recovery manager: ASZ on external drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Antifreeze, Feb 25, 2009.

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  1. Antifreeze

    Antifreeze Registered Member

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    I want to trial Acronis Trueimage Home 2009.

    1)
    I read that I shouldn't trust ATI to create full disk images while windows Vista is running. Whilst it seemed to work well on previous versions of windows, I read that Vista makes it difficult to do this reliably. Sorry, I don't have a source for that - it was just some review comment somewhere.
    Is the above correct?

    The advice was to create the backup images using the boot disk CD, but I'd rather just use the CD for emergencies. For normal backup procedure every week, I'd like to just reboot and manually use the F11 feature. Does anyone else use this as their normal practice? Would this be faster than making backups with Vista loaded, as well as negating any issues regarding Vista preventing certain parts of the disk from being copied?

    2)
    I don't want to backup to my laptop's own C: drive.
    I have a usb external drive.
    I was going to use it without creating an ASZ on it.

    As stated, I'd like to use the F11 option for making backups.
    But to enable that option, I need to create an ASZ.

    When enabling the F11 recovery manager feature, can I create the ASZ on the external drive, or does it have to be on the C: drive? Why does the F11 option need an ASZ anyway, bearing in mind I wasn't going to use secure zones at all?

    3)
    Maybe I'm totally wrong attempting to use the F11 feature for normal procedure, and should be simply scheduling backups to be created whilst I'm working away in Vista. If so, could someone correct me please? However, when the drive fails on this laptop, I absolutely *must* be 100% sure that I can simply buy a new laptop drive and restore the last good image of the failed drive onto the new drive; that is far more important than ease and automation.

    I can 't find the answer to these questions anywhere.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I think you are least likely to have any probs if you do not create a SZ on an external drive -- I believe Acronis even recs against it.

    I think you are even less liekly to have probs if you avoid creating Secure Zone altogether.

    Doing backups from the BootCd is about as likely to cause probs as doing backups from within win but for somewhat diff reasons-- doing backups from within win is rarely going to cause probs -- it's one thing ATI does really well.

    And definitely do your restores from the BootCd -- test this now so you know it will work when you really need it.
     
  3. Antifreeze

    Antifreeze Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply and advice.

    > doing backups from within win is rarely going to cause probs
    > it's one thing ATI does really well

    I could link to literally hundreds of comments on the net which claim that restored acronis images quite often do not produce a bootable Vista operating system; in fact this is more or less the only complaint I read over the last three days of research.

    There's even a thread on Wilders where nearly 100% of participants state that they moved to Paragon or Drive Snapshot due to not being able to trust restoration of acronis images. I actually tried Paragon first, based mostly on that thread, but Paragon produced errors when run on my laptop.

    4)
    Can you elaborate why imaging the disk using F11 (or from the boot CD) before Vista starts won't produce more reliable results than doing it within Vista? That advice made a lot of sense to me, and it was the one reason why I was willing to try acronis at all.

    5)
    Also, with regard to using the boot CD to restore an image, we all know that CDs just stop working from one week to the next, through age, heat, scratches, or the chemicals starting to break down. If I created an ISO image of the boot CD and kept that on my external drive, could I burn a functional version of it using another computer, in the event that the current CD stops working?

    Thanks.
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Earlier versions of True Image (I think pre ver 10) required a Vista repair to correct the boot problem.
    While it is known that recorded CDs do have a finite life, with proper care that life can be more than 5 years easily. Heck I have some cds that are over 10 years old and they're still good. Creating an ISO is a good idea. You can even keep one on a flash drive. I think the whole Rescue CD is about 50mb.
     
  5. Antifreeze

    Antifreeze Registered Member

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    OK, thanks for your replies and advice.

    > Heck I have some cds that are over 10 years old and they're still good

    Really? The disks I burned for data storage haven't lasted last two years of just sitting on a shelf. And ones I use for audio generally don't last a year.

    Anyway, I created an ISO from the boot CD, so that should solve any problems if the CD decides to explode. It was 65mb.

    6)
    I'm still quite interested in enabling the F11 option, but I'm still not sure what the link is between the F11 feature and the ASZ it asks you to create? In other words, does F11 only work with a pre-specified ASZ?

    Another thing I don't know is, during boot I have options for F2, F8, F10 and F12. If I enable the acronis F11 feature, would these other ones be overwritten?

    7)
    Am I correct in saying that after complete hard drive failure, a 'complete drive' image backup can be easily restored to a new hard drive installed in the old computer?

    More interestingly, if I bought a new laptop after the old one was stolen or damaged, could I use the backup image from my old laptop to populate the new one with all my software and data?

    Apologies for all the questions.
    Cheers.
     
  6. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Questions are what the forum is for. :D

    (6) I don't use the SZ nor the Startup Recovery Manager at all so cannot help here.

    (7) The first part should be a resounding "Yes" after all that's what the software is for. BUT, until you do an actual restore, preferably to a spare drive you cannot be 100% sure that restore of an image will be good.

    For the second part, restoring to a new laptop, you have a few of options.

    (a) You can use the Universal Restore extra cost option together with the Workstation version of True Image to restore to different hardware.
    (b) You can make a Backup of the laptop now, but change the display adapter to Standard VGA first. This will allow a restored Image on new hardware to at least boot up. It then goes through "a ton" of "Found New Hardware" gyrations.
    (c) Microsoft's Sysprep can also be used - I think it does something similar to (b). I've never used it so I am not sure.

    I have successfully used (b) to transfer the system on a laptop to a desktop.
     
  7. Antifreeze

    Antifreeze Registered Member

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    OK, thanks for all your time and help!
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    The main files, that are responsible for Acronis Startup Recovery Manager functionality are located in Acronis Secure Zone, therefore, you are unable to activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager if Acronis Secure Zone is not created.

    Creating Acronis Secure Zone on an external hard drive is not recommended as activating Acronis Startup Recovery Manager changes the Master Boot Record of the hard disk drive. After disconnecting this detachable drive the machine boots with a long delay or does not boot at all. That's why Acronis does not recommend creating Acronis Secure Zone on a detachable drive.

    Code:
    Another thing I don't know is, during boot I have options for F2, F8, F10 and F12. If I enable the acronis F11 feature, would these other ones be overwritten?
    To avoid the overwriting you can change F11 to a different key:

    The f11.cfg file stores information on what key is assigned to invoke Acronis Startup Recovery Manager. Editing this file lets you change the default key to any other or even to a key combination.

    Depending on the edition of Acronis True Image that you have, locate the f11.cfg file in one of the following folders:

    Acronis True Image 11 Home and Acronis True Image Home 2009:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageHome

    Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageWorkstation\

    Acronis True Image 9.1 Server for Windows
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageServer\

    Acronis True Image 9.1 Enterprise Server
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageEnterpriseServer\

    Acronis True Image Echo Workstation
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageEchoWorkstation\

    Acronis True Image Echo Server for Windows
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageEchoServer\

    Acronis True Image Echo Enterprise Server
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\TrueImageEchoEnterpriseServer\

    Open f11.cfg with any text editor (e.g. Notepad). The section of interest of the file's contents is the following:

    Change the numerical key code in the bootmenu string (the default 389 code stands for F11):

    F Key Code
    F1 315
    F2 316
    F3 317
    F4 318
    F5 319
    F6 320
    F7 321
    F8 322
    F9 323
    F10 324
    F11 389
    F12 390

    Change the Press F11 for Acronis Startup Recovery Manager... prompt in the echo string, so that it shows the key you put in the previous step. Save the file as f11.cfg;

    Reactivate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
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