Trouble again with TI . . .

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by BobJ, May 16, 2007.

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  1. BobJ

    BobJ Registered Member

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    Well, after reading this board for a week and studying the Guides, and having Acronis TI for about two weeks, I thought it was about time that I try copying an image to my HDD and then burn a copy to CD's.

    My behavior up until now has been a "shoot from the hip" style. So, when I installed TI about two weeks ago, I made the mistake of going ahead and creating an SZ (before I read these boards) - that was mistake #1, and I messed up my MBR and Partition Magic in the process. Then I tried to create an image on CD's - that was mistake #2, since I wasted four CD's, and ran out of what I had on hand, before I realized it would take many more for my image. About the only thing I did correct back then was to make a bootable CD. Anyway, finally I decided to be more prudent about it all, read these boards, and think things through rather than be impulsive.

    As DwnNdrty has suggested I do, I plan to get an external HDD to copy the image to, but I think I'd better make an image NOW rather than wait for the new HDD to arrive (I'm superstitious - if I wait much longer, I'm afraid my HDD will crash; which will be a double disaster since I now have TI and can make an image). So, it's time for me to stop reading and take action. This is where the rubber meets the road. Also, as DwnNdrty and several others have suggested, I've decided NOT to make a clone of the new HDD I'm about to get, but rather save several images to it - you guys convinced me that imaging is the way to go.

    To that end I started last night to create an image, store it on my existing HDD, and then copy it with my burning software to CD's - a strategy that I've read many on this board use (well, those that choose to put images on CD - and for me that is only a temporary procedure until I get my new external HDD - but as I just said, I'd better do this now rather than regret not having done it while I still have a disk to image).

    Anyway, I started this process, but I've gotten befuddled again when I was almost through with it.

    I selected to make a "backup archive" ("image", to me) of my entire disk (all four partitions - see attachment #1 below, and as you can see I have almost 7GB of free space total, spread out over all 4 partitions), and I got as far as the "Backup creation options", chose "Archive Splitting" and then "Fixed size . . .", but that's where I stopped dead in my tracks (see attachment #2 below) because I wasn't sure this would spread out my image archive file over all the free space on my four partitions and I didn't want to go forward to "Proceed" if this would wipe out my system partition.

    Actually, I hit several "speed bumps" on my way to that "Backup creation options" window.

    The first bump I hit was the "Backup Archive Location" window. I initially selected "My Computer" as the location, thinking that this would "automagically" distribute my image archive evenly over the free space on my four partitions (a bit of foolish intuitive thinking on my part). That selection produced a warning that said "You cannot create files in the folder 'My Computer'. Please choose another location." (See attachment #3 below).

    So now I chose my C partition (OS), and got the message that the backup partition and the "selected archive file location" were the same, and warning me that TI "highly recommended" that I copy the archive to another partition (see attachment #4 below). But then I thought that any other partition selected as the archive location would produce the same warning anyway, so I clicked on the "Yes" button. And then about two windows later is when I got to the "Backup creation options"/"Archive Splitting" and then "Fixed size . . ." window, and stopped.

    So what am I missing hereo_O I tried to use GroverH's excellent Guide, but it doesn't address making an image to a partitioned HDD that is (at the moment anyway) your/my ONLY HDD. I want to make an image NOW!!! If worse comes to worse, I may end up going the tedious direct to CD route just to get an image saved RIGHT NOW!!! Somebody 'splain how I can avoid this and copy to my already partitioned HDD and then burn to CD's.

    Hey . . . wait a minute . . . wait a minute (wondering out loud here), it now occurs to me that maybe this "Fixed size" thing doesn't even apply to my situation (screen shot changed to reflect that). The "Fixed size" stuff only appears to be for removable media, not a fixed HD. But then that "Automatic" option seems like it's only for removable media too. So what do I choose?

    Geezzz, I just can't seem to get my arms around this TI stuff. Been struggling with it for two weeks now. Back a decade ago, I mastered SAP at work, and even though it had a Windoze GUI, it was anything BUT intuitive. Now if I ever master this TI stuff, I'll look on SAP as child's play.

