pre-purchase questions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Murrayatuptown, Nov 23, 2008.

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  1. Murrayatuptown

    Murrayatuptown Registered Member

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    I registered here because I left two phone messages and two emails with Acronis over 3-4 weeks identified as pre-purchase questions but no answers. Acronis' reputation, the popularity of ATI and the apparent capability to do what I want, override my concern about unresponsive support after purchase.

    I continue to read here and try to get my questions figured out but the more I read, the more confused I get and the more questions I have...

    1)
    I bought a Maxtor One Touch (not Plus) and learned external software is needed to make drive images. I had hoped to create three directories and store weekly incremental backup drive images for three family PC's (2 XP Pro, one XP Home?) A guy at work (with outdated 2003 software) said a drive image takes the same space as the copied drive, regardless of how full it is. They won't fit with that restriction. I see TI 11 (discontinued now?) can create TIB compressed drive images "If the OS is recognized".

    Where would one have an unrecognized OS? On a drive with no OS, just used for storage?

    Is TIB data compression any more risky than uncompressed as far as drive images being found to be corrupt when one actually needs to depend on it?

    2) How does ATI create an image of the same drive it is installed on? Does the installation create its own partition?

    3) What is the legal or Acronis-supported way to support three family PC's? Are three purchases necessary or is there a version that allows installation on more than one PC simultaneously?

    4) Naively thinking it would easy to configure ATI to run weekly automated incremental backups on each PC, then copy each one to an external HD, my next plan was to have my mother get a copy for her PC that easily and efficiently runs under Vista (don't know what version) and set her up. It's a long, long trip I don't get to do very often, and the number of Vista fixes and forum comments on Vista issues don't give me a good feeling. She has Trend Micro AV s/w. What is the difficulty level for getting XP and Vista installations working?

    5) What is a bootable installation?

    6) If there is an ATI version that is Vista-functional? (I can't tell based on some of the forum questions I read, but I don't know how old those threads were). Is there any basis to people's comments about earlier versions being preferable for XP users? If so, there's not much choice one has regarding wishing for previous releases, right?

    Thank you

    Murray
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  2. MrMorse

    MrMorse Registered Member

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    Hi Murray...,

    I'm sorry but my English is too bad to answer your questions comprehensively.
    I understand all your questions and I am convinced that there are 5-6 members here in the forum to give good answers.

    My answer here bumps your thread up :) with the hope that the mentioned members see it ...
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    An image of your partition only images the sectors that are being used not the entire partition. It also does not automatically include the pagefile or any hibernation files. You can create your image with or without compression. A compressed C drive of OS and applications is typically around 65-70% of the size of the used space. If you have a lot of already compressed jpg, mpg, mp3, zip, rar, etc then these will not compress further.

    Some different operating system that is not supported. TI has to be able to make sense of the file system and partition layouts to do its job. Another reason for the OS not being recognized is if say your normally recognized Windows file system is corrupted. In this case, TI will do a sector by sector backup in which all the sectors in the partition are backed up. This time the image is the size of the partition!

    Any time you add a process you run the risk of an extra problem being created. IMO, TI's compression routines are not the cause of problems. People sometimes think they might be but it is more likely some other issue to do with data transfer and concurrent processing. Most people use normal compression all the time.

    TI can create an image of a live Windows system by special techology that locks the partition and queues up writes until it is able to let them modify the disk. TI can create an image in the same partition as being imaged but it cannot restore an image from that partition because one of the first things it does when restoring is to delete the partition which deletes the backup. You can create your image to another internal hard-drive, another partition on the same drive, to an external USB drive, to a DVD, to a network share on another PC....
    TI does allow you to create a special partition called the Secure Zone on your disk. This is a hidden partition and is convenient for people who only have one disk with one partition. It is only secure because it is hidden, if your HD dies then the secure zone partition dies with it.

    You require a TI license for each PC you use TI on so 3 are required for you to be legal. IMO, Acronis is behind the times on this given the propagation of multiple PCs in households.

    It can range from simple to difficult with the primary issue being whether or not the Linux restore environment works well on any given PC. When TI restores the active partition it cannot run Windows so it boots into a Linux environment which is the same as on the TI rescue CD. It is imperative that this recovery environment be tested before you have a problem. It is not good enough to create images in Windows and validate in Windows - remember Windows isn't running when you restore. The best way is a test restore to a spare HD. Personally, I think a lot of Vista complaints are overblown and there are more people posting on forums actually how well it works with decent hardware and maybe getting rid of the UAC questioning.

    Not sure what you mean. Obviously some installation that can be booted such as if you restore your C drive, you want it bootable. Sometimes it refers to an installaltion CD that will boot up such as a Windows installation disk.

    TI10, TI11, TI2009 are all supposed to work with Vista. TI10 had an issue with MBR offset or something like that which needed a Windows repair after restoring for the first time.
    TI11 and TI2009 seem to have issues on some of the scheduling and automated features. The TI2009 user-interface was changed considerably with a change in philosopy from older versions.
    Personally, I only do manual, Full images of my C drive so I avoid the feature problems.
     
  4. Murrayatuptown

    Murrayatuptown Registered Member

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    Thank you, 'seek, and MrMorse.

    The 'bootable' term was something I read on the forum here as a solution to very very slow behavior under Vista - but I don't know if it was about the startup time or a restore process time.

    ----
    To simplify my wish list -

    1) With ATI, can a scheduled disk image backup be made on the same single hard drive for later transfer to an external USB hard drive?
    If NO, unless it takes 17 hours, the necessity of creating the image backup 'in person' on to the USB external drive is something I can live with.

    2) Am I correct in my understanding that a full disk image backup is a way to restore a PC to functionality to the point in time where the backup/image was created?
    If YES, does one 'execute' the backup image on the external USB drive to initiate a restore process, or does it have to be copied to the target drive needing restoration? You implied (or I understood) something like a (reduced) Linux environment that 'handles' the restoration. Maybe this is what I was trying to ask about previously - a 'bootable' image.

    This is in the context of having PC's that come with 'bundled' or pre-loaded software and no XP disk to reinstall an OS - hence "putting all my eggs in one basket" with a panacea backup/restore method.

    Thank you
     
  5. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    yes, if you have adequate free space.
    Yes. You would use the TrueImage Rescue CD which you would create once you have installed TrueImage on your system. Or, if you buy the local retail version, the install disk is also bootable. Why not download the trial version and take it for a spin. You need a highspeed connection for download. You can get a lot of help by reviewing my guides listed on line 2 of my signature below.

    The TrueImage Rescue CD is bootable and provides all you need to be able to boot into the Acronis program and perform the usual backup or restore procedures.

    Remember, if all your backup files are on one external drive and it gets a good electrical jolt or other malfunction, you loose all your backups. Consider have two or more externals and alternate the copying between them. If you go the copy route, be sure and validate the backup file after it is copied to the external. The copy process is not always trouble free.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  6. MrMorse

    MrMorse Registered Member

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    Bingo. There are two of them ;)
     
  7. Murrayatuptown

    Murrayatuptown Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    Murray
     
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