Image of 2 laptops onto the same external USB disk

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ppis, Aug 26, 2008.

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  1. ppis

    ppis Registered Member

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    Hi, I am totally new to True Image.

    Using the trial version of Acronis True Image 11.0, I made a Secure Zone on my external USB hard disk and made an image of my laptop onto this secure zone.

    Now I want to back up a second laptop to the same external USB hard disk. So I installed Acronis True Image 11.0 on the second laptop. My intention is to make a Secure Zone on the same external USB hard disk and to make an image of the second laptop onto this secure zone.

    Is this possible? Can I have 2 secure zones on the same external USB disk?

    If only 1 secure zone is possible, then does it mean that I must increase the size of the 1st secure zone and make a disk image of the second computer onto the same secure zone? Are there any risk of clash (partition called "C:\" exists on both laptops).


    Is there a more common way to make an image of 2 different computers onto the same external USB disk?

    Thank you in advance for your guidance.


    PS: I need a quick answer as my trial version is about to expire.
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Since you're new to TI, start off the easier way. Don't use the SZ for the time being. Make the bootable Rescue Media CD, boot with it and make your Backup Images to the external drive from the menu on the CD. The Backups are simply compressed files in True Image format. By not using the SZ, you can treat it like any other file, i.e. copy it, move it, delete it.

    And you can save the Images from both laptops to it.

    Edit: Small correction ... just saw you're using the Trial version, so the Boot CD will only do Restores ... you have to make the Backups from within Windows.
     
  3. ppis

    ppis Registered Member

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    Well, I am sorry, but I want to use the Secure Zone, because I want the backup to be hidden on the disk, and to protect the backup with a password.

    Besides, you suggest a way with a bootable CD which you say is not supported in the trial version.

    So could you answer my original question about making the image of 2 different laptops onto the same external USB disk using secure zones.

    As I am using the trial version, I want to evaluate all features before I can decide to purchase or not. Your answer "Don't use this, that" is strange. I would not use the trial if it was not to test what is under the hood of the product.

    I hope that you can offer quick enough support before the trial expires.

    PS: In fact, I purchased a new Maxtor drive which came with a software called DiskWizard. But I don't like DiskWizard because key features such as Secure Zones have been removed. Is there a way you can offer me a free upgrade from DiskWizard to the full version of Acronis True Image 11.0 ?
     
  4. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    You should be aware that the paid for version is licensed for a single computer.
    Having got that out of the way; Yes you can have a secure zone on an external drive and this could be used to store images from both of the laptops.
    Secure zone images are identified by date and time automatically when they are created. You would have to keep a note of these details so you can pick the correct image to restore to the right computer.

    It would be possible to schedule backups for each computer but of course the external drive would have to be connected to the appropriate computer at the right time.
    Start up recovery managers should not be activated as the external drive would have to be connected for each computer to be booted.
    Management of images in a secure zone is automatic FIFO the oldest one being overwritten from whichever computer it came.
    Differential or incremental backups would not be possible as the zone would no know to which image they should be appended.
    You can only have one secure zone on a hard drive.

    You have clear ideas as to why you want to use secure zones. I have pointed out some of the complications in what you propose and would add the fact that to put backups from two computers onto one drive does rather concentrate the risk and there is the added disadvantage that images in the zone cannot be copied in toto to another location.
    There are password protection facilities without needing to use a secure zone..

    In the trial version you can make images from within Windows and can restore the using a recovery CD.
    That is exactly how I use my licensed version on an internal secondary drive.

    Xpilot
     
  5. ppis

    ppis Registered Member

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    Tanks for your detailed answer.

    With your comments, I give up using 1 big Secure Zone on the USB drive to make a disk image of both computers. The fact that I cannot use incremental or differential backups being the main reason not to use a Secure Zone.

    So, I am back to my initial problem: I have an external USB disk big enough to backup 2 laptops. I want my backups to be secure on the USB disk: password protected, ideally encrypted, not visible by explorer, just by Acronis software.

    If I make a simple backup to a .tib file, then does it mean that anybody who gets his hands on the USB disk can restore the image and get access to my data?
    Using Maxtor manager, I password-protected the disk, but don't feel that this is a very strong protection (not as strong as "Acronis Secure Zone").

    So how do you suggest I can secure my backup files without using a Secure Zone?

    > There are password protection facilities without needing to use a secure zone..

    Could you give me your advice as the best freeware to do this? Does it also HIDE the container or is it visible in Explorer?
     
  6. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Using the Secure Zone merely hides it from the prying eyes. It won't make your data any safer, because any partitioning tool can be used to remove this partition.

    Simply password protect your images.

    If you really wanna be "safe," then consider using an encryption product like TrueCrypt, encrypt the external drive, and then when it's mounted, copy the images to it.

    Mrk
     
  7. ppis

    ppis Registered Member

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    OK, I am starting to get to the point.

    > Simply password protect your images.

    How can I do this? I did not see this option when I created my image (backup). Is this hidden somewhere, or do I need a separate utility to achieve this?
     
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    During the actual backup selection, there is a screen titled "Backup Creation Options" which will give you the option to set the password for that particular backup. This screen is about 2 screens from cancel or proceed option.

    If you wish to set a general password for all backups, check the tools/options/default backup options.
     
  9. ppis

    ppis Registered Member

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    OK, I see, thanks.
     
  10. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Understand that the password feature in ATI Home only prevents ATI form accessing the file without the password. The file is not encrypted other than being compressed. Whether that is sufficient security for you, depends on your personal needs and how hard someone might try to get content of the backup files. Security is never absolute, it only comes in degrees, just like the lock you choose for the front door on your house.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello ppis,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    Please also notice that archive complete encryption option is available in Acronis True Image Echo series.

    We may recommend you to download and install the free trial version of Acronis True Image Echo Workstation to see how the software works on your computer. With the trial version of the product you will be able to fully use the Windows version for 15 days. The bootable rescue media will be limited to restore function.

    You can find detailed information on how to use Acronis True Image Echo Workstation in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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