Basic questions to get me started...

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bullman, Aug 24, 2005.

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  1. bullman

    bullman Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have never really got into creating backups of my system mainly because I never fully understood the details of what can be backed up and restored and the implications of orphaned system/Program Files files, patched programs etc if you do it wrong.

    eg. A 160GB HDD with the following partitions:

    C: 20GB WinXP OS + swap file (5GB free)
    D: 70GB Progarm Files (20GB free)
    E: 70GB data only + My Documents + email data (50GB free)

    Lets say say that WinXP gets corrupted or starts behaving badly. You backed up your system partition 2 months ago and since then installed more programs and patches etc.

    What happens to programs installed on D: that were patched since your last backup after you restore your C: system partition only? Will the files associated with the patch (which may have been installed across both C: and D: originallY) be now "orpahned" on D:?
    How do you deal with this?

    How about programs that were installed since your last backup. DO you simply delete their D: install directory manually or reinstall over the top? Surely they would be orpaned as well. Do you have to keep a list of WHEN you installed progarms/patches so you know what to do if you ever restore your System partition?

    Is it better/normal practice to restore BOTH the system partition AND the Progam Files partition in this case rather than just the system partion itself?

    Lets say you backup a single partition. What happens if you try to restore it to another partition that is smaller in size than the total contents of the backed up partition?

    Finally how do you go about restoring an entire HDD image (C:,D: and E: partitions) to a new fresh hard drive other than the original drive? What happens if the new hard drive doesnt have the space. Will it try and restore and then stop when it runs out of room?

    Cheers

    Bullman
     
  2. storage_man

    storage_man Registered Member

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    Since your program files are on a seperate drive/partition from your systems drive/partition, for any of your questions the answer would be You need to backup both drives to keep things synchronized correctly. This would be the answer for your first three questions.

    The best approach is too backup all partitions at the same time. This solves all of your sychronizing problems. Note with TI you can restore a individual partition or file from a backup image.

    Here are some rules on restoring to smaller target disks. If you are restoring a partition of which the total contents of that partition would exceed the size of the target drive/partition, the restore will not complete.

    For example: Backup image contains a partition size of 70gb with 50gb in use and the target drive/partition has only 40gb, the restore will not start.

    If you are restoring multiple partitions such as described as your system, As long as the sum of all data from all of the partitions would fit onto the target drive, the restore would be successful. TI will automatically resize the source partitions, create them on the target drive and restore the contents.

    I do this when testing new releases of TI. My standard drive is 80gb with 3 partitions. My test/restore drive is only 60gb. The sum of all 3 partitions is only 30gb the restore has always worked like a charm.

    Remember the best thing to do is always backup all partitions. This will always give you the most flexibility for all restore issues.

    Storage_man
     
  3. bullman

    bullman Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    However if you take that advice on board, what are the merits of people backing up just their registry file? Surely restoring a registry can also result in orphan files being created in C: and in other Program File directories if programs/patches/drivers have been installed since the registry was backed up.

    Cheers

    Bullman
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2005
  4. storage_man

    storage_man Registered Member

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    Bullman

    I assume your talking about the backup function in REGEDIT ? Yes you will have a problem with orphaned files. Again its more prudent to restore everything to keep things in synch. The exception would be restoration of a data file which was mistakenly deleted. Again the backup may not be as current as the one that got deleted, but sometimes its better than nothing.

    Raid mirroring at the hardware level gets around all of the problems of POINT in TIME backups. But its expensive. More hardware and software to make it work.

    I hope this answers you question

    Storage_man
     
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