Full backup = image backup?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by hrcogen, Aug 9, 2006.

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  1. hrcogen

    hrcogen Registered Member

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    I know. This must sound like a very naive question, but I'm going to post it anyway. I just purchased True Image Home 9.0 and am not sure about the distinction between a full backup and an image backup. This is not clear to me from the user manual. Is a full backup archive the same as an image backup? Is my first full backup of, say, the C: disk also the so-called image backup?
     
  2. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Strictly speaking you image your OS while you backup your data. See what Dan Goodell has to say about the subject.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2006
  3. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Most often, yes.

    But an image is a backup of all the data on the entire disk (or an entire partition) as opposed to files/folders backup that will contain only files you select.

    A full image will contain all the data present on the source disk/partition at the time of imaging as opposed to an incremental image, that will contain only the changes since the full image or the last incremental and will be appended to the previous image.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2006
  4. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    I can see that Acronis does make a distinction between an image backup and a file backup and I've edited my previous post accordingly. See this screenshot from the TI User guide:

    http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/2482/screenshot011hh1.jpg

    OTOH, Goodell seems to be saying that referring to an incremental backup as an image seems to be stretching the definition of an image:

    For what it's worth, some imaging tools are beginning to include "incremental" updating options. This stretches the definition of what an "image" is.
     
  5. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Yes, I can see Goodell's point.

    Indeed, an incremental image on it's own is not a real (complete) image but rather an amendment to one and it can't be used independently. Now I can appreciate why some posters on this forum stick to the term "increment" for what the rest of us call an "incremental image".
     
  6. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    3.1 The difference between file archives and disk/partition images
    A backup archive is a file or a group of files (also called in this Guide “backups”), that contains a copy of selected files/folders data or a copy of all information stored on selected disks/partitions.
    When you back up files and folders, only the data, along with the folder tree, are compressed and stored.
    Backing up disks and partitions is performed in a different way: Acronis True Image Home stores a sector-by-sector snapshot of the disk, which includes the operating system, registry, drivers, software applications and data files, as well as system areas hidden from the user. This procedure is called “creating a disk image,” and the resulting backup archive is often called a disk/partition image. (User Manual)


    I'm still trying to understand the fundamental distinction that Acronis makes between a backup archive and an image archive. Let's say I have a partition containing x number of files.

    If I create a backup archive of these x files then Acronis uses a different technique than it would if I were to create an image archive of these same x files. In the latter case Acronis would proceed using a sector-by-sector technique whereas in the former case Acronis uses a technique which is not based on sector imaging.

    In other words in creating a backup archive Acronis treats the files individually. In creating an image archive Acronis focuses on imaging all sectors in the partition.

    Am I right or wrong in my reasoning?
     
  7. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I would say you are right, dld. Except for for the detail that upon imaging a drive/partition TI does not copy all the sectors but only the used ones. Moreover, the contents of the page file and the hibernation file are not copied but a placeholder for each of those two files is placed into the image instead, so that after restoration the two files will be existent, though empty. (Windows will rewrite them, anyway.) All the sectors (used or not) will be included in an image only if the File Allocation Table is corrupt or if the file system is of some kind not supported by TI.
     
  8. hrcogen

    hrcogen Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. Can someone advise me as to which programs should be shut down, like anti-virus programs or network connections (if at all), before doing an image backup.
     
  9. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I image the C: partition from Windows and I don't shut down anything (36 processes are running). Never had a corrupt image or problems with restore. Some members reported that they even continue working with the computer while the imaging is running, but I haven't got the nerve to do that. I have seen no reports about the imaging of C: under Windows being unreliable.

    On the other hand, there are users who will always image C: from the rescue environment, as an additional safety measure.

    I'd suggest you try the easy way and see if the images validate regularily. If ever possible, try to restore them to a spare HD as the final check.
     
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