new computer, new hardware, will a restore work?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by beiley, Jul 7, 2007.

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  1. beiley

    beiley Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I'm currently making an image backup of my complete hard drive. I'm concerned about being able to restore this backup onto new hardware in case of a complete hardware failure. What happens if I have to buy a whole new computer, and want to restore this backup? I won't have run the sysprep tool on the old computer as described here:

    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/faq/clone-windows-to-hardware/

    because my old computer will have died. Any tips for preparing for a complete and unexpected hardware replacement? Will my restore work okay, since my old computer won't be on the network at the same time? What about driver incompatibilities with my new hardware? Will I be able to even boot up the new hardware after restoring the drive?

    I'm just wondering how useful a hard drive backup will be if I have to replace all of my hardware...

    Thanks,
    Mark
    http://www.beiley.com
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The Acronis link you posted basically spells it out. If you have TI Workstation with the Universal Restore add-on you would be able to restore to different hardware.

    You are correct about driver issues but some people recommend things like having a generic display driver and then doing a Windows repair. My approach is different but I am not using my PC for any mission critical works such as a business etc.

    I look upon new hardware as an opportunity to get rid of the old junk I don't use or need and to start fresh. I also consider it a refresher on Windows and apps configuration. The added benefit is that if you have any problems you aren't wondering if they are caused by trying to force-fit an old image on new hardware.

    The important thing is that you have your personally created data files available if your machine goes bad. Windows and apps can be reloaded from CDs but the pictures you took or the spreadsheet you worked hours on are not available anywhere else.

    The other thing to consider is just how frequent is a total hardware failure - actually pretty infrequent!
     
  3. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Mark, given the situation you have suggested, if your backup was made with a Home version of ATI, the chances of a successful restore to the new computer is not very good, unless the new computer is identical to the one on which the backup image was created. On the other hand, if you have a corporate version of ATI with Universal Restore, your chances of a successful restore on another computer would be far better.

    Although I am an avid ATI user, I recommend (and use) a separate backup strategy for situations like the one you postulated. That strategy is simply to backup all personal files (docs, data, photos, etc.) on a regular basis. There are many programs that can be used to accomplish this, from Windows XCOPY to generally accepted archiving programs to more specialized file-by-file backup programs. In the event your current PC goes belly-up, you would reinstall Windows, Apps, and restore your personal files on the new PC.

    This probably wasn't what you wanted to hear, but if there's a better way, I sure don't know what it is! :doubt:

    pv

    Edit: I see that seekforever and I are pretty much in agreement on this.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2007
  4. beiley

    beiley Registered Member

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    Thanks pvsurfer and seekforever. I kind of suspected this to be the case, but was hoping for something else...

    I do back up all of my files too, but in this case I'm looking for a way to quickly restore my server in case of hardware failure. Downtime is an important concern for me here. It can take a long time to re-install everything, and it took a lot of work to get everything working well, with the right versions of PHP, Apache, MySQL, etc... It can of course be installed again, but restoring from an image sure would be easier/faster. With the image I can at least recover quickly from a HD failure, which is probably the most likely thing to go.

    I will go check out TI Workstation and the Universal Restore, I hadn't seen that before...

    Thanks again,
    Mark
    http://www.beiley.com
     
  5. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Mark,

    Fwiw, I have been through this a few times over and none of the disk-imaging products intended for home use (e.g., Norton, Paragon, etc.) can do any more than ATI in the event of your hypothetical situation...

    ...and while ATI 9.1 + UR is better equipped to address such circumstances, I wouldn't expect a complete restore even from it.

    Jo Ann
     
  6. jaycee

    jaycee Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I would say something more... why not split up work apps from the rest, then create a Virtual MAchine under VirtualPC/VMware Server/MS Virtual Server or Xen, and then use that one that is hardware independant and just so easy to port on another computer.

    VirtualPC for example is Free and easy to install on any PC, so virtually you could "host" your machine on any computer.
    MS Virtual Server is free too, and can extra allow you to access remotely your VM :) natively, not speaking about RDP...

    Just my own two cents, as i do have the same problematic around quick "back to work" needs.

    And why not "pause" VM before you use Acronis, and it just make the trick :)

    Good work,

    Jaycee

    (I did not talk about licences, you do know that it would imply you host for exemple your windows VM on a linux to not pay twice Windows...)
     
  7. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Sounds very promising jaycee. For those of us not familiar with virtual machine software, would you elaborate on doing this? Also, what do you mean when you say "split up work apps from the rest"?

    Finally, how does working in a virtual environment affect system performance? o_O
     
  8. jaycee

    jaycee Registered Member

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    A Virtual Machine is nothing more or less than a real machine under Windows XP or Linux, that has an access to the network, that can be joined to it.

    The idea is :

    On any system, you create a clean install of Windows XP for example, with all the apps you like/love/need.
    Once it is done, you can shutdown the VM. It basically just is composed of a few portable files : a VHD (virtual Hard Disk) a VMC (Virtual Machine Configuration in XML).
    Once done, you can save it, copy it, and use it on any computer.

    I would advise you to give it a try, download for example Virtual PC 2007, and install a test VM.
    Beware that without an Intel Core CPU or AMD-V install will seem slow, once VM installed and "VMAdditions" it will be really better.
    Performances apart from DirectX are reasonnalby good, depending on underlying hardware. On latest Core2Duo for example works like a charm...


    Sorry for these off-topic replies, hope i can give good ideas to some :D

    Jaycee
     
  9. beiley

    beiley Registered Member

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