I want to manage Acronis Secure Zone myself

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ricky419, Sep 26, 2006.

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  1. ricky419

    ricky419 Registered Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Hi all,

    Short version of question: Is there a way to selectively delete unwanted images in the Acronis Secure Zone, while keeping older ones that I want for some reason of my own?

    Long, very long version of question:

    I just installed ATI 9 Home, and it works great on my vanilla econo-box of a computer. I had just been forced to reinstall WinXP after a 50-millisecond power surge, and I decided, never again. So, after reinstalling from the original mfgr's Rescue DVD, I bought and installed ATI, backed up, restored (nothing to lose but another automatic install), and it worked great. Then I set out to mess up the system by deleting system files, overwriting them, etc, until Windows wouldn't boot. Did another restore from the ATI boot CD, and of course it all works great. If it hadn't, I would just reinstall WinXP from the rescue DVD.

    Do try this at home, is my recommendation, because I was able to verify that it all works with my hardware with no problems, and if it didn't restore properly, I really hadn't lost anything much. I wouldn't want to backup faithfully every day or so without ever verifying that I could restore. Now I can compute, game, and browse at leisure without worrying that another bad 50 milliseconds will ruin my day.

    Anyway...what I'm trying to do now is back up different flavors of my system to the Acronis Secure Zone and be able to bring them back at will. Like, I have my "business machine" with Office, etc. on it, then I have my "game machine" with much different video and audio setup. In particular, running some games will mess up some business programs (hijack the audio, for instance), so why not just have two (or more) different systems to restore at will? It only takes 10 minutes or so, just marginally more difficult than restarting Windows, and I could do that at the end of every work day in my home office.

    I understand I would need to do this scheme with complete backups each time, to avoid confusing the poor ATI manager. So, I would want to have at least these images in my Secure Zone:

    A--the latest updated version of my basic Windows setup with no applications loaded

    B--The latest updated version with my business apps loaded and updated

    C--the latest updated version of my games machine.

    B would have no games, C no business apps, and A none of either.

    The detailed descriptions of each backed up image give me plenty of room to describe exactly what each backup image is.

    I'll need to be able to manage my images. For instance, if I want to update my B image, I'd like to be able to erase the older B image right after creating the new one, and so keep plenty of room to keep images in the Zone.

    The problem is, I can't find any way to selectively erase an image. AFAIK, ATI just tells me that if I put too many images into the Zone, it (not I) will decide to delete the oldest backup. This could easily mean that if I back-up my B machine too many times, my A-machine image will disappear into fiber optic heaven.

    Sorry for the rambling exposition, but have I missed something? Is there some way I can go in and delete images myself according to my own schedule and wishes (other than brute force, which I can't imagine works very well)?

    On the other side, will ATI warn me if it's about to delete an earlier image, or does it just act without warning, without knowing that I might be greatly attached to what it's about to delete?

    thanks for any help or ideas,

  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    May 14, 2005
    The way the secure zone works will not suit your requirements.

    You could use it to provide rolling backups for which it has been designed in combination with other storage areas or choose not to use it at all.

    There are literally thousands of ways to arrange your backups and they don't have to all be in the secure zone basket.

    There is a wide range of possible stogage media, some may be mounted permanently in the computer, others may be easily exchanged or may be external and there is of course the option to store to another location entirely over a network.

    To get the best match with one's backup requirements it is important to realise that they cannot be achieved by software alone. Hardware really needs to be brought into the equation. An extra dedicated hard drive is one of the best assets to be added. This could be an external drive or be mounted as a secondary drive or, the kind I favour, which is to mount extra drives in exchangable drawers.

    DVDs are used by many but I have distinct reservations as to their use for storage of image archives especially for the long term. Factory produced DVDs may last for a hundred years but those burned at home rely on the change in state of organic dyes which I doubt would really stand the test of time.

    Remember that the slightest corruption will render any Acronis Image unusable. So more than one copy is highly desirable. A more radical approach is to keep a set of images and to actually restore some of them to seperate storage media.

    I hope this helps in your planning and perhaps widens your view on how you could proceed.

  3. catal

    catal Registered Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    You can convert a secure zone back to a FAT32 zone with Acronis Disk Director (ADD), do as you wish with it, and then convert it back to a secure zone. I just used the advanced function in ADD to change the partition type to "0b" (which is FAT32) and rebooted.

    I've done this only once myself - I wanted to use the space for a few different images for a while.

    It would be easy to make a mistake ....
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    State College, Pennsylvania
    A lot of us just use Disk Director or Partition Magic (or pick your favorite partitioning software) to create a separate NTFS partition to store images. It's almost the same thing as the Secure Zone except that it's a visible partition, so you can see and work with the files contained therein.

    If you're worried about accidentally damaging an image file then you can take minimal precautions. After I create an image, the first thing I do is to write-protect it so that I won't accidentally delete or write over it. Once created, images in the partition can be written to DVD, copied to a backup hard disk, copied over the network, etc.

    With this method you gain flexibility over the self-managed Acronis Secure Zone, and the only thing you give up is that your backup images are not hidden from Windows.
  5. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, ricky419

    Welcome to Wilders and Acronis Forums

    Here are some old posts [from #21 down] in this thread Re: noob question on how to copy from the SZ.

    Just use Delete in place of Copy. ;)

    Kanotix has moved on now to 2006 + with time. :)

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
  6. ricky419

    ricky419 Registered Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Thanks for the very informative replies, everybody. I really like TI, and as some mod said on the cite TheQuest sent me, it's all very easy to manage once you understand the fundamentals.
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