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Your machine has crashed, and the hard disk reformatted or replaced - it's time to restore your entire machine from an image.

You're going along happily until one day your machine dies. It turns out to be the hard drive, and everything on it has been lost. Not to worry - you've been backing up regularly!

In this video, part of our backing up series, we'll walk through restoring your entire machine from one of your backups.

(Downloadable mp4 - 29,862,207 bytes)
(Downloadable wmv - 4,174,519 bytes)

Transcript

Hello everyone. This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.net.

So you're going along and you wake up one morning, you reboot your machine and...nothing.

Turns out your hard disc has died. Either you replace your machine or you replace your hard disc. But now the question is, how do your restore what you've been backing up?

Remember that so far in our backup series...

Now comes the ultimate test.

We're going to use that bootable rescue media we created in step two to restore our entire machine.

When you boot from that media, you actually are given the choice to try and boot from whatever's on your hard drive right now which, in this case, of course, would be nothing, or to fire up Acronis TrueImage.

Acronis may take a couple of minutes to load but, once you do, you should find a very familiar interface because, in fact, the stand alone version of Acronis is Acronis.

So, in order to restore, we'll go over to backup and restore, manage and restore.

In this case now, we need to browse for backups.

Here's our external drive that contains our backups.

We will pick one of the backup files. Typically you'll pick the most recent file to restore from.

And, once again, pick that same file in Acronis's list. And, right clicking, we'll restore.

We're going to restore the whole disc and partitions.

We need to select both the data, the primary partition on the drive, as well as, the master boot record and track zero.

We need to choose a location on our empty hard drive on where this data should be placed.

Now in this particular case, since I actually have only one location it could potentially go to, the choice is actually very simple.

After a few seconds of identifying what the possible locations on your machine are, you'll now get to choose, in this case, the unallocated space on the 32 gigabyte drive I've been using in my example.

We'll accept that as the location, the partition type is the primary. Partition size, hit next.

The master boot record needs to also go on that same 32 gigabyte hard drive.

There are no options that I'm going to choose here.

The summary screen and we proceed.

And off we go.

As you might imagine the restoration process can take some time depending on the size of the image that you are trying to restore.

I'm going to, through the magic of some video editing, make that time disappear.

And that's it.

Now, in about 90 percent of the cases, you're done.

You can remove your boot media, your restoration media, and reboot your machine and you will actually reboot into an image of, or into the operating system you had it as of the day that you took that backup.

You've simply copied everything back from your backup image.

Now, those other 10 percent, occasionally there are a couple of issues and we'll look at that in another video.

Article C3876 - September 22, 2009 « »

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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.

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15 Comments
JohnSS
September 29, 2009 7:34 AM

My Programe "Acronis 10 Home".I did a full backup of active Drive "C". Stored on diferent partition of same Hard Drive When I came to restore it. I got a message -Need to reboot M/C I did, m/c restarted about 3rd step ,\stopped and hung would go no further. repeated the restore several times same results. I have had this program about 2 years and used it several times with no problem. Now this happens. ???
What am I doing wrong. Please help if possible

Pat Jones
September 29, 2009 7:49 AM

Leo, I will be upgrading to Windows 7 probably using a 64-bit machine in the near future. I notice that Acronis is already advertising Acronis 2010. The questions are: (1) will older versions such as Acronis, versions 2009, 11, 10 and 9 work with Windows 7; and (2) will the same older versions of Acronis still work with a 64-bit machine?

I think Acronis is only claiming Windows 7 support with the latest version, but for the record the videos I created were all Windows 7, running Acronis TrueImage Home 2009. Their knowledgebase seems to indicate that 64bit should just work.
Leo
30-Sep-2009

Dennis Ganann
September 29, 2009 3:30 PM

Hi Leo
When you do a restore, does it automatically format the new hard drive? Or does a new hard drive need to be formatted before you do this with your Windows XP disc?
Thanks,
Dennis

It really depends on the state that the replacement hard drive is in, but most of the time they're pre-formatted, or already formatted from prior use. Restoring the image overwrites any previous data as needed.
Leo
30-Sep-2009

John Morse
September 30, 2009 12:52 PM

Hi, There seems to be a problem with the mp4 download. I have tried downloading it twice. Both Quicktime and Real cannot open the file. Any suggestions??

VLC player can play it. Or download the WMV. Or watch it on YouTube. Lots of options!
Leo
01-Oct-2009

Mark B
October 31, 2009 10:38 AM

Leo -- Great site, thanks!

