Secure Zone basics

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Midnight Rambler, Apr 19, 2006.

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  1. Midnight Rambler

    Midnight Rambler Registered Member

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    Although the Acronis True Image user guide says an Acronis Secure Zone is a special, hidden partition for storing backups on the computer system itself, is primarily meant to be used with Acronis Startup Recovery Manager and is always available for archive creation, I don't really understand why I need it.

    For instance, I set up a Secure Zone on my internal backup drive. During the procedure to create a disk image, I wanted to store the image in the Secure Zone but it was invisible so I had to store the image in a separate folder on the internal backup drive. Now, space on my internal backup drive is taken up by both the Secure Zone AND the image. Seems like a waste of space to me.

    Question 1: Why wasn't the Secure Zone visible to me as a user with Administrative rights, to store my image?

    Question 2: Why wasn't the image I created AUTOMATICALLY stored in the Secure Zone? And why wasn't storing the image in the Secure Zone available as on option in the image creation setup procedure?
     
  2. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    The SZ was a useful feature when most systems had just one drive. But with the advent of USB and large and cheap drives, using the SZ is just unnecessary. Most home users don't need to use it. And as you have found out, it is just something else to pose problems.

    Sorry I can't answer your questions ... I don't use the SZ, as you may already have guessed. ;) ;)
     
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Midnight Rambler,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please make sure that you use the latest build of Acronis True Image which is available at: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/support/updates/

    To get access to updates you should create an account at:
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/my/
    then log in and use your serial number to register your software.

    Please note that Acronis Secure Zone is a special hidden partition which is inaccessible by the operating system and other applications. Acronis Secure is visible only for Acronis True Image when you create an image.

    When you create the image, you can choose backup archive location. You can store it in Acronis Secure Zone or choose another partition or device to save your image.

    Could you please clarify your question? Usually, Acronis Secure Zone is available as an option of backup archive location.

    If Acronis Secure Zone is not available on Create Backup Wizard as Backup Archive Location, please try to recreate Acronis Secure Zone on your computer.

    If the problem still persists, please create Acronis Report as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Please create an account, then log in and submit a request for technical support. Attach all the collected files and information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
     
  4. Midnight Rambler

    Midnight Rambler Registered Member

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    Frankly, one of the best features of Acronis True Image is the Startup Recovery Manager. The other backup software I use can't be used to reinstall critical files when my XP system won't boot; if that ever happens.

    Since I created a disk image on my backup drive in a separate folder (as stated above), can I free-up space on my internal backup drive by deleting the Secure Zone but still be able to use the Startup Recovery Manager?

    In other words, must the Secure Zone exist for Startup Recovery Manager to function?
     
  5. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Midnight, I'm not sure what you are expecting of the Startup Recovery Manager or the SZ. But to restore your system from a previously saved Image Backup, all you need is the bootable TI Rescue cd and your external drive on which the Backup Image resides.

    When you boot with that CD, you just use the Restore feature to restore the Image from the external.

    And unless you think you might accidentally delete your Backup Image, there is no need to use or to create the SZ.
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Midnight Rambler,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Yes. If you delete Acronis Secure Zone, Acronis Startup Recovery Manager can't be activated.

    However, as Chutsman said above, you can create Acronis True Image bootable rescue media and use it in the case of system failure.

    Please note that 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.

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

    Thank you.
    --
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
     
  7. Midnight Rambler

    Midnight Rambler Registered Member

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    Two more issues, please.

    1. So it appears Startup Recovery Manager and using a Bootable TI Rescue cd are redundant in that they both perform the same task - recovering from a system failure. One would use either one or the other and needn't have both available.

    Or am I incorrect?

    And regarding the Bootable TI Rescue cd, could I have used the CD that came with the retail package instead of burning one via "Bootable Rescue Media Builder?"

    2. Other issue is regarding "Validate Backup Archive." This process worked with the images I created and stored in a folder on my internal backup drive (mentioned above); they were found valid. However, I recreated a Secure Zone and stored new, updated images in it. But when I tried to validate the images, I got the following message: Failed to open Acronis Secure Zone for exclusive access. So how do I know the images I stored in the SZ are valid?
     
  8. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    You said: "However, I recreated a Secure Zone and stored new, updated images in it. But when I tried to validate the images, I got the following message: Failed to open Acronis Secure Zone for exclusive access. So how do I know the images I stored in the SZ are valid?"

    What is that saying .... "I rest my case." :cool: :cool:
     
  9. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Midnight Rambler,

    As Chutsman pointed out, having a second disk for image files, you don't need Secure Zone for image storage. If you wanted to use Startup Recovery Manager, you should still have a minimal size Secure Zone for this purpouse. But you don't need SRM either, since, as you guessed, it performs the same function as the Rescue CD. With a very important difference: if the system disk breaks down phisically and the Secure Zone was created on it, there will be no SRM to start from when you will want to restore the system image from the backup drive to a brand new replacement drive. Rescue CD will always help you, whatever the damage to harddisk(s).
     
  10. Midnight Rambler

    Midnight Rambler Registered Member

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    Even though SRM and Rescue CD are redundant, intend to have both at my disposal in case one or the other fails for whatever reason. Therefore:

    I'm going to store images in a separate file created on my internal backup drive to enable validation. So since the SZ will exist only to enable SRM and because SZ will be empty, what minimum size is required (to conserve backup disk space)?

    And regarding the Rescue CD, could I use the CD that came with the retail package instead of the one I burned via "Bootable Rescue Media Builder?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  11. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I think the Manage Secure Zone wizard will let you go only that low in allotted SZ space as needed for SRM. That's how it was in ver.7. You should be aware that the activation of SRM will modify your Master Boot Record, which may be slightly frustrating should you later need to rebuild the MBR for some reason.

    For every new TI version or build you install, you should create a new Rescue CD. The paranoid me burns two of them for every new build (yes, it makes quite a collection :D ). Check the build of the Rescue CD in Help>About to verify you have the last one.

    Most often, what you get from the retail package is not the latest build. If what you received is not TI 9.0 Build 3567, register on the Acronis site and downoad it as a free update.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  12. Midnight Rambler

    Midnight Rambler Registered Member

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    You're right. TI would let me decrease the SZ only to 8.58 GB, apparently the size of the existing images currently stored.

    Thanks for the handy tips and to ALL that responded.

    I've found TI to be an extremely versatile backup utility but its user guide as only OK. Even after studying it, the software is still not the easiest to figure out.
     
  13. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    The minimal SZ size (before any image stored) shoud be in the range 20-40 MB.

    If you can afford to loose the image now stored in SZ, you can reduce it's size by deleting it (reassigning it's space to a regular partition!) and then creating it again. This time the minimal size selectable will be in the above range and it will be large enough to operate SRM.
     
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