My systems are running XP SP3 with all the current patches. I won’t go into a long story about trying to clone my pata WD320GB drive to a new sata WD500GB drive (I am in the process of upgrading to a faster and bigger drive). I too had to create a bootable CD to get Acronis to run on my systems. I did not have any partitioning problems and it appeared that the cloning went well.
One system is used for video editing and when I tried to open my editing software I was told that I needed to reinstall my software (files missing)? I went back to the 320GB drive and everything worked OK. So I recloned the 500GB drive and when I tried to run my video editing software the same error. Next I went to Norton Ghost 2004 and cloned from the 320GB drive to the 500GB drive. Everything is now working without reloading the Video software. I had used the Acronis software because my Ghost software was so old I did not think it would work with sata drive.
I have two systems with the same mother board in each and both systems have both IDE (pata) and sata drive controllers built in. The second system is my main system (email and everything else) and I did have to install my Dragon Naturally Speaking install cd (files missing) after the clone; Dragon fixed itself. Which at the time I thought was unusual, but did not realize that Acronis did not work correctly. I also had to re-enter a license number for one software program. I did not get into any further investigation with the software load on this WD500GB drive because after one week it stopped working (head crash); infant mortality. I sent the drive back and just yesterday received a replacement, so I may be adding to this post.
One more comment about Acronis I support my 89 year old uncle’s PC and this year we lost his hard drive. I had Acronis 2010 running on his system backing up twice a month (too different partitions) an image copy of his main C: drive to a second drive. When it came time to try and use those backups to recover his system neither backup was any good. It seems that Acronis does not check to see if the copy that was created is any good!
Right now I can not recommend Acronis software to anyone and I would recommend that Western Digital Support take a good look at this supposedly great software!