A few beginner questions about True Image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Michael23, Jun 29, 2005.

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  1. Michael23

    Michael23 Guest

    I just installed TrueImage, and so far I am quite pleased.
    My PC is happily cloning both partitions of my primary drive to a newly formatted backup (slave) drive... and so far, so good.

    But, being new at TrueImage, I have a few questions...

    1) The initial drive copy required a reboot, and is happening
    pre-windows-loading.
    However, the documentation for True Image suggests that it can run in
    the background while working in WinXP... I am assuming this will be
    true for future copies of my disk image?

    2) I see that disk imaging can be run on a regular schedule - this is my plan (and my main incentive for buying the product)... I would like my pc to automatically copy one drive's contents to the other in the middle of every night. But I am not sure how this works...Does the scheduled process require a complete erasing and re-copying of the whole drive, or does TrueImage recognize just the changed files, and simply update the image on the backup disk? I do not want 'incrememental' backups, just a true 1-for-1 image of the main disk.
    Does anyone have a suggestion for the best way to do this, or any settings I should be sure to use/not use?


    3) My assumption is that if my main drive bites the dust, I will be
    able to open the case, swap drives and jumpers, and reboot from the
    backup as if nothing had happened... is this correct?


    Thanks for helping a total greenie.
    Michael
     
  2. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    You may want to read into the documentation about imaging vs. cloning.

    When you image a drive, it creates one or more files on the target media. This image can be restored using the TrueImage software to get your system back to the state it was in when it was backed up. The nice thing about Imaging with ATI is that you can keep making incremental images, so when you restore you can choose which point you'd like to restore your system to.

    Cloning, on the other hand, duplicates the drive to another one. It's not quite as useful, except when upgrading to a new hard drive.

    If your only goal is to prevent downtime due to drive failure, then using RAID would have made much more sense.
     
  3. Michael23

    Michael23 Registered Member

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    Yes, I understand RAID is more exactly what I am after... but I was referred to TI from a current user and it sounds pretty good.

    BUT maybe I should not have 'cloned' but instead 'imaged' the disk?
    I would like to have some way of backing up my entire hard disk (120 gig with 2 partitions, small for windows and apps, remaining 100+gig for data) to another hd (160 gig) and be able to restore my original disk in the event of a problem with the first, without reloading apps.

    Suggestions on how to best achieve this with True Image are greatly appreciated.
     
  4. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    That will work just fine. Image your drive (no need to exit Windows), and if your drive ever fails or other disaster strikes, you can just boot with the rescue CD and restore the image.
     
  5. Michael23

    Michael23 Registered Member

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    I think I get it... (good to know how to use the clone utility, so no loss there)
    But what I really want to do is just store an image of each partition on the target (backup) drive... then, rather than 'swapping' drives as I had hoped, I will have the simple extra step of restoring to yet another blank drive from the stored image... no problem, and a good excuse to continue 'hard drive shopping'.

    If you don't mind, can you walk me very simply through the steps you would use in my situation?

    I have my main hd, with 2 partitions as described, and a blank 160 gig drive, formatted as one big partition... now what?

    thanks in advance for your words of wisdom!
     
  6. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    If you want to be able to get back up and running without needing to purchase a new hard drive to replace the failed one, you could consider this scenario.

    Create images of your primary drive onto your backup drive, making sure to have the split size of 2000MB or less. (I hear 1492 makes a good split size for maximizing utilized space). After you create the images, burn the images onto DVD+/-RW. If your primary drive ever fails, you can restore the images from DVD onto your backup drive to use as a primary drive.

    However, re-writing DVDs can get to be a lot of work, especially if you are backing up a large volume of data.

    An alternative strategy could work, if your backup drive is significantly larger than your primary drive. partition the backup drive so that it has 3 partitions, the first two of which are the same size as (or larger than) the equivalent partitions on your primary drive. Now, when you image your primary drive, store the images onto the 3rd partition of the backup drive. In the case of primary drive failure, you should be able to use the recovery CD to boot the PC and restore the first two partitions from the images on the third.

    If neither of the two above scenarios work for you, I still dont think you're that bad off. At worst case, you'll not be able to use your PC until you pick up a replacement drive.
     
  7. Michael23

    Michael23 Registered Member

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    Thanks again... This all makes perfect sense.

    However, the dvd/cd method is too tedious, and I don't think imaging a 120gig drive onto a 160 would leave enough room for the alternate method.
    But, as I see it, hard drives are cheap, especially if I have time to watch for a killer deal and grab up an extra.

    So here is my plan...

    - leave the backup (160) drive as one big partition
    - use TI to image both partitions of my operating drive onto the backup drive
    - use TI's scheduling capacity to keep 'incremental' images of my main drive
    - in the event of a main drive failure, I would simply partition a 3rd (new) drive to match my current main drive, boot from the bootable TI cd I just made, and use TI to restore the images - including all incrementals - from backup onto the new drive...

    and THIS is how I would get my 'up and running' copy of my main drive, without missing a beat...

    Am I on the right track here?
     
  8. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Exactly! Except note that pre-partitioning the new drive is not necessary. The ATI software can do the partitioning in the process of restoring an image.
     
  9. Michael23

    Michael23 Registered Member

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    S-W-E-E-T... must say, I already like the ease of use and the friendly interface much more than G---t (you know, that -other- utility)
    ;-)

    So when I go to restore my image, TI will ask me what size I want to make which partitions? This sounds too good to be true.

    Thanks again, you have been an immense help!
     
  10. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Michael,

    TI 8 only images the sectors that are in use or, in the case of incremental images, those sectors that have changed since the last image. Therefore, unless your 120GB HD is more that two thirds full (excluding the Page File and Hibernation File), the 160GB HD should suffice for the alternative method.

    Also, just to add a couple of things to what wdormann said.

    In order to ensure that a restored brand new disk boots correctly you must create an image of the whole system disk by ticking the checkbox adjacent to the Disk # (see screenshot below). This will cause TI to copy the Master Boot Record for the system disk into the image.

    If you want to resize the partitions being restored to the original source drive then you will need to opt to restore each partition separately rather than the whole disk. When restoring a single partition of a multi-partition image, TI presents you with the option to resize during the restore. Just click on the divider between the partitions and move it to your preferred size. However, if wishing to resize the original partitions when restoring to a new system disk you will first need to restore the image of a whole disk. This will ensure the old MBR is written to the new drive. After that carry out another restore but this time just select an individual partition and proceed as above.

    Regards
     

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  11. Michael23

    Michael23 Registered Member

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    >>>In order to ensure that a restored brand new disk boots correctly you must create an image of the whole system disk by ticking the checkbox adjacent to the Disk # (see screenshot below). This will cause TI to copy the Master Boot Record for the system disk into the image.

    Thanks for that valuable tip, and the screenshot - very helpful!
     
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