24702: ATI 2012: Is it worth installing ?

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data7
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I just purchased and downloaded ATI 2012 for my new Dell XPS laptop.

After reading many of the reviews on this forum I am having serious doubts as to whether I should install it.

Does this software even work for the simplest, non-scheduled, backup/restore action for a single drive ?

GroverH
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If you want basic backup and recovery, TruemageHome excels at that function. There have been some issues regarding installation, etc so here would be my suggestion.

Register your serial number with Acronis and then download the bootable media option from your account. This file is an iso which you can burn to CD to create a Bootable media Recovery CD. This can be done before you do any installation of 2011. The CD created will be the same as the one you would normally create from the installed version.

Before any installation of 2011 or any other software, boot from the CD and do a full and complete backup of your new laptop. Be sure and use the validate option as part of the backup settings.

By performing the backup before you do any installs, you have the capability to put your system back to the same status as it was at time of the backup. This type backup would offer a safety factor for any software installations--not just Acronis.

Afterwards, you can then do your installation of 2011 and see if you want to use it. My use of TrueImage Home is strictly as a backup and recovery program and I choose not to use all the other bells and whistles.

6rtury
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Data7:

You don't say if you are a new user of Acronis TI or have used a previous version. I just updated to 2012 from 2010, and am sorry I did. This package is buggy as can be -- more of a beta version than a final release. They will probably get the bugs fixed eventually with new releases (soon I hope), but not without pain for the user. A short rundown of my gripes:

1, The Synch function is a disaster, poorly implemented and explained.
2. During incremental backups the "progress" of the backup remains at "calculating" when viewed within the program, and the icon in the system tray shows 0% completed until it's 100% completed. How helpful is that? How much extra effort would it take to give us an accurate progress indicator.
3. When various pieces of the program are loaded, such as a restore, no progress is shown at all, giving the appearance that the program has hung, until after a very long time a backup tree will appear showing what has been backed up. When I say a "long time" I mean an inordinately long time. My head is constantly under the desk checking for disk activity.
5. Spurious error messages appear in the middle of a backup. This could be because of checking a box to shut down after the backup. Not sure.

All in all, this is the most sluggish piece of software I've come across in a long time. I really miss my peppy TI 2010.

6rtury
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Data7:

You don't say if you are a new user of Acronis TI or have used a previous version. I just updated to 2012 from 2010, and am sorry I did. This package is buggy as can be -- more of a beta version than a final release. They will probably get the bugs fixed eventually with new releases (soon I hope), but not without pain for the user. A short rundown of my gripes:

1, The Synch function is a disaster, poorly implemented and explained.
2. During incremental backups the "progress" of the backup remains at "calculating" when viewed within the program, and the icon in the system tray shows 0% completed until it's 100% completed. How helpful is that? How much extra effort would it take to give us an accurate progress indicator.
3. When various pieces of the program are loaded, such as a restore, no progress is shown at all, giving the appearance that the program has hung, until after a very long time a backup tree will appear showing what has been backed up. When I say a "long time" I mean an inordinately long time. My head is constantly under the desk checking for disk activity.
5. Spurious error messages appear in the middle of a backup. This could be because of checking a box to shut down after the backup. Not sure.

All in all, this is the most sluggish piece of software I've come across in a long time. I really miss my peppy TI 2010.

data7
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Thanks very much for the comments!

I have used ATI Home 10 and 11 and I have been quite happy with the performance. It sounds like 2012 has some challenges.

GroverH, I have downloaded the installation and the iso file as you suggest.

Could you tell me the best way to burn it to CD ? I have a new version of Roxio on the new laptop.

I am reluctant to download freeware, as there is always a cost (if you know what I mean).

Are you suggesting I leave the verification turned on for the image creation?

Thanks for the help! :)

Richard Virtue
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Whether the 2012 edition is worth installing is one of those "your mileage may vary" questions. Much depends on what features you'd use and how you'd use them. For me, even if all the latest and greatest "bells and whistles" actually worked properly (which often seems a questionable supposition at best) my own usual practice is to disable as many of them as I can anyhow to free up the system resources they use.

