Acronis Universal Restore?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by barebear, Nov 17, 2007.

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  1. barebear

    barebear Registered Member

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    After browsing the Acronis website in depth, I see that there is a tool called Acronis Universal Restore available as an add-on option with Acronis Workstation; to quote from the website:

    " Acronis Universal Restore allows you to restore an image to different or replacement hardware (different CPU, motherboard, etc.) or to
    virtual systems. It provides complete disaster recovery by ensuring that systems can be restored to any hardware or virtual machine. "

    This would seem to be almost absolute peace of mind ----- I've NEVER heard of any software that can do what the quote states.

    Questions:

    1. Has anyone on this forum had occasion to use Acronis Universal Restore, and, if so, has it actually worked as claimed?

    2. I did not see Acronis Universal Restore listed as an available option for True Image Home. Does anyone know if it will work with a True Image Home image in case a situation arises where a hardware change is unavoidable?

    3. I am most interested in all comments from everyone with relevant knowledge re my previous question, and especially interested in hearing from Michael Levchenko and/or other members of Acronis support.

    4. Thanks in advance to all for your time and knowledge!
     

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  2. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    1. Works for me.

    2. Yes for TI Home images made with version 10 and below. TI 11 uses a new image format that the 9.1 Corporate versions and the new Echo versions do not recognize. Of course, you would need to purchase the Workstation version or better to get UR.

    Others have this feature as well. Look at Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0 with "Restore Anyware" and ShadowProtect 3.0 with "HIR" (Hardware Independent Restore).
     
  3. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    The major stumbling block to restoring XP to different hardware is the different video card in the "new" system.

    In the days of Win 98, if one were to connect a working system drive to a different box, in booting up, Win 98 would simply "see" the different hardware and, in the case of the video, default to a generic type of display and continue to boot up. Not so with XP - the boot up just stops.

    Before making a Backup Image, if you were to change the display to a generic VGA type, then make the Image, restoring this Image to different hardware will let the system boot up, without the need for UR, unless there are other mitigating circumstances. I have only done this a few times as a test, and it worked.
     
  4. arthurw

    arthurw Registered Member

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    Video card is not a problem with Windows - plug 'n play takes care of that.
    The real issue is the storage controller below the NT Executive, so the Hardware Abstraction Layer calls can't find the disk. Universal Restore allows one to slipstream in the correct storage driver into the image being restored onto the new hardware or VM. Nifty. It works.
     
  5. MartinB82

    MartinB82 Registered Member

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    And this is exactly why I'm (trying to) use Universal Restore at the moment. I'm about to delete a Raid 0 array, configure a Raid 1 array and restore an image. If I don't use UR, I doubt the new array will be found as the HAL will have changed.
     
  6. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    You missed my point entirely of why a restore to different hardware does not work without UR. I was merely giving an alternative to using UR.
     
  7. MartinB82

    MartinB82 Registered Member

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    I think ArthurW was trying to explain that this is not an alternative to using UR as the 'other circumstances' you refer to (other changes in the HAL apart from the display type) are often present.

    In other words there are often other changes to the HAL which would mean that changing display to VGA would not be adequate for creating an image restorable to other hardware.

    For example what if you backup from a RAID 5 array and restore to a RAID 1 array? In such a case UR will help, and unfortunately, I don't think your VGA dodge would help. Even a simple drive to simple drive backup to restore might cause a problem if the hard disk controllers were different on each machine (unless you used UR).

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  8. barebear

    barebear Registered Member

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    Before anything else, a big Thank You! to all you nice people for your information -- I am most appreciative of your time and input!

    I think need to describe my system configuration, a situation that occurred about 3 months ago, and ask for comments/responses based on that information.

    I am still contentedly dwelling in the IDE era --- my primary IDE has my C drive as master with a slave Plextor DVD-RW; my secondary IDE has a 48x TDK CD-RW as master with a slave hard drive. Both hard drives are exactly identical WD Caviar 80GB 7200 rpm w/ 8MB cache. I also have a third identical external hard drive connected by USB 2.0 . I am running XP Pro SP 2 fully updated.