    Which brings me to my final point. You guys, including DwnNdrty, Mark, GroverH, xPilot, and others, have been VERY patient with all my "confusion". If I were my "student", I would have lost patience with me after about the second post, taken the computer away from me, and said, "You are condemned to doing sums with a stubby pencil for eternity!"

    For some reason, I'm just not getting this. Maybe it's because I have made excess partitions, and maybe it's also because I have yet to get an external HDD. Whatever it is, I'm very embarrassed by my apparent dense behavior.

    Thanks for being so patient to this dunce!!
     

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    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  2. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    1. Yes, you want to choose a fixed size but you must enter what the size is to be. Refer my guides image B8. Entering 1492mb will enable you to copy 3 files to a DVD. If you must use CD, then choose either the 650 or 700 based on your CD size. Choose "My Computer" as the backup option and then Tick the "disk1" as the backup option as shown in my backup guides.

    2. Yes, you can still store 4 partition image onto your current system drive.
    When you get to the My Computer, click the + sign which will show you the tree so you can select the desired drive plus enable you to create a folder to hold the archive.

    3. Your backup will compress somewhat--maybe 40 % depending upon whether you have audio or images--which are already compressed.

    4. I would suggest you store your images on whichever partition has the most free space after you have determined how much space you need based on the 40% compression.

    5. Hang in there.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    BobJ:

    From the looks of your disk you have 11 GB to back up if you make an image of your entire disk that includes all partitions. The C partition contains the Windows paging file pagefil.sys and hibernation file hiberfil.sys (if you have hibernation enabled). I'm going to make a wild guess that these files take up 2 GB. You can get their exact size if you want a better estimate of your image size. TI is smart enough not to back up these files so that they don't make your backup image larger. Instead it will keep track of them with placeholders and put the space back when you restore the image.

    Maybe too much detail but the idea is that if hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys occupy 2 GB out of the 11 GB then you have a net 9 GB image to back up. This will be compressed to approx 70% of its original size, therefore the image file that TI will create when you image your disk will be about 6.3 GB.

    Here's the problem -- you don't have 6.3 GB of free space on any of your partitions. Therfore you will need to back up to another disk. You have several choices here. If you have another PC and a home network then you can have TI put the image on your other PC providing it has enough free disk space. Or you can add another internal or external hard disk. But your current disk doesn't have room.
     
  4. BobJ

    BobJ Registered Member

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    Hey GroverH,

    First, thanks for your response. My compliments to your patience, and thanks too for the words of encouragement.

    I think I'm starting to get some of this, but I still have some questions.

    On your number1, here's my "epiphany" now. At first I thought "What the heck is he telling me to split files for removable media when I'm going to first save the archive to a fixed disk??" And then I realized that perhaps the archive to transfer to CD's won't be just one big file alone, but several smaller files in CD chunks. I . . . think . . . I understand this now, but I'm still a little unsure of myself.

    On your 2: OK . . . I understand that part. BUT, looking at Mark's post below yours, I'm afraid my suspicion was correct. I'm screwed because I don't have enough free space on any of my partitions to store the image.

    <digression> Oh . . . and one more thing on this issue. I noticed that when I started up that Acronis Bootable Disk (Yes, I checked it and it works nicely), the Bootable version of TI WON'T allow me to even store an image to my C partition. It gives me a message that "Cannot create the backup archive file on the same partition which you are going to backup". The version that runs within Windoze does NOT display this refusal warning. It displays a warning (see my attachment above), but it's not a refusal. <end digression>


    On your 3: Mark was more "generous" with his compression estimate of 70%. Oh, and btw, I don't have many video or audio files on my machine. I'm not one of those folks that stores a lot of music or video.

    On your 4: Mark's estimate of my image size and partition free space was pretty accurate. (I think that you didn't have the advantage of my screen shots with which to estimate my partition free space, which I had forgotten to append when I first posted). In any case, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed as far as storing any image on any of my partitions.

    I just bought a bundle of CD's at WalMart (a pack of 50 for $15 bucks - and I don't think my image will take more than 10, maybe 12 at the most), so I guess I'll just have to pull out my hair (as DwnNdrty commented in one of my posts) and endure the long process of copying an image direct to CD's.

