Hesite to switch from Ghost

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by t.s.lim, Dec 28, 2006.

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  1. t.s.lim

    t.s.lim Registered Member

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    I am thinking of switching from Norton Ghost, seriously, but I know nothing about TI, would anyone tell me the anser for the below:

    1) I read the doc and I know that TI can be started from CD, but can I boot to DOS on one hard disk and run TI to backup another hard disk? (I have 2 HDDs, the HDD being backup has 4 drives all NTFS format)

    2) Can user change the content of NTFS drive in a mounted TI image when runnig from WinXP? If the answer is YES then will the image need packing after the changes are done?

    3) I have a HDD with 4 drives (all NTFS, boot into WinXP+Sp2), I purposely assign their drive letter as C, E, F and G (skipping drive letter D). I backup this HDD and later restore it, if I then boot it up alone (single HDD boot up), the drive letters are changed, they become C, D, E and F which is different from what I have backup!!! This happen when I use Ghost.
    My question is, if I use TI to do the above, what happen then? Will my HDD get retored back with their drive letter exactly as they were backup?

    t.s.lim
     
  2. t.s.lim

    t.s.lim Registered Member

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    It looks like there are more questions than answers in this forum...

    Please, is there anyone knows the answer to any of my qestions above?

    t.s.lim
     
  3. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello t.s.lim,

    If backing up or restoring your system disk/partition, TI needs to boot into the Linux based environment. This is done in one of three ways:

    - Via TI running in Windows mode when prompted to reboot.
    - From the Linux based Acronis bootable rescue CD
    - Using the Acronis Secure Zone/Startup Recovery Manager boot via F11 functionality (Not recommended unless you only have one hard drive and/or no CD/DVD drive)

    You can backup/restore any non-system disk/partition without booting out of Windows.

    Yes. The latest version of TI allow you to mount an image either in read/write mode or read mode only. However, when mounted in read/write mode, any changes you make to the content of the mounted image will not be saved back into the original image but rather as an incremental to it. Therefore you cannot (nor do you need to) "pack" the image after editing it.

    If you backup and subsequently restore the complete HDD (tick the checkbox adjacent to the Disk Number rather than just some of the partitions of that disk) the drive letters assigned by Windows will always be preserved. This should also be the case if backing up/restoring individual partitions. Note however, when you boot into the Linux based rescue environment, the drive letters you see will be different to those you see under Windows. This can be confusing so we recommend that you rename your C, E, F and G volumes to something meaningfull e.g. System, Data, Music, etc and then just ignore the drive letters.

    On a more general note, I believe you will find this <fully illustrated tutorial> useful. Whilst it's specific to TI 9.0 Home, much of it can be read across to TI 10 Home.

    Regards
     
  4. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Menorcaman... Masterful response, as always. BTW congratulations on becoming a Global Moderator.
     
  5. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    In addition, you can get pretty good support on this forum. I found support for Norton to be terribly painful. I used Norton products since back in the days when Peter Norton first started selling his unerase program. Peter had avery diff idea of software and support and than Symantec.
     
  6. t.s.lim

    t.s.lim Registered Member

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    Menorcaman, thank you for your answers!

    I am excited to find out TI can do 2 out of my 3 main concerns.
    I am not lazy to read guides, but the Taiwan earthquake has cause my connection to crawl like a snail, I can't even open up the first page of the tutorial you have recommended.

    For your first answer:
    a) I always use HDD drawer to plug any HDD to my PC.
    b) I have a 250G HDD just to store HDD images, let me call it BACKUP HDD. Currently it boots to DOS and runs Norton Ghost and has a lot of space to keep images.

    Via TI running in Windows mode
    ----------------------------------------------
    Lets say WinXP is running from 1st HDD with TI installed, if I have a particular HDD to backup, natrurally the easiest way is to plug it as 2nd HDD and have TI back it up to the 3rd HDD which is my BACKUP HDD. This does not cause me any problem since my PC has 3 HDD drawers installed.
    The problem lays in WinXp itself, it always wants to write something to a hidden folder called "System Volumn Information", if the 2nd HDD I am backing up has no such folder, WinXP (when boot up) will create one on it. The same thing happen to Recycle Bin folder, if the 2nd HDD does not has such folder, again WinXP will create such Recycle Bin folder on it (and who knows what else WinXP will want to hiddenly write). This means the target HDD get polluted even before I can start TI to back it up. This is the main reason I always avoid backup image of a HDD under Windows environment. So this option could't be my choice.

    From the Linux based Acronis bootable rescue CD
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    This seems to be a better solution for my case.
    That means I insert target HDD as 1st HDD and BACKUP HDD as 2nd HDD then boot from that rescue CD, use TI to backup the former to the latter. But isn't it much better if the "Boot up and run TI" matter be done straight from the BACKUP HDD? That should at least save me the need to boot from CD... (and booting up from CD is much slower than HDD)

    I remember I read somewhere Acronis provide 2 forms of bootup CD, one is under DOS mode (which I am very familiar with).
    I know nothing about Linux, is it possible to transfer boot process from the "Acronis bootable rescue CD" to a HDD and have TI started from there?

    t.s.lim
     
  7. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    Congrats from this part of the world too. Does this mean he gets paid to be a beta tester or does he have to put in twice the amount of work!!:D :D
     
  8. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    I don't know how Menorcawoman feels about this, his beta-testing chores and moderating at the same time!:D
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I sure hope he is getting paid for something - now that he has to go out and buy an even larger hat!

    Congratulations from me too Menorcaman, you are a real asset to the forum!
     