    About 3 months ago, I took the side off my case to blow out accumulated dust, and saw that I had 3 leaky capacitors on my 5 yr old Asus A7N8X deluxe board. This resulted in my local computer shop changing the board, the old processor (Athlon 2400), and video card ( Radeon 8500LE) to my current system configuration (procesor now an Athlon 3500 socket 939) as shown in the attached screen shots. No other hardware changes were made.

    I am not a sophisticated user on the level of all the responders to my original post --- if further details from my System Information are needed in order to accurately answer the following question, please advise and I'll attempt to provide.

    Question: If, when these hardware changes had to be made, I had been running ATI Workstation with Universal Restore, would I have been able to successfully restore an image from the secondary IDE slave drive?

    I am UTTERLY IGNORANT on the topic of RAID and its seemingly endless configuration options, so if my next question is a dumb one please be patient with me.

    Question: Eventually something in my hardware will again deteriorate, necessitating changes of the sort that I recently had to make. My current board has some sort of RAID capability but I don't know the specific details.

    If at that time I am forced to convert to some sort of RAID setup (whether or not I have to change the board or other components like the processor and video card because of deterioration), will ATI Workstation with Universal Restore work for me, or will I be doing a total reinstall? ( An important
    side note? ----I keep My Documents on the secondary IDE slave and it is backed up nightly to the external hard drive).

    Again, Thank You all in advance for your time and knowledge!
     

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  9. MartinB82

    MartinB82 Registered Member

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    The purpose of RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks is to provide redundancy (except for RAID 0 which is a performance/data access speed improvement measure). The redundancy provided simply protects against hard disk failure, and that is only one type of hardware failure.

    RAID 1 is also known as mirroring, and it's probably all you need to worry about. The RAID controller (a specialist disk controller) simply duplicates all your files between two (or more) disks in real time. If one disk fails, you can take it out, put a new one of the same size in, and the RAID controller will rebuild your 'mirror' with the files from the disk that didn't fail.

    If the RAID controller fails, or the motherboard, you are obviously still in at least temporary trouble. Whether another disk controller on another computer would be able to read one of the drives straight off a RAID array I don't know - maybe not.

    Really RAID is a PREVENTATIVE MEASURE and best implemented before you have problems, not afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  10. MartinB82

    MartinB82 Registered Member

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    The slave is not the booting drive. I am actually slightly unsure of myself in this area too, but I would assume all the key system files were on master drive (booting drive). Note that master and slave are not good bits of terminology to think of too literally. The terminology applies mainly to the ribbon cable connection and perhaps the setting of jumpers, but also to bootability.

    Yes Universal Restore would have helped. If you had a complete system image BEFORE you had problems, then you could have (in theory) restored that image to your new motherboard and drives using a bootable Acronis image in Universal restore mode.

    Universal Restore is NOT about data recovery. Its about the ability to restore a GOOD image to a computer that has a different HAL (hardware abstraction layer) than the computer the image was taken from. If you change the motherboard and disks then that's a different HAL, and you couldn't rely on an ordinary image to restore to the new hardware without Universal Restore or equivalent.

    Universal Restore is NOT about recovering data from an already failed system, although this might be possible.

    The advantage of a 'universal'y restored SYSTEM image is not so much the restoration of data, but the restoration of operating system files, registry settings, system updates etc etc. Sketchy here, but I would think you're primary focus would be the restoration (perhaps using Universal Restore) of a good image (if you had one) of your old primary master drive. That's what would save you trouble. Once you have a similar new system running, restoring 'my documents' etc is the easy part.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  11. barebear

    barebear Registered Member

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    Hi MartinB82,

    I did fail to mention in my posts that I had been running Norton

    Ghost on a regular basis at the time I discovered the leaking

    capacitors that necessitated the hardware changes. The ghosts were

    made to the secondary IDE slave and then backed up from there to

    the external USB IDE drive as double insurance.

    With that as a preface, I was well aware of the fact of your

    comment "Universal Restore is NOT about data recovery. Its about

    the ability to restore a GOOD image......"

