How reliable is Acronis???

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by trinny, Nov 14, 2008.

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  1. trinny

    trinny Registered Member

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    I have reformatted my main PC over three weeks ago and have spent the time up until now reinstalling everything slowly slowly and checking all functions are working before moving on to the next application.
    After every main application installation I have created an Acronis image that I have also verified each time. I have read a great number of the comments on this forum and feel somewhat disheartened after reading same. I am now beginning to doubt the reliability of my backup images. How can I be sure that they are any good whatsoever without reinstalling one?
    I moved to Acronis from Norton Ghost because the general opinion seemed to indicate that Acronis was more reliable, however I am not so sure now.
    Anyone care to comment?
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Acronis is reliable once you have confirmed that the rescue environment works properly on your PC. The rescue environment is Linux so just verifying in Windows is not a good test until you know the Linux environment works properly. After that, then a Windows Validate is pretty good. Most people come unstuck because they think the Windows Validate is adequate without having ever attempted to run the rescue CD.

    The best way, by far, is to do a test restore to a spare HD without question.

    The next best way is to boot up the rescue CD and Validate your archive with the CD version of TI.
    If this works then run through the Restore Wizard as if you were going to actually restore your disk or partition. Go through all the screens ticking and slecting as required. When you get to the final screen where you have to click on Proceed to do the actual restore, click on Cancel to abort the wizard.

    Doing the above means that TI can read your archive correctly and recreate the 4000 checksums/GB of data in memory. The device you have stored your archive on can be seen and addressed and the disk which you want to restore the archive to can be seen and addressed when selected.

    This is about as good as you can do without actually doing the test restore.
     
  3. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Should you need to replace your hard drive, remember is is the "disk" backup which includes all partitions (both hidden & diagnostic) on your system disk which can help you recover the quickest and with the least problems.

    The disk type backup is where you checkmark the disk option in selecting what is to be backed up. If you have time, you might check out my guides listed in line 2 of my signature below.
     
  4. lesterf1020

    lesterf1020 Registered Member

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    You should try to remember that this is a support forum. 99% of the people posting here are posting because they have a problem and are in various states of distress and/or anger. People who only have minor problems and find the product excellent and very reliable, like myself, are not going to post very often.

    You need to make your assessment based on your own test runs (please try a backup and restore for yourself!) and the nature and quantity of the complaints. The threads here are not very long and there isn't that much posting here compared to what the forum of a truly bad release looks like. In my opinion the comments here are mild for a major release.
     
  5. trinny

    trinny Registered Member

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    Understand completely what you are saying, but I visted the forum to get some background on any problems that I might come across in the future and to bear them in mind.
     
  6. MrMorse

    MrMorse Registered Member

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    It is difficult to answer that.

    Many people have no problems.
    Some people have problems.
    Ask 20 people you get 30 different answers ;) .

    If the most say that they have no problems with TI then you cannot transfer the answer to your hardware/software.

    You have to find out yourself how reliable Acronis will be for you.

    Download the trial version of Ti and try it yourself whether Ti is working reliable on your machine.
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    MrMorse is correct. You must try it on your own system since there is a hardware dependency especially in the rescue environment. There is, to a lesser extent, some software dependency when live imaging in Windows given how varied PC setups are with different options and programs.

    If you look at most of the problems with TI2009 they have to do with backup scheduling tasks and management. This is an area where the methodology was changed in TI2009 so there is some user confusion as well as improper operation. There seems to be fewer problems related to the basic imaging and validation.

    I will tell you TI works perfectly but to put it into context, I only do manual imaging of my C drive. This puts the scheduling and management out of the equation. I also test the restore environment before I really need it.

    Once you have a version of TI that works it is easy to try the next one because you can make an image with the old version and use it to restore should the new version not work.
     
  8. mujjuman

    mujjuman Registered Member

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    i agree completely. once you make a backup image, do a test restore immediately to see if it will work.
    if it works, then its good. otherwise, you should come here to find out how to make it work before something actually goes wrong.
    in my experience, it is very reliable and i love using it. only problem i had is that the bootable CD from TI11 doesnt work with my new laptop (old bootable CD did from TI9 or whatever it was...)
     
  9. trinny

    trinny Registered Member

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    I have Acronis V11. I have been waiting to restore an image to a hard disc that is currently in use on my spare PC. I have four backup images over the past two weeks since reformatting my hard disc and thought that I would test the first one, which only contained the barest bones of the operating system, and thereby leaving ample room on a 80Gb HD that was hanging around albeit with known bad sectors. I booted from the Acronis Recovery disc and attempted restore the image to this disc. In the process Acronis indicated bad sectors, which I ticked -ignore but then I had the dialogue box "index corrupted" but carried on anyway. The process took some 40 minutes but the end result was the restored image did not function.
    I know that it will be said that "what did you expect"?
    But the question I would raise - Is the index corrupted and the bad sectors found connected, or is the index corrupted refering to the created image?
     
  10. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    As others have said, you MUST do some sort of restore operation at least ONCE to verify the flow actually works on your own machine.

    I personally only use the basic modes, manual imaging of entire partitions, and restore entire partitions with the boot CD. I've also done a fair amount of partition adjusting with Disk Director.

