Dell Dimension 3000

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jts, May 3, 2005.

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  1. jts

    jts Registered Member

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    Please advise me. I’ve experienced very mixed results with TI 8, I’m hoping that purchasing a new computer and “starting from scratch” many of my problems will disappear. My question, does TI 8 work well with a brand new Dell Dimension 3000 computer or are there issues I need to be aware of? I’m reading the different threads concerning Dells but I’m still unclear.

    I want to image this computer after I load the programs I use. I then want to fully rely on the images burned to CD’s if any problems should pop up. I will burn the CD’s using the boot disk and not in Windows. I will use a Mad Dog CD burner set to the slowest burn rate possible.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    js
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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  3. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    1) Don't waste your time downloading the crippled trial version. Just buy the full version and use it.

    2) I own a new Dell Dimension 3000 as well as a Dimension 4700, an Inspiron 2200 and a 5160 and have zero problems using the full version of TI8 for image creation and restoring exactly as you indicate you want to do.

    3) Do not use the Acronis Secure Zone feature because it changes your Master Boot Record which renders your Dell pc restore hidden partition unusable. You don't need Secure Zone so just ignore its functions.

    4) You should purchase or build a suitable external USB2 hard drive to back up to. An external drive at least as large as your internal drive should be chosen for storing backup images. Bigger is better.

    5) Any name brand external hard drive should work. I recommend that you go to CompUSA and buy their external enclosure and also buy a drive mechanism to install in it. Build your own - it's cheaper and the CompUSA enclosure is compatible with TrueImage 8 and your Dell. Newegg.com also sells drives at very reasonable prices as does Zipzoomfly.com.

    Now, there are a few different backup strategies you can follow with your new Dell. You probably know by now that your computer will come with three partitions: a C partition, a 62MB hidden diagnostics partition and a 3Gb hidden Dell pc restore partition (unrelated to Windows XP System Restore).

    You will boot to the C partition. You can boot to the diagnostic partition by pressing F12 during BIOS screen. You can do a full Dell pc restore by first shutting down, removing all external devices and then starting up while pressing Ctl + F11 during BIOS screen and holding them untill you hear the beeps and see the restore screens coming up.

    Executing a Dell pc restore restores your computer to the exact condition it was in when you first opened the box and booted up. This is very useful because it saves you the trouble of doing a clean XP install and reloading drivers, making settings and reloading antivirus and software programs you got with your Dell. Preserving this feature may be very useful to you in the future even though it wipes out everything you did after opening the box. It's a baseline to work from.

    Preserving the functionality of the hidden partitions is something that must be done BEFORE you begin modifying your hard drive. Once a partition is resized or the Dell pc restore software is removed under the Add/Remove Software control panel or otherwise modified your ability to use this feature is forever gone.

    My personally proven strategy using TrueImage 8 to back up a new Dell computer is as follows:

    1) Do a Dell pc restore to clean everything up to its as-shipped state.
    2) Connect an external USB2 hard drive and power it up.
    3) Boot up with the TI8 Recovery CD (full version).
    4) Create an image of the ENTIRE internal drive by selecting the checkbox at the top which causes all partitions and the MBR to be selected for backup.
    5) Save this initial image to CD-R's. Kind of slow but effective. For a 40GB drive, it takes about 8 CD's. Forget DVD's unless you're a masochist AND a computer geek.
    6) Then save another image of the entire internal hard drive to the external USB2 drive as the baseline image.

    As you load and test your programs and make other personalized settings you'll want to create another full image as a backup. Create one and store it on the external USB2 drive but don't erase your earlier baseline image. Now you have two baseline images - one a real baseline of the pristine drive and one a baseline with all your customized loads and settings.

    As time goes on, you'll be adding, updating and removing software and creating and deleting files so you'll want to create periodic full backups of your ever-changing internal hard drive. As you feel the need, simply create a full periodic backup and save it to your external USB2 drive. Forget incremental backups - they're cumbersome and useless in my opinion. A full backup is most effective.

    Now, consider your external USB2 drive. You should always have two baseline images stored there along with one periodic backup. Each time you create a new periodic backup image, you simply delete the previous one. Therefore your external USB2 drive is only required to be big enough to hold four images at any given time. (An image is only a fraction of the size of the actual hard drive so several images can be saved on a similarly sized external USB2 drive.) And, you'll always have your CD backup safely stored away in case everything else fails.

    One important note: Disconnect the external USB2 drive except for when you're accessing it for TrueImage purposes. That way it's less likely to get corrupted accidentally.

    There are lots of other ways to do backups but this is the one that works for me - goof-proof and a no-brainer - requirements for success in my case.

    Don't let all the horror stories you see here scare you. TrueImage 8 is proven to be fully compatible with your Dimension 3000 system. The only question I have is why you'd have a Mad Dog CD burner? If it's external, you might have to wrestle with the process to get it to work. If it's internal (you installed it yourself) as long as it doesn't need any special drivers not provided for by XP it should work okay. I recommend you buy your Dimension 3000 with the Dell internal DVD/CD-R combo drive options.

    Try it and let us know what your results are.
     
  4. jts

    jts Registered Member

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    Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!! What a great response.

    I feel happy again.

    js
     
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