TI 9.0 advice for beginner?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by soubriquet, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. soubriquet

    soubriquet Registered Member

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    I have purchased TI 9.0 and downloaded the latest build. I'm about to install and run a disk image backup, but I want to be sure I do everything correctly from the get-go (I have just come off a two month nightmare which involved a failure to restore using Retrospect).

    The documentation for TI 9.0 isn't clear: I want to do something very basic. I want a complete uncompressed disk image so that I don't have to spend a month building a system from scratch again. EVER. I'm not worried about data on a daily basis, as I back up to DVDs or CDs daily.

    I'm running Windows XP Media Center Edition on an Intel Pentium D Processor. I have a 300G HD and two 300G inserts for the HP Personal Media Drive port. I have both DVD-ROM and DVD/CD-RW drives.

    I have questions about three areas:

    1) I don't want to make any complicated partitions on my internal or removable drives. I know that my computer came with a partition for the System Restore (so I have C: as my Main and D: as my System Restore drive). Is the best approach to make a straightforward disk image on removable HD media, and, if so, do I have to specify C: and D:, or do I just go with C:? Do I do this through Back Up or through Clone? I would be very happy if I could access my backed up files as if they were on my current hard drive so that I KNOW they're there without any leap of faith. Is that how it works when uncompressed?

    2) Do I need to make a secure zone on a removable hard drive if I plug it in only to make full backups (alternating onto each of two different drives inserted into the same port at different times so that I have two complete separate full disk images)? Will I be prompted to make a secure zone during a disaster recovery? If I do have to make a secure zone, how on Earth do I know how big to make it? Would I need separate ones for C: and D: images? I feel the documentation is not clear on this.

    3) I'm very concerned about the Master Boot Directory alteration thing: I don't understand the wording and I've looked through the forums and still don't get it: If I tell TI 9.0 to make a bootable DVD, will it only alter the MBD if I have to do a Disaster Recovery? I mean, it won't alter the Master Boot Directory NOW, or when I check to see if the DVD is, in fact, bootable, will it? When it does alter it, if I have nothing special installed (I removed the excess HP boot software while on the phone with an HP tech, so there's not much there), will it be very different after a recovery? I'm very leery.

    I've already been somewhat frightened by the fact that I purchased and installed TI 9.0 from a CD so I wouldn't have to download it over my lousy dial-up connection, then discovered I had to download the latest build anyway. Then I noticed in the forums that a clean install was advised, so I removed my older TI 9.0 build without ever having used it, but found that Add/Remove left bits all over the place that needed cleaning (Luckily, I had only to restore to yesterday and be done with it, rather than going through the nightmare of registry cleaning).

    I am not a computer expert (though I am an artist who uses the computer in my work), I'm new to XP (having hung on with Windows Me for many years), and I'm so shaken from my recent bad experiences with other programs that I'm afraid to do anything. I hope someone here can put my mind at ease. I want to do a simple disk image for disaster recovery only and I need it to WORK should the day come! Yikes!

    Thanks in advance--so much--for any words of wisdom and the answers to my questions.
     
  2. Carver

    Carver Guest

    I am also new to TI 9.0 but I havent bought it yet, I just started trialing. But I think you want to backup. I think coning is for when you put in a new HD
     
  3. aoz

    aoz Registered Member

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    question-
    do the inserts act as true removable drives?

    If so,
    install Acronis trueimage. back up from within windows, making full backup of C: drive, to an image on one of the removable drives.
    do an image VERIFY (check image) after that backup is done

    REMOVE that drive, lock it up in a safe !

    I have removable drives; I have two external hard drives, and I do weekly full backkups, rotating which drive (external) that I use

    that's my quick suggestion
    good luck
     
  4. Ozmaniac

    Ozmaniac Registered Member

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    A True Image image (backup) can be either compressed or not and is not directly bootable, but will provide exactly what you are looking for. You take the image, store it wherever you wish and in the event of your needing to restore, you simply boot via Windows (if it is still available) or via the Recovery CD, select the image and restore it.


