Newbie Needs Help W/ Acronis True Image 9.0

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by chrismgan, Nov 27, 2005.

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  1. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    I thought I knew a little about following directions, but I'm lost. I was wondering if someone could walk me through the needed steps to using Acronis True Image 9.0 ? I've already installed it, and am totally confused about how to use it. By the way, I have read the manual. Maybe it would help if I told you what I am trying to achieve:

    I have a 80gig internal HD ib my machine. I have purchased a 160gig external Fantom USB drive. I would like to protect myself against a possible HD failure (I've had one yrs ago and really don't want the experience again). I would like to backup my internal HD daily to my external HD. I'm not sure if I should do complete back ups or incremental ones. I would like to do whatever would make for the easiest recovery in the event of a HD failure. I guess I would also need a restore or boot CD. I have a CD RW. I'm running WIN2000 Pro SP4. If anyone could help I would really appreciate it. I'm begining to wonder if I wouldn't have been better off purchasing one of the external HD's that have a one step backup button.

    Thanks in advance,

    Chris
     
  2. bwa

    bwa Guest

    Chris,

    I guess it depends on what you are trying to do specifically. For instance, it would help to know how much data you have on your 80GB drive and how it is partitioned. My guess is you have maybe 5GBs to 6GBs taking up your operating system and program files with who knows how much more for data like MP3s or videos. But, anyway, Acronis will only use the amount of space on your external hard drive that you have on your internal hard drive or source if you use normal for backing up.

    Next, and this is up to you, you have to decide on some type of strategy. Everyone's different about this. Personally, I don't like incremental and prefer to do full backups every day. With incrementals you have to restore each plus the previous full backup. For me, there is too much to go wrong if one of the incrementals didn't back up correctly. Plus, with at least seven full backups available, you know that at least one of them will work if any are corrupt. An idea you may be interested in is creating several full backups rather than just overwriting one every day. The reason is not only what I said above about having more backups, but think about the following. It is far more likely to have this scenario than having your entire hard drive crash. Say, on Monday you have a good backup, then on Tuesday you somehow delete an important file or a program starts malfunctioning or you lose some email. If you aren't aware, then Tuesday's backup comes along and backs up your PC with the errors on it. The more backups you do, the more likely you can go back and find that file, etc.

    I am not sure how much information you wanted on the step by step, but I am going to assume you want to know every step. I am also assuming you are using Acronis 9.0. Some of the versions of Ghost and I think even Acronis used to allow you to make as many backups as you wanted, and it would automatically append the backups so you would have MyBackup(1).tib and MyBackup(2).tib, etc. without overwriting. But this version seems to overwrite. Please note that others may disagree with my way of doing it.

    First, make a folder called 'Acronis' or 'Backups' or whatever you wish. Then at the bottom of the screen just under Active Tasks, choose the icon that says "Select this item to create a new task..." The task wizard will appear, choose next. Choose the default, the entire disk contents or partition and click on next. The next screen depends on how your computer is set up. Do you have one drive or two? Is the drive partitioned into C:\ and D:\ drives. One can make as many partitions as they wish. I will assume again that you have one drive which is, of course, the C:\ drive. That is what you will see and should be checked already. That will be called Disk 1. You may or may not see your external hard drive. If you do, ignore it as that will be the target drive anyway. Click next. This is where it can get a little tricky if you are new to imaging software. You are at the point where you are choosing your file path to the target. You should see a folder tree on the left. There should be your external hard drive on it with a + next to it. If you click on the plus or double click on the drive, you should see the folder I suggested you make earlier: Acronis or MyBackups, etc. For this exercise, let's assume you chose Acronis as the folder name. Click on the folder until it is blue. This should now give you the following in the File Name window: X:\Acronis\ (Don't worry about the Files of Type window which will most likely default to Backup Archives (*.tib). At this point, you could just click on the little white icon with the orange daisy or whatever at the far right, and it would give you a file name. This, once you finished the wizard, would set you up for what you were first asking for. A daily backup named MyBackup.tib. My suggestion, however, would be not to this. I would do this: At the point where you are at X:\Acronis\ (where X = the drive letter of your external drive), type in "Monday" without the quotes. Then click next. On the next screen, click Create a new full backup, then next. It's up to you, but for the moment, I would choose default options. You can always change them later. Click on next. Click next at the big white archive comments screen. If you want to add something to remind you of your backup you can. But, if it's a full backup labeled Monday, you can probably remember it's a full backup that will run on Mondays. At the next screen, choose weekly. (If you were going to just run one backup everyday that overwrites the previous one, you would choose daily here). But, I would recommend weekly. Click next. Set a time, leave it every one week for now, and click on the box that says Monday. Click next. You must put in your password here. If you don't have one, I would suggest making one so you can put it in here. The click next. If you don't put in the right username and password, you will get a warning message. You can click yes and bypass it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Click next. Now you will have the task windows, which should show you everything you have done. You can read it and see if you agree with it. Click finish. This will bring you back to the main window. At the bottom will be an icon of a floppy disk with a clock on it with a flashing brown New Backup next to it. Type the word Monday there and click anywhere else in that area. Now your backup will be saved. Now, you have a scheduled backup. Now, all you have to do is go through the same process for the rest of the days of the week. I could be wrong and may be missing something in the interface where you could just make one schedule and it would make as many as you want before making one and deleting the first. I know that Ghost and I think other versions of Acronis let you do that. If anyone else knows, please correct me.

