Unable to create Secure Zone

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Wol, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    I have just installed TrueImage 11 and have a few issues: I emailed support but haven't had an answer.

    Firstly, a comment. The program is obviously comprehensive - probably too full of features to be user friendly. The help files are of more use to those who wrote or know the program backwards: there are too many cross-references. I start out trying to do something and find that after having to go from one link to another I have forgotten what I was trying to do in the first place!

    Am I right in assuming that I need to set up a "Secure Zone" to place the backups in, and to be able to recover my programs and data from if the HD blows up?

    I have tried a dozen times to create a Secure Zone on my USB external WD HD (J drive) - which I use only as a backup. It has about 200Gb free. But each time Acronis gives the error "Not able to create Secure Zone on the selected drive".

    I have tried from the toolbar menu and the program menu to no avail. Any ideas?
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    No, you do not have to have a SZ in order to start making Backup Images. In fact it would be much simpler for you starting off to NOT use the SZ. And most of all do NOT use the Start Recovery Manager feature until you fully understand what it is all about. It also is not needed to make Backup Images.

    An Image will be a compressed file with the .tib extension which you can save, move, copy like any other file.

    Just use your external drive as the Target drive for holding your BAckups.
     
  3. retread

    retread Registered Member

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    Do a search on this forum and you will find a number of dissatisfied users that got snake-bit using the Secure Zone. I recommend you stay away from it... far, far away.
     
  4. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    And this is where the help files are of no - well, help!

    Backing up my C drive files is one thing, and Acronis is doing this every day just fine. But what I was talking about is the facility of doing a complete rebuild of the main drive including OS and all programs and settings after say a reformat. My understanding is that you have to have the backup data in a SZ - is this not correct?
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    NOPE ... not correct. I've never used the SZ and do Backups and Restores to/from an external drive for my laptop and to/from a second internal drive for my desktop. The Backup Images could even be on a USB flash drive if it is large enough to fit the backup, and you can restore from it.

    And, btw, to do a complete rebuild, you don't even have to reformat first before doing the restore of the Image.
     
  6. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    If you only have one disk and not other and you're serious about backup then you should get another disk. But if you don't and so only have one disk, then you cancreate a socalled Secure Zone (SZ), which is a special "hidden" partition on your harddisk, and store your backups there. It's hidden in that most programs don't see it unless they are looking for it -- so it's not really secure, just a little harder for someone to accidentally delete.

    If your harddisk goes bad you won't be able to restore from the SZ because the SZ is on the bad harddisk. So it's only good for restoring when the harddisk is in good working order. And that's the primary flaw with using a SZ for backing up a haddrdisk. It's but than nothing but not when you really need it.

    Additionally, a number of folks have had troubles with hiden partitions like the SZ--it complicates the disk structure and who needs that when you what you are after is preserving data integrity rather than increasing risks that data will be lost or damaged?

    Backup to a second disk--only use the SZ if you're not serious about backingup and your data is not really valuable to you.
     
  7. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    @Wol you said ATI refused to create a SZ on an external USB drive. I haven't tried this but suspect it is deliberate having something to do with USB being "disconnectable". For example, if you asked ATI to do a scheduled backup, what if the USB drive was disconnected when the backup was planned?

    The "Secure Zone" IMO is for when you want a place to store your backups within your computer, yet safe from a misbehaving program i.e. the SZ isn't seen by Windows so Windows can't muck it up. I have three hard drives in my PC and a SZ set-up on a drive that is not the C:\ drive. Never keep backups on your C: drive!

    I see no issue whatsoever with created a Secure Zone, which is basically just a hidden partition that only ATI can "see". The trouble can come when you want also to install & use the Recovery Manager which wants to mess with Windows standard boot process. I don't use that myself--it may be a convenience to someone but I always like to make my backups using an Acronis Boot CD anyway.

    For your situation forget the SZ and just backup to your USB, then DISCONNECT the drive and unplug it! Save it for doing backups. If you don't like this i.e. want to do scheduled backups then buy another internal drive, make a SZ on it of any size you want, or for all of it, and at least your backups will be safe from misbehaving software. BUT if your computer suffers a voltage spike or hardware failure that jazzes-up that harddrive, well that's why many of us here backup to external drives and then put them away, safe from errant software, bad hardware, and voltage/lightning et. al.
     
