Question about partition backup

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Broeux, Jan 8, 2008.

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  1. Broeux

    Broeux Registered Member

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    I'm using the Seagate DiscWizard version of ATI and doing my first image backup C: to G: C has total capacity of 229 GB, with 75GB used, 154GB free. When I get to the "proceed" step it says: "Create full image backup from C to G." Then "Operation 1 of 2 Saving partition structure hard disc 1." Then "Operation 2 of 2 Creating partition image hard disc 1 drive letter C, file system NTFS, Volume label [blank], size 229.5G."

    This is confusing me. It sounds like it's going to image the full partition 229.5 GB, but how can it image more than the 75GB of used space? I have only 117GB free on G: using normal compression.

    About 40% of the 75GB I want to image is photo, music and video files. About what size would the .tib be with normal compression?

    Thanks much for your insights.
     
  2. gud4u

    gud4u Registered Member

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    Acronis will always tell you the full size of the partition - but will only backup used sectors. Thus the 75GB will be backed up - ignoring the unused sectors.

    I really don't know what the 'normal' compression rate is, but you will be prevented from backing up the image if the secure zone is not large enough.

    When your backup is complete always validate/verify the integrity of the backup.

    Then comes the acid test: restore the image to C:.
     
  3. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I think doing a validation of every backup is a waste of time but let me give my reasons. It takes about as long as doing the backup (so it's not without cost) and yet only tells you that backup file contain the same bits as when it was first written -- there is no comparison to the original data. Also, under some circumstances a validation can fail and the backup image still be perfectly fine -- that is, it will fail on some hardware yet be a perfectly fine backup file and will work on other setups such as, for example, an internal instead fo USB drive. So validations have only narrow utility as an indicator that something might be right/wrong with how ATI behaves on your hardware setup.

    Doing an actual restore is the only thing that really can assure you that a backup image can be restored on a particulare hardware setup -- even then, it worked this time, will it work next time? AT some point you have to start trusting the software. For example, once I know ATI can restore on a particular hardware setup, I don't keep doing test restores for every backup -- my gosh, if I had to that, I think I'd just stop doing backups altogether and use some other method for data safety.

    Still it's somewhat a matter of taste -- and tolerance of the mundane -- how much of these mechanical procudures you want to put yourself through. They aren't so bad if you can automate them, although I've never seen a restore automated as a part of an image backup routine.

     
  4. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    These files are already compressed and will not compress further. You should consider having copies of these files in their native form--not tied inside a proprietary format program which can only be read by that specific program. Having copies on an external drive and on DVD can provide additional security.

    You may find reading this previous threads helpful.
    Recommend backup scheme for photos, music 32 replies--2 pages
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=164175

    SAVE MY MUSIC COLLECTION! PLEASE (29 replies --2 pages)
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167710

    Best way for making functioning images
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1047306
    Addendum:
    Creating an image archive of your 75GB used space should be no larger than your 75GB but will normally be about 60% of used space; or my best guess based on your mix is your backup will consume about 50-55GB of space.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  5. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    Really? Do you know this?
    To do what you say would require the software either to write checksum data into the backup file itself and validate the contents against it or to write a duplicate file to check itself against. Similar validation routines I have written merely read the file as if doing a restore without actually doing the restore.
     
  6. gud4u

    gud4u Registered Member

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    Perhaps. I admit that when I backup my System partition to another partition on the same drive I seldom validate/verify that archive. It has never failed validation.

    But I keep a separate backup of my System partition to DVD media, and I always validate that archive - even though the validation time period is much longer.

    I'm also biased towards 'safe practices' by experiences with other backup/restore programs.

    Since the penalty for a failed restore may be the pain-in-the-ass requirement for a clean OS installation and all the tweaks to suit your preferences, I always recommend validation as a safe(r) practice.
     
  7. Broeux

    Broeux Registered Member

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    Thanks to all for the information. I did the image--the 75GB compressed (normal) to 65GB. Before proceeding, I think I better clairify some points.

