What am I missing here?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by KenM, May 6, 2008.

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  1. KenM

    KenM Registered Member

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    Just purchased True Image 11.

    I want to create a FULL BACKUP of my C: drive, for recovery in case of either a disk crash or a software error that make the laptop unbootable.

    Created a ASZ zone in my D: partition.

    Will create a FULL DISK backup of C: to a CD-ROM. Now I have the original install disk from Acronis here so I don't have to "Create Bootable Rescue Media, correct?, so if I need to do a recovery from a disk crash, do I create a "MY COMPUTER" back up to a CD and if I need to restore, insert the Acronis disk and later insert the CD I've created with 'MY COMPUTER" backup or how does that work?

    I also want to make a "MY COMPUTER" backup to the ASZ so I can do a restore in there is a software crapout and it will not boot to Vista. Created a ASZ but when I try to make a "MY COMPUTER" backup to it, IT DOES NOT GIVE ME THE OPTION to create the backup to it, ONLY to the remainder of my D: partition. what am I doing wrong.

    thanks in advance.

    KenM

    So, what am I doing wrong with my ASZ backup
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I've never used the SZ because, to me, that's flirting with danger especially if it is on the same drive you're backing up. And with hard drives so cheap nowadays, I prefer to use a second hard drive to hold the Backups and I use both a second internal and a couple of externals.
    It is also advisable NOT to use optical media as the primary destination for your backups as there is a lot of disc swapping during a Restore if the size of the Image spans 4 or more discs.
    For the problem you describe, though, my guess is if that D partition is part of the same hard drive as C then that may be your problem. Although the software is supposed to allow making a SZ on the same drive that you're backing up, with True Image, you never know what will make it stumble.
     
  3. KenM

    KenM Registered Member

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    Well, this is a laptop and I don't want to add a second drive, and my CD is the only removeable media available. As I understand it, when you "activate the startup recovery manager" you can hit F11 and only can restore from either your removable media or the ASZ... If I made a "MY COMPUTER" backup to the D: partition, then it won't work.. Yes, No?? Additionally, what size should I make the ATZ. TI gives NO information on how to size the damn thing. I'm not at all impressed with the docs on this program. :thumbd: The help in this forum is the only way to go.

    KenM
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    For a laptop, definitely get an external usb drive to hold the backup Images. You will not regret it.

    Yes, the official documentation is lacking, but look for any message by GroverH and in his signature line are links to excellent instructions for using any aspect of True Image.
     
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    If you activate the recovery manager, you can restore from any location holding the backup image. That includes CDs, the Secure Zone, another partition on the hard drive and an external USB or Firewire hard drive.

    When you use the F11 key, it is the same Linux environment that you are in when you boot from the True Image Recovery CD. See the comments later on how to test whether this Linux environment supports your hardware well.

    What build of TI 11 do you have? Although you purchased the product, it may not be the most recent build which is 8053. Register your product on the Acronis web site so that you can download updated builds.

    This is important because earlier builds of TI 11 were not very reliable.

    When you install a new build, you need to create a new Recovery CD to match that build.

    Before you do anything else, boot your computer from the Recovery CD and confirm that you can see your C partition and the SecureZone - and the new external hard drive that you need to buy (see below). :) After you have created a backup image, you should validate that image from the Linux environment to have the best confidence that it will restore properly.

    You have Vista, that means you are using at least 10GB of your hard drive and possibly more. Check how much in Vista's My Computer. A backup will be compressed, but for 10GB, the backup will be about 7GB. A CD holds 700MB, so you would have to use 10 or more CDs. That's just not practical.

    You need to backup to an external USB or Firewire hard drive. It will be much faster and far more reliable. Drives large enough to hold several backups cost less than $100.

    That also tells you that your SecureZone needs to be about the size of the used space on your hard drive's C partition to hold one backup. Although this will be of no use if the drive fails, it will be valuable if a virus corrupts your C drive, etc.

    If you cannot select the Secure Zone as a backup location, it probably isn't large enough to hold the backup. In that case, True Image won't offer the Secure Zone as an option.

    Does that answer you questions? If not, ask more.
     
  6. KenM

    KenM Registered Member

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    John, Thanks for a very informative reply..

    I'm at this moment running a backup to DVD. Will take 9 disks at maximum compression... not my ideal situation, but it's what I have now.

    Will look into a firewire or usb drive.

    So from what I gather, there is no way to backup your (one) hard drive TO your hard drive. Furthermore, if I enable "recovery manager" I do need to create a ASZ, Yes? but since I cannot put anything but small backups to it, I should resize it to what? I made mine 6 gigs, which seems to be wasted space since my goal is to have a full computer restore. Thats why I bought TI 11.

    BTW I do have 8053

    I also clicked "one click restore" for the backup, so I should be able to insert the first disk, boot from it and click on RESTORE. is that accurate?

    If there is no reason for me to have the boot option from the laptop hard drive, since I will not have a restore ON THE HARD DRIVE, then I guess I could just not have a ASZ and no "recovery manager" F11 option, I would just insert the first DVD. If I do get a usb/firewire drive then F11 would be usefull, yes?

    I will definitely do a test of booting to the Acronis disk to see if I can see my drives.

    Thanks again. looking foward to your reply.

    KenM
     
  7. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Yes you can backup your c: drive to the same hard drive. But you need to have that hard drive partitioned. As you mentioned you have a c: partition and a d: partition, which is what you need.

    1.) don't bother with the secure zone.
    2.) don't do a clone.
    3.) All you will be doing is an image backup of your c: partition "my computer" ( that will backup up everything on your c: partition). Use the default settings and you will be saving this compressed image to your d: partition.

