Can True Image operate in a RAID/Time Machine-like manner?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Stuart909, Apr 22, 2009.

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  1. Stuart909

    Stuart909 Registered Member

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    Is it possible to make TI operate in a RAID-like manner whereby my backup HDD can mirror precisely what is contained on my active drive?

    To backup my media files, in the past I would attach my backup hard drive to my PC via usb and manually copy over new files or any modifications I had made of files. For instance, if I had a folder of new photos on my HDD I would also copy them over to my external USB backup hard drive via "copy/paste". Previously these changes would occur weekly meaning backing up would be infrequent; nowadays I make so many changes to my media files that by the end of each day parts of my HDD can look very different than what they look like in the morning.

    The benefit of this process is that I can make each file and folder look on my backup hard drive look exactly like the one of my current active drive in my system. The problem of course is that not only is this a time-consuming process but also it is very hard to remember all the changes that I have made. For example, I may change the name of a folder (which has previously been backed up on my external USB drive) so if it is copied over to my backup HDD then I could end up having two folders with different names but with identical contents, assuming I did not know it had previously been backed up.

    This is where the joy of RAID comes in. If I delete a file on my system, RAID will automatically delete the same file on the usb backup; if I rename a folder to another name, RAID will auto rename the exact same folder instantly; if I move a folder to another part of the system drive then RAID does exactly the same on the backup. The problem with TI seems to be that (assuming I have already carried out a full-disk image and thus am doing incrementals) if I do any of the above procedures then TI will just create duplicates. For example, if I rename "familyevent.avi" (which is already backed up) to "familyday.avi" then TI will of course backup the "familyday.avi" video but it won't delete the previously backed up "familyeven.avi" which is no longer needed.

    While RAID would do the operation in real-time, most probably mere seconds; TI has to analyse the system drives and create another incremental image meaning the process takes much longer.

    I don't expect TI to operate in real-time but if there is a way to mirror my system drive when I hit "backup" that would be great. I think Apple's Time Machine operates in a similar way (but I don't have a MAC ;)). If I rename a file on my system and move a folder, I don't see it being that difficult to ask TI to do exactly the same thing on my usb drives. I'm hoping this can be done as I do like TI's intuitiveness.
     
  2. kevinkar

    kevinkar Registered Member

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    Aren't you looking for a backup program which is inherently different from an imaging program?

    There are several good backup programs that not only "mirror" your data but also provide several backup copies for those times you made a mistake and need to revert back to yesterday's version. Otherwise, if you edit in error and the data on your mirror is automatically overwritten with the new version, you are out of luck.

    Of course you could set up ATI to make daily incremental images which is similar to what you are asking. Each day you'll have a new incremental with the changes from today but you can also always restore prior versions should you make a mistake. Of course incremental backups rely on the string of previous incremental archives so that if one is corrupt, the ones after that will never restore. That's a drawback of imaging software.

    I suggest looking into a true backup software instead of asking TI to do that function.
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Short answer, No. Sorry.

    I'm not sure what software you are referring to, but RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) works only with internal disks. A RAID mirror will do what you want, but you only access it as one drive.

    Check out the program Second Copy. It will do exactly what you want on a schedule that you can set, for example, at the end of every day. It's inexpensive and the mirror will delete files deleted from the internal hard drive, etc. Best of all, it's very easy to set up.
     
  4. Stuart909

    Stuart909 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your posts guys!

    Yes, it seems from both your responses that TI can't perform this function unfortunately. I will stick with TI for backups of my c: boot drive as having a working image of that is perfect if failure takes hold of my system. But I guess I will have to look at different s/w for mirroring the drives containing my media files.

    Originally I intended to go down this route but it just isn't practical in my case. I would quickly gather a large number of incremental images which would relate to only minor changes eg moving a folder to another directory, or renaming/deleting a file. And having to perform a full image backup every 3 weeks or so of 200gb of data on one HDD and 300gb on another would be too time consuming. Mirroring software would mean frequent backups that take the least time.

    Sorry, I didn't explain myself very well. I was just trying to provide an example of the method of backup that I desire. Basically something that clones my active drives; but only the changes and new additions, and not the old files again when each backup is performed.

    Thanks John, this seems almost exactly along the lines of what I am looking for. I will look into it further. Many thanks for the suggestion.
     
  5. Stuart909

    Stuart909 Registered Member

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    Sorry-duplicate post
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  6. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Just to be clear, Second Copy is for mirroring data files. It won't clone the operating system to a second drive. The only system that can do that is a RAID array of two or more drives in RAID 1 or higher.

    For the operating system and programs, the TI backup images will restore those along with any data on the drive.

    To keep the TI images small, you might want to partition your drive and put all the data files on the second partition. You only need to make TI images of the first partition when the operating system is updated or programs are installed or updated or new hardware is added. Second Copy can mirror the second partition to another drive to backup all your data on a daily or more frequent basis.
     
  7. Stuart909

    Stuart909 Registered Member

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    Yes, that is exactly how I have my system set up. The operating system and program files are located by themselves on the c: drive; all my media files and and personal files like word, excel etc. files are located on a separate hard disk. That's why it shouldn't be a problem to have TI image my operating system/program files. Hopefully Second Copy will be able to seamlessly backup the media files.
     
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