Images, backups, & clones (oh my!)

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bellgamin, Jul 28, 2006.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I have five doofus-level questions. Please bear with me...

    ASSUMPTION for Question 1- I am seeking to better understand the difference between "Backup" (first item on ATI's "Pick A Task" menu) VERSUS "Clone Disk" (third item on ATI's "Pick A Task" menu). I *assume that* "Backup" is what I should do so I can restore Drive C (for example) in case it crashes; whereas "Clone" is what I should do in order to create a new Drive C, as in the case where I am installing a new hard drive (for instance).

    Q1- Am I correct in the preceding assumption? If not, please teach me.

    COMMENT for Question 2- The "I" in ATI stands for "image." However, there is no "Make an Image" task on ATI's "Pick A Task" menu. Instead, there are "Backup" and "Clone."

    Q2- Is "Backup" (first item on ATI's "Pick A Task" menu) the same thing as "Make an Image?"

    Q3- I now have 17 ATI-produced "Backups" on my external drive, with lots of room left. My question is -- what is your OPINION as to about how long I should keep a "Backup" before I delete it? A week? A month? What?

    Q4- Backup files are rather large. To delete one, should I merely select it then hit the "Delete" button? Or is there a better/faster way?

    Q5- Since I have plenty of room on my external hard drive, is there any good reason why I should use an incremental or differential backup AS OPPOSED TO making a full backup in each case?
     
  2. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

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    Yes

    Yes

    That is entirely up to you, but unless you keep the backups well documented, then it will become meaningless.

    If there is a faster way then I would like to know about it too.

    Again that it is entirely up to you. There are many posters on this forum who will tell you that one form of backing up is better than another. Their arguments are quite convincing but in the end it is your decision as to what is best for you.

    Probably a good way to think this through would be if you got a virus on your computer. Which of the methods would be the least effective when you restored your image. By that I mean, you might not be aware when the virus started and so how far back would you need to go with your images before you got back to normal. Probably differential would be the least effective.
     
  3. Tana

    Tana Registered Member

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    May I raise some more questions? ;)

    When I make incremental backups, can I step back in time by moving/erasing the incremental files?

    Is the original full backup changed in any way when I make an incremental one?

    And a little off topic: *puppy*
    When a disk develops bad sectors, does it make more sense to use the CD (Linux) TI version, because Linux is more forgiving on bad sector reads than XP, which is known to crash?

    I assume TI does not have a direct IDE read mode but can only work through the BIOS for creating images/clones.

    Thanks for the info.

    Tana
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  4. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello Tana,

    When you start a restore from an incremental set, you select any one file from the set (regarded by TI as a Multivolume Archive) and on the next screen you are presented with a list of dates, corresponding to the creation dates of the files in the set, to select from for restoration. So you can restore to any state previously imaged. TI will take care to include all the earlier files automatically.

    The starting full image is not modified when appending the incrementals. It becomes part of the multivolume archive, though. The state (image date) it represents is accessible as above.

    You may delete an incremental file, but all subsequent incrementals are thus rendered unusable and should be deleted as well. You could delete all the incrementals and start a new incremental sequence from the old full, but that would produce a large first incremental now. Better restart with a new full image.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  5. Tana

    Tana Registered Member

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    Thank you bVolk, :)

    do you or anybody else also know about the other issues I raised:

    Is the external media version of TI (running on a Linux kernel) more forgiving when imaging/cloning a drive with bad sectors than the Windows TI, which has to deal with the limitations of XP, which is known to give errors when encountering bad sectors?

    And am I correct that TI cannot do low-level accessing of the disk through the IDE controller directly and could thus not find/clone a drive that is not recognized by the BIOS, since it needs the BIOS to write/read to the drive?

    Thanks.

    Tana
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello bellgamin,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Yes, you are right. Clone Disk - copies the entire contents of one disk drive to another. Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes. Please also take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Please note that the "Backup" (from the "Pick Up Task") holds two option:

    - Backing up the entire system disk (entire disk/partitions) - this called creating a disk/partition image

    - Backing up files and folders - file backup

    Therefore, we decided to name this wizard "Backup". If you would like to create the image of the disk/partition you need this wizard.

    Here I would agree with mark3. Only you can decide how long you need the opportunity to restore the system to the particular time. For example you can create the image of the "fresh" Windows installation and use it to restore the system in case of it fails.

    Yes, the backup archives (*.tib) file is a regular files and can be deleted as a regular file.

    I would recommend that you have a look at Chapter 3.2 "Full, incremental and differential backups" in the Acronis True Image 9.0 Home User's Guide. It will help you to make a decision.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Tana,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Please note that to restore data from an incremental backup, you must have all previous incremental backup files and the initial full backup. If any of successive backups is missing, restoration is impossible.

    As bVolk said the original full backup does not change when you create the increamental/differential backup. Acronis True Image only check it for the changes made since it was created and add this changed date to incremental/differential backup.

    Please note that standalone mode of Acronis True Image (when booted from bootable CD) provides you with a special sector-by-sector support for corrupted/unsupported file systems. Please also have a look at this thread.

    As for this I will need to consult it with Acronis Development Team and let you know the results. As this can take a few days, we apologize in advance for any delay with response.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Tana,

    We've just received a reply from our Development Team and they assured us that when Acronis True Image works with hard drives it utilizes the same methods as most modern applications do, i.e. perform disk read\write\partitioning operations using installed IDE, SATA, SCSI, RAID, etc. controllers in conjunction with the appropriate drivers to control these devices. If the hard drive is not recognized in computer's BIOS there is no way for Acronis True Image to recognize it.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Aleksandr,

    Your statement is a little confusing. My understanding is that you need the initial full backup plus all the incremental backup files up to the point in time you wish to restore to. Any incrementals after that point in time are ignored and could be corrupted or missing without affecting that particular restore point.

    Regards
     
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