Boot disk backup vs. Windows Backup?????

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by max0071, Sep 13, 2006.

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  1. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Hi:

    Some here, create full backups (image) using their boot disks and creating a full backup to their external HD, others create the backup within Windows to their external HD.

    Obviously, some feel it's a better backup using their boot disks........WHYo_Oo_O? o_O o_O
     
  2. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I personally like using the Recovery Boot CD to make a FULL Backup because Windows, and other programs IS NOT loaded up during the Imaging process.

    I think it's better to run "Chkdsk", and then "Defrag" first. Put the Boot CD in the Rom, and shut the computer off. Then "Cold" boot the computer, and let the Imaging take place WITHOUT the OS loaded.
     
  3. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your response starsfan09, but if I understand your response, you do your "cold boot" in order to backup your entire drive (including the OS) but do not use the OS to do this. So why is this a better way to backup than using windows to effectively create the very same backupo_O
     
  4. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I've used other "Disc Imaging" programs in the past, and would have to turn OFF Norton, and make sure other programs was not running during the Imaging process. These programs running in the background would cause Conflicts with the performance of the Imaging.

    When you use Acronis' Boot CD, you're NOT loading up the OS, and other programs that could conflict with the Imaging process.

    I mean, could you imagine making a Backup, and all the sudden....a program starts installing files because it detected an update available??:doubt:
    Wouldn't that be a huge mess!!o_O
     
  5. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Good point stars, but if i get a validated image which is checksum generated then wouldn't that give you comfort that you have a valid and useable backup image. It just seems infinitely easier to use windows rather than the boot cd. I'm not trying to be argumentive, just trying to understand the logic of yours and others methodology.
     
  6. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Well, even if I did make a TI Image Backup while Windows was loaded, ...I still would want to shut off Norton, and other programs running in the Background --eating up resources. They may, ...or may Not cause problems,...who knows? But I still would prefer ANY program running in the background to be shut off DURING the Imaging.

    So, to eliminate having to turn all this stuff off manually, ...why not just make the TI Image from the Boot CD? Windows, and all these programs I would have to shut down ...would not even be loaded up. I think the Boot CD makes it so much easier. ;)
    It makes an Image of your HD without having to fight and conflict with other programs.
     
  7. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    I appreciate your cautious approach and understand your logic. If one was to use your means of backing up, then would it not then mean that the only way to restore is thru the boot cd and you could NOT restore thru windowso_O?
     
  8. Tommy

    Tommy Registered Member

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    Backup with Boot-CD -> Restore with BootCD or in Windows
    Backup in Windows -> Restore with BootCD or in Windows

    All backup-methods are compatible to each other, they result into exactly the same file.
     
  9. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    So if i understand you,Tommy, if you backup in either environment you can restore from either environmento_O? Do I understand youo_O?

    & thnks
     
  10. Tommy

    Tommy Registered Member

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    YES!!!!
     
  11. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Well, It's not "my" means of backing up my friend. It's Acronis'. Every Acronis user has their choice of backup methods.

    1. Install Acronis, and make a Backup while loaded into Windows.
    or
    2. Use the Boot CD to make a Backup.

    I'm not saying there's a difference in Quality. I am saying... that ALL programs you have loading up with your computer consumes memory. The more programs you have running... increases the likely hood of you having "conflicts", "errors", and performance slow down. This is a known fact.

    I mean, when you install some programs....Why do you think you get messages saying "Please make sure No other programs are running in the background"? It's because there's issues with that particular program conflicting with others during the installation.

    Program running in the background, ...may, ..or may not conflict with Acronis. Who knows? But, I personally don't like them like them running at all during the TI Imaging process. For that reason, I choose the Boot CD method.
     
  12. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    point made.....thnx
     
  13. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Well you make a very good case but there is a lot there that I disagree with [​IMG][​IMG].
    Being basically lazy I always let my backups run while booted in Windows. To backup booted from the CD means that I would have to be there and could not schedule them to run automatically.
    After many hundreds of backups using V8 and V9 I have never run into any conflicts with any programs or processes. There are one or two that can cause problems such as GoBack and SQL? data base though I don't use either.

    There is a difference between having a program loaded into memory and one that is open and being used. As I understand it in Windows unused RAM is wasted RAM so it is filled whenever possible. When an active program needs more RAM some inactive items are kicked into the page file.

    I have previously checked backup times when they are made from the CD and in Windows. Even with some 30 to 40 Windows processes loaded there is no real difference between the two methods. However taking into account the two re-boots and the CD loading times it is minutes quicker in Windows.:D

    In my book the recovery CD comes into its own when restoring images of the main drive and when recovering as much data as possible from a broken installation.

