Acronis advice please.

  frybluff 18:33 PM 01 May 12

I am hoping someone can give me some basic advice, on a sensible way to configure backups, to be fairly easy to do, and to use, should I ever have a problem.

I have a Dell XPS, with two, seperate 500GB hard drives. I have online storage which is adequate for critical DATA. I have a 500GB ext drive.

Fairly early on, I had a corruption (probably due to my incompetance when transferring files from old laptop), and had to re-install operating system, and rebuild everything, from scatch, at the same time as being bombarded with dozens of updates. I don't particularly want to go through that again.

I noted several positive comments about Acronis TI, on this site, so have downloaded, initially, a trial version of it. It seems to offer a bewildering array of clever options, most of which go over my head, technically. Can anyone point me in the right direction of what I really NEED to do, to ensure that, if, say, I should have a "C" drive failure, recovery will not be too onerous.

I don't tend to do a lot on a daily basis, but may do a reasonable batch of work, over a weekend. Can anyone, perhaps, recommend an article, or literature, which explains the options, in terms that don't require a degree in computing.

Many thanks.

  john bunyan 19:13 PM 01 May 12

Have a look here: Old thread In particular lotvics advice with which I concur. I would partition the main drive into, say, 100 gig for system and programme files and the balance for your data. Then use ATI to make full images of the System partition partition and use a mirror copy with Freefilesynch or Synch toy of your data, after a scan for viruses and malware, and a defrag. Too big for a full tutorial but come back with specific questions.

  Terry Brown 19:55 PM 01 May 12

As you do a lot on a daily basis, I would suggest an alternative.

On your external drive, open a folder and right click to select NEW, select BRIEFCASE.

Assuming your work is saved in the My Documents folder, copy the entire folder to the new Briefcase.

All you neeed to do now is at the end of the day, open the Briefcase and select update. This will check your documents and any files that need updating will be updated to the briefcase (backup) folder.

You now have a current copy of all your working files. If you need to you can open the Briefcase and have a look (or modify) a file and when updated it will modify the main one for you.This is especially useful if you use a laptop and backup /update your files when you get home.


  frybluff 20:39 PM 01 May 12

Sorry if I didn't make it clear. I DON'T do a lot, daily. My hobby is photography, and maybe do a batch of editing etc., once a week or a fortnight. Other than that, apart from the occassional music download, nothing much changes.

What I am concerned to do, having had the nightmare, once, of re-starting from scratch, is to create a system for backup of all the software, and drivers, to make it as easy as possible to recover from a future "disaster"

As Acronis offers such a wide choice of types and ways to back up, it's a question of what is the most sensible option, for reliability, without eating too much space.

  Nontek 22:53 PM 01 May 12

Simples really - Open Acronis and opt to do a full back-up of C Drive. This will then backup absolutely everything, including all your programs, personal settings etc. Save the backup to a separate drive. The whole backup process should take about one hour depending on how much data you have.

Recovery is made via a Acronis Backup Disc which you should create in accordance with the Acronis instructions before doing anything else. That disc will be bootable and can be used to Restore/Restart your computer in the event of a complete failure.

Never fear, it is not as complicated as it first seems.

  Pine Man 10:42 AM 02 May 12

In addition to what Nontek says, you can also access that back up to recover individual files if you need to.

  frybluff 12:14 PM 02 May 12

I think I'm getting my head around it!!

There are a couple of specific points, I find confusing:

1) Acronis offers the option to create a "safe zone" on a disk. I assumed that was meant to be a partition for backups, seperated from anything else, but having done that, it appears to be the one place it WON'T write to. Have I missunderstood?

2) When doing a backup, there is an option to "make this media bootable". The default is not to, so I don't understand the significence of selecting "bootable".

Sorry to be a pain, I wish they'd done Computer Science, when I was at school. Come to think of it, they didn't have computers then.

  Nontek 12:40 PM 02 May 12

Yes, make a Bootable disc/media, so that in the event of a total failure you can restart the PC with that disc, followed by the Restore of C:

Personally I do not make many changes to my data (data, covers Everything on C:), so I make Full Backups (of C:) every two to three weeks - mainly in order to 'keep up' with all the normal Windows updates that come along most weeks.

As I said, really quite easy, you will soon get the hang of it. BTW, I got my first PC at a boot-sale in the summer of 2000, just before Retiring - am now still only 77!

  Pine Man 12:42 PM 02 May 12

If you are backing up to an external drive you do not need to use a 'Safe Zone'.

Not too sure about your second query. The only reference to bootable is to do with making a bootable media disk to boot up your computer if you suffer a catastrophe!

  Nontek 12:42 PM 02 May 12

PS - I have never bothered creating a Safe-zone.

  frybluff 13:09 PM 02 May 12

I understand the need to make a "media disk", to boot from, in the event of a hard drive failure, but Acronis offers the option to make each backup "bootable". I don't know if having a "bootable" backup on an ext HD, would give an alternative method of booting a failed system, without a DVD, or how you would actually do that. If so, it would seem to be a sensible option, but, as the "default" is "no", there is, presumably, a down side to selecting it (perhaps it takes up excessive space)


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