Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Maintenance and Backup
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
I definitely agree, in most cases. I have found that by setting all my data to save to folders within My Documents (it took some minor tweaking to do that in Win7) backing up the My Documents and the Local Settings and AppData folders I was able to save all of my personal data. However, I definitely don't think that's a good idea for the average user.
Is is possible for the backup program to incrementally back up to the disk IMAGE, as well as to a "regular" backup? I've been trying to puzzle out the settings in Acronis True Image, as well as a couple other such programs, and their docs are ambiguous.
Does an image back-up include the operating system? If my internal hard drive dies, what is required to restore the back-up to a new replacement hard drive? Is an image back-up the same as a mirror image (or did I just make that term up)?
Yes, the image back-up includes the OS, it's literally everything, including settings and drivers (the software that makes your hardware work). When you create the image, the software you used will probably have you make a boot CD or some way to boot the system after a crash. This CD or flash-drive boot image will be how you start the computer after you remove your crashed drive and put the new/empty hard drive in (new drive usually has to be the same size or bigger than the one that crashed). That boot process will then tell you something like "click here to restore your image". Typically this image file that it needs will be stored on either removable media (like an external HD) or on a network (which may or maynot be accessible from the bootup process...usually best to use the external HD)
Most important thing...DO NOT store your image file on the same hard drive that you made the image of...if it crashes, you've lost the image file too.
"I've been trying to puzzle out the settings in Acronis True Image, as well as a couple other such programs, and their docs are ambiguous."
I agree. I am quite disappointed with the Acronis user interface. You would think a 130 page user guide would provide the answers but I continue to struggle. The product does not seem to do what it says. Example - it asks you for a limit on the maximum number of backup files to store. Then, it just keeps adding them beyond that limit. What's up with that?
If you want to get at your data only, make sure you do not use the native Windows7 facilities. The backup files it creates you cannot mount/read. That is different with free Macrium (that I always recommend) or Norton Ghost or Acronis. Here you can mount the data and manipulate it at your will.
Using imaging for data is especially easy if you have a seperate data partition. Then you can image the data only one day and the system another day.
Acronis has gotten to the point of doing TOO much and is over complicated for the general user. Their newest 2010 system has a bug in the "One Click" desktop icon. They don't monitor the forum complaints and one must set aside "reserved spaces" for the backups. Much of their requirements can/should be simplified.
I use Clonezilla to image only my OS's.
All my data is on a large NTFS partition and I manually back that up to an external drive regularly.
The OS images are stored on a 16 GB flash drive and
on external drives as well.
I create new images frequently and perform a restore with each while in Clonezilla to make sure
the images are OK. I then save them to my external
drive and delete the oldest images.
I can restore from the flash drive and the process takes a few minutes.
Norton Ghost always does the business for me.
I also use Acronis TrueImage, and it works great.
Recently I tried Google Chrome browser. I did not like it. And when I uninstalled it, it did not completely uninstall. So I copied my "My Documents" folder to my backup disk, reinstalled from my last image backup, deleted the "My Documents" folder, copied the saved "My Documents" folder back, and in 40 minutes I was back up and working again.
No problem! Acronis TrueImage is great.
To post a comment on "What good is an image backup if I just want to backup and restore my data?", please return
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