Are Folder Junctions safe with Acronis ?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by alan_b, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    To improve archiving and disc management, I wish to move the following from the system partition to a different partition, and use Folder Junctions (created by xplorer2) so that all applications will not realise they have moved.

    C:\I386
    C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles
    C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Music

    Will Acronis have any problems (will I run any risks) when creating or restoring images ?

    Are there any precautions I should take ?

    Does Acronis use Microsoft.NET ?

    Regards
    Alan
     
  2. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Alan

    sorry I Know nothing about Folder Junctions or Microsoft.net BUT

    Acronis simply makes an image of a partition or drive for later restoration. I know that Acronis have added all sort of bloat options but the basic program just images what is there. Even when Acronis can not read ( an encrypted drive) it can do a sector by sector image.


    So if I understand you correctly - you will move various file from C: and then make an image of C: and probably D: and other partitions ?

    if this works before you image then it should work after you restore
     
  3. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    Long View

    Yes, you understand correctly.

    Acronis APPEARS to do exactly what I require when I test it with music files in two non-essential partitions whose contents have no value.

    I need to know if Acronis is SAFE when essential partitions such as system C:\ have Folder Junctions.

    Windows Explorer is insane. It gives different answers for the same partition.
    When all objects INTERNAL to R:\ are selected W.E. reports
    "size on disk 959 MB ... "
    When EXTERNAL R:\ is selected W.E. reports
    "Used space 701 MB ... "
    normally the EXTERNAL used space is larger than the INTERNAL size for any partition.
    The peculiarity here is due to the EXTERNAL view excluding the contents of
    R:\Shared Music, which is actually a Folder Junction pointing at 323 MB stored on D:\.

    Most applications see and use only the INTERNAL view.
    If I simply copy R:\ to an empty partition T:\, then W.E. will see
    INTERNAL "size on disk 959 MB ... "
    EXTERNAL "Used space 1024 MB ... "

    Acronis is different.
    Before I created the Folder Junction R:\Shared Music I created R1.tib,
    and this captured the 959 - 323 = 636 MBytes present within R:\.
    After creating Folder Junction R:\Shared Music image R2.tib captured exactly the same plus 4 kByte (1 cluster) corresponding to R:\Shared Music.
    R2.tib was 2 kByte larger than R1.tib.

    Acronis, Easeus, and PerfectDisc may EXECUTE code like most applications, hopefully with no awareness or ill effect that various DLL's and EXE's etc. have been relocated away from C:\;
    But they OPERATE at a deeper level upon data in sectors/clusters, copying and physically shifting around.

    I wish to be sure that all 3 applications will restrict their activities to the physical partitions they should OPERATE on, and not be fooled by Folder Junctions into additionally operating within other partitions.

    e.g. when PerfectDisk does a defrag and has to shift "R:\Shared Music" it should NOT be fooled into defragging its contents which are actually stored on D:\.

    At the end of the day, it is essential that no damage be done as a result of Folder Junctions in C:\.
    I have started similar threads upon Acronis, Easeus, and PerfectDisc user forums to determine whether OPERATIONS on C:\ could stray out of C:\ and onto other partitions. These applications need to OPERATE on an EXTERNAL view of Folder Junctions, not an INTERNAL view.

    "Shared Music" appears to be OPERATED on correctly by Acronis, but please warn me if I have overlooked some hazard.

    I believe C:\I386 and C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles are only used when Windows distrusts a DLL etc. and is preparing to demand my Windows Installation Disc. I will risk a little aggravation.

    Microsoft.NET only needs very occasional backups - nothing happens to it for a year or two. It will improve archiving if I can move it to D:\

    I need to know if Acronis uses .NET Framework.
    If so then restoring an image to D:\ gets interesting as D:\Partition is deleted - until the image is restored Acronis cannot run on the DLLs etc. that are no longer available.
    I would prefer to keep .NET stored on C:\ rather than risk a chaotic system crash into un-bootability ! !
     
  4. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Have you made an emergency boot disk ? You can make and restore images without Acronis being installed. The Acronis boot disk uses Linux so I don't think
    Net Framework comes in to it.
     
