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Acronis Backup Utility

Posted on 2010-09-22
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
This question probably only applies to Acronis users. I recently bought the program (running Windows 7 Pro) and a 2nd hard drive but have no experience with the program and almost no experience with backups.

This past year I have had more than my share of viruses to the point I've had to delete the partition and reinstall everything - a very painful process. I need a fast track education on which option is best for me in Acronis. Basically, I want to image my C drive so if I get another virus to the point I have to re-partition, all I have to do instead is a restore.

I always think of backups like I think of insurance. You never know quite how good it is untill you have to use it so if you find out then it's not what you expected, it's too late.

It looks like Acronis has 2 primary options: Disk and Partition and Non-Stop.

Given my goal mentioned above, which should I use and how does one restore if your computer crashes?
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Question by:SpaceCoastLife
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jcimarron earned 500 total points
ID: 33736591
SpaceCoastLife--You have not said whether you bought Acronis True Image Home 2010 or 2011.
There are User Guides for each, although the one for 2011 seems a poor "update" of the one for 2010.
http://www.allacronis.com/manuals.php
Anyway, what you prpbably want is to create a Clone.  See Chapter 14.
It would not hurt to also backup your personal data, which you accomplish from a normal "Backup and Restore".
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by:Lisij
ID: 33736631
which version of Acronis did you buy?
i myself have acronis home server at home.

if you have 2 harddrives, what you can do is the following.
if you are satisfied with the way your computer is running do the backup of the disk. Since you have win7 it uses more then one partition, so if you want quick restore in the fugure do the disk capture.
After that you can probably do disk snapshots once a month (or quarterly). the compression is 1 to 1.5 (give or take) of the USED SPACE. for example, 75 GB of used space on the 250GB drive yelded around 45GB snapshot.

also you can do regular backups (like big companies) of certain files and folders to recover them on as needed basis.

one of the options i have on my is enable Acronis boot management (or something like it).
What it does it changes the MBR and adds its own boot manager. This way if you hit F11 on start the console starts and you can recover files/disks even if you cant boot.
And lastly, make the set of bootable disks. The do the same, but without changing the MBR. This way if you have a brand name PC which has its own recovery partition you wont overwrite it.

if your OS HDD fails, and you get the different HDD to replace it, take the broken out, connect the new one; boot from the CD, recover the disk image from your backup drive. If you do continious backup of file and folders you can recover the changed files since your last disk snapshot.

Good luck.
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by:SpaceCoastLife
ID: 33736704
I bought  Acronis True Image Home 2011 and I'm aware there are user manuals available. As I said in my request, I'm looking for a Fast Track approach (meaning without having to read manuals to get started) so I can get the right backup immediately.

I don't see "Clone" as an option, only "Disk and Partition", "Non-Stop", "Online" but assume there is a clone option mentioned somewhere, wouldn't that include my personal data?
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by:jcimarron
ID: 33736867
SpaceCoastLife--Clone Disk is under Go to Main Screen|Tools and Utilities.  Yes, a Clone includes everything and theoretically would allow reinstallation of the complete drive on a formatted disk including System files, installed programs in addition to personal data.
The usual back up is only of certain files.
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by:SpaceCoastLife
ID: 33737209
Ok. I see it. I just want to make sure if I ever have to use it I know what to do. To that end, I have a few questions if you don't mind:

If I clone my C drive to my D drive can I have other files on my D drive or does it have to be clean?
If my C drive is no longer accessible for whatever reason, will my computer boot from my D drive - and if the answer is yes does that mean I will have to select a drive to boot from every time I reboot?. If the answer is no, what then?
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 33737534
I will make a image of a C drive in case you have a virus.
After that from your Acronis software create a bootable media
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by:jcimarron
ID: 33737626
SpaceCoastLife--I do not think you can boot from the Clone.  However, read page 76ff for info on creating Boot Disks.  Once the System is restored from the clone, however, it should function just like a normal installed System.
I do not think a clone will overwrite exisiting data on a drive, assuming the space is adequate for all to fit.  However, the few times I have made a clone I seem to remember the program did not allow a disk|partition with data already on it to be used.  You will have to read up on that, or better yet make a trial run with data you do not need.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 33737669
You can have files on your D drive if you clone your C drive to your D drive.
If my C drive is no longer accessible your computer is not able to boot from D drive. This is the reason you need a boot media you can create from your Acronis interface.
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by:SpaceCoastLife
ID: 33747089
I was about to try the clone option - of which there are 2 options: Automatic (recommended) and manual. I was about to use the Automatic option until I read the following text on their form:

"All your partitions from the source hard drive will be copied to the target drive in a few simple steps and your new hard drive will be made bootable. Your existing partitions will be automatically resized to fit the target hard disk".

It's the last part of that statement that caused me concern i.e. "existing partitions will be automatically resized". My C drive is 500 Mbytes and my D drive (target) is 2 Tbytes. I get nervous when I read my existing partitions will be modified since I have no intention of replacing my C drive with my D drive unless disaster strikes. Is Clone really the right option for me??
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by:jcimarron
ID: 33747306
SpaceCoastLife--Think a little more about what that sentence says.  The existing partitions will only be resized if necessary to fit on the target hard disk.  So the smaller disk should not be affected when you clone it to the larger disk, unless you have substantial data already on the larger disk.
And you will not be losing the data on the C drive by cloning it to D.  So if you do not like the results on D, you can always wipe it and still have C.
Anyway remember my earlier advice about running a trial run of any procedure you have not tried before.  Or putting it another way, do not burn any bridges until you know the procedure does what you want it to do.
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by:SpaceCoastLife
ID: 33748723
Logically, I understand and would most definitely like to test it but I guess the only way to do that is go ahead and create the clone, then restore my c drive with the image created by the clone and pray it all comes back like it's supposed to!
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by:jcimarron
ID: 33749545
SpaceCoastLife--Assuming you have C on the 500GB drive and if you have another partition on the 1TB drive (or vice versa) you could install the clone on space other than the C drive.
In any event, you should be able to reinstall personal data from the clone.
Good luck!!!
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by:SpaceCoastLife
ID: 33764008
Thanks for the education
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by:jcimarron
ID: 33765253
SpaceCoastLife--Thanks.  I hope all went well.  I am always ultra cautious with new software.
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