XactCopy Technical FAQ
I've been using XactCopy with no problems until I upgraded to Windows 2000/XP - What happened?
XactCopy was created to run on Windows 9x/ME only. Please visit our online store to purchase SystemGuardian/XC 2000 which is an entirely new product with a new explorer interface that has all the functionality of XactCopy and more.
I am getting an error message that says runtime error 6 or 9. What should I do?
error is usually associated with the need to perform a low-level
the backup hard disk. Perform a low-level format on the backup drive and run
the software again.
If you are still experiencing this error message after performing a LLF on the backup drive, it's being caused by an unrecognized partitioning scheme. People who have used a program such as Ghost to copy their system drive to a new larger drive are susceptible to this problem. XactCopy expects and functions only with partition schemes properly laid out by programs like FDISK. The solution is to backup the system drive, low-level format it and repartition it with FDISK.
Do I have to perform a low-level format on the drive I intend to use as a backup?
Only on hard disk drives previously used as a DPSR drive. The desired backup drive must not have any partitions present. Again, you only need to do a partial LLF as described in our How-To Low-Level Format
How do I LLF (Low-Level Format) a hard drive?
Disclaimer: A LLF will destroy all information on a hard drive and effectively render it in the same condition that it arrived from the manufacturer... blank with nothing on it. If you are not familiar with DOS and drive channels seek professional assistance from your local computer technician. Use these procedures and software at your own risk.
Boot the computer into DOS mode or use a 98 boot disk. Use your favorite Low-Level Format utility to erase the first few sectors of the hard drive. You may abort the LLF after the first few seconds as you do not need to LLF the entire drive to render it ready. To help ensure you don't accidentally LLF the wrong drive, it is recommended that only the drive you intend to LLF is installed in the system.
If I make the backup drive my new primary and it is larger than the old primary, how do I reclaim unused space on the disk?
You can use Fdisk to add additional partitions to the drive or use a dynamic partitioning utility such as Partition Magic to extend existing partitions on the disk. Note: To continue using XactCopy as a backup/recovery utility you must install a new non-partitioned hard disk of equal or greater capacity as the new primary drive.
If I make my larger backup drive my new primary, can I make my old primary into my new backup drive?
Yes, you can make your old primary the new backup drive by performing a low-level format on the drive, configuring the drive as a backup and then initializing a full backup.
I need to "unhide" the DPSR drive. How do I accomplish this?
Boot your system off the backup drive. When you boot the backup drive and receive the message "backup drive restored - reboot your system", the DPSR drive will no longer be hidden.
Can I use XactCopy in a system with RAID?
Yes, XactCopy can be configured to work in a RAID environment.
Can I use XactCopy even if I'm already using two hard drives now?
Yes. If you want to back up both system drives, you will need to install two DPSR drives. XactCopy will backup any number of drives that your operating system and hardware supports.
Why does my HP or Epson printer not work after running XactCopy?
HP's Job Manager TSR directly conflicts with the memory addresses XactCopy uses. The latest version of XactCopy corrects this issue. If you experience this problem, please request an update from
Why does my anti-virus software detect XactCopy as a virus?
Due to the nature of XactCopy hiding drives from the operating system, some Anti-Virus programs interpret XactCopy's activities as a virus. There are currently no known issues with anti-virus software and XactCopy. If you experience a problem while using XactCopy and anti-virus software, please email us a bug report.
Are there any systems that are incompatible with XactCopy?
Yes. Compaq computers that have a special boot drive will not function with XactCopy 95/98. We are currently working on an update for these systems.
What is the BIOS Boot Specification (BBS)?
The BIOS Boot Specification (BBS) Version 1.01 is an emerging standard co-developed by Phoenix, Compaq, Intel, and Microsoft. The purpose of this new functionality is to allow the end user selection of multiple boot devices and the ability to change the boot order. In addition, this functionality utilizes Plug and Play technology to identify boot devices.
Is XactCopy compatible with Partition Magic?
Yes, with this condition... That when you create, modify or delete partitions with Partition Magic, there is NO free space before or between the remaining partitions. Free space after the last partition is acceptable.
When I run Norton Disk Doctor (NDD), it asks if I am having trouble accessing partitions on my DPSR drive. What should I do?
NDD is having a problem interpreting the DPSR drive. DO NOT attempt to recover the partitions. There is nothing wrong with the drive. In NDD, check only the system drives and disable drive checking on DPSR drives.
Can I use my removable drive as the DPSR drive?
We support removable fixed disk pull-out drawers. We do not officially support JAZ, Zip, SyQuest or other removable devices. However, in our own offices we are successfully backing up and restoring data to a JAZ drive, but we never intend to boot from the JAZ. If you are using a removable drive as the DPSR drive, it is likely that the backup will not be bootable. We do not recommend using a removable drive for disaster recovery purposes.
Do I have to use the same brand or exact size of hard drive?
No. The DPSR drive needs only to be of equal or larger size than the system drive.
Can I use a combination of drive interfaces such as IDE to SCSI?
No. XactCopy was designed to backup from like drives. IDE to IDE or SCSI to SCSI. We know of some people who are successfully using SCSI to IDE for backups, but this is not an officially supported configuration.
How do I boot my DPSR drive after a system crash?
This depends on how your DPSR drive was installed. If you have two IDE channels on your motherboard and your system drive is installed on the Primary IDE channel as a "Master", and the DPSR drive is installed on the Secondary IDE channel as a "Master", your system can be recovered very quickly. Following a system drive failure, you would enter the BIOS and remove the entry for the failed drive . Then boot then DPSR drive to make it a bootable system drive. Not including the time it takes to reboot and load the operating system, this procedure takes about one minute to perform.
If your system is configured with both drives on the Primary IDE channel (one as a "Master" and the other as a "Slave"), it may be necessary to open the computer's case to gain access to the disk drives, unless your BIOS supports BBS which allows you to choose the bootable devices in your system.
If there is available space in the front of your computer's case, you can install commercially available fixed disk pull-out drawers (street prices starting at $16.00), which eliminates the need to open the computer to gain access to the drives.
Can I use XactCopy to store multiple archival backups?
. XactCopy's primary function is to perform full-system backups for the purpose of immediate system recovery. XactCopy is not an archiving utility, rather it provides a very recent copy of your entire system drive so that if the drive fails, it can be immediately replaced with the backup drive, minimizing downtime and data loss trauma.
Can I use XactCopy on a network drive?
No. Due to the nature in which XactCopy was designed (sector to sector) we have not yet included the ability to copy a "mapped" network drive. Support for over the wire backups is not yet supported as well.
How do I protect my data from fire and other disasters?
If you use pull-out drawers to house your drives, you can take your DPSR drive out of the system without shutting down (hot swappable) and take it off-site or place it in a fireproof safe.