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Author Topic: Acronis TI Help  (Read 12760 times)
billseymour
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2008, 03:36:31 AM »

Bill-
I've been watching this thread with interest. I also am not particularly comfortable with fiddling with and around the OS. I just wanted to mention that I have been using Acronis TI for about 6 months in the way you propose going: I have a separate external HD, on which I do a complete backup of my main internal drive every 2 weeks or so. I do not have any secure zone installed on the internal drive. Everything works just fine.

I bought my TI with a physical disk, so I figure that under a disaster scenario with my internal drive I can boot from the external TI disk if necessary.

I am very cautious about manipulating my OS, or with 'confusing' my OS (running Vista, which is fine but has its own issues).
--Bill S.
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rsmith1
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2008, 07:34:48 AM »

Bill and Bill:

You need to make sure of two things when you boot TI's recovery disc:
1.) You can see the internal HD onto which you might want to restore in case of system failure.
2.) You can see the external HD where your TI backups live.

I have had little trouble with #2 using firewire external disks, but #1 tends to be an issue.  You want to know that this can work before you have an emergency.  If either of these don't work for you, come back and we can talk about BartPE.

Randall Smith
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Bill Lewis
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2008, 06:52:04 AM »

Randall,

Thanks for that last tip. I'm extremely busy at the moment but plan to educate myself concerning disaster recovery ASAP. I'm thinking I will experiment on my old desktop (Win 98). If I mess things up there won't be any disaster! I realize that Acronis isn't compatable with Windows 98 so I'll have to come up with a boot disk. I'm sure the exact recovery steps aren't the same for 98 and XP but presume the procedures are similar enough to provide a good learning and tinkering experience so I can work out a plan and give it a try with reasonable confidence on my main desktop.

Bill S,

I agree with you, just thinking about messing with the O/S gives me the hives! However I believe it is something that I need to be able to accomplish with a good degree of confidence. My desktop was down for nearly 2 weeks and I had a time sensitive job that I wasn't able to complete until the very last minute.
BTW my user file backups are done using Genie Backup Manager as per Dan's earlier XP Backup and Recovery Stategey post. I just put it in place this week and am quite pleased with GBM. Now I must deal with TI and mirroring the O/S but will wait until I can take my time and get it right. I would expect to be drummed out of the DAM Forum if I pulled off a repeat performance not to mention being forced by the "photo authorities" to only shot film for the rest of my days.

Bill
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dandill
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2008, 01:26:05 PM »

You want to know that this can work before you have an emergency.  If either of these don't work for you, come back and we can talk about BartPE.
Is there a way to verify things without messing up a running system?

Dan Dill
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rsmith1
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2008, 11:13:42 AM »

Dan:

You can boot from the Acronis TI recovery CD and start the recovery process to make sure you can see both the backup disk and the potential destination disk.  Once you have determined that you can see both disks, you can cancel the restore process without it actually doing anything.  I am not in front of a computer with TI on it, so I can't tell you exactly what screen you stop on, but I have done this many times without any incident.  You have to be careful, of course, but you shouldn't overwrite anything unless you go flying through the screens too quickly Smiley.

Randall Smith
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billseymour
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2008, 02:44:59 PM »

Randall-
Sounds like you have far more familiarity with ins and outs of TI and system recovery than I do, so let me pose this to you:

The strategy I am shooting for is: I periodically image my entire internal HD on external drive using TI. What I am not clear on is: if my internal drive died, totally, would I be able to:

- boot from the TI DVD disk (or for that matter, from a Vista disk), and work with my external drive (containing the TI imaged disk files)?

- if I yanked the dead internal drive, installed a new internal drive, would I be able to 'pour' my external HD, TI imaged entire original drive files back onto the newly installed internal drive?

This latter seems the key to everything, for me at least. Can the saved TI imaged material be recreated on a brand new drive? If yes, then great. If no, and if I somehow need the damaged internal drive to be operable, then I am not sure where I am. If the whole point of the TI image is that one has duplicated one's drive for emergencies, then being able to use all of it, and to move it 'back' onto a functioning internal drive seems critical.

Any thoughts/advice on this appreciated.
- Bill S.
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danaltick
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2008, 04:42:46 PM »

Bill,

With TI you can clone or you can image.  If you image it creates a compressed backup which you can recover to a new hard drive by using the boot CD.  If you clone you can hotswap or boot from the external cloned drive if your motherboard BIOS supports booting from USB or Firewire.  I use the compressed image method for my desktop PC because it saves space and I can keep several of them going back several months; however, I would recommend cloning for an in-the-field laptop where time is more of the essence.

