system backup vs clone

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by hfhlt004, Jan 8, 2008.

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  1. hfhlt004

    hfhlt004 Registered Member

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    I'm sorry, but my aging brain still cannot grasp the real difference between creating a system backup (complete backup) vs. creating a clone.
    If I have a blank internal hard drive, and all I'm interested in doing is restoring after a disaster, could I just create a clone periodically and use that as a backup. I read this in a FAQ:

    'When you use the "Disk Clone" tool, you effectively copy/move all of the contents of one hard disk drive onto another hard disk drive. This function allows you to transfer all the information (including the operating system and installed programs) from a small hard disk drive to a large one without having to reinstall and reconfigure all of your software. The migration takes minutes, not hours, but it is not generally used as a backup strategy."

    This statement does not explain *why* a clone is not generally used as a backup. I understand that a lot more space is required for a clone, but that is not my issue. Could I just use a cloned drive, and create another updated clone periodically? For the most part, I just want to create something simple for disaster restore which includes my OS, so I don't have to rebuild my entire system.

    I think I understand if I do a complete backup, assuming I have the Windows XP disk, I would still have do all the Windows updates and then add my Acronis backup.

    It just seems to me that short of RAID (which I don't understand either), I could just use Clone for an "instant" restore.

    Please advise.
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  3. gud4u

    gud4u Registered Member

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    In the event of a hard drive failure, either:
    - Install a new HD, and restore the backup image of the failed drive.
    - With a cloned drive, just physically replace the failed HD with the clone.

    Either way works just fine.

    To clone a drive, you don't need Acronis. You can use a free cloning utility from one of the drive manufacturers.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    You have been given the answers which apart from mechanical gyrations show that a clone is indeed a backup.

    However, consider that if you have a HD for images you can make an image at anytime you wish such as before trialing new software without fooling with installing the disk. (I know Xpilot will say you can use caddies and he's right but a lot of people don't have them and even at that he uses images, not cloning, for his process.)

    Depending on the amount of information on the HD you can perhaps have historically 10 or so images which makes roll-back to a specific data possible. This is a 100% roll-back, not what System Restore or some 3rd-party product considers a roll-back.

    If you have your disk partitioned, you can choose which partition(s) to backup; a clone does the entire disk. I have only my OS and apps only on C so I can image it very quickly.

    Unless your are running a business and have a time-critical requirement to get running again it is incorrect (IMO) to base your backup-strategy on a HD failures - they are infrequent. The real issue is to protect your data against any problem that may occur not just an outright HD failure.

    If it takes more time or is more work to do, the chances you will do it are greaty reduced.
     
  5. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    RAID has different configurations. Businesses may use RAID to mirror disk drives so that no down time is lost if one of the drives physically fails.
    The most common use of RAID I have seen is where it manages two or more disk drives to 'look' like one physical drive. This increases the apparent write and read speeds because the load is spread over more than one physical drive. Seek time is usually slower because RAID has to figure out where things are, so it depends on the applications that are running. One example is video/audio editing where large amounts of data are being shunted about.

    As far as cloning for backups is concerned it is up to you, but it isn't much of a strategy.
     
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