    I imaged C: to internal G: . I haven't run the validation, instead I planned to go straight to a test restore, to external E: which also contains duplicate copies of music/photo files plus network backup from my wife's machine.

    I get to "partition or disc to restore" and can choose from NTFS (c) and/or MBR and track 0. I assume both should be ticked?

    Then I get to "yes I want to delete all partitions on the destination HDD" and this, confirmed by the help file, seems clearly to mean it's going to wipe out everything already on E and replace it with the image of C.

    So, I have to maintain an empty drive to which I can test restore? This doesn't sound right (and, shieber, if it's true I wouldn't want to test restore an image of C to C).

    I must be missing something here. Please set me straight.

    What about the procedure of mounting the image so I can explore the actual files to see that everything appears intact? That doesn't prove that the image would restore to C later, if I had a crash of C, right? I need to reboot with the boot disc to make sure I can get to the archived image. So I need to do a test restore from the boot disc, not windows?

    GroverH, thanks for the link to the thread discussing sync software. Second Copy looks promising. I want to compare it with FolderMatch, which I have been using. It's not bad but costs 35USD after trial.

    Thanks, again, for your help.

    One other thing, does anyone know what features ATI 11 has that the free stripped down version of DiscWizard imaging software doesn't?
     
  8. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    No, tick C

    Yes

    Shieber will probably mean testing it by restoring immediately after taking the backup which is quite scary but think on it - If you can't restore then any backups you make are useless.

    Nothing can prove a restore will work until you actually do it. I and many here have restored many times and still live lol.

    What I did was to re-evaluate what is important on my PC. I decided that my data was (wow) i.e. that the system and programs can be reinstalled at any time and probably as needed. So taking system backups and being able to revert to any stable system without causing major trauma was a good idea. TI enables me to do that.

    At some stage you are going to restore and everyone has to take the challenge!!!
     
  9. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    seagate limitations by mustang
    This link by Mustang will show more info about reduced options of Seagate DiscWizard(Acronis) as compared to the retail version of TrueImage.
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=175584#7

    Re: sync software:
    ....I use the Karen Kenworthy's free (for personal use) Replicator for my non-Acronis file matching/updating/copying, etc.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your personal computer configuration could influence how your questions are being answered.

    1. What OS?
    2. How many partitions on your system disk as displayed by Windows Disk Management? (such things as hidden or diagnostic)
    3. If you do not have a separate DATA partition, have you considered creating one and moving all your movies, videos & photos to a data partition; or to a separate data disk?. This separation of data would offer benefits in easier backups and faster restores since you could do single partition backup/restore of either your system partition or your data partition only.

    4. You would surprised how many people do utilize extra or supplementary disks to test or protect their data. Xpilot is one who utilizes disk caddies and extra disk so his ease of recovery is painless. This link below was his initial post but he does have other more recent postings of more recent modifications. A forum search can provide other numerous examples of personal backup preferences which involve supplemental backups for the sake of security.

    An improved method to backup a PC by Xpilot
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=136754
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  10. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    Grover, you are getting worse than Acronis with all your bells and whistles, i'll stick with my dog photo.
     
  11. Broeux

    Broeux Registered Member

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    SPARKY:

    Thanks for addressing my questions.

    So, I would tick MBR/track 0 if restoring to a new HD?

    Good thing I didn't just restore to E without reading closely!

    You wrote:
    Shieber will probably mean testing it by restoring immediately after taking the backup which is quite scary but think on it - If you can't restore then any backups you make are useless.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "scary" - I see that testing the restore is absolutely essential (though I don't have an extra HD to dedicate to that). Please explain what I should be scared of in testing the restore. I assume if restore failed I'd just have to re-image and try again.

    GROVER:

    Thanks for the thread about DiscWizard vs. TI. For now the former does all I want to do.

    I tried KK's Replicator a long time ago and didn't like it. Maybe it has improved, or I just didn't give it enough of a test drive.

    You wrote:
    Your personal computer configuration could influence how your questions are being answered.

