Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Acronis TrueImage Home is a cost-effective, easy to use, reliable backup software solution.

I've temporarily suspended my recommendation of Acronis TrueImage Home.

This isn't a disrecommendation, per se, but rather a reflection of my discomfort continuing to recommend it at this time. Based on reader feedback and on what I'm seeing in the Acronis support forums I'm reluctant to recommend recent versions to the average consumer.

If you're using Acronis you don't need to switch. Most issues appear to be installation and customer support related. While I might recommend confirming that you can access the contents of your backed up files, that's a recommendation I make for all backup software.

If you're looking for an alternative, or for new backup software my current recommendation is Macrium Reflect.

As long time readers know, I frequently mention backing up as one of the biggest and most important missed opportunities that too many people are overlooking to protect themselves. And I get reports every day of people who've lost important data, sometimes everything, that a simple backup solution would have protected them against.

If you're still without a backup solution I recommend Acronis True Image Home as an easy to use solution for anyone who should be backing up but isn't. Acronis is easy to set up, can back up files and folders, or your entire machine, and can similarly restore individual files and folders, or your an entire machine image, quickly and easily.

When used with an external hard drive, Acronis True Image can be a nearly "set it and forget it" backup solution.

In fact, it's what's running on the very machine I'm using as I write this.

My recommendation for backup software has always been, much like a physical exercise program, "anything you will actually do". Almost any backup solution is better than no backup solution.

But in reality, some backup solutions are definitely better than others. While there are many good backup programs out there, after having used Acronis TrueImage for a couple of years myself now, I feel confident recommending it as a solution you should consider.

In my particular case, I have it configured to perform a full backup of my primary machine once a month, and an incremental backup (copying only things that changed since the previous backup) once a night. That allows me to do two very important things:

"... after having used Acronis for a couple of year myself now, I feel confident recommending it ..."
  • I can revert my entire machine to the exact state it was in on any given day a backup was taken. This is real system restore - not just a few things, but everything is backed up including files, settings and anything I didn't think to save in some other special way. Everything. Acronis allows you to burn a boot CD, from which you can then restore your entire hard disk from the backups you've made.

  • I can retrieve one or more files from any of those backups as well. As long as a file was captured by one of those backups (and everything is captured) I can always find it. Acronis actually lets you mount the backups you've taken, and with a Windows Explorer interface search and then copy files directly out of the backups back to your machine.

Like I said, I get reports of data loss in one form or another every day: emails gone, family pictures lost, important documents irrecoverable. And all that loss could have been prevented with a backup solution in place.

The sad truth is that most people don't learn this lesson until it's too late. Most people decide that they need a backup solution only after they've suffered some kind of loss. And that loss is often significantly more expensive than the backup solution would have been.

And Acronis TrueImage is not expensive. I'll bet that it's significantly less expensive than losing your important or irreplaceable files.

The setup that I use works very well with an external USB hard drive. I happen to have an external 250 gigabyte drive on my desktop machine, to which these nightly backups happen without any thought on my part. Again, external drives have come down dramatically in price, and the capacity just seems to be going up and up.

It's worth it.

Try Acronis TrueImage today.

I recommend it.

Article C3387 - May 17, 2008 « »

Share this article with your friends:

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article Email a link to this article
Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

May 17, 2008 5:05 PM

I tried Acronis TrueImage a couple of years ago - it had a lot of problems then, and judging by their forum, I wasn't alone in having them. One of the big issues was the boot record modification for the auto-recover feature. Users found that if they uninstalled TrueImage, the Windows installation was hosed as well.

Steve Gibson put me on to Drive Snapshot, a blindingly fast, easy to use, and cheap, disk imaging utility for making full and differential backups. I run it using the Window's scheduler once a day; a differential backup of my 500GB system drive takes less than 10 minutes including verification. Combined with a bootable BartPE Windows CD I've always been able to recover from a disk or Windows installation failure.

