Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Fatboy71, Feb 6, 2007.

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  1. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    I am shortly going to be downloading the trial version of Acronis True Image 10 on a view to purchasing if I like it and can work the program.

    But I have a few questions first that I would like answered please,

    I have a Western Digital My Book Firewire external hard drive, which I am wanting to use primalary for backing up my PC's C drive.

    I was wondering what procedure would I have to do from start to finish to be able to restore my PC in the event of either a operating system failure or a partly corrupted operating system.

    If I had an operating system failure and my PC would not boot, how and what would I need to do prior to this happening to be able to restore it, and what is the procedure that is required to restore my pc to a state when everything worked fine.

    Also what are the best methods to use In Acronis true image 10 for backing up to my external hard drive. My worse case scenario would be these,

    If I had a problem with my pc, and when I switched my pc on it got to a point just prior to it starting to try and attempt to load up Windows and then failed to load, how would I be able to restore my PC to a working condition off of the external hard drive, i.e everything working fine, all my programs and everything else would be working fine.

    If I installed some new software/hardware, and I then found out that I was having problems and I wanted to restore my PC to a time when everything worked fine how would I do this, I understand that I would be able to use system Restore but if this would not work how would I then do this.

    If anyone can answer all my questions I would be very very grateful.
     
  2. nb47

    nb47 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Well, you should make an 'emergence start up disk' on cd (or floppy) 1ST. Then download the pdf of the how to's on their website & that will help you a lot & show you what the backup & restore wizrds look like-worked for me. Empty your temp files 1st & hook up the ext. hard drive FIRST-program won't see it unless you do it in that order. Good luck!!
     
  3. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Properly made Acronis image backups can enable you to completely restore your system either replacing the existing data or writing it onto a new drive.

    The search function on this forum can be of great help. Very few new questions have been asked that have not already been answered.

    A recent pdf by me on "Basic Backup steps" can be found next (851mb:)
    http://206.128.27.80/gh-misc/acronis-backup1.pdf

    A recent pdf by me on a typical restore listed next:
    http://206.128.27.80/gh-misc/ti-typical-restore.pdf

    The link to version 10 user manual is in my signature as well as "assigning unique drive names" reminder:

    A tutorial from Acronis is available from this link. (4 separate parts)
    http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/company/inpress/2006/06-15-1ati.html

    or you can request Menorcaman send you his zipped pdf of the same item which is combined into one pdf (3.6mb):
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  4. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Thank you all very much for the help, I have many things about Acronis True Image all good I must say.

    So basically if I were to purchase Acronic True Image 10 and today for example my pc is working fine no problems at all, but say next week my pc would not load into windows for whatever reason and I had previously took a back up of my PC's C drive today, would I be able to restore my PC to todays condition, i.e everything working fine, also if I was restoring my pc at the time that Windows would not load up would all my settings for all my programs still be there, i.e I wouldnt have to go through all my programs altering the settings to my preferences.


    GroverH,

    Your links sound very helpful, but unfortunatly when I click on the links for the "A recent pdf by me on "Basic Backup steps" can be found next (851mb"

    and the, "A recent pdf by me on a typical restore listed next" all that happened when I clicked on them was that my browser showed "SERVICE UNAVAILABLE"
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    When you make an image of the disk or partition it does just that, makes an image of it so the restore results is the same disk content as when the image was made. TI also wipes the partition being restored first so all there is going to be in that partition is what is contained in the image archive. The settings and anything else have no option other than to be what they were when the image was made. So, yes, you are right back to "todays condition".
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    My original links now functional. Link host had problems.

    Have you used XP Disk management to determine whether you have hidden or multiple partitions? If you have any of these, this can affect how you backup and how you restore.
     
  7. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Thank you very much seekforever for clearing that up, from all the help I have been given on here Acronis TI sounds just like what I want.

    GroverH, thanks for updating me about the links, I have printed the info off for future reference I have also saved the PDF user guides as well.

    When I select backup/next/my computer/next, it appears that I have a 2.3GB partition (SEE PICTURE) which I think may be used by PC Angel which is a hard-disk based disaster proof Backup & Rescue/Recovery program, this was pre installed on my pc when I purchased it, PC Angel does show up on the bottom of my screen very briefly just before Windows starts to load.
    http://img453.imageshack.us/img453/3689/20070207231814aj4.th.png

