Confused new user

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by PennStan, Oct 6, 2006.

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  1. PennStan

    PennStan Registered Member

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    (second time I'm typing this - they should warn you that you get logged off while typing a long message!!!) Typed in Word then pasted!

    I recently started having some problems with my Dell Dimension 8300 and decided it was time to start backing up. It has an 80 GB HD and I purchased a 500 GB external to use for extra storage and backups of several PC’s. I purchased true image and have several questions. I have studied the user’s manual, FAQs, knowledge base, and the forum and am still confused about a few issues. Sorry about the number, but I wanted to get as many issues resolved at once as possible.

    1. Do I need to partition the external HD for any reason?
    2. After installing ATI, I did a full disk image backup to the external. It placed the image in numerous files, which I expected. However, the files are on the root directory of the disk. Can I simply create a folder for that PC and put all backup files (full and incr/diff) for it in the folder? Then do the same for the other PC’s?
    3. Secure zone. The manual says you need to have a secure zone created in order to use the startup recovery manager. It appears startup recovery manager is needed when the OS won’t start on your PC. I’ve seen conflicting information here that secure zone is not necessary to use restore. I can understand not needing the secure zone if I just need to restore individual files or folders. But if I have a total HD crash and want to restore the entire disk, it appears I do need secure zone created. Is that true? Do I not need it if I’m restoring to a new HD?
    4. If I do create a secure zone, my understanding is that it is on the actual HD in the PC and I need to estimate the size needed. If I am imaging entire HD, won’t the secure zone area be very large and take up significant space?
    5. The problem with the Dell is the graphics card. However, Dell has decided to give me an entire replacement tower. I’m assuming the new HD will be similar to what I got in the PC when I bought it, with OS and software loaded. It appears I have three choices to get the old system into the new tower: swap the HD’s, restore my disk image to the new HD, clone the old HD onto the new one. I get the impression from Dell that they want the “entire” tower returned, including the old HD, so simply swapping may not be an option. In this particular case, what would be the best option of cloning and restoring? (more along this line below)
    6. The new HD will not have ATI on it. How do I run restore? Could I run it from the CD, install it on the new HD, or create and use a recovery disk?
    7. When you do a full restore onto a HD that already has information on it (OS, applications, etc.), does it overwrite everything? Would I have to format the new HD before doing the restore?
    8. When I did my initial full image backup on my existing HD, ATI asked what I wanted to back up. The options it gave were the following: Disk 1, a partition labeled as “pri, act” that was about the size of my HD, and a third area that was small in size and I can’t remember what it was called. Since I wanted the entire disk, I simply clicked on “disk 1” and that automatically selected both other choices. Was this the right thing to do? Do I have a complete image of my old system?

    When deciding whether to purchase ATI or Norton Save and Restore, I read that ATI required more knowledge of computer hardware, etc.. It appears those comments are true. The user’s manual is really not clear in explaining these issues. Any explanation or help is greatly appreciated. I’m sure there will be more!!
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    1 ) Only if you want to – it’s not required for any reason.

    2 ) “It placed the image in numerous files”
    Your external must be FAT formatted. Use NTFS and that will not happen unless you instruct TI to do so.
    “Can I simply create a folder for that PC …”
    Sure, you just need to tell TI where you want the images to go.

    3 ) You do not need the Secure Zone. It was designed for people who only had 1 drive. It created a safe place to store backups; you have the external. To recover from a crash you can boot from the rescue CD and restore from the images on the external. It’s a good idea to boot from the CD and check to ensure that your external is detected beforehand.
    “But if I have a total HD crash and want to restore the entire disk, it appears I do need secure zone created”
    If the HD that contains the Secure Zone craps out, the Secure Zone goes with it.

    4 ) IMHO, forget the Secure Zone. You have the external storage option.

    5 ) Not enough time for this question. Unless the hardware is exactly the same, a complete restore to the new system may have problems. Even then …
    You could Mount the backup image and then copy files to the new system from the mounted image.

    6 ) Just install it on the new system or use the rescue CD. You’re going to install it eventually, correct?