Although I do install the full version of TIH+ under my machine's Windows OSes I seldom actually use them as installed there for anything more than purely incidental purposes -- restoring one or two "lost" file versions or whatever. Instead, all of my major backups, validations and restorations are done by using independently bootable Windows PE builds that include TIH+ along with several other "barebones rescue" utilities. That way I can be reasonably certain they'll be available and valid (ALWAYS validate) under "disaster" circumstances when most urgently needed. That involves a bit of extra work, of course, but it's a precaution that I'd highly recommend to anyone.

So, from that perspective, version updates are really only worth it insofar as one wishes to keep current with the most recent Acronis version compatibility for the backups themselves. The rest is mostly "eye candy" and frills which are usually better handled in other ways so far as I'm concerned.

6rtury
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Richard,

Agree with you about version updates. My practice is to update no more than every other major update; thus, I went from 2010 to 2012. The "bell" that got my attention was the synch function, thinking it was a local function. Sadly disappointed to discover it required some Acronis intervention and more than one license for local synching to another computer in my system. This piece is really awkward and cumbersome.

GroverH
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Richard wrote:
GroverH, I have downloaded the installation and the iso file as you suggest.

Could you tell me the best way to burn it to CD ? I have a new version of Roxio on the new laptop.

I am reluctant to download freeware, as there is always a cost (if you know what I mean).

Are you suggesting I leave the verification turned on for the image creation?

Most likely, Roxio could burn this but it has to be burn as a disk image--not as a data image. A good free program (no overhead) is ImgBurn.

As for validation, I do suggest that you validate as part of the backup creation but the monthly/weekly validation option can be turned off.

A good starting point would be to create the first backup (before installation) when booted from the 2012 Bootable Recovery CD. As 2011 and 2012 are so totally different from past versions, I recommend you spend some time with the 2012 help file and the 2012 user guide--both along the left margin. The help file is a good overview and a must read for any user updating from a older version.

The images below show some of the features and changes of the 2012 version as it relates to backups.


Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5


Image 6


Image 7


Image 8


Image 9


Terry Steilen
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I would suggest that you try a backup and restore as a test. Acronis recommends this as well. I did it for the 2011 version and it failed. They also failed to fix the problem, even though the ticket was open for more than 6 months. It seems that they did try. They did an experiment that did work, but it never made it into the production code, and the test fix expired in 10 days. So good luck, I wish you well. But do try a backup and restore before relying on the product.

And remember, that even though a backup and validation are completely successful, there is no guarantee that the restore will work. My test validated, but did not restore. I have switched over to another product, and will not come back untill the forum folks start talking positive rather than negative.

Colin B
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Terry,

You might be waiting a long time :) . Don't forget forums like this are essentialy used by people who either have problems with TIH or don't like something, few people find something works for them and go racing off to broadcast their excitement.

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data7
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GroverH,

Thanks for all the information!

I tried to create a bootable CD using the iso file downloaded from Acronis using an older version of Roxio, but it failed to boot on an older Dell laptop running XP.

I have heard that ImgBurn will try to install a toolbar when you install the download. Is that correct?

Also, is there anyway to look over the Help files, as you suggest, before actually installing ATI 2012 ?

Thanks. :)

GroverH
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Regarding ImgBurn. I am not aware of a tool bar. I uninstalled my not so current ImgBurn. Downloaded the current ImgBurn and installed. During the installation, there was no toolbar options and after the install, I do not find any tool bars installed. I am using the most current Firefox. what tool bar is supposedly being installed?

It is your choice. There are other free burn programs other than ImgBurn. Some are listed in the Acronis links.
http://kb.acronis.com/content/1810

The 2012 help files are along the left margin of this webpage.

data7
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GroverH,

Thanks for the links!

It sounds like the info I received regarding ImgBurn was incorrect. I will give it a try.

Is it okay to download the ImgBurn product to an XP machine and then create a bootable CD (with the acronis iso file) and then boot, and and subsequently backup a Win 7 box ?

I am trying to create one or two images of a brand new laptop. (before going online with it)

GroverH
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The download iso file is generic. Burn on one machine-- Use on another.

data7
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Thanks again!

I see that "ImageBurn" is downloadable from cnet downloads or the imageburn.com site.

