Another newbie question--large drives?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by epack, Sep 20, 2006.

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  1. epack

    epack Registered Member

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    Like PDR in another thread, I am also a newbie (to some degree), and contemplating purchasing True Image to backup my new XP Pro system. I've been doing my research, and ran across this statement in a competing product's user forum:

    "If you have an XP system with large HDs (250 GB) with NTFS, the boot CD will not recognize the HDs. You can specify special drivers to be loaded from A:, but if you can't get hold of drivers or have no diskette reader, you are stuck."

    I DO have such a drive, 250GB NTFS, and I do NOT have a floppy drive, so my question is if this will be an issue with True Image? I do have a 1GB flash drive, but it's not bootable, of course :( I assume I also need to set my boot options to include a CD drive, if I'm not mistaken, or will this even work? Or do I just need to buy an external floppy drive?

    I then saw this in one of the T/I FAQ:

    "(Note: if Acronis True Image cannot identify the file system, it creates a sector-by-sector image of the disk. This image is not compressed and the image file will be the same size as the disk being imaged.) "

    Does this apply to the aforementioned large drive?

    Like PDR again, my goal is to periodically back up my entire hd to an external drive (as an image backup, presumably), mainly for major disaster recovery purposes, and be able to safely restore it if needed. Without a bootable floppy and/or CD with what drivers etc I need, can I even do this?

    Thanks!

    elaine
    charlottesville, va
     
  2. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Acronis True Image Home has a 15-day trial period. Why don't you download this trial version and see if you can create a Rescue CD. Then try creating an Acronis image of your system and storing this image on a Slave drive, on an external USB2 drive or on some other acceptable medium. Then boot from the Rescue CD and see if you can access this image.

    BTW the quote from a competing product's user forum probably refers to an imaging software that requires you to boot from a floppy to access the imaging software itself. I think that is the case for Ghost. ATI does not have you boot from a floppy to access True Image. To access your image you have the choice of doing so either from within Windows or by booting from the Rescue CD which runs in a Linux environment.
     
  3. epack

    epack Registered Member

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    I have already d/l the trial for this very purpose but as I haven't bought the external drive yet :) I have to wait until then so I don't pop my 15 days--plan to do this by the weekend.

    Heh! Yes, it was Ghost :) A friend whose opinion I trust swears by Ghost 9.0 but for many reasons, I'm hesitant to go with any of the Norton products.

    Hmm. If my system is (theoretically) SO hosed that I cannot get to it within Windows (but restorable) or even boot to it, I'd need something else to boot to so that I can restore it, right? And I'm not sure I totally understand what you mean by the Rescue CD running in a Linux environment--I take it this is a boot CD loaded with Linux then vs DOS? And this will still let me restore my *windows* system? Sorry, I don't know enough about Linux to answer that question myself.

    elaine
     
  4. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    In simple terms if you cannot restore your image from within windows, ATI gives you the option of creating a boot disk, this boot disk will allow you to startup and the boot disk takes over asking you which backup (image) or files you wish to restore. There is a linux kernel on this boot disk (i'm not that familiar what this truly means), but this linus kernel has a bare bones startup which has the drivers to read your usb external hd and runs the restore you designate on your computer.

    It will then use your external usb hd where your backups reside and restore them to the drive you designate. I backup (image) c:, one drive with everything on it. Very simple for me, others have numerous sectors and formats for their computers. It works the same way for all.

    The best asset ATI has, is this forum, where many people much more knowledgable than me are always willing to help.

    If I read your post correctly ATI will work for you. You can read the users manual for greater detail and the stickys in this forum are a good read.

    BTW I have a 250 gig hd on pc and ATI backs up and restores!!

    Hope this helps and Good Luck.
     
  5. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    The Rescue CD that Acronis has you create runs in a Linux environment. However you don't have to know anything about Linux to run it. You will probably not even realize that you're not running in Windows. I run ATI from within Windows to create my backups but I use the Rescue Disk exclusively to restore my backups and also if I need to clone a disk. If ever your Windows gets screwed up for whatever reason you boot from the Rescue CD and restore your previously created image. It's all done in about one minute per GB of data.
     
