acronis backup tips

acronis backup tips
ACRONIS BACKUP TIPS
Jim McKnight
www.jimopi.net
AcronisTips.lwp
revised 3-12-2015
ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE HOME TIPS:
ACRONIS TUTORIAL: http://www.techrepublic.com/downloads/how-do-i-create-a-reliable-backup-with-acronis/2338455 . Also
see the many youtube videos for your version of Acronis.
GENERAL NOTES:
BUYING ACRONIS: Acronis TI Home is available for about $30.00 from Gene Barlow at:
http://ugr.com/ and includes a free tutorial. I recommend paying a little extra for the physical CD
rather than the download version. The order page is at: http://www.ugr.com/TrueImage.html . If you need
a secret code to order, try putting in “Los Angeles Computer Socriety”. If that does not work, call
Gene Barlow and ask him for the latest code. His Sales phone number is: 435-652-3005.
VERSIONS OF ACRONIS: To avoid complications follow this info:
Windows XP: You should be using Acronis TI Home ver 2009 or newer,
Windows 7: You should be using True Image Home 2011 or newer.
Windows 8 and 8.1: You should be using very latest build of True Image Home 2014 or newer.
Also, the newest PC hardware may require the very latest version available.
IF THERE ARE MULTIPLE PARTITIONS ON THE HARD-DRIVE. If you bought a PC with
Windows 7 or XP already on it, there are probably two to six partitions on the main hard-drive. YOU
MUST SET THE BACKUP TASK TO BACK UP ALL THE PARTITIONS ON THE MAIN DRIVE!. If
you don’t, then the system will probably not boot after you recover/restore the image to a new drive
and your backup will be useless.
“USER INTERFACE” DIFFERENCES: For some strange reason, the User Interface of just about
EVERY SINGLE VERSION of ACRONIS TI HOME IS UNIQUELY DIFFERENT from other
versions. This makes it impossible for me to give step-by-step advice on its operation. There are
lots of youtube videos on the use of Acronis. Just search youtube.com for the exact title of your
version (ie: Acronis True Image Home 2009).
UEFI: Booting an Acronis Rescue CD on a PC with a UEFI (BIOS) only works if you have the very
latest build of “Acronis True Image Home 2014” or higher.
EXTERNAL HARD-DRIVE FORMAT: An external hard-drive should be formatted as NTFS to allow
it to handle the large-size backup files created by Acronis. Drives formatted as FAT-32 cannot hold
files larger than 4 GB each. This complicates matters as backup files are divided up.
SATA DRIVES: Earlier versions of Acronis TI Home (versions 9 and older) did have problems
recognizing SATA Drives.
NAMING BACKUP FILES: My preference is to give a personalized name to my backup folders and
files. I suggest that before running a "Backup" task for the first time, you create a folder on your
external hard-drive (using XP) to use for your Acronis TI backup archives, ie: "Acronis TI
BACKUPS". Go to the next step. If you do not name your backup file, Acronis will probably name is
mybackup.tib
ACRONIS SECURE ZONE Feature: I recommend against using the "Secure Zone" feature. It can
cause partitioning issues on your main hard-drive. Also, it is a far better idea to back up to a
different physical hard-drive in case of a hardware failure of your main hard-drive.
FULL BACKUPS vs INCREMENTAL BACKUPS: I do not recommend doing a full backup each
time, as it wastes hard drive space. The best idea is one full backup, then 5 incremental backups,
then another full backup and adding 5 incremental backups to it, etc, etc, etc. This can done
manually each month or a Scheduled Task can be created that will accomplish it automatically. My
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preference is to do a monthly image backup, then I do a manual weekly backup of my personal
data.
RESCUE CD: As soon as you have created your first backup, you should create a Bootable
Rescue CD. You should then boot that CD and make sure that it not only boots, but also
recognizes all the hard drives on your system. You can go through a partial "Create Backup"
process to see if all the drives are visible.