For data, and yes, I separate my data storage from my OS and program files, most compression utilities these days come with excellent backup features. I recommend 7-Zip, available for free on SourceForge. It's fast, easy to setup, very flexible, and handles "genourmous" files.

I've found the combination of Drive Snapshot and 7-Zip very easy to use at a fraction of the cost of the Acronis applications.

LeRoy Laycock
May 20, 2008 7:48 PM

I had Acronis True Image 10 and have upgraded to Ver. 11. I have an external Maxtor disk and keep about three full-disk backups. My problem?, I have never had a failure where I had to restore from the backup; however, I hear many tales of problems with restoring backups and all I can do is 'cross-my-fingers' and hope it works when/if I need it!

Michael Horowitz
May 22, 2008 5:09 PM

I disagree with the concept of backing up Windows while it is running. You wouldn't backup a Word document while you are in the middle of editing it with Word. Acronis may be a great product and be able to do this, but it's an error prone thing to attempt. I prefer the easier-to-program approach of backing up Windows while it is not running, that is, from a bootable CD. This is, however, more work. To each his own.

May 25, 2008 9:19 AM

Hash: SHA1

While I totally understand the concern, I'm approaching it
from a much more practical nature: the harder you make it,
the less likely average folks are actually going to do it.
Having to remember to take manual steps, particularly
rebooting a couple of times, is a huge barrier.

In my experience Acronis actually does a fairly impressive
job at this. (I'm certain it's not the only one, but it's
the one I have experience with.) The bare-metal restores (a
complete restoration of the machine image) I've performed
have all worked exactly as expected.

I have seen Acronis fail a backup because things were "in
use". My belief is that there may still be a few situations
that it cannot handle safely, in which case it takes the
safer of two evils, fails the backup and at least notifies.
But it's rare (and might have even been a bug in ATI 10).

But in my opinion the imporance of actually backing up
regularly - and that means not having to think about it in
most cases - outwieghs what appears to be a very, very small
risk, if it's an actual risk at all.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


Susan Daum
May 27, 2008 1:16 PM

I did recently have to restore a backup of an acronis image. The image had to be on the hard drive (not the externally connected USB drive where I store a few images. But other than that, it went flawlessly.
I've been using Acronis TI for quite a number of years, and like the program. (I used to use Drive Image, and that was harder to use. )

Igor Brejc
May 27, 2008 11:33 PM

Hello Leo,

I've purchased Acronis TIH based on your previous recommendations. Though the SW itself is good, I have one issue (which I spent a week discussing with Acronis support, but that didn't resolve it): I have an external USB drive but I'm not using it for backing up (I have an extra SATA drive for backups). But the USB drive sometimes does not get recognized by the OS after waking up from hibernation. This in turn causes the Acronis to fail on the startup even though the drive isn't really used by Acronis. The reason for this is that Acronis checks all of the disks before running the backup job. This is kind of a killer for me, since I cannot leave it to do its job without my intervention. I would like to be able to turn this disk checking off, but this isn't possible in the current Acronis TIH version.

May 28, 2008 10:19 AM

Hash: SHA1

Susan: in my case ATI did recognize my external USB drive,
and I've restored directly from that. My guess is that it
has to do with the age of and/or USB support in the
machine's BIOS, but I could be wrong.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


May 28, 2008 10:22 AM

Hash: SHA1

Igor: it's a little unclear, I can't tell if you're
attempting to backup that external drive or not.

If you are my recommendation would be to set up two separate
backup jobs, one for it specifically that can fail when it's
not around, and another for "everything else" that should
presumably keep working.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


Igor Brejc
May 29, 2008 8:58 AM


I'm not attempting to back the USB drive nor am I using it for storing backups. The problem is that the Acronis TIH checks ALL drives before it starts running backup jobs and it somehow "remembers" that I have an USB drive and tries to check it, even though it's not used in backups. Then it falsely reports "bad sectors" for it and doesn't want to continue with the job.

