Cloning question

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pbcd, Feb 14, 2008.

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  1. pbcd

    pbcd Registered Member

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    I just added a second hard drive to my Windows XP computer and I intend to use it as a backup to my current drive. I have ATI 10.0 installed. The rub is that this "new" drive is not blank but actually has quite a bit of data on it in two partitions that represent a backup of an old computer I used before I got the current one.

    Since I don't want to keep any of the data that is on this 'backup' drive, what is the best way to make sure that ATI overwrites it when I do a complete clone of my current system? Do I have to format or otherwise wipe out the data first, and then proceed with the cloning? Will ATI automatically overwrite? Will I have some options to choose from once I open up ATI and if so, what would be the best way to proceed? (The data to be cloned from my present system is larger than the amount on the backup, which makes me think overwriting would work...)

    I'm hoping the answer is fairly straightforward since I'm a bit of a noob. My fear is that if I have to reformat the recently added drive I'll screw up and end up wiping out the wrong drive and then it's noose around neck and stand on a chair time...:'(

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    The term cloning has a very specific meaning with TrueImage. Be careful how you use the term. Since you want to utilize the space on the second drive, it sounds like you want to "image" the drive. This allows you to store files on the second drive. If you clone, you will have an identical disk--same as original in every way.

    Cloning/Imaging Terminology
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=170693

    Clone Disk - migrates/copies the entire contents of one disk drive to another (e.g. install a larger disk) to achieve two identical drives with the same file structure . During the cloning process you are presented with a choice what to do with the old drive - keep it as it is, or erase.

    Backup - (Imaging) creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes--which also includes new drive replacement. Archive file can be created within Windows mode or from Acronis bootable Rescue CD.

    If interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, the Backup approach is recommended. 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.

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail. Read carefully plus check the User guide if you plan to use this feature. It has both risks and benefits!

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

    A couple starting points:
    Best way for making functioning images
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1047306

    Backups
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1036066#29
     
  3. pbcd

    pbcd Registered Member

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    Thanks GroverH, lots of very useful information there. I can see that I have a few more options to consider than I previously thought.

    My main intent was to make an identical version (clone) of my current setup in case of total failure of my HD. Since I already had a newish 160gb drive sitting around unused except for for a single backup made a few years ago of a different computer, I thought it would be good insurance against some catastrophic event (I live in the land of wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides after all :D ).
    I really like the way my system is configured now and planned on removing the backup drive as soon as the cloning was done and putting it somewhere safe. If anything happened to my original HD, voila I'd just slide the cloned one in and not have to hassle with reinstalling all my software, drivers etc.

    I backup a lot of things to DVD periodically so I'm not worried about media files and photos etc; it's really the peace of mind thing I'm after in knowing that I have "two" systems with all my settings and software working not just one.

    I'll need to read a bit more about a total backup. I know I can't just "copy" things over because the software will not run from copies.

    Anyway, thanks again for your help. Any further comments are appreciated.

    Tom/pbcd
     
  4. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Should you choose to reformat the new drive, this can be done very easily and safely.
    a. Open Windows Explorer or XP Disk Management.
    b. Positively identify the new drive by its content or description. Right click on the correct drive and choose format.

    Yes, you do have several options. Depending upon how vital your needs are, here are a couple thoughts.

    1. Clone your original onto the new drive and put it away for safe keeping. See note-1.
    2. Or, Reformat the drive and use it as storage to hold your backups. See note-2
    3. Or, Add another drive but it should be external such as usb or fire wire. See note-3.

    Note-1: When the need arises, you will have the cloned drive knowing that it works because you will have tested it to make sure it does before you put it away. This approach has several disadvantages. a. You have no disk for routine backup storage; b. It ties up a drive; c. The data will probably be out of date when it comes time to use the disk. You will need to have a current full disk backup available at the time of emergency need in order to bring your out of date data up to date. The disk is specific to your current hdwe and not easily transferable to a new computer anyway.

    Note-2: While this is important and it is absolutely vital that you have backups and a storage medium, the problem with this solution is that an electrical jolt could very easily wipe out all your internal disk including the main disk as well as the backup disk so this is in-adequate.

    Notre-3: To me, the clone storage is nice but rather than cloning, I would suggest that you use the disk (after reformat) for backup storage of your new image backup files which you must start, immediately. The TrueImage backup files (*.tib) are just files which are stored in a folder created by the user.

    Also buy a new external drive for additional backup storage. Use this drive to supplement your backup storage. It is only connected when in actual use. You would alternate or duplicate your backups so that you always have current full disk backups on both your backup drives.