    I've restored partitions so many times I've lost count (you'll use it a lot more than you expect when you have it available and know it works). I had one 'image corrupted' issue with an external USB HD, so I won't say the tool is perfect, but to me it is reliable enough to trust and keep using. I subsequently read on this forum that the USB HD image corruption issue is pretty common, and had I copied the image over to another internal HD partition it would have probably restored from there without problems. By the time I found that out I had deleted the corrupt image, so I never was able to test that out.

    As someone else mentioned, you can go to the very end of the recovery process and then select 'cancel', that will give you pretty good confidence of the restore process.

    Assuming you're on a desktop, the better option is to buy a second hard drive (assuming you don't already have one available) and restore the image to the second drive to make sure the complete recovery process is working. You can get a lot of GBs for $50 these days, and having a second drive is convenient, so buying an extra disk to verify the process completely is not a bad use of money.

    If you're on a laptop then you'll have to manage your partitions and do the same thing using a second partition, then switch the active flag to the other partition and make sure you can boot from it.
     
  11. trinny

    trinny Registered Member

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    The spare drive that I will be using is, as I said, currently in use on my old PC and I will go down the avenue suggested and then cancel again as suggested, only I will not be able to do that for a couple of weeks. The question I am posing really -is the index corrupted refering to the created image or the hard disc with the bad sectors? I am just anticipating problems and preparing for them.
     
  12. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Do a "chkdsk /r" on that drive to see if the bad sectors can be isolated.
     
  13. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I would guess and I emphasize guess, is that by ignoring the bad sectors caused TI to get upset and I think the index is an internal TI thing.

    The first thing I would do is to run chkdsk X: /r on every partition on the HD. The /r does everything the /f does and includes a surface scan which should take care of bad sectors. Run chkdsk from the command prompt there have been indications it is more thorough than just running through the Disk Properties Tools menu.

    I would then make another image. TI seems to be pretty good at sorting out disk structures that aren't prefect but it is a backup tool not a data recovery tool. Remember, Garbage In=Garbage Out.
     
  14. trinny

    trinny Registered Member

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    I should point out that the disc with the bad sectors on is the target disc and not the source disc.
     
  15. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Have you run chkdsk X: /r on it? Substitute the drive letter of the partition being tested for X.
     
  16. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    As I suggested earlier, spending a few bucks on a new hard drive rather than try to use one with known defects, would be the route I'd recommend. If that just isn't possible financially, then try to borrow a reliable disk from a friend for a few hours if you can. By doing that you at least can rule out the hardware, and focus your attention on the software alone if you encounter an operational problem.

    I can't tell you whether or not the tool is reliable with a marginally working hard drive, and I doubt anyone here can either. My own experience has been that if you get to the point where the backup image transfer begins, and the image is not corrupt, your recovery will be successful.

    Using unreliable hardware to test your recovery process just introduces another problem to solve without providing any usable benefit.
     
  17. trinny

    trinny Registered Member

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    Accept without reservation the point in transferring to a known defective disc, but the option to transfer to another good disc is not yet available to me as that disc has information on that is being slooooowly copied to my new hard disc. I would expect that to be ready in the next couple of days.
     
  18. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    trinny, all recommendations are correct - the best solution is to get new hard drive, and work with it.

    However, here are several useful suggestions to make the program work more safe:

    1. Validate each backup before recovery, manually or automatic (automatic option can be set in Tools -> Options -> Default Recovery Options.

    2. In case of frequent message about read errors\bad blocks etc, you may set same automatic option to ignore bad sectors and errors (tools -> Options -> Default Backup Options -> Error Handling).

    Please also notice that you can find detailed information on Acronis True Image in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexander Nikolsky
     
  19. apeka

    apeka Registered Member

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    Hello,

    In addition to this:
    I use Acronis TI Home 2009 for making images of my network computers (all using XPSP3) and have them stored on a second harddisk in my main computer also running Windows XPSP3. When making images I always use the rescue CD.
    I also copy the image files to an external harddisk as well. Because this external harddisk uses the FAT32 file system, I have Acronis break up the image in separate 650 MB files (otherwise FAT can't handle it)...
    I recently made an image of my new notebook that's running Windows Vista Home Premium...
    After making an image I always run the validate process, just to make sure it's ok..I just wondered if I validate the "Vista" image using Acronis TI Home 2009 on my XP computer, is the outcome of this still reliable? I mean I know how awkward the Vista file system is comparing to XP, even though both are NTFS and maybe they handle it differently..Maybe I'm just seeing problems where there is no need to..?
    Any comments or advise on this procedure?
    Thanks in advance...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  20. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    TI will recognize FAT32 and automatically split the image at the 4GB boundary if the image is larger.

    You can validate the image on the XP computer and the validation as far as the image contents go will be the same. TI reads and recreates 4000 checksums per gigabyte in the archive and all must be perfect for the archive to be declared good.

    The important thing is that you confirm that the TI rescue CD is able to read and validate the archive on the hardware you are using it with. This is Linux, not Windows, so a Windows validate means little until you have confirmed the proper Linux operation. A test restore to a spare HD is the best way though.

    Wasn't aware of Vista NTFS issues.
     
  21. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    There shouldn't be any. Both XP and Vista use NTFS version 3.1
     
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