The original "sinner" is Windows, which sometimes doesn't recognize the drive when returning from hibernation. But Acronis options should be flexible enough to be able disable drive checking.

Eugene H Brown
June 9, 2008 9:36 PM

By chance only just purch Acronis True Image Home V 11 and your article was perfect guidence for using what I purchased in a Pro-manner.
Thanks a Bunch,
Gene Brown in Charlotte, NC

Roy Phillips
July 8, 2008 3:55 PM

Hi, I would like to mention that any external hard disc that is used for your back up must be removed from the system after your backup, I made the mistake of using two partition's in my External hard disc, one for my backups the other for programmes that I didn't want on my computer internal hard disc, hence I always had my External hard disc connected, don't know why yet, but my backup was corrupted, I lost all my backups the Acronis 11 partition was completely empty.
Did the Acronis report, Acronis told me of the corruption.
One good thing came out of this, my Try and Decide had never worked, I have now found that the programme can be re downloaded from my account on the Acronis web site, this cured my problems with the Acronis programme.
I have had to restore on two occasions, Acronis worked like a dream each time, it certainly does what it says it can do.
Hope this helps someone.
Roy Phillips

July 17, 2008 9:23 PM

I find a glaring problem with this article that was slightly covered by a comment:
I have a 180GB backup of my entire system using Acronis True Image 11. Sounds responsible right?
Well, when the time came to restore my OS with TI 11, It simply said, and I have realized too late, that my backup on my 500GB External drive cannot be used with TI11 - so what's the point? I can't very well store a 200GB image on my internal HD.
I'm at a loss as to how you say that it works so great from your external drive....
It backed up alright, giving me a nice 'false' sense of security. That recover disk booted, I found the image on my external (all as instructed) and then I find out that it will not apply the image even though it's found it, because it's an external USB drive. That is a real buzz-kill!

July 18, 2008 2:26 PM

Hash: SHA1

I guess I don't understand the issue you're having. The fact
that it's on an external drive *shouldn't* impact anything.
Yes, I'll reiterate that I confirmed the ability to restore
from an external USB drive before recommending this product.

The only thing I can think of is that there's something
different about your drive or USB setup that the Acronis
restoration program doesn't recognize. While that's no
consolation to you it's certainly *not* a common case.

As long as Windows recognizes the drive, you'll at a minimum
be able access that backup from within Windows.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


August 12, 2008 9:55 PM

I've had Acronis 10 for quite a while. I use an external 160GB hard drive for backup storage from my 400GB Sata drive.

Finally I had to restore. It went very smoothly and I was pleased at the initial outcome. However, (and I assume it's because Acronis runs on the Linux program) that all of my drive letters were changed. Hence, all my shortcuts on the desktop were out of sequence.

So I engaged Partition Magic to change them back to what they originally were. I had 4 partitions, operating system, programs, video and documents,pictures,music. So I went to change the letters back to what they originally were; however, because of an unused removable disk letter (one of the memory stick drives) taking up one of the original drive letter names I couldn't change all of them back to their correct paths.

And I'm still trying to figure out how to rectify and try to reason why it changed the drive letters.

August 28, 2008 11:16 AM

I have had TrueImage 11 now for since April, 2008. Most of its features work well, except for "Save Application Settings". If I select the All button, the function crashes. If I do subsets it works fine. I can do 4 or 5 in the list at a time. I use Vista Home Premium with SP1. I reported this to Acronis and they are "working on it". They had me send crash dumps after each new build, but to date it is still not functioning. Also, only a small number of applications (9 or 10) show in the list. I don't now if this correct.

