + +
Windows Server 2008 any edition (including R2)
+ + + + +
Windows Server 2012 any edition (including R2)
+ + + + +
Windows Server 2016 any edition except “Core” installation
+ + + + +

3.6 Volume alignment in disks with a 4-KB sector size
When a new volume is created, its beginning is aligned with the disk`s physical sector boundaries.
It ensures that each file system allocation unit (cluster) on the volume starts and ends on the
boundaries of the disk`s physical sectors. If the volume clusters are aligned with sectors, this volume
and all following volumes are also aligned. If clusters are not aligned with sectors, the volumes are
misaligned. Misalignment decreases the overall system performance and hardware lifetime.
When misalignment occurs
Volume misalignment occurs when you create a volume on a modern HDD or SSD drive that has a
4-KB sector size using a Windows operating systems earlier than Vista.
What is the cause of misalignment
All Windows operating systems earlier than Vista use a factor of 512 bytes to create volume clusters.
The volume start is aligned to 512-byte sectors. Also, these operating systems use the
Cylinder/Head/Sector (CHS) addressing scheme. Volumes created with this scheme are aligned by
cylinders/tracks of the disk.
Usually, a track consists of 63 physical sectors. Since the first track is reserved for the master boot
record (MBR) and other service purposes, the first volume starts from the beginning of the second
track of the disk. Therefore, volumes aligned by 63 sectors are not aligned with 4-KB sectors: 63
sectors by 512 bytes do not match with the integer number of 4-KB sectors.
Thus, the first created volume and all of the following volumes on the hard disk drive will be
misaligned.
Why misalignment is an important issue for hard disk drives
When a single bit of data is changed, the operating system entirely overwrites the cluster that
contains the changed data. But if misalignment occurs, the cluster will overlap more physical sectors
than it would have occupied if aligned. As a result, more physical sectors need to be erased and
rewritten each time data changes.
The redundant read/write operations noticeably slow down the disk speed and overall system
performance.
The same is true for SSD drives that have a 4-KB or larger sector (memory page) size. For SSD drives
misalignment decreases not only system performance, but also drive lifetime. SSD memory cells are
designed for a certain amount of read/write operations. Therefore, redundant read/write operations
lead to early degradation of the SSD drive. 16 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

How to avoid volume misalignment
The latest operating systems, starting from Windows Vista, already support the new sector size. Thus,
volumes created with these operating systems will be properly aligned.
Many hard disk drive manufacturers supply their modern drives with controllers that can shift
addressing offset to one sector (63 sector becomes 64 sector), so volumes will appear aligned.
How to work with 4-KB sector size disks using Acronis Disk Director
Suppose that you added a new 4-KB sector size hard disk drive with to a machine that is running
Windows XP only. There are no volumes on this drive yet. If you start creating volumes on this disk
using Windows XP, you may experience some slowdown of the system performance while accessing
the disk. To ensure proper volume alignment and normal access to volumes on this disk, perform the
following steps:
1. Create a bootable media with Acronis Disk Director—see How to create bootable media.
2. Run Acronis Disk Director from a bootable media—see Running Acronis Disk Director (p. 17).
3. Select the Bootable media OS disk layout—see Disk layout (p. 21).
4. Create volumes—see Creating a volume (p. 26).
If Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 is installed in addition to Windows XP,
select the disk layout of either of those operating systems.
After the volumes are created, you can perform other operations with them (including changing their
size) under any disk layout.
How to fix volume misalignment using Acronis Disk Director
Suppose that you have already created basic volumes on a disk with a 4-KB sector size, using
Windows XP. Volumes already contain data. To align the misaligned volumes on the disk using
Acronis Disk Director, clone this disk to another and then clone it back—see Disk cloning (p. 45). After
cloning, Acronis Disk Director shifts the first volume start with 1MB offset, all the disk volumes will be
aligned properly.
17 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