I want to buy a cheap machine with XP on it, use Acronis TI to save the original image of the hard drive on external media, then format the hard drive for DOS (wiping out XP) and use an old dos program (don't ask why!). If at some later time I want to restore the original XP onto the machine (wiping out dos), will the TI bootable media reformat the drive for XP so the restore is easy? If not, and if I don't have XP CDs to format the drive, how do I prepare the drive for the TI restore? Thanks very much --

PS -- Although it might be easier to just create a DOS partition, I don't think I want a dual-boot system since I want the machine to boot only into dos without a boot menu (unless I can do that with a dual-boot system -- then I guess it would be better to use a partitioning program to do that.)

As long as you create the Acronis Bootable Media to boot from, when you restore an image you're restoring everything - the boot sector, the OS, the applications, the data - as of the time you took the image. No additional XP CD required.
Leo
01-Nov-2009

Mark B
October 31, 2009 11:37 AM

I may have found the answer -- when I want to re-create the XP installation, I can boot TI from the CD and use the TI utilities to "add a new disk," -- i.e., the hard drive, then partitioning the hard drive as NTFS, then just restoring the xp disk .tib backup to the hard drive, right?

Steven Karsh
November 30, 2009 5:54 PM

Hi Leo:

How would Acronis work to restore an image of a netbook, if you had to replace the hard drive? It has no CD drive. Could you boot from a USB flash drive or external hard drive? Maybe have virtual CD on an external drive to run the image iso?

Personally I have a USB CD-ROM that can be booted from. Since not all applications support the no-CD scenario, it's nice to have it availble. That beign said, I believe that you can create a bootable recovery flash drive with Acronis.
Leo
01-Dec-2009

Steven Karsh
December 7, 2009 6:05 PM

Hi Leo:

Thanks for your answer to my previous question. Now I have another:

At the end of your video "Restoring An Image..." you mentioned that 10% of the time, there might be issues that complicate restoring an image - what are they?

ian murray
June 8, 2010 10:17 AM

[At the end of your video "Restoring An Image..." you mentioned that 10% of the time, there might be issues that complicate restoring an image - what are they?]Hi Leo,I would like to know the answer too please.Do you have another video? Thanks Ian

Two classes of issues: you'll notice I avoid "one click backup", and the "secure zone" offered by the product. Restoring more traditional full and incremental backups as I've shown here is typically solid.

Second, occasionally the boot media that comes with, or that you create, with Acronis won't work, or won't recognize the external drive. Acronis has supplied an alternate boot media for me (without knowing that I do this web site). Each time that resolved the issue. Take away: test the boot media you create to make sure it boots, and that it recognizes your external drive.
Leo
09-Jun-2010

John Adamson
August 10, 2010 2:00 PM

Leo .. Very helpful video.

Concerning your "take away" response to a question regarding the problem 10%, you suggest making sure the Acronis boot disk to make sure it boots and recognizes your external drive.

Mine does indeed boot, but it recognizes the external as Drive C, and can't seem to find the new internal that I want to restore to.

Any suggestions? Should I format the new HD off my system disk?

I'd contact Acronis support - they may be able to help (occasionally they provide a different recovery boot disk image that "sees" more. No idea why it's not part of the product.)
Leo
14-Aug-2010

Seekandfind
September 12, 2010 9:01 AM

I am STUCK at the exact same point where I have the .tib files but Acrnois cannot see the C drive. The bootable media worked just last week for me. Then I lost whole disk and now it won't recognize my internal hard drive C, but sees the external. I made the .tibs with a free version of Acronis. I contacted Acronis support, Acronis Forum, many web sites for help, only can find a torrent and have no idea what is in it. How can I get this bootable media that "SEES"? My acronis version is a free version that was given out with the serial called Acronis True Image Persoanl version 10.
--so frustrated, and thanks for help

Mark
November 14, 2010 10:01 AM

To Seekandfind,

If you have only personal version of Acronis True Image support team will not probably resolve the issue as you need Acronis bootable disc with the latest Linux drivers. This boot CD can be provided only for full versions of Acronis True Image. As a workaround you may upgrade Personal version to ATIH 2011.

regards
Mark
http://www.allacronis.com

Pedro van Marissing
November 26, 2010 6:23 AM

Acronis does not restore most of the licensed programs. I still have to reinstall them. What is the reason? Are they not supposed to run once more without a new installation?
Thank you very much!

If you restore a full disk image, TrueImage should restore everything - Windows, installed programs, data - everything. Has for me every time I've used it.
Leo
27-Nov-2010

alexanderd
November 11, 2012 5:25 AM

great article and worthy of publication, I asume it relates to Acronis 12! I am using windows 7 64Bit and a UEFI system have you a video showing how to restore such a system? I have Acronis True Image 2013. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Mark J
November 11, 2012 8:30 AM

@Alexander
The article refers to Acronis TrueImage Home 2009. Leo now recommends Macrium Reflect .

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