Laptop backup/restore how-to?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by The Black Cursor, Jul 18, 2006.

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  1. The Black Cursor

    The Black Cursor Registered Member

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    New user, first time poster, etc. etc.

    I recently purchased TI Home and over the weekend, got bit trying to restore a system drive/system partition backup from within Windows. I've been doing software loads/testing and putting TI through its paces. For a single drive, single partition laptop I'm working on, I created four backups to external USB drive:

    1. Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (+ TI of course)
    2. +hardware drivers
    3. +Windows Updates
    4. +latest Graphics and Audio drivers

    All backups completed successfully and validated successfully. I've also successfully restored these archives. The failure occurred restoring archive 4. The error message said something to the effect of sector count mismatch and of course, the laptop refused to boot. ~45 minutes later, I had reinstalled XP and TI (I neglected to make the Rescue Disk the first time :rolleyes: ) and repeated the restore with the same results.

    OK, call me a slow learner, but I finally decided to try the rescue disk and chose the "Safe" option. I noted some "USB communication" errors, but proceeded (it was "safe" afterall) and successfully restored archive 4 -- the laptop booted normally.

    Reading these forums, it seems the recommendation is to always do system disk/system partition restores from the rescue disk, choosing the "Normal" option for best USB communications support. There was one recommendation to even do the backups using this method. I've also seen discussion of other validation methods.

    Since this is a laptop, I only have the external USB drive and DVD-burner at my disposal. I also believe that for small drives (100GB and lower), one gains little from partitioning. Given this, how should I continue to do backup/restores for this system?


    Be seeing you...

    ---> TBC (Those Backup Choices)
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    The Acronis Secure Zone (ASZ) is a useful option for single-disk systems and is therefore a possible solution when dealing with laptops. If you adopt this method then you need to consider the following:

    1. Acronis specifically state that the ASZ should not be created on an external drive. You will therefore have to create it on the internal disk. This of course carries the caveat that should your disk suffer a mechanical or electrical failure you would lose access to the ASZ. However, mechanical and electrical failures are relatively rare compared to corrupted Windows system files which prevent booting - something which occurs frequently by comparison to disk failures. The ASZ is not subject to Windows and is accessible independently of Windows.

    2. If you are getting USB communication error messages then you cannot rely on the USB drive as a backup. You might be able to Read & Write files via Windows to your USB drive without any issues, but Windows is dealing with files in a different way to TI. You may consider several possiblilities when trying to identify USB drive communication errors. The data cable should always be shielded and should be a maximum of 1 metre. You should also keep sources of possible inteference away from USB drives, e.g. CRT monitors, mobile phones, cordless phones, speakers and other sources of radio or magnetic fields.
     
  3. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello Black Cursor,

    I'm not certain I understand why you created four partial images and how. Anyway, you should have imaged the whole drive and should also have restored it as such.

    After creating the whole drive image onto the external, boot from the Rescue CD and validate the image from the rescue environment. The standard version is the Full version, Safe version is a workaround for setups where Full version does not work. If you are able to see your external from rescue environment and validate the image stored on it, your can expect your external to work fine with TI.
     
  4. The Black Cursor

    The Black Cursor Registered Member

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    I guess I wasn't clear -- all backups were Full (image). Thanks. From what you and Tabula are saying, restores of system disks/partitions should be done from the Rescue CD with the Full version -- I can live with this. I just had false optimism with my earlier successes restoring these under Windows.


    Be seeing you...

    ---> TBC (Trust Backups? Certainly)
     
  5. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hi again Black Cursor,

    Maybe it will help you if I point out the major distinctions to be aware of in TI:

    - you can image/restore either the whole disk or one (or more) partitions;
    - within any of the above options the image may be a full one (all data copied) or an incremental (changes since the full or since the last incremental) or differential (changes since the full).
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello The Black Cursor,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Please note that the backup can be created and restored both when you running Acronis True Image 9.0 Home in Windows and when you boot your computer using Acronis True Image Bootable CD. The point is that Acronis True Image uses a special method of "snapshot" backup creation, it doesn't store the standalone files or directories, but saves blocks of your hard drive data, saving the information about the disk/partition geometry. It therefore can backup in "live" Windows without the need to reboot the computer. Please see this post describing how Acronis True Image works in more details. Also this article can be useful.

    However, please note that in order to restore the system partition Acronis True Image 9.0 Home will prompt you to reboot the computer into its standalone version. This is because Windows does not allow you to run an application while this application completely rewrites the partition where Windows is installed. Once the partition has been restored, you will be able to boot Windows in the usual way.

    The Acronis True Image Bootable CD actually for that cases if you can not boot your computer for some reasons and need to restore the system. However, it can be used to create/restore images on a regular basis. There are two variants of the standalone version. The full variant is based on the Linux operating system and uses Linux drivers for getting access to all hardware devices. The safe variant is based on the DOS environment and doesn't provide you with an access to the USB, PCMCIA, SCSI, RAID devices and the network. We recommend you to use the safe variant only if the full one doesn't work.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  7. kbutler

    kbutler Registered Member

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    Do a search for TI9 & Hp 5731US laptop problems and my single post to it. Read through to the end. Got no answers from others but did isolate the problem by alternate means and summarised what I did to solve the problem. I think the trouble is the same as yours, to wit: USB driver problems.
     
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