    One problem still remains is that if your computer is zonked, you will probably need a new motherboard or new computer. Your personal data would still be recoverable from the external but you would have to re-install all your programs onto a new or replacement. You need to have copies of your download. purchases, etc so you can re-create a new computer should the need arise. If you really want to have all your bases covered, give some thought to what is necessary. Having backups is a good first step but it is not the only steps you need to take.

    If some of your files are music or photos, you should even burn copies of these onto CD or DVD as additional security. Your ISP probably offers storage of your address book and even storage of important emails. Simply create a new folder in your online e-mail provider and keep copies of some stuff there--even with attachments. It's very easy to set up an online rule to cause emails with certain key subject words to go into the special folder without being downloaded to your inbox. In other words, send mail to yourself. From your desktop into your ISP special folder located in your online mailbox.

    These are just random thought. The first step is to begin creating full disk backups without delay.
    Also, run error checking on your system drive.
     
  5. pbcd

    pbcd Registered Member

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    I'm beginning to see the light :cool:

    Yes, cloning now seems like a poor choice (especially after reading about the poor guy who was cloning his notebook and apparently lost power or something during the process and ended up losing everything from his source drive).

    I think formatting the backup drive and using it to store incremental and differential backups makes tons of sense.

    And externals are pretty reasonable now, so I'll probably go that route too.

    Here's a weird thing though. I just tried to create an Image of My Computer. I went from the source C, to G (the larger of two partitions on the backup drive). It created a 52 GB file in G. HOWEVER....it is not a .tib file and when I went to verify it, TI said no image file exists. When I explore the G drive I find a 52gb file called 2008FULLIMAGE file LOL, which is the name I gave it. So it is listed as 2008FullImage, a 2008FULLIMAGE file. Something ain't right there, yes? It asks which program I want to use to open a FULLIMAGE file o_O

    Any thoughts about what happened?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    pbcd:

    I'm not sure what went wrong, but you could try a simple experiment. Just add the extension ".tib" to the end of your image file using Windows Explorer, so that the file name is 2008FULLIMAGE.tib, and then see if the file is recognizable. If the image was created correctly and without any errors, then you should be able to double-click on it and see the contents of your backup. If this works then you should use TI to verify the image so that you are sure of its integrity.
     
  7. pbcd

    pbcd Registered Member

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    Hey Mark,,,,as they say at Staples 'that was easy.':) Adding .tib did turn the file into the Acronis logo and it is now listed as: Type Acronis True Image Backup Archive.

    However double clicking on it brings up a "sliced" logo...(regular image with a knife cutting thru it LOL). I'm no genius but that can't be good can it?

    I'll go back and open up TI and see what the verification process has to say, but I wanted to let you know I'm making progress. Thanks.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Good! That's what you are supposed to see. If you make incremental backups then there will be a "slice" for each incremental. You can continue double-clicking to open the "slice" and see all of the backed-up files and folders.

    It sounds like you're on your way. You'll find lots of helpful folks on the forum here, so if you have further problems then just come back and post a question.
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    When naming your image files, it's best to make sure the .tib extension is shown in the filename. Don't count on TI adding it if it's missing. (You can always rename the file and add it later if you forget or TI doesn't do it.)
     
  10. pbcd

    pbcd Registered Member

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    It sounds like you're on your way. You'll find lots of helpful folks on the forum here, so if you have further problems then just come back and post a question.[/QUOTE]

    You got that right. I have learned so much in the last two days it's unreal. In fact, I'm going to quit posting to this thread because each post moves it up the hierarchy on the forum page, and frankly, I'm a little embarrassed by my first question (knowing what I know now). I know, we all need to start somewhere in the learning curve....

    But still this thread needs to sink waaaay down and out of sight:D

    Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to help out their fellow seekers. It's a very generous thing that you guys do.:thumb:

    Tom/ pbcd
     
  11. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Tom,
    There are very few really new questions. Most have been already asked and answered.

    We all started at the beginning. A little bit of reading and some practice can go a long way. If you have some spare time, here's a little reading material. I assumed you have read my guides which are linked below.

    Also, check out the sticky in my signature below--especially the one about the Secure Zone and Startup Recovery Manager. Please take the time to read this link should you ever be considering installing either of those two options. Read before you jump. It's good for some and not so good for others--it depends upon your needs.


    Backups
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1036066#29

    Recommend backup scheme for photos, music 32 replies--2 pages
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=164175

    SAVE MY MUSIC COLLECTION! PLEASE (29 replies --2 pages)
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167710

    Picture of my backup folders
    [​IMG]

    An improved method to backup a PC by Xpilot
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=136754

    Lightning strike- Yes they do happen
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=150083

    Re: Backup and Restore Acronis 9.0
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=184414#6

    Re: Is Image Enough? Or Backup files too?
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=187133#5
     
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