Brand New Image10.0 User Needs Help Fast!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by mdbassman, Mar 20, 2007.

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  1. mdbassman

    mdbassman Registered Member

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    I have a computer that is dying fast. New one is on order. Here is my problem:

    I bought 2 external hard drives to backup #1- the entire old computer programs less OS parameters. #2- my photos(6,000). The info has been backed up as of today 3/20. Both old and new computers will be using WinXP Home.

    No software came with the external hard drives for backing up. After backing up I noticed that the external HD's did not copy the file structure, categories, folders that I had created in Photoshop Elements. I used Photoshops backup utility to do this.

    QUESTION: Can I use True Image 10.0 to recover the info the way that it appears on the old computer? Probably not.

    QUESTION2: I still have some time before old computer dies. How do I mirror the file structure, photo categories...using TI 10.0 to reload on my new computer?

    Any advice to a new user would greatly be appreciated.
    Dano_O
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  2. BillyPig

    BillyPig Registered Member

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    You don't mention how you did the backup and what tools you used, so I can't comment on the file structure issues that you now have. If there really IS a problem with the structure or content of the files on the external drives, then True Image probably can't help you to sort that out, but you could use TI to create new backups of the existing internal drives. Of course, that assumes that the original file structures are intact and that the failing PC is still usable.

    Unless you are really short of space on the external drives, I'd recommend that you backup the whole contents of each existing drive as this will give you more options when you move to the new PC. The data files are straightforward (just move them), but you do need to consider how you intend to move your programs (eg "Elements") and operating system. Do you intend to reinstall them from scratch (there may be licensing issues), or were you hoping to move the whole lot en-masse ? The latter might be possible if the new hardware is similar to the old and the software license permits it, but there are many issues that may prevent this. Also, your new PC might come with the OS already installed. If you can, it might be better to reinstall the programs, but you might want to make some notes about how they are configured now.

    You didn't say what is wrong with your old PC, but if the disks are OK (and compatible with the new PC), you might be able to install them as secondary drives on the new machine and transfer your data that way if you need to. However, I'd still recommend that you back up as much as you can now.

    Pig
     
  3. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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  4. mdbassman

    mdbassman Registered Member

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    I plan on moving the backed up'd files back onto the new computer. There are no license issues. The old/new OS is as stated WinXP. I used the WinXP backup wizard for External HD#1 for all. I used Photoshop Elements "backup" for my photos on EHD#2.
    All my music and photo files arranged in categories and sub categories according to the file structure denoted by Adobe PSElements. I just wanted a "mirror" image of that entire file so when I re-load it back onto the new computer, it will be as if I never changed computers. OS is not required as stated. Same OS on both.

    The old computer has a power supply and inverter issue that hasn't been corrected in 2 trips back to Gateway for repairs. It works for about 6 mos then does the same thing. The model is an "all in one" housing(610XL) no tower, no easy access to anything.

    I want to backup music, photo, email as it appears now on the old computer and re-load onto new on so I dont have to spend weeks reconfiguring the programs as they were before the new one.

    This help?
    Dan
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  5. BillyPig

    BillyPig Registered Member

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    Dan,

    Thanks for the additional information. Windows Backup does preserve the file structure, so you should be able to restore files and folders as they were on the source machine. I'm not familiar with Elements backup, but I suspect that it does the same. What version of Elements are you using ?

    For data files, you should be OK with the backups that you have taken, but there are still some issues:
    1. Windows.
    2. Programs.
    3. Configuration Data.

    If you choose to reinstall your apps on the new PC, you will need to configure them in the same was as you have on the old. In many cases this will be easy enough, providing you haven't customized your settings too much. You should then be able to restore your data "almost on top" of the new (empty) file structures. I say "almost", since it would be a good idea to rename the empty structures rather than simply obliterate them with the restored data (just in case there are some undfroseen u=issues with the restore). For example, if your Elements data is all contained in a "Photos" folder then after you have reinstalled Elements on the new PC, configure it to use the same folder. Then, change its name to "Photos (empty)" or something, and restore the "Photos" folder from your external drive. That's just an example, of course as I don't know how Elements organizes these things.

    If you intend to restore both Windows and all your programs from the Windows backup, you won't have to reinstall the programs and settings, but you might run into problems, because the hardware is different. After you restore from your Windows backup, the restored environment will reflect the OLD hardware. If the hardware changes are not too dissimilar, then you might get away with this, but it is possible that Windows will fail, so make sure you have a complete, verified backup of the NEW hardware before you try this.

    Personally, I would advise you to reinstall the apps on the new box, rather than reinstall the whole processing environment from the windows backup. At least the old PC appears to be accessible, so you should be able to use it as a reference when configuring the new one.

