Fixing an Acronis True Image 2016 Hang During Backup – Another Solution

Since posting my solution to the backup hanging Slava from Acronis posted another, more directly solution I’d not seen anywhere else. You can modify the backup’s config file and set use_vss=false to avoid the issue.

See details on the Acronis forum.

Fixing an Acronis True Image 2016 Hang During Backup

Update:

There’s a more direct solution available but the original solution I found is below.

The Problem

In the last month or so, my copy of Acronis True Image 2016 has been hanging during the scheduled backup every night. It hangs while showing the calculating remaining time status. Seems to fit the description talked about in the Acronis forums. The posted solution that seem to make the most sense was the problem with Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy (the VSS service) features but I didn’t want to just disable that service as suggested.

Looking for the Solution

Being a techie and knowing Windows pretty well I knew services could be enabled and disabled from the command line using the SC commands. I figured combining that with True Image’s ability to run commands before and after a backup I could disable and reenable VSS and fix the problem. The problem with that is the SC commands require admin level privileges to run. Trying to automate that without causing a User Access Control (UAC) prompt was something to overcome. I didn’t know that this would be a problem while the backup was being run but I knew I didn’t want it to be one.

While looking for a way around that I found this post at How-To Geek and another at TechRepublic. They talk about using an on demand scheduled task set to use elevated privileges and then calling that task from a lower privilege session via the schtask command. Seemed to fit my needs nicely. Continue reading “Fixing an Acronis True Image 2016 Hang During Backup”

Introduction

This site sat idle for a long time and since I just resurrected it an introduction is in order.

I’ve recently gotten back into photography since I got a DSLR (Canon Rebel T5i) and thought was a good excuse to bring the site back to life. It’s been fun getting back into it, relearning what I once knew from the film SLR days and learning new stuff. Learning photography in the digital age sure is faster than it was back in the film days and with all the settings recorded with the pictures it is easy to study what you’ve done.

I also played with a software security blog for a while but it’s been idle too so I’ve consolidated the content here and will let that site fade away.

An Experienced Newb

We’ve all been newbs at one point or another in our lives. Have you ever been an experienced newb? Of course it happens. Just because you’ve got years of experience doesn’t mean you don’t encounter new processes or new procedures. You need to pick up a new skill. You get handed a new tool. You change jobs and the new company does things differently.

It can be tough to an experienced newb. You’ve done it all before. You don’t want to ask questions. You don’t want to show how rusty some skills are. You don’t want to look like a newb or a n00b. (Yes there’s a difference!) You’re supposed to be an old pro. You know your fellow techies aren’t always gentle with newbs and can be evil to n00bs. RTFM! But reading the manuals is tough when you’ve been doing things for so long because you may know 90% or 95% of what’s there and you have to wade through everything to find that 5% or 10% you don’t know. You can’t search for it because you don’t know what you don’t know. Or your find the new stuff but maybe the new company uses different terms and a different language and things aren’t clear. (Especially fun coming out of the US DoD work where they can NEVER use the standard terms. Ever do the side-straddle-hop? You probably know it as the jumping-jack.)

Despite seventeen years in the information security business, I find myself in that situation now. I’m an experienced newb. New company, new processes, new procedures, new report standards. I’m no longer following processes and procedures I helped create and writing reports I’m used to writing. I’m an experienced newb.

I can flounder around and slowly figure things out costing time and money or I can check the ego and start asking questions. Ego checked.

How do you all do…?

What’s your standard on…?

How long do you spend doing…?

I”m rusty on this, is it really as simple as…?

Hats off to my fellow Cigitalites. These guys sure seem to welcome the newb questions even from an old pro and answer them eagerly.

I’m working through my time as an experienced newb. Past that necessary ego check and off to learning how we do business. It’s been fun and I expect it will continue to be.

Dual Monitor Linux Virtual Machine Strangeness

VirtualBox’s seamless mode is a pretty neat way to work with a virtual machine and a great way of working with two different operating systems at the same time in an almost seamless way. Windows from both the host machine and the virtual machines can exist side by side almost as if they are the machine. No more working with the virtual machine in its own isolated window. It does require having the VirtualBox Guest Additions installed on the virtual machine but once installed you are ready for seamless mode. To get to seamless mode you use ctrl+l if you have not set a different host key.

On a single monitor things are pretty simple and seamless mode mostly just works. On a dual monitor system you can get some strangeness.

First, I am working with a Windows 7 host with Kali Linux and Samurai WTF virtual machines for security testing. I have not tried other Linux distributions this way yet but if there are issues there the fixes may be similar.

Setting up a VM to use dual monitors is simple using the VM’s display settings. Set the monitor count to 2 and increase the video memory until you get to at least an acceptable amount if not more like I have. VirtualBox will let you set too low a memory setting so watch this! Continue reading “Dual Monitor Linux Virtual Machine Strangeness”