Testing Drive Imaging

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by EdP, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

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    I've been using Acronis TrueImage for about seven years; I'm currently on version 8.937. I'm satisfied with it and see no reason to upgrade or change my imaging software.

    Several times in the past I've had to restore individual files, but I've never had to restore a full disk (knock knock knock). I'd like to test that.

    Can anyone direct me to a foolproof and reasonably simple procedure that restores a full disk image and compares it to the original?

    Thanks
    EdP
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Ed

    To me there is only one way to know the image will restore properly when you need it, and that is do a full blown restore.

    What you need to do is make sure all your software installers, are tucked away safely, that your data is totally protected elsewhere, that if disaster befalls you you can reinstall Windows.

    Then do the restore, and you are allowed to sweat, chew your finger nails etc. This is common the first time you do it.

    I personally restore every image I take to test it. I now give it no more thought then opening a doc file. If you do it frequently you will gain confidence and know you can recover from disaster.

    Pete
     
  3. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

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    I began to sweat just reading your post!
     
  4. layman

    layman Registered Member

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    I'm no fan of Acronis, but I'd have to say it always worked reliably for me on basic imaging functions. I'd advise you to validate the image file prior to restoring, though, as it can be challenging to recover from a failed restore. True Image does not literally restore the original state of the disk. Once you've done a restoration, the file system structures will be tidied up and the files will be well-ordered with little or no fragmentation.
     
  5. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Make more then one image backup in different places. Perhaps even one using the CD method. Then just do it. The Restore button and follow the prompts. Select whatever differential image you got and Acronis will do it, Assuming of course that your image is validated. As far as comparing ... well, I suppose you could compare a registry save before and after, and all contents of system32 and things like that. Bottom line for me - restore works both via Windows and the CD rescue job. And for compare I basically just look at the files that are recent or old and if they work and Windows works, I'm happy :) Acronis 9 here.
     
  6. Dundertaker

    Dundertaker Registered Member

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    Hi:

    I concur with the given advices. I use Acronis Image 11 Home and am happy with it. Apart from an image backup I have an extra hdd to where I place new/important files and then again the best way to check a validated tib is to restore it. Just try it and you'll like your software more!

    Regards!
     
  7. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the responses - much appreciated.

    I don't believe version 8 has the validation feature because it's not shown in the User Guide text or in the screenshots. I may upgrade to Version 10, but as long as I have to spend money to do that, I might as well check out reviews of other imaging software.

    EdP
     
  8. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Restore to a spare drive - no sweat if there is a problem - revert back to the original. That's how I did my first restore many years ago - it went normally and I've never had a problem with restores.

    BTW, that first restore was using Acronis v9, but I have since moved on to Shadow Protect.
     
  9. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    This could be interesting, though:

    StorageCraft will release an upgraded version of its ShadowProtect bare-metal restore data backup product on April 22, with new features in version 4.0 including restore acceleration, virtual boot of backup images, new support for data replication, and centralized management....

    ShadowProtect 4.0 has the ability to resume operations after an interruption and boot virtual machines from backup images. The new VirtualBoot feature will allow customers boot up an Oracle Corp. Sun Microsystems VirtualBox virtual machine to assess snapshot images, spin up machines for test/development purposes, or to test restorability.
     
  10. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Thanks for that. I still get lost in the SP version that I now have and I look forward to being lost even more as of 4/22.
    Hugger
     
  11. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    :eek:
    Now that sounds interesting: boot your images in a vm !!
    several q's spring to mind and several options.

    http://forum.storagecraft.com/Community/forums/t/2850.aspx

    Does this mean multiple bootable back-ups ?
    How will a windows image boot in a 'new' HW config without licence issues?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  12. grnxnm

    grnxnm Registered Member

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    VirtualBoot was a rather fun feature to implement. It's also fun to play with. If you want more information on this feature (found in Desktop and Server editions of ShadowProtect 4.0 then I have attached my dev readme for your reading pleasure.

    VirtualBoot and the new HeadStart Restore (HSR) feature open up some new and interesting possibilities. I discuss some of the use cases here.

    Regarding your question on Windows licensing (when you boot your backup as a VM, how will Windows respond?) the answer is that it depends on the version of Windows. Booted backups of Vista+ will generally give you a 3-day grace period. Retail/OEM versions of XP will often not allow you to logon - UNLESS you safe boot in which case they often DO let you logon. Volume Licence Editions of Windows XP won't complain. 2003 server often gives you 3 days, but sometimes won't let you logon other than in safe mode. If you are using VirtualBoot for failover, you may need to activate the OS within the VM (for XP and 2003, or Vista/2008+ after the 3 day grace period has expired).

    Nate
     

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  13. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    Before you try the restore, use another imaging software to make a second backup to an external hard drive. For example, download the trial version of snapshot.exe. It's portable (no install necessary), so it won't interfere with Acronis. SelfImage is another small backup program that should not interfere with acronis. (You can worry about recovery boot disks later if something actually goes wrong with your Acronis restore).

    I also used Acronis for a long time, and it was about 95% reliable, but the 5% were either bugs (not full failures) or failures in non-standard situations such as restoring an image to a new (larger) hard disk (with universal restore add-on enabled) or after deleting a hidden partition.
     
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