VALIDATING IMAGES: This function ensures the image is usable. NOTE: If you upgrade to a
newer build or newer version of Acronis, you may not be able to validate an image taken with an
earlier build/version. This does not mean the image is not usable, it justs means you cannot
validate it. To be safe, I suggest you do a full backup using the new build/version of Acronis,
validate the new image, then burn a fresh "Rescue" CD. The only real test of your image is to try a
restore to a blank hard-drive and see if it boots.
MOUNTING AN IMAGE - ACCESSING “BACKED UP” DATA: To see the data inside one of your a
Backup Archive files, you need to "Mount" the archive as a "Virtual Hard-Drive". (On some versions
of Acronis TI you must select the "Validate" option to get to the "Mount" Option). Acronis will
assign a drive letter to the virtual drive. After that, go to "My Computer" in XP and open the virtual
drive as a regular hard drive. Be sure to un-mount the drive as soon as you are done.
DEFAULT BACKUP OPTIONS: It is a good idea to change the Default Backup Options so that
.bak & .tmp files are not excluded from the backup process. (Tools > Options > Default Backup
Options > Source files exclusion > uncheck the box "Exclude files matching *.bak and *.tmp").
Problems with Microsoft Office can occur if you do not do this.
NORTON GoBack WARNING: Norton GoBack is NOT compatible with Acronis True Image. See
my GoBack workaround below.
DELL ISSUES: HOW TO CLONE A DELL HARD DRIVE:
1. Install TrueImage on your hard drive and restart.
2. Burn an Acronis Recovery CD and shut down.
3. Install your second drive (properly cabled).
4. Boot and press F12 for a one-time setup.
5. Insert the Acronis Recovery CD and select CD Drive as boot device.
6. After TrueImage appears select Clone Disk. Follow the prompts. Be careful!
7. Source drive is the original drive - destination drive is the new empty drive.
8. Do not choose to verify image. Do not choose manual options.
9. Select DO NOT DESTROY DATA ON SOURCE DRIVE!!!!
10. After cloning is complete, shut down and immediately swap drives. Do not try to start with both
drives installed or drive corruption will occur.
LENOVO/IBM THINKPAD ISSUES:
When backing up, always backup the entire hard drive, not just the C partition. Otherwise Boot
issues will occur after a recovery.
When Cloning Lenovo/IBM thinkpad drives, follow these instructions:
http://pl887.pairlitesite.com/misc/config-stories/cloning_a_thinkpad.pdf
TROUBLESHOOTING RESTORE FAILURES
The most common cause of a restore image to fail to boot is that you did not back up all the
partitions from the original hard-drive.
If the PC Blue Screens during boot after restoring an image, make sure the new drive C was
partitioned so it has plenty of extra available space for the image. If it does not, either rerun
Acronis Restore and correct your errors while setting up the partition/s on the restore, or repartition
the drive with a non-destructive partition manager like: EASEUS Partition manager.
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GETTING DATA OFF OF A CORRUPTED HARD-DRIVE.
Create an Image of the bad drive using the option "Ignore bad sectors". Once the image is
completed, you should be able to access most of the data. (This option is only available in TI
version 11 or higher). Try this before running recovery programs like SpinRite or Recuva.
NORTON GOBACK & ACRONIS ---- WARNING!
1. Per Acronis:
a. True Image does not like Norton GoBack.
b. Disable GoBack before taking each backup image, then re-enable it.
c. Do not use the standalone Rescue version of TI on a system with GoBack enabled.
d. You cannot use the SecureZone feature with GoBack enabled. Partitioning conflicts.
2. Under certain conditions, re-enabling GoBack after an Image Restore will make your PC totally
unbootable (You cannot even get to Safe Mode).
3. WORKAROUND: If you are doing a Restore, and GoBack was running when the backup image
was taken, GoBack will be "disabled" after you restore that image to a new PC or hard drive. (You
will get a message "GoBack has been disabled, do you want to Enable GoBack?Yes/No". Select
"No" and then LEAVE IT DISABLED. As soon as possible, uninstall GoBack from the "Add/Remove
Programs" Window. I suggest removing LiveUpdate & LiveReg as well if you do not have any other
Norton Products installed. After all the dust has settled, re-install GoBack from scratch. Then do a
LiveUpdate to get the latest version.
