Peace of Mind

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by RetiredBri, Dec 11, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Hi group
    I’m recently retired and just as I’m wearing out, I realised that my hard drive on my Jan 2003 PC might fail at any time. Not having a working PC/rebuilding the hard drive from scratch would give me sleepless nights. I would like to know that I can really recover a failed Drive 0 before it happens (guess everyone wants this reassurance).

    I want to use TI9 to create a C: partition image (my current boot partition) onto DVD’s.
    Rather than buy an external usb drive, I will buy a new internal drive and then disconnect/remove my current Drive 0 and temporarily fit the new one as my Drive 0. I’ll then recover from the bootable CD and DVD’s.
    If it works, I’ll know that I can trust Acronis, remove the new one (and keep it in a safe cool dry place), refit the old Drive 0 and wait (with peace of mind) until it fails.

    I have a normal home PC with XPHome SP1 plus all latest upgrades, set up for 2 users.
    Drive 0 (the original drive) is 60Gb and has three partitions:
    C: (boot/system partition 28Gb - NTFS) – 17Gb used for the operating system and all normal programme files plus My Document folders. Most day-to-day work uses this partition.
    D: (backup partition 25Gb - NTFS) – 1Gb used for factory condition driver backup.
    E: (recovery partition 2.5Gb – FAT32) – 1.4Gb used for factory drive image – not much use now.
    F: is a CD/DVD read drive.
    G: is a CD/DVD writer with DVD RAM.
    Drive 1 is a much newer drive, 80Gb - NTFS and has one partition H: This is used for some programmes that have large data files – mapping programmes, Flight Simulator etc. Its main use is for video editing. Pinnacle Studio programme is located on the C: drive but the very large data files etc are on the H: drive.
    I manually keep all data files (My Docs from C: and video files on H:) backed up on DVD RAM. The system works well.

    My questions are:
    1 Can I get the 17Gb C: image onto multiple DVDs? How many will it take@
    2 Does TI9 do a good enough job with writing/restoring with multiple DVD+R/RW (once I have formatted the +RW using Nero In CD?
    3 Is the method using the TI9 boot CD followed by the DVD’s better than using the Acronis Secure Zone located on my H: drive?

    Finally, in the UK, the version available for download is Acronis True Image Trial Version 9.0 (build 2247). It appears to be fully functional for a 15-day trail period with a option to buy on-line. Prior to this version, I tried to install build 2333 from the USA site but this would not install.

    Sorry I’ve taken up a lot of space, Thanks in advance for your assistance.


    RetiredBri
     
  2. Itsme

    Itsme Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Posts:
    148
    Why don't you use MigrateEasy. Just install the new drive in the computer on the IDE cable, run MigrateEasy and boot from the new drive.... that's it. I've done it. It took me 15 minutes to get my system up and running again.
    Ciao
    Itsme
     
  3. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Hi Itsme

    My system already has both of Chan 1 IDE ports allocated to Drive 0 and Drive 1. The other IDE channel is used for the two DVD drives. To clone the existing Drive 0 would mean disconnecting the Drive 1.

    TI 9 has the ability to make an image either on removable madia or on Drive 1 (H: ) so I can temporaily remove the old (working) Drive 0 in order to test the new drive - hence: Peace of Mind.
    The ability to upgrade the image as I add more programmes to the C: partition seems to make TI 9 a better buy (£30 for TI9, £20 for MigrateEasy)

    I'll read the MigrateEasy manual tonight to find out more about it! :oops:

    RetiredBri
     
  4. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, RetiredBri

    Acronis MigrateEasy does no more then Ti's Cloning Tool.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  5. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,181
    Location:
    Brandon, Florida, USA
    I would suggest that you buy two removable rack/tray devices and install the hard drives in them. Then get a third hard drive, to put in place of your D1 and save the backups to this third drive if you do not want to save the images to the D1.
     
  6. Ozmaniac

    Ozmaniac Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Posts:
    254
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Actually, Migrate Easy IS true Image's cloning tool. Migrate Easy has been fully incorporated into True Image.:cool:
     
  7. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Hi to all

    Getting back to the original thread - Peace of Mind, I really want to test out the process (TI or MigrateEasy) and then put the drive away. This would be the equivalent to having an external drive is that it is not running all the time. My way however would prove the process and then not running it all the time.

    Does anyone have suggestions about My questions which are:
    A new question: How much does the C: drive change if I do not install any new programmes while just using Word/Excel and IE/email? (I back up My Documents independently and am willing to get all ZoneAlarm/Virus Updates when the new drive gets added).
    If not at all, then the "Peace of Mind" hard disc would remain untouched until I added a new programme. I would then run the process all over again (using whatever is the latest build of TI) and confirm that everything still works ok.

    Thanks to all who are helping with this forum - It's good to get an idea of how well the products work.

    RetiredBri
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello RetiredBri,

    First of all can I just say that you must image the WHOLE of your master drive, not just the C: partition, if you want the new drive (or restored image) to be bootable. To do this, make sure you have checked the tickbox adjacent to the disk number rather than just the indiviual partition(s) when creating an image. This makes TI copy the system disk's Master Boot Record into the image, thereby ensuring a replacement (or fdisk/formatted original) drive is bootable when the image is subsequently restored.

