Compression???

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by BobJ, May 12, 2007.

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  1. BobJ

    BobJ Registered Member

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    I tried to make a disk image with TI (all my partitions - 4 of them - on a 20GB HDD), but I ran out of CD-R's before I could complete the process. I had 4 blank CD-R's on hand, but the process asked for more than that (I saw that it had only completed slightly less than 50% with 3, so I knew before I put that last one in that it wasn't going to finish on just 4 - but I was hoping . . . duhhhhh). So, I aborted the process and will go back to the store and get some more CD-R's before I try it again.

    But that experience gave rise to a question about compression. I had "Normal" checked (which I think is the default in TI). There is a "Maximum" and I'm wondering if I should have used that (if I had, I might not have wasted 4 good CD-R's). The CD-R's have a capacity of 700MB.

    I had expected TI to only use . . . ONE . . . CD because I thought that Disk Images were written in binary code, which as I understand it takes up much less space. Plus, Restore CD's from manufacturers are only typically one CD (or at least they used to be, but with today's larger capacities maybe there's more than just one supplied by a manufacturer). I have an HP laptop, purchased in 2004, and instead of a Restore CD, HP included a Windows (XP) CD and a Driver CD. But before that I had a WinBook, and WinBook did provide ONE CD as a Restore CD.

    Anyway, whatever manufacturers are doing nowadays, as I said I only expected to have to use one CD. Maybe I shouldn't have expected that.

    So, my questions:

    1) Just how many 700 MB CD-R's would I have to use with normal compression in order to make my disk image??

    2) Should I use "Maximum" compression?? As I understand that scheme, it only takes more time.

    3) If I used Maximum compression, then how many 700MB CD's would it take??

    4) Should I buy a big (2GB??) Flash Drive for my image??

    Oh . . . and one more thing . . . I don't use CD-RW's for two reasons:

    1) They are much less reliable than CD-R's. The manufacturers say they're good for 1000 rewrites, but in my experience they're only good for about 20 rewrites. After that there's a substantial risk of corrupted data. I used one once and I lost a bunch of data on it after about 20 or so rewrites - NEVER AGAIN!!!! Now I use a Flash Drive for that purpose.

    2) CD-R's are cheap enough nowadays (about 10 for $10 bucks at WalMart), so it makes sense to reduce the risk of data corruption at that price (assuming your data, and peace of mind, is worth that much).
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Save yourself a lot of future hair pulling - do not use any optical media for direct backups. For one thing they're slow in doing the backup and the second thing you will find if you ever have to do a restore of that backup that the process will have you swapping those optical discs in and out like there's no tomorrow. If the size of the backup takes up 3 or less discs the recovery process is tolerable. It still involves disc swapping, but it is tolerable. Another user gave the process a good name: the DVD Shuffle.

    Invest in another drive, internal or external, and use it as the destination for your Backups.

    If you use a higher compression, this will slow down your backup process. If you prefer to store your backup on optical media, do it via what the users here call the 2-step process. First make the backup to a hard drive then use your burning software to burn to the optical discs. You will first have to specify a split size to split the backup image during the backup process.

    The size of the backup image will depend on the types of files you have on your system. Some files will compress more than others. Music and video files are already in a form of compression so will undergo hardly any further compression.
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello BobJ,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Please notice that DwnNdrty is correct, and the size of image will greately depend on data being imaged. As a very rough estimation, operating system files usually compress at a rate of 50%. Please be aware that a "Restore CD" provided by a manufacturer usually contain only very basic setup of operating system. A developed system with all your favorite applications and data installed takes significanly more space.

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

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  4. BobJ

    BobJ Registered Member

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    Dwn,

    I appreciate your regard for my sanity . . . and my hair . . . But . . .

    If I were to invest in another drive, I might as well do a clone on it instead of an image.

    That's probably a heresy to say on this board, but here's my thinking (and since you're a much more skilled technical person than I am, don't hesitate to point out any flaws in my logic):
    I'm guessing that I can clone my 20 GB drive in about 10 minutes (I think - in any case, that's a pretty fair guess). No restoration needed because I can just swap drives then. Pure plug and play. It will be a fast and complete "born again" computer.

    Then I can troubleshoot my failed drive . . . at my leisure. The difference between cloning and imaging to me is one of urgency. With my cloned drive to swap in, I wouldn't be taking all the time to do a restore. Granted, there is some time taken to clone (but not as much as imaging and restoring), but that would be "scheduled" versus "unscheduled" for a restore operation, if the disk that I was in the middle of using failed.

    So, again, if I were to invest in another drive, I might as well do a clone on it instead of an image.
    On a related thought, all I wanted to do with this Acronis software was to avoid having to go through the hassle of reinstalling my XP with the disk supplied by my computer assembler (HP - notice I didn't say "manufacturer", because all these guys do is put together parts supplied by manufacturers), reinstalling drivers (on another disk provided by HP; both the XP and Driver disks provided in lieu of a Recovery CD), my applications and utilities, and then my settings. All that hassle, if my disk failed (and it will one day - "TTF" being what it is), would probably take almost two hours, if not more.

