58403: Acronis True Image: How to change Acronis Startup Recovery Manager delay time and key

Applies to:

  • Acronis True Image 2016
  • Acronis True Image 2017

This article describes how to change the delay time and key for starting Acronis Startup Recovery Manager.

This solution applies only to UEFI-booted machines, because the configuration file with delay time and key settings exists only on UEFI-booted computers. If your machine starts in BIOS mode (may also be called "Legacy BIOS" or "CSM"), the delay time for Acronis Startup Recovery Manager cannot be modified, because its configuration file is merged into the executable file C:\bootwiz\asrm.bin, in other words, it is "hard-coded" for BIOS-booted machines.

In order to see whether your computer is booted in UEFI or in BIOS mode, note the message that Acronis Startup Recovery Manager displays at startup. If it shows "Starting Acronis Loader", then you have a BIOS-booted computer, solution from this article does not apply to your computer and you cannot modify the delay time and key. In this case you can only activate or deactivate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager.

If the message says "Starting UEFI Loader", then you will be able to decrease or increase the time it is displayed on the screen before Windows boots automatically, and the key that should be pressed on keyboard to enter Acronis Startup Recovery Manager. Please follow the steps below.

Solution

Configuration file containing the delay time and key setting is stored on EFI system partition at \EFI\Acronis\asrm.xml. By default, EFI system partition is hidden and is not accessible for users, including administrators.

The solution consists of 3 steps:

  1. Assign a drive letter to EFI system partition. Note that we will not be modifying any security settings and permissions, they will be kept intact.
  2. Open configuration file in Notepad under Windows "SYSTEM" account and change the delay from default 30 seconds to the desired value, and the key from default F11.
  3. Remove assigned drive letter from EFI system partition.

Detailed instructions for each step are below.

Step 1 - Assign a drive letter to EFI system partition

  1. Right-click Windows Start menu icon and select "Command Prompt (Admin)" to open the Command Prompt "as administrator"

In Windows 8 or earlier: Start -> Search -> type cmd -> right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

2. Type the following command to open disk partitions management tool and press Enter:
diskpart

3. Request the list of disk volumes:
list volume

4. Locate the volume marked as "System" in the last column Info (do not confuse it with the Label column) and select it.
select volume <number>
where <number> is the number of the System volume

In the example above it is Volume 3:
select volume 3

5. Assign a drive letter. You can choose any available letter.
assign letter=<letter>:
where <letter> is the drive letter you want to assign.

In this example we use letter T:
assign letter=T:

Do not close this command-line window yet. We will use it later to remove the assigned letter.

Step 2 - Use Notepad to change delay value in the configuration file

Access to the EFI system partition is restricted even to members of the Administrators group. For our purpose of editing one configuration file we do not need to modify any security settings and permissions. Instead, we will just use the SYSTEM account which has all the necessary permissions that we need to access the file. To launch the Notepad application under SYSTEM account we will use PsExec tool from Microsoft Sysinternals pack "PsTools".

  1. Download PsTools, unpack the archive and open the unpacked folder. Press and hold the Shift button on the keyboard, then right-click PsExec and select Copy as path:
  2. Open a new instance of Command Prompt "as administrator":
  3. Right-click anywhere in the opened black Command Prompt window and paste the path copied in step 1.
    In this example the path is "C:\Users\admin\Desktop\PSTools\PsExec.exe".
    Do not press Enter yet.
  4. Add a space and then commands to launch Notepad and open Acronis Startup Recovery Manager configuration file:
    "<path to PsExec.exe>" -i -s notepad <drive letter>:\EFI\Acronis\asrm.xml
    where <path to PsExec.exe> is the path you copied in step 1 and <drive letter> is the letter you have assigned to your system partition.
    -i parameter enables interaction with opened program
    -s parameter runs the program under SYSTEM account
    In this example we use letter T: and our path to PsExec is "C:\Users\admin\Desktop\PSTools\PsExec.exe":
    "C:\Users\admin\Desktop\PSTools\PsExec.exe" -i -s notepad T:\EFI\Acronis\asrm.xml
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Click Agree to accept Microsoft Sysinternals Software License Terms and continue:
  7. Now you can adjust the delay time of Acronis Startup Recovery Manager by changing it from the default 30 to the desired number of seconds, for example, to 5 seconds:

  8. You can also change the key to launch Acronis Startup Recovery Manager from the default F11. In the example below we change it to F9:

  9. Save changes either by selecting File, and then Save, or by pressing Ctrl+S combination on the keyboard:

Step 3 - Remove assigned drive letter from EFI system partition

  1. Close Notepad window and Command Prompt window where you have executed PsExec. Switch to the first Command Prompt window and type command to remove assigned letter from EFI system partition:
    remove letter=<letter>:
    where <letter> is the letter you have assigned to your system partition.

    In our example it is T:
    remove letter=T:

  2. Close diskpart utility by issuing:
    exit
  3. Finally, close Command Prompt window.

Now Acronis Startup Recovery Manager`s delay time has your customized value and key.

If you de-activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager at any time later and then activate it again, the delay time and key will be reset to default 30 seconds and F11.

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