Real Newbie question's

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by foneman, Sep 10, 2006.

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  1. foneman

    foneman Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    I tried to search some of this but it's so basic I just thought I'd ask my questions. First a few given's.

    1. I want to buy Acronis software because people have told me it does what I want.

    2. I want to buy a USB external harddrive of about 120GB and make an EXACT copy of my C: harddrive (which is 80GB) and only about 16GB used space. Is that reasonable or should I just buy an External Harddrive the same size as my C: drive? Any info on a GOOD/REASONABLE external harddrive would be VERY much appreciated.

    3. A few weeks ago my C: drive crashed and I lost everything on my home computer. That was a disaster trying to put everything back, I had little to NO backup of anything!!

    So my questions are:
    1. Can I use a 120GB external harddrive to back up FULLY (a complete disk image) of my C: drive (remember my c: drive is only 80GB)?

    2. Can I somehow BOOT from a CD made in Acronis and restore this full disk image to a new C: drive without anything else, like no operating system on the C: drive until I restore from the external 120GB USB drive?

    3. Does Acronis have a scheduled FULL drive back-up to overlay last nights FULL drive back-up (I want this to run daily so I never loose more than 24 hrs worth of updates)? Is that what I want to do or make ONE full back-up with everything then only ask for like incremental back-ups?

    Thanks for any info or direction,

    Steve
     
  2. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    1. Although you have an 80gb Internal HD, how much data is on it? A 120gb should be fine, but the bigger you get, the more Data you can put on it. Click HERE to look at some Externals. I would go with Western Digital.

    2. You CAN create a FULL Backup from the Acronis Recovery Boot-CD, and Restore the Image from the Boot-CD as well. I do all my Backups from the Boot-CD!!
    Yes, you can Restore an Image to a "Bare Metal" Brand New HD. (No OS on it)...from the Boot-CD as well.

    3. I personally think it's best to make FULL Backups all the time. But however, there are very advanced users here that use Acronis to make "Automatic" Backups (Incremental, and Differentials).
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2006
  3. foneman

    foneman Registered Member

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    1. On my 80GB Hardrive is only 16GB of info really

    I appreciate the info!!

    Steve
     
  4. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    No Problem!:D
    Sounds like you're headed in the right direction because of the way you asked very specific questions.

    A good tip to remember when you make your Backups, is to run "Chkdsk", and then, run "Defrag" (many times),... before you make your Images. Usually, everything in life requires a little "preparation". So doing this "prepares" the HD for the Image process. ;)
     
  5. foneman

    foneman Registered Member

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    Starfan,

    Thank you for your tips!!! I appreciate your help!!

    Steve
     
  6. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    The bigger your external the better, if you do full backups (image) you can have a number of them, so if one is non validated you have previous backups to use. I only do full backups.......time difference when you have only 16 gigs of data is inconsequential, and then you got it all. Yes you can schedule your backups if you so desire.

    The best part of a full backup is if you can't restore the full backup you can mount your image and then restore the files that are essential for you. You will have to restore your OS and your settings. But to my thinking you have what is most important and that is your data. On more than one occasion the image restore did not work and I then had to reinstall my OS and then drag and drop my data......which is a great fall back position to have.

    Good Luck
     
  7. foneman

    foneman Registered Member

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    Hi Max,

    First Thank you for the information, but then what you said made me worry. Why would I not be able to restore from a FULL back-up? I intend to do the following:

    1. Create an Acronis Reboot/Recovery CD in case my c: drive goes south and I can't boot.

    2. Create a nightly FULL Image on my new (not yet bought) USB 2.0 external disk drive of about 120GB. (or maybe larger?) My C: drive is only 80 GB and only 16GB used currently.

    3. So why couldn't I BOOT from the reboot/recovery CD I created under Acronis & copy the entire "F: drive"(which was a FULL image) fully back to the "C:drive"? You make it sound like it might FAIL?

    Am I missing something really simple? I just want to be able to put my C: drive back to how it was yesterday, operating system, options, registry all DATA, in case I can't boot for whatever reason, I thought Acronis would do this for me, am I wrong or am I miss reading your info?

    Thanks Again,

    Steve
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    TI will do what you want it to. Make an image of your HD on your external and if the HD fails, put in a new one, bootup the TI rescue CD and restore your image to the new HD.

    However, before disaster strikes you have to make sure you can indeed restore your system as described. You don't want to find out when the roof fell in that there is now another problem.

    The best way to check things out is to get a spare HD, put it in the system and do a restore. Certainly is the best way.

    The areas where TI typically fails in the situation where it doesn't work doing a restore are:

    The rescue CD boots but the Linux rescue environment won't run.

    The Linux version of TI works but won't see your archive on your USB drive and if it can, it can't validate it and declares it corrupt. Some USB chipsets do not work well with the PCs USB system and a typical problem is they fail doing large file transfers - archives are large. You want to test the archive validation using the CD not Windows since it is the rescue CD you must use to restore your system.

