Confused about Creating an Image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by blbarge, May 3, 2007.

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  1. blbarge

    blbarge Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I am a new user with Acronis & I am a bit confused as to how/if I can do what I would like to do.

    I purchased a computer in December with XP, but took advantage of the manufactures Vista upgrade. When I installed Vista, I did it as a clean install (ie. reformatted my C drive) vs. upgrading over top of XP. Part of the reason I did the clean install is it kept my system 'neater' without all of the freebe software HP provides (some of which are not compatible with Vista so they would have needed to be removed anyways)

    Now the disadvantage of this is the process did delete the factory partition on my C drive which contained the restore files - having said that, the origianl factory restore (along with the supplied System Restore CDs) aren't very useful to me anymore because it will restore by to the factory XP configuration.

    So what I'm hoping Acronis can do is create an image of my system the way it is now. So, in a crisis if my hard drive completely fails & I need to install a new one I'll be able to restore it to my current configuration without having to reinstall & reactivate vista, other programs, user & account settings. I'm pretty certain TI10 does just this, but I'm not clear on what to do to make a fill image vs. doing a file & data back up.

    Second related question is where should I save this new image? My gut feeling is to create a partition (ie. secure zone) on my C drive as well as on an external form of media. If my thinking is correct how big should I make the partition? I know that the size of the image will be based on how much 'stuff' is included, but keep in mind this initail image that I'm making basically does not have any files (in terms of personal documents, photos, music, etc) on it yet - I'm basically just trying to recreate the ability to have a "Day 1" recovery partition & recovery CDs. I'm assuming/hoping that the image will fit on a DVD & I can make that DVD bootable, similar to the supplied HP system restore CD.

    Obviously I will also set up regular incremenatal data backups, whihc I will backup to an external hard drive. Am I being too paranoid & making this process way too complex? Basically, I like the ability to beable to restore my system back to day 1 (I find eventually systems do slow down enough that the only way to make them efficient again it to start from scratch then reinstall the files that you want) - I just want my Day 1 to be 'today' with my current configurations, not the way HP sent me the computer.

    Sorry for being so green. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Yes, True Image will do what you want. That's the whole purpose of the software. But there are a few personal preferences many users adopt. Mine are:
    1. I don't use the Secure Zone.
    2. I don't like the Startup Recovery Manager feature.
    3. I do all my Backup, Clone and Recovery from the bootable TI cd.
    4. I don't do incremental backups - only full ones.
    5. I don't advocate the use of optical media for backups - too slow.
    6. I use a usb drive to hold the Backups.

    To do your whole disk backup, you would choose the My Computer backup. How and where you save it is up to you.
     
  3. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Perhaps my guides can add to your information about True Image.

    I too would concur with much of what DwnNdrty has written.
    My exception is on 3 where I use both the Rescue Cd and Windows for my backup creation.
    Another partial exception is 5. I definitely would not recommend backups direct to CD or DVD; but I do occasionally copy my backups from the harddrive to DVD as an additional means of security. My prime backup destination is other internal drives although I do use external drives for backups on a regular basis.

    The fact that DwnNdrty and I do not choose to use some of the TI features is a matter of personal choice. Others do use them. What he & I both would suggest is that you examine the features and examine both the liabilities as well as the assets. Your backup has to fit your needs.
     
  4. nb47

    nb47 Registered Member

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    That's EXACTLY what it's for-to fix it or even 'tune it up every so often but use an externall HD-your best bet! BTW ,I just fixed mine with it tonight 1/2hr ago for the 4TH time!!! Good luck with it.
     
  5. babac

    babac Registered Member

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    Hi D...,
    My preferences are almost all like yours.
    However,can you explain why you proceed like this at # 3.
    Thank you!
     
  6. blbarge

    blbarge Registered Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies. The beginners guides are great - too bad the owner's manual isn't this user friendly. I did look through the guide a few times, but I found my eyes going square after a few pages o_O

    Just a couple of more questions -
    I have a purchased copy of TI10, not a downloaded copy, so the installation disk is bootable. So is it necessary to create my own rescue cd from Acronis tools/menu or will the result be the same as the installation cd.

    I have booted to the TI CD, but when I do my mouse is not functional - when I move the mouse the pointer will only move up & down the screen in the center of the screen. I need to use the Tab & Alt keys to navigate the screen - is this normal?

    Perhaps I should start a new topic & I know there is a lot of personal opinion wrt how backups should be managed, but I'd like some opinions on using TI for File & Data Only backup as well. Where I'm at right now is I'm going to use TI to do my initial full system backup and I am going to do additional full system backups (full, not an incremental or differential) on a somewhat regular basis (haven't decided yet, but probably every 6 months). I will always keep my original 'Day 1' system backup, but may only keep the most recent of additional backups - that way in the event of full failure, I can decide if I want to restore back to Day 1, or to a more recent time.

    In addition to this complete image, I will also have to do regular backups of files & data - for this I would probably complete a full backup of files & data monthly, with a differential (or maybe an incremental - any comments?) occuring weekly. What are everyone's thoughts/comments/comparisions on using Acronis vs. Windows Vista Backup vs. Live OneCare backup to complete regular backups of files & data.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    blbarge,
    You might find some ideas on backups if you read through this thread: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=164175

    Regards, CatFan
     
  8. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    There have been quite a few users reporting the mouse movement being restricted to up and down when using the bootable CD. I don't recall if there were solutions, but a search in the forum should be beneficial.
    Yes, Grover, I should have been more specific with the "backups to dvd" feature. Using the 2-step method is useful (burning to dvd after making the backup image to another drive).

    For File and Data backups I prefer to use Windows Explorer to simply copy the files to another hard drive. If you want some compression, either WinRar or the built-in-XP Winzip would do a good job of it and are very reliable when it comes to extracting the files again.
     
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