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Tech Helproom


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Acronis advice please.


frybluff

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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.

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Pine Man

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Just had a look at my ATI and I must confess that until now I had never noticed the option to make bootable and it is something I have never used. Maybe it is there to be used if you are backing up to removable media like DVDs?

Anyway the bottom line is that I have never ticked this box and have backed up and restored many times without the need for it.

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john bunyan

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If you bought Acronis as a CD (as I did via Amazon) this can be used as the bootable disc.I have a belt and braces approach, so I make verified images of my system partition - not incremental,I delete the third when it gets to that point, keeping the latest 2. I make frequent copies of data using Freefilesynch. Occasionally I make a clone of the whole primary disc to a HD that I keep elsewhere.(all after scans and defrag)

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mgmcc

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"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 significance of selecting "bootable".

If you make a backup "image file" to media such as DVD, you can make the disk bootable so that you can boot the PC and restore the backup all from the one (or first of multiple) DVD.

Also, and I don't think anyone has mentioned this, you can configure Acronis to backup automatically at a specific time - daily, weekly, monthly etc. I have Acronis set to backup daily to an external drive at 21.00 and can then just forget about it. If I install something I don't like, I can restore yesterday's backup; an older backup would be less useful.

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frybluff

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Have ploughed thro 200+ pages of manual, and think I've got the basics, although there are a lot of "clever options", that go over my head.

I have one area of "nervousness". After doing the "bootable media", it recommends doing a "trial boot", to make sure it works, and then bring some backed up items across, to make sure that works. I get that, but do you then have to "remove" that "trial", to get back to booting your "complete" system, in the normal way?

If the trial boot FAILS, I presume it is possible to "escape" that, back to a normal boot. I'm concerned not to be left with an inoperable laptop, and, obviously, no internet to seek advice.

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Nontek

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I have never bothered doing the 'trial boot', not had any problems and have been using Acronis for at least ten years, perhaps a bit longer.

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mgmcc

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When you boot with the "bootable media", the PC is booted with its version of Acronis running - nothing else. From this, you can restore a previously created backup or you could create a new backup. However, if you start restoring an existing backup, this will overwrite the PC's current version and there is no "escape" from that; you need to continue to completion when the backup will have replaced what was previously on the drive.

You won't do any harm just booting with the CD/DVD to see what it does; just don't proceed to restoring a backup unless you are happy to overwrite the drive's existing content.

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frybluff

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Thanks for all help.

It's frightening how "naked" you feel, when you retire. At work, there were IT specialists, for anything complicated. Then you retire, and realise how little you actually know. Have to look around for some computing evening classes. There weren't PCs when I was a school.

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lotvic

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Lots of tutorial vids on youtube Acronis Don't bother with the "safe zone" it is an acronis version of a hidden partition same as a Factory Restore that many pcs come with.

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Diemmess

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Don't worry at all about the clever bits!

Acronis is good at what it does to resolve the dread of another total re-install.

Your concern is about the best way to recover from a mess on drive C: This is what Acronis does so well, in fact I use it when something goes pear shaped and don't even need explore the niceties which brought the pickle about.

Like much software Acronis has twiddles which may appeal to some folk with a particular purpose in mind, and that region is up to you, if and when.

Acronis has a simple wizard (accept the defaults) then just a short wait for total recovery. (You did make regular backups didn't you?)You can regularly delete the oldest backup folders as you go along

In common with many users I prefer to keep 'Windows C:' as lean as I can to make both Backup and Restore reasonably fast processes. So C: has the OS and the major applications installed on it, but ALL data is kept on other drives.

The precious backup file (.tib) too, must be stored on a different drive, and while you can repartition your hard disk for faster access, you would be wise to involve another HD to keep copies of backup files and most precious data in case the primary drive developed a fatal fault

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frybluff

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Having done a couple of backups, with Acronis, that, if I "map" the disks, the backups appear as heavilly fragmented. Using "validation", they appear OK, so, I presume it's best to leave well alone, rather than de-frag. Is the issue only one of optimum use of disk space.

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