Making system/file back up with Acronis True Image Home 11

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jjscotman, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. jjscotman

    jjscotman Registered Member

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    Hello

    I am a "silver surfer" with limited computer knowledge so would appreciate help.

    I recently purchased a new Acer Aspire 5920G laptop. It has proved an excellent purchase and is working well (touch wood!!).

    However it did not come with a recovery/rescue cd and I tend to worry about what I would do if I had a major problem so, seeing a strong recommendation for Acronis True Image Home 11 in a computer magazine, I paid for and downloaded a copy of this program over the weekend. I am now a little uncertain of the next step.

    I am intending to buy a new external hard drive and create a mirror image of my computer on this so that I could re-create my entire present system and files etc fairly easily in the event of computer catastrophe.

    I have in mind to buy a Western Digital 160GB Elements External USB 2.0 2.5" Hard Drive for approx £42 from Amazon.

    Is this the correct approach and would this Western Digital hard drive serve my purpose well ?

    Before I make the purchase and proceed along this route, I would appreciate confirmation, comments and tips from more knowledgeable forum members.

    Many thanks !!
     
  2. wiak

    wiak Registered Member

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    if your at home, most of the time, you should get a 3,5" 500GB enclosure
    like WDCs MyBook line, they are cheaper and has alot more space for backup
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Unless you really need the convenience of a 2.5" drive that gets its power via the USB ports on the PC, like wiak, I prefer to get a larger format 7200RPM drive with its own power supply. This doesn't mean the drive you mentioned won't work but I prefer the larger format drives with their own power.

    Some, not all, 2.5" drives that get their power from the USB have problems, especially those that do not have a "Y" USB cable that permits power to be taken from 2 USB ports on the machine.
     
  4. Joan Archer

    Joan Archer Registered Member

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    I'm glad I saw this post as I have a drive like that, trouble is it was a present bought for me when I had XP Home and it's only an 80GB drive.

    It was fine for that machine as that only had an 80 GB drive, but now I have Vista Home Premium SP1 with a 250GB drive and although I have it connected and have purchased version 11 of TI not sure about whether it would work to make an image on that external. :doubt:

    I'm also a silver surfer ;)
     
  5. jjscotman

    jjscotman Registered Member

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    Many thanks for the helpful comments.

    I take the point about the larger drive. I see this one on Amazon for £56.80 - Western Digital My Book Essential 500GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000WP0NM8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Sorry for my limited knowledge but would this be suitable for use with True Image Home 11 to make a complete system/file mirror ?

    By the way, why does wiak mention me "being at home most of the time" ? Does this imply backing up to a 500 GB drive is a slow exercise ?

    Someone mentioned to me that, as external hard drives sometimes fail, if I want to be 100% sure I should also create rescue/recovery back-ups on cd/dvd every time I back up to the external hard drive. Do others agree this is a worthwhile move ? Or is it normally unnecessary ? Being Scottish, the total cost of the back up exercise is of course a factor !!
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Deals abound. Iomega, as just one example is sellilng a 400GB drive you can fit in your pocket for a hundred bucks.
     
  7. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    jjscotman & Joan Archer,

    I plan on responding to your post. Please check back within the next couple days. Some help from one senior to another.
     
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    jjscotman & Joan Archer,

    As a continuation of my posting above:

    If you have some spare time, there is a variety of reading material in past postings that can help you learn more about TrueImage Home.
    One place to start might be my Beginners Guides listed on line 2 of my signature below. These guides do not cover everything you need to know but is a good starting point. These cover one segment of performing backups and restores. If you follow these guides, you will have the necessary backups to perform any of the restores needed to get you out of trouble or into a new disk--should yours fail. My signature additional covers information abut naming your drives and posting attachments.

    Be sure and name your drives as indicated in my signature. Likewise, be sure and open Windows Disk Management graphical display so you can see the physical arrangement of your drive.

    Not all info below may be pertinent right now but digest as much as you prefer. After you have read the references below, then come back with questions you might have. Forum searches can be really helpful.