    My computer shop got me interested in Acronis when they replaced

    the board, processor, and video card ---- they lent me a copy of

    their ATI Home ver.10 "bootable rescue media" to experiment with

    making backups and doing restores, and I became quite enamored of

    it. ATI Home 11 appeared on the scene as I was playing with the cd

    I'd been lent; I downloaded and tried the trial version and then

    wrote in to the forum when I found that scheduled backups weren't

    happening --- from browsing the various forum posts, I immediately

    realized that this was a widespread issue and that many Acronis

    users were going back to ver.10 because of that and other issues.

    I cruised the Acronis website to see if I could get more info.,

    and thats how I discovered the existence of "Universal Restore",

    which prompted my post "Acronis Universal Restore?" to get more

    information.

    When I wrote "Question: Eventually something in my hardware will

    again deteriorate, necessitating changes of the sort that I

    recently had to make. My current board has some sort of RAID

    capability but I don't know the specific details.
    If at that time I am forced to convert to some sort of RAID setup

    (whether or not I have to change the board or other components

    like the processor and video card because of deterioration), will

    ATI Workstation with Universal Restore work for me, or will I be

    doing a total reinstall?", I was asking it from the aspect of

    having ATI Workstation with Universal Restore installed at the

    time.

    Accordingly, let me restate my question:

    Eventually something in the hardware of my present IDE

    configuration will again deteriorate, necessitating changes of the

    sort that I recently had to make. Because of the rapidly changing

    technology, by the time that occurs I most likely will be forced

    to convert to some sort of RAID setup (whether or not I have to

    change just the board, or also other components like the processor and

    video card because of deterioration).

    If, at the time that this scenario occurs, I have ATI Workstation

    with Universal Restore installed and have a validated image on my

    backups (secondary IDE and external USB drives), will Universal

    Restore successfully function in a situation where I need to

    restore from an IDE to a RAID configuration? I do assume (please

    correct me if I'm wrong!) that the image would first have to be

    transferred from the IDE hard drive to a DVD, and then installed

    to the RAID configuration --- I would do this by means of

    connecting the USB drive to another computer and making an ISO DVD

    from there (again, please advise me if there is a better way to go

    about this)

    Ultimately,I am asking all of this in order to determine whether

    or not it is worth my while to buy ATI Workstation with Universal

    Restore as opposed to either staying with Norton Ghost or simply

    buying ATI Home ver. 10 ---- after reading the forum posts and

    peoples gripes on top of my own disappointing experience with ATI

    Home 11, there is no way that I'll buy 11!

    I realize that I could be asking all these questions by calling

    the Acronis sales department, but before I do that I want to have

    candid input from end users like me who've "been there, done

    that".

    Thank you again for your time and information!; I look forward to

    hearing from you (and anyone else reading this who has

    constructive input regarding my questions!)
     
  12. MartinB82

    MartinB82 Registered Member

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    First of all barebear, my apologies that I did not hit the nail on the head with my above posts. Now...

    Yes barebear, its exactly situations like this that UR was designed for - to make a restoration where the HAL has changed. I would like to note here that I once tried to get out of Acronis what the threshold for hardware change was, i.e. what sort of a hardware change necessitates using UR, and what sorrt of a hardware change doesn't require UR. I'm afraid I didn't get a clear answer, but I very strongly suspect that the sort of change you're talking about would require UR for a successful restoration. As far as I understand if you change your motherboard and disk controller, then you'l need to use UR.

    Edit: By the way, RAID is not really new. RAID and IDE are not replacements for each other. IDE and SATA would be a better pair (if you see what I mean (like bananas and oranges rather than bananas and fruit bowls)). AFAIK a RAID array can be implemented using IDE, SATA or even SCSI perhaps. I have a SATA RAID array. You imply that RAID may become derigeur in the future. I wouldn't necessarily assume that (for the personal computer).

