Does It REALLY Work ?!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Steve Giannoni, Mar 20, 2007.

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  1. Steve Giannoni

    Steve Giannoni Registered Member

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    I recently recovered from a hard disk corruption requiring Partitioning, Formatting, ReInstallation of the OS & Window XP Home & any UpDates of both, and finally ReInstallation of my approximately 50 applications, totaling a bit over half of my approx. 70 Gb drive. I don't want to EVER have to go through THAT again !!!, SOooo ... I got a 100 Gb external (small, like a pack of cards) USB connected & powered hard drive, and purchased Acronis True Image Home 10.0. Created a boot CD, and did a full backup of my system. Now if my HD corrupts or quits, how would I recover to a new HD, not the same as the 1sto_O Would I get USB using the boot disc?
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Steve

    In theory, yes. What you need to do is boot to the recovery CD, and see if you can see the USB drive. Also I would strongly suggest a test recovery. That is the only way you will ever know it will work.

    Pete
     
  3. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    If you used the rescue cd to create the backup then your USB drive is visible. To recover to a new hard drive read this Restoring to a Replacement Hard Drive. If your USB drive is not visible from the rescue CD you need to read this to create a BartPE CD. In general read Wilders Security threads on common True Image problems and solutions
     
  4. Steve Giannoni

    Steve Giannoni Registered Member

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    Just booted from the specially prepared boot CD, with the USB drive connected and YES! there it was with the huge recovery file 'n all! I'd like to, but doing an actual recovery when it's not needed, is just asking for trouble. I may never need it, and what if it didn't work (unlikely), but instead just corrupted my hard drive AGAIN in the attempt !? ...
     
  5. crjackson

    crjackson Registered Member

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    I understand your apprehension. Don't be scared. Just validate your image file first.

    Once you see how easy, fast, and reliable this tool is, you'll be using it often. Many times I do a fresh back up before testing new software. Then I install the software and test it out. When I'm done, if I'm not going to keep the software, I just do a quick restore of my backup image - it's very fast, and restores the system cleaner than just removing the freshly installed software.

    GO FOR IT!:thumb:
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Hopefully, take a few minutes and check out the Guides in my signature. Perhaps there is something being overlooked.

    To fully test whether your backup works, test it to a spare hard drive--buy or borrow one if needed.


    Can you explain a little more what happened in your comment below?
     
  7. jelenko

    jelenko Registered Member

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    The issue is that even with what you've confirmed so far, there is NO guarantee that, when you go to actually do the restore, it will successfully complete. Of course, it should work, but there are always exceptions. Many of the posts in this forum address to the odd exception.

    No question validating the image is a good step, but it is a fair distance short of validating the restore will actually work.

    The best bet is to get a spare drive and use it to test whether the restore will work. A 160GB spare drive should be $60 - $70. 80GB's are in the mid $40's [plus a few $'s shipping]. My philosphy has been to spend enough to get a drive I would feel comfortable as my system drive, should it fail.

    If you don't have or want to get a spare drive you do need to consider the trade off between testing to insure the restore will work vs the chance it won't and the fact that, right now, you would be forced to rebuild your install.

    An alternative is to also create a backup for your 'data'. [Actually, you should consider this in any case] You can test restoring data without overwriting your current system - i.e., you can test to a temp folder. While reinstalling Windows and all the apps is a pain, it pales in comparison to not being able to restore your data. So, if the full system restore does fail, at least you can restore your data.

    That said, Acronis is not my first choice for data backups, which I need to do at least daily [i.e., within each day I create new files - some which would be difficult to recreate]
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Steve

    I've done a lot of testing with imaging programs. The only assurance you can restore when you need it is to do it. I no longer run verify's. I verify every image by restoring it.

    Pete
     
  9. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Do the test restore onto a spare drive, not your real system drive. :)
     
  10. Steve Giannoni

    Steve Giannoni Registered Member

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    Well with all the great response, a little further background is in order. I had been doing regular backups of my critical DATA using NovaBACKUP to our other networked computer, so my "crash" wasn't a complete disaster, just a few PITA days of work restoring everything. I also did full backups using the Nova to the external USB drive, but it turned out, to my great chagrin that NovaBACKUP won't do disaster recovery via USB, so now I've got the Acronis. After the crash, I tried just formatting and reinstalling Windows, and then just writing over the installation with the USB backup using Nova boot disk, and I got something weird, that would boot but ran very slowly with corrupted apps & other stuff
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Sheiber

    Undoubtly a good reason for the caution, but at some point, if you don't have confidence in restoring to your system the you really don't have confidence in the program. I started with ATI, and have moved to a competitor as ATI is getting to bloated, but I restore every image I do now, and did with ATI right back to the system. THis way I am totally confident that the image will restore to my system.

    Scary as heck the first time, but now I do it with as much thought as I give to opening a word doc.

    Pete
     
  12. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Are you saying he way you tst is to do the restore to your system drive? What if the test fails?
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Yes I do a restore to the system drive. Only valid test. However in imaging as well as security, I use layers. In this case First Defense is my layer. I can always go back to an earlier image, and then use First Defense to get current.

