Do you really trust True Image backups?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by lucky76, Dec 4, 2006.

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  1. lucky76

    lucky76 Former Poster

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    I've read many questions on this forum about problems with True Image. I recently purchased TI 9 and I immediately upgraded it to the latest build. However I was not able to make an image that I trusted to restore my systems. Sometimes the images would complete and pass validation only to fail a restore saying the image was corrupt. This was to a disk file and to a DVD also. I personally don't trust a product that fails even once when I'm depending on it to restore my systems. I see no reason to upgrade to 10.0 since I see numerous problems with it and people saying problems with 9.0 still exists in 10.0. I contacted Acronis about a free upgrade to 10.0 and I was told that was only within 30 days of the release of version 10.0. Lets see, 10.0 was released on Oct. 17 according to their site and I just purchased 9.0 last week, Nov. 28th. Looks like I bought some OLD software and no free upgrade.:thumbd: :mad:
    :)
    <snip>

    Do you really trust a backup product that fails even once to restore your business when you,re really depending on it? I don't.

    edited to remove software plug - Detox
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2006
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, I trust it because I tested it. The only time I have had a failure is when I had a bad SATA cable. If you have a situation where it works and then doesn't work, you most likely have an intermittent hardware problem and most likely intermittent in the sense that something is on the edge and the operating conditions cause it to fail or not to fail.

    Validation is done by a checksum calculation and one bad bit in comparing a multi-gigabyte file will cause it to be declared corrupt. Problem is to find why the checksums did not agree. Usual steps are to run chkdsk /r on all partitions and to thoroughly test memory with a diagnostic like Memtest86+ available free from www.memtest.org . Sometims the only way to really test very marginal memory is by substitution with known good memory or by removing one stick at a time if possible and hoping there is only one bad stick. Agressive memory or other system timings can also cause problems.

    Software problems are not unknown of course and many of TI's are driver issues within the Linux recovery environment. Basic functionality to manually create a full archive to an internal disk and validate is pretty solid especially for established MB chipsets. External USB drives need to be carefully tested because some USB chipsets do not handle very large files properly although I assume this problem lessens as time goes on.

    I also migrated from Drive Image 2002 and it was a good product but lacking in the proper handling of NTFS file permissions.

    I think you got a bad deal on the upgrade policy. Any old version bought and substantiated by a receipt after a new version is released should be given consideration.
     
  3. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    When I first bought TI I made my first image and because I was a newbie I missed the part about validating. My computer got fouled up real bad one day whether it was a virus or not I don't know. I couldn't fix it trying every trick I knew, I was ready to try my image.....if it didn't work I was going to go ahead and reinstall my operating system. I popped in my recovery disk and was up and running in less then 15 minutes. I was happy,happy. Yes I trust TI. Ever since that time I have been completely confident and I even use true image to fix any virus' or adware etc. If I want to try a new program I make and image and then install the program, if I don't like the program I simply insert my rescue disk and go back to before the install.
     
  4. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    From my experience I have found that True Image works every time. I use it in the fastest and best way by imaging and restoring to internal hard drives.

    I know it works, but the concept of trust has no place in my method of working. This is because any component can fail at any time. Such a failure is far more likely to be due to hardware than software.

    In essence I verify my backups by doing actual restores to another main drive. This is a totally risk free way of working so trust does not come into the mix at all.

    Because I am interested in secuing the whole of my hard drive that is what I backup and restore.
    I am aware that some of the file based backups can give problems but I have no reason to get involved with those kind of backups as I am already 100% covered.

    Xpilot
     
  5. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    No. But it pays to be a little bit scientific and understand and resolve issues.
    Verification errors happen for one of three basic reasons in my experience.

    1. The host is carrying a hardware defect (most often bad RAM) or is running out of spec. No one likes to accept that their RAM is bad. However Acronis' uncompromising validation using checksums offers the chance to have perfect images - but your hardware has to be running properly.

    2. Ordinary file corruption. Sometimes this just happens. Recently my partition metadata dissappeared. I managed data recovery on the file but it was still only good enough for mounting. The risk of this problem is reduced by simply making a second copy to another medium.

    3. Unsupported hardware. This scenario typically happens when an image validates under Windows but not from the Rescue disk.

    Note that all of these can be dealt with. Once you have proved your backup/restoration cycle (including proving the rescue disk works) if you don't change your hardware/drivers there are usually no problems. To have confidence, you first have to establish it.

    F.
     
  6. oisin

    oisin Registered Member

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    I'm running current release of TI Wkstn. Explain to me why I can backup to my 500gb SATA external drive (USB2) w/o prob or errors, but when I backup to the server drive, over a 1gb network, every time the backup is corrupted and useless.

    Version 8 never had probs such as this. I purch the upgrade to Ver 10 to see if it was corrected, and no.

    I've tried tweaking the server's NIC to Full-Duplex as was suggested somewhere here and other workarounds. But I would have suspected the 500gb ext drive to be more problematic than the server's RAID drives (off old & reliable Promise 2000TX controller card)
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Does Ver 8 still work?


