SZ, partitions and other stories

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pilandes, Oct 15, 2005.

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  1. pilandes

    pilandes Guest

    I run Win XP Home SP2 on a 60G HDD about half full. I bought a LaCie 250G with Fire wire 800 to back my HDD and store my (exponentially growing collection of MP3, digital photos...and eventually digital videos) as well as Acronis True Image 9.0. I would appreciate suggestions for my (apparently trivial) problems...
    1. Do I really need to create a SZ on my HDD and if so how much space should I create (i.e loose)?
    2. I was thinking partioning the external HDD in three: i) a 60G section for back up of the HDD ii) a 120 G section for digital pics (and videos) iii) a 70 G for MP3 thinking if the 60G section becomes corrupted I will still have saved these precious pics and MP3. Does it make sense?
    3. If one day I buy a computer with 100 - 120 G HDD will I be able to grab some partition space from the other partitions (provided they are not full) to be able to back up the HDD (that is change the partitions settings without erasing everything)?
    4. Should I partition the 60 G section (for HDD back up) in FAT 32 or NTFS (considering I might want one day to change the partitions) based on this opinion :
    "The use of the FAT32 file system will allow your backup images to be accessed from DOS, giving you the widest range of restoration options. The use of 32k clusters will be faster and more efficient than 4k clusters since this partition will only be used for storing large files. This will result in fewer accesses to the partition's FAT tables (which requires a slow head seek operation) and will minimize cluster fragmentation over time." (http://www.grc.com/sn/notes-007.htm)

    5. Should I do all this partitioning using win xp/computer management or is it better (safer) to buy Partition Magic?

    Thank you in advance for your opinion and time,

    Pierre
     
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello Pierre,

    Whew! lots of questions but here goes.

    First thing is to boot from the "full" version of the Acronis rescue media and confirm that TI correctly detects all your drives, especially the external Firewire one!!

    As you intend backing up to an external HD, there is really no need to create an SZ unless you have neither a floppy disk drive or CD/DVD drive and therefore depend on the associated Acronis Startup Recovery Manager (SRM) "Press F11 during boot" feature to boot into the (Linux based) Acronis recovery environment. Be aware though that activating the SRM will modify your main hard drive's MBR. Therefore if that drive contains any special bootable recovery/diagnostic partitions, these would no longer be accessable.

    You could, if you wanted TI to limit the number of incremental images, create a SZ without accepting the default option to also activate the SRM. However, with half of your system drive already full, you're not going to be able to create many incremental images! For what it's worth, I believe the general rule of thumb is that you should allow 1.5 times the uncompressed used data (doubt that TI will be able to compress those multimedia files any further) for each image you intend to create (be it full or incremental).

    Seems reasonable. I assume you intend to move any existing multimedia files from your internal drive to the appropriate partitions on the Lacie? As TI only backs up the actual in-use sectors, the 60GB partition will be more than enough to store a number of full and incremental images of your system drive. Don't forget that the Lacie isn't immune from failure though. You therefore need to give consideration to archiving those precious multimedia files.

    You will need some sort of non-destructive partition management management software. I can thoroughly recommend Acronis Disk Director Suite 9.0 (although there are a number of other commercial/freeware/shareware one out there) and it know it to be compatible with True Image (e.g. there are no software conflicts and it doesn't mess up the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager).

    NTFS is a much more reliable filing system than FAT. Therefore, unless you intend to copy your multimedia files direct from the Lacie to a Win9x/Me machine, I would recommend you format the whole drive as NTFS. 32Kb cluster size is a good compromise and can always be changed using Acronis Disk Director Suite if you find this results in too much waste space.

    Windows built-in Disk Management will not do all you require. Go for Acronis DDS 9.0 for the reasons stated above.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  3. pilandes

    pilandes Guest

    Menorcaman,

    thank you sincerely for your time (and my apologies for my abusive questions... ;-) it did clarify everything in my confused neophyte mind.

