Will True Image Do this?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by proton32060, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. proton32060

    proton32060 Registered Member

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    I am using a Dual Boot Configuration of Win XP home using Vcom’s System Commander 8 as the boot manager.

    System Commander writes to the MBR which allows it to come up first with a screen allowing you to boot into either of the two versions loaded. It also hides the two WinXP partitions from each other so as to prevent potential conflicts when each version is running.

    My question is will True Image allow a full backup of the entire C drive with the two partitions and the MBR ?

    The idea is to create a disk image of the c drive on an external hard drive and put it up until needed for a full system restore.

    I have read through the manual and the clone mode sounds more like what I am talking about. It remembers the size, name, and structure of each partition along with copying the MBR as well. Apparently it will erase everything and recreate the entire drive structure from scratch using the existing hard drive as the pattern.
    But can a backup image file do the same thing?

    I don’t care about incremental backups or updating the image. All I need is to maintain an image of the C drive with a clean configured installation so as to save myself another 16 hours of reloading and activating software.

    Clean installs used to be possible in a few hours but now it can take over a day and I just don’t have that much time.

    Since the two partitions are hidden from each other I am assuming I would need to do the backup from the bootable CD instead of one of the Windows installations.

    I know I can try the software before I buy it, but I can’t get an external USB hard drive on a trial basis to see if it will work. so I wanted to ask now before I start spending money.

    Thanks
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello proton32060,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please be aware that when you create am image of the system partition only, it does not include Master Boot Record (MBR). The MBR is included into the image of the whole hard drive only.

    However, if you create the image of your system partition and then restore it to the same location, your computer will be booted properly.

    If you restore the image of system partition to the another location, you should use Windows installation CD to fix MBR in order to boot the computer properly.

    Yes, you are correct. We recommend you to create an image in rescue mode in your case.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
     
  3. proton32060

    proton32060 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Need to clarify this.

    Let’s say I clone my c drive with the two WinXP partitions to another drive of the same size.
    What I will get is two drives that are identical to each other. They both have the same size partitions, the same files in each partition, and the same MBR.
    I could swap one drive for the other and there would be no way to tell which was the original and which was the copy.

    Now what if I made an image of the entire c drive and backed it up on an external hard drive instead.

    Then I reformatted my c drive and removed everything including the partitions.

    Would the disk image of the entire c drive be able to reconstruct the partitions along with all the data and the MBR back to the original drive?

    In other words give me back the same thing I would have gotten if I had just cloned one identical drive to another.

    My problem is I may have to talk an employee through this over the phone. If the disk image can reconstruct the data ,drive structure, and partitions back the way they were then they could handle it. But if they have to manually set partitions and try to restore the MBR they will never be able to do it.

    If that is the case then it may be easier to clone the c drive on to an external hard drive of equal capacity and then let them just copy it back to the original drive.

    The only problem is that I will not be able to keep the image files from multiple computers on the same external drive. I would need an external drive for each of my machines.

    So can an image file reconstruct the blank drive back to its original state with all the partitions and MBR in place automatically?

    If not it may be easier to clone each of my c drives to an external hard drive of equal capacity and then clone it back when a clean install is required.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello proton32060,

    Yes, your understanding is quite correct. If you restore the image of the entire hard drive then you will automatically get the exact copy of the once backed up disk including it's partition layout and MBR. In other words, the result will be the same as if you have cloned the hard drive.

    Please also take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Actually, Clone Disk approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while Backup approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes. Since you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, I would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    Moreover, there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure such as: you can create an image without rebooting your PC, image creation can be scheduled for the particular point in time, Acronis True Image allows you to create incremental and differential images, image archive contains only the actual data and so it has a smaller size, images are ordinary files and so they can be stored on any type of the supported media, etc.

    However, the final choice is always up to your needs.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 in the respective User's Guide.

    Besides of the User's Guide, you may also find Acronis True Image 9.0 FAQ page helpful.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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