    Have you checked the server computers hardware? Create and validate an image on your 500GB drive. Calculate the MD5 checksum and note it. Copy the file to the server disk and run the MD5 checksum again both from the remote machine and the server machine. All 3 numbers should agree, if they don't you have a problem that is independent of TI.

    You can get a free MD5 checksum calculator from here:

    http://www.irnis.net/soft/xcsc/
     
  8. Darkone121

    Darkone121 Registered Member

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    Answer has to be from the one time i used it and corrupted the main back up drive i cant access it at all yet (have got a post on here about it so will see how it goes) NO i dont
     
  9. Volatile

    Volatile Registered Member

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    Since i have used the TI9 server for windows everything has been great. The only issue I run into is emailing a confirmation which I am pending a reboot after a patch upgrade. Corruption can be the simplest thing. The one major thing you should check is to make sure that the drive that the image is stored on is not compressed or has compression enabled. I had this issue and figured it out after copying my image to another location to find that it was perfectly fine. So far.. I trust that the software is going to deliver the redundancy I need if a failure were to occur within my environment. And I do take into spec that no software is 100% perfect.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    oisin,

    I'd be interested to hear if ver 8 still works now that ver 9 and 10 don't work.
     
  11. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    If we ASSuME that the backup archive is not corrupt, then I would trust an image backup if only because I wrote programs to check the validity of the backup.

    ReadFile
    GetFileTypeDistribution
    CompareDrives

    Of course an archive file can become corrupt, due a bug in TI or a media problem. Personally, I've not seen any problem, Dag nab it, I just jinked meself!
     
  12. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I fergot to mention that I do NOT trust allowing TI to write to CD/DVD media, but I'll not say why.

    Back up to USB hard drives.
     
  13. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    I trust ATI to the point that I long since stopped verifying. It has been several years since I tried to restore a system partition and failed. Even then all I had to do was restore another image. I make and restore images daily ( many times a day quite frequently) and the worst thing I can say about ATI is that it is so dull
    that I can not bear to watch so I take a 5 to 10 minute coffee break and come back when its finished.
     
  14. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Hmmm, if TI enables you to drink too much coffee, perhaps, we should ask the medical authorities to determine whether TI is hazardous to one's health.
     
  15. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Don't understand the concept of "too much" - any way when I get the tests back from the hospital I'll let you know.
     
  16. jmschwartz

    jmschwartz Guest

    Before I bought my new computer, my TI backups (V9) worked every time.

    Now, however, with my RAID1 setup, I have "retired" TI and chosen to use the simple NTBackup program as a redundant backup for my data files.

    Regards,
    Jim
     
  17. malegala

    malegala Registered Member

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    Having backup computers for more than 20 years, I would not trust a single program with my data, any more than I would trust a single hard drive.

    I purchased TI, despite the many reported problems, because if it worked only one time and restored a hard drive without my having to reinstall programs, it probably would be worth the money.

    I tested it several times and it did restore, however, when I had a computer crash, the boot disk and did not boot and I lost about a day's worth of work.

    The problem with TI and most other backup programs is that the backup is to a single humongous file. My TI file is about 25 GB.

    I think there are too many reported problems on this forum to trust this particular program, and even those who have had success should not put their eggs in one basket.

    I have recently changed my whole backup strategy because of the loss of data. I use a mirroring program for my primary backup (Viceversa Pro), which backs up files as a work to a location of my choice (network, external drive, XDRIVE), and it saves it in the original format, so if I did have a crash, I could plug in my external hard drive and simply use the files as is.

    I do make an occasional TI backup of my boot drive and I hope that it will work should the need arise. But I have read the writing on the wall (or at least in this forum) and I for one would not trust TI with my data.

    I am looking forward to using the image program that comes with Vista to see if it is more reliable.
     
  18. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Having a single humongous file is not a TI problem but rather a matter of choice.

    There is no reason for a backup to be that large. Rather than have one 25 gig TI image I think it would be better to have one simple image of the operating system + programs and other images for data. This allows the system to be restored without any necessary loss of data.

    As to not trusting data to a single program I agree. I use Acronis to make images of data and I use simple file transfer keeping data on CD, DVD, USB, Network drives, in a fireproof safe and off site. With data you can never be too careful. But the original and most important purpose of Acronis True image was and still is to make restorable system images - to allow the user to restore a system exactly as it was at some previous time - and producing a typical system/program compressed image of less than 5 gig I think it does it rather well.
     
  19. SamG

    SamG Registered Member

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    I'm new to True Image and have Version 10 installed. I was beginning to trust it when I created a data directories image using the Rescue CD and then restored it using both the Rescue CD and the XP Version. The only wrinkle was that because of Linux drive letters being different, the XP version restored the directories to the wrong place. (It created a new directory called "Drive(D)" and put the restored directories there.)

    However, I have found that when I create the directories' image under XP and then try to restore using the Rescue CD, it does not work. It pretends to, takes a little time, and then reports a successful recovery. In fact it didn't write anything to my hard drive.

