Has TI got it right yet?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Videocool, Sep 17, 2004.

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  1. Videocool

    Videocool Registered Member

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    Hi there...

    I was convinced by the reviews and the Acronis site that True Image was the greatest thing since sliced bread... but then I stopped by this forum.

    I want to buy an anvil. I mean I want to buy an imaging program that will work (everytime).

    Why? I use Windows XP. I also use several other MS products and products by companies that want to be like MS. Specifically, I use 3 computers running XP home... (2 with SP 2, one with SP 1)... I also have a 64 bit laptop running XP Pro and my daughter's computer running 98.

    A few questions... does TI work from an OS outside windows, I don't trust Windows for anything. Does it work with SP2? Does it work with XP Pro SP2? Can I make a bootable CD and then use that to restore from DVD-R's?
    Can TI read from any partition? (FAT 16, FAT32, NTFS, whatever) Can it write to any partition? What is the Security Partion that TI creates all about?

    I have Pioneer DVD-R burners... I don't even know what all kind of CD-R burners I have, is that a problem? All of my Windows XP versions are legal OEM, (e.g. Sony, Compaq, Emachines, and HP) I have the restore disks but not individual system disks, is that gonna be problem? I also use a Promise controller card (not RAID), is that an issue?

    I have tried BACKUP MY PC, (not an imaging program, and wouldn't restore a crashed system). I tried GHOST, (wouldn't burn to my CD or DVD) an older version, not the Professional product. I guess Drive Image is no longer an Option.

    I'm a video editor so I go thru hard drives in days, not years. Is that a problem? Since I have OEM XP I've never had to reactivate. I don't want to get into that either. I use programs like Vegas Video and REELDVD that have built-in license codes and some other that use dongles, should I install those programs into the C: drive so the license files travel with the system image?

    I don't want to screw around with computers, I just want to edit video; but I'm beginning to think it would be faster to chisel pictures into stone.

    Anyway... hoping for a guru/wizard to point me in the right direction.

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Read the FAQ and come back with a trimmed down list of questions you still have. :)
     
  3. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Another thing you might consider - go check the support forums of every other imaging software and see if they are full of the people who have a complaint or the people who have praise. This may be difficult, however, as the others have no support forums.
     
  4. djmorgan

    djmorgan Registered Member

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    <snip>




    nothing was here but personal insults - try to NOT post that way next time - Detox
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2004
  5. Videocool

    Videocool Registered Member

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    Re: Has TI got it right?


    Thanks in advance for any help with these questions...

    I understand that questions in these forums come from folks who are having problems (but thanks be to the Sta-Puf marshmallow man for them)... but there are also those gurus here... who can point the way.


    Thanks again,

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2004
  6. Videocool

    Videocool Registered Member

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    Re: Has TI got it right?

    Hey guys...

    I've edited my questions for a bit more clarity...

    You don't have to answer them all at once... if you know only know one... that's aplenty. Sometimes a newbie's answer to another newbie is less cluttered with Technical Jargon and cuts to the chase quicker.
     
  7. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    No problems with my testing here.

    You can store your TIB files on DVD and, yes, you can boot from the rescue CD and restore from the DVDs. Or, as you've seen, you can follow my instructions to incorporate the bootable CD into the DVDs that contain the images. The only advantage of this is one less disc to worry about, and possibly no disc swapping if your TIB files fit on one DVD.

    Pretty much any partition that you will run into. All of those that you have listed here, plus Linux partitions like EXT2, EXT3, ReiserFS, JFS (new with ATI8 )

    Sure. As long as you can write to that partition when in Windows. (Since ATI writes images from within Windows). If you're wanting to write to the partition booting from the rescue CD, you'll be best off with FAT32. The linux OS that the rescue CD runs off of doesn't have write capabilities for NTFS.

    It's a safe partition to store your image files. Safe, being that it's hidden from windows. No accidental deletions or virus attacks or whatnot. Also, it gives you the ability to hit F11 on bootup so you can do image restores without the rescue CD.

