External USB Hard drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by robj, Mar 31, 2006.

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  1. robj

    robj Registered Member

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    Hi

    I am a newbie to TI. I have TI 9 version 2337.

    I have just ordered a USB external hard drive because I am fed up with producing DVD coasters or bird scarers when copying my backup image files over.

    I am getting confused. TI don't recommend setting a Secure Zone on an external HD. Quite a few people say not to bother with setting an SZ at all yet it looks as though you cannot use Acronis Startup Recovery Manager without having a SZ. If I just store my image backups on the new external HD and there is a catastrophic C drive failure how would I start to restore the system if the Operating System (Windows XP) won't boot up?
    I have created a TI Bootable CD so would I use this?

    Instructions are not very clear for this in the Help section so any help would be very welcome for this Dummie :oops:
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Yes, you would boot from the Rescue Media (your bootable CD).
    You may need to adjust your BIOS settings so that the CD comes before your HD in the boot order.
    It's always a good idea to test the boot CD and make sure it works and can see all your hardware BEFORE disaster strikes.
     
  3. Aesop

    Aesop Registered Member

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    Is the USB restore issue with INVALID / CORRUPTED FILE fixed? If not how can you restore with an external USB drive to begin with?
     
  4. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    The person having an issue restoring from a usb drive probably had other reasons for that problem. Keeping backups on an external usb drive and restoring from it is, imho, the preferred way.
     
  5. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    The problems with USB drives reported here were mainly due to the fact that some USB externals won't be seen from the rescue environment.

    If TI will normally detect the USB drive and access the files on it after you have booted from Rescue CD, I think you can rely on it, as much as on any (mortal) HD.

    Corrupted files do arise in some setups, but as far as I remember, they are not a prerogative of USB drives.
     
  6. rharris270

    rharris270 Registered Member

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    TI works well on external USB 2.0 drives.

    But, if you have any concerns, connect the drive, then reboot with the rescue CD and determine whether TI "sees" the external drive. Note that the drive letter may be different than the one in Windows. If TI8 sees the drive, then it can read/write on it.

    In fact, at that point you could make an image of the internal drive to the external one directly, running from the CD. Remember that you want the "image" option n ot the "clone" option. Of course, making an image from winthin windows is often more convenient, but TI can do it either way.

    I agree that the "secure zone" is not really needed, if you have a separate hard drive, internal or external. I never use it.
     
  7. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    No problem with TI seeing my 250GB WD USB2 (destination) drive, but for some reason it insists on splitting the tib file I'm creating into multiple tib's (as if it were building images to fit a DVD)! If I backup to my 2nd ATA drive, it does not split the tib file. Why is that? o_O
     
  8. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    That drive where TI is splitting the image is probably formatted as FAT32. But it does have an advantage. Those splits are just over 4 gigs, right ... just the size for burning to dvd media for extra backup security.
     
  9. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Correct, my USB2 drive is FAT32-formatted. Since I recently bought the USB2 drive to avoid backing up to multiple DVDs (except when I'm on the road with my laptop), I'd like to eliminate the tib-splitup. Would reformatting the USB2 drive to NTFS accomplish that?

    Thanks, pv
     
  10. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Yes, with NTFS, the image will not be split.
     
  11. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Thanks for confirming that. As I have no intent to burn those spit tib files to DVD they are nothing but a big nuissance!

    On the other hand, when I'm on the road with my laptop I do create backup images onto DVDs, but for those situations I use NTI Drive Image which is far more DVD-friendly than ATI. ;)

    ~pv
     
  12. mwilg

    mwilg Registered Member

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    New buyer of TI9.
    I was just wrestling with this same issue yesterday - the Help section is not at all clear and defiinitely needs to be rewritten to reflect what's been said in this thread.
    I'm also now in the very irritating situation of having what seems to be a partially-created SZ on my external USB drive. I started the creation process, but then cancelled it after seeing how long it was going to take. Nevertheless it proceeded anyway and only, finally, actually 'cancelled' some 9 hours later!!!
    However, there is now a significant portion of that drive missing from the regular Windows view meaning that it did still start to create the zone. The kicker - the remove function is not available when I go to the 'Manage Acronis Zone'. So what do I do now, start and complete a fully created zone which can then be removed?
    Frankly I now wish I hadn't gotten into this SZ setup stuff at all, and just done a regular image job, but the instructions seemed to be pushing for the creation of this zone :mad: that I'm now trying to get rid of, because I don't want split files either. If the Help section had been more clear about it really only being for backups kept on the primary drive and that they would be split files because of the enforced FAT32 formatting, I would not have started into this nonsense. Overall TI9 looks like a good product, but this has definitely lowered my initial happiness with the it :thumbd:
     
  13. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    The SZ was a great feature in it's day when people backed up to tape (remember those?). However, IMHO, the SZ is totally unnecessary today.

    To get out of your dilemma, can you not fdisk and reformat that external?
     
