Acronis should list these problems

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Rod Williams, Mar 6, 2005.

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  1. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Registered Member

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    First let me say I love True Image but Acronis needs to list these problems before people have a major disaster on their hands.

    1. To guarantee a bootable restore to a different drive, you MUST do a complete hard drive backup.

    2.If you need to do a restore from the boot disk True Image might not be able to see your Sata drive. (I E-mailed support and they told me they have no plans to correct this problem for NVidia NForce Sata in the near future. Although I like the honesty I don't like the answer.)

    3. Defraging your drive could and probably will make any existing image useless, unless you do a complete hard drive restore. (I understand why this happens but people need to know this up front.)


    Please include potential problems like these in the manual. A person should not have to spend hours on a forum to find this out.
     
  2. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    Yikes! Is this true? Defragging is normal, required maintenance. Everyone should defrage regularly. Are you saying that we have to stop defragging or our True Image images will be useless?
     
  3. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Registered Member

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    I would not stop defragging. That is important to keep your system running smoothly. True Image images all sectors with the information in each sector. When you defrag, parts of files are moved to different locations to keep them all in order in the same place on the hard drive. Your image knows that a file is in certain sectors and will restore it to those same sectors which might now (after defrag) contain and overwrite different files.
    After defrag I see the need to do a complete new full disk image backup and only use that one for restoring. The old image could be used to do a complete resore but would put everything back like it was before the defrag.
    This probably sounds confusing. You just proved my point. People need to know this before they have a major problem. I think you would be real upset if you tried to restore a file and found that it overwrote something very improtant, because you defraged and tried to restore from and image before the defrag.
     
  4. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    Nothing personal, but this is based on fallacious reasoning.
     
  5. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Registered Member

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    Please explain. Are you saying this is not true? Why then has it been posted on this forum that after a defrag the next incremental backup is almost as large as the first full backup? I would have to think it is because True image thinks things have changed, which they have.
    I am not arguing I just need to understand what is really happening so I and everyone else don't have a problem down the road when it is too late.
     
  6. MartinH

    MartinH Registered Member

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    What's the problem?
    TrueImage makes a sector based copy of the partition.
    That's one of the features: TI creates an image of a partition and when you
    restore it, you have the same partition like before imaging.
    That includes the order of the sectors.

    You must not defrag every week. And after defrag you should make a new full image. It is better anyway to make every week a full image.
     
  7. jimmytop

    jimmytop Registered Member

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    The linux boot CD recognizes and should work fine for nvidia SATA drives that aren't RAID. It's when they are RAID'd that it won't work for nvidia chipset.

    Acronis is supposed to be releasing soon a plug-in for BartPE. This is a Win32 based boot-up environment. You will be able to load your Windows SATA/RAID drivers during boot-up to the BartPE environment. Cross our fingers that this new plug-in won't cost current TI users extra!
     
  8. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    If you "restore" a file, it will not overwrite anything except the existing version of the same file. Hopefully, if you were restoring a file, you would want this to happen. Individual file "restore" is not sector based!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  9. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Registered Member

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    If that is the case then great. Everything I have ever read about TI is that it is sector based. I never read that if individual files were restored then it is not sector based. In other words, it can restore a file form a sector based image and restore it to a drive that has changed from defrag by somehow just taking the file info from the image and replacing that info to the correct locations on the defragged drive. That's great, if that is how it works. The problem I am having is that there is no easy way to prove any of this. It is not like running a new program and it either works or it doesn't and you know right away.
    Thanks

    I still think Acronis should make this info available, in one place, so you don't have to spend hours discussing it. The above quote from beenthereb4 said a lot in a few words.
     
  10. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    In the absence of a definitive statement from Acronis, maybe someone could test this out and report.
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Essentially, when creating incremental images, TI compares a "thumbprint" of the current used sectors against that of the previous image and only images the used sectors that have changed. If you carry out a defrag before the next image then the "thumbprint" will have changed significantly and the size of the next incremental is likely to be more or less the same as a full image. Defragging doesn't affect your subsequent ability to restore.

