Do image backups make sense?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by NoGuru, Jun 13, 2006.

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  1. NoGuru

    NoGuru Registered Member

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    In a TI 9.0 Build 3.633 "backup" thread, I said I've been using Genie Pro to do weekly backups of files/folders/emails to a backup drive (G), and that the backup looks and acts identical to the Windows Explorer view of my C: drive. While I've used TI to make full images of my C: drive, yesterday was the first time I used it to do a weekly "backup." I've been unable to look at the files and folders inside that backup, though I've been told there's a way to do it via the recovery process.

    I upgraded to 9.0 primarily because it advertised that I would no longer need to use a 3rd party program (Roxio) to put images onto DVDs. Somehow (the word "backup," I think) I also got the idea that I could do ALL of my backing up with just Acronis.

    My question is, why would a person choose to do regular file/folder backup *images*, instead of the simpler file/folder backups that a program like Genie does (is there a name for this kind of backup), where the results are clear and visible without having to employ a recovery process maneuver?

    NG
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    As you have done a full backup image you do not have to start the recovery process to explore,view,copy or now even amend data in the image. The procedure is to Mount the image. A virtual drive is then available for you to work on just like any other drive on your system. The mounting/dismounting process only takes a few seconds.

    Xpilot
     
  3. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    You can read and write, but when you write to the logical drive that comprises a mounted image, the writing is saved as an additional incremental file rather than actually changing the original image file. Functionally, you end up saving whatever edits you made, but technically, you aren't actually writing the edits to the image file itself.

    It's no more cumbersome than using, say, Winzip and has the same benefit of compression plus the ability to use the image file to restore a partition or drive.

    If all you want is a copy of files that you can pick through, Winzip or MS Backup might be an attractive option. If you want to be able to be able to copy and rebuild an entire partition or disk, system files and all, then ATI is a smart, ecdonomical choice.

    sh
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Xpilot and Shieber have pretty well answered your question and use TI for imaging my C drive. My point is that backing up data files in their native format by directly burning to CD/DVD with Roxio or Nero or whatever without being bundled into any kind of backup program's formatting is a good idea.

    What's going to happen a number of years down the road when find a drive that will read your DVD and then you find you need a copy of PROGRAM X, version YYY to read the backup? Keeping up with the hardware is bad enough no sense adding software into the problem.
     
  5. NoGuru

    NoGuru Registered Member

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    I see value in using True Image for full drive images. My question is, what advantage is there in doing weekly (daily or whatever) *images* of only files and emails, rather than just doing a Genie or other backup that amounts to little more than copying.
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    As long as you perform "image" backups on a regular basis, the rest comes down to a matter of personal preferance. Many other also use some oher form of backup methods to create copies of their files, etc. If you have the storage space, uncompressed copies work great and a nice safety factor to also burn them to DVD. You can never have too many backups. Just make sure they work and you can access your files should you have a need.

    Full image backups can enable you to recover quickly from a virus or hardware malfunction or hard drive upgrade. Having your data files (email-address book-documents-images-audio, etc) in a non-compressed form is very convenient.

    Just ask yourself

    What is going to be your plan of restoration, should your computer not boot or you lose your hard drive, or you get infected, etc. Make sure you have all your options covered. I use Replicator http://www.karenware.com/powertools/powertools.asp
    to perform scheduled plain copy backups on a nightly basis. The program offers a lot of choices. Again, it comes down to a matter of personal preferences.
     
  7. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Sounds like you'd be better off just running Winzip; that way you can access the files about as easily as you woul dif using explorer alone but you get the benefit of compression. Normal file backups and winzips won't give you certain system files, the control of which cannot be yielded while win is running.

    What suits your purpose depends on your purpose. I ahve Winzip, I have MS backup, I' have other backup programs, but for my needs there's nothing like the ATI image file.

    If I was going to archive disk for a long time, I think I'd enlcose a copy of the ATI boot CD with the archive disks. Native-shmative format, I say ;-)


    And for archisits, remember, laser burned CD/DVDs it turns out don't necessarily last as long as originally thought. Not much better than mag tape, or so recent evidence seems to suggest.

    sh
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Long term archiving is indeed a real problem both from the media life, suitable hardware to read the media and suitable software to read and present the file contents. Dye-based DVDs do not have long term stability but supposedly that is being improved.

    I think there is going to be a lot of lost family history due to the digital camera. 80 yr old photo albums in families are common but how accessible will the 80 yr old CD/DVDs be in 2086?

    Like you, I use TI and prior to that I used Drive Image long before it was taken over the spook company. I would not be without an imaging program for systems backup but for straight data files there are other solutions and which have the additional benefit of not needing another program to make sense of the archive.

    Most of what I would consider saving for long-term is in jpg, mpeg formats and thus requires no additional compression.

    Including a TI boot disk is not a bad idea but a new hardware developments could render it useless.

    I think it is fair to say there is no secure long-term archiving solution that permits digital photos etc to be put in a closet and forgotten about. Maintaining archived data for the long term is exactly that, maintaining it by ensuring it remains readable for regardless of hardware and software changes.
     
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