CANNOT BACK UP IMAGE TO DVD's (Tip from www.infopackets.com)
Problem: I've run into a problem being able to record my image backups directly to DVD. According
to Acronis, I need to install packet-writing software in order for this to work. What is packet writing
software and why isn't it included as part of the Acronis package? "
Answer:
In short: Packet Writing software is a "plugin" (per se) for Windows that allows you to use your CD or
DVD record much like you would a floppy disk or hard drive. In other words: packet writing allows you
to write to recordable optical media "on the fly", rather than on a per-session basis (as with CD
Mastering Software).
For example: with packet writing software installed on my system, I could write a document in MS
Word and then save it directly to my CD or DVD recordable disc without having to launch a special
CD / DVD recording program (I.E.: CD Mastering Software).
Packet Writing software isn't included with Acronis True Image because it isn't entirely necessary.
And to this day I am unaware of any freeware packet writing software programs (if you happen to
know, please email me). Currently, the two most popular packet writing programs are Roxio /
Adaptec DirectCD and Ahead [Nero Burning ROM] InCD -- and they both cost money.
If you want to burn your backups to DVD using True Image, you have two options. You can:
a. Burn direct to DVD during the backup process: this will require third-party Packet Writing
software (supplied by Roxio [DirectCD] or Ahead [Nero InCD], for example), or
b. Write the image backup to the hard drive, and then burn to DVD recordable later: this method
does not require Packet Writing software.
With respect to option (b): if you have another hard drive partition ("D drive") or another physical hard
drive, you can write the image backup temporarily to D drive, then burn it to DVD afterward using
your favorite CD / DVD software.
An alternate method is to Create a backup location folder on the C: Drive, set up the compression for
maximum, and max file size to 4.4 GB (yes 4.4 GB). This will break up the image into 4.62 GB pieces
that can be manually burned to DVDs. Estimate: With maximum compression, 35GB of drive files
compresses to about 18GB. This is about 4 DVD's .
"UNIVERSAL RESTORE" FEATURE
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This feature allows you to take an image from a PC and restore it onto a completely new PC.
Currently the Universal Restore feature is only available with Acronis TI Echo Workstation which
costs about $130.00. This could be used in a disaster recovery situation where the original PC is
damaged beyond repair. Universal Restore helps you load the correct drivers, etc into windows in
a situation where a normal restore may not boot. Universal restore seems to work OK even with
backup archives made with Home versions of Acronis.
PROBLEMS USING "NAS" DRIVES WITH ACRONIS
NAS or Network Attached Storage drives connect via your local ethernet and have their own IP
address. They do work fine with Acronis with a few cautions.
You need to select an NAS Drive that uses either EXT2, EXT3, XFS, or ReiserFS 3.6 formatting
and NOT FAT32.
NAS Drives cannot be formatted as NTFS (as of this date 9-2009), because they all have Linux
based controllers and Linux does not currently support writing in NTFS format. If you try to
backup your image to a drive formatted as FAT32, the drive controller breaks up the very large
files into 4GB segments. When TI attempts to validate the image, things go nuts, and if it works
at all, "Validate" will take many, many hours to run. The Linux controller works like crazy and may
fail.
For more about NAS hard-drives, see the NAS hard-drive tips on my NETWORKING TIPS sheet
at www.jimopi.net
CLONED DRIVE WILL NOT BOOT
If the new drive will not boot, run chkdsk /f /r or "HD Tune" on the original drive to make sure
there are no bad sectors. If sectors are bad, you can try SpinRite, but the drive may be toast.
If SpinRite is not available, try making a backup image using the "Ignore bad sectors" option. If
putting that image on a new drive does not boot, you may have to reinstall windows.
NORTON "GOBACK" ISSUES: See the writeup in my UTILITY PROGRAMS Sheet.
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