    And I just now realized that I could have gotten DVD's, with a much larger capacity than just 700MB, because I realized that I have a DVD/CD Combo Drive. But I have never used the DVD component of the drive, because as I said I don't "do" audio or video, so "DVD" hasn't really been on my mind much. Another duhhhh . . . moment.

    Actually, that leads me to a question. Is there a difference between "Music DVD's" and "Data DVD's", or is the media the same for both?? The reason I ask is because I noticed at the store that all the DVD packs were advertised as "Music DVD's". Geezz, I wish I would have had that "I have a DVD drive" revelation when I was at the store last night.

    On your 5: Again, thanks for the encouragement.

    Hey Mark,

    Pretty good estimates - thanks.

    So, you can't really split an archive file among partitions. I suspected that, especially when I didn't see any provision for that in any of the selections in TI. I don't have a home network, and as I said in my original post, I'm anxious to get an image saved before the external HDD I got arrives. So as I just told GroverH, I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and copy direct over to CD's. So, tonight I'll be doing the CD "dance", swapping blanks in and out.
     
  5. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    The response made by K0lo was excellent.

    Archive Splitting:
    Whether you split or not depends upon your intended use. If you plan to burn the archive set to DVD/CD at any point in the future, then yes it should be split at a fixed size of your choosing during the backup creation. If you choose not to split , it will autosplit at 4 gb (4,194,3094kb) anyway if the intended destination (such as an enternal drive) has a FAT32 file system. If the external is an NTFS and you intend to copy to DVD/CD, then again, yes you will have a specify a fixed size of your choosing. This fixed size is not one right and all wrong. It usually is set so as to use the least number of blanks. Entering 1492mb as the fixed size will enable 3 files to be copied to DVD with minimal lost space. You could also enter 4gb or 3gb

    Even after you begin storing your backups on an external drive, you should still consider burning an occasional backup to DVD. Should your external fail due to whatever, you do not want it to be your only storage of backups. After you begin using external and get your backups in order, I would even suggest that you replace your laptop drive and use your old drive as a secure non-attached backup. An external drive should not be attached 24/7 from a security standpoint. Many of us have more than one external with usage alternated--just to be safe.

    Partitions:
    There is nothing wrong with having four partitions. Number of partitions are a matter of personal preference. Having your personal data on a different partition away from your system partition does make it easier to maintain during recovery.

    Backups now:
    If you plan to attempt(?) a backup direct to CD media, I would suggest you consider some selective careful pruning before starting such an endeavor. Remember, one bad burn can ruin an entire backup set.

    1. Under disk cleanup, you have an option to reduce your "XP system restore" backups down to only the most recent backup. I would suggest you perform this cleanup. The backups will again begin accumulation unless you set quota size. Likewise, delete the temp files and delete the temp internet files.

    2. Is there anything on your drives which could be moved to removable media?

    3. Don't do anything foolish on your existing drives until you have a full and complete backup to be used for recovery!

    4. Do you have a friend from whom you could borrow an external drive so you could temporarily store one copy of a backup until you get a new drive of your own.

    5. Check your "combo" burner. Many such drives will read DVD's but cannot burn DVD's. If you do not have a DVD burner, consider the purchase of an external burner. You can find a fast dual format DVD burner on sale quite frequently. I realize it is more difficult to replace your laptop internal burner but that would be a preferred option as compared to the external choice.

    6. From a usage standpoint, there is no difference between Music and Data media. The ones marketed as music has had a fee paid to the recording industry for the money supposedly lost from lost CD/DVD sales.

    7. I prefer to buy Verbatim brand media and Walmart does not offer such. I avoid most media blanks sold by Walmart. BestBuy stores have Verbatim on sale quite often.

    8. I think I have answered all of your questions listed above. If not, please ask again.:)
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello BobJ,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Let me add some clarification to the great explanation by GroverH and k0lo.

    As you figured out already, if you wish to store the image archive on the hard drive you should select a disk/partition (a folder on a disk/partition).

    Also as said on the confirmation message on the last screen show, it is not recommended to store the image archive on the same partition you backing up. Actually, as you noted when running Acronis True Image under Windows you can place the image to the same partition you backing up, but standalone version of Acronis True Image (when booted from Acronis True Image Bootable CD) does not allow this operation.

