I was wondering if this sounded familiar...?
I used the trial version of Acronis TI 11, and being new to the whole thing, did stuff in the wrong order (the Help section isn't obsessively pedagogical to my mind, but these things happen).
I first did a full backup (image?) of my PC, saved as a .tib file on an external HD.
I've come to learn since then that I should have created a recovery disc first thing, but the upside is I have found excellent instructions on how to do that.
The problem came with the Secure Zone, which Acronis TI repeatedly failed to create. It gathered what it needed (just my C drive, no previous partitions in it that I'm aware of) and promised to create a SZ in a hidden partition as soon as I rebooted.
Three times this failed.
I never got as far as a splash screen or similar, just an 'active' blue screen (at reboot) saying Acronis was working, then an Error message saying it had failed, after which reboot continued after I had told it to proceed with an 'Ignore' option, since the 'Retry' one failed.
Acronis wanted to use FAT32 for the SZ, btw, don't know if this would be an issue on an NTFS drive?
In any event, the 24GB or so it wanted for the SZ are now AWOL, and all I have is a message saying it was for no good...
I haven't seen this particular issue addressed at the A. user's forum, although mention has been made of hidden Goback (or similar Norton/Symantec software) folders messing things up.
A colorful view from WinDirStat proclaims I have about 20GB of those under Recycler>NProtect, which had been invisible until then.
Problem is, if I feel confident that the SZ issue can be handled, I wouldn't mind using Acronis, but my trial period has expired (I was busy).
Basically this is a lengthy way of asking whether the Recyler files are the probable culprit, or if the problem is another common one which can be solved easily.
I don't know if I can get another trial version to test things on, which is rather less than ideal, of course
, although I can give it a shot.
In any event, all advice is most welcome.