Question about restoring from DVD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by islandpal, Apr 26, 2006.

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

    islandpal Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Posts:
    2
    Hi. I just got True Image 9.0 and am trying it out. I would like to get an external hard drive, but don't have one yet so I'm creating backups on DVD+RW so they will be segregated from my PC in case of a virus or my hard drive becomes unusable. First I created a full system backup on my hard drive and then used drag-to-disk to copy to DVD. I used the 4.7GB size from the pull down menu to create the archive which in turn created two files. I created two separate DVDs, one from each archive file.

    I tried to restore some files from the DVDs. I inserted the last DVD(volume 2) into the drive. It asked me to insert volume 1. It immediately asked for volume2 again, then 1, then 2, etc. I could see the tree structure building in the left pane, but after a half hour of swapping DVDs I finally cancelled the operation.

    My question is whether or not the swapping operation is normal? Is there anything I did wrong or that I can do differently to speed up the process to maybe a few swaps at best? The restore file from DVD feature hardly seems useable in this manner. Would the same swapping occur if I do a full system restore from DVD?

    Thank you for any information you can provide.
     
  2. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,181
    Location:
    Brandon, Florida, USA
    I don't know how you would reduce the amount of swapping. But with today's systems coming with large hard drives, using dvds to directly store the backup images is really doing it the hard way. Better to get that external hard drive sooner rather than later and you will be much happier.

    If you still want the security of optical media, you can then burn the image to dvd using your favorite burning software, but use the external hard drive to Image to and Restore from.
     
  3. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954
    I agree with Chutsman. The larger the images, the more you need a second HD as a direct storage. Then copy an occasional image to DVDs as an additional security measure.

    Until then: Restoring the full disk or partition you won't be required to swap disks, you'll insert each one of them once only in reverse order, as prompted. To Mount the image, however, all the files comprising it must reside in the same folder, therefore you can't do that directly from DVDs. You should temporarily copy the image files to a folder of a HD (that may well be your system drive, if space allows).
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello islandpal,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that this process of disks swapping is a normal procedure. The main reason is that a single file can occupy several clusters of a hard drive and these clusters can reside in different places of a hard drive. But the snapshot technology creates image archive consequently and splits it into several parts cosequently too. For examle, the first cluster of a file can be located in the first part of image, the second can be in the third, the third in the second and etc. Some files can occupy hundreds of clusters and when the next cluster of a file resides in the archive volume saved in another DVD then you will need to swap DVDs.

    I hope that my explanation is clear enough. However, if you have any further questions please feel free to ask. We will be glad to answer all your questions.

    Thank you.
    --
    Kirill Omelchenko
     
  5. islandpal

    islandpal Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Posts:
    2
    Thank you for your answers.
     
  6. Jools

    Jools Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Posts:
    3
    Hi

    is it possible to reduce media swapping after a (full) defragmentation?

    Regards,

    Jools.
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Based on Acronis' explanation a defrag would certainly reduce the problem if the disk was fragmented. However, I fully support the second hard-drive method for storing backups. I prefer to have the second drive in the PC and I burn a copy of the image files split at 1492 MB to DVDs when I think I should.
     
  8. Hiawatha

    Hiawatha Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Posts:
    23
    The information in this thread suggests to me that the value of a backup on dvds is rather limited. The obvious answer is to copy the dvds to a hard drive (either internal or external), but what if the machine is not in a state to make this possible?

    Is it possible to have a file transfer capability built into the recovery cd?
     
  9. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954
    My routine is to regularly store the system disk images onto the second (internal) HD. When this second disk gets nearly full, I delete the older images to make space, but before doing that, I copy some images to DVDs.

    If Windows crash, or if I get infected, or if I want to perform a whistle-clean uninstall, I simply restore the sistem disk from one of the newer images on the second disk.

    Should a lightning take away both hard drives, I can still restore the replacement system drive directly from the DVDs. Copying the image files from DVDs to HD is required only when Mounting an image existing on DVDs only.
     
  10. Hiawatha

    Hiawatha Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Posts:
    23
    Thanks bVolk
    Your scheme sounds quite sound and is more or less what I have in mind for my situation except that I intend also putting backups on a pair of external drives to be used alternately and kept off-site.

    One question about burning to dvd. Rather than burning the "older" images just before you delete them, would it not be logical to burn them immediately they are created rather than leaving them collectively "at risk" on the same hard drive for an extended period?

    On your final point in the case of major system failure, I realise there should be no necessity to transfer ones dvds to the hard drive, but would it not be convenient from the point of view of avoiding having to manually swap disks if the recovery disk enabled file transfers to be done? Also if an error occurs reading a particular dvd, one would only have to reload that one disk rather than restart the complete restore operation.
     