    To achieve better protection of your data it is recommended to store the image archive away from the original data. For example, saving the archive to another hard disk will protect your data if the primary disk is damaged. Data saved to a network disk, FTP server or removable media will survive even if all your local hard disks are down.

    This is correct. Using Archive splitting option of Acronis True Image you can split the image file into multiple files of the specified size. You can select Fixed size and enter the desired file size (in megabytes MB or gigabytes GB) or select it from the drop-down list. That comes in handy when backing up to a hard disk with a view to burning the archive to CD-R/RW or DVD+R/RW later on.

    Would also recommend that you have a look at this FAQ article to find more information on how to write your images to DVD and supported DVD types.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  7. BobJ

    BobJ Registered Member

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    GroverH's response reminded me of a question I wanted to ask: As you can see by my screen shot (attachment 1), I have my F partition formatted as FAT 32, while my C,D, and E are NTFS. I did that (formatted my F partition as FAT 32) when I first got my machine because I thought that since I was storing only data on the F partition and might want to save it to a floppy, I should keep it as FAT 32 - and I thought floppies only took FAT files (I think I was wrong on that). In hindsight I'm not sure I needed to do that anyway - probably not, but I've left it that way over the years (3 now).

    I guess I have two options there: either change it to NTFS (if I can - I'm a bit rusty on file systems - doesn't XP have a utility to do that??), or leave it as it is. The only thing I notice right now is that a defrag speeds through C,D, and E, while F takes a long time to defrag. I assume that's because it's FAT 32.

    Anyway, to my question: If I leave the F partition in FAT 32 (this question may be moot if you and others advise I change it to NTFS), will the one FAT32 partition screw up my image (on CD's for now, but soon to be saved on an external HDD). I can format the new external HDD any way, but I assume I will do NTFS, because that's much more efficient than FAT 32.

    Yes, I will also keep an image on CD in addition to the external - that seems like it would be a "Best Practice".

    As far as my laptop drive goes, I expect it will fail soon because it's exactly three years old, and I'm sure the TTF is coming up on it. I got an extended three year warranty on this laptop (that's not necessary with a desktop machine, but for laptops I always get the extended three year warranty because they often fail within three years because of the heat and poor cooling capabilities), and it expired just last week. Superstition says it will fail now . . .

    Which brings me to another question: If I get a new machine soon, and I guess it will come with Vista preinstalled, I guess all this imaging stuff on this machine might be moot?? (Unless I wanted to make it a dual boot XP/Vista machine, which I might do.) I'll have to study all the posts on Vista and get TI10. I've glanced at the Vista posts, and it looks like there might be a few issues about TI making Vista images (like that "starting sector" stuff - https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=173214&page=2). I've also read McTavish's excellent write up on dual boot stuff - http://www.multibooters.co.uk/.

    On my having four partitions: Well, thanks for the kind words, but in reading through other posts, I think now I should just have made two - a C for the OS, apps and utils, and then a D for data. If I can get Partion Magic working again (remember, when I made that SZ I screwed up my MBR and PM), I might do that. But before I do any of that messing with stuff (PM or fix the MBR), I want to make sure and have my image stored on my new external HDD.

    Now to GroverH's points, one-by-one:

    1. Yes, I will probably do some selective "pruning", but then I don't want to overheat and make my laptop fail. Most of the pruning stuff is NOT processor or HDD intensive and thus will not create much heat, but the defrag is, so I might skip the defrag.

    2. Good tip - I will go through my partitions and see if I can store anything on removable media. That brings up another question: Since my F partition is all data, and I already have all that stuff stored on removable media (a USB Flash drive), do I really need to include that in the image?? If I do need to include the F partition just to have a "placeholder" for an F partition in an image, maybe I should just erase all the data, and have a blank F partition in my image?? I seem to remember reading somewhere on another post that I would need to include ALL my partitions.

    3. As I said above, I certainly don't intend to mess with the MBR or PM until I have an image. Though, Mark I think it was, said that I could still mess with fixing my MBR because the TI Restore process would create a brand new MBR anyway. Still, I'm reluctant to do anything with my machine's config before I make an image, especially anything that would be heat intensive (does fixing the MBR use a lot of processor time or spin the HDD a lot??)

