Imaging to External Hard drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pmwdk, Mar 13, 2005.

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

    pmwdk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Posts:
    4
    This is not going to be as easy as I first thought, and I am about to exceed the limits of my technical expertise/have. I have recently purchased True Image 8 (796), and intend to image to an external hard drive; an internal Seagate 80-IDE in an External enclosure (PHC-500B USB2.0). I’ve been looking at some of the posts and now am a bit worried about image integrity or just being able to restore. Have some questions and need some help with set up. The system is a new Dell 4700 with an internal sada Maxtor 120GB hdrive. If info on the mother board/ USB ports is required, let me know, and I will try to provide in my next post. First things first.

    1) What is the best format to use with this xdrive; benefits of an extended/logical vs. a primary partition? I plan to use a single partition.

    2) Are there reasons for me to choose FAT32 over NTFS?

    3) Will setting an image size help image creation / integrity? Also I would like to backup xdrive image sets to DVD, what are recommended sizes for this?

    4) How do I ensure my images on the external drive are good; sure tests?
     
  2. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Posts:
    125
    Just My Suggestion:

    Install TrueImage and also create the rescue CD. Then:

    1) Attach the external drive via USB 2 port.
    2) Format the external drive as an NTFS primary drive.
    3) Create an image of your internal drive (all 3 partitions) using normal compression and save it to the external drive.

    That's it. Later, you can verify the image and also split it up to save it to CD or DVD if you want to. For DVD you need compatible writing software.

    If you need to restore the image to your internal drive you will still have your original Dell diagnostics partition and your Dell restore partition and they'll still work.

    I have done this several times using CD's and also (now) a USB external drive (much easier and faster than CD's).
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    3,329
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    I agree entirely with iflyprivate's suggestions.

    If you backup to formatted DVD+/-RW disks directly, TrueImage will make 2 2GB and one smaller file on a full DVD. You don't have to select anything.

    If you want to burn images saved on your external drive to DVDs, I'd suggest splitting the files at 2,240MB. You can just write 2240MB in for the size. That's the most efficient use of DVD capacity and works even if you happen to save the files to a FAT32 hard drive. FAT32 has a 4GB maximum file size, which will waste several hundred MB of space on each DVD if you don't set a smaller size.
     
  4. pmwdk

    pmwdk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Posts:
    4
    mrtee
    This is going to be a bit of a learning curve for me, might as well start by asking a few more questions. As you mentioned, I see 3 partitions on my internal drive:
    NTFS(C) Pri,Act
    FAT16 Pri 7.35 MB
    FAT 32 Pri 3.846 GB
    I am presuming the FAT16 is the Dell diagnostics? And the FAT32 is the Dell restore? Is this ‘Dell restore’ partition used for the XP system restore function?

    I am definitely concerned about image corruption when imaging to an external hard drive. After reading posts this definitely seems to be a problem for some. Did I understand right, that a large image file can be split later if you needed to? However I will try the 2,240MB size suggested by jmk94903.
     
  5. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Posts:
    125
    Your Dell hard drive has three partitions:

    1) NTFS C partition - your visible hard drive which contains the operating system & everything else you see.

    2) Fat32 Concurrent DOS, CTOS partition - contains the hidden image of your operating system & programs for Dell PC Restore (use ctl+f11 at bootup).

    3) Fat16 EISA Config partition - contains your Dell diagnostics partition which you boot to with f12.

    Dell PC Restore is completely independent from the XP System Restore function. XP restores to a prior point in time. Dell PC Restore restores to the exact condition of your hard drive when you opened the box and turned on your PC for the first time.

    A large image CAN be split later. It's simply one large file. TrueImage allows you to split it after you create it. As for corruption, I have not had the problem as far as I can tell. Everything seems to work fine on my Dell laptops and Dimension 3000 desktop.
     
  6. zardiw

    zardiw Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Posts:
    10
    Go back to v6. It was STABLE, and there was no problem writing an image to a removable disk drive. HOWEVER, it had no USB support, so if your system is totally hosed, it won't work. You're better off making a partition on your harddrive that you use for image backup files of the C: drive. Then you can use the boot CD to load Acronis and restore your image.

    This will work better if you also create a D: partition for your data, and an E: partition for your swap file, temp files, and acronis images. This will keep your C: partition of a manageable size..............z
     
  7. zardiw

    zardiw Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Posts:
    10
    PS. You can get an 80gig second internal harddrive at BestBuy for $30 (after rebates). That would probably be the best solution..............z
     
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    3,329
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    Hi iflyprivate,
    I don't think there's any function in True Image to split a backup file that already exists into smaller pieces. If there is, please correct me. You can choose to split an image when you are creating it.
     
  9. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    3,329
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    For most people, image corruption isn't a problem. Remember, this is a forum for people with problems. :) After you make your first images use the Check Image funtion to confirm that you are among the majority who don't have a problem.

    For your first backup, select the entire hard drive so that all three partitions are included in the backup. This is going to be large since it includes the Dell backup partition, but this is your image to restore if nothing else works. Save this image permanently or until you make another image of all three partitions.

    Subsequent backups only need to be of the NTFS (C drive) partition. In the event of a problem, you can just restore this partition and correct the problem.

    However, if you have to install a new hard drive, restoring only the NTFS partition might not result in a bootable drive (If it does boot, you are ready to go.). Acronis only guarantees a bootable drive if all the partitions are included in the image and restored. So, if the restore of only the NTFS partition failed to boot, restore the older image with all three partitions. Confirm that the system boots and then restore the image of only the NTFS partition to bring your system up to date.
     
  10. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Posts:
    125
    My mistake. Thanks for correcting it. As you pointed out, you must select the split-image size during image creation. You can go back later and actually create the backup discs or CD's/DVD's, etc.

    For Dell customers, you can't (at least I haven't found a way to) explore the Dell hidden partitions when exploring your image. You can explore the C partition okay.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello pmwdk,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis True Image (http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/).

    I would recommend that you use NTFS file system on the drive with images rther than FAT32 because of the 4Gb limitation mentioned by John. It doesn't matter whether this partition is primary or logical. You won't be able to split the image file after it is created so if you plan to store the image on CDs or DVDs please indicate the file size in advance. To verify image integrity please use the "Check Image" tool.

    We regret to inform you that you cannot explore special service partitions created by most hardware manufacturers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, etc. However, this partition can be imaged (and should if you image the whole disk) and can be restored succefully then.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.