    I'm now worried that a System Image created under XP will suffer the same fate when using the Rescue CD.

    I want to trust TI but can't until I test various scenarios and am successful going both ways between the XP installed version and the Rescue CD version. The latter is what I especially don't trust at present.

    Sam
     
  20. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    SamG - I'm curious to know how you manage to get a wrong drive - I have heard that others have had this problem but it is not something I have experienced myself. How would I go about trying to replicate this error ?
     
  21. malegala

    malegala Registered Member

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    My boot drive and programs are probably about 20 GB.

    My data is closer to 100 GB (I've begun to get into MP3s).

    Whatever size of your programs or your data, it generally will be many gigabytes, and if that large file no matter how big it is gets corrupted, you lose your data.

    TI users report many instances of not being able to recover their data because of a corrupted file.

    I have seen similar complaints with some other backup programs that have forums.

    I only have experienced a corrupt backup file one time, but that was one time too many.

    As users get into music and videos on their computer, the size of storage will expand tremendously and so will the size of a single image backup.

    I have changed my backup strategy completely recently when I lost a days worth of work, because I generally only did one backup a day with TI.

    I use mirroring software (Viceversa Pro), which backs up as I work to my target of choice, and backs up each file individually so I have a duplicate of my main hard drive either on the network, on an external drive, or on my online backup service.

    If there was a problem with a corrupt file, it would be limited to a single file z, rather than thousands of files.

    Given the reports of corruption in these large single backup files, separating the backup into programs versus data is a good idea, but I think only puts a bandage on the problem.
     
  22. SamG

    SamG Registered Member

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    OK, here's the full detail, "long view".

    XP sees my drives as:

    C: System
    D: Data (Logical partition)
    E: CD ROM
    G: External USB Drive for backups

    The Rescue CD sees my drives as:

    C: System
    D: External USB Drive
    E: Data

    You can see already that LINUX on the Rescue CD is not mapping these the way we would hope.

    I do a backup using the Rescue CD. If I did a restore using the rescue CD everything would be fine since the drive mapping matches the backup. However, I do the restore under XP.

    If I specify "original location" I'll get an error because it's trying to restore to E: which is LINUX's location but under XP it's a CD-ROM drive with no CD inserted. If I specify "new location" and choose D:, TI creates a new directory on D: called "Drive(E)" and places the restore there, preserving the directory structure of the backup. It's on me then to open the Drive(E) folder and also my original folder and drag 'n drop the restored directories to the proper place on D:

    In my original post, I further complained of the reverse situation where I do the backup under XP, not the Rescue CD. Things get worse here because the Rescue CD operations are buggy.

    Under the Rescue CD restore, I have to tell it to restore to E: because that's how it sees my data partition. When I do that, it goes through the motions of restoring, tells me that the recovery is successful, yet writes absolutely nothing at all to my data drive.

    Bottom line for now is that if you're going to backup data to an image you have to do both the backup and restore using one of the two TI versions (Rescue and XP) but not mix them. If you must mix them, then backup under the Rescue CD because in that case you'll at least get something restored, albeit in totally the wrong place.

    Acronis support advised me not to use the files/directories feature for now. They're taking a look at it. I just learned yesterday from this forum that Files/Directories was just introduced in Version 9 so I'm not totally shocked that it works badly. If my experience is shared by others, it's not a very good commentary on Acronis's testing because they carried this problem into TI10. Someone who backed up all their data under XP into a .TIB, would be most upset to learn it won't restore, if the hard drive containing the data directory failed.

    The only solution I can see in that case, if the .TIB is still OK because it's on a removable media, would be to restore the system to a good hard drive and then use an XP based restore for the data.

    Hopefully this explains everything fully and perhaps you can replicate the failure if you have a D: partition like I do, or something similar.

    I'm still quite worried that a System Back up under XP may not restore from a Rescue CD, although it must or EVERYONE would be clamoring.

    Regards ... Sam
     
  23. marliz

    marliz Registered Member

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    lucky76, I'd try Acronis again. I got an upgrade from 7 to 8 because it was purchased about 20 days before. Send them the order number, the date, etc. from your invoice. Save your first email stating that they will give free upgrades for thirty days from purchase and remind them of that.

    Be courteous, it always works best. Maybe you got someone who didn't read your whole message, or you didn't include your purchase details.

    Keep trying until you connect with someone who reads your message and responds intelligently. Sounds to me like maybe you just got a "stock" reply.

    Good Luck,
    Marliz
     
  24. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    The single file IS a TI problem, got nothing to do with the size of the data.
    Having all logical drives archived in a single file is just bad design.
     
  25. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Sam

    I'm sorry I hadn't realised you were trying to restore individual files.
    Like you I have a system partition, a data partition etc. using either windows or the emergency disk I just make full partition images - never bother with incremental or differential. I never use all the file back up, outlook stuff.

    So when I restore my system I check the box with the system - the actual drive letter is always c: or f: for data

    If I wanted to restore an individual file I would simply mount the image and then copy and paste the file or files required
     
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