    But my thought that all I'd have to do was click on an OK button and -voila - I'd have a Recovery CD was apparently mistaken (naive of me, I guess . . . duhhhhh). It looks like now that if I want to do an image to a CD, it will not only take a bundle of CD's but also about just as much time as the hassle of restoring from the XP CD etc. And I've read through a lot of the posts here, and it seems like there are a lot of minefields in the image and restore process. I think other posters have said this, but it seems like a non-technical person would have a hard time making and restoring an image (and I'm not all that technical myself!!). Cloning too has a lot of minefields, but it doesn't look like it has quite as many as imaging and restoring.

    So, I'm back to "if I were to invest in another drive, I might as well do a clone on it instead of an image".

    Now, where are the flaws in my thinking?? 'Splain it to me.

    Oh . . . and one more question. If I choose to go the CD route and store the copy first on my HDD, as you suggest, and then burn an iso copy to CD (multiple CD's I should say), I would have the additional problem of allocating and finding enough free space on my HDD for the image - another minefield, because I have four partitions and likely not enough free space on just one for the image so I would have to spread out the image over several partitions or either I would have to resize my partitions (which I can't do on the fly now since for some reason the TI SZ I mistakenly made rearranged my MBR and now Partition Magic is refusing to start up - see https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=174359). So, is that what you meant when you said "You will first have to specify a split size to split the backup image during the backup process"??

    Geezzz, this is getting more confusing the more I get into it. That brings me back to my thought about clicking once on an OK button and having a single Recovery CD - boy was I ever naive about all this.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    At the risk of taking this out of context, the main thrust of your enquiry is this, correct?
    ========================================
    On a related thought, all I wanted to do with this Acronis software was to avoid having to go through the hassle of reinstalling my XP with the disk supplied by my computer assembler (HP - notice I didn't say "manufacturer", because all these guys do is put together parts supplied by manufacturers), reinstalling drivers (on another disk provided by HP; both the XP and Driver disks provided in lieu of a Recovery CD), my applications and utilities, and then my settings. All that hassle, if my disk failed (and it will one day - "TTF" being what it is), would probably take almost two hours, if not more.
    ============================================
    And your working drive is 20G with four partitions. There are a few ways to achieve what you want.

    1. Clone. The original use of this feature is if you're upgrading to a larger hard drive. Normally you would clone a drive and immediately swap out the orginal for the cloned drive. You could also do daily cloning and by always using the newly cloned drive and keeping the "older" drive as a backup, you can be assured that the other drive is always bootable. But you should not keep the other drive in the computer. This is where using a removable tray/rack system comes in really handy. I use them myself.

    2. Backup. This makes a compressed Image of your drive and therefore you can keep several Images of your system drive on another drive, internal or external, depending on the size of the other drive. But again you should not keep this drive connected to your computer.

    Since your system drive is 20G, if you get a 160Gb drive (I think that's the smallest you can buy nowadays - there may still be some 80G around - unless you go for used), it will probably hold about 12 images of your 20Gb drive. Remember when you clone a drive, the process wipes out everything on the destination drive. But in the Backup process, you can add a Backup Image without having to wipe the destination drive.

    3. Somewhere I believe you mentioned wanting to make a restore cd like those that come with new systems, except you wanted yours to have all the changes and additions you made. True Image Version 10 actually has this feature for DVD media and if your used space is such that the Image does not span more than 3 dvds then this may be a way to go for you. Why more that 3 dvds? Because I have found, and others have too, that if you have to restore from those dvds, you'll have to be swapping them in and out in what seems like a neverending process. There is still swapping involved with a 3 dvd restore set but at least I find it to be tolerable.

    I hope this helps you to decide what to do.
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Cloning a disk and making a backup of the image are just not comparable. Cloning, you get a one-time sanpshot fo the disk and that snapshot takes up all of the clone-to disk. This is great for moving from one hdisk to another --say you are repalcing your harddrive with a new and bigger one.one machine to another. But for backu purposes, it really sells you short. By doing a backup, which writes the disk image to a file on the target, you can usually put numerous backups on a single Hdisk, allowing you to have more than one backup on hand (good for safety in case on file becomes corrupt) and also you can choose among diff dates if you need to recall a particular data file -- or say you want to restore you system files back to a certain date but want data files from som later date.


    Hdisks are not cheap but they are realtively inexpensive and provide you great capacity and felxibility for storing backups not to mention tremendously faster speed when backing up and when restoring. If you get a Hdisk for backup, you'll never regret it or go back to CDs or DVDs for backup -- except maybe for long term archival purposes, But even then, it's faster to make you backup to hdisk and then burn the backup file to DVD.


    Good luck


     
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