  14. mwilg

    mwilg Registered Member

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    Hah...I forgot all about that :oops: . I'm still a bit of a novice in many areas, but I did eventually remember that I could reformat thru TI using the 'Add Hard Drive', so it's clean now and busy crunching away at voluminous numbers to xfer all the data that I already had back on there.
    Course, I'd have been curious to see whether even that would have seen the 'protected' SZ. I wonder now though - if in reformatting via TI, if one selected the external as a 'primary' partition iso a logical one, would that allow activation of the Recovery Manager from the external...however, would that cause confusion on boot up or would there just not be much point, given that the external is probably still invisible during the bootup?
    I do like the idea of hidding the files in the zone so that they cannot be accessed by anything, but it's also a major nuisance having to accept the FAT32 formatting and the subsequent file-splitting.
    I must admit, tapes were before my intro to PC's, but I still don't see how that would have helped given that the Recovery Manager has to be on the primary bootable drive (based on what I'm reading). I have created the bootable 'rescue' disk, and that'll just have to serve the purpose apparently.
    Final couple of thoughts though - what if the external was 'added' as a primary drive and then a minimal SZ created to accommodate just the Recovery Manager? What if that was done on the primary C drive - would TI, once started, see the external and pull the image file from it? Just pressing F11 during bootup does seem easier than the CD.
    What is the reason for allowing only one SZ - Would the Recovery Manager get confused by more than one?
    My suggestions to Acronis for what it's worth (assuming they see this) - absolutely rewrite the Help section using this thread, and at least allow for NTFS formatting of the zone.
    Thanks Chutsman.
     
  15. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Well you're in an area in which I have no experience. I use ONLY the bootable CD to do what I do with TI. And I only create Image Backups with it and then test the Restore feature to make sure it works.

    For Cloning I use a different program - TI is too uncertain in this respect, from tests I did early on.

    For backing up files and data, I simply use windows explorer to copy them to my backup drive and if I need to compress I use the built-in winzip feature in WinXP. I see no sense in making it more complicated than that.
     
  16. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hi mwilg,

    My advice: go the simple way.

    Having an external HD available, you don't need Secure Zone and neither the Startup Recovery Manager, since you probably won't be restoring the system disk so very often that booting from Rescue CD would be a burden.

    Yes, we sometimes delete a file only to regret that a few days later. But that doesn't happen due to an erroneous selection before issuing the delete command. It happens because we thought that we wouldn't need that file anymore, but in fact we do. Therefore, you don't need to hide those image files from yourself.

    Create the images split to 1492 MB files and store them inside a separate folder on the normal partition of the external. This way, the image files will be accessible to you to selectively delete them and maybe copy some of them to DVD beforehand (3 files to DVD). Neither of these two operations can be done with the image files stored inside the Secure Zone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2006
  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello mwilg,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the reason why we do not recommend creating Acronis Secure Zone on a detachable drive.

    Please also note that when storing backup to Acronis Secure Zone you are not able to manage (delete or copy) backups manually. The backups saved to Acronis Secure Zone are deleted automatically if required. If there is not enough space, older archives will be deleted to create space. When you select the backup stored in Acronis Secure Zone it will be showed as one piece, even if this backup is spitted into several files (due to FAT32 maximum file size restriction). Additional information can be found in the Chapter 3.2.3 "Deleting backups in Acronis Secure Zone" Acronis True Image User Guide.

    As for the file system of Acronis Secure Zone, please read this thread.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  18. mwilg

    mwilg Registered Member

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    Wow, lots of good advise and information. Thanks bVolk for the insight, that will be the way I handle it, but like the original poster for this thread, I am also looking to stay away from DVD's and just rely on the external USB. Lol on the hiding stuff from myself :)
    Actually, the experience that drove me into this whole backup field (and finding something that's actually reliable - shocking concept in the PC world, huh!) was the pathetic failure of XP's backup program after a drive catastrophically failed - the backup image file turned out to be corrupted even though the last backup reported as successful :mad: ! So the imaging feature is what I'm mainly concerned about, plus I do have a folder/file backup program, that came with the external drive, if the Plug Image function should fail for whatever reason.
    I am a little concerned to hear Chutsman's report that the cloning feature is not so reliable, but I trust, the restore function is solid. The vast majority of reviews that I read before buying were positive. BTW, how do you 'test' the Restore feature (w/o overwriting stuff - or do you just reverse the process immediately after backing up)? That would be a handy thing to know!
    Thanks to you guys for the clarification on all this, also thanks to Aleksandr for the extra explanations and info.
     
  19. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The only 100% way to test your backups fully is to actually do a complete restoration. To do this in complete safety you should remove your working drive and restore the image to a replacement drive.
    I do this every time I install a new TI build or version. I regard having a spare HDD to hand as a necessary part of a complete backup system. I bet your car carries a spare wheel :))

    Xpilot.
     
  20. robj

    robj Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the replies to my original query - especially to TheWeaz,Chutsman,bVolk and rharris270 - even the "highjackers" :rolleyes: proved useful.

    I have now installed the ext HD and it's working beautifully - did a full 24GB backup directly to it and it verified OK. Have tried the rescue disk (was scared to prior to this), it recognises the new drive and I can now see how I would go about restoring if all goes south (God forbid).

    Thanks again
     
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