Does it really work?: Image backup under Windows XP using Acronis True Image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by concerned807, Jun 5, 2006.

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  1. concerned807

    concerned807 Registered Member

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    I always used the Acronis True Image (ATI) Rescue CD to boot into DOS for image backups. However it seems this time I can't do that. The 15" SXGA LCD of my Dell Inspiron 5150 went dead. Windows XP on the laptop runs fine. External display attached via the laptop's video connector works well too.

    Right now, I need to urgently image-backup the entire laptop's hard disk with two partitions. I want to use ATI for this job.

    However the difficulty I am having is that the external display does not show the ATI's imaging screens when booted from ATI Rescue bootable CD.
    When I hit Fn+F8 (CRT/LCD) once, the external display will say:
    D-SUB 1 and 2 Out of Range
    When hitting Fn+F8 again, the display will say:
    D-SUB 1 and 2 No Signal

    After several attempts, I gave up and think that I can't image-backup using the ATI CD in DOS and that I have to image-backup active Windows while Windows is running.

    I read the ATI 9.1 manual cover to cover and still have questions.

    Questions:
    1. Does ATI image backup task started under Windows involve any DOS interaction? Will the entire process completed under Windows?

    2. Is the ATI's technology that allows to image an active Windows on top of it proven? What is the success rate of restoring an image created in such manner?

    3. What is the trick behind the technology that allows to image active Windows disk/partition?
    I have a lot of services and resident apps running whenever Windows is active. How does ATI deal with such issues - lock them all up then start image backup?

    4. Is there a way to schedule ATI image backup under Windows, and then have the system boot into DOS to complete the task with zero user interaction?

    Please enlighten me. :thumb: :thumb:
    Appreciate it!!!
     
  2. Tsu

    Tsu Registered Member

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    Start the Dell and get into the BIOS settings - F2 or whatever your BIOS needs.

    My Dell notebooks have, under the MAIN setting, "Video Display Device", that can be set to "SIMUL Mode" where both the internal and external displays run full time and Fn/F8 is disabled.

    This mode is used for presentations where you want both displays on all the time and avoid the screen toggles.

    This is a hardware issue and has nothing to do with TI.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The backup creation is done completely within Windows.

    The technology works very well although some purists like to boot up the rescue CD and make the backup outside of Windows because "it should be safer to do it that way". I always just do it in Windows. However, database programs running in the background can be a problem.

    This is what Acronis has posted among other info about the process:

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Here is a description of the unique Acronis Snapshot technology:

    Once Acronis True Image initializes the backup process of a volume (which logically corresponds to a single partition, if there are no Dynamic Disks), Acronis Snapshot Manager flushes the file system mounted to that volume temporarily freezing all the operations on the system volume. Immediately thereafter, the Snapshot Manager driver creates a point-in-time view of the system volume and a bitmap describing the used sectors on this volume. Once the bitmap is created, the filter driver unfreezes the I/O operations on the system volume. It generally takes only several seconds to create a point-in-time view of the volume. After that, the operating system continues working as the imaging process is under way.

    Acronis True Image reads the sectors on the system volume according to the created bitmap. Once a sector is read, the appropriate bit in the bitmap is reset. In its turn, the Acronis driver continues working to hold the point-in-time view of the system volume. Whenever the driver sees a writing operation directed at the system volume, it checks whether these sectors are already backed-up, if they are not, the driver saves the data to the sectors that will be overwritten to a special buffer created by the software, then it allows the sectors to be overwritten. Acronis True Image backs up the sectors from the special buffer, so that all the sectors of the point-in-time view of the system volume will be backed up intact. Meanwhile, the operating system continues working and the user will not notice anything unusual in the operating system functionality.

    If we are talking about complex applications such as databases please read the following FAQ article:
    http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/pr...in/faq.html#22

    Thank you.

    End Acronis info

    TI backups can be scheduled. I don't bother but the feature is there.

    You should note that the environment TI runs in outside of Windows such as when restoring an image to a bare disk or restoring the active (C) partition is Linux not DOS. THe Safe mode that can be selected from the rescue CD does use DOS but it is lacking in driver support such as USB drivers even although some modern boards with some BIOSes actually do work.

    The lack of a proper driver for your system under the memory-resident version of Linux used by TI may be the cause of your problem. This is seen by many as TI's weak spot however Acronis will work with you to get this resolved.

    You must get the rescue CD environment to work or you may well have images created in Windows that you have no way of restoring. Creating is only half the process.
     
  4. concerned807

    concerned807 Registered Member

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    Although my Inspiron can get into BIOS when F2 is pressed, I can't see BIOS on the laptop LCD neither external display does not show BIOS. Tried trust me.

    The dead Inspiron LCD is just backgrounder. That is why I need to use ATI for image backup. You got me wrong my friend. I am on the topic.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  5. concerned807

    concerned807 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the fast help seekforever:D

    I guess you are stressing the importance of having the Rescue CD for the purpose of restoration. Correct?
    Well during the process of creating image under Windows as you always do :))), I will of course choose storage destination other than Windows being image such on a separate hard drive.

    I hope Acronis will help me with this shortly:)

    Again thanks a lot!
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, when you are dead in the water because your HD failed you need to boot up the rescue CD to restore your image. Storing the image on a second physical HD is the way to do it. USB drives are another option and have the benefit that they can be stored in a different location than the PC.

    The Linux restore environment is not totally restricted to operation with the boot CD. If you are restoring the active partition from within Windows, TI will tell you you need to reboot since it can't restore the active partition Windows is running on from within Windows. The reboot will cause the same Linux environment to load to do the restore. If it doesn't work then you can't restore C even though you aren't using the boot CD.
     
  7. concerned807

    concerned807 Registered Member

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    I just finished reading the True Image 9.1 User Manual, and feel almost ready to proceed to image my Windows XP partition under XP itself.

    Could anyone kindly advise if there are any Windows processes and resident apps I will be better off disabling before the image backup? Processes and resident apps that might prevent True Image from completing the task correctly.
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    There is very little that might interfere with the backup process when done in Windows. The only ones I have heard of but never experienced are running data base apps and Norton Go Back.
    If you are as risk averse as I am get yourself a spare hard drive to which you can make test restores. Once you have seen that the system really works from image to a fully functional restored system you will find that you have indeed reached Backup Nirvana.
    Stick to the basics an you will have no problems that you cannot solve.

    Xpilot
     
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