Best way to back or image?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Later2u, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Later2u

    Later2u Registered Member

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    Hello all,

    I just bought Acronis True Image and have a some questions for the more experienced users of it.

    I'm using it on a singe machine and only want to protect my self from the main drive going down. What is the best method for doing this, imaging the drive or backing it up? I have an external drive and would like to use it for more than just a back up for one drive. I would like to store files from other drives. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Tom
     
  2. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Hi Tom,

    the real answer to this is down to lots of things like, how often your data changes, how far back you need to be able to restore data from and how quickly you need a system to be restored if you suffer a catastrophic failure.

    However just as a starting point for discussion, you could consider running two schedules one full which runs once a week, and and one incremental which runs every day, which backups you data into a sub directory on your external drive. Each time the full runs it will overwrite the previous and orphan all incrementals so the process can begin again. The weakness of this simple approach is that on the day before your full is created you have backups going back 7 days, on the day it is created you only have one backup for that day. There are ways of having a rollling backup but these involve adding more schedules, using the secure zone or using differentials.

    I think that your approach using a separate backup drive is sensible, and in addition you should consider periodically, additionally, backing to DVD. I suggest that whenever you create a backup or make a copy of an image you verify it to give a degree of confidence that the image was OK when written.

    F.
     
  3. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I think the answer to the main question is implied in foghorne's reply but not stated openly enough.

    To protect yourself from the main drive going down you should use the imaging approach. You may store image files of different drives (or image files plus any other files) on the same external drive. To distinguish between image files sourced from different drives assign meaningful file names to the image files or store them into separate folders.

    It's good practice to have the external drive dedicated to image files only (especially if you will image more then one drive). This way you can disconnect the external between imaging sessions, increasing the security level.
     
  4. Allen L.

    Allen L. Registered Member

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    Let me see if I can make it even easier for you to understand. Make an image of your complete HD...you don't indicate if you have partitions on the drive or not, but either way, just click on Backup in the main program interface when it opens...then tick the box that say's whole drive, it is beside the drive (normally C:) and if you do have partitions, it will also place a tick mark in the boxes. Then click on "Next" at the bottom an then follow the program instructions on each page until the last and then read the page over where you pointed the program to place the .tib file...it should be to your external drive. Just store it as a plain .tib file...no need to make a folder, you will see it, labeled such as Image of my HD date:.....xxxx.tib You can even hover you mouse over it and see the date it was created. You should be able to control yourself and not accidentally delete it. But if you feel like you will be safer...then make a folder on the External hard drive and title it "Backups" and put the .tib file inside.

    One word of caution. Don't have your Aconis program open when you plug in your external USB hard drive...The external drive will probably not show up in the Acronis program interface. In this case just close Acronis, then re-start Acronis with the H.D. plugged in and Acronis will then see it, it will be displayed as a new drive in the same order as your other hard drives and CDROMs.

    If you need to do a restore...just boot with the recovery disk you made (making one is very important!!), and click on "Restore" in the Interface and point to the .tib file on your external drive and to the object drive where you want it to be restored to...be it a new hard drive or the old one. If is is a new one the new one will be automatically formatted and partitioned just as your old drive was, and you will be back ready to go. If the new drive is larger that your old drive and you have partitions...you need to read a little more...otherwise, a piece of cake.

    ...Allen
     
  5. Later2u

    Later2u Registered Member

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    Thank you all for your input, Allen, bVolk and F. With the information you have provided I am confident of success in backing up my software/data the way I would like. I will post what I have done as soon as I complete the task. Give me a week or so.:D

    Regards, Tom
     
  6. Later2u

    Later2u Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    I wanted to get back and let everyone know that I indeed used ATI 9.0 and no more than a couple of days later they sent me an e-mail saying that I an upgrade is available and free to me since I was within 30 days of the original purchase.

    I installed ATI 10.0 and with my limited use of Acronis I feel that 10.0 is a good jump ahead of 9.0. 10.0 stays in Windows and requires no computer restart. It also puts the backups in to there own folder automatically. I also made a boot disk as well with no problems. Once again, thanks for all your help everyone.

    Tom
     
  7. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    TI9 asks you to permit a reboot only when restoring the system drive/partition from Windows.

    Is that what you did with TI10?
     