Dan
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billseymour
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2008, 01:46:24 AM »

Dan-
OK, so it sounds like my current plan of action for 'total failure of internal drive' is sound:

- I periodically image the drive (you might recall my discussions in these threads about problem in Vista partitioning drives- so I am simply doing a whole drive image to an external drive)
- in the event of total internal drive failure, I boot from TI disk, to reach my external drive contents
- I can restore contents from the external disk to a new internal disk.

Correct? (I will be sure to learn more about the cloning with TI, since I don't know much about that).
BTW, I am using Genie for the daily backup jobs (per your and others' suggestion), and I like it a lot- extremely flexible. I prefer to do a mirror job of my documents and all picture projects (Photoshop, Illustrator) nightly. Very handy.

Thanks. --Bill
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danaltick
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2008, 05:02:19 AM »

Billl,

Sounds good.

Dan
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rsmith1
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2008, 10:21:28 AM »

I agree with Dan: it sounds good, Bill.  The important thing, as I mentioned above, is to make sure that you can actually perform those three steps by testing the visibility of the internal and external disks *before* you have a total failure of your internal drive.

I have not needed to do a complete disk restore since I switched to TI from the PowerQuest predecessor to Norton Ghost, but I did test (on one of the kids' machines Smiley ) before committing to TI.  I had to do system restores a lot a few years back when I went through a run of bad drives in my main computer.  Since that painful period I have always used mirrored disks for my system drive so that I will not need to do a complete system restore in case of a single drive failure.  The nightly imaging of four systems is chewing up a lot of disk space, so I have been contemplating trying out Genie Backup Manager based on Dan's recommendation.  Having two different recovery systems seems a bit complicated, but perhaps the correct mindset is that GBM is the real day to day backup and the TI image is only for complete disaster.

Randall Smith
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danaltick
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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2008, 12:13:26 PM »

Randall,

That's pretty much my perspective on it.  I believe in day-to-day backups; especially if you can automate them.

I use each for what it does best.  Of course that always costs more, but you get what you pay for ;-).  This kind of gets back to my reserved outlook on all-in-one solutions which I commented on recently with combining raw converting software with asset managing software.... user beware ;-).  I've run into the same situation with GBM's new disaster recovery cabability; it's lacking and immature.  I've seen this in th software realm as well with languages like Ada and O/S's like VMS that the government spent billions on.

Dan
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 12:16:52 PM by danaltick » Logged

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billseymour
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« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2008, 03:44:24 PM »

Randall-
Thanks for your input here.

I'd also 'second' Dan's Genie and Acronis TI solution. I adopted this approach based largely on Dan's threads here, and I find this solution to be very satisfactory, and not particularly complex. This is really a case of 'the right tool for the right job'.

Genie is a very easy to use, extremely flexible backup manager, that lets me set up various jobs, which I automate to run nightly (and which I can invoke 'manually' if, for example, I've done something I especially want backed up right away). For example, I am running nightly:
- a mirror job, of all Documents and selected Picture files (Photoshop, Illustrator, 'not yet filed' folder, pretty much everything except for my iView image folders, which I back up manually- also Dan's suggestion, btw).

- a straight backup job of Onenote files- I keep 14 day's worth of these backups, with the earliest being replaced when the new run is done.

- a mirror backup of AppData's Roaming folder (I am testing this- I see that some important databases are stored here, which I don't care for).

The point is, that Genie allows tailoring and experimenting; you can easily modify the jobs, generate new ones, etc. This is really the backup system I'd expect to use to recover stuff in any but a system failure situation.

On the other hand, Acronis TI is the solution for disaster- the internal drive dies, and life is hard. I image my internal drive (right now, about 75GB) about every 2 weeks. I keep one prior run, so I have the most recent and 1 earlier. I have tested recovering specific files from the TI save, and this works fine. Also, whenever I travel, I disconnect this backup drive (the TI backup), and put it in a drawer far away from the computer. Trying to save the whole system (assuming the meteor falling on my computer does not also crush the drawer...)

--Bill
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danaltick
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« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2008, 03:58:31 PM »

Bill,

I actually store my TI backups offsite (actually across town) along with my secondary photo archive.  I would recommend finding a neighbor or friend who will store it for you.  At a minimum, I would keep it disconnected when not in use.  I keep a second copy of my latest TI backup on a second internal hard drive for convenience so I won't have to go across town if I have a hard drive failure.  My TI backups of my C partition are running about 12GB right now.  It takes about 10 minutes to create one and another 6 to 7 minutes to create a second copy on the internal HDD.  This all happens over SATA.

Dan
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