Can I test a restore this way?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by dlbeck, Aug 17, 2008.

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  1. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    I have 2 500 gb drives on a Vista 64 machine. Can I do the following to get the peace of mind I need with regards to TI working or not.

    1. Do a full backup image on my master drive (there's enough room) rather than my secondary drive.

    2. Then have TI restore that full image to the secondary drive.

    3. Then can I temporarily swap the boot up process to the secondary drive to see how things look and behave?

    Should I format the secondary drive before I restore to it?

    Thanks,
    Don
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I'm not sure that you can use the source drive as the destination for the Image, but if it doesn't work, try it this way.
    Use the secondary as the destination for the Image of the source, then move the Image over to the Primary (you said there was room for it.) Now do the restore, using the bootable Rescue CD, to the secondary. No need to format the secondary beforehand. The restore process will wipe out anything that is on the secondary.

    After the end of the restore process, swap the drives to see if you were successful.
     
  3. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    You can back up to the primary but you are told to move it somewhere else later. When you say swap drives you're not talking about opening up the case I hope. I just went into system set up during the boot process and it looks like you can switch which hard drive you boot to. So right now the boot process is
    1 floppy (which I don't have)
    2 CD (which I do have)
    3. Hard drive 1
    4. Hard drive 2

    It looks like you can switch the order of hard drives as to which one to go to for booting up. That brings up a question: How can you tell which hard drive you really booted up on or do you just have to trust the system on that?

    Thanks.
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Yes, I was thinking of opening the case and physically swapping the drives, but since you have control of the boot order the following should work ......

    To tell which hard drive booted? Ah .... that's the downside of NOT swapping the drives, but if you have confidence in the boot order working as it should that shouldn't be a problem. However, there's another way to tell.

    After you do the restore and boot to the restored drive, rename the volume to something specific instead of the generic "Local Disk". Rename the original also to something specific. In addition, you can also place a new folder on the restored drive's desktop. Now restart and boot with the original and see if that new folder is on the desktop. Windows explorer should also show the drive letter C against the name of the booting drive.
     
  5. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Since after the restore you will hoave to hdisks that are system/boot drives, Windows will likely get confused and possibly try to use both, one as the system drive and one as the boot drive, which gets very messy -- it read the ntldr file form one but looks for system files on the other, which it finds but, beleive me, your world can get kind of wonky if you continue down that road. Sometimes it will just remark one of the drives as not active, whicdh means it won't be bootable.

    Rule of thumb: If you restore a system drive image to another hdisk, be sure only one of the hdisks is installed before you reboot into windows after the restore.
     
  6. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    Dang. This is sort of like home owners insurance. You really never know if they will pay until after the storm hits. I guess my best bet short of buying a third drive and opening up the box and messing with jumper cables etc which I really don't want to do because I'm not some hardware guru .... is to just do full backups with some incrementals and validate it from the boot cd I made. And if one day I really need to do a restore then I'll know if my investment in Acronis was a good one. I wish disc imaging was simpler than this.
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    You don't have to buy a brand new drive to test this. Find an older, used hard disk that is big enough to hold the amount of used space on your current disk. For example, if you have only used 15 GB out of your 500 then you can test restore to a 20 GB drive. You may have one lying around or possibly you could borrow one from a friend. Now's the time to test this - not when your drive fails and you are staring at a non-working PC.
     
  8. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    I hear what you're saying but switching out hard drives, changing jumper settings and figuring out how to do all that is both a pain in the butt and a bit intimidating for those of us who don't do that sort of thing or rarely do that sort of thing. There comes a point when after you back up and validate the back up you simply have to believe the product will perform as advertised provided the user of the product keeps the software up to date, validates backups etc. Same is true of a parachute. You don't throw one out of the airplane with a 100lb block tied to it to make sure it works before you use it. There comes a point when you have to trust they work without testing them out before hand. My level of comfort with hardware installs, cables, jumper settings etc is just enough to get me in trouble. Maybe I'm being stupid.
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I hear you. However, I saw a TV show where some brave person was going to bungee jump off the CN tower in Toronto. He carefully weighed himself and calculated the length of the bungee, but for an initial test he used bags of sand instead of trusting his calculations. The camera showed the bags hurtling to the ground followed by a big "SPLAT" as they hit the sidewalk.
     
  10. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    Ouch! Never be the beta jumper on a new bungee jump. So short of doing the physical test with another harddrive do you think I've done all the right things in preparing for my leap of faith? You sound like you know this product pretty well. If I'm your average small business not doing anything too twisted on our computer and using Acronis True Image (latest build) and validating from the boot cd would I have a greater than 90% chance that I could recover from a hard drive crash?
     
  11. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    If you can validate successfully from the boot CD then yes, I'd say that you have an excellent chance of TI working properly.
     
  12. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    Thanks Mark. Peace of mind is a good thing. Appreciate your comments.
     
  13. Doug_B

    Doug_B Registered Member

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    How about hiding the partition on the original boot drive, using partition management software, before booting off of the restored partition on the second hard drive?

    Doug
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Another option (if the BIOS supports it) is to disable the SATA port for the drive you don't want detected. That basically "disconnects" it and you don't even have to open up the computer. This can be a simple change from Auto or Enabled to None, Disabled or Off, for example.
     
  15. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    That should do it most easily.

    But there's still the problem of Windows seeing two identical drives when you re-enable the first drive. However, if you re-enable the first drive and disable the second drive for the first boot, you should be safe. Then re-enable the second drive and boot again. At that point, you can reformat the second drive and use it for whatever it was for to begin with.
     
  16. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    The solution for swapping the drives easily is to mount them in drive trays that are removable - you just need a spare 5.25 drive bay for each tray. See example here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817604003

    Once these are installed, you don't have to open the computer case to change drives.
     
  17. dlbeck

    dlbeck Registered Member

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    My new computer is an HP that has both the HP personal drive drawer (only works with overpriced HP personal drives) and the HP pocket drive drawer built in. So it sounds like I could just use on of those. At that point don't I want to clone the harddrive vs backing it up?
     
  18. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    If you only have space for one of those Mobile Racks then you will also have to get an external enclosure. You can use either Clone or Backup. If you decide on Clone, do the reverse clone which means that you put the original in the external enclosure and the new drive in the computer and clone from external to internal drives.
     
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