Can you use Acronis True Image to refresh PC?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by herve, Jul 23, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. herve

    herve Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts:
    1
    Hello,

    I'd like to know if I can safely use ATI to refresh my PC:
    1. Full backup of PC hard disk
    2. Format PC hard disk
    3. Recover from backup

    Will the full backup be really complete?
    Will Windows (XP in my case) work the same or will I need reactivation of some sort
    Finally will that really cleanup my PC from crap that adds up with time and slows down the PC (Windows picks up crap over time and even with booster software it doesn't seem to be as fast as it was 2 years ago). Will that boost my PC a little?

    If anyone has tried that, I'd like to hear your comments.

    Thanks.

    Herve
     
  2. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
    When you restore your computer it will be exactly the same as it was when you made the backup.
    Unless you have changed your hardware significantly windows xp shoud work straight away.
    The only crap on the computer will be whatever was on there when you backed it up. It should run a bit better after being restored, don't forget to run a defrag as well.
     
  3. james21

    james21 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts:
    14

    So when doing a restore, the hard drive with the OS on, doesn't need to be formatted?
     
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Posts:
    829
    As long as you restore back into the same partition/same hard drive everything should work as before. You shouldn't have to reactivate or do anything else.

    When I have slowdown or spyware on my system partition, I just restore a known good image backup of my system partition back into the same partition. This to me is more reliable than doing a "windows system restore" and for me the restored drive has always booted up the first time.

    I never format the hard drive, I just restore right over the original partition. I have done about 4 or 5 of these "refresh" restores on windows xp and they have all work perfectly.

    The quality of your "refresh" will depend on the quality of your backup, if the backup has any undiscovered spyware etc that will be restored as well. I always have a 2 month old backup and a 1 week backup available.
     
  5. james21

    james21 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts:
    14
    Thanks jonyjoe.

    So in ATI, I click on "Back Up and Restore"

    then on "Restore"

    I say "next" at the first screen and then it asks me to select the backup archive I want to restore back to.

    But now my Q is...

    I created a clone of my C:\

    When I click on that clone (a whole new partition), I can't click on the "next" button. :(
     
  6. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    If you ask Microsoft tech support, they recommend against using imaging software to backup the Windows OS. They even suggest that it's possible to cause physical damage in some rare circumstances when hardware is changed (but weren't specific about what or how).

    They state that using imaging software to backup data, data partitions, or for the OS during the first installation of Windows only, such as IT departments do when setting up lots of new PCs for the first time (before activation) with something like Acronis or Norton Ghost, is recommended and supported.

    I have used Acronis many times to restore image backups of the Windows XP OS, even after a "low-level' reformatting of the drive. But one time I had a problem: when I upgraded to SP3 immediately after a fresh restore of an image. The restore process somehow setup activation to be disabled after I installed SP3, which kept me from logging in to any accounts. Microsoft wouldn't help me because I was installing SP3 on an restored image, so I had to do a fresh install of Windows first and then restore the image over that. That worked for some reason. I tried installing SP3 to a restored image several times, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

    So, Microsoft's position is that the only Microsoft supported way to re-install the OS is from scratch, each time. They suggest using something like VirtualPC and re-installing the OS in that, if you find yourself needing to reinstall Windows more than once or twice.

    Personally, there are too many inconveniences for me if I have to always use a VM. So I still restore images of Windows when I need to, but I remember that there can be problems.
     
  7. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    I am shocked and amazed to read of Dogbiscuit's experience with Microsoft Tech Support. I have never heard anything so strange.

    I have a routine of restoring whole drive images to a rotation of three swappable main hard drives. This obviously includes restoring images of the XP operating system.
    Over a period of nearly three years I have restored main drives in excess of 600 times with absolutely no corruption or breakage of any kind whatsoever. These restores have covered SP2 and SP3 versions of XP and have all worked smoothly. The only time I had to re-activate, which was expected, was when I changed my NIC card.

    I wonder if there have been some misunderstanding between MS Tech and Dogbiscuit. Any problems that may arise from using any imaging program should be bottomed out with the software supplier and there should be no need to involve Microsoft at all. Of course Microsoft have no obligation to support third party software but have been known to be helpful as a goodwill move.

    Xpilot
     
  8. Earthling

    Earthling Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Posts:
    604
    Location:
    UK
    It's even stranger when you think that their own ntbackup does precisely the same job as ATI !?
     
  9. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
    The drive letters may appear different in when using trueimage. I find it best to label each partition, that way no matter what letter is assigned you know whats what.

    Cloning images an entire hard drive onto another hard drive, you need 2 hard drives to make this work. Are you sure you cloned the drive? For a regular backup its simply a case of selecting the backup archive ( .tib file) and then selecting whichever partition you want to restore it to. The drive letters may be mixed up so you'll have to know what size your c: drive was so that you select the right one to restore to. After that its simply a case of clicking next through a few screen and it should start to restore.

    Which TI version are you using?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  10. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    Well, the tech rep's statements were very clear, which is why my post is detailed about their policy. But I wonder if he may have not quite got Microsoft's position right, especially if what Earthling states is true.

    I called Microsoft only once for the issue with SP3. If anyone else takes advantage of Microsoft's offer of free tech support for SP3 installation issues, it would be interesting to know whether Microsoft supports troubleshooting SP3 installation issues on a restored image of Windows from third-party software. Or if any of the other statements they made are confirmed or not.
     
  11. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    I think the tech rep was either ignorant, dishonest, or perhaps on drugs. I know MS doesn't want to encourage anyone to make copies of the OS so maybe MS over-encouraged this particular tech to discourage users from making bacfkups. But it sounds totally insane.

    ATI is not going to hurt your hardware. And you won't grow hair on your palms or go blind from using it.
     
  12. nb47

    nb47 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Posts:
    183

    I hope not!:D
     
  13. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Posts:
    2,405
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    herve & James 21,
    Perhaps my guides can help. Check line 2 of my signature below.l

    Anytime you restore a backup overtop the exististing drive, there is a risk to your data. Many of the forum members suggest you perform your first restores to a spare disk so if something goes wrong, it does not destroy your original drive.

    When a restore occurs, the first operation is to delete the existing partitions. Using a test disk is a good safety precaution.
     
  14. haerdalis

    haerdalis Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Posts:
    74
    I've never had any troubles restoring an image with TI, xp, sp3 or otherwise..
    I'm on hold when it comes to TI though, waiting for the bugs to disappear (currently using StorageProtect).

    I'd agree with others that the tech must've been overzealous or something..
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.