Acronis True Image Home software not restoring True Images

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by RichardArmitage, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. RichardArmitage

    RichardArmitage Registered Member

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    Hi Acronis Support!

    Recently I have been exploring the use of Acronis True Image Home backup software with a view to recommending it to clients and have been delighted by the features and ease of use.

    I wanted to test the sector by sector imaging capability and took out my SBS 2003 server drive and imaged that sector by sector. I restored and the restore appeared to work - except that NTBackup then failed. Aha! So it is not a true image! I see that others experienced problems with the server software version and VSS services being knocked out of balance.

    On checking I have 3 observations of the software.
    1) The parition record appears to get changed in a restore even when using a supposedly sector by sector restore - so not the original master boot record! Hmm ..
    2) The system was forcing me to select drive letters for the restore or choosing leave 'unassiged'. But even leaving 'unassigned' was causing whatever was in the image to get overwritten. There should be a third option of 'no writing at all'.
    3) The backup options available from the main menu include options not shown when you run backup. Hidden away there is a checked option to write Acronis material into the image. Nasty! Easy to miss.

    For general backup problems on an XP machine I guess the software is great. However when it comes to taking a True Image you subtly alter things that would cause my data recovery work to fail. A pity! Especially when the name of the product is True Image.

    Sometimes I miss things (quite common!) Any comments/fixes appreciated since it would be great to use your software for my data recovery images if I could rely on it to create real images, as the name suggests.

    Regards,
    Richard
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi Richard, welcome to the Forum :D

    Could you provide some more information about the setup.

    For example...

    1. Exact version of ATI?
    2. Are you imaging a stand-alone machine or over the network?
    3. Where are you storing your backups?
    4. OS and version
    5. Are there potential issues with permissions?

    etc... etc...

    That type of information is very helpful in understanding your environment and possibly suggesting a solution.

    T.
     
  3. RichardArmitage

    RichardArmitage Registered Member

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    Hi Tabvla.
    I am using Acronis True Home Verson 11.
    Imaging is happening in a standalaone machine environment.
    Acronis is installed on a bootable XP drive, with latest service pack
    I added a SATA card and 2 SATA 250GB drives, one as source to be imaged and a second to where the image was to be written.
    The operating system on the drive to be imaged was SBS 2003.
    No permissions issues - just a straight forward imaging of one drive seen as a data drive to another drive also mounted as a data drive. Then I tried the restore. Mostly looked okay - but subtle problems arising as described.
    Thanks.
    Richard
     
  4. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi Richard

    With a few tweaks or a better understanding of what Acronis mean when using the terminology, I cannot see any real reason why you could not use ATI as your backup solution.

    You have correctly observed that an "Image" of a partition is not an "exact" copy, as in a photocopy. The reasons why it is not an exact copy are both practical and have an element of safety built in. For example if you created an exact Image of a partition that had bad sectors and then restored that exact image to a new disk, the bad sector information would be written to the new disk, meaning that Windows would isolate those sectors and not write to them. This is not what you want!!

    When ATI images a partition it does create a sector-by-sector copy, but only of the good sectors and only of the sectors that contain data. This has the dual benefit that when you restore that image you will not restore bad sector information and the data will be contiguous. This will usually reflect in an improvement in performance.

    Creating an exact image of the MBR and then writing that image back to a disk with a completely different geometry could result in an unbootable system. ATI therefore runs a rather sophisticated algorithm for the MBR which will always result in an MBR that is compatible with the new disk irrespective of the source image.

    If you want an EXACT copy of a disk you could use the Clone option. The Clone option reads sector-by-sector from one disk and writes it simultaneously to another disk. Obviously this is not what you want to be doing in a normal backup procedure.

    Contrary to what some users think, when you Clone a disk the cloned disk does not need to be physically the same as the source disk, in fact the principal purpose of using the Clone option is to move the contents of a small disk to a large disk with proportional reassignments of the partitions.

    What I suggest you do is look at the areas that may cause issues. List these in some kind of order with the issue clearly explained and then post back to the Forum.

    I am reasonably confident that a work-a-round does exist for any issue which you may have.

    T.
     
  5. como

    como Registered Member

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    Excuse my ignorance but is TI home the correct version for imaging a SBS 2003 drive?
     

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  6. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi Como

    I believe that Acronis are referring to the system on which ATI is installed and not to what is being imaged. If my understanding is correct then Richard should be OK....

    T.
     
  7. como

    como Registered Member

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    Thats why I am not sure, I would have thought Acronis would want to be selling the higher end software?
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello RichardArmitage,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    Could you please clarify, have you performed both backup and recovery processes in sector by sector mode? Please also clarify, have you restored MBR and Track 0 along with the partition?

    Please notice that the options that are hidden during a particular backup process do not apply to it. For example, adding media components to the image, which you mentioned, only applies when backing up directly to CD/DVD media.

    Please also be aware that letting one Windows installation see a different one at boot time may cause changes to both installations.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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