    I would suggest that you check the Elements documentation (I hope it is better than it used to be) to see how to restore your elements backup. If I can find the time, I will follow this up too. Alternatively, ask on one of the Adobe newsgroups, as the backup/restore functionailty is specific to that product.

    Pig
     
  6. mdbassman

    mdbassman Registered Member

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    "pig" (I feel odd using that to address you)

    Thanks for the updates. I will NOT be restoring any Windows OS functions. I will only be restoring software that I have configured for my Music files and cataloging and Photos as well as email address and saved files.
    I am currently using PS Elements 3.0 as well as all the Canon programs needed for my digital cameras.

    My main problem is ignorance. The external hd's I have are 500 gb each. I backed up most everything just as the problems with the old computer started to intensify. At that time I didnot have Acronis 10.0. Again I use 1 ehd for a WinXp backup of everything except the boot programs and used the other ehd for my digital images only. With over 5000, I would hate to loose all my digital "memories"

    I am "scared" to attempt to use Acronis to do a "mirror" back up of only the files I need for fear of a crash and loosing everything on the ext hd. Also I am not very computer "savvy' so I am unsure when I do any Acronis imaging will it overwrite the existing data already backed up or will it write to the unused remaining hard drive space?

    I keep reading and re-reading the Acronis User Manual and get lost. I just want to backup certain programs then reload back onto the new computer. Partitioning, bootstarpping,...all leaves me with a headache.

    Your input is greatly appreciated. I called Acronis but they will not help me over the phone nor will they help be even if I pay the fees. Their "canned" answer is "that everything I need to know is contained in the User Manual" They are correct but it is not obvious to a "idiot" like myself.

    Thanks!
    Dan:oops: :oops:
     
  7. BillyPig

    BillyPig Registered Member

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    Dan,

    I've been called a lot worse than "pig", but "Pete" is fine too. Yes, the manuals can be a bit daunting, even for someone who has been using PCs for a long time. I read and reread them several times and still misinterpreted some bits, so don't feel to bad about that.

    The main thing is to secure your valuable data. You say that you have made two backups to different ext HDs; how much disk space did they use ? How much is free ? What we need to know is whether there is space for another full backup to either (or both) ext drives ?

    If the answer is "yes", then you can use TI to back-up the whole PC or just selected folders, without destroying the backups that you have there already. The most important thing to remember is to back up TO A FOLDER on the ext HD. DO NOT Image the whole drive. Since your photos are the most valuable item, I would suggest that you try this:

    1. Create a new folder on the ext HD called "TIBackups" or something.

    2. Run TI and select the option to backup files or folders (the manual refers to this as a "My Data backup".

    3. Select all the folders that you want to preserve. See section 5.2.2 of the guide, in particular the last line of the first paragraph that says "If you do not want to keep custom contents of the current backup, simply select files and
    folders without creating a category.". Here, I'm suggesting that you back up everything from the relevant folders without bothering about categorising it all.

    4. Select a FOLDER on the ext HD as the destination (see guide section 5.2.5). You are going to do a FULL backup (not incremental or differential), i.e. copy everything in the selcted folders to a file that is created in the destination folder.

    5. There are various options associated with the backup. Use the defaults if you are unsure, but I'd suggest that you choose the "Validate backup archive upon operation completion" option (see section 5.2.9).

    6. AFTER your backup has completed, close down TI.

    7. Using Windows explorer, check that there is a large file in the backup destination folder (i.e. you backup).

    8. RUN TI again and mount the backup.

    9. Browse the folder tree.

    10. Restore a few sample files to a different location on you HD (or another HD). This should give you some confidence that the backup has indeed worked. If you REALLY want to be sure, restore EVERYTHING to the 2nd ext HD.

    Good luck,

    Pete K (alias pig)
     
  8. mdbassman

    mdbassman Registered Member

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    Thanks Pete! The #2 EHD was for my photos only so it is not that big for the 550mb ehd. I tried to do an "incremental b/up" this weekend and ended up backing up the entire Photoshop program and files. I re-read the WD My Book steps and when I selected "Incremental" it b/up everything.o_O?
    The#1 EHD backs up everything on my computer except the bootable "crash" files / programs need for a complete restore.
    Gateway has notified me 3 x's about my new computer hence it still has NOT arrived. The "dying" Gateway is stumbling along as long as it doesn't reset or I don't turn it off.
    I will get the info together tonight and let you know.
    Thanks!I appreciate you help.
    Dan
     
  9. kbrisin

    kbrisin Registered Member

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    As a serious user of Adobe Elements I can help you. The backup provided by Adobe is problematical as is any backup. Elements does not contain actual photos only links to the folders in which they are stored on your HD. If you try to restore using the Adobe system to a HD without the original photos you will get linkage errors on every photo. You should remove the HD from your old system and install it in your new system as a secondary. Boot the system using the Acronis Boot CD then clone your old HD to the new HD and all will be fine. Use your external HD's as Image Backups only. Images are for restoring HD partitions, folders and files not for cloning. They do not create partitions and the essential boot files for XP.
     