    I am not that bothered about having the second partion with/for PC Angel on it as I would have a full backup of my operating system and everything else with Acronis TI and as such I could restore my system off of that. Just wondering if/how it is possible to delete this 2.3GB second partition and having the 2.3GB distributed to the one and only remaining partition. I have also took the advice on renaming the drives to a more familar name, I have renamed my PC's hard drive to Evesham PC Drive, and my external to PC Backup Drive, so that they will be more noticable to me when the drives cease to be "user assigned".
    I would just like to thank everyone for the greatly appreciated help. I will definately be purchasing Acronis TI now that I know a bit more than I did, I Have had three operating system failures where my PC would not start up and now with Acronis TI I am hoping that this will not happen to me again. Thanks again. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    I assume you are referring to the XP System Restore with a variety of daily checkpoints. Keep in mind that can only restores your registry (when it works) and does nothing about file changes. For the most part, this system restore is useless and fails to work when you need it. You might want to check my link here on ERunt which I use as a replacement for XP System Restore. ERunt has also been discussed on this forum in the past. I personally have XP System Restore turned off and use ERunt regularly. Depending upon how often you perform full image backups, you don't even need ERunt.
    http://206.128.27.142/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/9/t/000145.html

    Looking ahead:
    You do not say whether you have a desktop or laptop? xp-pro or xp-home. HP or Dell, etc. What type recovery disks do you have (XP install disk or mfgr supplied recovery disk--or only from your PCAngel.

    It is also possible that your PCAngel recovery partition has modified your MBR since you mention seeing it during bootup

    While you may be creating your backups by check marking only partition C, True Image is very much aware of the other partitions.

    I would suggest that you use Notepad and open and print c:\boot.ini file. This has your current boot settings which you need to be aware of. This shows whether you're booting from disk 0 or 1; or partition 1 or 2, etc.

    You appear to be cramped for space. I would suggest you buy a new larger replacement for your system drive and do your experimentation on it. Remove the old drive without any modifications--it is your safety valve. Restoring your image backup onto the new drive. I believe you WILL have some difficulty because of the TI awareness of the recovery partition. In order for you to get up & running with a new disk without the recovery partition, you may need some help from the forum. Or, if you should do a full disk backup of both partitions and full disk restore of both partitions, then your disk upgrade problems would be lessoned considerably. Once you have your new replacement working properly, then you reformat the old and use it as additional storage--or keep it as insurance. Some of the posters have been glad they kept their recovery partitions until the new replacement was fully functional.
    • For my own use, I have my first drive partitioned
      ..C=system
      ..D=personal data--My documents--email, downloaded programs, etc
      ..E=Misc work area.

      If I have a problem with one of those partitions, I simply restore the one partition from one of TI image backups. However, if I have a problem where the entire disk (all partitions) needs to be replaced, then I would use a full disk image backup and do a full image restore.

      if I have a problem which affects only a single partition, then I replace only that partition.

      TI works best when its replacement (partitions) is the same as the original (partitions). Otherwise, some minor problems have to be overcome--mbr-larger space, etc. The hardware experts can offer more guidance on that topic.
    Boot from your CD and perform a backup and make sure your external drive is identified and able to receive your backups. I would suggest one of your backups is of the full disk type where all partitions are check marked.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Fatboy71,

    Could you look at Disk Management? Right click My Computer, Manage, Disk Management. Is that FAT32 partition at the left or right end of Disk 0? If it's at the right hand end you could delete it later (if you want to) without worrying about boot problems from an image restore. The left end is different. Could you confirm that your C: drive is at the very left of the Disk 0 graphic?

    Make your backup images first and then consider making your computer more efficient by partitioning and separating your OS from your data. See GroverH's partitioning scheme.

    Don't do any partitioning until you have backup images. It's a big topic so take your time absorbing this information.

    http://partition.radified.com/

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm#13

    http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=49222
     
  10. rayh78

    rayh78 Registered Member

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    Would I be OK the way this is.

    Partition Basic FAT Healthy(EISA CONFIG) 55 MB
    Partition Basic FAT32 Healthy(unknown partition) 4.63GB
    Partition Basic NTFS Healthy(SYSTEM) 228.13 GB

    Its the way this new dell E521 came.
    Thanks
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    rayh78,

    Could you have a look at your boot.ini and let us know if it references partition(3) ?

    There will be no problems if you need to restore an image but if you don't restore it to partition(3) then a slight tweak will be needed. Do you have a floppy drive? Running editbini.exe from a bootable floppy is the easiest way to edit boot.ini but there are many other ways.
     
  12. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Sorry I should have been more specific, I have a Desktop PC which XP Pro Service Pack 2, my PC is made by a firm called Evesham which is a company based in the UK.

    The PC came with a disc which has written on it "Evesham Technology Limited, Product Recovery CD Rom Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2" I was told by Evesham when I purchased my pc that "I would be able to put Windows XP Pro back on to my system in the event of an operating system failure, by using this disc".

    I see "PC Protected by PC Angel" on every boot of my PC.

    Here are the details from the boot.ini,

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


    I know some may disagree and think that it is a bad idea but I have always just had/prefered to have the 1 partition on my hard drive I prefer it that way, my Evesham PC came already with the 2 partitions and I wasnt aware that it did indeed have 2 partitions until I went to do a backup with Acronis TI and seen it on the picture (that I have enclosed above).

