Advice on backup

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by nattres, Dec 2, 2006.

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  1. nattres

    nattres Registered Member

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    Hello,
    I have a Dell 4700 Dimension, WinXP Home. I backup with TI 9 to a USB hard drive. Hard drive failed a few weeks ago and I used TI to recover files. Decided to do a fresh install of the OS and programs on a new 320 Gb hard drive. I am considering installing a second hard drive now and periodically restoring the image from the USB drive to the second desktop drive. Will I then have an alternative bootable drive if my C drive fails again? this would also give me more confidence in the images as they would be "testable" Are there any pitfalls to this idea? Would it be best if the second drive was exactly the same - a Maxtor SATA 320 Gb? Advice and comments most welcome.
     
  2. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    As you have decided to do a fresh Install I would proceed as follows:

    (1) Install Windows - when asked fully delete everything so that you are starting with a clean drive .
    (2) Install inf files, drivers, etc
    (3) Install ATI and make a rescue disk
    (3) Make a full image of C: to your second drive
    (4) change C: to simulate damage to C:
    (5) restore your image to C:
    (6) make and restore other images until you gain confidence and know that your images will work when needed.
    (7) activate Windows and then make a full image which can be stored on an external USB, DVD whatever so that in future all you will have to do is restore this image if you want to start again.
    (:cool: start adding programs - every so often make a new FULL image. Then if something goes wrong all you will have to do is go back to the last good image rather than to the beginning.
    (9) If your second drive is exactly the same as your c: drive it will certainly help. assuming you have a good system image held externally and your c: fails then all you have to do is remove the bad drive and replace with the second drive and restore your image.
    (10) by the way my preference is still to partition C: so that I have a system partition and a data partition. That way I can make images to the second drive of both my system and my data and restore my system whenever I want without overwriting my data. Images made to the second drive are then moved off to other drives for archival purposes and additional security ( it is no good having your only image on a pc that is stollen or when your house burns down) - always keep some images off site.
     
  3. nattres

    nattres Registered Member

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    Thanks LONG VIEW for the response. My only remaining fuzziness is - will desktop hard drive #2 (containing restored image from C drive by way of USB standalone) be bootable simply by changing boot order? These are SATA drives so am I correct thinking master/slave does not apply? I do take your point about offsite backup and copy to DVD for this - but not often enough.
     
  4. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Not sure. My guess is that 1 of the sata cables is for the boot drive so if Drive #1 fails all you would have to do is disconnect the sata cable from #1 and connect it to #2 ( provided you have previously restored c: to #2).

    I understand that some on this list specifically restore c: to a second drive and then replace drives to be sure that their backup drives are fully operational.

    If you have the time and the interest just play around with all the different ways of doing these things. If you start out with a good image you can try out all sorts of ideas and then put things back the way they were if you make a mess.

    Good luck
     
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    How the SATA drive is selected for booting depends on the machine and BIOS. Most allow setting the boot device in the BIOS so you don't have to swap cables. This is more flexible than the IDE method. You'll need to try it on your machine.

    You are correct, Master and Slave do not apply to SATA devices.

    One caution about SATA is whether or not the drive and controller are SATA1 or SATA2. SATA2 drives are supposed to operate on SATA1 controllers with no problem but like everything else, it isn't always the case which is why there is a jumper on the SATA2 drives to make it match the SATA1 spec if necessary. IMO, if you have a SATA1 controller and a SATA2 drive, best to put it on anyway even if it appears to be OK.
     
  6. nattres

    nattres Registered Member

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    Thanks again LONGVIEW and SEEKFOREVER. My new drive is SATA2 and I'll pick up another tomorrow. Can't find info in computer whether controllers are SATA2 or not but new drive works fine. Will add to this thread once installed and tested. Also intend to try restore from one of my DVD images - again for confidence.
     
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