Pre-User Questions about Linux Partitions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by NateInOH, Feb 9, 2007.

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

    NateInOH Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Posts:
    4
    Hi all,

    I tried searching the forum and couldn't quite find the answer I was looking for, so I thought I'd post. Seems like there are a lot of well-informed and helpful people on this board.

    Anyhow, I am in need of a backup solution and I've read great things about Acronis, so I thought I'd start here. I'm not 100% sure it will be able to suit my needs, though. Here's my set up and what I'd like be able to do:

    HP Laptop - 100GB HD - 2 Partitions (70GB NTFS and 30 GB EXT3)
    External Backup Drive - 300GB - 2, maybe 3, partitions. Unformatted.

    I dual boot XP (70GB Drive) and Debian Gnu/Linux (30GB).

    I would like to be able to back up each partition separately to the 300GB external drive. I mess around with Linux a lot have broken my system before. The XP data is crucial; the Linux data is not.

    I'm looking at getting TI10 Home Ed. and I know that this is a Windows based program. From what I've read I can back up a Linux drive with it, but I can't quite figure out how that's done.

    Would I format the Exteral Drive to NTFS or EXT3 to back up the Linux image?
    If I broke Linux and the the computer wouldn't boot, could I use TI to restore either partition separately? How is the MBR handled if I were to do this? I am currently using GRUB.

    Finally, if GRUB were to become unusable, could I use a TI boot disk to fix the MBR, reload the Linux image and then boot to Windows/Linux as normal?

    If this is documented online, I don't mind reading it there, I just couldn't find the links.

    Thanks for the help,
    Nate
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,479
    Location:
    California
    Assuming your hardware is supported correctly, you will be able to backup and restore your windows and linux partitions from either windows or the Acronis rescue cd. If the Acronis rescue cd can't see your drives you can try the "safe" mode or create a BartPE rescue cd. (I have used and tested all three methods.)

    You can create a backup image containing the entire drive (MBR, XP, Linux) or create separate backup images for each partition. The MBR is automatically included in single partiton backups just in case. If you need to restore a single partition (your linux partition, for example) from a complete drive backup, that is not a problem.

    You external drive should normally be in the NTFS format. You don't need to have EXT3 to backup a linux partition.

    If you need to just restore the MBR from a backup image you can do that.

    If GRUB becomes broken, the best thing will be to reinstall grub by booting from a linux live/rescue cd. I've had this happen several times when restoring a linux partition. Apparently GRUB is looking for something in an exact place on the hard drive. When TI restores it puts the files back, but not in the exact same places. This can cause grub to not find the kernel. A simple reinstall of grub fixes this.

    I have used TI on a laptop with 2 XP partitions and one Ubuntu partiton and it works well. It makes testing quick and restores easy.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Ditto here. I use TI to back up my IBM X41 laptop that dual boots Windows XP and Kubuntu Linux. The laptop contains 2 NTFS partitions, 3 ext3 partitions, a swap partition, and a FAT32 partition. I usually back up across my home network to a file server running Linux and thus the backup .tib files end up being stored on a disk formatted with ReiserFS. Sometimes I will also store a local copy of the .tib file on the laptop on a backup partition formatted in NTFS.

    Restoring any of the Linux partitions from TI running in Windows works flawlessly, as does restoring from the bootable rescue version of TI, which I run either from a USB flash drive or a CD.
     
  4. NateInOH

    NateInOH Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Posts:
    4
    MudCrab, k0lo,

    Thanks for the input. TI sounds like it will work perfectly for me. I'm glad to see that others are using it for the same purpose that I'm looking to.

    I was able to take a look at some of the documentation I found in another's post and it led me to another question, although I think K0lo's solutions answers this.

    Do I need to use the SecureZone? What is are the pros/cons to it. Seems like it's best for users who think they might be likely to delete the file. Other than that, won't the .tib file be fine on any drive?
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Nate:

    The only thing "secure" about the Secure Zone is that Windows will not recognize the Secure Zone partition, thus you can't accidentally delete a backup, or a virus can't do anything to a backup. The advantage of having one is that you can keep a backup on your hard drive in a relatively protected area for on-the-fly restoration. This is most convenient for laptops with only one hard drive.

    However, you're usually better off not using a Secure Zone. You can accomplish the same thing by creating your own partition and making it hidden to Windows. Then you can do anything to the .tib files contained therein; copy them, rename them, burn them to DVDs, etc. You give up that flexibility if you store your backups in the Secure Zone.

    Since you are going to run Linux, I'm sure that you know how to copy and protect your backup files and that the most secure location for a backup is on another disk somewhere far away from your PC!
     
  6. NateInOH

    NateInOH Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Posts:
    4
    K0lo,

    Thanks again for the input. I will be running a laptop, but my backups will be on an external drive, so I'll likely opt out of implementing the SecureZone.

    I'm going to download the trial this week, see how it goes and likely purchase the TI Home 10.0 version this weekend.

    Thanks again for the help. The posts were very informative.

    Nate
     
  7. NateInOH

    NateInOH Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Posts:
    4
    Morning all,

    This post is just a follow up on my purchase. So far I've purchased the TI10 and I've backed up both my Windows and my Linux partitions (separate backup files).

    I messed up some things and I even cleared of the Linux partition, changed Grub and the MBR just to see what would happen. I even went so far as to install a different distro to just see what would happen.

    When the time came to restore my original Linux partition, TI worked flawlessly. Grant it, I had to use it through Windows, but that was expected. TI was also able to restore my MBR (including Grub) the way is was before I started messing around with it.

    I am very please with the capability of TI10 Home and will continue to trust my backups to it.

    Thanks again to those that helped me with my initial questions.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    Nate:

    Glad to hear that things worked well for you. One other suggestion is that you use the included "Bootable Rescue Media Builder" application that came with TI10 to create a standalone bootable version of TrueImage on a CD or on a USB flash drive.

    Then even if you can't run Windows you can start your PC with the bootable media and run TrueImage to do a backup or a restore. Some users even prefer using the standalone recovery environment (which is Linux-based) to do their backup and recovery operations.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.