    How To Create a TrueImageHome Rescue CD
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=188253

    If you have trouble loggin into your acct, you might try
    https://www.acronis.net/my/index.html

    This is background info which you may not need right noew.
    Clone or Restore using Resize comparison
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1299861&postcount=9

    What is benefit of cloning rather than creating backup image?
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=214582

    Backup Registry settings?
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1308525&postcount=12

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Create and Configure Backup Locations Incremental.txt by CatFan432
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=172470#13

    Download the text file. Change the type or number of backups but the procedure is there.

    Actual download
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=189433&d=1177754188
    Vers 11 User Manual on Backup Locations
    Chapter 3.5 and Chapter 8
    Note particularly the last paragraph under Ch 3.5 Setting rules for backup locations which reads:
    "When creating a backup task, be sure to select the backup location from the Backup
    Locations list, near the top of the directory tree. Doing so will enable the above processing
    of backups. If you select a backup location as a normal folder, the processing will not be
    performed." ​
    --------------------------------------------------------

    It is my recommendation that you avoid using the Secure Zone or Startup Recovery Manager until you have researched its benefits and limitations. You can find info about it by clicking the first line of my signature and finding the appropriate link on that topic.
     
  9. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Others have covered the use of True Image and the external hard drive.

    I think all laptop makers now no longer provide factory recovery media, however all the ones I've seen do provide for you to make your own factory recovery media, the most recent that passed through my hands was an Acer Extensa 5420. So look somewhere in the Control Panel for the feature that will let you do this. If you do not find it, ask in an Acer forum, one of which can be found here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=22

    There are other laptop forums - a Google search will bring them up.
     
  10. oldaussiedog

    oldaussiedog Registered Member

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    jjscotman,
    I think what wiak was getting at was that if your computer use is mainly at home you will have mains power available and the your best option is an 3.5" externally powered drive, where as if you were on the road a lot with the laptop, where mains power was not always available, a smaller 2.5" external drive that takes its power from the USB port/s on your laptop might be appropriate.

    I have a Western Digital Elements 3.5" 1TB that is used as an external USB drive for my Desktops and a laptop. These units are specified as having 5400-7200RPM drives, however the rotational speed is really not an issue, because the transfer rate is restricted by the USB connection to a maximum of 480Mb/s (USB-2) and this is the same for all external USB hard drives, regardless of brand or model.

    Yes - external Hard drives can fail, and a plan B is always nice. I would not recommend making CD/DVD backups every time. What I do is make a DVD copy once per month, or when there has been a significant change (like a service pack update). The rest of the time I rely on the Hard drive backups.
    You should perhaps chose the largest external drive size your budget can stand so you can keep multiple backup images.
     
  11. Joan Archer

    Joan Archer Registered Member

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    Thanks GroverH I do know a few of the basics as I've did a lot of reading when I bought version 10 to upgrade my version 8 but that was when I was using my XP machine which had an 80 GB internal drive so my 2.5 external drive which was also 80 GB was OK size wise.

    Now I have Vista Home Premium SP1 and that has a 250 GB internal drive which is not partitioned. In Disk Management it has Drive 0, 6.84 GB Healthy (EISA Configuration) partition and then Vista (C:) Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, etc:) partition

    That first partition is the recovery to put the machine back to factory settings and you don't get any disc's, apart from the motherboard one, and no instructions to make any just how to start again when you have trouble.

    I have through the help of another forum been able to make a CD that contains the tools so I can repair the startup plus other settings, which you would get if you had a retail copy of Vista.

    My question is whether it is possible to use the 80 GB external drive I have to make an image with TI 11, it's the difference in size that I'm concerned about.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    When you make a normal image in TI it only archives the sectors that are actually being used. If you were using 50GB of a 250GB drive then you would easily get it on an 80GB drive. TI also reduces the size of the archive from the used space by not archiving the pagefile or a hibernation file (if present). On a typical C drive, the normally compressed archive will be about 65-75% of the total used space. If you have a lot of already compressed files like jpg, mpg, zip, rar, etc they will not compress further to any extent.