  8. Later2u

    Later2u Registered Member

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    No, when I initiated the imaging of my C drive using ATI 9.0 it would ask for a re-start then just before it got to starting windows Aconis looked like it kick in to a DOS mode and performed the back-up. Now mind you I was only able to do this once before I then downloaded ATI 10.0 so I'm by no means an expert. After I installed ATI 10.0 I imaged my C drive agian and Aconis stayed in Windows for the entire time of the back-up. Now I haven't done any recovery use of the program so I don't know how either version works doing that.

    Tom
     
  9. _Kento_

    _Kento_ Registered Member

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    Hello Tom,

    Are you sure you selected "Backup" and not "Clone Disk"? Because as bVolk said ATI 9.0 Home and so I think ATI 10.0 Home does not requare reboot to create an image but does requare reboot to make the clone.

    This is quote from ATI 9.0 Home User's Guide:
    Cloning a disk containing the currently active operating system will require reboot.

    From Acronis web site (it is now about ATI 10.0 Home but was the same for ATI 9.0 Home):
    Use your PC during image creation with our no reboot feature

    Also the FAQ article about reboot to make a retore of th system partition.

    _Kento_
     
  10. Later2u

    Later2u Registered Member

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    OK, now I'm thoroughly confused! It appears I made a back up of my C drive, not a clone. I’ve located the feature to make a clone and it wants to do it to a fresh drive with nothing on it. The external already has my backups. It’s no big deal to re-do the backups but as Allen L. pointed out that I could place the clone in it’s own folder, which is fine. But, if I go to re-install the cloned hard drive and it’s in it’s own folder that I created will I see it when I do a re-install?

    And why is it that the clone feature is something to look for while the backup feature is the first choice?

    Anyways, just trying to make sense of this software. I hope there are a lot of people out there with patience’s.

    Thanks, _Kento_ for your reply.

    Tom

    Edit:

    I just checked and the feature I selected originally, "Backup", states that it does in deed image the hard drive. So does the clone feature just clone hard drive "X" to hard drive "Y"?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  11. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Later2u,

    By cloning, you create a clone on another disk. The whole content on the destination disk (the clone) is a copy of the original. If the original fails, you physically replace it with the clone.

    By imaging, you create a file in which the contents of the original disk are stored in a compressed format. The image file may be stored on any media (even among other normal files). If it is stored on HD, this second HD can not directly replace the original drive just because the image file is stored on it. The image file has to be restored (unpacked) back to the original drive to put it into the same state it was in when the image file was created. Or, the image file may be restored to another drive in which case you get the same result as by cloning.

    Normally, cloning is a one-time operation used to migrate the system to a larger drive.

    Imaging is the operation that lets you generate system backup files to use in case of Windows crash, infection, or to get rid of a program you were tryalling. A second internal HD (or an external HD) can store several images which, by restore, enable you to return the original system drive to any one of the different states previously imaged. For general use, one regularily creates and validates system images and restores one of them back to the original drive when/if needed.

    A clone (the destination drive in the cloning operation) contains the copy of just one state of the original but it is operational without restoring - needs only to be connected in the place of the original drive. The down-time after a crash is short, but it takes a dedicated setup if one wants to always have have on the clone a recent (fresh enough) state to revert to.

    HTH
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
  12. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    To futher confirm bVolk's statements, here is visual you guys can look at. This is what I discovered in my tests in case you want to know HOW the Data is put back on the HD using either Clone, or Image Restore.
    After doing these tests, I ran Defrag to get the differences.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Later2u

    Later2u Registered Member

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    Thanks a lot bVolk and starsfan09. It now has become very clear on the differences between cloning a drive and imaging a drive. It took me awhile, but can be taught, LOL.
     
  14. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello starsfan09,

    An interesting finding indeed. So cloning optimizes the free space and also moves the unmovable files (!), while imaging/restoring doesn't do either.

    If I knew the two procedures produced a different outcome I would have expected the opposite.
     
  15. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    From looking at the picture, I think "Image Restoring" is better than "Cloning". Looking at the picture, you see that Restoring the Image actually put the Data back on the Hard Drive the EXACT way it was Imaged. You're right, "Cloning" frees up the space between the Data, and the Page Filing.
     
  16. _Kento_

    _Kento_ Registered Member

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    Sorry, if I came to late with my question, but could you clarify if you used the "Resize partition" option either during clone or back up/restore procedures?

    _Kento_
     
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