    I wouldn't recommend imaging directly to DVD. It seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Image to your HD first, then copy the images to DVD using the burning software of your choice.

    No.

    My PDC20276 (onboard my GA-7DXR+ motherboard) doesn't seem to work well with the rescue CD. About 90% of the time, it will hang when reading from a drive connected to it. I now image to a NAS machine, so it's not an issue for me. There are quite a few models of Promise cards and chips, so I'm not certain what works and what does not.

    That all depends on where those applications store their license information. You could ask the manufacturers, but they may or may not be cooperative.

    No problem there. I have my OS on drive C:, applications on drive D:, etc... I only image my C: drive regularly.

    I have no clue what "Acronis DI" is. I'm guessing the poster is talking about users with only a single hard drive, and who store their images on that same physical hard drive. If the drive fails, then the images go with it. But is that a surprise to anybody? (I sure hope not...)
     
  8. Videocool

    Videocool Registered Member

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    Thanks... you just knocked one outta the park... wouldn't happen to be your 700th post would it... :D

    Let me see if I understand... If I make a rescue CD or six floppys... then I can use that to restore either from the HD partition (the True Image Secure Partition) or from my set of DVD's or CD's (with files cut into 650 meg chunks)?

    Ok I understand about the Linux not writing to anything but FAT 32... but why would I need to if I'm doing a rescue restore?

    Ok... Image to the Hard drive Secure Partition... and then copy to DVD or CD... Does True Image create that partition or do I need to create it in XP or using Partition Magic?


    What's a NAS machine... just wondering. I guess I could also image to to my Western Digital external firewire box.

    I too was planning just to Image the OS on drive C:, but I didn't know if there was preferred way, or if I should just go ahead and install my Video programs and then roll that whole package into a big whale image.

    As far as the poster on the other board I think he was implying that True Image (which he was erronously referring to as Acronis DI) was only able to restore from within Windoze... which would not really be a good idea... I'll generously give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he got this information by only reading the third question/answer of the True Image FAQ. "Acronis True Image 8.0 Allows You To:

    Restore separate files and folders even if there is no need to restore a whole partition or disk.

    Restore a data partition under Windows, as well as unplugging and re-connecting a logical drive when/where necessary.

    Restore a system partition under Windows, rebooting the PC when necessary or booting with a bootable diskette or CD-R(W) before the operating system loads."

    and ignoring the rest of the answer. :p

    So to summarize... This is why True Image Rocks (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    1. True Image can RESTORE your failed operating system from OUTSIDE Windows by booting your system from a recovery CD.

    2. True Image can MAKE your Image from inside Windows without having to reboot to a low level DOS.

    3. True Image can restore your system from either (a hard drive SECURE partition, a set of CD's, a set of DVD's, or an external firewire/ USB hard drive) inside the computer or outside the computer.

    4. True Image can restore Data Partitions while Windows is running.

    5. True Image has a simple GUI interface and does not require a convoluted command line control.

    6. If you need them, True Image has Power User features.



    Thanks again...
     
  9. Videocool

    Videocool Registered Member

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    I'm talking to myself again... :D

    I guess I really didn't understand what wdormann was saying... he meant for my System OS drive to be formatted as FAT32... so True Image could write/restore to it... Is that correct?
     
  10. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    You are correct on all of your points.

    As for your questions:
    - NAS = Network Attached Storage. I built a RAID5 array out of an old "junk" PC and some new drives.
    - The issue of not being able to write to NTFS from the rescue CD would only affect you if you for some reason can only create an image outside of windows. For example, if the system you are imaging doesn't have Windows. If you are doing an image restore, then it won't affect you at all.
    - If you are imaging to your hard drive first and you only have one hard drive, then you will need to create a new partition first, using Partition Magic or whatever program you like. If you have a second hard drive, it will be faster to image to that. If you image to the Secure Zone, then I don't know of any way you could copy those image files to another medium. (since the secure zone by definition is inaccessible from windows, except via the TrueImage software)
     
  11. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    No. See my above reply. You can restore any type of partition.
     
