Acronis & Startup List & One More Question

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Lady Dungeness, Jun 21, 2007.

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  1. Lady Dungeness
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    Lady Dungeness Registered Member

    I recently installed Acronis True Image Home v10. I created an image and saved it on another drive. I have not tried to use it -- but when I search the other drive for files, my search attempts to look inside the image. At that point, I receive popup messages saying that a PASSWORD is needed to view inside the True Image.

    I did not assign a PASSWORD to the True Image when I created it. I do not want my True Images to be password protected.

    1. How can I find out if the image truly is password protected (without installing it?)?

    2. How can I configure True Image to NOT use passwords?

    NEXT QUESTION:

    I've just reinstalled XP Home. I then installed Acronis True Image Home v10. I see in my MSCONFIG startup list three Acronis entries:
    • Acronis Scheduler
    • Accronis TimeounterMonitor
    • TrueImageMonitor

    I create backups and images manually. Do I need to have these services running at startup? Is it safe for me to turn them off?

    Thank you.

    Lady Dungeness
    Crabby, but Great Legs!

    Thank you.
  2. Tabvla
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    Tabvla Registered Member

    Hi Lady D, welcome to the Forum... :D

    Question 1.

    The MOST IMPORTANT thing to do when you first install True Image is to TEST. I cannot over-emphasise this. Testing is key to confidence in both the product and your own level of technical expertise.

    Start small. Here are a couple of suggestions...

    Take a few Folders and using the "My Data" (also called Files & Folders) option create a backup. Restore that backup to another location and then browse the backup to ensure validity.

    Create or use an existing spare partition and copy over 100 or so files. Create an Image of the partition using the "My Computer" option. Mount the image and browse it to ensure validity. Restore that image to another spare partition and then browse again.

    And so on.... this will give you confidence that things are working as expected. It will also answer questions like the one about PASSWORD.

    IMPORTANT

    When testing, NEVER RESTORE TO THE SOURCE LOCATION, if things go wrong you may lose the source data. Always restore to another location or a spare disk or partition.


    Question 2.

    A lot has been written on this Forum about the 3 processes that you mention. My personal advice is that as the footprint of these processes is quite small that you should leave them. They take up a little memory but will only take CPU cycles when active. The impact on the overall performance of the system is almost zero.

    However, I accept that other members of this Forum will have other opinions which are probably just as valid.

    T.
  3. DwnNdrty
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    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    If you're only going to create your Backups manually, you might run into less problems doing them with the bootable Rescue CD which you can create from the installed software if you don't have a bootable retail cd of True Image. In any case make sure you do have the latest build number for version 10.

    The reason the bootable Rescue CD is safer to use is that, while your Backups might work from within Windows now, there's no telling if in future, an update to Windows or a piece of software you add, will somehow interfere with the proper working of True Image.

    True Image seems to be really picky with the hardware and software it has to work alongside.

    Whatever method you choose always test a Backup you made by doing an actual restore to a spare hard drive. Relying on a successful verification of a Backup Image has proven to be misleading to many users.
  4. bulldog356
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    bulldog356 Registered Member

    DwnNdrty:

    Thank you for your many contributions to this forum.

    I have often read that the checksum verification method for testing the validity of an image does not always prove that the image is intact, but I never understood why. Could you explain this? Surely it's not related to checksums per se, which are widely used to check the integrity of a file (e.g., after transmission over the internet.)
  5. Menorcaman
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    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Hello Lady Dungeness,

    There is actually a fourth Acronis service, which is started via Windows Services. Note that True Image treats every backup/imaging operation as "scheduled", whether you start it manually via the Create Backup Wizard or automatically via a True Image scheduled task.

    Detail of what the four services do, and whether they can be stopped or not, can be found in the forum sticky titled <Product Links, FAQs & Useful Forum Threads>, under the sub-heading "Wilders Security threads on common True Image problems and solutions" > "Why Run The True Image Services".

    Regards

    Menorcaman
  6. DwnNdrty
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    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    I've seen many users recommend that, but I've never used it myself and don't know how or why it works. I think Howard is the guru for that. :)
  7. Lady Dungeness
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    Lady Dungeness Registered Member

    Thank you, everybody, for the good suggestions. I have been practicing.

    Now I have another question: I don't see an option to create an IMAGE -- I only see options to create backups. Yet there are options to mount and unmount image, etc.

    I've got one computer set up now with a good OS and basic programs; no data yet. I'd like to Image it in case I ever need to do a reinstall.

    I made a backup; the backup is the same size as the original hard disk (not partitioned) -- about 14 gigs. I'm guessing that it must be an image, and that the image contains the 9 gigs of OS & programs, along with a bunch of empty space.

    Am I on the right track here?

    Lady Dungeness
  8. thomasjk
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    thomasjk Registered Member

    Th "Backup" option creates an "image" file that is based on the in-use sectors of your hard drive. What size is your hard drive and how much is used?
  9. Tabvla
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    Tabvla Registered Member

    Hi Lady D,

    Acronis in their perceived wisdom decided to change the terminology in ATI v10 from previous versions.