4 Getting started
After reading this section, you will know how to run and use Acronis Disk Director, what precautions
you should take, and how to perform the most common tasks you might need.
In this section
Precautions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
User privileges ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17
Running Acronis Disk Director ……………………………………………………………………………… 17
Acronis Disk Director main window ………………………………………………………………………. 18
Disk and volume information ……………………………………………………………………………….. 19
Disk layout …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21
Performing operations ………………………………………………………………………………………… 21
Log ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 22
Collecting system information ……………………………………………………………………………… 24
How to ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 24

4.1 Precautions
To avoid any possible disk and volume structure damage or data loss, please take all necessary
precautions and follow these simple rules:
1. Back up the disk whose volumes will be created or managed. Having your most important data
backed up to another hard disk or CD will allow you to work on disk volumes being reassured
that your data is safe.
Acronis has an extremely effective comprehensive data backup and recovery solution — Acronis True Image.
It creates a data or disk backup copy stored in a compressed archive file that can be restored in case of an
accident.
2. Check volumes (p. 39) to make sure they are fully functional and do not contain any bad sectors
or file system errors.
3. Do not perform any disk/volume operations while running other software that has low-level disk
access. Acronis Disk Director must obtain exclusive access to the target disk/volume. This means
no other disk management utilities (such as the Windows Disk Management utility) can access it
at that time. If you receive a message stating that the disk/volume cannot be blocked, close the
disk management applications that use this disk/volume and start again. If you cannot determine
which applications use the disk/volume, close them all.
With these simple precautions, you will protect yourself against accidental data loss.

4.2 User privileges
In order to perform any operation using Acronis Disk Director, you must be logged on as a member of
the Administrators group.

4.3 Running Acronis Disk Director
Running Acronis Disk Director in Windows
1. Select Start -> All Programs -> Acronis -> Disk Director -> Acronis Disk Director. 18 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

2. In the disk management area, examine the current layout of disks and volumes.
3. Add one or more management operations on disks and volumes to the queue of pending
operations. These operations will take effect only after you commit them.
4. In the disk management area, examine how the layout of disks and volumes will look when the
pending operations are completed.
5. Commit the pending operations.
Some operations, such as changing the size of a volume from which Windows starts, may require
restarting the machine.
Running Acronis Disk Director from a bootable media
Acronis Disk Director has a bootable version that can be run on a bare metal system, or on a crashed
machine that cannot boot normally, or even on a non-Windows system, like Linux. A bootable
version of Acronis Disk Director is created with Acronis Bootable Media Builder.
To run Acronis Disk Director, boot the machine from a bootable media, and then select Acronis Disk
Director.
While working under bootable media (p. 58), Acronis Disk Director can perform almost all the
operations on any disks and volumes that can be performed under Windows.

4.4 Acronis Disk Director main window
The main window of Acronis Disk Director is your main working place with the product.

The main window of Acronis Disk Director 19 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

1. Menu
The menu provides access to all the actions, tools and settings of Acronis Disk Director.
2. Toolbar
The toolbar displays the current disk layout (p. 21) and lets you perform the following actions on
pending operations: Commit (p. 22), Undo and Redo (p. 22).
Disk Management view
The disk management area contains the table of disks and volumes and the graphical panel.
3. Table
The table lists all the disks and their volumes and lets you select any of them to perform operations.
You can sort volumes by columns. Click the column`s header to sort the volumes in ascending order.
Click it once again to sort the volumes in descending order.
If required, you can hide the shown columns and show the hidden ones.
To show or hide columns
1. Right-click any column header to open the context menu. The menu items that are ticked off
correspond to the column headers presented in the table.
2. Click the items you want to be displayed/hidden.
4. Graphical panel
The graphical panel provides visual information about all the disks and their volumes for better
understanding of the volume configuration. The graphical panel also lets you select both the volumes
and disks to perform operations on them.
5. Actions and tools pane
Provides quick access to the operations that can be performed on the selected disk or volume (see
Volume operations (p. 26) and Disk operations (p. 44)) and Acronis tools (see Tools (p. 52)).

