Cloning vs Backup (Image)

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by griffo, May 1, 2006.

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  1. griffo

    griffo Registered Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    I am trialling TI 9 Workstation as I wish to put full images/clones of my Laptop plus 3 othe PC'c (on LAN) onto a LaCie 250GB USB HDD, for disaster recovery. I thought that if a HD 'died' and a new HD installed, it would be reasonably simple to attach the USB HD and 'spit' everything back on fairly quickly? Do I need to make the Clone/Backup bootable in some way?

    I have partitioned the USB HD into 4 primary NTFS partitions. Does it matter that my Laptop (100GB HD) has a 'PQ Service' partition of 2.44Gb FAT 32, a Primary C: partition of 45GB (ish) NTFS and a D: partition 45Gb (ish) FAT 32?

    I started by doing a full backup of my laptop which took about 90 minutes, said it was successful and took about 25Gb of space.

    I then tried to do the same for another of the PC's but it seems to only offer my laptop/USB drives as the sources. How do I tell it to backup from another PC. Also, does every part of the other PC's need to be 'shared'? If so, does that have to be done drive by drive or is there a way to share the entire PC?

    I have read a thread by Abraxus and am now rather more confused than I was. It seems that the suggestion is to Clone rather than Backup and also to test the Clone. How do I do that with a laptop and a USB HD??

    Sorry for so many questions, I had hoped this would not only be good safety but reasonably straightforward!
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Jul 10, 2004
    San Rafael, CA
    To start, you want to make images not clones. A clone is of the entire disk, so you could only backup one computer to the external drive.
    Before you go any further, delete all the current partitions on the external drive and repartition it as one large partition. You can store the different images in their own folders and use the drive far more efficiently that if it has multiple partitions.

    As far as the laptop, make one image of the entire hard disk (all the parttions). That way you can restore the special partitions. After that you only need to make images of C and D partitions.
    You will lose this image when you delete the partition, but you can recreate it in 90 minutes. The advantage of one large partition makes this worthwhile.
    I use the Home version of TI 9 rather than Workstation, but I believe both can only create images of the local hard drive (although they can store images on network drives. If this is correct, you will need a copy of TI 9 on each computer to make the images. Acronis licensing requires a copy for each system.

    You can move the hard drive from system to system to make the images which would be fastest if they all have USB 2 ports. If any system has only USB 1.1 ports, backing up over the network to the USB 2 drive shared on another computer should be quite a bit faster.
    Last edited: May 1, 2006
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hello griffo,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Workstation Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    First of all, please note that there are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - 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. As you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, I would recommend that you 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.

    Please also note that none of the currently available Acronis True Image versions allows cloning the hard drives over the network. You can only clone the hard drives connected locally.

    Please be aware that Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation provides you with the ability to perform the backup process remotely. However, you should install the special program named Acronis Agent or boot the remote machine from Acronis Bootable Agent in order to be able to perform the backup process remotely. Another component which comes with Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation is named Acronis Management Console and used to control the remote backup process. You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation in the respective User's Guide.

    Please note that as jmk94903 has already mentioned above according to Acronis software licensing policy, you should purchase one copy of Acronis program per every computer where it will be used. This means that you should purchase one license of Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation per every computer having Acronis Agent installed.

    Please visit Acronis online store to purchase the full version of the product. Note that we have a flexible system of discounts and the amount of the discount varies depending on the number of copies you want to purchase. In case you are planning to purchase many copies, please contact our Sales Team at

    As for backing up the special service partition located on your laptop's hard drive, please see jmk94903's reply above.

    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.
    Alexey Popov
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