Is this the link you used for the download ?

http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download

GroverH
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Either will do. I downloaded from Major Geeks but your links will work just as well.

hhansard
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Have found (and have had confirmed by other users) 4 serious bugs in 2012 in the first two days of use. I would use the last patched version of 2011 until 2012 is fixed.

data7
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A little update since I last posted.

Be careful when you Google imgburn in prep for the download. I apparently clicked on a malware link by accident and my AV software (Nod32) kept me from being compromised. I avoided getting the toolbar I mentioned earlier by noticing the option to "de-select" the check boxes for this item. Good for me.

I was able to download ImgBurn and burn the ATI 2012 iso to a CD.

Unfortunately I could not get ATI 2012 to open once I booted from the CD I just created. It was looking for all the volumes and never loaded the software. I was trying it on an older Pentium 4 however. I waited about 5 minutes, perhaps that is not long enough.

I will give it a try on my new i5 laptop.

data7
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Another update. I was able to boot my new i5 laptop from the bootable (iso) CD and make a backup of the new machine.

I did not select "Verify", as I only selected the defaults. I did not see a way to perform a verification once the backup was complete though.

I guess the only way I will know for sure is to install a new HDD and perform a "restore".

That is my next step. I am trying to make as sure as I can that I can restore the machine when needed.

GroverH
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You can validate the backup as it is being created or your can validate later as a separate process. H

This pdf link can be helpful in selecting the validation option as part of the backup. Validation is not part of the default settings. User must know to select the validation option.
http://forum.acronis.com/sites/default/files/forum/2009/11/5940/2010-tih...

Below is the "later after backup" validation process when using the bootable media recovery CD.

data7
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Thanks for the help! I will give it a try.

I will feel better if it validates okay. :)

Quatrix
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GroverH wrote:

Before any installation of 2011 or any other software, boot from the CD and do a full and complete backup of your new laptop. Be sure and use the validate option as part of the backup settings.

By performing the backup before you do any installs, you have the capability to put your system back to the same status as it was at time of the backup.

Wow, what? Full backup and validation before installing any piece of software?

GroverH
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Quatrix.
As I wrote, the key word I used was "capability". This capability is an asset. The user has the capability to perform a pristine backup before the install is performed. Many users like this capability. This capability offers the user a choice.Some users never install and only work from the Bootable Media CD

My post was an informational post. Most software must be installed before usable. TrueImage can be used without installing--if the user wants to create a backup of their system before any installation. Registering your software with Acronis, then downloading the bootable media and burning that file to CD as an image provides the user with the capability to perform such a backup regardless of whether there is an install or not. It's a matter of personal choice.

crescere
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No, do not pay good money for this program. It does not even do the most basic back up of files correctly. This program should never have been released. From day one it would not even do a backup without errors until I went online and got drivers from a tech support person. Now it backs up both my c-drive and my external hard drive when I ONLY asked it to do the external drive. Who know what other bugs exist.

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crescere,
So that viewers might understand the bug, can you clarify "Now it backs up both my c-drive and my external hard drive when I ONLY asked it to do the external drive."

Selection of the system partition is a default setting. User is provided an opportunity to uncheck or make other choices. Was drive C unchecked when your backup was created.

There is also a disk option whereby you select the contents of backup by selecting a specific whole disk--rather than selecting individual partitions.  The disk selection view is below.

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What I want to do is very simple. My 300 GB computer has run out of room on the hard drive, and I do not have enough room to add another internal drive. It is an HP Pavilion Slimline desktop that is smaller than a normal tower. I have backed up data files to a 2TB Seagate external hard drive. This means that there are files ONLY on the Seagate and I want to back that up.

I used Acronis True Image Home 2012 to backup my Seagate external drive to a new 3 TB WD external hard drive. Unfortunately it backed up BOTH the documents on my C-drive and on the Seagate hard drive. I did not select the files on my c-drive; the program just automatically does it. This takes up valuable space on my WD drive. Apparently the people at Acronis know about this but have done nothing to fix it according to your tech suport.

How do I get to the "disk option" you mention?

