Bare metal recovery: Making the hard disk with image data bootable – update of this post; requires a licensed version of trueimage 2016 home (to be able to either download the acronis standalone iso from acronis or to create the iso with acronis media builder).

Step 1: Initialization of the disk using windows diskpart (compare this post); all data on this disk gets erased; tested with diskpart of windows 10:

  • list disk
  • select disk 1 (be careful to select the external disk which will be erased)
  • clean
  • convert gpt (automatically creates a 100 MB msr partition which remains unused)
  • create partition efi size=512
  • format fs=fat32 quick label=EFI
  • create partition primary size=2048 (bootloader and acronis)
  • create partition primary (use remaining space for image data)
  • exit

Step 2: Continue with linux; tested with ubuntu 16.04.

Step 2: Prepare and format the hard disk:

  • sudo su
  • gdisk -l /dev/sdb (be careful to select the external disk which has been prepared in step 1)
  • use df -h to show if any partitions of /dev/sdb are mounted and unmount them
  • gdisk /dev/sdb (be careful to select the external disk – replace sdb by your disk sd… in the instructions below!)
    • p
    • t
      3 <enter> (sets type of partition 3 to linux; do not set the data partition 4 to linux – else trueimage won’t allow to read/write tib files)
    • x
    • a
      2 <enter> (set gpt partition flag bios bootable, used by extlinux boot loader)
    • w
  • mkfs.ext2 -L BootExtHD /dev/sdb3
  • mkfs.ext4 -L DataExtHD /dev/sdb4

Step 3: Install extlinux to make the hard disk bootable in bios mode:

  • mount /dev/sdb3 /mnt
  • mkdir /mnt/extlinux
  • extlinux -i /mnt/extlinux
  • touch /mnt/extlinux/extlinux.conf
  • mcedit /mnt/extlinux/extlinux.conf (compare these instructions on
    • DEFAULT ti2016
      SAY booting TrueImage 2016 from USB disk with extlinux
      LABEL ti2016
      KERNEL /acronis/dat10.dat
      APPEND quiet force_modules=usbhid lib80211=off
      INITRD /acronis/dat11.dat,/acronis/dat12.dat
    • my machine crashes if lib80211.ko gets loaded (ti2016 build 6571)
      else parameter lib80211=off is not neccessary
  • dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr/gptmbr.bin of=/dev/sdb (add a syslinux/extlinux compatible mbr to the hard disk)

Step 4: Install grub to make the hard disk bootable in (u)efi secure boot mode; assumes that ubuntu 16.04 has been installed with grub efi boot loader and that loading of unsigned kernel (modules) has been enabled:
mokutil –disable-validation (has to be run as root, disables kernel validation at reboot; boot loader grub then complains insecure boot.)

  • mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt2
  • mkdir /mnt2/EFI
  • copy /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu to /mnt2/EFI/ubuntu
  • edit /mnt2/EFI/ubuntu/grub.cfg
    • run: blkid /dev/sdb3
    • replace the uuid filesystem number in grub.cfg by the UUID number shown by blkid
    • remove grub hint hd0,gpt6 (in case your ubuntu (boot) partition is sda6)
    • replace set prefix=($root)’/boot/grub’
      by set prefix=($root)’/grub’
    • e.g.:
      search.fs_uuid 4164bfdd-bfbe-464a-9e7f-1ec096f84c2d root
      set prefix=($root)'/grub'
      configfile $prefix/grub.cfg
  • umount /mnt2
  • mkdir /mnt/grub
  • copy the contents of directory /boot/grub/ to /mnt/grub/
  • delete /mnt/grub/grubenv
  • edit /mnt/grub/grub.cfg
    • set default="0"
      set timeout="10"
    • taken from ubuntu:
      function load_video {
      if [ x$feature_all_video_module = xy ]; then
      insmod all_video
      insmod efi_gop
      insmod efi_uga
      insmod ieee1275_fb
      insmod vbe
      insmod vga
      insmod video_bochs
      insmod video_cirrus
    • taken from ubuntu (but replace filesystem UUID number ):
      insmod part_gpt
      insmod ext2
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 4164bfdd-bfbe-464a-9e7f-1ec096f84c2d
      gfxmode text
    • again using these instructions on
      menuentry "Acronis TruImage Home 2016 on USB disk" {
      set quiet=1
      set gfxpayload=1024x768x32,1024x768
      set mbrcrcs=on
      # bug: kernel module lib80211 crashes kernel in build 6571 (ti 64bit)
      linux /acronis/dat10.dat lib80211=off quiet force_modules=usbhid
      initrd /acronis/dat11.dat /acronis/dat12.dat

Step 5: Copy acronis trueimage 2016 from iso to hard disk:

  • mkdir /mnt/acronis
  • loop mount the acronis iso file (e.g. mount -o loop acronis.iso /mnt2)
  • copy the files dat10.dat, dat11.dat and dat12.dat to directory /mnt/acronis
  • umount /mnt

Step 6: enable to boot on a mac mini

  • The builtin boot selector of a mac mini expects the grub efi file inside the efi partition at it’s official place:
    EFI/boot/bootx64.efi (or EFI/boot/bootia32.efi: see step 7)
  • to configure grub as official boot loader simply copy
    MokManager.efi, shimx64.efi, grubx64.efi and grub.cfg
    from EFI/ubuntu/ to EFI/boot/ and
    rename shimx64.efi to bootx64.efi
  • Now the boot selector of OS X on a newer mac mini (e.g. late 2012) shows
    an USB disk with subtitle EFI Boot (keep alt/option key pressed on power on to start the boot selector)

Step 7 (optional): enable to boot on older mac minis (late 2007, 5.1)

  • These systems work with 32 bit efi (grub-mkimage -O i386-efi -d /usr/lib/grub/i386-efi -o grubia32.efi ...)
  • Trial & error showed that grubia32.efi created in ubuntu 16.04 (apt-get install grub-efi-ia32-bin) did load acronis true image, but keyboard and mouse remained disabled
  • Multiple sources (like this blog: My Solution How To Boot A Linux Live System) describe that grubia32.efi contained inside zip archive ISO-2-USB EFI-Booter for Mac 0.01 beta works fine
  • For some reason unknown to me this older version of grub does not block keyboard and mouse;
    but it’s command initrd does not load multiple files
  • Copy dat11.dat and dat12.dat into one file dat1112.dat:
    cp dat11.dat dat1112.dat
    cat dat12.dat >> dat1112.dat

    and in grub/grub.cfg replace
    initrd /acronis/dat11.dat /acronis/dat12.dat
    initrd /acronis/dat1112.dat
  • Copy the older version of grub (local copy) to EFI/boot/bootia32.efi
  • Now it boots as described in step 6. But be prepared to wait 3 minutes until the efi32 bios has loaded the 85 MB initial ramdisk of acronis trueimage 2016

Step 8: Try to boot from this hard disk on efi and on bios systems.

  • Without step 6 on one of my systems the builtin boot selector did not show my usb disk,
    but it did show an entry boot from efi file:

    • this allowed to navigate into /EFI/ubuntu on the usb disk
    • then shimx64.efi had to be selected


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