TI 10 Saved My Bacon

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by kb0ve, Feb 20, 2007.

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  1. kb0ve

    kb0ve Registered Member

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    I read lots of problem reports about Acronis True Image products on this forum before trying TI 10 Home. I considered such applications to be last resort drastic measures with the likely result of reducing my PC to a pet rock. The forum topics that I studied cautioned me not to try approaches such as cloning, hidden zone backups, and operations from an active Windows XP desktop. I never even installed the software. The following is my experience using the boxed TI version 10 Home (build 4,871) CD.

    I have a 4yr old home assembled Pentium 4 PC using the Intel D875pbz motherboard with Intel 82801ER SATA RAID Controller, ICH5R controlling 2 Seagate 120 GB SATA drives in a 240GB RAID 0 volume. The operating system is Windows XP professional SP2 and is located on the RAID array with my applications. I also have a 200GB IDE and a DVD drive. Recently Intel’s "Application Accelerator RAID Edition v3.5" reported that one of the two SATA drives was failing and that I should back up my system "immediately". My computer boots from the RAID array and otherwise works normally. I purchased Acronis True Image 10 Home to perform this backup. However, the user guide is silent about backing up a RAID volume. I purchased two new SATA drives to copy the RAID volume.

    I didn't want to wait for the RAID 0 drive array to fail before replacing it. Reminiscent of the movie "2001 Space Odyssey" and HAL's predicted antenna failure, I wanted to be proactive. I read the Acronis user manual pdf file cover to cover and was disappointed by the lack of any RAID array discussion. I am also uncomfortable with copying the array image while running Windows XP. My drive light blinks often when running windows. Lord only knows what's going on between my LAN, Windows XP, Office applications and McAfee antivirus, etc. competing for system resources. I wanted to copy a static image frozen in time, and restore that image to a new RAID array that is not predicted to fail by Intel’s "Application Accelerator RAID Edition" monitor.

    I booted from my CD drive containing the True Image 10 Home application and used the Backup wizard to copy my entire RAID 0 volume disk image containing three partitions from the 2 SATA 120GB drives onto my 200GB IDE drive. This took about 20 minutes including backup validation. I then shut down and removed that RAID 0 volume and installed the two new SATA 160GB drives as a new RAID 0 volume. This took another 20 minutes. I then booted the True Image 10 Home application again from my CD and used the Recovery wizard to write my copied partitions onto the new RAID 0 volume. This took another 20 minutes. The system booted without a hic-cup from the new RAID 0 volume containing my original 3 partitions and about 80GB of new unallocated space.

    Acronis True Image 10 Home saved my bacon. I never even installed the application. It worked quickly and flawlessly outside of the Windows XP environment. Boy am I impressed! I am one satisfied customer.:)
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It's good to hear success stories. Thanks for posting.

    One disadvantage of not installing the software in Windows is that you can't do any updates. TI 10 has a new build out, for example, but you'd have to install it in order to create a new rescue cd.

    Working with RAID volumes is no different than single drives as long as the drivers support it. In your case they did. Normally the RAID volume shows up as a single drive and is treated as such by the OS.

    Also, creating the backup image in Windows is usually a lot faster than using the rescue cd. Many people, including myself, do the backups that way. It doesn't have a problem with other programs running while the backup is being created. It's just personal preference, though. Some people are adamant about only doing backups from the rescue cd.
     
  3. kb0ve

    kb0ve Registered Member

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    MudCrab, You seem to be knowledgable about raid arrays. Since my RAID 0 volume contains two SATA drives. Where is the MBR stored? Port 0, port 1, neither or both? Since mine is hardware controled by the ICH5R on the motherboard, the RAID 0 volume is established in firmware and listed as such in my CMOS BIOS. Windows XP sees the array as a single drive as you mentioned in your reply. But, where is the MBR?
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The MBR is in the same place on the array as it would be if it were actually a single drive, located at the very beginning, split across the two drives.

    As to my knowledge level on RAID, I have some experience and have done several setups and some research, but I wouldn't claim to be a expert by any means.
     
  5. kb0ve

    kb0ve Registered Member

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    MBR striped across both drives. That makes sense. I couldn't find this info elsewhere. Thanks!
     
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