Backup Disk Size

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by DavidPJ, Mar 10, 2005.

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  1. DavidPJ

    DavidPJ Registered Member

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    I'm a newbie to this forum and backup software in general. I'm considering purchasing True Image to backup my system c drive. My system drive is an 80GB Maxtor PATA, and I would add a second PATA drive on the same channel. I also have 2-SATA drives but I'm not interested in backing up those drives with True Image.

    Regarding the drive for the backup image, is there any advantage to purchasing a drive larger or much larger than the drive that is being backed up? For example, does it make any sense to buy a 250GB drive for the backup image of a 80GB system drive?

    And also, can the backup image drive be written to like any other HDD or is it used exclusively by True Image?

    Thanks for getting me started.

    Dave
     
  2. bouchecl

    bouchecl Registered Member

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    Hi Dave,

    I bought True Image only yesterday, but here's my 2 cents with regards to your questions:

    Larger HD?
    It would be a waste of money to buy a 250 GB to backup an 80 GB drive. Backups made with True Image are compressed, ie they take less space than the original partition. If you want to buy a drive, buy a 160 GB, clone your 80 GB to the new unit and use the smaller drive to store your backups. That's what I did this afternoon, and this message is proof that this feature works.

    TI images written to a regular HD?
    Yes, images can be written as a file on a regular HD. They can be saved to a CD, DVD or a remote computer on you LAN through SMB networking, or saved to a special partition called the "Secure Zone". If you read the comments on this board, all of these options have their pluses and minuses; but I'd say saving the archive as a file is the best solution overall.

    Hope it helps

    Claude
     
  3. DavidPJ

    DavidPJ Registered Member

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    Thanks bouchecl. That's an interesting idea you have regarding the purchase of a new HDD.

    Let me ask my second question another way. Once you have a disk image on a HDD, is it possible to use the remaining space on that disk for something other than the backup image? Or, is the TI image backup disk only used exclusively for the TI backup image?

    I hope TI works out for you. I'm a little skeptical at the moment about using TI, especially when I see so many issues on this forum. But Ghost doesn't appear to be any safer. I've very interested in how your experience goes.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. AlexM.

    AlexM. Registered Member

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    Well, keep in mind that this is a SUPPORT forum. So, by definition, you will only hear about problems here. People who have no problems usually don't come here. :)

    I have been using TI on a number of our mission critical machines for quite some time with no problems.

    As for the backup disk question, yes, any space not used by your backup can be used for other things. This is also why it is best to place your backup into a file on a filesystem. That way you can still actively use the disk for all of your day to day needs, and just have it store a few really large files which are the images for your backup. Hope that answers your question.
     
  5. DavidPJ

    DavidPJ Registered Member

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    Thanks AlexM and I agree completely with you about support forums. Very reassuring to to hear you're satisfied with TI.

    Thanks also for answering my question on disk usage.

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but I want to ask again about the appropriate size for the image backup disk. I know I can just buy another disk the same size as my boot HDD (80GB), and the image is compressed so it won't even take as much file space as my boot disk. But, since I have to buy a new HDD anyway, and the incremental cost of disk space is so low, I'm still wondering if it would be best to buy a large HDD for future needs. What about the disk space required for the incremental backups over a period of time? That's why I was asking about using the remaining space on the image backup HDD for anything I choose. I would hate to buy a 256GB drive and later learn I couldn't use the drive for anything more than 1 image backup.

    I don't suppose I could create 3 image backups (3 PCs on my network) to a single backup HDD, can I? Would the restoration process would allow me to choose which image I want to load? Sounds like a nice feature.

    Thanks again.
    Dave
     
  6. AlexM.

    AlexM. Registered Member

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    There is no reason to not buy a bigger drive if you will have need of the space. If you can afford a 250 GB drive, then by all means buy it. You will be able to store all of your backups for your 80 GB drive AND still have PLENTY of room left over for other things.

    Keep in mind that when you create an image you are just creating a file on your drive. So, for example, if you download a song from the internet that takes up 5 MB of space, that's one file that's 5 MB. Your disk images are the same thing, only bigger. So if your image backup is 40 GB, you'll just have a 40 GB file on your disk. (Or a series of smaller files if your filesystem doesn't support files that large.) They still behave the same way as any other file. They're just files on a disk.

    If you have the space on the drive, you can store 100 backups for 100 machines from your network on that one drive. We use a backup server here at the office with 1 TB (terabyte) of storage that holds daily backups for all of our servers.

    As for incremental backups, they only take up as much space as is necessary for the CHANGES to your drive since the last backup. So lets say that you have a 40GB disk image stored as a single file that you made yesterday. If you've used up an additional 1 GB of space since yesterday on that drive, then your backup will go from being 40 GB TOTAL, to being 41 GB TOTAL. (Actually, it'll be less than 41 GB since Acronis does compression on the images, so it might end up being 40.5 GB.)

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. bouchecl

    bouchecl Registered Member

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    Like Alex said, if you can afford a 250 GB drive, get one. You will be able to store all sorts of files on it, including TI image files of your drives.

    The program allows you to create many image backups under different names and choose the image you want to restore, the same way MS Word does (with a file selection dialog box).
     
  8. DavidPJ

    DavidPJ Registered Member

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    Excellent! Thanks guys.

    My plan is to go with the 256GB drive and backup my local system drive and two networked PC system drives. This is exactly what I was hoping for.

    I assume this can be done with the standard True Image and I don't need to buy True Image Corporate Workstation. I haven't found a detailed explanation of exactly what remote functionality Corporate Workstation provides. I found the comparison chart but that doesn't provide much detail.

    Dave
     
  9. bouchecl

    bouchecl Registered Member

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    Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  10. DavidPJ

    DavidPJ Registered Member

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    One more question, at least for now. If I backup all 3 LAN PC boot drives to a single HDD, does the target HDD need to an individual partition for each backup image? Or, can the target HDD have only 1 partition and still hold the 3 images?

    Thanks.
     
  11. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    No

    Yes. Those images are just files, like any other files. They can go wherever you want them to go. Once they are created on that drive, you can move them or copy them to other drives burn them to CD, upload them to your webserver, whatever you like.
     
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