What does a backup back up?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by BarbieGee, Feb 20, 2010.

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  1. BarbieGee

    BarbieGee Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Heidelberg Germany
    I back up using Acronis True Image Version 11. I've never had to use the backups because of a harddrive failure so I am not sure what the backup would restore. Hence my question: What does the backup back up?

    I am thinking of using my Restore disc (supplied by the maker of my laptop) and restore to factory settings, thereby esentally wiping my drive and restoring the O/S and original programs. (the computer is running slow and even with some general maintenance I have not been able to clean it up, so....) Now, if I were to use my backup, I can restore all my programs (?) all my files, all my browser settings (including bookmarks, history, cache,cookies, passwords) ?

    I have Windows XP Home Edition and my Acronis is version 11. I have used the Backup feature. Have I provided enough information about this subject? If not please ask me questions.

    I hope someone can respond to my question and thanks in advance for any help. :D
  2. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Jul 25, 2006
    CT, USA
    It sounds to me like you want to retore the computer to factory specs and then use the Acronis Image to selectively restore programs without having to reinstall them. You can't do that.

    Acronis creates a snapshot of the partition when you create an image - when you restore it, you get the partition exactly as it was when you created the image. If you restore computer to factory specs and then restore the image, you'd be back to where you started - the current sluggish configuration.

    It seems to me, you should investigate why the computer is sluggish before you totally nuke it back to day one. Do you have sufficient memory? If you post your specs, someone here will be able to help you.

    By the way, another issue of concern for you - since you have never restored an image, you have no way of knowing if it will work. Acronis users (or users of any imaging product) on this forum will always tell you to restore an image to be sure your hardware is compatible with the imaging product you are using.
  3. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    This is exactly what I was thinking reading the poster's query. Originally, it is true backing up was supposed to quickly restore an image of a system onto a new harddrive. Considering that hardrives could easily work perfectly for more than 5 years, reinstalling Windows after such a period would make more sense.

    It is true that an HD could fail after a few months of life, but at least here at Wilders most people are backing up and restoring regularly for just about anything but HD failure.

    Given the circumstances, reinstalling Windows and the most important programs would be the best course of action. Straight after the new installation I would create a backup image with Acronis and try to restore the image to see if it works (don't wait for an emergency, it is pointless to have an image of your system that won't work, you only have to try once, if it works chances are that it will always work).
  4. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Jun 4, 2006

    Although you will have to reinstall your application programs after formatting your C-drive and doing a fresh install of WinXP, you can likely recover all of your user files (data, docs, music, photos, etc.) from an Acronis image, if they are on the drive you backed-up. I believe that Acronis allows you to mount your backup image and view your files, so I would first try that. If you can view your personal files by doing that now, you should be able to recover them afterwards.

  5. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    May 1, 2007
    with true image it does different kind of backups. You need to be sure what kind of backup it was full c:drive backup or file backups. A full backup will restore your entire c: drive like it was. File backups won't restore your OS.

    One of the good things about restoring back to the same drive/same partition is that it almost always successful. It's comparable to doing a system restore except it takes longer.
    You only run into problems when you try to restore to a different hard drive, then you might have "chs geometry" problems on laptops, or drive letter problems etc.
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