    Well DVD is how I'm doing it, but others would recommend the use of an external hard drive. Some find DVDs unreliable (whether verification negates this I don't know). Jonyjoe81 suggested to me that I should only use certain brands of DVD see post 9 of this thread: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=191742

    As for the ISO process.... well there is a very long thread about that, and it started way back. I am no expert, but I do not yet understand this methods merits when used with modern versions of Acronis. ISO files cannot be larger than 2GB, so this does not make very efficient use of 4GB DVDs. I have successfully created bootable (with UR) DVDs containing .tib files that used the full capacity of the disk. My method was nothing other than to follow the Acronis built in procedure, specifying some manual options along the way. These discs have been successfully verified in the boot environement. They have not yet had the acid test of being used for a full system restore, but they will soon (possibly later today), and I will try to keep you posted.

    When discussing DVDs you should be aware of posts 5 & 7 in this thread https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=191742. Gist of this is that you may well find that only DVD+RWs work (or -RWs perhaps). Use a DVD+RW of high quality.

    No unfortunately not necessarily, you might not. I received advice from Acronis that I needed UR to make the simple RAID0 to RAID1 configuration change (physical hardware a constant). I received this advice in two 'presales chats' and one pre-purchase support email. When an experienced user on this forum challenged whether I actually needed UR, I privately forwarded him the chat transcripts and the support email. To quickly summarise/paraphrase what that experienced Acronis user thought of the advice I had been given: I was given incorrect information; my (simplish) question was going over the head of the person at Acronis; and the support answer to my question was weak (respectively).
    That said, whilst my need for UR may be non-existant/debateable, your need would be much clearer for the situation you outline.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  13. barebear

    barebear Registered Member

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    Hi MartinB82,

    I realized after my last post and even before your last reply, that with 2 different hard drives ( my secondary IDE slave and the external USB 2.0) that would have identical ATI Workstation backups, I was unnecesarily concerning myself with the DVD scenario.

    It would obviously be far easier to hook up the USB drive or transfer the secondary IDE slave to an external enclosure, and work from there --- I just really had been thinking too much and making a mountain out of a relative mole hill when I wrote my previous post ( my just desserts for being an anal retentive worry wart LOL).

    And, re your comment "first of all, my apologies....", none needed -- I am deeply grateful for all of your time and shared information and knowledge!

    From your comment "IDE and SATA would be a better pair....", I realize that I should have been referring to SATA instead of RAID in my previous posts. Theres no reason that I couldn't have 2 or (preferably) 3 SATA drives in one tower, and that I couldn't just use something like Workstation to back up to the 2nd and 3rd drives? Or, is there a real advantage to using a RAID configuration instead of doing that? If there is, what exactly would the advantage be?
    I am asking these questions after again reading your comments from a previous post --- "The purpose of RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks is to provide redundancy (except for RAID 0 which is a performance/data access speed improvement measure). The redundancy provided simply protects against hard disk failure, and that is only one type of hardware failure. RAID 1 is also known as mirroring, and it's probably all you need to worry about. The RAID controller (a specialist disk controller) simply duplicates all your files between two (or more) disks in real time. If one disk fails, you can take it out, put a new one of the same size in, and the RAID controller will rebuild your 'mirror' with the files from the disk that didn't fail."

    Thanks for being patient with all my questions --- I'm sure you can tell by now that I'm not a real advanced user and that all of this is a brand new MAJOR learning experience for me --- I'm trying very hard to not be totally overwhelmed by all the technicalities (most of which I am utterly uninformed on save for having heard the "buzzwords") ( Am I at least correct in saying that SATA is faster than IDE ? )

    I am disappointed but, based on my experiences with other software sales and/or support people, not at all surprised by your comments "No unfortunately not necessarily, you might not." etc. I have found that in these sorts of situations the best information and advice usually comes from experienced users on the forums for users of the involved software as opposed to the involved software company's sales/support staff. (Illegitimi non carborundum LOL).

    I now have still another question:

    DO you know ( or does someone else reading this ) if it is possible to buy ATI Workstation, try it out, and then if it turns out to be as good as I hope, be able a couple of months later to purchase the Universal Restore addon separately? I am asking this because we're talking a significant investment just to buy Workstation without the UR addon, and if for some reason it doesn't turn out to be my thing, I wouldn't also be unhappily out the additional expense for the UR addon.

    Thanks again for your time and info; will wait to hear back from you.
     
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