Cloning hard drive without deleting info

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Green_Giant, Jun 4, 2006.

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  1. Green_Giant

    Green_Giant Registered Member

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    I have a new computer and installed a 2nd hard drive for a backup.

    I would like to 'clone' the 2nd hard drive to use as a bootable hard drive should something happen to the 1st hard drive.

    I would like to copy the entire contents in the same format as the original, then make backups regularly to keep them identical.

    When I am making backup files, the software wants to put the info in a file, rather than just generally copying the entire hard drive.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Howdy, and welcome to Wilders.

    I'm not sure where to move your post since you haven't mentioned what software you are referring to.
     
  3. Green_Giant

    Green_Giant Registered Member

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    Sorry, I am referring to Acrionis True Image 9.0
     
  4. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Your thread is in the correct section now ;)
     
  5. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    You can certainly Clone to the second drive which will be, as the term suggests be a perfect bootable copy of the first drive. However this is not the recommended way of making and keeping backups. Imaging the first drive to the second followed by resoring to the first drive has many advantages as you can have as many images on the second drive as it will hold but you can only have one clone. There is also the need to diconnect one of the drives immediatly after cloning as Windows does not take kindly to having two identical C drives connected at the same time.
    Xpilot
     
  6. Green_Giant

    Green_Giant Registered Member

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    Thanks, I guess I really don't understand the process fully. I lost a hard drive a few years back, and did'nt have all my files backed up. I particularly lost a number of music files that I had painstakenly copied from Records, 8 tracks, casettes, etc. I never did recreate them.

    I am now storing documents that I MUST keep for a period of 5 years, and had in mind having an (exact) duplicate of my hard drive, with incremental backups every other day. I installed a 2nd hard drive the same size as my first drive, and had in mind that if my first drive fails, I could just boot to the back-up drive, and be back in business.

    I have made a backup, but it just shows as a rather large file on the 2nd disk.

    I just would feel more secure if I could see what was in that file.
     
  7. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    "I just would feel more secure if I could see what was in that file."

    If it was a disk or partition image, mount it.
    If it was a Files/Folders image, step through the recovery process and you will come to a point where you can see the files in the image. Then just cancel.
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    If you open TI you can mount the image. This is in effect a virtual drive which you can examine and copy from using Windows explorer.
    The problem of long term storage of a base image with incrementals is that the backup drive may fill up sooner than you expect. The thought of having a base image with lots of incrementals gives me an insecure feeling. Remember that the taller the ladder the more it wobbles!
    I actually backup everthing on a daily basis and at any one time I can go back to a system state of up to 10 days ago. All my documents' whenever they were created, are present and continue to be so unless I decide to delete some of them. To put it another way everthing I need can be restored or copied from from the most current image. Previous images are only kept for extra insurance.

    Xpilot
     
  9. Green_Giant

    Green_Giant Registered Member

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    Xpilot:

    How would you suggest I set it up to back-up every/every other day...

    I had been thinking I would do an incremental 3-4 times a week, do a new full backup once a week or so.

    Seems like you have a handle on this, so I would like your advice!

    Thanks!!!1
     
  10. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The frequency of your backups is really dependent on how much of your changes you do not mind losing in the worst case scenario. I settled on one day. I also ticked the box in Windows which keeps my incoming emails on the server whether I have downloaded them or not.
    The next question is how far you would ever need to go back with a recovery. My thinking is that as all old and new stuff is in my current image that is all I really need. However there is always the possibility of some Trojan or other nasty finding its way onto my system and I might not spot it straight away though my weekly house keeeping should. So I reckon on a weeks worth as being enough but as my backup drive can take 10 days of backups I settle for that. It would be easy to increase the depth of my backups by using Full images with additional incrementals but I cannot see the need for it.
    Once you have decided on the extent of your first line backups and have got them in place you really should test them. My method is simple and to the point. I pretend that the main drive has failed. I replace it with a spare drive and restore to that. I then can either carry on using the repacement drive and keep the old main drive on the shelf or swap them back again. What I like about doing it this way is that my system and data is never at risk if anything were to go wrong.
    Then of course you might want to sign up to the "backers paranoid club" and keep backups of your backups. Yes I admit it, I joined some time ago and I make additional backups to an external drive !! I'll get my coat!

    Xpilot
     
  11. Green_Giant

    Green_Giant Registered Member

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    Maybe not quite that paranoid. However, I would like a couple of back-ups at least. I am not quite sure how to do all of that, probably need to spend more time in the user manual. Your hints are appreciated, any more would be also welcome. Thanks Again!
     
  12. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    Green_Giant,

    As you can see from reading the many postings, there are many ways of backing up your system and data. You really need to think through the various options as you are certainly doing and finalize a strategy. You can always change that strategy later if necessary. It sounds to me that cloning is not the approach to take. Creating and saving image files would appear to be more appropriate.

    Let me illustrate the approach that I have taken. My needs are very simple but I find this very workable and so far 100% reliable with the last several builds of True Image Home 9. I do not use CD's or DVD's. You do need to create the Rescue Media CD however.

    With a desire to only protect for catastrofic failure of my C: system PATA drive, I have a second PATA internal drive D:strictly reserved for backups. Two folders exist named 'Norton Ghost' and 'True Image'. The Norton Ghost (v.2003) is not an issue here but I use it as a form of redundancy for the moment. Also not an issue is the fact that I created a batch file that copies critical folders residing on the C: drive to the D: drive on a scheduled basis using Windows ScheduledTasks. This occurs daily during the night. This also is a form of redundancy to some degree. Both drives consist of a single partition.

    My thinking is that having two internal drives it is unlikely that both will fail at the same time. Possible but unlikely. Saving images to an external USB/Firewire drive would add additional protection. If the C: drive fails you simply replace it and restore the image using the image(s) contained on D:. If instead the D: drive fails the system will still run but your images will be lost and will have to be created after replacing the drive. This has happened to me.

    Using True Image 9 Home, build 3633 with Windows XP Home Edition, SP2 it take me between five and six minutes to create a 6.9 GB image file (11 GB source on the C: drive) with 'normal' compression. I generally keep four versions spread over some period of time. These are named 'mmdd.tib' representing month and day. I run these manually. Additionally I set up a scheduled task in True Image that creates an image named '9999.tib' in this same folder that runs every night. This over-writes the previous copy of 9999.tib so this one is always current. All images are full backups. Have not had any failures to date.

    Further thoughts:
    1. Do not create a Secure Zone or activate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager until you thoroughly understand what they are.
    2. Start out with a very basic approach that meets your needs. Come back later as you learn more about the software and make changes that you deem appropriate. Basically what I'm saying is start somewhat conservative and then move on from there.

    Best wishes,
    Bruce
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2006
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