    In TI terms you cannot "restore" an individual file as imaging is sector based. However, you can use TI to mount and explore an image and then "copy" individual files back their original or different locations on your HD. If the file already exists at that location then it will be overwritten by the copy, irrespective of whether the HD had been defragged in between time or not.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  12. jimshu1

    jimshu1 Registered Member

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    I only do partition images and defragment every day on all of my systems. I've restored partition images (OS partitions) long after several defrags, many times and have never had a problem.
     
  13. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Acronis True Image doesn't work as file-based application in any way. It is only sector-based software. It means that you cannot create the image or restore several files, only partitions or disks. If you restore a partition the place where you want to restore to will be cleaned up first (not wiped).

    You may also extract several necessary files from the image and copy them to the folder you wish. All this process looks like ordinary file copying. Of course, there is a restriction that you cannot have two files with identical names in the same folder.

    As for defragmentation, the only problem in it is that if after the full image creation you defragment your drive and create the incremental image the size of the latter will be almost the same as of the former.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  14. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Registered Member

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    This is what I have been saying all along in this post. If you defrag you should do a new full backup because as far as TI is concerned most of the drive changed, which it did. The reason the incremental backup is so large is because defrag moved things around and TI images the changes.
     
  15. yirm

    yirm Guest

    Actually, the manual does discuss the fact that defragmenting your hard drive will create incremental images almost as large as full images.

    My question is if you start out with a defragmented drive, and you defragment frequently, so the changes to the disk are presumably minor, does that mean the incremental image size increase will also be minor?

    And here's another question. Let's say you have a newly defragmented drive, and you create an image. Next you install a lot of software. Now the drive is reasonably fragmented. When you defragment the drive, will only the new items be defragged, or will unfragmented items be moved around by the defrag program as well? This obviously isn't a question about TI specifically. However, the answer certainly would affect the potential size of an incremental image under these circumstances.

    -Jeremy
     
  16. werne

    werne Registered Member

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    Actually, the only thing that can see Acronis doing that would be a major benefit is to include the drives MBR with every backup of the C: Partition. This is not impossible (and as a guess, I don't think it would be that difficult) as other programs such as bootitng do this. This particular aspect of True Image could be emphasized more strongly to potential customers since it is not readily apparent (with a standard MBR more times than not the machine will boot but not always [ of course it is the one one time that it doesn't boot that ruins everything!]. Another solution is the one I adopt: drives are cheap, buy one hard drive and only have the C: partition (assuming that is your system and boot partition (in Microsoft speak) make the C: partition the size of the entire drive and backup the entire drive. That way the whole drive gets backed up with only your C: Partition which insures that the drives MBR is backed up with it. All other data is on other partions on one or more extra hard drives. Try to keep that partition with whatever you have on it (programs/data) under 4.5 GB (after compresssion) so that it fits on one DVD. You can rant and rave all you want at Acronis but until they change this aspect of the program, it is your only solution (other than changing backup solutions).
     
  17. simon_warner

    simon_warner Guest

    Aha, this is good to know. I use Diskeeper Lite as defragmentation tool and it tells me to degragment at least once a week. My strategy will be to only make full backup image files (so no use of the incremental option).
     
  18. If this is true. How can it be that I am able to mount images and restore files from it?

    I don't believe it is sector based software because of the following reason.
    I store my images on a network drive. If the software creates an image based on sectors it should check the full and inc images for differences, but there is no network traffic from my network drive to the computer that is doing the image. I only see traffic to the network drive.
     
  19. leog

    leog Registered Member

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    There's definitely some things that Acronis has left out of their info (user's guide, etc) for True Image 8.0

    I just bought it last week, as my 30g laptop HD was on the fritz and I wanted to image it quickly so that I wouldn't have to reload XP and all my other apps. I bought a new 60g HD to put my image on, installed TI 8 on my laptop (still running on 30g). I have an external 80g usb2 HD that I use for backing up files, and I let TI create its "safety zone" on that drive, taking 20g of it.

    I created two images of my 30g drive (only one partition) and stored them in the safety zone. I removed my 30g drive, put in my new 60g drive, put in the rescue disk I'd created, and booted into Acronis' Rescue Manager program. It found the images in the safety zone on my external usb HD, and I chose one of them to load.

