Question about backing up Partition 1

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Mike89, Feb 17, 2008.

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  1. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    I have two 250 gig hard drives (SATA). First hard drive split into 2 partitions. Second hard drive is 1 partition.

    First partition on 1st hard drive at 15 gigs. This is where I have XP Pro installed and various programs. I just install what I call essential programs into C:\Program Files and install everything else on mainly the second partition of the first hard drive (E:\). Second hard drive is mainly for files, games, and backups (though I do also have games installed on 2nd partition of 1st hard drive).

    My question is related to making an Acronis (11) backup of just the first partition of first hard drive (C:\) and putting it on the second hard drive (D:\).

    If say I had a severe Windows crash and I had to use Acronis to restore that 1st partition (from the backup, and I would be using the Acronis CD I made to do the restore). Is the computer going to be back where it was, where all links to the other partition and other hard drive are still intact? I would think so but want to be sure in case this situation ever happened (cause it's why I'm making these backups in the first place).
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  2. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Your system looks like what I have.

    You should be ok, as long as you restored to a new hard drive that has 2 partitions like your original one. But with windows xp, sometimes during bootup it might reassign different drive letters to the other partitions/dvdroms. But a simple shortcut fixes is all that is needed.

    From my expierence once you installed a game/program the registry entries are made to your system partition. You can move the program folders anywhere you want later on. You will have to create new shortcuts to the exe files, but they will work.

    I have never had an instance where I couldn't get a program that I installed on a different hard drive not work when restoring a new hard drive.
     
  3. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    I was just referring to restoring the 1st partition back to the same partition on the same hard drive (in case of an OS failure). It's why I'm making these C:\ backups in the first place, to protect the OS. If I lost the whole drive, it would be a completely different deal anyway as I would have to re-install everything on the 2nd partition (of which I didn't have a backup of). If I lost the whole 1st hard drive, I don't think I would even use the restore (of 1st partition) on a new hard drive cause it seems this would be a very messy restore being Windows would have all this stuff registered for the 2nd partition when there wasn't anything on it. I think that could create more problems than just doing a clean install.

    I'm not really set up for full computer backups as I have stuff installed on both hard drives. To do that I would actually need a third hard drive for backup only. So I'm doing the next best thing, mainly backing up just the OS.

    Now on my work computer I am set up for this. Two hard drives, first one (also 2 partitions) with ALL stuff installed and second one just for backup of 1st hard drive (and also some storage files). This doesn't really work for my home computer because I have so much more stuff installed (and a lot of freaking games). I could actually do it but I would have to trade out my 2 250 gig hard drives for at least 2 500 gig (or bigger) hard drives. I may consider that one day as I would like to do full computer backups.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  4. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Couple thoughts.

    1. If your computer gets zonked, all your internal drives and any backup stored on those drives are gone bye bye. You also need an external drive to supplement your backups storage. Thus, you would have backup storage on drive 2 plus your external drive. For security, the external drive is disconnected completely from the computer except for the few minutes the backup is actually being created.

    2. Should you have a drive failure or other malfunction whereby the system disk needs to replaced, your backup type needs to be a "full" disk backup that contains a backup of all your partitions on that single system disk. The benefit of have a disk backup (all partitions) is that you can still do single system restores to either c or d, but should you need to replace the disk (both partitions), you have the necessary components to easily get yourself out of trouble and up and running in a matter of minutes. Conversely, if your only backups consistes of the first partition only, getting a bootable system is much more difficult plus you're missing your data backup. Creating a disk backup is easy and takes no more space than having individual backups of both partitions plus you have the benefits of an easy disk replacement.

    Backups of the second disk (if it contains data) should also be kept current--based on whatever your needs.

    3. It is very easy to restore only the C drive(partition 1) or only the D drive(partition 2) or the entire disk (all partitions on the single disk) from a full disk backup should you have a problem with a rogue program or virus.

    4. Each of your backup archives should be validated and you should perform some testing to make sure your restores works as anticipated.
     
  5. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    Some comments about the quote (and question)

    If the computer got zonked...... Well I guess that could be true if the computer caught on fire or something. I really don't anticipate something like that happening (where I would lose two hard drives at the same time). I mean if my computer caught on fire or my room did, I'd probably lose the external hard drive too. (I assume you are talking about some massive power surge or something frying everything in the case)

    The external hard drive stuff. If using an external hard drive, is the Acronis CD going to be able to actually see it if I needed to restore a backup from it? Are you talking USB or ESata? Those external hard drives sure aren't cheap, about twice the price (or more) of the same size internal hard drive. Dunno if I want to spend the money when I could just buy an internal.