  12. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    @wdormann

    I don't want to argue with you, but this idea that the rescue disk cannot write an image to NTFS has bothered me every time I see it. I was sure that I had done this many times. However, I just tested it again and it works fine. Would you mind checking yourself on this? TI Server version 8 build 768.
     
  13. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    I stand corrected. I could've sworn that I read somewhere on this forum that the rescue CD wouldn't be able to write to an NTFS partition. That plus I don't believe that Linux 2.4 has RW access for NTFS. So I just assumed that was the case.

    I just tried imaging to an NTFS partition, and it did indeed work. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    I too hate to question your normally impecable logic but my boot rescue disks have always been able to restore to a NTFS formatted active partition, which means they are writing to NTFS. I therefore don't understand when you say the rescue disk can't write to NTFS when creating an image. Am I missing something here o_O

    Regards
     
  15. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Menorcam: See my reply above yours.

    Actually, restoring an NTFS partition is quite different than writing a file to an NTFS partition. But since ATI can do either, it's a moot point. :)
     
  16. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, Menorcaman

    wdormann Corrected that statment.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  17. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for your replies wdormann & TheQuest. It's clear that I really AM missing something here, namely the technical difference between writing and restoring images to NTFS partitions!! Ah, well, you live and learn (or not, as in my case) :)

    Regards
     
  18. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi,Menorcaman

    I am not sure what you mean by missing something.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  19. Videocool

    Videocool Registered Member

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    Thanks guys...

    It looks like the Acronis Site, the Magazine Reviews, and The Forum all agree... True Image is Rock Solid.

    Thanks,

    :cool:
     
  20. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi TheQuest

    In my reply to Will Dormann I assumed that creating and restoring images to NTFS partitions involved the the same write processes. If that wasn't the case then I felt I had to be missing something. As it turns out I was missing something; namely, a proper understanding of the technical difference between the two :oops:

    Appols if this expat Lancastrian didn't make himself very clear.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  21. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    I might be wrong, but here's how I understand it...

    If ATI has knowledge of how the filesystem works, it has the advantage of being able to do smart things like not backing up the empty space or excluding certain files from the backup. ATI understands NTFS, so it can do this.

    If I want to back up some really obscure filesystem (MINIX, for example is what I tested) with ATI, it can still do the backup. It does a blind sector-by-sector copy of every sector in the partition. Not efficient, but it gets the job done. Restoring the partition is just the same. It does a sector-by-sector restore of the partition data to the target partition. ATI has no knowledge of the filesystem that it is backing up in this case. Just the same way that I can photocopy and staple together a copy of a Japanese magazine, without knowing a lick of Japanese.

    Now let's consider the case of writing an image to an existing filesystem.

    In order to write an image to an existing filesystem, much more knowledge and functionality is required to perform the operation. ATI must be able to:
    1. Read and understand the filesystem
    2. Create a new file on that filesystem
    3. Write data to that file, without disturbing any of the existing data

    So if I want to backup a partition to my obscure (MINIX) filesystem, the ATI boot CD doesn't let me. This is because it does not satisfy all of the above listed prerequisites. (In fact, it does not satisfy any of them). To continue my analogy, if you were to give me a Japanese magazine and tell me to write an article for it (in Japanese), you're going to be SOL.

    In the case of NTFS, ATI does indeed satisfy all three of the above listed requirements. I was not aware of this, and I apologize for any confusion I may have caused. Thanks to beenthereb4 for setting me straight.

    But since Menorcaman has inquired about further clarification about my statement, here it is.
     
  22. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    I'm indepted to you wdormann for providing me with a simple explanation for what is, clearly, a very technical subject. Many thanks for taking the time and trouble.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2004
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