    But if you don't work out some way and test to the system drive, how can you be confident it actually will work? The reliablity of the backup process is too important to me not to a) test it thoroughly, and b) have a fall back.

    I've tested the fall back and it works perfectly, but now I also routinely restore images with very little thought.

    Pete

    I actually now beta test some imaging software, and I do this routinely on the machines I use for my business. And yes I am restoring to the system drives. That is the level of confidence I have in what I am dong.
     
  14. Steve Giannoni

    Steve Giannoni Registered Member

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    What's "First Defense"; couldn't find it online but that's probably just me. How do (or what are) "layers" factor in? How can you actually back up to your primary system and not be chancing everything? If your backup source in NG then it's tough nuggies without a paddle, isn't it?
     
  15. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    www.raxco.com First defense is a snapshot instant recovery system. You can create offline archives that can then be imported. You can have up to 10 snapshots.


    Many at wilders use for testing or just Instant recovery.


    But harddisk failure is best protected against with an image - like others when testing image programs I always use a spare disk.
     
  16. Tatou

    Tatou Registered Member

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    Steve

    As you will see on another thread I have been testing recovery of a dual system (XP & Vista) SATA hard drive under TI10.

    All my data (pics, spreadsheet, original programme files etc, music)is backed up using a simple file based programme to a USB drive

    However like you I don;t wish to have to restore my system drive piece by piece so I used TI to backup the system drive (now with two OSs)
    It is critical to test your backup system to see if it works. That means you need to know if a very large file from a USB drive can be restored via a programme loaded by a Boot CD and then that the drive will reboot giing you back your system. Having a validated image is a big start as you will see TI will not restore what it sees is a corrupt image The only way of getting assurance your backup system works to do it to a spare drive installed in the PC and then reboot with that drive acting as the system drive.

    You can disconnect the original system drive while restoring to the spare. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T STARTUP THE PC WITH BOTH DRIVES IN PLACE AT THE SAME TIME.

    Once you are confident that the system works then I say you don't have check every tib file you make by restoring it to a spare.

    Make sure the validation option is ticked so TI automatically validates the tib file after backup.

    I made a BARTPE disk using the TI plugin as it is quicker than the Linux based TI bootable CD.

    If you have plain IDE drives and can see the USB and the tib file on the drive validates from the TI Boot CD then you are well on the way to sucess when you need it but if it is very critical to you for it to work then test the system before you really need it.
     
  17. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    If I restore to diff drive of the same type, I have no reason to think that it won't work with the other drive. And I don't risk mucking up the sys drive is the test fails.

     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    One last thing and then I am done. Before I actively starting restoring my system drive, I also made certain assumptions that if A worked no reason B wouldn't work also. But as I started actually trying some of these restores, I discovered that some of things I saw no reason they wouldn't work in fact sometime failed. THis is why I know test restore every image back to the system.

    This though is a decision every user has to make for themselves.

    Pete
     
  19. Steve Giannoni

    Steve Giannoni Registered Member

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    Well then it seems that the only alternative to restoring to the actual critical boot drive, is perhaps to have an "identical" drive, swap the drives, then restore and see if it'll boot. Even THEN, you really can't be sure since the material on the drive before restoration wasn't the same. So, back to my original post in this thread, and I pose the further clarification : ... after a failed critical boot drive is replaced by a "similar" drive, what are the statistics on cases where there was no prior "test" of the process? Anybody ? ...
     
  20. dheijl

    dheijl Registered Member

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    I replaced a 80 GB drive with a 250 GB drive some weeks ago and simply restored the last image I made from the 80 GB drive (using ATI 10 under Windows) to the new drive (using the Linux recovery CD).

    This was the first time I restored a system drive with ATI (I once restored a secondary drive with succcess before using ATI 9).

    I make my back-ups on an external Firewire drive, and always verify.

    I've never done a test restore.

    I've not had any problems with ATI 9 or 10 so far.

    Danny
    ---
     
  21. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    It's essentially the same type program as Goback, no? It makes copies of all written-to sectors on the fly and stores them basically in a disk cache and when it fills it deletes the saved sector data first in-first deleted. When you go-back or return to an earlier state, it replaces the Written-to sectors with the prior contents, which were stored in the cache. Defrags can write to virtually all sectors, which essentially wipes out the cache.

    I would guess thre's the same kind issue when doing sector by sectgor backups with, e.g., ATI?

    Goback used a hidden partition, iirc. Does the raxco product do the same or jsut write to a file?


     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    No First Defense is nothing like go back. First Defense works by having essentially another copy of your c: drive that is bootable. Disadvantage is it takes more disk space, but it has significant advantages over GoBack

    1) You can keep a historical point for as long as you chose.
    2) Defragging isn't an issue, nor is any massive data activity

    3) Raxco support vs Symantec support
     
  23. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    It's a second partition that mirrors the first? HAh, no. It appears to use hidden directories and files rather than it's own partition -- although it would seem to hook into the boot process.


     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
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