    As you wish to be able to do a complete restore, you MUST image the entire disk i.e. you must check the box beside the disk name, not the one/s beside the partition name/s. This is the only way to include the MBR in the image.

    I would do it through Backup rather than clone. Cloning is designed for when you are migrating to a new disk drive and that is not what you are doing. It doesn't matter if the image is compressed. If you want to access the files, you simply mount (Plug) the image and you can explore it with an Explorer-like interface.

    I wouldn't bother with a Secure Zone at all. If when setting up a SZ, you let it set up the Recovery Manager, that can cause all sorts of problems with the MBR and with your configuration, there is no real point in using the SZ.

    See the previous point above. If you don't use the Recovery Manager, your MBR will not be affected.

    Simply using Add/Remove would have removed everything necessary. That's all I used before I installed build 2323 after 2302 and I have had no problems and haven't heard of any from anyone else either. It can be a PITA downloading new builds on dial-up, but there shouldn't be too many from here on in.

    Hpe the above helps. Just one more thing... Remember to ALWAYS verify an image immediately. One missed bit can cause the entire image to be corrupt and it does happen from time to time. The time to discover that there is something wrong is as you take the image - not after the disaster has occurred and you're trying to restore!:cool:
     
  5. soubriquet

    soubriquet Registered Member

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    Thanks to all who replied, especially Ozmaniac: Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I feel much better now.

    I'm wondering about the Recovery CD you mentioned. Can the image be restored while Windows is running on the C: drive? When you say "or off the Recovery CD," do you mean the one I will create with TI 9.0 or the one that I made after I set up my PC (it didn't come with disks)?

    Also, if the hard drive itself dies, will I be able to put the image on a replacement internal drive? (This happened on my old Dell several years ago and I restored the whole thing to "like yesterday" condition using, of all things, a rinky-dink Roxio product called Take Two that I would never trust today).

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the advice.

    Tomorrow I'll install and backup!
     
  6. Ozmaniac

    Ozmaniac Registered Member

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    The Recovery CD is used when you can't boot via Windows e.g. your HDD has died and you've replaced it with a new one. If you can still boot via Windows and are restoring for some other reason, then you simply do so, select the image and restore.

    The Recovery CD is the one you will create with TI9. Whenever you install a new build of TI, you should create a new Recovery CD.

    Yes, you will. That's exactly what TI is designed to achieve.:cool:
     
  7. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi soubriquet,

    Ozmaniac has provided you with excellent advice. The only thing I would add (just in case you are susequently surprised!!) is that, if restoring your system (C:) partition from within Windows, TI will request you allow it to reboot into the Linux based rescue environment (same as booting from the TI bootable rescue CD). After the reboot you will be obliged to start the restore procedure from the beginning again.

    Regards
     
  8. pepegot1

    pepegot1 Registered Member

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    Make sure the drive that has the OS is completely backed up. If partitioned, and you backup C: only, the MRB is not copied and your are SOL. Dell's new computers, that have a added partition for data recovery ( too cheap to give you a restore disk,) will cause a problem if not included in the backup. It happened to a friend of mine.
     
  9. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi pepegot1,

    Very true but didn't Ozmaniac already say that in his second comment at Post #4 above although, granted, he didn't specifically mention Dell's hidden Diagnostic and Recovery partitions ;).

    Regards
     
  10. soubriquet

    soubriquet Registered Member

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    I want to again thank you all. I've just finished downloading yet another latest build (sheesh!) and I hope to back up today. If I should ever require a disaster recovery, I'll start off with the Recovery CD (to avoid the reboot thing), and I'll be sure to make the drive image of the whole drive and to Verify afterward. You've all been a great help.

    BTW, I don't have a Dell. I have a brandy-new HP Media Center. Though HP is also too cheap to include disks, and also has a System Restore partition (Don't all XP systems have this?), I LOVE it so far (one month and not fully loaded up with my software yet) and am so glad to be rid of Dell. I shouldn't say anything...I don't want to start a whole heated discussion about which brand of PC is best...I'm sure each of us has an opinion on that!

    You've all been terrific. Thanks again. I'll be back in touch if the download doesn't work!
     
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