4.5 Disk and volume information
In the table and graphical panel—along with the type, size, letter, partitioning scheme, and other
information about disks and volumes—you can also check their status. The status helps you to
estimate the condition of a disk or volume.

4.5.1 Disk statuses
Check the disk status to estimate whether the disk is functioning without problems. Disk statuses are
displayed in the graphical panel below their capacity.
Here are brief descriptions of the most common disk statuses:
 Online
A basic or dynamic disk is accessible and functioning correctly. This is the normal disk status. You
can change an online disk to offline—see Changing a disk status: online to offline.
 Online (Errors) 20 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

I/O errors are found on a dynamic disk. If a disk has errors, we recommended you to repair it as
soon as possible to avoid data loss.
 Offline
A dynamic disk is accessible in read only mode (if you switched it to offline previously), or not
accessible at all (corrupted or intermittently unavailable). You can make the disk that you
previously switched to offline, fully accessible—see Changing a disk status: offline to online.
 Foreign
This status occurs when you move a dynamic disk to your machine from another computer. To
access data on foreign disks, you have to add these disks to your machine`s system
configuration—see Importing foreign disks (p. 50), or convert them to basic disks—see Disk
conversion: dynamic to basic.
 Missing
A dynamic disk is corrupted, powered down, or disconnected.
 Not Initialized
A disk does not contain a valid signature. After you install a new disk, the disk must be registered
in the operating system—see Disk initialization. Only then, you can create volumes on that disk.
To find out more information about disk statuses, please refer to the Disk status descriptions article
on the Microsoft website.
Important! For instructions explaining how to repair disks with an Online (Errors), Offline, or Missing status,
please refer to the Troubleshooting Disk Management article on the Microsoft website.

4.5.2 Volume statuses
Check a volume status to make sure the volume is accessible and works without problems. Volume
statuses appear both in the table and graphical panel.
Here are brief descriptions of the most common volume statuses:
 Healthy
A basic or dynamic volume is accessible and functioning correctly. This is the normal volume
status.
The Healthy status often has a number of substatuses that are displayed in the table view (in
parentheses) and in the graphical view (below the volume size and separated by a semicolon).
The System, Boot and Active substatuses are the most common and described in the Active,
system, and boot volumes (p. 13) section.
The healthy volume whose file system is corrupted is marked with the following icon:
 Failed
A dynamic volume (striped, or spanned) cannot be started automatically, or one of the
underlying disks is missing.
 Failed Redundancy
The data on a mirrored volume is no longer fault tolerant because one of the dynamic disks is not
online. You can access the volume until the remaining dynamic disk is online. To avoid data loss,
we recommend you to repair the volume as soon as possible.
To find out more information about disk statuses, please refer to the Volume status descriptions
article on the Microsoft website.
Important! For instructions explaining how to repair volumes with erroneous statuses, please refer to the
Troubleshooting Disk Management article on the Microsoft website. 21 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

4.6 Disk layout
On a machine with two or more operating systems, representation of disks and volumes depends on
which operating system is currently running.
A volume may have a different letter in different Windows operating systems. For example, volume
E: might appear as D: or L: when you boot another Windows operating system installed on the same
machine. It is also possible that this volume will have the same letter E: under any Windows
operating system installed on the machine. Moreover, a dynamic disk created in one Windows
operating system is considered as a Foreign Disk in another Windows operating system or might
even be unsupported by this operating system.
When you need to perform a disk management operation on such machine, it is necessary to specify
for which operating system the disk management operation will be performed, i.e. specify the disk
layout.
The name of the currently selected operating system is shown on the toolbar after “Disk layout:”.
Click the operating system name to select another operating system in the Operating System
Selection window.
Under bootable media, this window appears immediately after Acronis Disk Director is launched. The
disk layout will be displayed according to the operating system you select.