    And, yes, you will need to burn a bootable CD. Just insert a CD-R and click on the icon for making a bootable CD, and it will walk you through it. Sorry for the length of this. Post back if you have any questions.
     
  3. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    Thanks bwa. I appreciate your response. I've got about 27 gig used on my internal HD. I'm not sure how to tell how it's partitioned. I'll try what you wrote when I get home tonight from work.
    Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative post.

    Chris
     
  4. bwa

    bwa Guest

    No problem. I have to get to work, too. You probably only have one partition if you aren't sure, because you would have been the one making it. Go to My Computer and open it. If you only have one drive under Hard Disk Drives, then you have one drive with one partition. There are all sorts on partitioning software out there, and you can do it from the Windows CD when you install or from a boot disk. There are advantages to partitioning, but I wouldn't worry about it. If you are interested, can talk about that some other time. Let me know how it goes.
     
  5. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    bwa, Thanks I think I've got it. I did decide to go the easy route and schedule full backups once a day. Sorry, it just seemed easier. I was wondering, do I need to do anything with "Acronis Secure Zone" and "Recovery Manager" ? I also made a boot disk. Thanks for any help !

    Chris
     
  6. thebigdintx

    thebigdintx Registered Member

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    if you're creating images and storing them on an external hard drive, you do not have to use the secure zone, or the recovery manager features.
     
  7. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    Thanks for your post. I'm doing a full backup to my external HD. So I guess I'm done ?

    Chris
     
  8. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    :) True Image is totally boring when it works correctly ! But, that's what we all want.;)

    The only thing that bothers me about a full backup done every day is: what happens if your system crashes or there is a power surge or outage while the full backup is occuring -- 27 GB - does that take about 2 hours ? Hopefully, your source hard drive is not damaged and you just need to redo the backup but what if ?

    If I wanted a full backup every day, I would have a "Backup A" and a "Backup B" (or however many I have external drive space for) and do them on alternate days.

    Sorry to waste my breath if this is what you're doing - 2 rotating or 7 rotating - I just couldn't tell if you were doing that for sure or were just going to overwrite the same full backup every day.
     
  9. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    And of course, Chris, be sure to try a restore to see if it will actually work. With the low prices of hard drives, it is worth it to get another 80 gig to test a restore. Why, heck, 160 gig drives can be had now for less than $30 after rebates - in the USA.
     
  10. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    Thanks for your input. I'll take my chances. By the way, the full back up is only taking 28 minutes. It started at 5:00 am and finished at 5:28 am.

    Chris
     
  11. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    Would I need an additional external HD to test a restore ? I'm getting confused again.

    Chris
     
  12. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    No, no ... to check for a successful restore, use an internal hard drive in place of your existing internal and restore from the image you have on your external. Use the Acronis boot CD to initiate the restore.

    This way you still have your original internal hard drive to put back in case the restore fails.

    There are other ways to do the restore also but this will be the surefire way to know if your restore works.
     
  13. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    Ok, I understand. Thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate yours and everyone's help.

    Chris
     
  14. bwa

    bwa Guest

    Chris,

    These responses are all correct and all are good ideas. I apologize if we are confusing you or if I am adding to the confusion. I agree that if you are using USB2.0 for your external, then it shouldn't take very long. We back up our server, which is also about 30GBs total every night, and it takes about the same.

    What you are seeing by the posts here is that there are 10 to the 3rd power of strategies for backing up and testing backups, all of which are good and have to be individualized to each need.

    I like the idea that Crofttk has about rotation backups. You have a huge external hard drive, and you will be using only about 15% of it. If you made one little edit in the schedule you have now and put every 2nd or every 3rd day, then set up an identical schedule or identical schedules with the same alternate days, you would have two or three or how many ever you want full backups to choose from. This again would help in case you deleted an original file and if your one backup were corrupt.

    Another strategy that we haven't suggested, which is only available in 9.0 is to do a full backup daily, and then set up another backup scheduled daily but an hour or so after that only chooses certain files, say your Documents and Setting folder, which would include your MyDocuments and all of your desktop files and folders. This would only take three or four minutes to back up.

    As I am sure you have seen, you can set up your backups as "virtual" hard drives which you can then browse through just like your original hard drive. And, while Chutsman is 100% correct in suggestion that you test your backup, my experience has been that the more likely event than a complete hard drive crash will be that you need to restore certain files.

    While being able to completely restore from your image using a boot disk means recovering from a hard drive failure in less than an hour, it's always good to know that at the very least you could reinstall your OS from the Windows XP CD, and then recover all your data from your backups.

    Well, you surely got your money's worth with your question. One of the reasons it's enjoyable to help you is I find it refreshing that your topic isn't about bashing Acronis : )
     
  15. chrismgan

    chrismgan Registered Member

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    Thanks bwa, I'm taking it all in. I appreciate your post. You're right, I did seem to get my money's worth.

    Thanks again to all,

    Chris
     
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