Ronald P. Nosack
December 23, 2008 12:37 PM

Just to let everyone know. Acronis is not that reliable. Oh yes, it completes the im-age, and you can verify it too. But then when the fateful day arrives that you really need it - it fails. We see this over and over on the Wilderís forum.
So if you go down this route, test your image to make sure it is good. And the only way to safely do this is to throw in a new HD, and attempt to restore to it.
Iím a computer tech. When Iím doing heavy duty malware cleaning or other low level repairs, I clone the customerís drive over to one of mine. After Iím done, I clone back. This way I always have a safety net if Windows spirals out of con-trol. Anyhow, twice Acronis has corrupted the source drive. The last time I was cloning a new Vista HP laptop, and Acronis froze up. After rebooting the source drive would not boot! This is unacceptable. I was able to fix it though.
So be wary of your backups, and be pre-pared for mishaps. Do some of your backups with the highly reliable older Ghost program. I use v. 11 Corporate or Ghost 2003, boot CDs.

December 23, 2008 1:08 PM

For the last year i have been using Norton Ghost to backup 3 systems. But on the 4th system, I use the Maxtor One Touch disk and the Maxtor Manager that comes with it. I find this to be the ultimate in Ease of Use. A lot simpler than the Ghost, Acronis, Macrium, Clonezilla and all the others. Plus it comes with the recovery disk - so you don't even have to worry about burning that like when you download any of the others from the web.

Don Cameron
December 24, 2008 3:26 AM

I wonder if Range Rover may have created an Acronis Secure Zone on his USB drive rather than merely backing up to a folder . The Acronis Manual says specifically that the Secure Zone will not work on an external USB drive , I back up to a Folder e.g. BakupC on my USB and a restore has not been a problem .
Note that the Secure Zone is formatted Fat 32 not NTFS and therein may lie the problem possibly ?

December 28, 2008 2:02 AM

I use Genie Backup Manager Pro and it's quite reliable, although one cannot save a disk image. I've seen here and also elsewhere on the Web that there are big problems with Acronis, and so, even though I've bought it, I don't use it.

By the way, in the first bullet above, did you mean to say that you could restore the entire "HD", rather than "CD" ?

January 5, 2009 3:19 AM

One of the best file centers is Megaupload! For a proper search and downloading use

January 5, 2009 6:24 PM

I have used acronis for a number of years, and must say it does have some odd issues. First one must know what they are doing to use this program. 90% of bad reviews are from people who have little idea of what they are actually doing. They do NOT read the instructions. If one is going to backup to usb hard drives, they must have a drive that windows will identify easily. Many external drives are little more than a VERY cheap built box with a good hard drive. I buy external boxes from bytecc with a cooling fan. If one is using a box without cooling you are using a hard drive toaster. I have had to take dozens of manufactured external drives apart to get to the drive to remove needed files after they boxes failed to read the drive. If you want to use acronis, MAKE CERTAIN YOU ARE USING THE LATEST UPDATE. If you attempt to recover from usb, MAKE CERTAIN THE USB DRIVE IS CONNECTED BEFORE YOU START YOUR MACHINE WITH ACRONIS BOOT DISK. If one cannot figure out how to use the software properly, they should enlist the help of someone with more savy computer skills. Asking for help from someone who knows computers, will only increase your knoledge, as they can walk you through a procedure. I clone, backup, and maintain dozens of machines with acronis without issues. On odd occasions, usually BECAUSE OF MALWARE PROBLEMS, acronis will not work properly. If you are running windows without proper virus and spyware protection, DO NOT EXPECT ANY SOFTWARE TO RUN PROPERLY. If you are a person who likes to push buttons without understanding what they are doing, DO NOT USE ACRONIS, YOU WILL ONLY BLAME THE SOFTWARE FOR ISSUES YOU CREATED.

John Goemans
January 11, 2009 7:32 AM

After reading Leo's recommendation on ACRONIS backup software, I purchased the product and installed it on my machine. Now, everytime I power on the laptop, I get the message "non system disk hit any key to continue". I hit a key and the machine continues to load. What is that? That scares the hell out of me. What kind of software does that? I removed the software for and everything appears to be working fine again.