  10. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    If you are uncomfortable with Linux you may want to build a BartPE disk http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ with the included TI 10 BartPE plugin or one of Mustang's plugins http://www.mechrest.com/plugins/. BartPE is a windows environment.
     
  11. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The TI CD boots up and the interface is graphical so you don't even know you are running Linux and you don't have to know anything about it.

    Yes, there is a DOS safe mode but it is limited and on many, if not most, systems will not work with USB or Firewire drives and if it does, it usually is painfully slow.
     
  12. QuiGonJohn

    QuiGonJohn Registered Member

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    I made the switch and have been very happy. I had been working with Ghost 2003. I had problems with Ghost not seeing/recognizing my ext USB HDD, has worked fine with TI9.

    One of the big plusses to TI over Ghost, is automated creation of a Bootable CD Rescue Disk, which works on all my computers and recognizes the ext USB HDD on all of my computers as well. I can't believe Ghost doesn't have this capability, just the lame floppy disk creator and then jumping thru hoops to try and make a bootable CD. Then after all that, it doesn't recognize the ext USB HDD.

    I have done 2 test restores, one to the HDD already in one of my laptops. (This was a new laptop, so if the restore failed, it really wouldn't have mattered-I could have rebuilt it from the System Recovery CD fairly easily). The other was to a spare HDD I temporarily placed in another laptop. Was able to boot to that HDD fine, then I put back the real one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  13. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello again t.s.lim,

    If you like, I can email you a zipped pdf file of the tutorial (only 3.65 MB so it shouldn't take too long). You can contact me via the email address listed in the Additional Information section of my Public Profile (click on Menorcaman at the top of any of my posts and select View Public Profile).

    I'm afraid I don't understand your concern. The System Volume Information and Recycle Bin folder on the destination drive have no bearing on an image created of the source drive. The image will be stored on the destination drive as a .tib file the same as any other file.

    Regards
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for the congrats guys. No, I don't get paid and it probably means working four times as hard (don't tell Menorcawoman :eek:) :D :D.

    Regards
     
  15. t.s.lim

    t.s.lim Registered Member

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    Let say A is a HDD runnung WinXP + TI.

    B is a HDD which I have just formated with a BOOT CD. i.e. it has only empty drives, i.e. all drives have nothing, no file, no folder at all.

    C is a HDD which I store all backup image

    =======================================================
    My intention is to create an exactly image of B and save that image in C.
    =======================================================

    So, I plug all the three HDDs to my PC and boot into A (to run TI to create the image as described), but upon boot up WinXP will add the "System Volumn Information" and "Recycler" folders to B, this means B is altered (now it contains folders) and I don't have a chance to back it up as clean as I want it to be!

    Hi Menorcaman,
    1) When you say "that two foldes has no bearing on an image created of the source drive", do you mean TI will skip them when creating image?
    2) Thanks for your great help, by the time the internet connection in my area is recovered and allowed me to download a purchased version of TI, I will download that PDF on my own, anyway I am switching from Ghost, for sure! :)

    Btw, I find good TI price at www.newegg.com, but it looks like they only accept US order. Due to my internet connection problem, I have fail to contact them for this. Please, is anyone familiar with newegg? Do they accpet international order of TI (download ver) out of US?

    t.s.lim
    ------------------
    I hate earthquake:(
     
  16. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    I have a feeling that you are actually talking about TI's disk Cloning function rather than creating a backup Image of the disk. They are two entirely different concepts.

    No, not at all. When you create an image of a disk or partition, TI copies all the data from the "in-use" sectors into a .tib file on the destination drive/media. The destination drive can hold many images (be they Full, Incremental or Differential) created at different times. The only exception that I know of is the Windows swap file and hibernation file, for which TI only includes a few bytes of placeholder information. On the other hand, when you use TI's clone function, you create an exact copy of the source drive onto the destination drive (with the ability to resize the partition). Unlike a disk/partition image, which needs to be restored back to either the original location or another hard drive, the cloned drive can simply be substituted for the original and is usually used when upgrading to a new, larger, disk.

    The pdf file that you can download from Acronis is the User's Guide, which is a different animal to the web-based illustrated tutorial that I referred to. That tutorial is spread over numerous web pages, which, for convenience, I copied into a Microsoft Word document and then converted into a pdf file and subsequently zipped. So, if you are still interested, you know what you need to do :).

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  17. t.s.lim

    t.s.lim Registered Member

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    No, in the example I have quoted, I do not intend to clone B, I want an image (tib file) created for B, which when restore to a HDD, the content should be exactly like B (even though the drive sizes might be different if it is not restored to the original HDD). As I have stated, the destination drive C holds many different images (for Ghost, that means gho and ghs files just like tib files for TI). C is not to be made a clone of B.

    The example I have quoted is only one of many possible examples, which I think is the simplest to illustrate why I am concern about WinXP adds hidden folders to another HDD.

    Just in case, you wonder why would I want to create an image of a HDD with only blank drives:
    Quite often I use it to replace FDISK+FORMAT of HDD and it is a thousand time faster especially if the HDD size is big (and if I do not care to let format process checks for possible HDD physical problem.)

    Btw, I want to thank you again for trying to help me by sending the tutorial. But I rather get it when I am able to download either a demo copy or a purcahsed copy of TI (as of this wrting, my connection speed is still very slow), otherwise it will be a real pain, if I get excited with some intersting things from that tutorial and have no TI to try it out... In fact, I am facing email problem as well (due to the Taiwan earthquake, I guess). I have several emails get bound back including one which I try to reach Aconis support.
     
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