4.7 Performing operations
In Acronis Disk Director, all operations on disks and volumes are performed in the same way.
To perform any operation
1. Do any of the following:
 Click the disk or the volume, and then select the required action in the Actions menu.
 Click the disk or the volume, and then select the required action on the Actions pane.
 Right-click the disk or volume, and select the required action in the context menu.
Note: the list of available actions in the Actions menu, the context menu and the Actions pane
depends on the selected volume or disk type. The same also applies to unallocated space.
2. You will be forwarded to the operation specific window, or the wizard page, where you have to
specify the operation`s settings.
3. Click OK. The operation will not be performed immediately, but will be considered pending (p.
22) and added to the pending operation list.
You can prepare a sequence of operations to be performed on disks and volumes. All pending
operations will be performed only after you commit them.
Nevertheless, the results of any pending disk or volume operation are immediately displayed in the
product main window. For example, if you create a volume, it will be immediately shown in the table
view at the top, as well as in the graphical view at the bottom. Any volume changes, including
changing the volume letter or label, are also immediately displayed.
While an operation is pending it can be easily undone and redone—see Undoing pending operations
(p. 22).
22 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

4.7.1 Pending operations
Almost all the operations are considered pending before you commit them. Until then, Acronis Disk
Director will only demonstrate the new volume structure that will result from the operations,
planned to be performed on disks and volumes.
This approach enables you to control all planned operations, double-check the intended changes,
and, if necessary, undo operations before they are executed.
All pending operations are added to the pending operations list that can be viewed in the Pending
operations window.
To view and commit pending operations
1. On the toolbar, click Commit pending operations.
2. In the Pending operations window, view and examine the list of pending operations.
3. Click Proceed to execute the operations. You will not be able to undo any operations after you
choose to proceed the operation.
To quit the Pending operations window without committing, click Cancel.
If you try to exit Acronis Disk Director while there are pending operations that are not yet committed,
you will be asked whether you want to commit them. Quitting the program without committing the
pending operations effectively cancels them.

4.7.2 Undoing pending operations
Any pending operation can be undone or redone.
To undo the latest pending operation in the list
do any of the following:
 Click the Undo button on the toolbar
 Press Ctrl + Z
Undoing an operation results in canceling one or more pending operations. While the list is
populated, this action is available.
To redo the last pending operation that was undone
do any of the following:
 Click the Redo button on toolbar
 Press Ctrl + Y

4.8 Log
The Log stores the history of operations performed on the machine using Acronis Disk Director. For
instance, when you create a new volume, the respective entry is added to the log. With the log, you
can examine information about disk and volume operations, including reasons any for failures.
Physically, a log is a collection of XML files stored on the machine.
Operations performed using bootable media are logged as well, but the log’s lifetime is limited to a
current session. Rebooting eliminates the log, but you can save the log to a file while the machine is
booted with the media. 23 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

To browse the Log
Select View -> View log from the menu.
Way of working with the log
 Use filters to display the desired log entries. You can also hide the unneeded columns and show
the hidden ones. See the Filtering and sorting log entries (p. 24) section for details.
 In the log table, select the log entry (or log entries) to take action on it—see Actions on log
entries (p. 23).
 Use the Information panel to review detailed information on the selected log entry. The panel is
collapsed by default. To expand the panel, click the chevron. The content of the panel is also
duplicated in the Log entry details window.