  6. epack

    epack Registered Member

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    Right, I'm quite familiar with using a boot disk/CD just wasn't sure about the linux tie in and how it could still handle a windows system restore.

    That's my plan too :) I'd kick it off when I'm done for the night and just let it do its thing. FAR easier than worrying about what files have I backed up lately, and so on. JMO of course :)

    I quite agree! This whole forum idea has become very widespread for many commercial products and I have found that users are frequently a LOT more open on the up and down sides of the products than the official support folks.

    Yes, I'm thinking so too, and I like the price [compared to other options] :)

    About how full is it? My new machine is barely a month old so I haven't junked it up all that much (yet!) --barely 26GB in use at this time. That will change :) How does the ATI image compare in size to the source drive? Even if it's a full disk image backup, is it compressed in any way or is it exactly the same size as the source drive? Like mine--would I get a 26GB image or something smaller? Everything else being equal of course :) I'd sure like to put several "generations" of images on the external drive if that is feasible.

    Thanks! It's all VERY helpful. I'm liking what I'm hearing more and more :)

    elaine
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Ignore this incorrect advice.

    That should be easy to fix.
     
  8. epack

    epack Registered Member

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    OK, that's good to know :)

    Exactly what I want to do.

    Oy! Sounds pretty good! I can live with that :) As I asked someone else, how does the size of the image compare to the original?

    thanks!

    elaine
     
  9. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    It all depends on the degree of compression you choose as well as what your data looks like. Some stuff can't be compressed.
     
  10. epack

    epack Registered Member

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    True enough and I do understand that very well. I should have added something like "everything else being equal".

    That said, tho, using "typical" level compression rates, I think you've still answered my question. It apparently won't (necessarily) be a one-for-one image, which "should" do the trick of letting me keep more than one backup. Everything else being equal of course :)

    Thanks!

    elaine
     
  11. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    *I have used about 18 gigs of the 250 on my hd.

    *I have a 300 gig external Maxtor III. I can store about 15 images (without compression) and have a historical choice of which I choose to restore.

    *You have choices on compression level, there are four choices starting at "none" which I use, but you can decide for yourself.

    *It takes me about 10 minutes to to a "full" backup to my external. So it might take you about 20 minutes, all things being equal.

    *I too know just about nothing about linux I just press icons and hope I know which ones to press at the appropriate time and why.

    *Yes, the forum is the thing!!
     
  12. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Under Normal compression (the best compromise in terms of time/size) a typical C: partition will compress to 60-70% of original used space (after the deduction of the space used for the pagefile and the hibernation file that are not included in the image with their whole content).

    Something one should be aware of is the size of System Restore files which can amount to quite a lot if you leave System Restore at it's default maximum settings.
     
  13. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    SOOOO Very True indeed!!! I've seen this take up 17gb of space.:eek:

    I turned mine OFF the moment I reinstalled XP.
     

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  14. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I also disabled Windows System Restore and replaced it with FirstDefense-ISR, that recovers my system, not only inside, but also outside Windows.
    Windows System Restore only saves your system inside Windows and that is not good enough for me.
    ATI is also good for this, but not so fast as a reboot-time.
    ATI is a neccessity, FDISR is luxury. :)
     
  15. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Not only that, but "Windows Restore" also leaves behind "Orphaned" files and folders on the C:/ drive.;)

    When using TI, there is NO trace of a program, or Registry entries. :thumb:
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I didn't know this about leaving orphaned files, but that doesn't surprise me, what else can you expect from M$. Third party softwares, like ATI and FDISR have to do the job RIGHT as USUAL. :)
     
  17. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I didn't turn off System Restore, but I did reduce the space allowed to it to the minimal 200 MB, for the following reasons:

    - before I had TI, System Restore restored my system a few times quite successfully (contrary to the widespread opinion of SR being unreliable);

    - the fact that SR does not restore the program files and data files situation can often be a beneficial feature;

    - the fact that SR automatically creates restore points prior to major installations (Windows updates included) can save me if I omitted to create an image when I should have;

    - some programs (my registry cleaner) rely on SR for backup before performing their function.

    I'm willing to have the image files some 140 MB larger if that grants me another way out.
     
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