    How would this config influence the answers?

    1. my OS is xp pro SP2 fully updated
    2. my primary drive is partitioned to C (230 GB) and F (50GB)
    3. no separate data partition, but have wanted it. Originally the F partition was to be for "project files" --no longer needed. F's 50GB are not enough for my data files, that should be my OS partition, with the 230GB C: for data. But I didn't know if I could just "remap" (or whatever you would call it) to make the 50GB partition the C drive for the OS. Can someone guide me on that?

    I must say I'm impressed by how so many on this forum seem to take a keen interest in helping others. I've learned far more here than trying to absorb the Acronis help file. You saved my bacon! Thanks.
     
  12. gud4u

    gud4u Registered Member

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    That's the MBR-only, archived from the last backup.

    You would use it to repair/overwrite a damaged or modified MBR - such as the modified MBR that Acronis writes when you 'Activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager'. It's a good idea to keep an archive of a clean MBR, though there are utilities that can write a new MBR.

    Hope this helps!
     
  13. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    Your welcome.
    No - always tick the C drive because that is where all your data is. The MBR is only a tiny bit of the disk - see what gud4u has said on that.

    Scary as in once you commit to restoring then that is it. If the restore fails then usually the destination drive or partition will already have been overwritten at least in part. Sorry if i make it sound so terrible, it is very unlikely to fail if the backup was ok. What you do need to realise is that if it doesn't work then you will have a worst case scenario which usually means a manual reinstallation of everything.

    I'll let my friend Grover help you on that.
    I would use Acronis Disk Director I think but I'll say no more cos I'm tired and I read your initial post again and my head started spinning lol.

    Its cos we are all nuts:'( :blink: :blink: :blink:
     
  14. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Yes, I belive I do know this. It's been discussed many times on the forums, including comments from Acronis. Acronis's description of how validation works is that, when a tib is created, checksums are created and embedded in the file. When you validate, ATI reads the file, recomputes the checksums and sees if they are the same as the origianl checksums; if any checksum doesn't match, the file is declared corrupted. There is no comparison to the original data even if you validate right after creating the tib file. I don't recall how many bytes of data there are for every checksum but I do recall that having been posted also -- I think was a checksum for each 256K bytes.

     
  15. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    Ok, thanks :)
     
  16. Broeux

    Broeux Registered Member

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    Correction: I erroneously attributed the advice to restore the image of C back to C to shieber. That should have been gud4u.

    OK. Thank you sparky and gud4u.

    OK, now I'm totally not understanding this. We're using ATI imaging mostly for its "life-saving" and very convenient feature of enabling us to recover from a disastrous loss of a hard drive, but to be sure ATI will really do that, we should risk the very possible loss of everything on that HD by a "test" to see if the image really will restore it or destroy it?!! Can someone tell me where I'm going wrong in my thinking?

    Xpilot's strategy sounds great, though my needs are not to have a rack of HD's for quick swapping. Just having a dedicated HD to test restorability sounds sufficient. HD's are a steal these days.

    I can appreciate that--my head was fairly spinning when I finished posting! Thanks for your help, and patience.
     
  17. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    I don't think you are wrong but the fact is that unless you trust that a restore will work there isn't much point in backing up :)
    When I first bought TI, I decided to reinstall the system from scratch. I already had used Disk Director to create partitions, so the C partition was free of any 'critical data'. So the worst thing that could happen is to have to reinstall everything and I was doing that anyway. So you just have to minimise the risk.
    Xpilot and others use all sorts of strategies which are very good and its suits them, so there is no real right or wrong, do what you think is right for you.
    I've restored the system to various points without any problems so I am confident the backups I have for my data and system, and I have quite a few copies now, will work.
     
  18. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Restoring a backup for the first time with a new program is never a sure thing and needs to proofed or tested by performing an actual restore.
    Risking the loss of your data would be a "last ditch" option or making sure you're prepared if such a loss was to incur.