    I agree about being able to do FULL computer backups as I stated in my previous post (and stated how I would have to do it). For the time being though, I'm just concerned about doing a full backup of first partition so I could restore it if Windows got fubared (saving me from having to do a clean install of Windows and having to re-install any apps on 1st partition, 2nd partition, and 2nd hard drive). I mean that's better than nothing at all. That was my original question of this thread (if this would work in that scenario).

    As far as the testing. Yeah it would be nice to be able to test it but that's easier said than done (the test would be when I had to do the real thing). I'm not really set up to do that kind of testing. I don't have another computer lying around for purposes like that and those virtual programs like vmware and the one Microsoft has kind of scare me. Don't know that I fancy having something like that on my everyday working computer. I have my computer set up a certain way for what I do on it and dunno how that would fit in the scheme of things.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Note my previous response
    Using the TI Rescue CD which you created(?), you can boot from it and perform all types of backups and restores. The TI Rescue CD is a vital part of any Acronis Restore procedure. You need to boot from it and make sure all your drives and backups are visible. If you have an external drive with backup stored on it, simulate doing a restore to confirm that your drives are visible when booted from the Rescue CD.
    The type of external is not important, use whatever will work on your computer. The USB is the most universal.

    Testing can be as simple (or as detailed) as fit your needs. There is no cost to using the simulation feature of TrueImage that allows you to perform all functions up to the point of the Proceed option. Instead of pressing Proceed, you press Cancel to stop the simulation. This is the method you use to test whether your external (or internal) drives are visible from within Windows and when booted from the Rescue CD. You simulate backups and restores from your Rescue CD before you have a real need.

    If you don't want to buy an external, then make your own. Buy an external enclosure and insert a lessor expensive internal drive into it. Having an external enclosure gives you the ability to upgrade its hard drive whenever you have a few extra bucks.
    Yes, I was mostly referring to an electrical problem such as a power surge resulting from a loss of power. Despite what you might think, it happens more often than you image. I have a friend who lives in a major city that lost power during two different snow stores. Each time it cost him repairs including the total loss of his UPS and his drives. During our last snow storm, I lost a expensive HEPA air filter which was on a surge protector. Yes, Mike, it is entirely possible for you to lose both drives plus much more. Having an external drive for your backups is just another tool in your arsenal of protection.

    If you do no testing, you have no idea whether your backups will function when needed. It's your choice as to how much you want to test. Some people use spare drives while others use partition restoration while others just use simulation. My suggestions is to try to get your prepared before you have a problem rather than trying to help after the problem occurs.

    One test you can most certainly take is to copy (simple windows copy) the contents of partition #2 onto disk #2. Then use TI to restore the contents of partition #2 (booting from the TI Rescue CD). You should have a successful restore but it you don't, you have identical contents on disk #2 which can be back copied onto its original location. Testing can come in many forms.:)
     
  7. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the time and feedback, you've been really helpful and I appreciate it. Buying an enclosure and putting a regular SATA hard drive in it sounds like a very good idea. As I'm writing this, I am looking at Newegg for enclosures (they have quite a few). My motherboard already has an ESata connector so I should be good to go.

    When getting this, do you suggest making two backups each time (one for first hard drive and one for second hard drive) to put on the external or making one backup of both drives?

    Also, when hot plugging in the ESata external hard drive (which I would probably just plug in when I was doing the backups), I assume Windows is putting the drive letter at the end of the chain like when plugging in a USB flash drive, rather than putting it in between the hard drives and my 3 DVD drives? I would rather have it at the end rather than it moving the DVD drive letters each time I plugged it in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I would made a separate backup image for each drive. There's nothing really wrong with including both in one image file, but it just makes a larger file and if it gets corrupted, both drives will be corrupted. If they are in separate files, then if one gets corrupted, the other won't be affected.