    The loading seemed to go smoothly, and I rebooted and I had the image running correctly (so I thought!!!! grrrrrr). When I unplugged my external usb HD, the thing wouldn't boot!! It gets past my Compaq bios screen, and then, when XP should be loading, I just get a black screen with a flashing white cursor.

    No where in Acronis' users guide that came with the program, were instructions on how do to what I was trying to do--copy an XP image from one drive to a replacement drive. It mentioned screens prompting the user about whether to make the new partition on the new drive "active," and I never saw such screens once during my use.

    There seem to be some seasoned veterans on this thread, is my problem common? What are the steps (in detail) that I need to take to copy my drive and not require my external drive to ALWAYS be connected to my laptop afterwards. I've emailed Acronis 3 times, now, and I've gotten no response.

    Thanks for any help...

    (here's a post that sounds EXACTLY like the problem I'm having on bootup, without my usb HD connected:

    http://www.techsupportforum.com/archive/index.php/t-17249.html )
     
  20. simon_warner

    simon_warner Guest

    I used the cloning option when I did this with the trial version of TI 8. It worked very well and was the reason why I bought the program. However your procedure should work as well I assume. Maybe I am missing something.
     
  21. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello leog,

    This is the result of creating a Secure Zone (SZ) on a removable drive and activating the Startup Recovery Manager (SRM). When you rebooted your system with the USB drive disconnected it couldn't find the SZ and just hung.

    I recommend you proceed as follows:

    * Reconnect your original 30GB drive and boot into windows.
    * Run TI and use the Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard to remove the SZ (and the image files) from the USB drive. Note that this will also de-activate the SRM.
    * Create a new image of the 30GB drive (select the whole drive) on the USB drive.
    * Disconnect the 30GB drive and replace it with the 60GB one.
    * Boot from the rescue CD and restore the new image from the USB drive to the new 60Gb drive. Acronis say that during this operation you will be given the option to expand the size of the original partition(s) to fit the bigger drive. However, I recently upgraded to a larger drive and didn't see a way to achieve this. I ended up using partition management software (Acronis Disk Director) to claim the resultant unallocated space.
    * Reboot into into Windows (hopefully!!).

    See my post #15 in this <previous thread> about the pros and cons of the SZ/SRM and then decide whether you really need them.

    Regards
     
  22. leog

    leog Registered Member

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    dear Menorcamen,
    Thanks so much for you help, your explanation makes sense. I'll try doing this when I get home. I'LL BE SO HAPPY TO GET MY LAPTOP BOOTING WITHOUT THAT STUPID EXTERNAL DRIVE CONNECTED!!!! Really hope this works...I've heard a bunch of issues mentioned here about the MBR being corrupted, or not copied correctly/ or not at all in an image created by TI, and that causing a computer not to boot when the image is restored. Do you think I could be headed for that stress once I get the secure-zone problem fixed?

    Thanks so much, again; Acronis has sent me nothing in regards to my 3 emails to them about this problem. TI was $30 cheaper than Ghost, so I bought it...but I'd seriously been thinking about asking for a refund. Their literature should have explained that the secure zone had to be present for a computer with True Image installed to boot....grrrrrrrrrrrrr :mad:
     
  23. leog

    leog Registered Member

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    BTW, any way to get images out of the security zone? I'd rather not have to create new images...
     
  24. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    No, not unless you are a hairy chested Linux wizard!! Anyway, I don't ever see you restoring from this image in your situation as it would just recreate the SZ and the SRM and you would be back where you started. However, before removing the SZ, you could reconnect your original 30GB HD and use TI's Explore Image Wizard to mount the image that's in the SZ and copy your important data files back the non-SZ partition on the USB drive just in case anything goes wrong.

    Regards
     
  25. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    Besides the Linux method that I first posted about, Cha2 pointed out that Paragon Partition Manager Professional 6.0 can mount the Secure Zone from within Windows. I can confirm this. You can see and copy the images. But, of course this involves $.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2005
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