    First choice would be to use an extra test disk for your testing until you gain some confidence with the software. Supplemental testing would be to mount the archive copy several files from the archive to another or original drive. In the absence of a test disk, next might be to restore a "data only" partition providing you have additional copies of your data stored safely elsewhere.

    In the absence of no testing, least preferred would be restore C over C. But eventually, you have take that risk if your other minimal testing has been successful. As a safety precaution, you need to be prepared if the C over C fails. That precaution includes current & complete backups of your system and having the necessary files to reload your system from scratch in the unlikely event that your backup files are not usable. If there is a failure, often times it is faulty user selection rather than the software failing. No software is immune from user mistakes. One such prevention is to name your drives with easily identifiable names. We know that TI will/may assign different drive letters to the disks when using the TI Rescue CD. Restoration should be directed to drive names and not drive letters assigned by TI.

    There have been numerous discussion of testing when can be referenced using the forum search option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  19. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Yes, how your computer is configured can control what responses are offered--and by whom. Without that info, responses tend to be generic and really not always applicable to your configuration. In fact, the response can often be wrong for your specific configuration. Even the individuals responding may differ based on your configuration. For example, I avoid posting to questions involving Dell computers due my lack of exposure to their XP or newer computers.

    Computers having multiple partitions usually require different "disk replacement" procedures than those with single partitions. Since your system disk contains two partitions, your disk restoration procedure will usually differ from those steps needed to replace a one partition system disk. Note here, I am referring to disk replacements or disk upgrades. I will try to expand on this in a subsequent posting.

    Note: this is a discussion of imaging and any use of cloning (disk replacement) is not considered.
     
  20. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Changing the size of the two partitions (XP Pro) could be done using TrueImage 10 or 11.
    For example:
    on C, you could reduce the partition size by 150GB --from 230GB to 80GB. Then, on D, increase the size by 150MB from 50GB to 200GB.

    This would begin with a "full disk" backup which would include a complete backup of all partitions within a single backup set of *.tib files.

    Booting from the TI Rescue CD, restoration would be a "Partition" restore with resizing" as indicated below by Menorcaman" via a previous posting.

    "Assuming you are using True Image 9.0 Home Build 3567 or higher, you can resize the partitions during a restore. Unfortunately, it's not quite as intuitive as it could be:

    1. When you get to the screen (Partition or Disk to Resize) asking which partition or whole hard drive you want to restore make sure you only tick the checkbox adjacent to a Partition rather than the Disk Number.
    2. Later in the restore process you will be able to drag the partition size slider to the size you want.
    3. When you are then asked whether you want to restore another partition or hard drive, select "Yes, I want to restore another partition or hard drive". You can then select another partition (if the original hard drive contained more than one) and resize that if required.
    4. Repeat step #3 for all partitions in the image, finishing off by ticking the MBR & Track 0 checkbox.
    5. When done, commit the combined restore via the "Proceed" button. You should then end up with a bootable system drive where the partition(s) fills all the available space on the new drive.

    Sounds a bit long winded I know but it's really just a case of selecting the individual partition(s), resizing it/them accordingly and then finally including the MBR & Track 0 before committing the restore.

    Menoraman"​
    One of the nice things about TrueImage is that you can practice via simulating any procedure you wish to undertake including the above. Simply begin the procedure and make all your selections as if performing all your functions or changes STOP WHEN YOU REACH THE PROCEED SCREEN!. Click CANCEL to VOID all your option selections and return to main Acronis menu. CAUTION: Do not click the PROCEED button unless you truly wish to actually perform the function you have just selected.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  21. Broeux

    Broeux Registered Member

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    Thanks very much, GroverH--excellent tip regarding the practice run. I will try it, assuming my freebie DiscWizard v. of TI allows it.

    Maybe it will become obvious once I get into it, but what's not clear to me is: if I make a single full disc backup combining C and F, when I restore how can I, or ATI, break out from backup each part to restore to each partition? I would be restoring what WAS on F to the resized C, and vice versa. Thanks for your help.

