Acronis True Image 9.1 - Cloning vs Backup confusion

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by KatanaDV20, Apr 3, 2007.

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  1. KatanaDV20

    KatanaDV20 Registered Member

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    Hello all :)

    I recently bought Acronis True Image 9.1. It comes with a well-written and comprehensive help file but Im still a little confused...

    Please could you help me by explaining the benefits of "Backups" vs. "Cloning"? ---->

    Im a bit confused about system files associated with programs when it comes to cloning the hard drive vs. backing up selected folders.

    1. I have 2 partitions on the same physical drive C: & D:
    2. Windows is installed on C:
    3. All data & programs are installed on D:

    Am I correct when I say that when I choose to clone D: that all programs *and* their system files will be cloned and therefore during recovery I will not have to reinstall them?

    If you want to back up just a certain folder does this process ALSO backup the system files?

    :confused:

    In a nutshell Im asking if this is true:

    Cloning = system files also included
    Backing up = no system files included

    When it comes to D: should I use the Clone function or the Backup function?

    I have an external USB2.0 hard drive.

    Thanx, you can wake up now! http://www.nextgenerationrecords.co.uk/board/images/smiles/icon_redface.gif
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    You cannot clone just D ... at least I've not seen anyone say they do it, nor have I tried it. Cloning applies to the entire physical hard drive.

    Backup makes a compressed image of the entire physical drive or selected partitions, or selected files or folders - you choose which to do.

    When you Clone a drive the destination drive becomes an immediately bootable drive, if all goes well, that is just like the original.
    When you Backup an entire drive, you have to Recover the Image to a drive before that drive becomes bootable like the original.
    Personally I would not use True Image to backup files and folders - I would use Windows Explorer to simply copy them to another drive for backup and if you want some compression to save space, the built-in winzip in XP serves the purpose.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    DwnNdrty pretty well said it but I'll try to expand a bit.

    A clone as he pointed out does the entire physical drive to another physical drive; it won't do selected partitions on a drive. A clone is intended to migrate from an old drive to a new drive although if you don't wipe or throw away the old drive you do have a "backup".

    There are two types of backups: image and Files and Folders (FF).

    An image makes a copy of all in-use sectors and puts them in an archive file or files. An image of a bootable drive will be bootable when you restore it. The image backup bypasses the file system and thus is very fast in creating an archive. Unlike a clone where you can only have 1 clone on the target drive, you can have as many images as will fit on the drive. Your image can contain 1 or several or all the partitions on a HD depending on what you select.

    A FF backup is intended for data files and even if you backup the Windows folder etc the restored drive will not be bootable. A FF backup uses the Windows filesystem and is much slower than an image backup.

    It is possible to extract one or many files from an image without restoring it by Mounting the image.

    I only use images and only for my OS/apps. Like DwnNdrty I want my data files to be backed up by a straight Windows copy not all lumped into a container file such as done with a TI FF backup or other similar backup products. If you get a bad byte in a critical area all your files can be unreadable.

    If I understand your layout you have the OS on C and apps installed on D and your data files on D also. You can certainly do it that way but I much prefer to have the apps installed on the OS drive since they are tightly tied. If you install an app you have to make an image of both C and D and if you want to restore your OS you have to restore the image of both C and D unless you know nothing has changed on D. The only way I violate the above is that I have large games installed on a separate partition because they are large and hardly ever change; if I did lose them I have the CDs.
     
  4. KatanaDV20

    KatanaDV20 Registered Member

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    Thank you both very much for those excellent explanations which I have indeed found very useful. I am now digesting what you both have told me and will plan a course of action :)

    I like the point both you made about simply using Windows itself to drag n drop files onto the backup media instead of tying them up into a propietary file formate like a TI archive.

    I have done that for some of my data but for the vast majority its just too massive and thats why I got TI to compress it. As good as these programs are the nagging question is "Will the restore work?" .

    With a plain-vanilla Windows Explorer job you never worry but with these.....

    Thats a very good point and I wish I had thought along those lines when I made the partitions!

    Off I go to have a think!

    Thanks again :)

    -------->>>>

    On a sidenote: what do you all think of the freeware Cobian Backup?
    http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    You can always compress those copied files either with the built-in Winzip in XP or with WinRar - both super reliable when it comes to extracting the files again. I'm not familiar with Cobian.
    BTW, if your data files are .mp3 or video files you will not save much space by compressing them as they are already in a compressed form.
     
  6. KatanaDV20

    KatanaDV20 Registered Member

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    Thanks DwnNdrty. Im looking at Cobian because it can create bog-standard Zip files into DVD-size chunks. Was just wondering if any of you guys had used it.

    While a Windows Explorer backup is foolproof when it comes to the data itself the primary reason I bought TI was to just get a backup of the drive including the *system* files tied to specific programs because the *one* thing I want to avoid during a restore is the tedious reinstallation of *every* program :)

    However Im gonna make Explorer backups now to my external HD.

    I just want to restore an image and have an up & running system hee hee.
     
  7. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    That's what TI is best suited for - backing up the entire drive then being able to restore it if necessary by using the bootable CD media. The Clone feature is also very useful. Did you make that CD?
     
  8. KatanaDV20

    KatanaDV20 Registered Member

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    Yes I made the Rescue Disk if thats what you mean? :)

    I gather that I should boot from that and *then* create the disk image because thats when Windows is not in use....?
     
  9. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    That's how I like to do it although some users here report that they have no trouble using TI successfully from within Windows. But I prefer not to tempt fate. :D
     
  10. KatanaDV20

    KatanaDV20 Registered Member

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    Thats just the way I think!...thank you for taking time to help me :)
     
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