Thanks but no thanks. Just write off 50 bucks and move on. When a software package starts fooling around with the system software load process, it is not what I want. All I wanted was a simple backup procedure so that If I loose my harddrive which happened on a previous machine, I would have a mirror copy to reload onto the new hard drive and move on.

Harold D Jones
January 14, 2009 7:38 PM

Ok, I back up to my D:Drive, my C: is now erratic and I want to make the D:Drive my boot drive. I don't want to recover to an unstable hard drive, what are my options using acronis?

February 19, 2009 4:50 PM

I have been using Acronis since version 8, now using 10 without issues. Love the program. I also build computers.

April 13, 2009 1:41 PM

I've been using Acronis for a few years as an advanced user albeit not a techie. My experience is mixed. When it works, Acronis is a dream. However, on 3 different machines over the past 3 years I have had corruption issues where the backup is confirmed and verified but cannot be accessed - therefore, worthless. In each case, I've had to uninstall the program, then re-install being sure that I have deleted the 'Secure Zone' beforehand. I've experienced this problem with the last 3 versions of Acronis. I'm currently using version 10.

April 20, 2009 12:40 PM

Is there anyway to ghost a hard drive without installing the software? I would like to use Acronis but it must be installed. Can it be installed to a USB drive to carry around so we can back up any computer right from the USB?

If not is there any software you might recommend to do this? And how about DriveImage XML ?

Also how does Acronis and DriveImage compare to WindowsXP backup utility. Can the Windows Backup utility ghost the drive just the same as Acronis?

Thanks in advance for your help.

I'm not aware of a truly portable no-install solution. Problem is most imagers need to install a driver or something at a low leve to allow them access to either at the sector level or to files that are in use. Perhaps a reader will know of an alternative. (I don't think Windows backup does true image backups.)
- Leo
Glenn Haslam
August 11, 2009 5:33 PM

Regarding the comment asking 'Is there a backup software that can create a system backup image without being installed?' You can just use Acronis TIH 2009 Boot CD, there is no need to install the Acronis program, you are able to make a backup image directly this way. I have done this myself and it seems to work on most occasions without any issues. I did encounter one problem creating a backup to an external USB drive, in which Acronis gave an incorrect message that the drive had bad sectors and would not create the backup image, however this only happened once and hasn't occurred since.

September 9, 2009 8:53 AM

I was thinking about purchasing Acronis True Image Home 2009 until I read the comments here and a not to flattering review from dated 12.04.08. I am tempted to go with Leo's positive recommendation, but some doubt has been created...

Adolfo Picado
September 26, 2009 12:25 PM

This is awesome advise. I have been for years not backing up my computer not knowing that there are different ways to do just that. I have not tried the software but, trusting that Acronis is a good choice, things will be much easier. Thank you!

Lawrence Brown
October 6, 2009 11:09 AM

I enjoyed your video series on using Acronis backup & recovery software. I used it as a tutorial. However, your "How to backup" series reflects on Acronis True Image Home 2009. Last weekend I purchased Acronis True Image Home 2010. My O.S. is Windows XP Home, SP3. I'm using my external USB drive with a Western Digital 500GB external drive. I tried to follow your examples in the video tutorial, but the Acronis 2010 version has a much different interface. The new interface doesn't appear to be user friendly as shown in your video for the 2009 version! I somehow managed to create a bootable rescue media (CD) and tested it. I've backed-up my C: drive on my external Western Digital Passport hard drive. Now, when I open Acronis from my C: drive it states, "Your system is not fully protected". Perfrom the following operations: (Backup My System)" Lastly, I can't schedule incremental backups, as my external hard drive is not continuously connected to my USB port. Should I ignore the incremental backups and only do them manually? Now, my question is, would you be willing to update your video series to reflect on the NEW Acronis 2010 version?
Please advise.
Thank you,