4.8.1 Actions on log entries
The following is a guideline for you to perform actions on log entries.
All the operations described below are performed by clicking the corresponding items on the log
toolbar.
To Do
Select a single log entry Click on it.
Select multiple log
entries
 non-contiguous: hold down CTRL and click the log entries individually
 contiguous: select a single log entry, then hold down SHIFT and click
another entry. All the entries between the first and last selections will be
selected too.
View a log entry’s details 1. Select a log entry.
2. Do one of the following
 Click View Details. The log entry`s details will be displayed in a
separate window.
 Expand the Information panel, by clicking the chevron.
Save the selected log
entries to a file
1. Select a single log entry or multiple log entries.
2. Click Save Selected to File.
3. In the opened window, specify a path and a name for the file.
Save all the log entries
to a file
1. Make sure, that the filters (p. 24) are not set.
2. Click Save All to File.
3. In the opened window, specify a path and a name for the file.
Save all the filtered log
entries to a file
1. Set filters (p. 24) to get a list of the log entries that satisfy the filtering
criteria.
2. Click Save All to File.
3. In the opened window, specify a path and a name for the file. As a result,
the log entries of that list will be saved.
Delete all the log entries
Click Clear Log.
All the log entries will be deleted from the log, and a new log entry will be
created. It will contain information about who deleted the entries and when.
24 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

4.8.2 Filtering and sorting log entries
The following is a guideline for you to filter and sort log entries.
To Do
Display log entries for a
given time period
1. In the From field, select the date starting from which to display the log
entries.
2. In the To field, select the date up to which to display the log entries.
Filter log entries by
owner and сode
Type the required value (owner name, code number) in the field below the
respective column header.
As a result you will see that the list of log entries fully or just partly coincide
with the entered value.
Filter log entries by type Press or release the following toolbar buttons:
to filter error messages
to filter warning messages
to filter information messages
Sort log entries by date
and time; type; message
Click the column`s header to sort the log entries in ascending order. Click it
once again to sort the log entries in descending order.
Configuring the log table
By default, the table has three columns that are displayed, the others are hidden. If required, you can
hide the shown columns and show the hidden ones.
To show or hide columns
1. Right-click any column header to open the context menu. The menu items that are ticked off
correspond to the column headers presented in the table.
2. Click the items you want to be displayed/hidden.

4.9 Collecting system information
The system information collection tool gathers system information about the machine and saves it to
a file. You may want to provide this file when contacting Acronis technical support.
To collect system information
1. Select from the top menu Help > Collect system information from `machine name`.
2. Specify where to save the file with system information.

4.10 How to
How to create a volume that spans across several disks?
Create a dynamic volume (spanned or striped) by using the Create volume (p. 26) wizard.
How to increase a volume size at the expense of other volumes` unallocated space?
Resize (p. 28) the volume.
How to merge two volumes without losing your data?
Use the Merge operation.
How to make the existing volume fault-tolerant? 25 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

Add a mirror to this volume.
How to recover an accidentally deleted basic volume that has important data?
Use the Recovery Expert (p. 59) tool.
How to replace a hard disk without reinstalling the operating system and applications?
Use the Clone (p. 45) operation.
How to move dynamic disks from one system to another?
Use the Import foreign disks (p. 50) operation.
How to get quick access to the data stored on a Linux volume under Windows?
Use the Browse files (p. 39) operation.
How to place files from a Linux volume into a folder on a Windows volume?
Use the Merge operation, selecting the Windows volume as the main volume.
How to erase all information on the volume?
Use the Format (p. 32) operation.
How to increase the system performance?
Use the Defragmentation (p. 39) operation.
How to verify the logical integrity of a file system on a volume and repair any errors found?
Use the Check (p. 39) operation.
How to explore data stored on a volume before performing any operation?
Use the Browse files (p. 39) operation.
How to work with hard disk drives that use 4-KB sector size?
Follow the guidelines described in the Volume alignment in disks having a 4-KB sector size
section.
How to save, copy and restore the MBR?
Read the Usage examples (p. 64) section of Acronis Disk Editor.
How to change the volume`s cluster size?
Use the Change cluster size (p. 40) operation.
How clean up the disk?
Use the Clean up disk (p. 51) operation.
26 Copyright © Acronis International GmbH, 2003-2019

5 Volume operations
This section

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