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Windows 7: Macrium vs Acronis True Home Image 2011

13 Oct 2012   #21

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Heinzy View Post
Hi Guys, I have been using the native backup and restore in Win 7 U&P for more than 18 months. I make weekly system images to an external (removable caddy) SCSI drive or a SATA (caddy) drive that I can "turn off" so it's only "on" when needed. I try out numerous software programs that often cause major stability problems and so I need to restore the system to a known reliable system image. I cannot afford the time to re-install windows each time a major disaster occurs. I also purchased Acronis Home 2011, but its too cumbersome and not really reliable, I don't need multiple backups, just one that worked before, although I do backup to an internal 2nd HDD as well, but its the external one that is the true insurance. But to each his own.
Welcome to Seven Forums Heinzy. You last sentence sums it up pretty well. Everyone should find something that works for him/her. Personally, I've been using the native Win 7 backup and Macrium free. Images have restored without problem. But I also occasionally use two other freebies and they've also worked with 100% reliability:

Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview

Best free backup software. Hard drive backup and recovery, image and clone freeware - EaseUS Todo Backup Free


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Oct 2012   #22

Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
 
 
Victor S

In post # 17 you said ,"if your working drive is unplugged."

I am sorry but I do not understand that, could you please elaborate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #23

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seven2 View Post
In post # 17 you said ,"if your working drive is unplugged."

I am sorry but I do not understand that, could you please elaborate.
The main thing that keeps people from testing the restore of an image is that the first thing the restore process does is delete the existing system partition of the target drive - the drive you're restoring to. So if that drive has your system and something goes wrong, you have no system to boot to. Then you have to reinstall the OS - and worse, reinstall all your programs and get everything customized to how you had it.
If you unplug your system drive - from the controller and the power - and use a spare drive to restore to, it doesn't matter if the restore goes wrong.
Just plug your system drive back in, and you're back to square 1, not square -18.
One thing I've seen people do is mistakenly partition or format (destroy) their system drive because they confused drive letters. You get a different view of the drives from the imaging CD than you do from within Windows.
It's really a good idea to give your drives unique and descriptive volume names to overcome this problem, but many people don't do that. And even that won't help if you ignore the name or fat-finger something. Murphy's law.
If it's unplugged, you can't hurt it. Basic 100% safety, really.
Once you're comfortable that your restores work, you won't unplug. But unplugging is what I did the first time I restored XP and Win 7.
The restores went fine, but I just couldn't lose anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Oct 2012   #24

Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
 
 
restore

Hello again
Do I have this right; when someone wants to test the restore, they do not restore to the drive the system resides on or as you say they unplug that drive. That way they don't suffer a lose of the original drive.

I have always restored successfully and am trying to image what you mean by unplugging.
I guess my low level of understanding is prohibiting me from knowing how you unplug.
I picture my pc with Acronis's disc in the pc and I am about to restore. I browse to my drive to restore to. Now you do not want to restore to that drive - how do you then unplug it?
I can understand not selecting that drive when I browse but I can't picture unplugging it.
Do not misundrstand me, it is not you, but me who is deficient here, so could you please explain how you unplug a drive? It seems the image is coming from the usb drive to the pc and you are saying that when the restore begins that drive which is the destination is being removed and making way for the image from the usb.
Should one not have the usb drive pugged in and follow restore steps that way? It seems Acronis would balk because there is no drive to image from??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #25

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Unplug means disconnect the power and data cables by opening the case and pulling them off, just like you would unplug a lamp from a wall socket.

If you disconnect your properly working drive containing the C partition, you cannot accidentally restore the image to that drive.

Instead, you connect some other drive to that set of cables and then restore to this other drive purely as a test procedure, leaving our good working drive completely out of the process and undamaged if the restoration goes bad. All you would lose if the restoration fails would be whatever is on the replacement drive---rather than the C partition on a good working system drive.

