Acronis True Image 10.0 - advice please

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Boroboy, Nov 13, 2007.

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  1. Boroboy

    Boroboy Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    I have recently bought myself a copy of Acronis True Image 10.0. I'm only just getting round to familiarising myself with its capabilities and setting it up correctly and wondered if I could seek advice from other users of this software regarding the following:

    1. Backing-up - having first created a full backup i.e. cloning my main hard drive to include the operating system, registry, drivers, software and settings etc, I believe the best option from then on is to carryout a differential backup. There is then an option to instruct the software to make another full backup after a set amount of differential backups. How many differential backups would other users recommend before making another full backup and would anyone advise using incremental backups instead?

    2. Windows System Restore - would people recommend that I disable this and let True Image manage it?

    3. Snap Restore - I don't believe using this would be of any benefit to me. What do others think?

    4. Compression level - when backing-up data is it best to use the normal (default) compression setting or none at all?

    5. File Level Security Settings - do you think its a good idea to disable preserving files security settings in archives?

    6. Secure Zone - is this really necessary or would it be better to remove this facility? I believe this also allows the 'Startup Recovery Manager' to be used at boot up, again is this necessary?

    Sorry for all the questions but I need to establish I'm using the correct settings before finding out (possibly when its too late!) that I haven't

    Regards.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    You need to be sure you are using and understanding the correct terminology as a start. A clone is an identical copy of the source drive created on a second drive. It is intended for upgrading to a new HD and not as a backup method although some use it that way. You can only have one clone of a drive on another drive.
    Images are the intended method to backup an OS and apps and have the restored drive bootable. Images are fast but only operate on a partition or whole disk.
    Files and Folders (FF) backups backup the selected files and folders on a disk. Since it makes more use of the file system it is slower. Restoring a disk made with a FF backup will not provide a bootable disk. Intended for backing up data files only.

    Going back to your original question, you would have to make an image of your disk and then you could do an incremental or differential. You can't do this with a clone.

    Some users only make full images and I am one of them. Others make a full then some number of incrementals to keep the storage space smaller. The weakness with a long chain of incrementals is that if one goes bad (unreadable for any reason) then all the later ones are useless. A common method is a full on say, Sunday, and then incrementals for each of the days until the next Sunday where the process is repeated.
    My guess is fewer people use differentials. Although you only need the full and the last differential to restore to that point in time, if you wish to validate the archive you need to have all of the intermediate differentials. This, of course, is dumb and it may (or may not) be fixed in version 11.

    Lots of TI users disable System Restore since making an image provides the same function and a full backup as well although not as fast. Some of us cut the SR allocated space down so it will provide 2 or 3 SR restore points.

    Certainly my feeling.

    I always use normal. You get a space saving and it is fairly fast. If you don't use compression you have to read and write more data from the disk and the disk sub-system speed will likely be the slow point. If you have a processor rated at 2Ghz or more (a guess) then the compression/decompression time will not be a factor.

    I only image so I'll leave this for somebody else.

    Neither is essential. The SZ can provide some automation for deleting images but you can't copy them to another device and have to use TI to manage them. It is good tool if you only have one partition on your system since it lets you create a partition to place images in. Note that if the drive the SZ is located on fails, all your backups are gone as well! The Startup Recovery Manager modifies the MBR and this can cause problems if you already have a modified MBR or if you have a vendor provided recovery mechanism. Certainly of no benefit to me.

     
  3. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    I agree with seekforever I always do a full image and never incrementals or differentials. On my computer this only takes about 7 minutes. I do an image once a week and have restored several times using TI. I have even restored to an older image when I discovered a particular difficult virus on my PC rather then wonder if I had truly rid my PC of the virus.
    I was thinking of making a secure zone and using this whenever my Grandchildren came to visit and then restoring the computer after they left using the secure zone. ( They do seem to attract a lot of adware and virus')
    But, I simply do a full restore and have stayed away from the SZ.
    TI is now into version 11 and if you just purchased TI 10 you may be able to have a free update if you purchased less then 30 days ago.
    Boroboy do a lot of reading on this forum, you well learn a lot and get to know just how talented a lot of the people are here.
    You will get hints how to test your images and how to back up, where to backup etc. My first "recovery" was done with my heart in my mouth and thankfully it worked. I waited until my PC was so bad I had no recourse, I was back up and running within 10 minutes, now I "recover" with confidence. ( It is a nice feeling!)
    Good luck and please keep us posted with your results. ( hope they are all good).
     
  4. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    Having read the excellent comments by seekforever I have very little to add. Basically I agree with him but the choices are many and everybody has different needs. Start simple until you are comfortable with your knowledge of what the other features have to offer. The User Guide can help here.

    If you haven’t already done so I would register your purchase on the Acronis web site. Having done so you will be able to download the latest files and your serial number will also be stored there. The latest build for TI-10 is 4942 and I find that it works very well. If you have purchased TI-10 within 30 days you may qualify for a free upgrade to TI-11. I find TI-11 unacceptable with the current build (8053).

