Newbie basic query

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by compiler, Dec 19, 2006.

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  1. compiler

    compiler Registered Member

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    I've ordered TrueImage 10.0.

    My intent is to create a b/u complete image of my hard drive on to an external drive, but after reading some problems on the Forum I'd better check with you first.

    The laptop I'm using has only a "C" drive let's say with 30gig used.

    My USB WD external drive has two partitions, D and E.

    I have assorted individual folders/files on each partition that I want to keep there. Each partition has say 50 gig free.

    My question: Can I create my image saved to the D partition and still retain the files/folders I had there and also still have use of that partition for adding other files?

    Can I assume that the "E" partition will be uneffected?

    Mel
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    When TI makes an image backup of a partition or a Files and Folders backup it stores the archive as a file or files which are no different than any other file except they tend to be large. These files would exist on your partition with the other files and the other partition would not be affected at all.

    If you cloned your C drive by using the Clone feature to the external drive then you would wipe it out since it would would try and make the external disk look like the source disk.
     
  3. compiler

    compiler Registered Member

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    OK, this brings up another point. My purpose of course is to have a B/U in case of a computer crash.

    Is there a reason to prefer cloning my entire C drive versus doing an image of my entire C driveo_O I would want to be able to recover with a minimum of time/effort if I have a problem. But as indicated, it would be nice to retain other files on my external drive. So, would an image (rather than a clone) suffice??

    Mel
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The principal intent of a clone is for replacing an old drive with a new one. Obviously, if you make a complete copy of a drive on a second drive you have a backup as well. Some people do use this mechanism for their backup strategy but its disadvantage is that you can only have one backup per drive. By creating an image archive you can fit as many archive files on the backup drive as space permits.

    If you have a clone on the shelf and can just pop it in then it does provide a fast recovery mechanism.

    Making an image of your C drive which automatically includes the MBR as well provides you with all the information required to restore a disk to the state it was in when the backup was made.

    You cannot say you have a good backup strategy until you test it and unfortunately the best test is to restore your archive and see if it works. Unfortunate because the process will inititally delete your partition and if the test restore fails you have lost it all.

    Second best test is to create an archive and validate it using the TI recovery CD but this is not the same as restoring.

    Many TI users use a spare HD to test just in case anything goes wrong.

    You must do any testing with the recovery CD since this will be necessary if your HD fails and Windows won't run.

    The two problems that might be encountered are:
    The TI recovery CD doesn't have a good driver for some typically newer hardware. Acronis will work with you to provide a better bootable CD iso if you have this problem. Another option if you have this problem is to create a BartPE bootable CD which uses a Windows environment and drivers.

    Some USB chipsets don't play nicely together usually in the transfer of very large files which archives tend to be. This is probably less of a problem now but now the time is to find out not when your drive has died.
     
  5. compiler

    compiler Registered Member

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    Seek:

    Thanks for the information. Sorry about the dual post. I'm new at this and learning quite a bit!!!

    You know, these days with cheap hard drives, it might even pay to buy a low-cost HD (my laptop has only a 30gig HD and about 22 gigs used) and do a clone and just store it off-site. I can still do the image and incremental or differential back-ups on my current ext. USB HD.

    Thanks again for the info.

    I gather the Validate process that you mentioned just compares the b/u with what I have on my HD??

    (Gee, every question seems to lead to a further question!)

    Mel
     
  6. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    Be careful with Validation .... many users report false positives with validation, i.e. you get a successful validation but when the image is restored it does not work. So the ONLY true test is to do an actual Restore to a spare hard drive to see if the restored image works.
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    No problem.

    Although you might think the validate compares the archive with the HD contents, it doesn't. When the archive is created it calculates a checksum of the contents and includes the checksum in the archive file. The validate function recalculates the checksum and compares it with the stored value. If they are different then the archive is declared corrupt. An archive may be many gigabytes but if only 1 bit is wrong the archive is declared corrupt.

    It would be impossible to do a validate by comparing the archive with the disk data if the function was performed in Windows since the disk contents are always changing. Also, this method allows a validation to be done on an archive at any time, even years later.

    Ralphie is correct that there have been reports of good validations but failed restores. I don't know the reason for this but it reinforces that the best test is a restore. Generally, you will find that if you can restore your archive then you will always be able to restore unless you suffer a hardware failure such as RAM or HD. Note that your RAM must be in perfect condition to successfully validate.
     
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