New partition on cloned drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Computer Cowboy, Jan 30, 2006.

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  1. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    I've just used TI to clone the drive on a server running SBS 2000. I made two copies using USB drives. It worked beautifully! I verified that the server boots from the drive copies, and all's right with the world. Now, the client wants me to create a new partition on each of these copies for the purpose of doing daily incremental file backups, rotating the drives so that one is always off-site. What's the best way to go about this? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Computer Cowboy,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Server Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that disk cloning is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while creating an image 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, I would recommend you to create an image rather than clone the hard drive.

    Please take a look a this FAQ article explaining the difference between the disk cloning and creating an image in more detail.

    Please also note that 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, the ability to create a subsequent incremental 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 more information on how to use Acronis True Image in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  3. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    Since we're now at a point where we can simply swap drives to recover from any catastrophe, I really hate to move backwards and/or start over. Adding a new partition to the USB drive for daily file backups would be great, but if that's not the way to go, can I simply create a folder on the backup drives and do scheduled backups to it? The critical data (and the only data that changes on a daily basis) is stored in a single folder on the server.

    The goals are:
    1) To have two fully bootable copies of C on hand at all times.
    2) To backup/update one folder every day on those same bootable backup drives, without risking the cloned operating system, programs, and settings.
    3) To make the whole process as simple as possible for non-technically inclined personel to manage.

    I'd really like it if all these folks have to do is swap USB drives every morning and have TI take care of everything else. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    You can’t really do an Incremental without first having a Full backup to work from. So creating a partition on the cloned drive to store incrementals would require you to first create a full backup in this partition. You can select the Inc option, but I believe TI will create a full the first time around.
    So you could clone the drive, create a B/U partition on the new drive, create a Full image of the production drive and THEN start the incremental cycle.
    TI backs up changed sectors, not files, so your Inc may be larger than you expect.
    Also, I don’t know if you will have problems with 2 bootable system disks running at once, which you would have to do in order to image the prod disk to the cloned one.
     
  5. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Thanks Weaz! After reflecting on what you and Alexey are saying, and after reading through the whole user's manual again, it looks like my best bet would be to delete the single partition on the backup drive and start over, select 'manual' at the prompt for creating partitions on the target drive, create one large-enough partition for the bootable clone and a second bigger partition for a full backup image. Then, schedule daily automatic differential backups to that. This seems to be the only way to achieve all three of the above goals...especially goal number three. Am I on the right track?

    By the way, having the backup drive running doesn't seem to bother the server, as long as the drive isn't running when the server boots up...

    ...Found that out the hard way.:oops:
     
  6. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Bear with me; this seems to be one of those “easily confused” days for me!

    “create one large-enough partition for the bootable clone and a second bigger partition for a full backup image”

    If you create 2 partitions on the target and then clone the source which has 1 partition, won’t you wind up with a 1 partition target?
     
  7. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Well.....I guess that's sorta what I'm asking. Somewhere down deep in the User's Guide, in the cloning section, there's a step where you can choose whether you're copying the source partition arrangement "as is", "proportional", or "manually configured" (or some language to that effect), and then goes on to explain how you specify numbers and sizes of partitions on the target drive. That looks like the key step to pulling off what I'm trying to do, but it would be great to get confirmation from you TI gurus...
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Computer Cowboy,

    TheWeaz is correct. What you read in the User's Guide is used to resize the cloned partition(s) to fill the available space on the new drive. With a single partition source drive you will still end up with a single partition on the cloned drive. However, you could opt to set the size of the single cloned partition to something less than the new drive capacity, thereby leaving x GB of unallocated space. After that, simply use Windows Disk Management utility to create a new partition in that space.

    Regards
     
  9. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Ok, ok, I give up, you guys are right. After several hours of brain-damage yesterday, my brilliant idea of having everything on one drive for maximum user-friendliness is in the trash (like so many of my brilliant ideas).

