Considering purchase, a few Qs first

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by neofit, Dec 14, 2005.

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  1. neofit

    neofit Registered Member

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    Hi!

    I am thinking about purchasing True Image. I have read all the information posted on the official site, the FAQ, a few posts here, then read the zillion pages in the "wishlist" thread, and now I am confused about what the software actually does and what feature was only a wish :). Also I'd like a bit more information about what exactly the software does.

    I've been using Norton Ghost for years. I can't do that anymore, I've bought two 300Gb drives, and I don't want to keep a FAT-32 partition just to store the backups (and I need to boot from a WinME floppy for the old version of Ghost to see the partition where I store the c: partition backups). Apparently the latest versions of Ghost, 9 and 10, don't even allow people to backup from a boot CD, and I don't want to test whether a backup of the c: partition while Windows is running and doing things gives a good image.

    I'd appreciate it if one could tell me if TI9 will do what I am planning to do, i.e. more or less like how I used to work before.

    The disks I will have will be:

    Disk1, 300Gb, Basic
    Partition 1, Primary, 10G, NTFS, drive c:, for WinXP
    Partition 2, Extended, the remaining gigs, one logical drive, NTFS

    Disk2, 300Gb, Dynamic
    Partition 1, all the space, NTFS, will also contain the TI backup files.

    With Ghost 6, if it worked, I'd boot from a floppy and make the first backup of the c: partition right after installing the OS, you can't beat restoring a totally fresh OS install in less time it takes the original Windows CD to bring you to the EULA acceptancy form. I usually do it once for every new motherboard that I have. If I understand Symantec correctly I'd need to already spoil the freshness of the OS installation and install Ghost 9/10 on the disk before I am even able to make the first c: backup.

    Then I'd install the basic hardware drivers that would not change in months/years like the printer, keyboard, mouse, SCSI, network, Direct-X and the current WindowsUpdate. Then another backup of the c: partition from a floppy boot.

    Then I'd install the graphic driver, the codecs, compilers, etc., then another full backup of the c: partition from a floppy boot.

    From then on, I'd make other full c: partition backups from a floppy boot only rarely (cause I'm a lazy sob), before installing possibly dangerous software, like stuff that can break your codecs config, or a new .Net version, or any Symantec trial.

    If I understand correctly TI9 will allow me to do all this, right? I mean at any time I can boot from (one of) the TI CD(s) and make a backup of the 10Gig c: partition, it can be NTFS (standard 4K clusters), and the image can be stored on the second NTFS Dynamic disk? Then, if anything happens to the c: partition, or the disk is not bootable anymore, I can boot from the TI CD and restore the data on c: and/or make the disk bootable? Or do I need to backup the whole of the 300Gb disk in order to be able to make the disk bootable again? I didn't get this quite right from the posts on the forum.

    I understand that TI9 can do a lot more like the 'hidden drive' or whatsisname stuff, but I like to keep things simple and the above paragraph lists the required minimum for me.

    Also, apparently a partition c: image does not do a sector-by-sector copy for a filesystem it recognizes like NTFS. So it stores the files (but the pagefile/hibernate)? I know Ghost used to do something like that, and I liked this feature a lot. One time I had a 2GB boot partition, made a partition image, installed a 4GB SCSI disk, partitioned and formatted it from a floppy boot as a single 4GB partition, then restored onto it the image taken from the 2GB partition, and Ghost copied everything onto it and made it bootable. The change of size of the partition was totally transparent to the software and myself included. Does TI allow this?

    Also, I read about the possibility to exclude drives/directories from a backup image. Does this mean that I can make a backup of the c: partition and tell TI to not include stuff like "..\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files" and a dozen others for instance? Or is it a mix between "not sector-by-sector" and "not file-by-file" copy?

    Thank you for reading this far.
     
  2. neofit

    neofit Registered Member

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    Another question:

    I haven't reinstalled my system yet. If I purchase the software (standalone home user version), download it, use the serial and install it on my current system, then can I make a TI boot CD right away, then reinstall my system, and start backing it up with the boot CD that I had made? Or will I have to install TI on the new OS and drive first, then make a new boot CD from this system, and only then I will be able to boot from it and backup the c: partition? I mean are there any technical and/or licensing difficulties in booting and backing up a system from a CD that has been made with another OS (I am moving from win2K to WinXP) and another disk/controller config (I am removing the SCSI card)?
     
  3. neofit

    neofit Registered Member

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    I just wanted to add that despite what is written on the "Download Trial" page, in the "Wishlist" thread and on the Trial installation screen, the trial of build 2323 is indeed crippled. I can make a bootable rescue media all right, I can boot with it, but I can't actually commit all the choices I make in the wizard and cannot really backup and test the few things I need.
     
  4. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello neofit,

    The big problem you will have is the "basic" version of True Image doesn't recognize Dynamic Disks; you need an Enterprise version for that. If not too late, re-initialize Disk 2 as a Basic disk. Other than that you shouldn't have a problem doing what you want.

    In case you ever need to restore to a replacement main system disk, make sure you create an image of the whole drive by ticking the checkbox next to the Disk number, not just the system partition. This will force TI to copy the Master Boot Record into the image, which when restored will ensure the new drive is bootable.

    The bootable rescue CD is Linux based and is specific to the TI version/build that created it. It's independent of the hardware specification or O/S used at the time. The single user licence ties the rescue CD to the TI application, which must only be installed on a single computer at one time. You can uninstall TI and only use the bootable rescue CD, but only on that computer. The licence doesn't allow you to use the rescue CD on a number of different systems as that would effectively be the same as installing the one copy of TI on more than one computer. Bear in mind though that the bootable rescue CD doesn't provide all the capabilities that the full application does e.g. can't schedule imaging, can't image direct to DVDs and can't explore images.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  5. neofit

    neofit Registered Member

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    Thank you Menorcaman, that was very helpful. I'll reformat the disk as soon as I finish this message.

    TI seems to be able to do what I want, I guess I can click on the 'Purchase' button. I am a bit weary about the "you are entitled to limited upgrades though", reminds me a bit of the "The Bat" mailer, they issue a new version that fixes some serious bugs a week after I buy it and ask for more money :).
     
  6. Ozmaniac

    Ozmaniac Registered Member

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    Hi neofit,

    Don't worry about the 'limited upgrade" thing, and whatever you do, DO NOT bother purchasing an extended download! It's a complete waste of money. Once you have registered your product wih Acronis, you can download new builds of that version whenever you wish.:cool:
     
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