    The drive letter will be assigned like a USB drive. It won't be placed between your current hard drives and CD/DVD drives. It's basically the same as if you added another internal drive. The new drive's letter defaults to the next available letter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  9. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    RE: eSata drive enclosures:
    Antec Veris MX-1 hard drive enclosure. I bought mine for $35 at Staples.
    Accepts only 3-1/2" SATA drives--(IDE will not fit).
    Connects via eSata or USB
    Includes eSata bracket which converts internal SATA to eSata
    Nice cooling fan. Well made of hard plastic. No aluminum.
    I have not tried the eSata connection but the USB worked well when performing a clone.

    When connecting the eSata the first time, use the XP Disk Management and remove the assigned drive letter and re-assign a drive letter of your choice. On subsequent boots, it should pick up your preferred drive letter--mine does. The nice thing of having both usb and eSata is that if TI does not recognize the Sata, you have usb as another choice for recovery.

    Backup frequency is controlled by how much your data changes. It is a matter of personal preference. Just remember that you need to be always prepared should your system drive need replacement and that means having a full disk backup of all partitions on the system disk. I have no idea of your second disk as to what its content. There is no need to create a backup which contains other *.tib backup files. There are all types of previous postings about backup methods, etc. Even copies of personal files or music or Video stored on DVD can be life savers.
     
  10. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    OK, I just ordered an enclosure (a ThermalTake with 80mm side fan) and a WD 750 gig Sata hard drive.

    Another question. I want to use the eSata connector on the back of the computer (my Asus P5B Deluxe has one) because it's so much faster than USB.

    Am I going to be able to plug and unplug this in at will when computer is running like with a USB flash drive (cause I really wouldn't need it running all the time)? I've heard some say hot plugging in a hard drive (through eSata) works and some say it doesn't (have to hook it up before computer boots). I'm a bit confused on this and am trying to get an idea of what to expect when I hook this up.

    I don't want to have to come back in here and tell Grover I blew up my computer! :)


    This is going to be really cool. Now I'll be able to take full advantage of Acronis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I have the ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi board. I'll plug and unplug my eSATA drive and see how it responds. I know the Vista drivers are installed, but I'm not sure about the XP drivers (I multi-boot on that computer).
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Actually, it was the XP drivers that were installed and not the Vista drivers. I thought I had tested the drive with Vista, but it was XP and VistaPE. In any case, the drive can be plugged in and unplugged and is detected properly.

    However, the drive does not show up in the Safely Remove Hardware program so if you want to make sure it's okay to remove you'll need to either uninstall it in the Device Manager or use a HotSwap program. Otherwise you'll get an Event Log error (since the drive wasn't prepared for removal) and possible corruption on the drive.
     
  13. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    Never used a Hotswap Program. Any good ones to suggest?

    I guess un-installing in Device Manager is not too bad.
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I found this one in a search, but I haven't tried it yet. There are probably others.

    Using the Device Manager, you just right-click on the drive and select Uninstall. It doesn't take too long, but it's not as handy as using the Safely Remove Hardware program.
     
  15. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    I saw that one, got it and another one. Should be getting my stuff today so I'll give everything a spin and see how it turns out. Hopefully everything works out with the external Sata and that Acronis can see it OK if a restore was needed. I'd hate to have to use the hard drive through USB. Seems kind of a waste having a fast SATA drive hooked up and having to use it without its speed potential.
     
  16. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    OK, got it all hooked up. I really like the ThermalTake external enclosure. Looks really nice (brushed aluminum look sides and top, and black front and back), very good construction, nice blue (quiet) fan on the side, big blue hard drive activity light, assembled very easily.

    I found I was quite a rookie when hooking up the hard drive (through the external Sata on back of computer). I hooked it up with XP running and was expecting to see something like new hardware found or something. I saw nothing. I was kind of tripping for a minute and then went into the Disk Management section. I saw it. I then had to figure out what to do next. I'm still a bit unclear with the differences between stuff like basic disk, dynamic disk, simple volumes, etc. I saw that the other two drives were basic disk so I set it up that way and formatted (NTFS). Assigned it the letter "I" behind my 3 DVD drives and gave it a volume name of "External".

    Then fired up Acronis and did my first full computer backup! Took about an hour to backup approx 209 gigs (started 9:55:40 PM and ended 10:57:21 PM). I can imagine how long that would have taken using the USB connection.

    Now things that remain to do is see how well it hot swaps in and out and do a test with Acronis CD to see if it sees the drive ok (before Windows loads).

    All in all, I'm pretty stoked. I have capability now I never had before.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
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