Lawrence Brown

December 31, 2009 11:41 PM

hello, i used acronis true image and disk director suite and successfully cloned and backup disks many times. recently i installed pgp enterprise to secure the disk. as fate would have it i decided to increase the secure zone partition. the operating system on boot prompted for pgp password to decrypt the drive and then acronis loaded and i used the partition management option. the partition limit of secure zone was enhanced from 55 gb to 61 gb (limit being shown as 69gb). the three steps that appeared were C drive size being fixed from 55 gb to 45 gb, D drive (which was pgp secured) was shown to be going NO change and the third step was the Secure Zone expanding from 45 GB to 51 gb or so. when all the steps were done, the system booted. as always the first prompt was PGP secure disk, i entered the password but the second prompt for Acronis halted and Displayed a fatal error and asked to press enter to attempt to boot the OS. On pressing Enter the system booted and the OS was normal EXCEPT that the D drive was being shown as Raw (i.e. needed to formatted). On inspecting the D drive with Acronis disk manager the three partitions were visible the C and Secure zone with the newly allocated disk space but the D was being shown as RAW Although the D disk size was being shown as before, i.e. 45 GB. All assets are resided in the D drive. Please advise how to recover or restore the partitions

David Guinn
February 16, 2010 4:17 PM

I have tried several times to install Acronis True Image Home 2009 on VISTA Home, without success. I have googled, binged, and various other search engines to find the problem. Even tried the "support" function, not much support there.
I bought this software on the strong recommadation of LEO. Now what?!?!?! How much are they paying you to sell their junk?

Without the details of how it fails for you I cannot help. Fact is it works, and works well for me and many others. I can't comment on your situation without more details.

David Chapman
March 15, 2010 12:34 PM

I have Vista Home Premium, SP2 (or whatever they call it!)

Can Acronis be used with DVD's, obviously taking only "snapshots" every so often ?

And, please Leo, how many reports have you had of easy and straightforward installations of Acronis. I'm obviously nervous after feading the above comment.



Glenn P.
March 23, 2010 1:57 PM

Does Acronis encrypt its backup files? I'm concerned about the security of my backups if someone gets ahold of the external backup drive!

Encryption is an option, yes.

March 28, 2010 9:18 AM

i used your advice to have my father try acronis. he just purchased an external hd to backup his internal hd. the acronis did not work. it caused his system to lockup the same day he made the purchase. the next day he tried it the system locked up while trying to backup to his external hd. this time he could not perform a hard shutdown. he had to unplug the power and turn it back on. i hope acronis is a reputable business and gives him a refund. he is not experienced with computers and just wants to take this software off of his system and to receive a refund. he requested a refund from the company the day after he made the purchase.

i learned my lesson and will go back to checking more sources from now on. this is not your fault nor do i blame you. i understand you had a good experience with their software. there do seem to be many bad reviews with the acronis software company and their product. you can check the number of bad reviews on amazons site. i like to take the ratios into consideration. there seem to be a high percentage of bad reviews. i wish i had checked before i had him make this purchase. it won't happen again.

caveat emptor

April 6, 2010 2:31 PM

Acronis seems to work well in saving, but whenever it tries to consolidate backups I get a sector 63 error. Anyone help me on that?

Also I saw someone who had the "non disk error, hit any key to start" problem. You can fix that by clicking on Protection State and activating the start up recovery manager. Chose the option that says F11

Ian Reid
April 20, 2010 3:23 PM

Does ACRONIS give you the opportunity of transfering the operating system from one HD to another HD or do you have to purchase another? I have an external HD but it doesnt save the operating system.

Yes, I recently uses Acronis to replace my hard drive by restoring my full backup - operating system and all - to a replacement drive.

April 29, 2010 7:53 PM

Leo Ė

Iím using Acronis True Image to create full backup images. How does a full backup restoration process works? Does Acronis (1) first delete everything from my hard drive and (2) then reinstalls the backup image? If so, what happens if something goes wrong during Phase 2 and the restoration fails? Am I stuck with having no system at all? What can I do in that situation? Seems like there could be some risk involved with the restoration process.


