New user - reassurance needed

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Ginny, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. Ginny

    Ginny Registered Member

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    Hi, I'm new to this forum and just need a bit of reassurance before I proceed.
    I have a new PC supplied with Windows XP and some software already installed. I have installed True Image and Disk Director. I have saved an image of the disk to a 250GB external USB drive. I have created a Bootable Rescue Media disk. (Well, three actually. I ticked True Image for one, Disk Director for another and both of them for a third but they all look the same!)
    In the event of a failure am I right in thinking I can boot from this disc and restore the system to its 'as new' state - or any other image I take in the furure?
    I am now going to partition the drive and save an image, then install programs and save an image. When I start putting data in I will save incremental back ups but do these first three need to be whole disk images to quickly get me back to where I was if I get it wrong?
    Is this all I need to do before I get started? I will work out a back up strategy once I get going.
     
  2. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Welcome to the forum. Being new to Acronis you should take things one step at a time. True Image is an imaging\cloning software and Disk Director is a partitionning software. If I were you I'd leave the Disk Director aside for now. If the image you created included the MBR (if you ticked off the proper boxes) then you can boot from the TI Bootable Rescue Media and restore your system in case of a failure. Note that your restored disk will not be "as new" but will be in the "as was at the time of image creation" state. Unless you have a particular reason for doing so, there is no need to partition your HD in order to install programs. As for your data files, these can be on the same drive and don't require a partition. A better solution is to have your data on a separate drive. Read this article by Dan Goodell where he says: My system is configured to store email, "My Documents", and "Favorites" on D:. That way, I don't have to worry about overwriting data if/when C: is restored from a backup image. Here C: and D: are partitions. I prefer to use a separate drive (I don't have partitionning software other than WinXp).

    Should you decide to keep your data on a separate drive, this is how to proceed:

    In Outlook Express go to Tools\Options\Maintenance\StoreFolder and there choose to move the OE files to a folder on a different drive.

    In WinXP open Windows Explorer and right-click My Documents just below Desktop and above My Computer, and go to Properties\Move.

    As for Favorites, from within Windows Explorer move the Favorites folder to the separate drive. The shortcuts (in the Start menu) associated with your favorites will have to be manually reassigned.

    You can also move your address book by moving the .wab file to a folder on a different drive. The .wab file can be found by doing a search for *.wab.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2006
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Ginny,

    I have a slightly off the wall approach when it comes to backing up my HDD. I use True Image to secure the whole of my hard drive. Everything is there all in one partition. I feel no need to separate OS,Programs,Settings and data. Backup images are saved to a second internal hard drive. The backups run to a schedule while still in Windows. I could continue to use the computer during the imaging process but in fact it runs when I am not there. The fact that the backup image of the whole disk takes about 30 minutes is of no concern at all.
    Now when I return to the computer the backup imaging process has finished so I remove my main hard drive and replace it with yesterday's HDD. I then boot from the recovery CD and restore the latest image to the replacement HDD and carry on working. The restore process runs very quickly and I have just enough time to make a cup of coffee while it completes.
    So my actual backup is the hard drive that I was using up to my break and I also have archive Images going back in time should the need arise.
    Swapping the main drives is nearly as easy as slotting in a CD by the use of two exchangable drive drawers and a mounting rack in a spare bay in the front of the PC case.
    The advantages are :-
    Portable back up that is proven to work and can be reinstalled in the same time as it takes to reboot.
    No need for any extra validations of backups or restores.
    No DVDs No USB drives are needed.
    As the two main drives are not connected at the same time at least one would survive a lghtining strike.
    At no time is there any risk to the system or data as there is always another working hard drive ready to go.
    Disadvantage is the cost of the mounting rack ,the drawers and an extra HDD. Though this is probably less than the cost an external drive.
     
  4. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello Ginny,

    It seems to me that it has become some sort of fashion for new users to create a Secure Zone and activate the Stratup Recovery Manager the first time they run TI. With an external HD to store the images on, you don't need either.

    Stay with the plain imaging/restoring until you find out if you really need any of the extras. They have their own drawbacks (even hazards - like One Click Restore) that you should learn about before installing or starting to use them.

    As for the full vs. incremental imaging question, you could use either, from start or later. But since your early images won't be large ones, I would prefer full backups untill they grow substantially. They would be simpler to manage. My computer is almost one year old now and I still do only full images.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2006
  5. philebus

    philebus Registered Member

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    OK, I am also a newbie, and my question is even more basic than that of the original poster, but it does follow on from hers, so I am not trying to hijack this thread.

    When TI talks about bootable rescue media, what exactly are they talking about? Do they mean the installation CD which came with the TI box? Does this disk also serve as a bootable rescue disk? Or do they mean that one has to make one's own bootable disk using TI?

    The issue is important because I want a bootable disk in case my operating system goes kapput, but I don't know exactly what such a disk is.

    Which then brings me to Disk Director. I also have this with a view to partitioning my hard drive: one partition for operating system and all other programs, and the other for my large my documents folder. I mainly want to image my operating system and programs, NOT my documents (all of which I have copies on CDs, DVDs and an external hard drive).

    thanks for any help
     
  6. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    Yes to that last sentence. The disk you burn will be independent of Windows, operating in a Linux environment, although you don't have to know anything about Linux to run it.

    Partionning your drive as you're thinking of doing is certainly a good idea if you have the tools to do it. And Disk Director is the tool you need for that.
     
  7. philebus

    philebus Registered Member

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    Hey thanks for the quick reply.

    I've just burned a bootable cd following the wizard in Disk Director. Hopefully I won't have to use it, but if I do it is there.
     
  8. dld

    dld Registered Member

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    I prefer using it any time I have to restore my system. If you attempt a restoration from within Windows Acronis has you reboot and you're then in the Linux environment.

    You say you used Disk Director to burn your rescue CD. Actually you should be using True Image it you want to make a TI rescue CD. And you should burn a new TI rescue CD every time you update True Image. Your rescue CD created with Disk Director can be used when you want to do some partitioning. I'm not familiar with Disk Director but I imagine that's the way it works.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
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