    What you need to do is add up the "in-use" space of your HD and if it is under 80GB then you are fine. My guess is that unless you have a very large amount of data files like video there is no problem with an 80GB drive.
     
  13. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Joan
    In addition to the quality comments by seekforever, be sure that one of your backups images created and retained is one where you have checkmarked the Disk option for backup. When you checkmark the disk option, all the other partitions will also become auto-checkmarked. This disk type backup will contain a backup of all partitions (including recovery) so you can recover to a new disk--should your disk fail and need to move to a new drive.

    The above info is covered in more detail in my previously referenced links. Be sure you understand the difference between Acronis Cloning and Acronis Imaging. My comments and seekforever's comments relates to backup imaging--not cloning.
     
  14. Joan Archer

    Joan Archer Registered Member

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    GroverH/seekforever thank you for your replies that has made things clearer for me and GroverH it would be imaging I would be doing and not cloning.

    I don't do video or photo editing and I don't collect music on here so I shouldn't have large files of that sort, any photo's I have are always burned to CD before being stored in their own folder in Pictures.

    At least with this machine the restore partition doesn't have a load of crap as well as the system because the manufacturers only load it with the operating system and a trial copy of Windows Live OneCare, which is the first thing I uninstalled. :)
     
  15. jjscotman

    jjscotman Registered Member

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    Getting ready for the "Big back up day"

    Hello again

    In case you were wondering - no, I have not disappeared - I am in fact getting ready for the big Acronis back up day next week !!

    Today has been especially busy !!

    My Western Digital 500 GB hard drive arrived today and, in accordance with advice seen in the Amazon reviews of it, I immediately re-formatted it from FAT 32 to NTFS. As the drive was brand-new I was able to use "Quick Format" and it took only a minute or two to complete.

    While waiting for the drive and some blank DVDs to arrive, I had been recommended to look at the (hitherto somewhat mysterious) Acer E-recovery facility on my 5920G.

    I have just spent several hours creating a back up image in this Acer facility as well as subsequently burning (wow, there's a real computer word!!) a series of back up DVds. I took the time to verify everything and all seemed to go well.

    Being on a roll, I then used the tools section of Acronis to burn a bootable rescue dvd.

    I have earmarked Monday as the day for creating all my Acronis back ups and will spend the next couple of days studying all the very helpful advice and links etc posted here.

    Many thanks to you all !!

    Wish me good luck !!
     
  16. jjscotman

    jjscotman Registered Member

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    Re: Confusion about Making system/file back up with Acronis True Image Home 11

    Hi

    All good things come to an end !! Confusion strikes again !!

    Having used the Acronis True Image tool to create a rescue dvd and after reading the Beginners guide which says that I must identify all my drives within TI rescue mode, I today attempted to do.

    My first source of confusion is that I am not sure whether my Acer laptop booted by means of me using the rescue cd or whether it booted normally.

    I powered up and inserted the rescue dvd into the tray. I heard the normal whirring noises and saw the normal little yellow light flashing - then the log-on screen appeared as usual. There was nothing to tell me that this boot was different from all the others in the past - excuse my ignorance but I don't know whether the rescue dvd had worked or not - I had expected some special message to appear or for the log-on screen to look different.

    I have googled various wordings of "how to boot from a rescue cd/dvd" without success - perhaps my ignorance is far too basic !!??

    As regards the stage of identifying all the drives in TI Windows Mode and then in TI Rescue Mode, my second confusion is that the numbering in my Vista SP1 laptop appears the same.

    I see 3 disks (in both Windows and Rescue modes) - numbered as follows -

    Disk 1
    Acer (C)
    Data (D)
    PQService

    Disk 2
    NV Cache

    Disk 3
    My Book (F)

    The wording in the Beginners Guide had led me to believe that the numbering would be different in each mode.

    Is it ok for the numbering to be the same in both modes ?