  5. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    Yes, an Acronis Boot CD was created before Christmas when I had a 30 GB drive.
    This CD was used to restore the last image of C:\ onto my brand new drive.

    Unfortunately for two years I did not know better, and I always used Windows for both copying and restoring. I was always lucky. I never realised that it could fail and I would have to fall back on an unproven Boot CD.

    It has always been safe to use Windows for restoring partition D:\
    If I move a vital piece of the O.S. onto D:\ then restoration will guarantee its loss when D:\ is deleted. If Acronis uses .NET Framework there will be a chaotic system crash. This is inevitable unless I remember to use the Boot CD.

    I will NOT remember, so if Acronis uses .NET I will keep it on C:\.

    Hence my interest in knowing whether Acronis uses .NET.

    Regards
    Alan
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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  7. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    hopefully someone else will respond re net

    I can say that I don't have Net running on any of my machines. I do recall programs that I have tried wanting me to install Net but I have so far managed to survive without it. Seems a large program and as I have no idea what it does I have stayed away. My Guess then is that Acronis does not need it.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I just re-read this thread and came away with a different interpretation. I tried to add to it at the end but the thread is locked.

    If you read the reply by Acronis Support in post #5, I think that Marat is describing what happens if you do a files and folders backup of a partition containing junction points. During a files and folders backup, TI would do its copy operations at the file level. When it encounters a junction point, it should dutifully include all of the files referenced by the junction point in the backup. Marat advises against this due to the fact that the other partition is not locked; therefore a file-level backup may not get the correct information if it is changing during the backup.

    I don't think he was talking about a partition image. He states "But, since it's a different volume that wasn't prepared (locked) for backup, that part might end up containing inconsistent data, if the files are accessed during backup creation. Furthermore, it is likely to create problems after the restoration of such image." Files don't get accessed during a partition image creation operation, so he's talking about a file-level backup.

    I still think that making an image of a partition containing junction points is safe to do. The junction points are just blocks on the disk that are copied just like the rest of the disk blocks and there is nothing that would/should cause TI to jump over and start copying from the other partition. As corroborating evidence, I have used TI to back up my Linux partitions. They contain many symbolic links and junction points; some of which point to other partitions, and the image file is the expected size. Also, a restore always comes out correctly.
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I don't think TI uses .net framework but Symantec Ghost does IIRC. I know I was running at least earlier versions of TI on machines without .net installed. Also, it is not listed under system requirements on the Acronis TI2009 Home page.

    Regarding the comment about restoring from Windows and being glad that it never failed requiring the boot CD:
    If the active partition is being restored even though the "data entry" for the restore is inputted to the Windows version, the PC will reboot and load the Linux rescue environment off the HD. In effect, the rescue CD stuff was running even though it was not loaded off a CD.
     
  10. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    Thank you

    I am now satisfied that Folder Junctions are safe with Acronis.

    I have started similar threads with Easeus and PerfectDisk which also operate directly at disk level, and expect to use Folder Junctions in the next few days.

    Being cautious, I will start with the Music folder, and leave the system folders as is for a few weeks to make sure that nothing goes wrong - not just with these three disk level manipulators, but with anything else I have not anticipated.

    Nearly two years ago I accidentally observed that restoring an image from an NTFS partition took 15 minutes, whilst a similar image on a FAT32 partition took only 6 minutes.
    Since then I used only FAT32 partitions for images.
    I quickly discovered that Linux drivers were used for restoring the system.
    I deduced that Linux takes much longer reading from NTFS than from FAT32.

    Question :-
    Have the Linux drivers with version 11 improved yet ?
    Is it possible that Linux can now access either NTFS or FAT32 with the same speed ?

    Regards
    Alan
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Alan,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    FAT 32 drivers are considered to be the open source drivers (against to NTFS drivers). Therefore, our developers are working to raise up the performance.

    Thank you.

    --

    Oleg Lee
     
  12. alan_b

    alan_b Registered Member

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    Thank you Oleg
     
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