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    For more info about the Secure zone and Startup Recovery Manager, look for that topic after you click on the sticky in the first line of my signature below.

    Xpilot is one forum member that makes good use of the Secure Zone. He has his equipment and procedures set to utilize the SZ to his advantage. Check his comments in the various threads where the Secure Zone is discussed.

    Two disadvantages to using the Secure Zone is that
    1. If SZ is created on the same disk as the System drive and the drive fails, you have also lost your backup files.
    2. The SZ is not designed to allow backup files copied to another location.
     
  9. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    Thanks everyone. I think I have it now!

    So, just to confirm: the only reason for the SZ is to isolate part of a single internal HD so that it can't be screwed. Unless the HD itself goes belly-up.

    Since I am doing the scheduled backups to an external Western Digital HD the program won't let me make a SZ.

    Now, if I boot from the recovery disc that I made and ask for a full recovery from this external drive, will the recovery program overwrite all the C drive, including the windoze folder and all my installed programs? That's what I am hoping for because I rather want to try the recovery in my own time - just to see, you understand - rather than wait until I have a *real* crash.

    And, presumably, if I reformat the C drive, the recovery disc will reinstate it exactly as it was?

    BTW, I always made a data backup every month to DVD-RW with a 3 disc rotation - and Im not goin' to stop doing that!
     
  10. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    One thing you want to be sure of, if you haven't already tried it, when you boot with the Rescue CD, make sure it can see your external drive.
    And of course it would be much better to do the Recovery to a spare hard drive. The recovery process will wipe out everything on the target drive.
     
  11. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    Hi Wol something I have never heard mentioned on this forum about the secure zone, so I would think maybe nobody uses it for the following..
    If I ran a hotel/motel with a computer that is accesable to the guests, I would image every morning to the secure zone and then restore it late at night thus keeping the computer free of any virus/adware etc. and any "hackers" changing settings. This could be a good idea for people with teenagers stop a lot of grief I bet!
    Personally I can see no use for the secure zone other then using it to reset partitions when imaging to a larger drive and not doing it right, but that is another story.
     
  12. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    I'm still puzzled!

    The documentation says:

    >>The Acronis Secure Zone is necessary if you plan to use the
    Acronis Startup Recovery Manager, Acronis Active Restore, or Acronis Try&Decide features
    (see below).<<

    This implies, as I read it the first time around, that the only way to recover your data and programs and settings etc if you have to use the recovery disc IS by having the SZ set up in the first place.
     
  13. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    You need an SZ to use those particular features, however, those are all features to be avoided if you want to minimize risks. You do not need a SZ to be able to restore. To restore, best thing is to use a bootCD, NOT the Recovery Manager. That way you avoid mucking with hidden partitions or the MBR and such.
     
  14. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    This gets interesting (in the Chinese sense <g>).

    >>You need an SZ to use those particular features, however, those are all features to be avoided if you want to minimize risks. You do not need a SZ to be able to restore. To restore, best thing is to use a bootCD, NOT the Recovery Manager. That way you avoid mucking with hidden partitions or the MBR and such.<<

    Surely the whole point of the program as far as recovery is that *all* folders and files - including the Windoze ones - are restored?

    As I read your reply, if (when?) the HD crashes and has to be replaced, the Windoze OS should be restored from another source and *then* the program files and data just copied from the Acronis backup? Wouldn't this mean all sorts of registry and application data being wrong?

    I don't know enough about the way Windoze works - I used to program in RISC-OS - but it seems to me that if what I understand you to mean is correct I'd be better off uninstalling TrueImage and just continuing backing up my data on DVD manually?
     
  15. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Re-read ALL the previous messages .... all the answers you need are there.
     
  16. laserfan

    laserfan Registered Member

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    Where do you read THAT out of the statement you quoted...you don't need a SZ to backup to your USB drive, using either ATI installed to your C: or just booting with the CD and backing-up from there, to whatever non-SZ partition(s) are on your USB drive. You absolutely DO need the SZ to use those 3 features (which may be convenient for some, but most here find to be more trouble than they're worth). Forget them.