    My third source of confusion is whether or not I also back up Disk 2 at the same time as backing up Disk 1. I am presuming "yes" - is this correct ?

    I assume my back up archive location is Disk 3.

    Once again my apologies for my lack of what is probably basic computer knowledge and many thanks in advance for your kind help in moving forward.
     
  17. Joan Archer

    Joan Archer Registered Member

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    I think I can clear up one confusion for you, booting from CD, what you need to do is put the DVD into the drive before you turn on the computer.

    I think doing that will give you the results you need. ;)
     
  18. jjscotman

    jjscotman Registered Member

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    Joan, I don't know whether my Acer laptop is different from other computers but the dvd tray at the side doesn't seem to open until I power up - I need to switch on and then open the tray.
     
  19. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    And you also have to make sure the boot order in the Bios has the optical drive ahead of the hard drive. This will ensure that if there is a bootable cd or dvd in the drive the system will boot from it otherwise the system will boot from your hard drive.
     
  20. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    This is normal. Therefore you have to power up to open the tray, insert the TI Rescue CD, let the system get to the end of starting up, then reboot with the cd in the tray - make sure about the boot order as mentioned above.
     
  21. jjscotman

    jjscotman Registered Member

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    Many thanks DwnNdrty

    I appreciate your clarification - now I understand how to follow Joan's recommendation.

    Via google, I found a valuable tutorial on how to change the Boot Order in the BIOS.

    FYI it is at - http://www.whitecanyon.com/how-to-change-boot-order.php

    I had basically heard vaguely about the BIOS before but did not know anything about boot order until now.

    I presume I have to change it back after I check that my TI rescue dvd is working ok ??

    The entire exercise of creating an Acronis back up is adding considerably to my knowledge.

    I am sure, with help of kind forum members on here, I will learn much more before the back up is completed successfully.

    Unfortunately other commitments mean I have to defer further progress until Monday of next week.
     
  22. Joan Archer

    Joan Archer Registered Member

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    Sorry I'm late coming back jjscotman, but I see that you've had the answers you need, I should have remembered about the BIOS setting but I didn't, sorry :oops:

    Hope your backup goes according to plan on Monday, do let us know ;)
     
  23. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I normally have all my systems setup with the DVD as the first boot device all the time. It takes virtually no extra time for the reboot and it doesn't make the grinding sound the floppy drives used to make when accessed without a disk.

    Nothing more annoying when going to boot from DVD and Windows starts up. You have to wait for it to get started to shut it down properly and then go and change the boot order. Easier just to leave it as DVD first then your HD.
     
  24. Joan Archer

    Joan Archer Registered Member

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    I had my XP machine set that way but sorry to say I haven't done too much delving into the inner workings of this machine as yet, I've not had it long enough so I've not changed the order of things. I do know when the machine is first turned on if I want to I have 3 choices listed at the bottom of the screen. :)
     
  25. rwt325

    rwt325 Registered Member

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    My advice as a long time user of Acronis:

    1. Make a rescue disk. Click the link on the left of the main screen, and the Wizard will give you step by step instructions. Takes 5-10 minutes, and you need not read 120 pages manual to do it.

    2. Get a powered external USB drive at least 250 GB, or bigger if you have Vista. My typical Vista images of C are around 32GB compressed.

    3 Don't fool around with anything other than full image, to start with. With cheap disk space there is no value in incrementals. If only one of them goes wrong you lost the lot.

    4. Do a regular full backup image of C, and keep 3 or 4 copies. Full backups are faster to restore on a complete system failure I believe. I follow a weekly routine, and make a backup after any major system or software changes.

    5. Watch free space on your disk C. In order to restore an ATI image your free space must be larger than the un-compressed used space. Therefore don.t load you disk to more than 50% used space.

    6. After all this you can look into all the bells and whistles encumbering ATI. Few of them in my opinion have much practical value in everyday home computing, but this is only my personal opinion. You can safely experiment, knowing that you have some backup images to go back to.
     
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