    Note if your d: partition isn't large enough for the backup image to fit, then this won't work. But you can move all the data, game/large program files/mp3's/videos from your c: to your d: partition or save them to dvd's. This will make your c: image smaller (only the actual use space is backed up, if it's a 40gb partition, but only has 10gb in use, only 10gb is backuped and the compress image will be about 8gb)

    If your c: drive crashes or gets corrupted, you just bootup with your recovery cd and browse to your d: partition where you saved your image. And restore from there. I've done it like that and it works everytime since you will be recovering to the same hard drive/same partition. It's similar to system restore but more powerful since everything is restored.

    The prefer method is to save your backup of your c: partition on a seperate hard drive, but you have to do what you have to do.

    My advice is don't use blank DVD's to store your backup images. Use them to store uncompress data only. If you have 9 highly compressed DVD's and one of them is scratched or corrupted, there goes your backup plan. An external drive is a very good idea, or hook up your computer to a LAN and save a copy of the image to your desktop.
     
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Wow! Nine DVDs, that's almost a 40GB backup file. It's definitely time to go with an external hard drive. :) I'd get at least a 250GB drive so you can keep several backups plus other files.
    Jonyjoe81 covered this quite well. I also prefer to use a standard partition, D in your case, instead of the Secure Zone. That way, you can make the backup to the second partition and then burn it to DVDs later. That's usually faster than having TI burn directly to the DVDs.

    Be sure that your D partition has at least 50GB free to hold the backup. Of course, if D has important data that you need to include in the backup, then you need another partition for the backups.

    You have to have a Secure Zone to enable the F11 Recovery Manager, however, it can be very small if you are not going to save backups there. Otherwise, it needs to be at least 50GB to hold your backup (allowing a bit for future growth). Note that you can't copy a backup out of the SZ, so that's another reason not to use it.

    I haven't used this feature since I use USB drives, but I believe you have described it correctly.

    You could always use the Recovery CD to boot the system even if you do not have the F11 Recovery Manager enabled. Using F11 is convenient because a boot CD is not required.

    Of course, all this assumes that you are not dealing with a failed hard drive but only corruption and can use F11 to boot and restore an image to the same drive.
    That's important to do. Also it's good to validate a backup image after booting from the CD or using F11. It's much much easier to validate an image on a hard drive (no disk swaps).

    If you decide to keep your backup on a normal partition instead of the SZ, be sure that when you are creating the backup that you Split the backup at 4.7GB so that the pieces will fit on DVDs if you want to burn them later.

    It looks like you are making progress in understanding True Image.
     
  9. KenM

    KenM Registered Member

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    Thanks JMK,

    And one final question.

    If I do a "MY COMPUTER" backup to a USB/Firewire disk, and get a failed HD...

    Replace the hard drive
    boot with the TI disk
    it will see my new HD and the USB disk (did a test and TI boot disk DID see my HD)
    Do a restore to the new hard drive
    reboot to vista. :argh:

    Is that a workable solution. As I've said, my main reason for purchasing TI 11 is to be able to restore from either a corrupted vista on the HD or a complete failure of the HD.

    So I assume the above restore proceedure is a workable one?
    And one more scenero. If I get a replacment HD under warranty, it may come with the original crapfilled image already installed. Does a restore with TI give you the option to format the HD or what will it do if there already is data on the new HD?

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  10. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Doing a restore frm 9 DVDs is going to be oh roughly a bizillion disk swaps before the restore is complete. If your backup fits on one or maybe two DVDs; the disk swapping isn't so bad, but morethan that and things start to get very tedious.
     
  11. KenM

    KenM Registered Member

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    Just tested a USB hard drive in my laptop. Inserted the TI disk,did a cold boot, and it sees my HD, DVD and the USB drive, so I should be able to restore a catstrophic disaster by replacing the HD inserting the TI disk in the cd rom drive and restore from the usb. Now to test if it will write and read large files from the usb drive.... Does this ever end? :eek:
     
  12. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    There really is a way to reach Backup Nirvana. Just one further step and you will be there :) .
    Purchase a spare drive for your laptop before disaster strikes rather than wait till it happens out of the blue.

    Then you can create a full disk image to your USB drive and recover it to your spare drive. This is far better than any indirect testing. It is entirely risk free. No need to validate images because the original drive remains untouched.

    Whether you perform the proof of your backups on a one off basis or when major software / hardware changes are made or build it into a regular routine is down to personal choice.
    A recent example is when I installed XP SP3. I restored to a swapped drive and ran the SP3 update without the slightest possibility of falling over.

    Xpilot
     
  13. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Yes, that should work.

    Now that you have the external drive, be sure to Validate the image that you put there after booting from the Recovery CD. If you can't validate, you won't be able to restore.

    Xpilot's trial restore to another disk is the ultimate test, but if you don't do that, at least validate your images from the Recovery CD.


    Restoring an image to a partition completely wipes any previous files that were on that partition. It's essentially as if you had deleted and recreated the partition including reformatting it. All the old stuff is gone and absolutely not recoverable.

    Before restoring a partition, be sure there is nothing on that partition that you want. After the restore, it will be impossible to recover any of the files that were there.
     
  14. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Xpilot is spot on. But I'll add one more comment: don't forget to unplug one of the harddisks after you restore and before you try to boot up. You want to ensure that Win doesn't see two drives claiming to be the Boot and System drive -- otherwise it might try to split those two chores between the two harddisks. And then things can get kind of whacky -- of coures, if that happens you can always restore again and then remove one of th drives before rebooting. ;-)

     
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