Recovery - Don't Want to Blow It

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by JerrytheSurfer, Apr 20, 2006.

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  1. JerrytheSurfer

    JerrytheSurfer Registered Member

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    I did a backup of my C partition to a Acronis Secure Zone. Now comes that scary part - I want to test it.

    To test it I want to Recover the C Partition and hope that I don't screw up my computer in the process. Can someone review exactly what do?

    For example do I use Snap?

    If I use Restore disks and partition do I then check Drive_C as well as MBR and Track 0?

    What else?

    I assume this is a valid test and simulates what I would do if I want to restore my C drive to a know state.

    Thanks
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    It need not be scary at all. Just remove your good drive and restore to another spare drive. Done this way nothing can hurt your installation because it is sitting on the shelf and can be put back if you have made some error in the process. I reckon that this Dummy run is well worth while because when a real disaster strikes you will already have practised the recovery and will know that it works for you.
    Yes there is the cost of having an extra drive to hand but the peace of mind that this gives is well worth the expense.

    Xpilot
     
  3. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    I think Jerry is intending to Restore to his one and only C drive. Please clarify, if this is indeed what you are doing, Jerry. If it is you have every reason to be apprehensive.
     
  4. PhilipManwaring

    PhilipManwaring Registered Member

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    One thing you can do to test your backup without restoring is try to mount the image you made from within Windows to see if you can browse/copy files out of it. Also, try using the recovery manager (or recovery CD) to restore a few files from the image rather than the entire image. This will let you test image integrity to a certain degree without the risk of destroying your system.

    I would absolutely not recommend a test restore to your one and only C: drive. Borrow an external USB HD perhaps and test restoring to that? The risk of total loss is just too high if you test back to your only system.
     
  5. JerrytheSurfer

    JerrytheSurfer Registered Member

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    Re: Recovery - 4 important questions

    To all,

    Chustman, you are correct. I did a backup of my current C-drive to a USB drive. For my test I intended to restore back to my existing (and current) C-drive. I figure that would valid the procedue and the integrity of the backup.

    1) I'm hearing this is a risky process.

    2) Is that because TI is not very good at what it is supposed to do?

    3) I am using it in a non-intended way?

    4) If it does not work during my test, then why should I have any comfort that I have the ability to restore in the future if it becomes really necessary?

    Thanks, again
     
  6. billwv

    billwv Registered Member

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    Jerry,

    The point is that if you "test restore" to your original C drive and it doesn't work or partially works, you may have screwed up your C drive and lost all data, etc.

    The only way I know to test is as the others have suggested here.

    Bill
     
  7. JerrytheSurfer

    JerrytheSurfer Registered Member

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    Bill,

    Thanks for the response. Yes, it seems consistent that most posters recommend not testing. That in itself is a bit scary as confidence appear low.

    Anyway, given I decide to go ahead and test, do I use Snap and if not and do a "normal" restore do I check the box "MBR and Track 0"?
     
  8. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Jerry the reason we are so cautious is that TI tends to burp at the slightest thing it doesn't like. But if it works, it's beautiful. Since you have a usb drive, if you know how to remove the drive and install it into the desktop, here's what I would do. This assumes that what you have on the usb drive is expendable or you have its contents backuped somewhere else.

    Copy the backup Image to the C drive - make a folder so you can find it easily.

    Make the bootable TI Rescue CD.

    Interchange the drives. Put the C in the enclosure and the one from the enclosure into the desktop as the Master on the Primary ide channel.

    Boot with the TI CD.

    Use the Restore feature to restore the Image from the drive in the enclosure to the one that is now in the desktop. Hopefully all will go well. Then remove the cd and test what you have restored.
     
  9. JerrytheSurfer

    JerrytheSurfer Registered Member

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    Chutsman,

    I hear you about TI burbing, doesn't instill a lot of confidence. Somehow all the more reason to test it so when if & when the times comes I not holding a useless backup. Anyway.

    I think I understand your plan. My USB drive is Maxtor, not the kind where you can easily remove the drive. I have a USB drive enclosure, such that you refer to, but, unfortunately, my new computer is SATA and the drive enclosure is IDE.

    Here is a plan, tell me what you think.
    1) Use TI to make a backup of the NTFS part of the C-drive onto the USB device. I will not backup the FAT-16 and FAT-32 sections of the C-Drive that I believe are specific to Dell Recovery.

    2) Restore the NTFS partion using TI restore. See if it boots and works OK. If it doesn't I can use the Dell Recovery method which uses the Ghosted image that is on the FAT-32 partition to recover the system. I loose my application if I have to resort to the Dell Recovery but to reinstall them is not that hard.

    Does that sound like a plan? Do I need be concerned that TI will somehow corrupt the special Dell partition so I can't use their recovery process?

    What is SNAP and how do I take advantage of it?

    Jerry

    Jerry
     
  10. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    If Dell gives you the option to create your own Restore CDs then that is what I would do ... just in case. Since you said "new Dell", this now brings Warranty terms into the picture, so I don't know if you would void it by putting in another drive to test the Restore of TI.

    Also the main drive is SATA ... I think there are special considerations to take into account when using the bootable TI CD to Restore to SATA, but if you are able to make the backup of the SATA using the TI CD then the Restore should be okay.

    But again, you are willing to re-install your applications if the Restore does not work, so go ahead.

    I don't know what Snap does and I don't know if the Restore will wipe out the Dell partition. Perhaps others here will know.
     
  11. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    My SATA drives act just like PATA drives when imaging and restoring. Only thing I notice is that on my SATA2 machine the Rescue CD version prints "disabling SATA2" or something like that. Doesn't cause any problem.
     
  12. JerrytheSurfer

    JerrytheSurfer Registered Member

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    Chutsman,

    Excellent. To be clear, newer Dell computers have a feature that if you hit CTRL-F11 on boot it will re-create your NTFS partion on the C-drive from a ghosted image in a "special" partition on the C-drive. Basically, this will restore your computer to the day it was shipped (came of the factory line)(of course you loose anything you put in this partition including apps and/or data).

    So as long at TI does not upset/damage the FAT-32 ghost partition, I should be able to restore the computer to day-1 no matter how bad TI screws up. Sound right?
     
  13. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello JerrytheSurfer,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    I'm afraid that it's not entirely correct as the most important part of the process here is not your Dell recovery partition itself but your hard drive's MBR. If you choose to activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager then your hard drive's MBR is modified and you lose the ability to use Dell's "Ctrl+F11" feature. If you want to keep the "Ctrl+F11" functionality then you should not activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager which by the way does not prevent you from using Acronis Secure Zone as you will always be able to boot your computer from Acronis True Image Bootable Rescue CD and restore an image located either in Acronis Secure Zone or on any other type of the supported media (e.g. any internal\external\network drive, CD, DVD, ZIP, etc.).

    If you have already activated Acronis Startup Recovery Manager and want to recover the ability to use Dell's "Ctrl+F11" feature then please see this article explaining how this can be done.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 in the respective User's Guide.

    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.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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