Backup strategy: tib file versus mirroring?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by malegala, Nov 2, 2006.

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  1. malegala

    malegala Registered Member

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    I read many posts here of corrupt TIB files.

    I have primarily used backupmypc, which also creates one large file.

    My TIB file is about 10 gigabytes. My data backup is about 40 gigs in size.

    I just discovered some new software (Viceversa), which mirrors your data, and duplicates your files individually (on an external drive, etc.).

    It verifies the copy process using CRC.

    While VV does not restore the operating system, many TI users seem to use it for data as well, sometimes with disastrous results if the TIB file is corrupt.

    I am leaning toward using Viceversa as my main backup, with only an occasional use of TI.

    At least for data files, is there any reason for putting all your data apples into one tib file (which may lose all your data if the file is corrupted), versus having software that duplicates each file individually. In a worst case scenario, you might lose an individual file rather than the whole backup.
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi Malegala

    If all you want to do is backup your data files then use Windows Backup & Restore. It is easy to learn, simple to use and 99% reliable. You could of course also use Copy & Paste and then Zip the files which would be virtually the same thing. :cool:

    What Windows Backup & Restore cannot do is rebuild your system and programs partition. For that you need disk imaging software.

    Acronis True Image is not without its problems, bugs and annoyances - but when it comes to Disk Imaging Software it is by far the most versatile, reliable, robust and cost effective product on the market today.
    :thumb:
     
  3. malegala

    malegala Registered Member

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    I realize the TI can back up partitions and potentially restore your computer, operating system, programs, and all. My question is more specific.

    It seems as if many people use TI and other backup programs (such as wndows backup), to also backup their data files.

    I have about 70 gigs of data files (and growing, as I add to my music collection).

    I use TI to back up my C: drive for the operating system and programs.

    I have my data on another partition, which I back up separately.

    The file created by TI (or windows backup, or backupmypc) is a single file and it is large (around 40 gigs).

    If I need to restore a single file, I need to load that entire file. From time to time I read horror stories here and elsewhere of corrupted TIB or backup files.

    An alternative I jst discovered for data is mirroring your data, where the program copies each file individually. For example, it would initially create an exact duplicate of your data, with subfolders, files, etc. I could access each file directly. In a disaster, I could plug the backup drive into another computer and continue to work.

    This seems to be a far superior way to backup data, since a corrupt backup wouls only affect a single file.

    If so, I was wondering why so many people continue to ignore this option and use TI or other programs to create one large, corruptable backup file for data.

    I am concerned I may be missing a good reason to do it that way, rather than mirroring my data files.
     
  4. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Mirroring has its disadvantages. If you get corrupted files on your drive, then the mirror will reflect that. Mirrors are good for when a drive goes south, but it's good to have on hand a series of images so, if your software goes wonky, you can revert back to an earlier time before the wonk. With an image file you can restore everyting including the sys files.
     
  5. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Just to make sure that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet could you briefly define your understanding of the following terms:

    Backup

    Image

    Mirror
     
  6. malegala

    malegala Registered Member

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    I'm not sure I understand. If a file is corrupt on your hard drive, any back up program will copy the corruption.

    My question relates to a corruption in the back up file. A TIB file is a single file and a corruption there can lose the entire back up. If a mirrored file is corrupt, you only lose that file.

    I am trying to get feedback on why anyone would want to create one big file instead of mirroring. For years, I have used the one backup file approach, but reading of corrupted TIB files concerns me.
     
  7. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

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    You will find that most users are talking about the tib file that contains the OS. It's pointless to backup data files using TI unless you want the files compressed. It's far quicker to backup using other programs. TI is great for restoring the OS from an image.

    By the way, have you tried restoring the image to a disk (not the original one)? If you haven't then, for peace of mind, I suggest that you do. Then, at least, you will know whether your tib file is corrupt or not.
     
  8. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Your point is well taken, however IMHO for the most part I have found ATI 9.3677 reliable in restoring the backup (image).

    In the event of a corrupt tib backup file, you can always mount the image and restore your individual files and folders.

    You are correct that if even there is the smallest of errors in your backup the entire image will, upon validation be corrupt. But I take heart in knowing I can mount and restore the individual files if in fact the image is corrupt.

    The other point of comfort is validating an image and thereby confirming the image is or isn't restorable. However, even this validation is not foolproof.

    The only way to be sure your hardware is compatible and does work with ATI is to do a restore. You can do this to a spare HD and if that works then you can be reasonably sure you have valid and restorable images. I used backupmypc and its a good program if you just want a "backup" program. I used backupmypc in parallel with ATI until I was completely comfortable and confident in ATI.

    However, I find ATI to be reliable. It has its quirks but even as a novice I got over these hurdles and found, not withstanding my paranoia, that I rest better knowing I have a validated tib image on my external USB.

    One last HUGE advantage of ATI is this room and the posters, who go the extra mile to help idiots like me with obvious answers and great patience. I'm not sure there is another backup (image) program with a room equivalant to this. Don't count on support from ATI, this room makes ATI a valuable asset.

    The other thing is that you get a biased opinion of ATI from this room because most posters with questions are ones with a problem, however those who use ATI without any problems rarely need to post, so as a result this room can convince you that ATI is nothing but one big headache. It ain't.....for me anyways.

    Some of the knowledgable posters are very sophisticated in their use of ATI. For me it's one C: drive with everything on it, ie data, programs and OS, so I'm a simple user, perhaps that is why it works well for me. But others who have more knowledge than I ever will be, also claim that ATI works best for them.

    Sorry for the long winded post, but I think it may help you in your decision.........good luck.
     
  9. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    To qualify my post........it appears that only "slightly" corrupt images can be mounted and that more corrupt images can not be mounted. This is ATI's position on the matter. So one must satisfy oneeself as to the mountability of their corrupt image.
     
  10. stevech

    stevech Registered Member

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    I use TruImage for drive images to simplify me recovering from a complete drive failure. This will happen with every drive. I don't ever again want to spend days and days re-making a disk full of applications.

    I also use "SecondCopy" - which runs in the background on my main PC, to copy irreplaceable files and directories of files, on any PC on my home LAN, to an external USB drive. Anytime any file in any such folder changes or is added, SecondCopy dupes it to the USB. Automatically. I have it set to run every 5 minutes.

    So as I do work or store new family photos, they're all backed up without me thinking about it. Peace of mind.

    SecondCopy is inexpensive and intuitive.
     
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