Can TrueImage 9 backup (incrementally) onto multiple target drives

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Adrian Stock, Oct 19, 2006.

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  1. Adrian Stock

    Adrian Stock Registered Member

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    Hi, All,

    I use Windows 2000 and Windows XP on multiple stand-alone computers. I have to decide

    whether or not to buy "Acronis TrueImage 9.0 Home".

    I want to do incremental (or differential) backups from each internal source drive to two

    corresponding removable target drives. The two target drives will be used on alternate days,

    so that I have two backups which are never more than one day out of date.

    Each target drive must have a way of 'knowing' which file changes it has not yet captured.

    Neither drive must be 'mislead' by the fact that the other has already captured the changes from

    the previous day.

    Can "Acronis TrueImage 9.0 Home" handle this? Any tips what options/settings to use to

    achieve this?

    If "Acronis TrueImage 9.0 Home" cannot handle this, is there another product which can?

    Thanks for your help.

    Adrian
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Not as far as I know. The incremental (or differential) will look at the in-use sector map of the archive on the current drive and will base its backup on that. It won't know anything about the one on the other drive.

    Unless you are backing up very large amouts of data would having 2 days of backup for each incremental be that bad? Note that a differential is based on the original base image so it will tend to grow in size each time unless files are deleted.

    In case you don't know, imaging programs see any changes made by moving files to be the same as a changed file so defragging can result in very large backups.
     
  3. Adrian Stock

    Adrian Stock Registered Member

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    Hi, Seekforever,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think you may have misunderstood my question, and your answer may imply the opposite of what you say. Let me clarify my question, i.e. make it more concrete.

    I do know the difference between 'differential' and 'incremental', and presume that it does not affect the viability of what I have in mind. So I will discuss it simply in terms of 'incremental backups', which is my preferred approach.

    The backup system I am trying to set up must in effect provide me with two target disks (the disks containing the backups) which are always up-to-date, i.e. always idential, except for the fact that they will be always just one day out of step with each other, (I can live with that), but on any one evening, one of them will be absolutely up to date. That's what I want to achieve.

    I will use target Drive 1 on odd days, and target Drive 2 on even days, and tell them to do an incremental backup (having started each of them off, of course, with a total backup).

    It is essential that Drive 2 does NOT know what Drive 1 has done, and vice versa.

    Backup programs which I tried in the past and which have failed this requirement, seem to have flagged backed up files on the source drive. Therefore, if they had been backed up on Drive 1 they were flagged as 'done', and therefore (against my wishes) Drive 2 would not bother to back them up again. Therefore neither Drive 1 nor Drive 2 would ever contain all files. THIS MUST ***NOT*** HAPPEN WITH THE SOFTWARE I AM SEEKING TO BUY.

    If TrueImage 9 Home keeps a register of what has been backed up or not backed up on the Target Drive, then it should work all right since in that case Drive 2 would not see what is on Drive 1, and vice versa. Is that the case in True Image?

    But if True Image keeps the backup information on the source drive, then I believe the system would not be capable of producing multiple backups on multiple target drives.

    Could you clarify this for me please?

    Thanks,

    Adrian
     
  4. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    “one of them will be absolutely up to date”
    First off, this will never be the case without real-time mirroring of some sort.
    Now, on to your question –
    When doing an INC backup TI will look at two things.
    1-) The layout of the source HD
    2-) The layout of the FULL image (along with any previous INCS) that the currently running INC is appending to.
    TI will then backup the changes.
    You could have a dozen FULL backups stored somewhere else (or even in the same location as long as the names are different), and TI will still behave the same.
     
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The approach you are referring to where the backup program keeps on the source disk what has been backed up either uses the file's "archive attribute" which is stored in the file system or maintains a database of backed up files.

    When imaging, TI does not keep anything on the source disk and does not look at the file attributes. It has an in-use sector map and it compares the previous one with the current one. This is why moving sectors by defragging makes TI and other image programs think the file has changed when it only has had some sectors relocated. Since everything is contained in the archive there is no way of backup 2 knowing what backup 1 did the previous day. So it seems TI should do what you want.

    I am less confident about stating how the Files and Folders (FF) backup works since it does go through the file system but it is possible your scheme will work with it.

    To be certain it meets your needs, my suggestion is to get the trial version. It will let you make archives from within Windows for 15 days.

    Make 2 base images, image1 and image2, add files, make incremental1 based on image1. Rather than restore you can Mount the image which makes it look like a drive on your PC and use Windows explorer to see your added files.

    Now make an incremental based on image2. Mount it and if it works you should see your added files as well. You can keep up this testing by adding and deleting files until you are satisfied.

    You can also do a similar approach with a FF backup if you wish ( I always do images since I am concerned with being able to restore a bootable system). I don't think you can mount a FF backup but you can see its contents in the Restore wizard.
     
  6. como

    como Registered Member

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    In addition to the comments by seekforever and TheWeaz

    You should also be aware that Acronis will require you to buy a licence for each machine that you intend to back up, as normal for any software company.

    TrueImage 10 has just been released; you can download a free 15 day trial from their web site. Apparently the trial version will not allow you to make an image with the rescue cd but you can from within windows.

    If you really want to try version 9 then you will need to contact support by email.
     
  7. Adrian Stock

    Adrian Stock Registered Member

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    Supplementary question

    Hi, Thanks for the replies received so far. Before I download the trial version, I have another requirement I'd like to check out. I will, of course, go for Version 10 since this is now available.

    I have two stand-alone computers, C1 and C2, using Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

    I have a removable disk (sitting in a cradle and therefore fast) which is my primary disk (source disk) for certain data, which are kept and processed separately from the internal drive (c:\). This removable disk receives data in Computer 1 and is regularly used in Computer 1.

    For backup purposes, and in order not to tie up Computer 1, it want to take it out of Computer 1 and put it into computer 2 and let it back up into a USB plugin drive (again alternating target drive 1 and drive 2, as described previously).

    In a nutshell: Can I use Acronis 10 to back up a 'cradle drive' onto a USB plug-in drive, running the backup on a computer different from the one in which the data of the cradle drive were generated?

    Thanks for your help.

    Adrian
     
  8. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    As long as TI can see all the drives (I don’t know what a “cradle” drive is or how it attaches), you should be good to go.
    You just can’t have a single license and be running TI on both C1 & C2.
     
  9. como

    como Registered Member

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    It is also important that the rescue cd (which is Linux based) can see all your drives in case the disk that contains windows can't boot, in this case you could make a BartPE disk which will boot into a windows environment.

    As stated above download the trial and test it
     
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