Clone versus Backup

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by 21Rouge, Sep 15, 2007.

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  1. 21Rouge

    21Rouge Registered Member

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    Our family's desktop is used by myself, my wife and 3 teenagers o_O

    I want to do my best to protect its current state...assuming the state is (relatively) problem free.

    My hope is that as an inexperienced user that I can easily *exactly* backup the drive so that if there was a serious problem say...virus/bad software installation/teenager 'stuff' that I could quickly and easily restore the drive to its 'perfect' state ie OS, software and data just as it was. Is this known as imaging?

    After some web researching I dloaded the trial version of TI 10 and bought a WD 2.5" external 160 gig HD. (The desktop in question has an 80 gig HD with about 50 gigs used).

    The other night I thought I did what I described above but now I think all I did was a backup the entire HD, using the Acronis "Create Backup Wizard" :oops: . That is I selected "My computer" checked off the desktop's HD and directed the backup to the external USB WD HD.

    Instead it is "Clone Disk" I am wanting under "Manage Hard Disks...right?

    Can I do the clone on my same 2.5" drove that I have mistakenly backed up "my computer"?

    I have created the "bootable rescue media" dvd.

    Am I missing something in my description?

    Btw, if one does a clone rather than a backup is it still a simple matter to obtain *just* certain data files...say my digital picture files?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2007
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    There are many threads on this subject.

    Personally, I think you did the right thing by making a backup image instead of a clone. You can store more backups on the destination drive.

    If you need to access your files from the backup image, you can mount the image or explore it and copy them out.

    If you clone the drive, all the files will be available on the cloned drive just as they are on the original drive. However, the clone will use the entire destination drive.
     
  3. 21Rouge

    21Rouge Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I see now there is always qs re "clone versus backup".

    So my backup that I created on an external HD, using the trial version of TI 10 can be restored ie OS & drivers, programmes and data to replace my desktop HD if the need arises provided I have also made a rescue disk?

    My concern isnt so much hardware hard drive failure but rather a bad installation or uninstallation of some software. Until now I have relied on windows system restore. I know that this isnt reliable but when it does work it is quick and simple ie select a restore point and restore.

    When you have a bad software problem what TI backup setup did you use to restore. How long does it take to get it back to perfect?
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you did an Entire Disk backup (checked the Disk # checkbox), then you can restore the Entire Disk if you want to or need to. You can also select any partition in the Entire Disk image to restore. If you only have one partition, then there will only be that partition and the MBR and Track 0 option.

    If you made a backup image of just the Windows partition (usually the C: drive), then you could restore that partition to return to the state when the image was created.

    I usually just restore the Windows partition when necessary. It usually only takes a few minutes on my computer.

    If I'm setting up a multi-boot system, then after everything is setup, I usually do an Entire Disk image that contains all the OS's setup. This becomes the "base" image. From that point I ususally do partition backups because they're a lot smaller. Also, depending on the use of the particular OS, they may not need to be backed up on the same schedules.

    A good general rule is that if you're going to install something that you think may cause problems (a new program you want to try, for example), backup the partition (or partitions, if it will affect more than one) before installing it. Then if it goes wrong or you don't like it and uninstalling doesn't work properly, you can just restore the image and be back where you were.

    ----

    If you made your backup from Windows, you should boot to the TI CD and make sure you can see your internal drive(s) and your external drive(s). Also, you should at least Validate the backup image and make sure it can be read correctly when booted to the CD. The time it takes to Validate will give you a good estimate of the time needed to restore (the restore may take a little longer, depending on your system).
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    21Rouge:

    You are correct; the backup image of your hard disk that you created can be useful in several different kinds of situations:

    1. Your hard disk fails
    2. A program that you install or run causes all kinds of problems
    3. You accidentally delete a really important file

    As an example, the last time that I relied on TI to get me out of a jam was for reason #2. An bug in a third-party disk defragmentation program caused a complete and unrecoverable loss of all of the files on the C: (Windows) partition. Since I had recently created a backup image of the C: partition I just booted with the TI rescue CD and restored the image of the C: partition to the internal hard disk. 10 minutes later the drive was completely and perfectly restored.
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    21Rouge,
    Perhaps my guides below can add to your "new user" knowledge.
     
  7. 21Rouge

    21Rouge Registered Member

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    I am starting to be more comfortable with the terminology associated with imaging and backup. I do appreciate the reply posts.

    I just checked and when I did the backup using TI 10, under partition selection I had only ticked off the NTFS (c) but I now see that there are two other partitions ie a FAT 16 at 47.03 MB and a FAT 32 3.723 GIG.

    I guess these FAT partitions that are shown should have been backed up if I want to have a complete image if I want to do what you describe below?


    That's exactly what I want to happen.

    ----

    I did...using the TI wizard.

    I thought I did this ie "validate backup archive" right after doing the complete backup.

    Are you describing something different/extra?
     
  8. tomwom

    tomwom Registered Member

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    What would you do if you had problem #1?
     
  9. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Install a new hard disk in your machine. Boot from the rescue CD and restore your image to the new drive.
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    If you had TI do a Validation automatically after the backup was created, it's the same thing.

    You can also Validate an image any time as a separate procedure from TI. For example, if you copy the image from an internal drive to an external drive, I would make sure the copy Validated okay before deleting the original image.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello 21Rouge,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    As other posters explained, there are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - migrates/copies the entire contents of one disk drive to another;

    Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes;

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Actually, Clone Disk approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while Backup approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes. Since you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, we would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    Moreover, there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure such as: you can create an image without rebooting your PC, image creation can be scheduled for the particular point in time, Acronis True Image allows you to create incremental and differential images, image archive contains only the actual data and so it has a smaller size, images are ordinary files and so they can be stored on any type of the supported media, etc. However, the final choice is always up to your needs.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 10.0 Home in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  12. 21Rouge

    21Rouge Registered Member

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    I am tempted to do a restore for this reason.

    Before I truly consider this option I need to check something:

    I did an image of the HD last week using the trial version of TI 10. Under partition selection I had ticked off the NTFS (c) but also two others that appeared ie a FAT 16 at 47.03 MB and a FAT 32 3.723 GIG.

    The only rescue recovery disk I had made the week earlier was associated with the backup in which *only* the NTFS (c) partition was imaged. Is this a problem?

    As well is it necessary to use the recovery CD I made to do a full restore?
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Recovery CDs aren't associated with any particular backup. You make them by using the Bootable Media Builder menu choice in TrueImage. The rescue CD is used to boot your PC into a recovery version of TI so that your disk image can be restored while Windows is NOT running.

    A possible issue here is that if you created a recovery CD from the trial version of TI then you will not be able to restore with it. If Acronis allowed this then people could just use their software without ever purchasing it.

    If this list contains all of the partitions on your disk then you have a "full disk" image. This is the most useful image to have since you can restore the entire disk with it or any individual partition.

    If you've never attempted a restore on your machine before you should purchase a second hard drive and restore to that. Think of the purchase as an insurance policy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  14. 21Rouge

    21Rouge Registered Member

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    You are right. This is important. Do we know definitively if this is the case?


    You are right. Are there any technical reasons why I couldnt do a complete restore to a new external USB HD?

    And if it does restore perfectly can one do a 2nd restore to the existing internal HD?
     
  15. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I stand corrected on this. The recovery version can restore but not create images. The Windows version is time-limited to 15 days. Here is a post from Acronis that explains the policy. Sorry to have misled you.
     
  16. 21Rouge

    21Rouge Registered Member

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    I believe that only the "Restore" option is available in the trial version of Acronis bootable Rescue Media.
     
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