    Bob
     
  22. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Now you're confusing me.

    I understood you to say that your system disk was Drive C and your data was Drive F. Based on that, my instructions would overlay C over C and F over F and each partition would be resized according to sizes you input into the resizing option screen.

    Yes, you can select individual partitions for restore from a full disk backup. Note on the backup "Partition Selection" screen, when you checkmark the disk option, all the other partition (C & F) will become checkmarked automatically. Your backup will contain two partitions and each can be restored individually.

    Often times during normal use, you will only want to restore a single partition and this can be done very easily from a full disk backup of all partitions.

    Once you have an actual "disk" backup of all partitions, you can use simulate any of your questions within TI without pressing the Proceed button.

    addendum:
    When you open XP Disk Management. We are expecting it to show Disk 0 with Partition 1 as Drive C with 230GB size; and Partition 2 as Drive F with 50GB size. If it shows anything else, please post an attachment of the image displayed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  23. Broeux

    Broeux Registered Member

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    That's correct.

    STOP! CAUTION!

    Hopefully, this won't make your head spin. If so, come back to it whenever you can. I appreciate your time and expertise and look forward to any additional advice you can give but wouldn't want to cause a neck injury!

    Sorry for the confusion. My explanation was probably not so clear. I had said "...my primary drive is partitioned to C (230 GB) and F (50GB). ... no separate data partition, but have wanted it. Originally the F partition was to be for 'project files' --no longer needed."

    When I said no separate data partition, I was referring to My Documents. Everything is on C. There's nothing on the F partition, except two folders, Recycler and System Volume Information (66MB).

    What I want is a small C for system, with the remaining disk space partitioned for My Docs. Now, I have 75GB on C, 45 of which is My Docs. So, with a full Disk 0 image, I could resize C to, say 60GB for system, and restore from backup the C partition to C. Correct? The remaining 220GB partition F would be for my data. And do I just restore the Recycler and System Volume Information folders from the old F? (Since My Docs are in that C backup, I could just move them to F when all is done.)

    As I recall, you can't simply use disk mgmt's "change drive letter and paths" to change C to F and F to C, correct me if I'm wrong.

    I still have another 300GB internal drive G, which I use for backup of my and the wife's systems. And I have a 120GB external H which I'm using for redundant backup of some archives. I could dump that for now and use H for a test restore.

    Some have said once they determine that the restore works on their system's configuration, they don't continue to test restore every image. The reasoning seems logical, and practical, if one is imaging very frequently, like several times a week. Yet, using an abundance of caution I would probably want to test restore at least on a random basis, and would want to dedicate a drive solely to that task. I value your opinion (and any others) of such strategy, since I have zero experience with ATI as a backup tool.

    Thanks, again, you've been a big help.

    Bob
     
  24. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    You are correct. This type change will not work. Do not try it!

    I suggest 75 or 80GB for system Drive C. I believe 60 is too little room for growth.

    If you have not done so, I would suggest you take a first step and create the full "disk" backup which would include all partitions. You can store on Drive G and create a second full "disk" backup (all partitions) and store it on your external. Perform both backups from the TI Rescue CD. Both are for precautionary safety reasons at this point. Be sure and validate the both backups using the Rescue CD! These backups and validations will take some time but I believe them to be a necessary safety precaution.

    After creation of the full "disk" backups, simulate performing the instructions offered in post #20. Practice changing the partition size when you get to that screen. Remember this is practice. Do NOT press the proceed button.

    Ultimately, If you intend to follow my instructions, the instructions in post 20 will be the ones used.

    Is your external drive one where the drive can be removed and installed into our desktop? or was your external drive purchased already ini its case? If not removable, the test could be performed but would be inconclusive since it would not be bootable.

    I will respond in more detail Sunday. Until that time, maybe you could practice the steps in post 20.
     
  25. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Don't try and restore the Recycler and System Volume Information folders. Windows will recreate these as necessary.

    Just move your My Documents to the F: partition when it's ready.
     
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