    But as you have said it is up to the user which method they choose.
     
  14. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Thanks xpilot for your opinion. If nothing else you have made me feel better about being lazy. I use windows environment for backup as well. On the one occasion I had to use my boot cd to restore, it failed me, so I mounted and restored manually and reinstalled my entire system. The way I look at it, is, if nothing else I have a backup of my data that I can reinstall in the mount mode of ATI.

    Even though ATI claims to restore an image, I have read so many issues that I'm not confident in it. Of course once your system goes down, you got nothing to lose, but as all the gurus say the only way to really find out is to try a restore (image). But this will wipe out your HD and then your stuck, so I don't want to experiment until I have to. As fallback I have the confidence that I can "manually" reinstall my data and reload my OS and programs.

    Backup validation give very few here confidence that you have a restorable image. Only restoration of the image is the true test.

    ATI, as far as I know is the only backup that allows image backup and file backup in one program. But after reading about Bartpe and slipstreaming etc. and then reading about it, it is well beyond my abilities and far too time consuming. So bottom line (for me) ATI is a great backup program and might be and image restorable program.
     
  15. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Try it each way on your machine, and go with what works out best for you. I've never had a problem with backing up from within windows, even with all kinds of stuff running in the background.

    Not all machine setups are the same, so it's worth testing to be sure you get valid backup images. But if the images are good either way, you can go either way.

    sh

     
  16. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Really sounds like you don't have any confidence at all using TI. I certainly wouldn't use a program IF I had NO confidence in it.
    No matter how you make your TI Image, (Boot-CD or through Windows), you'll use the Boot-CD to Restore the Image. That's the most fundamental thing about Acronis. If you tried to use the Boot-CD to restore an Image, and couldn't do so...then I'd really find out why, and correct the problem. I'd hate being up "**** creek without a paddle".

    Before I switched to Acronis, I thoroughly Tested the program to full extremes before giving up my old "Disc Imaging" program.
    By that, I mean there were about 30-40 Tests on a "Spare HD", and many other HD's as well.... before even considering putting it on my personal Primary HD.

    I created all FULL TI Images from the Recovery Boot-CD, and stored them on an External USB 2.0 HD, and Spare Internal HD. (Some Images were Restored from the External, and some were Restored from the Internal HD.)
    **Right before ALL Images made,.... I ran "Chkdsk", and "Defrag" (many times).**

    Believe me, I created some very disasterous situations on these Spare HD's to see how TI would perform.

    1. I purposly downloaded Virus's, and installed them without Removing. Then used TI to Restore my HD. Once Restored, I ran a Virus Scan 2x with most updated "DAT" files. Didn't find any traces of the Virus's on the HD.
    2. Installed programs, and didn't Uninstall them. Ran a Restore, and TI showed No traces of the installed Program or "Orphaned" folders/files on the HD, or in the Registry. Not a trace at all.
    3. Deleted OS system files, and Uninstalled programs, ...and TI Restored my HD. Every single file, folder, program, personal settings, and etc. ...was Restored with perfection.
    4. Each time this was done, I would check the properties of the C:/ drive to make sure the Restored Image was the same as the HD before I used an Image file. Also, ran "Chkdsk" and read the Log file to make sure there were No "software" bad sectors.
    5. Looked for any "Lagging" of sluggish performance of the Restored Image file vs. the Orignal HD. Could NOT tell a difference in performance at all between a Restored Image, and the Original HD.
    6. Restored an Image to a "Bare Metal" HD. I wrote "Zeroes" to the HD before doing so to emulate manufaturer settings out of the box. TI performed beautifully. (using this HD now)
    7. "Cloned" my Primary HD to a "Bare Metal" HD, after writing "Zeroes" to the HD first. No problems at all.
    8. Ran all these Tests on 5 different HD's. (2 WD Raptors, 1 WD 160gb, 1WD 80gb, and 1 Maxtor 80gb)


    After about 2 months of some serious Testing, I found that TI got me out of bad situations I didn't want to be in. It Restored the Test HD's to perfection each time!
    It now is on my Primary HD (WD Raptor). I have 110% confidence in using Acronis to Restore any WD or Maxtor HD within my home.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2006
  17. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Irrespective of how the image was created, if you commence a restore of the system disk/partition within Windows then TI needs to reboot into the Linux based rescue environment in order to carry out the restore operation.

    Regards
     
  18. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Ok, I dared to go where I feared to go before. I backed up (image) using the ATI boot disk. I have the following observations and questions.

