Help choosing/using ATI Home 2009

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Davidj, Apr 6, 2009.

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  1. Davidj

    Davidj Registered Member

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    I have been trying to decide whether to buy this software and I need help deterniming if it is a good choice for what I want to accomplish. I will be using it on two computers. One is described as follows:

    Microsoft Vista Ultimate SP1 (32bit). Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700, 2.66 GHz, 8 MB cache, 1066 MHz, Gigabyte MB GA-X48-DS4, Mushkin 4 GB (2X2 GB) 240 Pin DDR2 SDRAM, DDR2800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit 996580, Video GeFORCE 8800GS. There are three WD 500 GB, Model No. AAKS-OOC8O hard drives. All of the hard drives are formatted NTFS. Office 2007 Student and Home, and eSET Security System.

    Disk 0, SATA 465.8 GB (formatted) Serial No. WCAS87231950, has two partitions C:\ and D:\ . C:\ Capicity 122.1 GB, Used space 48.0 GB. D:\ Capacity 343.7 GB, Used space 175.1 MB. MB is not a misprint.

    Dick 1, SATA, 465.8 GB (formatted) Serial No. WCAS 87231802, has two partitions E:\ and F:\. E:\ Capacity 122.1 GB, Used space 0, F:\ Capacity 343.7 GB, Used space 0.

    Both of these Disks are mounted internally in the computer case.

    Disk 2, SATA 465.8 GB (foratted) Serial No. WCAS 87182811, has two partitions G:\ and H:\ G:\ Capacity 122.1 GB, Used space 0, H:\ Capacity 343.7 GB, Used space 0. This disk is mounted in an external enclosure and connects to the computer using an eSATA cable. It is only connected when it is needed. It is stored away from the computer and would not be a candidate for any kind of scheduling.

    The other computer is similar to this one, except it uses Windows XP SP3. It is an older machine with a system that is older technology. I would be purchasing 2 copies of Acronis TI Home 2009.

    Starting here I will be using the word copy for what I want to do, whether it is called image, backup, clone, etc. If you make a suggestion I would appreciate you using the names used in the Acronis TI Home 2009 User's Manual.

    What I want to do is make a copy of Disk 0 and be able to transfer this copy to either of the other two Disks. When I look at the other Disks, 1 or 2,after making a copy, I want to see everything that was in the C:\ partition in the E:\ or G:\ partitions, and everything in the D:\ partition would be in the F:\ or H:\ partitions. In other words, I want to place an identical copy of Disk 0 on either of the other two Disks. The reason for this is that if I have a hard drive failure or any other type of problem, I want to be able to place one of the other drives in the place of Disk 0 and be right back in business. I do not want to do a recovery, repair or any other attempt to revive Disk 0. I don't want to fool with BartPE or Vista BCD. I know that the other two disks will only be usable to the date they were created, and I may have a loss of some data between the time Disk 0 had it's problem and the time the copy was made.

    My plans are that every two weeks Disk 1 or Disk 2 would be updated (a new copy would be made, and the old copy over written). In other words, Disk 1 would receive a copy of Disk 0 and two weeks later Disk 2 would receive a copy of Disk 0, and then I would alternate between making new copies of Disk 0 on the other two disks. If I was going to add a new application or anything else that was a major change in the system, then I would create new copies of Disk 0 on both of the other Disks, before the changes were made. The reason I want two Disks with the copy of Disk 0 is so that if something happens while making these copies, to either the copied Disk or the destination Disk, or both, then I still have a copy that will get me back in business.

    Now I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Is it totally out of the question? If it appears that it could be accomplished, what should I use? Create an image using the sector-by-sector approach, create a Fll Backup, Use the Acronis One-Click Protection, or create a Clone or what? In another thread http:/www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php>t=238004 Dwalby
    (post #15) stated "I only do manual full backups". Is this something I could use and accomplish what I want to do?

    If you have other altsernatives that you think would be better, or any suggestions or viewpoints I would appreciate your response.

    Other things that I need help understanding is, since the other alternative disks have different serial numbers will this create a problem if Disk 0 is replaced with one of the other Disks? If I do the above scenario, or something similar, will I have to rename the partitions on the replacement Disk to C:\ and D:\? Would I have to rename the replacement Disk as Disk 0? Any other GOT"CHA things I need to know?
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If you want to have a backup disk that is already to go then you want to use the TI clone function. This means only 1 copy of the original disk is stored on it but you could copy additional files later using Windows explorer for example. The clone function is intended to make a copy of an old disk when replacing it with a new one. However, some people do use it as a backup since it is a copy.

    Disadvantage of the clone method is that only 1 version allowed whereas you can make as many images of the source as the space permits. Clones can't be scheduled (AFAIK) and you must disconnect either one drive or the other before the first successful boot or Windows will get confused with 2 identical drives.

    Images require recovering but once that process is demonstrated to work on your machine it is rather routine. Images can also be incremental or differential as well as full and even though I only do Fulls, the way things are expanding the thought of adding a couple of incrementals is becoming a bit more appealing than it used to be.

    Another method you might consider which offers the advantage you are seeking by cloning is to use a disk rack/caddy/tray method like Xpilot. He makes an image of his source drive then swaps drives and immediately restores it to the second drive. He boots up the second drive and uses it until it is time to do it again. He always has the original source to fall back on and he can schedule, etc. He knows the backup is working because he actually is using it.

    IMO, HD failures are so rare that I can't get excited about cutting a few minutes off the restore process around for typical use. If it is a business computer then OK.