    You can't just copy the existing 17GB image onto DVD, therefore you will need to create a new image. If you image direct to InCD formatted DVD+/-RW disks TI will automatically split a 17GB image across 4 DVDs (roughly 4.3GB on the first 3 disks, with the remainder on the 4th).

    I don't have a problem imaging "direct" to DVD (InCD UDF packet writer running in the background). However, a number of other users do - it depends on the individual's combination of system configuration/DVD recorder/brand of optical meda. Always verify the image after burning by using TI's Check Image Wizard.

    If you experience corrupt images then use the alternative, two-step, method to burn either DVD-ROM (ISO) or DVD-ROM (UDF) compilations to blank DVD+/-R or DVD+/-RW disks using normal DVD burning software (in your case I assume it's Nero?). You will need to create a new image and choose TI's "Manually Split" option. When entering the split size, ignore the dropdown list and just type the required size into the space provided. If burning DVD-ROM (ISO) compilations, enter a split size of 1492 MB and burn up to 3 .tib files per DVD. For DVD-ROM (UDF) compilations, enter a split size of 4.3 GB. Make sure you select Nero's "Finalize Disk" option when burning the compilation and, for increased reliability, I strongly recommend that you reduce the burn speed to around half the maximum rated speed of your recorder or optical media, whichever is the lesser.

    Well, provided you can achieve reliable DVD image recording it will certainly be more secure. However, it will be a darn slight slower!! As you image to a second internal hard drive why not use TI's Manage Acronis Secure Zone Wizard to remove the Secure Zone (and any images currently residing in it) and create images into a normal folder? If you split the image as detailed above and occasionally burn the .tib files to DVD you will have the best of both worlds.

    Well, obviously, you data files will change. In addition, the in-use sectors will get shuffled around by the opening/closing of the O/S and applications, plus any defragmentaion that you may carry out. This will affect the size of any incremental images you may create but wont interfere with the functionality of your "Peace of Mind" disk or restored image other than to roll you back in time.

    Depending on the e-mail client and other applications you are using, you may well find that you need to backup more than just the My Documents folder in order to capture all your current data files.

    Hope the above info helps.

    Regards
     
  9. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Hello Menorcaman
    Thanks for your comprehensive reply – just what I wanted.

    Does this mean that I will have the saved image file for Drive 0 will contains the C: image – 17Gb, the D: image - 1Gb and the E: - 1.4Gb i.e. about 20Gb in all?
    The existing Drive 0 is size 60Gb – partitioned 28/25/4. When I insert the new drive (120Gb) to copy the image across, what option would be best so that I don’t have unused space? (I didn’t want to buy Acronis Partition Manager to adjust the partition sizes later).

    Great idea. This would avoid the inadvertent activation of the Startup Recovery Manager (SRM) and overwriting the MBR. [Your thread - What features do we need most in TrueImage v9).
    If it works on my "Peace of Mind" disc then I don’t mind keeping updating the image on my Drive 1 (H: ) drive.

    A new “final question” – when fitting the new Drive 0 and copying the image from the H: drive, am I correct that all operations are done with the system booted from the TI9 CD disc? Is this a different (and safer method) than pressing F11 during boot to access the Secure Zone and thus avoid accidentally overwriting the MBR?

    Off-Topic: The wind is now from north-west, hope it doesn’t blow the smoke from the oil-depot fire your way!

    Regards
    RetiredBri
     
  10. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hi again RetiredBri,

    I'm afraid so. Although once you've created a "whole disk" image you could, if you you wish, create incremental images of the individual partitions.

    Use the workaround procedure I posted in this previous thread titled <New HD image from CDs?>.

    Yes, you're correct, the main system drive can't be restored from within Windows (I believe you meant "restore", rather than "copy", the image from the H: drive).

    Booting from the rescue CD or via the Startup Recovery Manager (press F11 whilst booting) results in the same thing - you end up in the, Linux based, Acronis rescue environment. The Secure Zone (SZ) is primarily intended for those people with only one hard drive. The Startup Recovery Manager (SRM) is there for convenience or for those user's who's systems have neither a floppy disk or CD/DVD drive that they can boot from. Therefore, unless you want the capabilty to automatically limit the number of incremental images created in a SZ, I would, personally, do without it. At the very least, given the potential for problems it could cause, I recommend that you do not also activate the associated SRM.

    It might make a pleasant change from the rain, wind and cold weather we've been getting lately!!

    Regards
     
  11. Kapiti

    Kapiti Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    270
    Location:
    Paraparaumu NZ
     
  12. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    4,661
    Location:
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
     
  13. Kapiti

    Kapiti Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Posts:
    270
    Location:
    Paraparaumu NZ
    Thanks for the quick response. Like you I don’t intend to purchase a new hard drive just to prove the theory, so if Acronis could clarify the situation either way, it would be a big help.

    I’ve only just upgraded to version 9, couldn’t resist the Acronis Christmas deal ($17.99 US) and at this stage I’m very pleased apart from the MBR situation.

    Hope your theory is correct as it will save me both time and space. Thanks for both the assistance and the idea:)

    John.
     
  14. RetiredBri

    RetiredBri Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Posts:
    23
    Location:
    Saffron Walden, Essex, UK
    Thanks everyone for the advice

    The new hard drive arrives next week so I'll let you know what happens, once I've tried it out.

    Regards
    RetiredBri
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.