An external boot (recovery) drive that has other partitions for general use

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Ed Every, Mar 18, 2009.

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  1. Ed Every

    Ed Every Registered Member

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    I am not yet an ATI owner/user.

    I am interested in using an "external" boot (recovery) drive that has other partitions for general use. I searched for info on this but am still unsure of the answer.

    Using a USB connected SATA drive and ATI I would like to make the USB drive bootable and contain what the current boot drive contains (an image of it?, a clone of it?). In addition I would like to have additional partitions on this same drive that I can use to collect non-Acronis back-up files (or anything else).

    The USB drive that will be used is really an "internal type" drive connected through a Vantec SATA-to-USB adapter/power-supply. Push comes to shove, if the current boot drive tanks (and if I have to) I can always hook up the USB connected "recovery drive" directly as a regular SATA drive.

    I'm not sure what I would be getting into trying to do all this.

    Vista Home Basic
    Dell E520 Desktop
    160 GB, 2 GB
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    AFAIK, Windows will not boot from an external USB drive.

    In TI terms, a clone of a disk is an exact copy of a complete disk which means that any other partitions or data that isn't present on the source disk will be overwritten when a clone is made.

    You want to make an image of your current disk and store it in a partition on your external disk. You can then restore this image whenever you want to. If you disk fails the normal course would be to install a new HD, boot up the TI rescue CD and restore the image to the new HD. The other advantage of using an image is that you can have any number of them taken at various points in time store on the external drive since they are just big files.

    If you don't want to have to buy a new HD and use it, you can setup your external with a suitable sized primary partition that you don't use for regular storage. If the HD fails you can install your backup drive and using the TI rescue CD restore the image to the primary partition.
     
  3. Ed Every

    Ed Every Registered Member

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    Good clear answer.

    If I got it right then there are two main choices:


    1. Make a clone using the USB connected SATA drive>
    Advantages : You can (when needed) just install it internally as a SATA boot drive and just boot it up as you did the original drive without need for the TI Rescue CD.
    Disadvantages: Once used for the clone, you can't use the USB connected drive for anything else.
    Question: I understood from your post that you can't boot from a USB connected drive. I'm wondering if you can create a clone when the SATA drive is USB connected or would you need to connect it directly as a second internal SATA drive during cloning?


    2. Partition the new USB connected SATA hard disk and make a TI Image of your present boot disk storing it in one of the USB/SATA drive's partitions (not in the primary partition).

    Then, using a TI Rescue CD (that you create in advance), boot the TI Rescue CD and using the image you stored, use the "restore" function to recreate the original boot drive on a primary partition of the USB connected SATA hard disk. You can use the other (non-primary) partitions for anything you want.

    To use this back-up drive as the boot drive, shut the computer down and physically install the USB/SATA drive as an internal drive. When you fire it up it should boot up just as the original drive did.

    Advantages: You can use the back-up drive for other things as well.
    Disadvantages: Perhaps more steps?
    Questions: I have assumed above that you can create an image and restore the image to a primary partition while the SATA drive is connected through a USB/SATA adapter. Is that a valid assumption?


    Thanks.
     
  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I think the two methods are really equivalent.

    In either case, I understand the external disk cannot just be installed inside the computer and booted from. The disk won´t boot, there are "letter problems" that must be solved first.

    And in the first case, the external cloned disk can indeed be use for other things. I did a clone to a larger disk, then resized the data partitions and I use them freely, to save images, for one thing.
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Ed said: "Disadvantages: Once used for the clone, you can't use the USB connected drive for anything else."

    A little clarification here ... you can have only ONE clone per drive, but as long as there is space, you can add files to it. If you do, it will then be a little different to the original.
     
  6. Ed Every

    Ed Every Registered Member

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    Assuming we end up with just one internal hard drive in the computer in each of the alternative approaches mentioned
    1. clone,
    2. restore from image on USB/SATA drive to new SATA drive,
    3. restore to primary partition from image on another partition on same USB/SATA drive (physically re-installed as sole SATA drive in computer)

    What letter problems will we have and specifically how can they be resolved?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  7. Ed Every

    Ed Every Registered Member

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    Thanks. That's very useful to know.
     
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