    You can partially test these scenarios after creating your image by booting the rescue CD version of TI (Full version)and validating your archive. This is a pretty good test but you still haven't done a restore.

    TI is known to put a good load on memory and disk systems so it sometimes will show up problems with memory or a disk that is not seen during normal PC operation. When TI validates and archive it calculates a checksum for a multi-gigabyte archive. One bad bit during this calculation will cause the whole archive to be declared corrupt.

    Once you have verfied that you external drive and TI works on your system then it will continue to work unless you have a hardware error.

    I think maxoo71 was just trying to tell you that even if you can't restore the OS there is a chance that by mounting the image you can get your data files back. This is indeed a good fallback postion since if these files were created by you, they are not available elsewhere at any cost. Reinstalling XP and apps is just time and maybe a PITA but it isn't the end of the world.
     
  9. foneman

    foneman Registered Member

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    Hi Seekforever,

    Thanks again everyone here is so helpful and I sincerely appreciate everyones input!!!

    I'm confused by one thing where you were talking about "The rescue CD boots but the Linux rescue environment won't run."

    I don't use Linux, I'm an XP PRO user, how does the Linux platform fit into the acronis software?

    Thanks for more clarification and VERY SORRY if my questions are stupid, I just don't understand and really need help...

    All I want to do is IMAGE a FULL image of my C: drive(onto a 120GB or 200GB USB external drive), then if my C: drive goes SOUTH, FAILS, Won't boot, I put in a RECOVERY Acronis CD into my CD drive, boot from that & the option I have is Recover F: (USB drive where FULL image is) back to the c: drive, EVERYTHING is in tact!!

    I use XP PRO, where does Linux come into play here?

    Thanks more,
    Steve
     
  10. MishaAl

    MishaAl Registered Member

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    foneman,

    Whenever you use trueImage CD, it is started on a Linux kernel. Unfortunately, that Linux environment doesn't always work as expected with some hardware - hence problems with usb mouses, external drives, dvd-roms...
    If you can see all the drives when you boot from Acronis Boot CD, just don't worry about it. That Linux will not interfere in any way with the Windows XP you have.
     
  11. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Steve,
    Some people have problems with Acronis, and others don't. Like any other program out there, -it works for some; others it don't.

    We can't "speculate", and assume you're going to have problems because you don't have it installed yet. There's no way to tell if you'll have problems with TI ...until you install the latest version (3677), and make your TI "Recovery Boot-CD".
    The next step is getting your External. (I'd get a WD)
    After that, you should run "Chkdsk", and "Defrag" on your C:/ drive, and create a FULL Backup Image of your C:/ Drive. Save it to your External.

    *******
    This is Optional.
    Disc Imaging programs are very serious programs, and sometimes, can be tricky --depending on your setup. As Seekforever suggested, you'll want to TEST the Image file you just made to a Spare HD... to make sure it's going to work when you need it to.

    I suggest you get another 80gb HD ...exactly like the one you have. You can temporarely remove your Original HD from inside your computer, and put the empty one in. Then use the Boot-CD to "Restore" the Image you made to the empty HD.
    If the the Image Restores with no problems, then you created a successful Backup Image. Afterwords, you can keep using that HD, or swap it out, and put your Original HD back in.

    NOTE::
    Depending on your computer, you could leave the New 80gb HD inside your computer along with your other HD.... IF you have an empty bay for it. You'll need another cable (IDE or SATA) to hook the New HD to the Motherboard.
    (Yes, you'll have 2 Internal HD's with cables running from Both ...to your Motherboard.)
    After you hook it up, you should be able to use the BIOS to turn it ON, and OFF.
     
  12. foneman

    foneman Registered Member

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    MishaAl,

    Thanks for that further explanation about the Linux AND I guess this is not the place to ask such a question BUT I will anyways, IF Acronis isn't exactly the best software I could invest in (I've been told it is before I knew ALL I do tonight) Is there a better EASIER Full image Back-up/Recovery software than Acronis, to do what I want to do??

    Thanks again any experience with other back-up software will be greatly appreciated or is Acronis the BEST?
    Steve
     
  13. max0071

    max0071 Registered Member

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    In my newbie unsophisticated opinion ATI is what you want for the scenarios you describe. Since this forum typically brings to the surface issues and problems with ATI you will get a slanted view of ATI in this forum. There are numerous people who don't have any problems and of course no one posts how happy they are with ATI, they usually post when there is a problem.

    I have had a number of issues but due to this forum and the good people here I was able to resolve them. You are getting good advice in case of a problem. It is good to know that there is a "fallback" position if your ATI doesn't work as it should (mounting your image and obtaining your data). For the overwhelming majority it does work. But in the rare instance that it doesn't it is comforting to know you have good people here who will help you and that have that fallback of a mounted image. So the chances of a problem exist as they do with any new software, but be comforted in knowing that most answers can be gotten right here.