    Now, some comments on your questions:
    1. Backing-up – seekforever covered this very well. I also only make full images. I did try the cloning once as an experiment. It went well. I have never done incremental or differential backups as I see no advantage to this.

    2. Windows System Restore – I have it turned off but seekforever’s suggestion to cut it back to two or three restore points is perhaps a good one. My feeling is that it serves little purpose. If I have a problem I will do a recovery from a full TI image.

    3. Snap Restore – I agree with seekforever-no benefit in my opinion.

    4. Compression level – I only use the normal (default) compression. Works well.

    5. File Level Security Settings – Never used it

    6. Secure Zone – Never used it. I wouldn’t start with this, study it first. Again seekforever covers it well.

    Bruce
     
  5. Boroboy

    Boroboy Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    Wow! I wasn't expecting such detailed and informative replies! Thank you all so much for taking the time to do so. I really do appreciate it.

    One of the main reasons I choose TI was the option of being able to make an 'image' of a hard drive and restore it, the OS, software, settings etc, without having to do each one individually. I experienced a hard drive failure and although I had carried out regular backups to an external HD, it was a pain having to reload all my software and settings again to the new HD.

    Seekforever - fair point regarding using the correct terminology. I realised I had used the wrong terminology after re-reading through my post! You did, however, understand what I was trying to ask ;)

    1. Backing-up – I suppose making a full backup (full image) of my main drive to an external drive once a week should be enough without having to carry out differential or incremental backups. So, in order to make a full 'disc image' to an external drive (which will let me restore the OS, software, settings etc in case of a failure) would I be right in assuming that I should choose 'My Computer' from the four options provided in the backup wizard? Also, if using this option, I am also right in assuming that this will backup 'everything' i.e. my Outlook Express emails and folders, or will I need to do this separately?

    dbknox - unfortunately, I purchased my copy of TI more than 30 days ago (not that much longer though!) so it doesn't look as though I qualify for a free upgrade to version 11. Interesting to read about your first 'recovery'. I have an older laptop which I think I am going to use to carryout a 'recovery' on and see how I get on. I'm not quite sure how to go about that just yet so I need to do a little more research first. I'm quite looking forward to it......I think!

    Bruce - I have downloaded the 94 page PDF document which I have read and have also read through the 'help' file within TI. This has been very helpful but I think I will need to read through them at least a couple of times before things start to sink in! I have also registered my copy via the Acronis web site and downloaded the latest build, 4942. Mind you, it was over 100 meg which I thought was a little strange as I was just expecting the 'extra' bits to be downloaded and 'added' to my present version. Having said that, I have just read on the forum that it is suggested that TI is removed from the PC before downloading the latest build (?). As mentioned above, it looks like I have just missed out on the free upgrade to version 11. Bummer!

    4. Compression level – the reason I queried this is that I always thought compressing data may in some way make the data more prone to being corrupted. I have no evidence to backup my concerns so I will bow down to the more experienced users of this forum and if the majority are fine using 'normal' compression, then that will be good enough for me, too.

    Again, thank you all very much for your advice and help. I'm going to have another play with TI before carrying out a full image backup. I'll let you know how I get on.

    Regards, Boroboy (Paul).
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Perhaps my guides can help. Check links below.
     
  7. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Compression levels and ATI. If you use high compression, it will substantila prolong the backup and restore process due the the high overhead in compressing at a high rate.

    If you use less than normal it will likely prolong the process because more bytes have to written to the target.

    However, if what you are backing up is predominantly compressed stuff already, such as mp3, jpegs, and the like, then using no compression can be faster with very little diff is backup file size. I use no compression when backing up my disk that holds only music and photos, but that's the only time. In other situations it generally takes longer to backup if not using normal compression.
     
  8. Boroboy

    Boroboy Registered Member

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    Hi All

    Firstly, apologies for not responding sooner but I have had my external hard drive fail just as I was looking into using ATI to make a backup to it. Typical!

    It has been returned to Amazon (UK) and I'm now awaiting a full refund. The drive was a Western Digital 500GB and was just over 5 months old with very little use. The initial email from Amazon informed me that, because I had purchased the drive more than 30 days ago, they were unable to do anything about it! Needless to say I was on the phone to them advising them of my consumer rights! Anyway,

    shieber - thank you for the advice with regard to compression levels.

    GroverH - thank you for the links etc. I will have a look/read through them.

    Once again, sorry for my late replies.

    Regards, Paul
     
  9. Ray Clare

    Ray Clare Registered Member

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    You have gotten lots of really good advice here, and I can't add much. I do full image at normal compression, as the greater compression saves little space and uses much more time on my system. I don't do incrementals, because disks are so cheap now. I maintain 100GB of images to backup my system.

    I do continue to use system restore, and I would like to point out, that it works a good bit of the time, and is very much faster than a restore from an image.

    If it doesn't work, then I'd use the image, and of course I'd end up losing time, but since it always has worked ....

    Yes, I have done restore from my images, but that's because till you do that you never know for sure if they work.
     
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