How to Safe Test TI7?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by MetalGuru, Nov 30, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MetalGuru

    MetalGuru Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Posts:
    4
    I've just reinstalled windows xp on a clean partition, and wish to make an drive image so I don't have to go through all that instaling and updating again. I want to create another image when I install correctly all my crucial programs. That's all.

    However, this is my first time, and researching drive imaging I found Acronis had the best reviews. I also found the free promotional copy of TI7. I'm not too sure how it compares to the latest release, but I'm sure that as a beginner, it will have what I need.

    But what's holding me back from trying it out is the horror reviews I came across (mostly at CNET) that say it can erase or corrupt other partitions in your system. Something about messing up your MBR was one of the popular complaints. If I were to corrupt the new xp installtion, I can live with that (and fix it).... but why should it bother other partitions if I don't ask it too?

    Now I have 2 drives, each with 2 partitions. The first, C, I have just reformatted and has only the clean windows XP install on it. The rest have very important data on them. Unfortunately, they are too many gigs to back up at the moment (~100gb). No free space, and I'm not buying another HDD just this moment.


    So can anyone advise me as to the safest way to create a drive image and restore (if needed) without any risk of destroying all my data on my other drives?


    I'm also considering Paragon's Drive Copy/Imaging Solution, and O&O's new DiskImage, but unfortunately, I've found too few reviews on them. And due to my experience with Norton, I highly doubt Ghost is an option.


    Thanks.
    MG
     
  2. Unit01

    Unit01 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    59
    Depending on what you've got available to you...

    Best way to go about it is to take an image to the media on which you intend to store the image in the long run. Grab your self a new HDD / spare / other HDD.

    Put it in your machine, un-plug your system disk and restore to the new hdd.

    Realistically as you've got your ~100gb of data, chances are your going to need to get another disk in any case regardless.
     
  3. MetalGuru

    MetalGuru Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Posts:
    4
    I'm thinking of backing the image onto my second drive (160gb), or if it is small enough, on a CD/DVD.

    What I would like to know is how to prevent anything going wrong, a described in the reviews. The bad reviews were for ver8 on CNET, so I'm guessing most would apply to 7.

    I'm don't need to backup the ~100gb... that's on my other partitions, which I would like to keep TI from messing with.
     
  4. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Posts:
    1,389
    Location:
    Leeds, Great Britain
    1. Make an image of the whole main disk (not partition) to the second disk drive. Do *not* use DVD.
    2. Verify the image.
    3. Copy the image to a DVD as a second backup.
    4. Verify the image.
    5. Boot into the rescue disk
    6. Verify both images
    7. Providing you did not get any failures restore from your disk backup image to your main drive.

    F.
     
  5. MetalGuru

    MetalGuru Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Posts:
    4
    Thanks,

    Why must I backup the entire main drive? Less chance of ruining the second partition?
    I was hoping to only have to backup the first partition, not the second, so later on I would only have to restore the first... not the second (the second would just add to the image size and would not be important to restore as often as the first might). Or can you restore on of the partitions in an image?


    But I don't HAVE to backup up my second drive, right? TI should leave it alone unless I tell it to, right?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Foghorne has given you the safest way of doing a backup and restore to your original drive without using a different disk. While this method should be fine there still exists a small risk that it will fail. However, if you are dealing with a C partition you have just installed XP on then if you lose it, it won't be the end of the world to do it again. It seems you have the good sense to keep your data and OS on separate partitions.

    My guess is that Foghorne told you to back up the whole disk so it will make a copy of the MBR. Prior to TI9, TI only backed up the MBR when backing up the entire physical disk. Note, that if you are restoring to the same HD and the MBR was OK, there is no need to restore it so, IMO, you only need to image the C (Windows) partition.

    There is no way in TI7 to image directly to DVDs. If you want to put an image on DVDs you have to create the archive and then burn it to DVD with Nero, Roxio or whatever. If you wish to do this be sure you split the archive using the options within TI so your individual files will fit. I use 1492MB so 3 tib files fit nicely on each DVD.

    The least problematic way to make an image is to make it to another internal HD.

    The next best way is to an external HD which gives the added security of being able to store the drive in a different place. You do have to ensure the external HD works with TI and your PC - some USB chipsets, typically older ones, are problematic dealing with very large files which archives tend to be.

    Copying an archive to DVD is good for non-primary backup storage. The safest way is the 2-step method outlined above which means create the archive and then burn it to DVD. Direct imaging as was introduced in TI9 is more risky since you have no control over the burning parameters. Many recommend burning at half-speed to increase the reliability. One of the nice things about TI is the ability to make a quick image of C, test software or HW, then restore the C drive to exactly the original configuration. Having your only backup on a DVD makes this a time consuming chore compared to using a HD.

    Until you have restored an image you have not tested your backup mechanism, period!

    As far as the horror stories go, sure some people have had failures but the people who enjoy success don't usually write about it. I have only had a validate failure which was caused by a marginal SATA disk cable. I will warn you though, TI puts good load on your memory, CPU and disk systems. If you have marginal RAM, TI will find it in the form of a validation/verify failure. Before starting I would run chkdsk /r on all your partitions.
     
  7. MetalGuru

    MetalGuru Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Posts:
    4
    Ok,

    1) I went ahead and installed it, created a backup of the windows partition (first partition), checked the image successfully, booted into the acronis disk, and checked the image again successfully. So it all looks good so far.

    2) To test it, I have cleaned out the second partition on the same drive that is nearly equal in size (1st=37.0GB, 2nd=37.4GB).

    Will is be safe to restore the first partition onto the second partition?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.