Question about backing up, imageing and recovery

  Major Disaster 17:07 23 Mar 06


I am just about to purchase Acronis True Image and Disk Director to backup my data.

I have 2 x 250GB hadrdrives in RAID Mirror and want to partiton them. Does this seem sensible...?
50GB Windows.
100GB Data.
100GB Backup.

Some more questions....
1. Do i backup by simply imaging the 100GB data partition to the 100GB backup one?

2. When you image is just one file produced? Can this be compressed (ie to backup 100GB Data Partition do i need 100GB backup partition?)

3. I would save applications on my data partition. Some programmes (ie HP, some antiviruses) dont just install nicely in "Programme Files" folder but all over (including in "Windows" folder).
So how will this work? I install HP software, it goes in Data and Windows (over 2 partitions), then when i, from some reason, need to restore my data image i will only have half (of whatever) of the HP software as the rest of it will be on the windows bit (that i will not backup as it will just be frequently formatted and reintalled with windows to keep it fresh and clean).

4. How does this affect the Dell CTRL + F11 system restore feature? How can i get it up and working again?

Theres a lot there and i would be very thankful for any help.


  woodchip 17:15 23 Mar 06

Yes to basically all your Questions. But put the Image on both Drives it only creates a Image of what is used. It does not affect your Restore unless you create the Secure Store this alters the Partitions. Also Any Drives that you partition like C:\ that as the Operating System will not work anymore from the HP Restore. Leave C:\ drive and HP should still work. Partition the other Drive

  woodchip 17:16 23 Mar 06

You should only use the Image Feature of True Image

  terryf 17:29 23 Mar 06

My 12gb C drive when backed up compresses to about 7gb however subsequent incremental backups are about 3 gb and less than 0.5 gb (because I added some programs). I have a C drive that has nothing on it except OS, progs and emails (which I back up separately using EA8) All my data (docs, pics, downloads, etc) go on my D drive, my acronis backups are on an ext usb drive. EA8 backs up emails plus all OE and both browser settings. If I have a problem, I can restore OS and all progs in about 15 mins then restore emails and all browser settings from the EA8 backup, a quick update of anti-virus, spyware, etc definitions and I have a shiny clean system. I cannot comment on the Dell restore system as I don't know anything about it, does it restore to 'as new' or as it was when everything was working?

  Major Disaster 22:11 23 Mar 06

Thanks for the great reponse guys!

woodchip - Thanks. What is a "Secure Store"? "HP Restore" Huh? sorry i may have misled you. I gave HP as an example (simply software for my printer that has found its way into c:/programmes files and c:/windows) - not a restore application of any type. The retore function i was talking about was the Dell System Restore Utility (CTRL + F11 on bootup) that comes with all new Dells and im not sure if this will be affected as it is closely relted to the MBR (Master Boot Record). Any ideas?

terryf - Dell Restore restores dells to factory state.

What is really puzzling me is my 3rd question. Any ideas? To rephrase, i install software now, i tell it to install in c:/programme files but also see it scattered around (say in c:/windows and c:/documents and settings). These programmes would be installed on my data parition. So when i install them will this mean that some of the programme installs on the data partiton and other bits on the windows one? So when i backup data partiton to backup partition i will only be copying some of the files as others will be on the windows partition?

Sorry if that didnt make sense! Any ideas?


  woodchip 22:31 23 Mar 06

True Image offers two things when you start it be carful you do not choose the one where it allows for Incremental Backup as it will change the Partitions and you will not be able after that to use the HP Restore disc's, for what good they are after you may as well chuck em away. You should as I posted only create a Image with the Software. Read all instructions with care.

PS you can load from the Image odd files in Windows Explorer by clicking Explor on the Image. Then when you have done with it, right click the drive letter it creates and choose unplug

  Paranoid Android 22:37 23 Mar 06

Hmmm, I see no immediate advantage in having a separate partition for Windows. Having a single partition for Windows, apps and data should be fine. Don't forget that by wiping your windows partition you will also be wiping your registry, so all those apps neatly stored in the data partition will stop working anyway.

Second bit of advice would be to back up to a separate and preferably removable drive. A power surge or similar could turn both your raid drives to toast which will kill your backup and leave you with no route to recovery. Hardly ideal after all that effort.

Acronis is a good bit of kit, but you need to get your strategy right.


  woodchip 08:15 24 Mar 06

Don't forget that by wiping your windows partition you will also be wiping your registry.

Not using Acronis Disc Director.

They will still work as you do not have to remove Partitions to create a new one with the above

  Paranoid Android 17:14 24 Mar 06

Hang on a minute Woodchip - are you saying you can re-format your windows drive and re-install windows, and you won't have to re-install the apps ?


  woodchip 17:25 24 Mar 06

No I did not say that. I said that you can create new Partitions without formatting the C:\ drive with the above software. And not loose anything

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