    7 ) AFAIK – Yes; No. If Dell has a recovery partition, you may want to be careful about writing over that - it may not contain the same files as the old system.

    8 ) Checking the disk option will backup everything on that HD. All the data in all the partitions. You have the option of just backing up selected partitions (if you have more than one), but checking “Disk” selects them all.
     
  3. PennStan

    PennStan Registered Member

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    Thanks. This helped a lot. A few follow ups.

    When you say in answer 5 to "mount the backup image," what do you mean by mount? We were pretty organized on our machine so I'm not so concerned about getting the data files restored. I'm more concerned about getting the entire system (applications, etc) up and running.

    In 7, what is AFAIK? How do I know if there is a recovery partition? I'll definately check into this.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    It's an acronym for "As Far As I Know".


    snowbound
     
  5. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    As far as Mounting An Image, see p. 55 of the User Guide here.
     
  6. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    PennStan,

    Just a few more thoughts. Since your Dell is going to be replaced by either an identical or very similar model (if my assumption is correct), you may very well be able to restore the Image to your new system. I say may because this will also depend on how Dell configures the BIOS and boot settings in your replacement system. The central issue here is: does the new hardware run the same drivers, etc., as the old? If you are swapping like for like, then restoring a TI Image of your system partition with MBR, or, the entire Disk 1, should work. If you make significant changes to your setup, though, the crucial settings and drivers that ran your old system may not run your new system.

    That said, Windows does have built-in processes for updating drivers. You can always perform a Repair Installation of Windows XP, using the WindowsXP CD, after restoring your Image, which should detect any new hardware and install the proper drivers. As you mentioned, since your video card was faulty, you may now be using new video drivers, and those can be added by Windows fairly easily.

    Many pros suggest performing a fresh installation of the OS and programs with each major upgrade, to wipe the slate clean, and take out of the equation any elements that are either useless or may be causing your system to run more slowly. So, how long you've been using your Dell may also be a factor to consider, in deciding whether to start fresh, or to restore from your existing Image.

    I imagine that if you request a similar configuration from Dell so that restoring your current programs and settings has the best chance of success, that they will oblige, as long as the current hardware is still on hand. You might not get every improvement possible in the trade, but, that may suit you, and will certainly be a big time saver.

    Regards
     
  7. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    IMHO, if PennStan is going to try restoring the existing TI archive to the new tower, I would suggest as an added precaution that he first create an image of the new system so that if restoration of the exisiting TI archive does not work, he can always restore the image of the new system.
     
  8. Christopher_NC

    Christopher_NC Registered Member

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    Excellent point! I generally forget to mention this, being fairly new to this great world of Imaging. This same priciple applies to most actions, as long as there is adequate disk space available (and, if not, perhaps it's time to buy more). Whenever restoring even a damaged partition, make an Image, or two for safe measure, of the Partition in its current state. This way, once TI wipes the partition clean, you will still be able to return to your current state, should anything turn out not to be to your liking.

    And, should you realize later that you need a setting or file from the old version, you can Mount the partition Image, and copy the file(s).

    And, another safe way to do this, as Xpilot is an advocate for, is to use another hard drive to restore to, disconnect the new system drive, then see if you can boot from and run everything on the restored HD. If not, you can return to your working drive at once.
     
  9. PennStan

    PennStan Registered Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the answers and advice. I'm hoping to get the replacement machine soon and try this. Keeping my fingers crossed. I will definately image the new machine before doing anything!
     
  10. PennStan

    PennStan Registered Member

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    Finally got the new machine from Dell. Decided NOT to restore image because I wanted a nice clean HD. I am selectively restoring data folders. I'm having a problem "mounting" an image and asked that question under a new thread. (anyone know where old outlook express emails are kept?)
     
  11. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    In Outlook Express go to Tools\Options\Maintenance\Store Folder

    Look in Store Location window.
     
  12. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Don't forget to backup your wab file and your account file(s) as well.

    F.
     
  13. PennStan

    PennStan Registered Member

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    I was able to retrieve my old emails (.dbx files) when I mounted my HD image and then import them in OE. Also found the WAB and imported that from the image.
     
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