From a Business Perspective

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by CafeOwner, Sep 1, 2004.

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  1. CafeOwner

    CafeOwner Registered Member

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    Okay. I didn't think it would come to this, but the time has come for me to participate in Acronis TI 8.0 bashing.

    Put simply, my feelings on Acronis TI 8.0 are this: this is the most troublesome piece of software I have ever purchased.

    I own a LAN gaming center, and I'm trying to deploy brand new computers. My initial intentions were to acquire imaging software (Acronis TI 8.0) and use it to clone hard drives as I go. This would save loads of time as I would not have to rebuild the software on every computer once it has been assembled.

    Once I got a candidate HDD to a stable point, I imaged it, placing it on my local network. No problem there. The image turned out fine, no driver problems, and it verified okay.

    Then I tried to make a recovery disk. Now please, forgive me if info about this problem is in another thread somewhere, but I spent quite a lot of time perusing these threads and they seemed to be full of people just like me. Anyway, I was completely unable to create a 'Full' Rescue Disk on CD, so I went with the 'Safe' version. That worked fine...It just didn't include NIC drivers. Anything useful in the forum? Not at present, but there are plenty of people with this problem as well.

    I wasn't ready to give up just yet.

    My next endeavour was to skip the network and back up the candidate HDD to a whopping 10 volume CD hardcopy. Actually, ATI was wrong when it said it would only be 10 CD's. It probably would have been more like 13. Unfortunately I never found out exactly how wrong ATI was because at 12, out of nowhere, the entire process aborted, citing "bad media". That would have been nice to know, ELEVEN CD'S AGO! Oh yeah, and there isn't any way to just pick up where you left off, either.

    Once I threw away all those now useless CD-R's, I decided that maybe ATI just can't handle so daunting a task. So, the next thing I resolved to do was split my imaging up. I would backup my boot volume onto 4 CD's, and my larger gaming volume onto the network. Theoretically, NIC drivers won't be an issue once the boot volume is cloned to another HDD, I could run Acronis TI from the operating system and deploy the larger partition. Surprisingly, that CD imaging process worked, and I now have a 4-CD volume of my new computers' boot partition on my desk in front of me...which is where its going to stay because it too is actually useless. I thought at first (without thinking much, I know) that maybe I could just put the first (or the last) CD in and boot directly from it--sort of like an automated recovery disk that ships with some premade systems. Well, of course that didn't work, so I just put my 'Safe' Rescue Disk in, and figured I would just point to my 4-CD Volume image when Acronis asked my where that was. Guess what though? CD-ROM drivers must not have been included, either. My drive didn't even show up.

    Okay, so now I'm mad. There's no network support, no CD-ROM support, and no external HDD (via USB 2.0) support at all. What's next? Not much, right?

    Well, I still hadn't given up. My next plan--if it worked--would be a little more work for me, but would still save me loads of work in the end. It goes like this:

    Since it was apparent to me that I would never be able to access anything unless Microsoft did Acronis' job for them (supplying me with SOME useful driver), I resolved to do a quick pre-format on the new disk drives. The fast, low-size partition I made would just have an old copy of Windows XP, my mainboard's NIC driver, and ATI 8.0 (build 76:cool: installed on it. Once that was done (which took about half-an-hour still) I would simply navigate ATI to my total drive image on my network and let it rip. Everything was working fine. No problems with windows installation, the NIC driver loaded fine, network access flourished, and ATI 8.0 (76:cool: installed fine. But no imaging...

    ATI can't image a HDD in use. That plan was shot. Then the program recommended that I reboot and we could try again. I rebooted and then...nothing again. Acronis Loader hanged at the same spot it did when I tried to use the 'Full' Rescue Disk.

    I have no more ideas, and frankly, after spending the better part of two days trying to get ATI 8.0 to work, I can finally say that there is nothing left for me to dig out of my box of solutions. I'm out.

    Acronis, know this. You're costing me money. As a small business owner, I can't afford to hire someone to perform the menial task of deploying my new hard drives with all the functionality and games on them that should be there. Its a monotonous task, but unfortunately since computers are involved, its an unnecessarily high-priced evolution that some IT professional would problably charge me $20 or more per hour to perform. Now I'm stuck with manually building the file structure on every single HDD because the imaging software that I purchased is absolutely incapable of assisting me in this capacity. You're software has proven utterly useless up til this point.

    After perusing this forum from thread to thread I've noticed that there only appear to be two major groups who bother to contribute their posts: those who have any number of problems with your product, and those who, bewildered at the sight of so many people having so many problems with your product, contribute thoughts like this: "Oh my God! I can't believe so many people are having so many problems with your product!"

    As I said, I am a business man, and I understand that quality assurance in finished products and customer service are near paramount to customer satisfaction and ultimately more money. QA seems to have eluded you. This I have come up against personally. And although we have yet to continue our business at the service level--which I look forward to--your track record, which is posted all over this forum of dissatisfied customers, does not show you in the best light.

    Sincerely,

    The owner of an internet cafe.

    BTW, for anyone who may be able to offer assistance, every one of my new computers conforms to these specs:

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Socket 754)
    Soltek Mainboard (SL-K8AN2E-GR) *This is an nForce3 250 Gb chipset*
    512MB PC3200 Corsair XMS
    80GB SATA Western Digital (WD800JD)
    Chaintech GeForce FX5700LE (256MB of RAM)
    Acronis True Image 8.0 (Build 76:cool:
    Windows XP, Service Pack 2
     
  2. Tipton

    Tipton Registered Member

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    If your not too tired from your work over the last few days, I would try an earlier version of ATI. I also had issues with TI 8 build 768, and went back to my earlier TI 7 build 634.

    I recently did a clean slipstreamed install of XP SP2. I made about ten TI images througout the process of loading XP, right on through installing all my software. The first five images were done with TI 7, and the final five images were done with TI 8. When I went to restore from my last image made, I realized some of my sound card tools would create a popup error message. I also noticed that my quick launch icons were no longer there(yes they were part of the image). I started backtracking through my images, restoring from each one starting from ten, and then nine, etc. Same problem with them all, untill I finally got to image #5. That was my last image I had made with TI7, and it was totally fine and restored perfectly. Image files 1-5 made with TI7 were fine, and image 6-8, made with TI 8, were scrap.

    With that said....you may want to try TI 7.

    Tipton
     
  3. CafeOwner

    CafeOwner Registered Member

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    Sep 1, 2004
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    Actually Tipton, I decided to try one last thing and I think I might have finally gotten it to work. This may seem kinda messy from a hardware perspective, but I installed a second SATA drive (which I intend to use in another computer) right underneath my first drive (which will serve as the template for the other drives) and on the same controller. When using TI from Windows, I used the 'clone disk' function and elected to keep the data on my old drive. Since they were both SATA's, the operation was fast and went off without a hitch. Once the cloning operation was completed, I simply removed my newly cloned HDD from the first computer and installed it in the next computer.

    I hope to high heaven that I'm not jinxing anything, but I think one of my work-arounds might actually work out this time. The computer booted fine, recognized a slight hardware difference (different CD-ROM), installed the drivers automatically, and continued to operate exactly how the first one did (actually a little faster, but that may be due to the fabrication process).

    Anyway, I'll fire it up again tomorrow and hope that things stay stable. It may not be elegant, but directly cloning the drives like this appears to be my only option.
     
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