That's correct - restoration overwrites what's already on your machine. If you look at the video series How to Backup there's a video there that restores an image and you can see how it works.

Warren Schembri
May 3, 2010 5:12 AM

I am using Acronis Server Backup and Restore 10, can i use it to backup a bare metal NOS image over the network please?

May 6, 2010 10:30 PM


Full backup archive and disk image works almost perfectly under Acronis bootable disc, the other side is file/folder backup which is not as good as advertised, use Oops!Backup from Altaro instead

If you want to better understand Acronis True Image Home 2010 functionality see video tutorials and step-by-step instructions here


Kevin Foyle
May 28, 2010 2:27 PM

Is it true that I do not need to make a bootable CD to perform a full restore using Acronis if I have bought the actual CD i.e. I did not download it? I understand the bootable CD is already part of the CD's software.

June 26, 2010 5:41 AM

Can Acronis TrueImage Home 2010 read & backup from paths+filenames longer than 255 characters?
Can Acronis TrueImage Home 2010 restore to paths+filenames longer than 255 characters?
Can Acronis TrueImage Home 2010 read, backup and restore files larger than 2Gb?

Not 100% sure about the filenames, but I'm fairly convinced that if the filesystem supports it then Acronis can back it up. It regularly backs up files >2gig for me.

June 26, 2010 6:04 AM

Can Acronis TrueImage Home 2010 be used in combination with TrueCrypt hidden volumes?


August 3, 2010 4:35 PM

I'm not very experienced. How does one actually back up?

Many articles on the site on that topic if you search for it. I'll start you with this one: How do I backup my computer?

August 22, 2010 11:33 PM

Thanks Leo, this software seems promising and worth a try.

I've been using an old dated Ghost (v7) for backup. It's troublesome that I need to boot in DOS/Win98 mode first before creating backup/ restoring image. I also desire an incremental backup tools on directory /file level.

May I know if I can setup max versions of backup for each file in TrueImage? Will a new full backup remove all incremental backup versions? May I specify a single file / directory for backup?

Can I backup while running XP (without rebooting)? Can the backuped image be used to restore the OS (as Ghost cloned image)?

Lastly, have you written any review on Ghost? I wish to hear your opinion on this product (which seems so popular).

A big thank you, Leo! I'm glad to have read your many concise and helpful advice!

Bill Nelson
September 29, 2010 10:19 PM

I've used True Image 10 for a couple of years now and it has successfully recovered my data after I allowed a tech at a major AV software company troubleshoot my system by remote control and the system failed to boot afterwards. I used to follow Leo's recommended procedure of making a full backup and then having an automatic incremental backup daily until the new AV software appeared to create a failure daily. Now, I make a new image periodically booting from the ATI CD directly. I've got two external drives for my desktop an one for our laptop. I alternate between the two on the desktop. I do have a couple of grievances and a question. My computer hard drive is ~320 Gb. One external drive is a 750-Gb Seagate and the other is a 1Tb Samsung. Either way, it takes almost 20-hours to image and verify the PC. That's really a problem that prevents me from making images as often as I should. The laptop has a 120-Gb drive and a 120 Gb portable external drive. The internal hard drive is only about half full, but there's never enough room left for an incremental image. Should it take that long? I also wonder if verification is essential? I've never had a failure to verify, so far. I'd love to update to a newer version, but we're stuck with dialup and the updates are so large that it's simply impossible for me to download them. Buying the CD still required a download, so I'm stuck with ATI 10.

October 26, 2010 3:20 PM

Do you save more then 1 full backup of your machine?
How many incremental backups do you save? 1 month?

Just interested to know to give me an idea on how it's best for me. Thanks!!

Well, what's best for you is likely to be very different than what I do, but to answer your question: I save monthly backups for at least 3 months, quarterly backups for at least a year (I just delete the monthly backups that aren't at the end of a quarter), and year-end backups "forever" (I just delete the quarterly backups that aren't at the end of the year).

