Keeping a cloned disk as a backup

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ramasaig, Apr 7, 2007.

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  1. ramasaig

    ramasaig Registered Member

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    I have two 160GB SATA disks in my computer. The primary disk is partitioned to keep OS (WinXP) and Programs separate from data. I'd like to make the second disk a clone but keep it in the machine as a backup (I could then boot from it if I switched over the SATA connections).

    But I see that the normal TI 10 disk cloning instructions require the clone to be removed on completion. What do I need to do to keep it ?
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Easiest and very convenient is to put both drives in removable rack/tray devices. For backup, though, most users do an Image type of backup instead of a Clone. It only takes a few minutes to Recover an Image to a drive if needed to have your system up and running. And another advantage is that the drive holding the backups would hold more than one backup.
    BTW, it is not a good idea to keep your backup drive, even if it is a Cloned one, sitting in the computer all the time.

    Here's an example of the rack/tray: http://www.cwol.com/serial-ata/sata-removable-drive-value.htm
     
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    My backup method takes that idea one stage further.
    I use an internal secondary drive to store several full backup images. After making the latest image the main drive is removed and the previous drive is inserted into the computer. Then the last image is restored.

    So one then has a working drive in the computer, a spare working drive that has just been taken out and a stock of images going back over time if they are required.

    The whole backup cycle is fail safe. Over the year that I have been running like this I have had three restores fail but this has not been a problem as I have always had another up to date hard drive ready to go if other methods of repair should fail.

    To be even more secure I have three hard drives in the backup cycle so with this extra redundancy should a drive fail I can carry on and order a replacement at my leisure and not in a panic.

    When I first saw that exchangable drive hardware was available for PCs it reminded me of the old EDS mainframe hardware that was in use in the late 60s/early70s. How does the song go " The more things change the more they remain the same" ?

    Xpilot
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I couldn't agree more, Xpilot.
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I have 2 removable HDD drawers. After I clone. I remove the original.

    Test & use the clone. This includes couple of boot/reboots & surfing. 5-10 minutes usually. Remove the clone HDD.

    Replace original HDD.

    That's a bare metal (real world) test. Everything else is wishing & or hoping.
     
  6. ramasaig

    ramasaig Registered Member

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    Do you mean the caddy that fits in a 5.25" bay and takes a (removeable) 3.5" HDD ? I haven't seen these advertised much recently. Are they available for SATA drives ? If so, can you tell me where (in UK) ? My SATA drives are quite easily removeable, but not as easy as it would be with a caddy as I have to take the side off the box.

    I'm also looking at the NAS option, as that will cope with backup for more than one computer (TI10 required on each, of course).

    I recognise the point about testing, because it's no good finding out a backup doesn't work when suddenly you need it. That's really why I was considering having two mirrored disks, either of which could boot (by swapping the SATA cable connection).
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello ramasaig,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that there are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - migrates/copies the entire contents of one disk drive to another;

    Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes;

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Actually, Clone Disk approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while Backup approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes. Since you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, we would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    Moreover, there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure such as: you can create an image without rebooting your PC, image creation can be scheduled for the particular point in time, Acronis True Image allows you to create incremental and differential images, image archive contains only the actual data and so it has a smaller size, images are ordinary files and so they can be stored on any type of the supported media, etc. However, the final choice is always up to your needs.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image 10.0 Home in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Mirrored disks are fine but you will not have the added security of only having one connected at a time while the other can be safely off site.

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?quicklinx=450M Is one place you can get them from in the UK. The best treat I ever gave my PC [​IMG]


    Xpilot
     
  9. ramasaig

    ramasaig Registered Member

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    Thank you, everyone. I'll follow up that link, Xpilot.

    Obviously experience affects one's views of optimal backup strategy. Until last August I was backing up manually (i.e. when I thought of it) to an old computer on the network. A mother-board failure left me unable to access my current files, but I didn't lose them. I bought a new computer in preference to a new motherboard, and moved the RAM and hard drive to the new one. Then I could access my files again. I resolved to do something about better backup.

    Ten days ago a mysterious event while I was downloading and installing an upgrade to PCTools SpyDoctor left me unable to boot the OS (WinXP) from the primary drive, BUT to my surprise I found I could boot a somewhat crippled instance of WinXP off the old hard drive after I'd swapped the SATA leads over. So I was able to copy all my data onto the second hard drive before reformatting the primary drive and reinstalling Windows and all my applications.

    Hence my desire to have a second fully bootable hard drive. It would seem that I can achieve something close to that by creating a bootable CD/DVD using TI10, but I'm still feeling my way around.
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    In short this is really a case of how you want to work, how critical your needs are with respect to both security and time-to-restore.

    Xpilots method is probably at the top of the list for security both in knowing your backup works and in being able to relocate a copy of the system elsewhere. It should be noted that he uses images and not cloning to produce the "new drive" to plug into the sytem.

    I create images of my C drive (OS and apps) to a second internal HD when I think I should. I use Syncback Free to make a mirror of my data files on the second internal HD which is the same as an automated XP copy with a bit of smarts on what to copy. I never store datafiles on the same partition as the OS.

    I have 2 external HDs that I copy the mirrored files onto in a rotational basis so they are stored off the machine just in case of lightning strike or somebody takes the PC but doesn't bother to look for the external HDs. I do not worry about a common-mode failure taking out both HDs - possible but not likely in my experience. I normally only copy to external HD about once a month but if there is something I consider important I will do it immediately - such as pictures from a recent trip.

    I burn selected TI images to DVD and copies of the mirrored data files from time-to-time and store them at a friend's house.

    If I have to restore a bad HD, I will just restore it from an image and the mirrored data files at the time. I have confidence in TI because I do backup and restores all the time for sofware testing and general fiddling around.

    I have no reason to require instant access to a machine. If one is broken I have another and I can just grab the data files and do what is necessary until I fix the broken one.

    My method is not 100% air-tight but it is adequate for my needs.
     
  11. visch1

    visch1 Registered Member

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    Xpilot,Thank you for sharing your backup system. I normally make a “C” image around twice a week and even validating the image had me uncomfortable because of a couple bad experiences. I only keep the system and apps on C, about a 25G partition, but dread the idea of starting a fresh install. During a fresh install I’ll make several images and keep them for potential future need, saves so much time and aggravation.
    Again thank you for sharing. IT’S KISS, IT WORKS and one of those “why didn’t I think of that? BE WELL!:thumb: :)
     
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