    The Reason I prefer to have the 1 partition is because I always think well what would happen if the partition that I had for my programs on etc got full, correct me if im wrong but if this did happen then would I not be able to install any more programs etc, if this is the case then I would have to reformat the drive and adjust the partitions to a larger size, then I would then need to restore all my saved work, I could be wrong but this is the way I have always thought about having partitions, thats why I prefer to just have the 1 partition then that way the full storage capacity of the drive is available.


    I have taken a full backup of both of the partitions, so if the operating system failed I would then just restore both of these partitions as I would expect to get less/no problems by doing it this way, it was just I was wondering if I could delete this second 2.3GB partition and have the 2.3GB of storage added to the then one and only partition, if I couldnt I am not that bothered, it was just out of curiosity.

    This is the contents of the second partition in question.

    http://[URL=http://img174.imageshack.us/my.php?image=20070208091238re3.png][IMG]http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/5678/20070208091238re3.th.png[/URL][/IMG]
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    You need to read the links. If a partition is too small, you just enlarge it. No data loss. No formatting. But you need extra software eg Partition Magic, Acronis DDS.

    Sure. You can do this but you need Partition Magic. WinXP can't do this.
     
  14. mfabien

    mfabien Registered Member

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  15. rayh78

    rayh78 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio


    iS THIS IT? also dont have a floppy drive on this one.

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\Windows
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\Windows=”Windows XP Media Center”/noexecute=optin/fastdetect
     
  16. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Thank you Brian K for clearing that up I will bear it in mind, thanks very much.


    mfabien,
    I will do what you have suggested about creating a BartPE rescue cd. Thanks very much.

    rayh,

    The only file called boot.ini on my pc was this one which I opened with NOTEPAD and yes thats all that was shown.


    Thank you all very much for the help it really is appreciated.
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    rayh78,

    That's interesting. It's partition(2).

    Could you look in Disk Management (right click My Computer, click Manage, Disk Management) and let me know the order of the 3 partitions in the Disk 0 graphic rectangle. NOT the order in the list at the top of the window.
     
  18. rayh78

    rayh78 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    55 MB C:228.13 4.63GB
    Is this OK will this effect me when I backup.
    Just received the software and ready to install

    thanks
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    rayh78,

    That's fine. WinXP really is Partition(2).

    If you need to restore to a new HD make sure that you restore the first two partitions and you won't have any boot problems. It doesn't matter if you don't restore the third partition.

    As the first and third partitions never change, you only have to back them up (backup image) once. Your C: drive will need to be imaged as needed.
     
  20. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    mfabien,
    So to clarify if I didnt make a BartPE CD with ATI 10 plugin, would I still be able to restore my PC by using the Bootable rescue media CD that I have created with Acronis TI 10, although it would take longer by doing it by this method.
     
  21. mfabien

    mfabien Registered Member

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    Fatboy71,

    Yes. However, the OS system in the Acronis Rescue disk is Linux and it does not respect the external drive letters assigned by Windows. The best thing to do is to "Rename" your external HDD (right click: Computer>rename) such as *Backup_HDD*.

    In my opinion, making the BartPE CD is worth the effort.
     
  22. rayh78

    rayh78 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    So to make it more simple and easy for me to remember I will be OK if I just alwasy click on full disk (which would be all partitions) whenever I backup or restore. Then each restore saved will have everything I need to restore?
    Thanks
     
  23. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Yeah I can remember reading something about the drive letters been changed around in one of Grover H links, so I changed the name of my pc's hard drive to 'PC Hard Drive'and my external hard drive that I have my pc hard drive backed up on is called 'PC Back up drive'. I may take you advice and make a BartPE cd. Thanks very much for the help.
     
  24. Fatboy71

    Fatboy71 Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    So to confirm/clarify on what you have said, 'so all there is going to be in that partition is what is contained in the image archive. The settings and anything else have no option other than to be what they were when the image was made'.

    Would this apply as far as all my Desktop icons been included when the restore was finished and them been in their original positions/layout on my desktop.

    I was thinking for the sake of simplicity for me, to do just FULL BACKUP ARCHIVES all the time, say once a week and when my external hard drive gets full then I would just delete the oldest one, I have around 60GB on my pc's hard drive so with my external hard drive (which is what im going to use to keep my backups on) been 320gb I would be able to get 5 FULL BACKUP ARCHIVES on before it would be full, its just I thought it would be easier for me and I would have the peace of mind knowing that they could be nothing missing as these would be FULL BACKUP ARCHIVES.
     
  25. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Re: Backing up to an external hard drive, a few questions, best way to, any suggestio

    Everything should be exactly as it was when you made the backup unless something in Windows starts up and makes some changes which is unlikely. In fact I have put a shortcut on the desktop to identify which image I was dealing with when I was testing out some different scenarios once.

    If you do incremental or differential images you will get everything back as well since it examines the entire partition for changes. In a Files and Folders backup where you can select the files to be backed up there is a chance you will not select a needed file or folder. Note that Files and Folders backups will not restore a bootable OS and they are much slower.
     
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