    4. No, I'm afraid most of the folks around here are pretty much computer illiterate (as I said in another post, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king", which is why they think I'm a genius), and computer poor, so there's no one that has an external drive.

    5. I'm glad you mentioned that. In my rush to think of using DVD's, I neglected to think if my DVD/CD drive could only read DVD's. It probably can only read, but it's a Toshiba SD-R2512, so I'll Google that or else go right to the Toshiba site and check for sure.

    I do have the manual for my laptop, and it does go into detail about how to remove and replace the CD drive, but I'm reluctant to crack the case - I tried that once on another laptop I had once (an IBM Thinkpad that I paid $6000 bucks for back in 1993!), and I never was able to get the thing working right again. That experience alone (ruining a $6000 dollar laptop!) was enough to make me swear off cracking the case of a laptop ever again (even though I only paid $1400 bucks for my existing machine). So, if I do get a DVD burner, it will likely be external.

    6. Thanks for 'splainin' that to me.

    7. I have gotten Memorex CD's at Walmart and never had a bad one (though Memorex does have a bad reputation for faulty CD's). This time I got Sony brand CD's. I have Roxio, and I think it has a capability to check CD surfaces for integrity, so I might do that on the blanks before I use them.


    Hey Aleks/Acronis Support,

    Thanks for responding and confirming some of my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    1.
    Doesn't bother TI either way. Windows 98 cannot see an NTFS partition and there may be other OS's with the same limitation. If you have no other computers or users which access your FAT32, then ok to change to NTFS. Same situation with externals. If you plan to use the external elsewhere, be aware of the limitation.

    2.
    Yes, include all partitions for routine disk replacement and some of your backup archives. No, if you want to jump thru hoops and do a lot of MBR error chasing. You might consider using Partition Magic and merge the partition into the other. Then you could re-image your 3 partition computer so that your .tif files know of the changes. I would not do make those changes until you

    The below is a program that might(?) help extend the life of your burner. This program (Wizmo) has options which enable you to open or close your CD or DVD device programmatically using a desktop shortcut. It works great on desktops but not so good on some laptops. It a very small program. Try it. I open and close all 3 of my burners using desktop shortcuts from this program. No hunting for the open/close tray button with me.
    http://www.grc.com/wizmo/wizmo.htm

    If you're planing on pruning a few files, then you might want to check this out.

    One program I find very helpful in locating folders with oversize files is a free program called TreeSize This adds an option to the Right click Context Menu.

    TreeSize Free tells you where precious space has gone to. TreeSize Free can be started from the context menu of a folder or drive and shows you the size of this folder, including its subfolders. You can expand this folder in Explorer-like style and you will see the size of every subfolder. Scanning is done in a thread, so you can already see results while TreeSize Free is working. The space, which is wasted by the file system can be displayed and the results can be printed in a report.

    http://www.jam-software.com/
    http://www.jam-software.com/treesize.zip
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  9. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    The easy way to do it, is just worry about backing (imagining)up your C: drive. Empty the recycle bin etc to get it as small as possible. I would disable system restore to save space(true image will restore you quicker and it's redundant to have system restore in the background.). The other partitions only have data, these you can just copy and save to your external drive or cd's
    and can be reinstalled anywhere. Your C: drive once you make a backup (normal compression)it'll probably be around 6GB, these you can span to your cd's.
    Once you got your C: backup to cd's and an external hard drive (just to be safe that you got 2 good backups) then I get to work with partition magic and change the fat32 partition to ntfs,and merge your data/apps/util partitions into one larger partition.(make sure you save your data on those partitions to cd's before you merge your partitions.)
    Now if your hard drive fails , all you have to do is 1.) remove old hard drive, 2.)install new hard drive 3.)make 2 ntfs partition's on your new hard drive make the new C: drive at least 1GB larger than your saved image backup( your saved imaged partition is about 10GB so make the new hard drive c: partition 11GB(this will prevent you from having bootup problems). 4.)Load your True image boot cd and chose recovery, next find the archive to recover from, I recommend you use the one from your external hard drive(it's quicker and more reliable), next it'll ask which partition to recover choose your 11GB partition. Once it recovers the partition remove your boot cd and exit true image, this will reboot the computer and you should have a successful boot sequence.
     
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