If the restoration to the substituted drive goes well as a test, it likely would go well to your original drive if necessary after it is reconnected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #26

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

seven2,

ignatzatsonic answered that well.
You only do it if you have doubt about the restore process.
Some people avoid using image restores because they are afraid of losing their known good system.
And that's understandable, especially for the first time restoring an OS you haven't restored before.
Unplugging the known good system drive should remove those doubts.
Then when you are confident it works, you can use image restores as a simple maintenance tool without unplugging.
You said you do restores, so you have a working process and don't need this.
But I think I originally directed the method to somebody who had never done a restore and wanted to play it safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #27

Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
 
 
imaging

You have all been very patient and if you do not wish to persue this further it is ok.
I have a lot to learn so I try to learn as I go without doing harm.
In this case I generally understand what you are telling me.
What I am not sure about is;

>Unplug means disconnect the power and data cables by opening the case and pulling them off, just like you would unplug a lamp from a wall socket.
If you disconnect your properly working drive containing the C partition, you cannot accidentally restore the image to that drive.

Does that mean you are in your pc, not the usb drive and are unplugging some cables?

If so, I totally understand the issue but would not be able to do it because I have no experience with hardware and am still under a Dell warranty.

So, if one could not unplug these cables and never imaged before, they stand a chance of losing everything. I remember reading a long time ago that one of the drawbacks of imaging is losing everything on both ends.
Does it apply to backing up also?
Would backing up a system[if it can be done] be safer than imaging it?

Thank you for your time and patience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #28

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seven2 View Post
Does that mean you are in your pc, not the usb drive and are unplugging some cables?

If so, I totally understand the issue but would not be able to do it because I have no experience with hardware and am still under a Dell warranty.

So, if one could not unplug these cables and never imaged before, they stand a chance of losing everything. I remember reading a long time ago that one of the drawbacks of imaging is losing everything on both ends.
Does it apply to backing up also?
Would backing up a system[if it can be done] be safer than imaging it?

Thank you for your time and patience.
Yes, you are in the PC. I've only worked on non-warranteed PC's, so that is never an issue. Unless you've tested with a restore, there is always a possibility of "something going wrong."
Let me relate something that happened to me last night, and also relates to Macrium - in a good way.
I used Sysprep before to transfer my system to a different computer, using Ghost 15 as my imaging tool. No problem.
Yesterday my son totally revamped my wife's tower PC with new components - MB, graphics, HD's, PS, RAM, the whole shot. He's an overclocker and has many PC's.
Before he did it I made images of her system drive with Ghost 15, one pre-Sysprep, one post-sysprep. Really needed only the post-Sysprep, but it takes only a couple minutes to image. I was surprised to find the PC had a 100mb system recovery partition. My son had failed to partition the system drive when he installed Win 7
last time he revamped the PC, so Win 7 set up the recovery partition.
Anyway, I imaged both the recovery and system partitions.
After the PC was assembled and we went to restore the Sysprepped system image to the new drive, Ghost 15 found it to be an "invalid recovery point" and would not use it.
Instead of reinstalling Win 7 - the avoidance of which is my whole purpose for imaging - we put the original sysprepped drive back in the case. That booted successfully loading the newly required hardware drivers, and my wife's original Win 7 system was retained.
I don't want that system recovery partition, and we were putting a different HD in the revamped PC, so I made another Ghost 15 system partition image to restore to the different HD.
That image gave the same error and was no good.
I made a Macrium image, and that restored to the different HD nicely.
Just had to rebuild the MBR with the Win 7 recovery disk and our new drive was installed with the wife's original system, and no system recovery partiton.
Here's the kicker: Any Ghost 15 image taken from this new drive is invalid.
A Macrium image is fine.
I haven't figured out why this is so, and might not bother. I am surprised by it.
I will continue to use Ghost 15 on my PC because it has been flawless there, but it looks like I'll have to use Macrium on my wife's PC.
My point is until you test the software with the hardware, you can't be 100% sure what's going to happen. And having a drive with a working system is better than having an image process that hasn't been tested on the actual hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2012   #29

Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
 
 
evolving variables

I understand and as we speak variables are changing.
It is difficult to keep up for you so imagine how I feel and so many others like me who have shallow or limited experience and education in electronics.
At the very least, I still have the two dvds you make when you get a new pc.
This would restore the pc to the way I got the machine.
I have not had Acronis fail me yet so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
A lot of companies are not even sending os discs.
It is amazing that we still manage to get out of the situations we find ourselves in.

Keep the shoulder to the wheel.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Macrium vs Acronis True Home Image 2011




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