  11. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954
    From a security standpoint you are certainly right. I usually copy images to DVD after some time, to be able to select the ones that are worth keeping.

    I agree that a file management tool on the Rescue CD would be nice to have. But you can obtain that (and other utilities, along with Windows device drivers) if you create a BartPE CD with the True Image plugin embedded. Many TI users adopted it. I created mine too, but never had the need to use it. Just google for "BartPE", but keep in mind that you'll need a regular Windows installation CD to build BartPE CD.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    A good reason for creating a BartPE disk even if you don't need it for better USB drivers! Another thing you can do if you don't want to create a BartPE disk is to install an absolute bare windows and then make an image of it. You can fairly quickly load this image from 1 DVD and then proceed with whatever necessary to copy the big image.

    Of course, if you have your images on a second drive, either internal or external just how often do you think you would have to load from DVD? Pretty rare occurence I think.
     
  13. Hiawatha

    Hiawatha Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Posts:
    23
    Are there any "step by step" instructions for getting started with BartPE? I have looked at the homepage and at some of the threads in this forum and some of it sounds a bit complicated.

    My Windows XP Home distribution disk contains SP1. I got my SP2 from a computer magazine cover disk and of course there have been numerous Windows updates since then.

    If I make a BartPE disk using my Windows disk, how does SP2 and later updates get inserted or is it not necessary?

    Do I understand things correctly that if I create a BartPE disk and incorporate the Acronis True Image plugin, I will no longer need a "recovery disk" but will be able to do run Acronis True Image (and hopefully some other Windows stuff such as Windows Explorer to move things around) all from the BartPE disk?
     
  14. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Posts:
    954
    Yes, building BartPE seemed scary to me too, at first.

    But as soon as you install the downloaded pebuilder program and browse through it's folders, you grasp the logic of it and you find help. Just doubleclick on the xxxxx.htm file in each plugin\ folder. Adopting that logic you will also be able to add TI plugin - just follow the scheme. I opted for the .ISO image file and succeeded on first try. Having Roxio installed I then copied the created .ISO file to CD by doubleclicking on it.

    The Windows distribution disk with SP1 will do. If you copy it's contents to a folder on the HD, you avoid errors that may pop up if you make PEbuilder read directly from the Win CD.

    A file management utility that replaces Windows Explorer is included by default (it's called a43), but you can include the powerful Total Commander too, if you like it. Do enable the Bootfix plugin (the "Press any key to boot from CD" option), or you may have trouble to get the BartPE CD out of the CD drive if you can't open the drawer with the computer powered down.

    And, yes, the BartPE CD with TI plugin does replace the standard TI Rescue CD. But the latter is faster to boot, easier to create for every new TI build released and in most instances quite sufficient. Except if the Linux drivers from the Rescue CD do not let TI see your external drive while the Windows drivers from BartPE will.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2006
  15. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    102
    Islandpal,

    Thanks for posting this. I never knew about the back & forth swapping of DVDs necessary on a restore. I was going to try backing up to DVDs after I got done with my deadline jobs but since Acronis said that procedure is normal I'm going to give up the backup to DVDs idea.

    If you do a defrag immediately before doing a DVD backup and if it resolves the swapping problem on restores, please do post the results.

    Thanks,
    Skyhawk
     
  16. Hiawatha

    Hiawatha Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Posts:
    23
    islandpal

    Would I be right in assuming that the swapping problem only arises with a "selected file" restore? If you were doing a full restore, would Acronis True Image just read each dvd in its entirety?

    edit added: Also, had you done a "selected file" backup, would each file have been written to dvd all in one piece, thus avoiding the swapping problem on restore?

    If you do a full backup, and then choose to do a file by file restore of all your files, I guess you are effectively making ATI do a defrag.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2006
  17. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    Soooooooooo, if you have large files and lots of CDs for a single bavkup, you'll be much better off if you can copy all the files to one harddrive and then restore from there. Then, instead of all the CD diskswapping, you just have normal diskhead searching on a harddisk.

    sh



     
  18. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello Hiawatha,

    No, during the restoration of the full backup as well as separate files/folders you will might need to insert swap DVD disks several times.

    Please note that when you restore files/folders from image archive the information restores to the free sectors of the hard drive, this secotes can be located in any part of the disk (it depends on the hard drive fragmentation at that moment, free and used space). So the restoration with Acronis True Image does not actually perform defragging.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  19. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello shieber,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Yes, if your archive spans several CD/DVD discs and you copy all volumes into a single folder on a local or networked hard disk drive then Acronis True Image automatically recognize all these volumes and perform the restoration just like if it was a single image archive (no disks swapping needed).

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.