    Regards
     
  4. scadarick

    scadarick Registered Member

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    I will just keep my reply at top, my config is almost like the poster, a gb-400 pro v2. This answed alot of my questions, but I would like to know if I could do a full backup on my MCE 2005 computer, it has a restore drive setup, its a gateway and I need to restore my system to store bought configuration, but first, I wanted to have a full copy or backup of my drive 1, which is my c drive and d drive. the d drive is fat32 with all the fies to restore my media center pc, so when I tried to do a full backup of my c and d drive, i formated some dvd-rw disk, but when I got to the part about ins=certing disk, it only wanted wanted cd-r's. Why, it just told me to have at least InCD for formating. so I formated some dvd-rw's and now it will not take them...what have I done wrong...do I just use the blank cd-r's or formated cd-rw's?

    so far confused before I procede..so send a help message as soon as possible. I just wanted to keep a copy of my HD as it is now in my mce 2005 comp, for a Just-in-Case thing. Then use the gateway restore disk or F1 and restore it back to its Best Buy configuration when I first bought it. I need to do this because making changes to my home net and adding a gyro remote and keyboard to my system so I can use my ATI dual function X700 video card. 1 will connect to my HDMI 42" sony in the living room and the vga will have a vga to dvi converter for my 30" lcd in my office..this way I can use my MCE 2005 system in 2 places and not have to use my linksys extender with limited features, now I can have total control of my mce comp in both. pretty cool idea if I can pull it off. Building a new comp, with the new giga-byte 8 Royal MB 775 chip, 840 dual HT core at 1066 fsb, terebit HD space all sata, so I will need some more acronis tools...are they great guys...they work, a few lockups, but it may have been my comp and not image 9.

    please tell me that I can make dvd-rw formated disk backups and it tells me to load a nother disk when full and that I can plug them in to get files. that my whole purpose of getting it I use the secure zone too, but dont have the hack for it yet for incrementals. I need to learn how.
    OK, I know it long, but it better than having to ask 5 more questions to get an answer, so I hope I covered it all....please formated dvd'd work!

    rick
     
  5. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello scadarick,

    To answer your final question first - yes, TI can image to DVD+/-RW. However, these need to be pre-formatted using third-party UDF packet writing software (e.g. Ahead (Nero) InCD or Roxio Drag-to-Disk), which must then be running in the background whilst the image is being created.

    I will assume that your optical recorder can in fact burn DVDs and isn't just a combination CD writer/DVD player :))). As you have mentioned InCD, I also assume that this is your installed UDF packet writing software and that it starts and runs when you boot into Windows.

    When you say MCE 2005 is this a version of Windows Media Edition? I'm not familiar with that particular O/S but if it's anything like Windows XP then it will have its own in-built CD drag-and drop recording capability. This can interfere with third-party packet writing software and should be disabled (Open "My Computer", right click on your CD/DVD recorder and select "Properties". Select the "Recording" tab and uncheck the "Enable CD recording on this drive" tickbox).

    Before continuing, it's worth having a quick read of <Acronis True Image Online FAQ #27>.

    As you will by now realise, when creating an image using the "direct" method, all the rewritable DVDs need to be preformatted with some form of packet writing software. In your case the packet writer is InCD so load a DVD+/-RW, open Windows Explorer, right click on your recorder and select "InCD Format". Remember that this same software needs to be kept running in the background when imaging direct to DVD.

    Many people prefer to use the "two-step" method as they find it more reliable. In this case you can use blank DVD+/-R or DVD+/-RW, although Acronis themselves cannot guarantee that TI will always work correctly with DVD-R media. If a DVD+/-RW has previously been UDF formatted then it must first be "blanked" by erasing the UDF file system (open Windows Explorer, right click on your recorder and select "InCD Erase"). When creating the initial image to your hard drive, choose the option to split the size manually and just type in 1492 MB into the space provided (ignore the drop down pick-list). You can then use your normal burning software (Nero?) to burn three of these .tib files per DVD as DVD-ROM (ISO) compilations. I also recommend that you reduce the burn speed to around half the maximum allowed for the type of DVD being used in order to reduce the likelyhood of data corruption. Modern, high-speed, recorders can be too clever for their own good when it comes to burning a full disk of pure data (one bad byte and the whole image is rendered useless).

    Whichever method you use to create a multiple-DVD image, when the time comes to verify or restore it, you need to insert the last disk first and then follow TI's prompts for subsequent disk changes. It's a good idea therefore to number each disk after it's been recorded.

    When creating the image you must select the whole of your hard drive, not just the C: partition. This will ensure that the Master Boot Record is included in the image, thereby retaining any multi-boot capability that may be needed to access your D: (manufacturer's recovery) partition.

    You also mention plugging in the DVDs to access files. By that I assume you mean "mounting" the image in order to explore and copy files from it. You cannot do this directly if the image spans two or more disks. You will need to copy all the individual .tib files from the DVDs into a single folder on your hard drive first.

    I hope the above info helps you to successfully image to DVD. Please let us know how you get on.

    Regards
     
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