Triple Boot Disk Cloning

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by archp2008, Mar 21, 2008.

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  1. archp2008

    archp2008 Registered Member

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    Hello All,

    I have a SATA2 320GB disk with Partitions with XP, Vista, and Ubuntu (Linux). I have ordered a second matching drive for the purpose of backing up my disk to the other one. Can I do this with Acronis True Image 11 Home? Are there any issues with the LInux partitition and how can they be resolved? Alternatively, the Asus P5B-VM motherboard supports RAID. Can I install the new drive, clone it to the second and then use RAID1 without reformatting the original drive and starting from scratch? Thank you in advance to anyone who cares to respond.
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    archp2008:

    Yes, TI can back up XP, Vista, and Linux partitions. You will be able to use your new disk to store images of your current disk, should you so choose.

    The special considerations for restoring a Linux partition will arise if you have GRUB installed to the Linux partition. If so you may need to keep a Live Linux CD handy in order to repair GRUB after restoring the Linux partition. If GRUB is installed to the MBR then you should not need a repair after restoration.

    If you want to create a RAID-1 array then there is no need to do anything to prepare your new disk; it can be blank. With most RAID controllers including motherboard-based RAID you would install a second disk, boot to the motherboard BIOS and configure your two disks as a RAID-1 array. The RAID controller should then take care of the task of duplicating the contents of your original disk to the new, blank disk to make the two disks identical. Consult your motherboard documentation for details.
     
  3. archp2008

    archp2008 Registered Member

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    Thanks Mark. The thing that concerns me is this quote form the Acronis TI 11 guide: "When Acronis Startup Recovery Manager is activated, it overwrites the master boot record (MBR) with its own boot code. If you have any third-party boot managers installed, you will have to reactivate them after activating the Startup Recovery Manager.For Linux loaders (e.g. LiLo and GRUB), you might consider installing them to a Linux root (or boot) partition boot record instead of MBR before activating Acronis Startup Recovery Manager."
    My understanding is that having the grub installed to the MBR, which I understand it is now, could be a problem, but you seem to suggest it is not.
    Speaking of the other subject, I am tending to lean away from using RAID-1 because the consensus in the forums seems to be that ursing RAID alone is not a substitute for regular backups. Apparently, a backup scheme is more secure. I suppose I could use RAID-1 with a second drive as one line of protection and DVD backups as a second.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    archp2008:

    Are you going to activate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager (ASRM)? If not then you can disregard the warning. If you currently use a CD or USB flash drive to boot into the Acronis recovery environment then there is no need to put the ASRM on your hard disk, so you can completely avoid the issue with GRUB.

    I use and like RAID-1, but you are correct -- if you get some kind of software glitch that destroys data on your disk then RAID-1 will make a perfect duplicate of the garbage on both disks. So RAID-1 is no protection against software problems but it is good protection against a hard disk failure. Having said that, I've run RAID-1 on two PCs for 3 years now and have never had a hard disk failure in that time. But I did have a massive software failure on my Windows XP machine that destroyed the Master File Table on both RAID-1 disks. Fortunately a TI image restore fixed that up in 10 minutes flat.

    Redundancy in your backup scheme, whichever method you decide to choose, is always a good idea. Always have multiple backups and keep some on multiple devices (internal hard disk, external USB hard disk, network file server, DVD, etc), and even better yet, keep at least one off-site.
     
  5. archp2008

    archp2008 Registered Member

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    Thanks again for the very informed comments. I wasn't aware that it was possible to deactivate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager. I will be sure to have a further look at that. Meanwhile, I have a copy of Supergrub which, if necessary, is able to overwrite the MBR with Grub in a few seconds. It seems there are a number of options of recovering my system as it is. The worst part of using DVD's is that I have over 100 gb of data and installed software to backup. That's fairly cumbersome and time consuming. If money were no object, I would probably add a third disk, perhaps an external one. The 320 gb SATA-2 internal was cheaper at $72 (new( and I assumed it would be faster than USB. I wiill post to the forum again if and when I need to do a recovery and if there are problems that are not easily resolved. Again, I appreciate your kind assitance. All the best.
     
  6. archp2008

    archp2008 Registered Member

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