Pete Pirata
October 30, 2010 2:55 AM

I have bought Acronis Home 2010 2 months ago and having installed it and used it for backups, I have found it is not intuitive for the average user.
Your Videos have really been of great value.
Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide guidance and help for the "technical minnows".

Michael Irving
March 8, 2011 8:45 AM

I have Acronis True Image 10 Home which was purchased to back up my PC, files and Outlook (2007). The PC runs on Windows 7.

The problem I have is that on trying to back up my Outlook it says it does not back up Outlook in UNICODE format - if Acronis doesn't do it why not and what does at a reasonable price?

If you do a "disk" backup rather than some kind of email or other featured backup Acronis doesn't pay attention to the contents of any files, Outlook included. It just backs everything up.

Robin Clay
November 8, 2011 9:02 AM

About 30 years ago, I managed to overwrite a rather crucial program I had written, with another file of the same name. I had three back-ups, but by the time I realised, all three were of the "new" file.
So now I keep all old copies. i.e. an incremental back-up of sorts, but every file as it is backed up has the file date suffixed to the file name. That way, if the date is different it won't get over-written.
Is there software (ATI?) that will do this for me? I currently use a VBA routine I wrote, running in Excel.... NOT the best, but it works (sort of) (eventually) (with a little help) (when I remember, and have time to spare!)

Robin Clay
November 8, 2011 12:27 PM

Oh, and Acronis's WebSite doesn't allow you to contact them unless you have bought one of their proucts !

So I can't ask them that question !

I guess they don't want my custom. That's "salesmanship" for you...

Robert Anderson
November 8, 2011 3:03 PM

I was about to download ACRONIS True Image, but when I went to pay for it I saw the Australian price was over 20% higher than the US price. The exchange rate is, as I write, 104.3AU Cents to 100US Cents. This is close to a 25% RIP-OFF. Whilst you suggest that this is great product, I will find an alternative that is NOT a greedy rip-off company like Acronis..

June 14, 2012 8:10 AM

Sure you don't mean 'deprecated'?

David Wulp
July 6, 2012 7:13 PM

I have read, "This isn't a disrecommendation, per se, but rather a reflection of my discomfort continuing to recommend it at this time. Based on reader feedback and on what I'm seeing in the Acronis support forums I'm reluctant to recommend recent versions to the average consumer."

This does not answer the question of why you feel discomfit recommending Acronis. You also didn't answer the question of whether or not Macrim can read an Acronis back-up and, if not, how long should we overlap using both backups to be safe?

I take it "Based on reader feedback and on what I'm seeing in the Acronis support forums..." wasn't clear enough - basically lots of installation problems and poor customer support.
No, Macrium cannot read Acronis backups. Most all backup programs use proprietary backup formats which don't interchange.
I don't recommend overlapping. In fact, if Acronis is working for you as I said in the disclaimer I don't recommend switching at all. If you d o switch, just switch.
Kenny Driver
July 10, 2012 8:40 AM

MacriumReflect free does a great job of imaging your drives (partitions). Very fast and I don't think you would need anything else. I also use 1click restore to make a system backup ,for good measure.

September 26, 2012 5:05 PM

I just went to cnet to download the updated easeus backup program, which I already downloaded it some time ago Ver. 4.0 I have toyed with it from time to time, I just don't feel comfortable with this program.

the new update on cnet which I started to download and as I was going through the prompts I realized that it is full of bloated software, you can uncheck it, but I am sure that there will be others that .might not notice this and unfortunately they will be downloading a bunch of stuff that may not need.

I have downloaded quite a few programs from cnet and have never come across this incident , my suggestion to others is to keep your eyes open and not to be quick on the key..

December 30, 2012 10:12 PM

Read this thread to understand how much you're at risk if you still use Acronis, especially the later versions :

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.