    I cloned the drive, specifying a partition half the capacity of the target drive. No problem, the server booted from it beautifully. Then I made a second partition in the unallocated space and gave it a letter guaranteed not to mess with any network drives. Still no problem. Then I started up TI and tried to image to that second partition...and all hell broke loose. I tried everything I could think of, but the server really disliked this whole business. Freezes, crashes, and utter rebellion.

    New plan: one drive for a bootable clone, recloned monthly to reflect the company's frequent software changes...and stored off-site...two other drives with full backup images, updated and rotated nightly. Does that sound somewhat less stupid?

    Anyway, thanks to all for your advice and thoughts!
     
  10. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    The finial decision will be based on just what you need the backups for. Are they only for disaster recovery or do you need them for archiving purposes?
    If the backups are for disaster recovery, perhaps you could just clone and rotate every night. Then you could pop in a bootable, up-to-date drive if disaster strikes.
    If you’re archiving, your current plan only gives you the last 2 nights and however long ago the monthly clone was created. Any time period in between would be lost.
    You might want to keep a bootable clone handy. If it’s only for booting, the data doesn’t need to be up-to-date since it will be written over anyway (re-clone after major drive layout changes). Then, using x number of other drives, create a weekly Full backup followed by daily Incrementals on one drive and then switch drives each week.
    Anyway, the decision really needs to be based on need. Determine that, and the rest shall follow. ;)
     
  11. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Here's the unpleasant situation I've inherited, and which I'm trying to comprehensively address with TI: The company has 'misplaced' its server's OS installation media and licenses, has recently suffered devastating data loss with one of those online backup outfits, has everything stored on one single server, has no IT staff, has a limited budget for paying me or anybody else to take care of things for them, has critical data that changes on a daily basis, has zero tolerance for down time, and is on the verge of a company-wide nervous breakdown. Hence, the three goals listed above.

    The nightly clone thing probably isn't the best route for them, because of all the reboots and the general lack of technical ability. Unless I'm told otherwise, I'm thinking that the scheme I described in my last post is probably as good as it gets, given their situation. Would you agree?

    Thanks again!
     
  12. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    Computer Cowboy
    Your solution is viable along with the Weaz's suggestions of os cloning.
    I would not suggest doing incrementals with Ti, for many reasons. A better solution would be to just copy to other drives directly or use a nat device with one or more drives that can mirror only the data and/or data changes.
    Along with a complete os drive clone of the latest installations you will be covered.
    With the low price of drives etc. these days there is no excuse for a disaster.
    Remember, that no matter how cheap and reckless this company is, it will be your butt when everything fails.
     
  13. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Hey Noonie,

    "I would not suggest doing incrementals with Ti, for many reasons." What are these many reasons? I've just convinced these folks to purchase this rather spendy software, largely because it has so many user-friendly disaster-prevention features, including automated incrementals...

    "Remember, that no matter how cheap and reckless this company is, it will be your butt when everything fails." Shucks, that's always the case, though I wouldn't describe these particular folks as cheap and reckless, just trying to work miracles with finite resources...like most folks these days, I guess.

    We do, however, have plenty of other clients who don't quite understand that networks ain't exactly cheap pets.

    Anyhow, thanks for the advice!
     
  14. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    No purchase records of the licenses either at your company or the vendor? Media can be replaced.
     
  15. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    ComputerCowboy
    Some more detailed info would really help.
    How many drives in server and sizes,
    size of data files, megabytes or terrabytes
    type of data
    no of boxes on network

    You may be able to incorporate a pretty simple method
     
  16. Computer Cowboy

    Computer Cowboy Registered Member

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    Thanks to everyone who chimed in! Everything's peachy now. We've got a couple of tested bootable drives, with one stored off-site, and a couple of automatically updated differential backup drives, swapped daily. The whole thing was a piece of cake once I got over my goofy obsession with everything being on one drive.
     
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