    *I was able to backup and validate from the boot disk successfully. Does this mean that the Linux rescue environment has the driver necessary for my external HD?? Does this give me more comfort in knowing that if I have the need that I'm somewhat more assured that I will be able to successfully restore from the boot CD using my external HD??

    *The time to backup and validate was 25 minutes each using the boot CD. When I backup in the Windows environment it takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Is this consistent with the times it should take based on others experience??

    *If I restore in the boot CD mode it asks me where I want to delete my partitions or not.......I'm not sure which one I should choose. I have one C: drive with everything on it and no partitions on this drive.

    *The choices on which drive to restore is "drive 1" on clicking this all the boxes including MBR and 0 drives are checked, I presume this is what I would want to doo_O

    *How long would it take me to restore the 15 gigs I backed up if I had to restore using the boot CD, based on the fact that it took me about 25 minutes to backup and 25 minutes to validateo_O

    Thanks for giving me the courage to try.......it ain't so hard, just intimidating after reading the numerous posts. Comments from all are much appreciated.
     
  19. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Since it recognized your External,... sounds like you're good to go.

    For 15gb, this sounds about right if you're using a 7200rpm HD.

    Yes. Choose this option. You'll have your C:/ partition, and should have 7mb of Unallocated space as well. But later tick the box "Verify Backup Archive Before Restoration".

    Yes. Tick both boxes.

    The Boot CD just allows you to boot into the Linux environment. The rest is done in memory (RAM). Restoring 15gb of Data would be about the same time as it took to make the Backup.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2006
  20. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Starsfans: Thanks so much for your answers, you've been a great help. However I'm not sure of your answer to:

    [I]Originally Posted by max0071
    "If I restore in the boot CD mode it asks me where I want to delete my partitions or not.......I'm not sure which one I should choose. I have one C: drive with everything on it and no partitions on this drive."[/I]


    Could you please clarify if I should:

    Yes I want to delete all the partitions on the destination drive before restoring

    OR

    No, I do not want to Delete the Partitions

    Thanks

    ps...I was about to do the same with my laptop when, as stars suggested I got a windows update in the midst of the backup......it froze my laptop and I had to play with it to get it going. So stars your point about using the boot disk so there is no conflict with other running programs is well taken.....you predicted it.....
     
  21. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    The first time you see this, you must choose "Yes" to continue the procedure.(grayed out box)

    A few clicks later, you'll see something similar. Here you would choose "No".

    But do tick the Box (Verify Backup Archive Before Restoration)...since this is the first time you're using this Boot-CD. (you'll see this right before Clicking the "Proceed" button)
     
  22. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    Thanks stars.

    I am now backing up from the boot cd my laptop it has 1.5 gigs of ram. It is taking one hour to backup about 5 gigs on a 120 gig HD, in windows it takes about 6 minutes. This seems like a huge difference in time.....is this to be expected. I suspect when I do my validation it will also take one hour.

    Now that I have more or less confirmed that the Linux works for backups can I also be reasonably sure that if i do backup in windows (only cause it takes so much less time), and validate that I have as good a backup as would be the case in ATI bootdisk backupo_Oo_O??
     
  23. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Earlier you said it took 25 minutes to make the Backup, and 25 minutes to Verify. This is 45 minutes of total time. It's going to take about the same time to Restore because you're "Verifying" the Backup... BEFORE actually Restoring it.
    If you took away the 25min of Verifying (don't recommend you do), then it would take 25min to Restore the Image.

    In Windows, you probably didn't Verify the Image before you Restored it.
     
  24. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    To be clear. On my pc it took 25 minutes to backup and 25 minutes to validate when doing this from the boot cd (=50 minutes). In windows it takes about 8 minutes to backup and 8 minutes to validate (=16 minutes).

    On my laptop it took an hour to backup and I presume one hour to validate (=2 hours). In windows on my laptop it takes about 6 minutes to backup and 6 minutes to validate (=12 minutes).

    This is a huge difference in time, does this time differential make sense with your experienceso_Oo_O?
     
  25. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    I have about 7gb of Data on my HD.(Raptor 10,000rpm HD)
    8min to Backup + 8min to Verify = 17minutes to Verify and Restore from 7200rpm External using Boot CD.

    Your PC::
    16gb of Data on 7200rpm HD.
    25min to Backup + 25min to Verify = 50min. This sounds right.

    Your Laptop::
    has a 5400rpm HD. You'll be Verifying + Restoring from a 7200rpm HD. Expect this to go slower.

    You can choose to NOT Verify the Image before you restore it. This will take away the 25min needed on your PC. But ...since it's your first time restoring from the Boot CD,... I recommend you "Verify Backup Archive Before Restoration" to make sure the Image will take. This will add the 25min extra.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2006
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