    Time to stop asking and start backing. Once you make some .tib files on your USB drive all will get clear(er).
     
  17. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    While the quote from the manual is correct, what the statement does not include is that the use of these 3 features is optional and not necessary for normal backups or restores. The "Startup Recovery Manager"(SRM) stores its program files inside the Secure Zone (SZ) but if you do not use the SRM then there is no requirement to have a SZ.

    TrueImage excels as a image backup & system recovery tool when it sticks to its basic function. Any other included accessory is "icing on the cake" which bloats its functions and makes many of us sick. Many of us avoid using the "icing".

    My guides (signature links) can help you to understand many of the basic functions. There are few new questions. Most have already been asked and answered many time. The search tool can be of considerable help.

    As laserfan stated, time to get started.
    Create your Rescue CD.
    Boot from it
    Create a "disk" backup which includes all partitions (both hidden & diagnostic).
    Afterwards backup completion. Validate it and perform testing to assure the backup can be restored.
     
  18. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    I am getting more confused by these replies. The quote I posted seemed quite explicit to me.

    I started backing up last week when I installed the program.

    What is still very very unclear to me is exactly what the recovery disc actually *does*. Does it simply make it possible to drag folders and files back into the original disc? Does running it restore Windoze? Or any other programs?

    While I appreciate that people spend their time helping out newbies, the terminology and references to technical aspects of what is sold as a user-friendly backup make it, for me, more confusing. Especially when there seems to be a consensus that a central part of the program shouldn't be touched with a bargepole!

    I have started to read the links given by another contributor - but they apply to v9 not the -11 which I purchased, so to avoid getting even more confused I passed on them.
     
  19. dougaross

    dougaross Registered Member

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    Very simply put the recovery disk lets you boot your computer and run TI even if you can boot from your HD. You then can use TI to restore your backed up data to your HD either by running restore or drag & drop.

    NO SZ involved.

    I believe that many people use booting from the recovery disk as the primary method to do a restore since you are not writing over the operating system on the HD while you are trying to restore it.
     
  20. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    That is not quite accurate. If a restore is run from within Windows or started from the recovery CD a whole drive image will completely overwrite the drive to which the restore is being written.
    This demands that the restore be sucessfull or the user will be left with a blank hard drive.
    For this reason many old hands will recommend that at least a test restore is made to a spare hard drive. This is just in case there is some problem with the backup installation which has not surfaced.

    Xpilot
     
  21. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    Hi wol yes I know it's all confusing!
    If they had made just a simple release, for some people who simply want backup and recovery and another release with the other bells and whistles for the people that use them life would be easier for a lot of us.
    To reply to your question about why the rescue disk, if your hard drive fails, how can you boot your computer to restore your images?
    Hence the reason for the rescue disk, It is a small Linux based operating system that includes Linux drivers to run your hard drives. Some which do not work for a few machines hence a good reason to check that your "rescue" disk boots and sees all your drives including any USB external hard drives and your mouse and keyboard you can test this out by running the rescue disk and going through the motions right up to the "Proceed".
    Why not go all the way!
    If you have a usb hard drive plug it in Make a folder on it with the date etc. then put your "rescue disk" in the CD/DVD rom and reboot to see if you can boot to the disk then if you can hit the "proceed and make your first image" Remeber the rescuecd is critical.
    Most users recommend that you rename your hard drives to keep from getting confused. ( mine are called "Cmain", "Ddata' etc.TI has an annoying habit of changing the Drive letters, but the name that you give it remains constant.
    Good luck and good imaging.
    Please get the secure zone out of your head. It is not needed!
     
  22. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    If you are referring to my assorted guides, the guides are still applicable to the new version. V11 has new features but has not changed any of the older basic backup or restore or cloning procedures.
     
  23. Wol

    Wol Registered Member

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    Thank you -that's helpful.

    If, then, I were to say accidentally delete the "Program files" folder on my C drive, would all the programs work normally if I dragged and dropped the folder back in from the archive? (Assuming no copy errors?). What about the registry?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
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