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Windows 7: Optimal Acronis 2010 back up method?

05 Dec 2009   #11


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HughShaw View Post
The only advantage Acronis seems to have is that it compresses the full image.
If you think only that little of Acronis TI then I'm astonished you would have paid for a copy to be quite honest. There's **far** more to it than Windows Backup offers, like the boot disk facility for instance.

Little point in going on, but there are many other functions that means it outclasses Microsofts alternative many times over.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #12

Windows 7 Professional (x64)

Windows backup can also do the same thing but it just takes longer. And instead of creating a boot disk, you just have to use your Windows install CD.

I'm still testing things out so don't get offended or anything. :)

Edit: Ok, ok, you can also clone your machine and put in onto another computer with different hardware. Also, there's the Try & Decide feature which I haven't tested out yet...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #13

XP MCE .... XP Pro 64 .... W7 U x64

I hear that if you move the W7 backup Image to another storage location ... It will not work for a recovery.
Acronis does not have this restriction.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Dec 2009   #14

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi all
I think we're getting a little off topic here.

I suggest for backups do the following.

It doesn't matter whatever software you use - I use Acronis but any software will do so long as it has an "Incremental Backup" option.

1) ensure the windows OS is in its OWN small partition - even a large installation won't need more than a 35 GB partition and with acronis this only takes around 15 mins or so to do a FULL image backup - so I don't see any point at all in doing incremental backups of the OS. - Just schedule a FULL OS backup say once a week - do another one "ad hoc" before installing software.

Advantage in doing an OS backup is you can also do a "Bare metal" restore without having to re-construct all your user data again. Decent backup software will have the option to create bootable recovery media.

2) Data -- you need a different strategy here -- first decide what you need as ARCHIVE (data you don't want to junk but rarely need online).

Back this up with a FULL backup to removable media.

Now for your DATA -- split it into categories such as Photos, music, email, work (office docs - spread sheets, power point, word etc). W7 libraries are good here.

Initially BACK ALL OF THESE UP. Label this and store off line.

Now back up daily (incrementally) each category -- say on Mondays back up pics, on Tuesdays Music etc.

Once a week do another FULL data backup.

To recover a file you need to a) restore the file from the last FULL backup, and then b) scan through the incremental backups taken since the last FULL backup.

Once you get the hang of this its quite easy.

Start with re-orgainising your data into categories -- a great feature with Libraries is that you don't have to worry which disk the data is on - you can say have music or photos spread across multiple volumes.

Once you've done that create a simple spreadsheet with Library name, Backup date, Backup type (full / incremental)
Now schedule the jobs -- On Linux it's easy a Crontab does this- on Windows slightly more complex but most decent backup software will include options to schedule UNATTENDED backups at specific times. (Ensure your computer is switched on and you've got enough backup space if you do an unattended backup).

Note also that there is a BIG difference between ARCHIVE and BACKUP.

Incidentally try restoring a few times to check the validity of the backup -- no point in having backup great procedures if a restore fails when you need it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #15

Windows 7 Professional (x64)

This brings another question. It seems that some people say you need to verify your backups with Acronis. Does this mean that if you don't, some of the backups might fail when you need it the most? (I like to conserve space and only keep one full backup at a time)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #16

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
I've never known Acronis to fail -- but if you've never restored anything its worth testing just to make sure it does the job on your equipment and gives you practice in doing it.

You NEVER want to have to do a restore in "Panic" or "Fire Drill" mode -- it's very easy to make mistakes in the heat of the moment. That's why I suggest once in a while do a restore even if you don't need to -- also this acts as a check to see if the backup media hasn't gone defective.

Hard disks can and DO fail -- not very often for most people fortunately but they DO fail and that very well known law will ensure that a disk will fail at the ONE time you can't afford a hardware error. Brings us to another issue here -- for really critical data that you can't reconstruct keep at least 2 separate copies -- if possible on different types of media. If that's not possible at least keep 2 copies and on different disks.

Disks BTW are cheap now -- a USB 1.5 TB (1500 GB) disk only costs around 60 USD. How much would it cost to replace an entire music collection or how much time would you have to use in re-ripping say 5,000 CD's.

Don't stint on backup devices.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #17


At #6 above I gave you a link to the Acronis TrueImage forum, and you will get more precise advice there than here as they do not cover other subjects. Most of what's being reviewed and asked in this thread is well covered in the Acronis TI help files...

Making back up images which aren't verified after being written doesn't mean they're duff and useless. A verified back up image which has been corrupted due to media or hard disk faults is no more likely to work than an unverified image.

Best thing to do with any product is to use it... and learn from doing so...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #18

XP MCE .... XP Pro 64 .... W7 U x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HughShaw View Post
This brings another question. It seems that some people say you need to verify your backups with Acronis....
I guess that would be a good idea ..
But since I've never had a backup fail .. I've got lazy.

The new ATI H2010 .. You can also boot from the backup Image to check it out.

I haven't tried this yet .. But I might be a good way to test to see if you have a hardware or software problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

It always a possibility that an image backup may fail to restore. Validating the archive reduces, but does not entirely eliminate this possibility. If you check out Acronis support forum, there are numerous examples of people encountering issues when attempting to restore.

That said, odds are it will work fine for you if/when you need it, but I think it's a good idea to have more than one backup archive to reduce one's chances of not being able to restore.

Also, clones have the advantage of not needing to be restored, so one link in the chain that can break is eliminated with clones. So I think it is a good idea to make a clone every now and then and keep it around, in addition to doing regular full/incremental image backups (the kind that need to be restored).

I have mine set up to start over with a full backup after 5 incrementals have been made and I try to make a fresh clone every couple of weeks or so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #20

Windows 10 64 bit

I've used Acronis True Image Home for several years and as previously noted always did the full backups. When I installed Win 7, I just continued with the way I was doing it. It worked before so no need to change.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Optimal Acronis 2010 back up method?

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