    The meaning of the terminology is as follows:-

    My Data : This means a "Files & Folders" type backup

    My Computer : This means an "Image" of the partition or disk

    If you want to create an "Image" select "My Computer" and then select the partition that you want to Image. Include the MBR for a bootable Image.

    Some things to remember...

    Only Images of partitions or disks can be "mounted". Therefore if you want to use the "Mount Image" functionality you must have created the backup archive as an Image (My Computer option).

    If you created the backup archive as a "Files and Folders" (My Data option) type backup then you can use the Explore Backup Archives option, which you will find in the Tools Menu.


    T.
  10. MudCrab
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    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    I'm not an expert on this either, but I think the problem is more with the computer's hardware than with the checksum. All the checksum match proves is that the file is exactly the same as it was when the creating program made the file and calculated the checksum. So any errors in the in stream will be calculated into the checksum and saved to the file.

    If you have a good image, it may validate on an internal drive and not validate when copied to an external drive. It may fail validation on a DVD, but when copied to an internal drive or USB drive it validates fine. In these cases there must be an error in the reading of the image file (when TI accesses it directly), however there is actually no error in the file because when it's copied by Windows to another location it validates correctly.

    The reason a successful image validation does not guarantee a successful restore is that TI may just not work correctly in Linux full mode (or DOS safe mode) or the validation may fail when checked in Linux mode even though it's okay in Windows (or BartPE) because different drivers are used.

    I think that if you have an image that validates, you have a good image file (assuming the source you imaged was valid) at the time of the validation. That's doesn't mean it will be good six months later if a bad sector pops up on the storage drive or your DVD gets a defect. Also, TI doesn’t care if it writes to a hard drive with a bad sector. I had this happen just the other day. TI backed up just fine, but when it tried to verify it failed. Ran chkdsk on the drive and found a bad sector. I then reran the backup and it verified correctly.

    So the ONLY way to know if you can successfully restore an image is to actually do it. Test it in TI full mode, test it in TI safe mode, test it by starting the procedure in Windows and letting it reboot, test it using BartPE, test restoring from an internal drive, an external drive and from a network share.

    Most people probably don't go to the trouble to perform that many different variations of testing, but I like to know what works and what doesn't. If I know I can restore in three different modes from three different sources, then I can be fairly certain at least one of them will work when I need it.

    While using a checksum to validate an image is fast and does not require access to the original files, it is no replacement for actual error correction. It would be nice if Acronis would add the option to include error correction information in the image file. This would probably solve 90% or more validation/restoration problems since any small errors could just be fixed. The resulting image would be larger but the trade-off in reliability would be worth it.
  11. seekforever
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    seekforever Registered Member

    I think you did a pretty good job explaining Validation and why it may not work.

    I'm not sure what TI's error correction would add to the process other than a lot of overhead. The reason I say this is that HDs already use ECC for each sector and if it can't correct it then a much more in-depth layer of ECC would have to be added.

    Where I think TI perhaps could make life a bit better on bad archives is to allow users to ignore a certain number of errors. This wouldn't be too hard to do since TI writes checksums for every 256KB according to Acronis. One might be able to get some sort of joy on a flawed restore depending on where the fault lies. However, the risk of this is that users will whine that they told it to ignore a bad block or two and their machine is now screwed up.

    TI is not any different than any other regular PC program, it assumes the hardware is working. Bad sectors, bad RAM, and probably more will cause problems that are not detected at the write stage, only when you try to read or process the data. Also, if you make an image with the file system totally screwed you are going to be another follower of Garbage In=Garbage Out.
  12. MudCrab
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    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    I was thinking more along the lines of how RAID5 works. Sure it does add some processing time and space, but "lost bits" of the image could be rebuilt. A checksum lets you know if the data changed, but saving parity information would allow small errors to be repaired.

    Since you can often mount an image that won't validate, this is obviously possible. If TI would tell you what files where not able to be restored, you would know the names and if they were important. If they were MP3 or JPG or something that won't prevent the computer from booting and running correctly, then why not go ahead and restore?

    This is so true. And even having write verification turned on (like you can on MO drives) does not guarantee that it can be read months or years later. It only verifies that it can read it right after it was written. That's why it's important to have multiple backups of important files, stored on different media, in different places.
  13. bulldog356
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    bulldog356 Registered Member

    Many thanks for those explanations!

    All that information spurred me to do some searching on my own.

    There's nothing wrong with the checksum method per se. However, as you explained, the hardware involved in check sum creation or verification may cause a checksum to be calculated incorrectly. (You gave some examples of hardware-related problems in your post.)

    When checksums are used to verify the integrity of downloaded files the intention is that they will be immediately re-performed on the same hardware that received the packets.
  14. Acronis Support
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    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Hello Lady Dungeness,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please see chapter 3.1 "The difference between file archives and disk/partition images" of the respective User's Guide for explanations on the difference between terms backup and image.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
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