    I started knowing **** about backups, but the good people here walked me thru it and for that I have more knowledge than I did not before. Get ATI it is what you are looking for, but be prepared to perhaps have a problem, but also know that you have great support from some very knowledgable posters. I'm not one of them, I have only learnt a bunch from others..............GOOD LUCK
     
  14. MishaAl

    MishaAl Registered Member

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    IMHO it's the best and the easiest. If you want to see other such programs available on the market, google is always just a click away:)
     
  15. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    Hello foneman,

    What you want to accomplish can certainly be done with True Image Home Edition 9.0, build 3677. As many others have suggested you need to try it and test it out. I find that a second internal hard drive for backup image storage is superior in that it is faster however a USB external drive is certainly a good alternative. A 120 GB USB drive sounds like a good fit for your situation. TI9 is working very well for me and I have restored images many times without any problems. I think it's important to defragment the C: drive periodically (I use Diskeeper 10 Pro) scheduled to run during the early AM hours every day). Running chkdsk /r is also worthwhile periodically is also a good practice to identify potential issues. Not an issue here but as a matter of redundancy I also run Norton Ghost 2003 backups as I own two copies. These are manually run and work very well with my hardware which is now about three years old.

    My backup routine to an internal D: drive (also works well to a Maxtor USB drive):

    1. Manually as desired create a backup using the naming convention of mmdd.tib where mm=month and dd=day. The year is not important as it can be identified by looking at the file properties if necessary.

    2. Create a scheduled task. I have set a scheduled task to run at 6:30 AM with the file name 9999.tib. This then over-writes the previous file on a daily basis. 11 GB of data takes about 6 minutes in my situation. Works perfectly.

    This routine permits me to have the latest image as of 6:30 AM as well as any images that I may have made manually dating back in time.

    Best regards,
    Bruce
     
  16. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    phoneman,

    I have only used two other backup programs, Drive Image and Ghost. They both worked but were slower and harder to use. Switching to Acronis was a breath of fresh air.

    The risk of a hard drive failing is pretty darn small but it is still a risk which is why most of us use a backup program. When restoring a backup image, following the usual procedures, a stage is reached when your hard drive is cleared out to make way for the restored image. This process itself therefore intoduces a risk of its own. This is why it is a good idea to make a test restore to a spare drive to ensure that all your kit works happily with True Image.

    I always restore to a swapped drive so that I never have to overwrite good data. The drive that was taken out becomes the off-site backup. Thus I use True Image in a 100% risk free way.

    I have my full backup images made to an internal secondary hard drive. This is faster than using an external drive and it is easy to set up a schedule for backups to run automatically with no further user intervention. It is a good idea to glance at the logs from time to time and also keep an eye on the free space in the backup drive.
     
  17. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello foneman,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    You were given a realy good advises from many Official Acronis Support Forum members. I would like to add some more information.

    First of all please let me confirm that you will be able to accomplish all the tasks you have mentioned in you first post with help of Acronis True Image 9.0 Home. Namely, you will be able to create the image archive of your system for disaster recovery purposes and store this archive to external USB drive for example or to any other supported storage device. Also using Acronis True Image 9.0 Home you will be able to create a special bootable rescue media (CD/DVD disc, a pack of floppies or a flash card). If your system fails you will just need to boot from the rescue media and restore the system.

    As it was mentioned the standalone version of Acronis True Image (when booted from Acronis True Image Bootable CD) is Linux based and has it's own assortment of drivers for the wide variety of modern hardware. However, please note that it has the almost same Graphical User Interface as in Windows so you should find it easy to use.

    When booted from the bootable media you are able to access any connected hard disks as well as a wide variety of IDE, SCSI, FireWire (IEEE-1394), USB (1.0, 1.1, 2.0) and PC card (PCMCIA) interfaces and devices, including CD-ROM, CD-R(RW), DVD, magneto-optical drives, network, Iomega Zip and Jaz. So you can store your image files there.

    Also Acronis True Image allows you to schedule image creation for the particular point in time and allows you to create incremental and differential images that includes only the changes made since the full image archive creation. Please check this FAQ article to find out the difference between the incremental and differential image archives.

    Would also like to put a comment about defragmentation. Please note that it is not recommended to carry out defragmentation of the hard disk drive before creating incremental/differential backup. Defragmentation changes hard disk drive structure significantly and therefore the size of the incremental or differential archive file will be approximately as big as the size of the full backup. Please check this post of mine for details.

    Please note that Windows does not allow you to run an application while this application completely rewrites the partition where Windows is installed. Therefore, Acronis True Image 9.0 Home will prompt you to reboot the computer into its standalone version (Linux based) to restore the system partition. Once the partition has been restored, you will be able to boot Windows in the usual way.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 Home in the respective User's Guide. We also recommend that you take a look at this article providing the illustrated instructions on Acronis True Image 9.0 Home installation and usage.

    We recommend you to download and install the free trial version of Acronis True Image 9.0 Home to see how the software works on your computer.

    If you would like to order your software before the trial period ends, please visit the Acronis online store.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
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