    Regardless of which software you pick to do this, the only way to know how it will behave on your system is to try it.
     
  3. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Massachusetts, USA
    Nice posting SeekForever!

    Should you choose the cloning method, there have been forum postings about the failure of the cloning operation including the loss of the source disk. Anyone choosing to clone should take the time to
    1. Check the source disk for errors or bad sectors (chkdsk c: /R) on all partitions (Also recommended prior to imaging.)
    2. Create a prior full disk backup image (all partitions) as security should the cloning fail.
    3. Since you should do item 2, restoring a backup image is safer and takes about the same time so why incur the risk of cloning. As SeekForever stated, there are disadvantages to cloning.

    Clone or Restore using Resize comparison
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1299861&postcount=9

    Xpilot backup/recovery procedure
    Post #7
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1414684&postcount=7

    Post #221
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1272558&postcount=221

    I am using TI 2009 on a 5 yr old Pentium 4 (2.66 ghz) with both Sata and ide drives (4 drives--12 partitions) with additional external IDE & eSata externals (via pci card). I also have eSet nod32 (3.0) antivirus and WebRoot SpySweeper installed.

    All of the TI versions (8-11) including 2009 have worked for me with minimal problems.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello all,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image

    Davidj, I may recommend you to install a trial version in order to make sure that the program runs flawless for you.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
  5. Davidj

    Davidj Registered Member

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    To bring you up to date; I have purchased two copies of ATIH 2009 and after reading about Xpilot's use of the mobile racks and caddys, I have bought a rack and two caddys. These caddy's have Disk 0 and Disk 2 installed in them, and Disk 1 remains installed in the computer case. I have done searches on Xpilot to better understand his system. The biggest difference is that using ATIH 2009 I will not be able to duplicate what he accomplishes with ATI 10.

    If it were not for the good people that share their knowledge on this forum, I don't think I would have purchased ATHI 2009. There are people that have used their time to create mini-tutorials to further explain something, and many responses to questions on this forum. Three Cheers. During my studying of this forum and the ATHI 2009 manual I came to the conclusion that no matter what problem I may run into, I know it can be solved here.

    I think one of the problems that contributes to a lot of anxiety using this application is that several different versions are discussed and sometimes you are not sure which version is being discussed, or if it applies to your version. Then again, I think some of it relates to semantics. For example, I am still not sure if Full Backup and Manual Full Backup mean the same thing, or if Full Backup is a scheduled thing and Manual Full Backup is a backup that is done manually by the operator. Anyone want to answer this?

    I have learned that I should turn off automatic defrag, which I had scheduled for once a week. Some of the other things I would like to know are: If I consolidate my backup, which method is best; Automatic Consolidation or
    File Name-based Consolidation? Is it possible to schedule a Full Backup each day without consolidation, using a 347 GB patrition?

    I have a few questions about the install process. My first question is: Should I use the Custom, Typical or Complete install? Are there parts of the program that I should not install initially, such as "Do Not Load Startup Recovery Manager?" What about the Secure Zone? Any others?
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Davidj
    I wonder what makes you think you cannot use V2009 with a tray/caddy setup.

    One of the constraints I saw was that V2009 could not automatically create and manage whole drive images. I understand this has been overcome with a kludge in scheduling devised by a regular ( Vlad?).

    I use the fixed internal drive to store whole drive images.
    The other two removable drives take turns in being the main harddrive.
    At a chosen interval, I use weekly, after the latest image has been run the current drive is replaced by the previous week's drive. A restore is then run to bring the replacement drive up to date.

    I don't believe that V2009 can't do this. It is after all exactly what one would have to do in the case of a real drive failure for whatever reason.
    The failed drive would be replaced. The latest image would be restored to the new one and all would be good to go.

    The main difference in my strategy is that recoveries are done as a regular routine instead of waiting for the inevitable disaster.
    Doing things "up front" has to some considerable advantages.
    1. The certainty that one always has a ready to go hard drive that is known to work.
    2. Validations are no longer needed as backup images or a portion of them are proved by actual restores. This is quite a time saver.
    3. A failed restore is of no consequence because it is always possible to pick another image, re-do the image process or just put the previous drive back in the computer.
    4. Failure of one or even two of the three drives still leaves a workble computer.
    5. There is always one working drive outside the computer which, until it is needed for rotation, is safely not connected or powered up.

    Xpilot
     
  7. Davidj

    Davidj Registered Member

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    Xpilot

    I was referring to the fact that I could not rely on the FIFO feature that was eliminated in ACTIH 2009, which you have referred to several times in the past. Thanks for responding. If you have the time I would appreciate your addressing the reason you use incremental rather than differential. I'm not implying you are wrong I am just trying to better understand the difference between the two, especially from a user of either one.

    Davidj
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Surprising though it may seem I like to keep things simple. My back drive of images is only topped up with full drive images. I just made sure it is big enough for the number of images I need . I have never used incrementals or differentials and the new system for consolidations fills me with horror. It can be a real time waster and introduces an extra element of risk.

    There is a way round the destruction of the easy FIFO system in V2009. Poster Vlad is the one who worked it out and I have been trying without sucess to find a post by Acronis support where they actually endorsed his method.

    I have always used a Secure Zone because my backup images are on a permanently connected internal drive and they are safer that way.
    Although the Manuals point users towards using the Acronis Start up Recovery Manager I would advise that it is not activated. It modifies the MBR which can obstruct other uses of F11 and it can lead to other problems.
    The end game is that where a main drive cannot be booted the best way is to start form the rescue CD.

    Xpilot
     
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