  10. BillyPig

    BillyPig Registered Member

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    I agree that cloning the old HD would be easier than reinstalling all of the programs and their configurations, but it will not always work. There are two issues that might cause problems:

    1. The source copy of windows is an OEM version. Moving this to another PC is not permitted by the terms of the license (though you might be able to get around that).

    2. If the new PC has a significantly different hardware (eg amd vs intel, or 32-bit vs 64-bit), the cloned HD may not boot.

    3. If, for any reason the restore fails, the original (new) operating system will have been wiped out. I presume that Gateway will provide some means to restore this, so it isn't the end of the world, but it could be a time-consuming problem for someone who isn't that pc-literate.

    Whatever approach you decide upon Dan, be sure to retain the original HD intact as this will give you more flexibility and another copy of your precious data and programs.

    Kbrisin makes a valuable point about the Elements backup. You should be aware that this does not do the same thing at all as a TrueImage backup: As Kbrisin said, the Elements backup will only copy the contents of the Elements database (links), not the folders on your drive, not your photos. So to protect your work, you need to use some other means (TI, say) to back up the photos etc.

    This is one way that you could achieve this:

    1. Take a full TI backup of all of your folders as I described in a previous post.

    2. Take a full backup of your Elements catalog (database) using the Elements software.

    3. Make a note of the precise locations of your photos and the folder(s) used to store the Elements catalog (or work with both PCs simultaneously).

    4. Install Elements software on the New PC.

    5. Configure Elements to match the old configuration, ie. use the same locations for the catalog and photos. Create empty folders as placeholders if need be. You may need to create an empty catalog - I don't know if Elements does this automatically when you first run it.

    6. Restore the folders containing your photos from the TI backup to the new system.

    7. Use Elements to restore the catalog from the "Elements catalog backup".

    As you can see, this is not as straightforward as just cloning the HD as the previous poster suggested, but if you make a mistake, you can use system restore to back-out any changes and try again. You will still have the backups and you will still have the original HD. These will provide other avenues for recovery should you fail.

    Whatever you decide, please be sure to have:

    1. A FULL TI backup (or Image if you want to go that route) of the original drive. VERIFIED !

    2. An Elements "full backup" of the Elements catalog.

    Then you should stand a reasonably good chance of restoring you system.

    Pete K
     
  11. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I haven't read all the remedies that folks have given above, but let my relate my solution to moving apps to your new computer. I don't know how large your apps are, so if you've got alot of stuff to move, my method won't work. I don't have really big files, so what I did was this: I purchased a zip drive, and moved my apps etc. to a zip disk. then I plugged the zip drive into the new computer, accessed the zip disk and clicked "send to". It took a while, but it was simple and easy.
     
  12. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    • Response #5 by Pete K is an excellent alternate suggestion which you should seriously consider; plus the referral by CatFan432
    -------------------------------
    I have an alternate suggestion for your consideration. If for some reason you were to lose all your photos or other data, you would be kicking yourself for not having done more. Even after you get your files transferred to a new computer, there is always a risk of your new computer's hard drive failing and you losing everything on that drive.

    My suggestion is to use "drag & drop" and copy the entire C drive (all contents) onto a new hard drive (your 3rd) before failure occurs. Maybe internal or internal in usb enclosure. This is similar to data only copy suggestion offered by twl845.

    This would not involve any backup program nor any compression. Using this copy method, the drive would not be bootable and have no functioning os. It would serve as a data disk.

    Once the copy is complete, you would accomplish two objectives.
    • a. Use this drive (if needed) to re-copy certain folders onto the new drive.

      b. Put drive aside with your photos for non-use and keep as a security option--should something happen to the others.

    New computer will have different driver drivers, different video, maybe different drive types. You're in for a lot of grief trying to overwrite the new computer with your old os--even if both xp pro. As Pete K recommended in response #5, you would do well to consider re-installing all your old applications onto the new computer as fresh installs. I realize this is time consuming.

    If you should want to recreate a text file of your directory/file structure in tree form, Karen Kenworthy's has an excellent a free utility which would manage that job very nicely with several options on how to configure:PS: I ran across this program via a google search. You may want to examine:
    Move Me by Spearit Software
    http://www.spearit.com/products.html
    ======================================================
     
  13. mdbassman

    mdbassman Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. New computer has been delayed further until mid-April.
    I will digest everything.
    Dan
     
  14. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Should your old one cease to work right now, make sure all your data can be reproduced from backups? Don't wait until the new one arrives in get all bases covered. Good luck.
     
  15. mdbassman

    mdbassman Registered Member

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    Thanks GroverH. I did that and continue to do that if I download something new.
    A lot to "digest" right now...
    Dan
     
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