Mounting USB Drive in C Drive - work-around for letter assignment issue

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by cmb1202, Dec 14, 2006.

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  1. cmb1202

    cmb1202 Registered Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    I use Acronis True Image Home 9.0 to back up my hard drive onto an external USB drive. I have set up an automatic back up task to run a few times a week.

    The problem is that the task is set to back up to drive "G" which was the letter assigned to my external USB drive at the time I configured the task. I often unplug the external USB drive and plug in other storage mediums (flash drives, digital cameras and etc.) and sometimes when I plug my external USB drive back in, it gets assigned a letter other than "G". So, when my automatic back up runs, I get an error saying it can't find drive "G".

    I found a solution which seems to be working well, but I'm worried about whether I will be able to restore the entire disk image in case of an emergency with the work-around I implemented below since the back up drive is now mounted inside the C drive as "BACKUPDRIVE" and I removed the letter assignment.

    This is what I did.

    1. Right click on My Computer
    2. Left click on Manage
    3. Highlight Disk Management
    4. Right click on the external USB Disk (drive letter G in this case)
    5. Left click on Change Drive Letters and Paths...
    6. Click on Add
    7. Select Mount in the following empty NTFS folder and click on browse button
    8. Highlight the C drive and click on New Folder button
    9. Enter a new folder name of "BACKUPDRIVE" and click OK
    10. Go back into Change Drive Letters and Paths...
    11. Remove the letter "G" association with the USB drive and hit OK
    12. Close out of Computer Management console

    So, like I said, I no longer have to worry about the letter assignment issue for the external USB drive. I just plug it in, turn it on and let the auto backup task run - of course I had to change the auto backup task to back up to the new mounted "BACKUPDRIVE" inside my root C drive.

    Any potential issues with restoring the image in an emergency with this configuration?

    I would use a boot up CD of course to get the process started. But I'm wondering if the image I'm creating will be confused because it was backed up via a mounted folder inside C.

    Any feedback appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    The best way to find out if there are any problems is to boot from the rescue CD having first connected and turned on your USB drive. If you can now follow the restore steps up to the point where you see the Proceed button you should be good to go in an emergency.

    The only way to be totally sure and not to put anything at risk would be to remove your present hard drive and replace it with another. Then you could really get the ultimate proof by doing a complete restore.
    It is what I did when I first got TI and follow the same sort of principles up to date.

    Although I have used USB drives to store backups it never ocurred to me to schedule those backups. From a security point of view I did not like leaving a USB drive connected and powered up. This was only done when I wanted to make an image and I started the backups manually.

    Xpilot
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I totally agree. In fact I never use scheduling as I do all images in a recovery environment. That way the drive I am imaging is inert.
     
  4. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    As they say different strokes.... I like the many advantages of backing up in the Windows environment and only use the CD for recoveries.

    Xpilot
     
  5. cmb1202

    cmb1202 Registered Member

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    Thanks everyone. I guess I'll try the real-life recovery test as soon as I get my hands on an extra hard drive.

    Does the "test" blank hard drive I use for the test have to be the same exact size or can it be slightly smaller/larger?
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    As long as it is big as the original used part of the donor drive there will be no problem either way.

    Remember your original drive will be safe as will be your image.

    Xpilot
     
  7. cmb1202

    cmb1202 Registered Member

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    Thanks for all of your advice and suggestions.

    I decided to just try a full disk image restore using a spare hard drive I had lying around with the same specs as the one I'm backing up onto the external hard drive.

    I unplugged the main hard drive, plugged in the spare (which contained Windows XP and some old files) then I made sure my external USB drive was plugged in and powered on. Then I rebooted to the Acronis bootable CD (which I created a while ago).

    Acronis asked me whether I wanted USB support which I said yes to and then I proceeded through the steps to restore a image -- from my last incremental back up job. Acronis warned me about data on the spare drive I was restoring to and I gave the okay on wiping it clean.

    Everything went pretty smoothly and after a long 3 hours, I had a fully functioning clone of my original hard drive. I only wish the restore time was shorter. Maybe my older computer (3.5 years old Dell) and the fact that it was a USB connection played a part in the long restore time.

    Anyhow, it seems that the configuration I set up with the external USB drive mounted in the C drive and then removing the letter association with it seems to work fine with a restore.

    I appreciate all your help again!
     
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