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crescere, I learned the hard way just like you. When 2011 first came out, it took me some time to figure out where everything was and 2012 is similar. The user must look behind all the buttons to see what options are available. One thing I also learned the hard way was to look carefully for any pre-checked options which may not be appropriate for your intentions. If you want to backup only the entire external disk, then disk mode is the correct option. Also available as part of the backup task options is the exclude files option.

I also learned that in order to make the options more visible, maximize the screen size.

To get to the disk mode option for the selection of the entire disk, disk mode can be accessed here.

If you have the room, be sure you have new backups before you delete old backups.

crescere
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I was using "file backup" with an incremental scheme. Is all this in there? Will what you have recommended allow me to do incremental backups each time I put new data into the Seagate drive? I will have to look at the program later to find what you are mentioning. thanks for the help.

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Crescere,

First, the prior attachments I have shown relate to the disk/partition backup type--not the file backup type.

If you set the proper exclusions, I believe you could successfully use either the disk/partition backup type or the file backup type.  Set your exclusions to exclude the *.tib backup files to be included within the backup.


Excluding files or file types from backup





1. As for the backup type,
a.  choose the custom type backup scheme and then choose either incremental or differential.  (see note)
b. set your desired number of incs or difs before a new full is created
c. Choose the automatic cleanup
d. set how many different chains you wish to keep.
e. choose whether to keep the original backup.

2. In the backup options, checkmark the validate option so validation will occur immediately following each backup. Validation always includes each incremental so the validation time will increase as the number of incremental files increase.

Note: If you choose incremental, be sure and limit the number of incrementals so as to keep the number of incremental to something reasonable. If any of the inc's are corrupt, all the newer incs are useless. I prefer the diff type but they require more space.

You should be able to get what you want but it may take a little trial and error or perseverance.

crescere
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Wow Grover. I appreciate that, and I will check it out, but if Acronis requires that much work for the user wouldn't it be better to go with another program like Genie?

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@ crescere
On the file backup side, ATI is between Genie Backup Manager Pro and Genie Timeline Pro. Since Genie Backup Manager is a bit outdated (still functional though), ATI is for users that demand more features, control and flexibility than Genie Timeline (PS: I am a big fan of Genie Timeline (Pro) and an actual user of Genie products). I moved away, though, from file backups that store files in compressed containers because 90% of my file volume is made of already larger, compressed format files.

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data7
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I am the OP and I was wondering if anyone knows if using the built-in Dell XPS backup capability will buy me anything (more peace of mind), or detract in any way from the backups I am already doing with ATI 2012 ?

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the built in feature on Dell's new boxes actually backups up to a separate "zone" or partition on the HDD created especially for this task.

I guess I was also wondering if I can accomplish to post-backup validation using the bootable "iso" CD I used to create the backup of the new laptop ?

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Pat L
I appreciate your honesty. I just want simple file archiving/backup and Acronis is designed for complex tasks like disks partitions and such. For whatever reason Acronis can not accomadate my simple needs.

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Data7,

I can't comment on how well the Dell backup utilities performs as I don't have a Dell or access to that software, but a word of caution, if the Dell uses a 'zone' to hold the backups/images then this will be basically the same as using the Acronis Secure Zone. There is a use for such a thing but be warned, it is not a secure (as in your ability to restore a backup in times of need) method as if the drive fails all your backups are lost, no matter whose system you use.

If the Dell software allows the 'zone' to be on separate drive as True Image in 2011 and 2012 allows then why not compare the two?

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Pat L
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@crescere,

How do you back up your system (OS and apps)?

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crescere
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Pat L
I admit I do not entirely understand what else Acronis does. My computer is several years old and if it went down I would probably just get a Windows 7 machine with a bigger internal hard drive. I think Vista is ok, but I have read Windows 7 is better. The files I really care about are the ones on the Seagate external drive. As for aps I could just re-load programs I have like Quicken, ATV programs, Disk cloner, etc on to the new computer. Right? Excel and Word would come with the new computer. Am I looking at this right?

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The core value of ATI is to do disk and partition backup (aka images) that are done at the sector level (like a clone). This allows you to restore your computer in case your disk dies, for example. Once you have it, you quickly learn that it is easy to roll back (infection, problem with the OS or new app).

If you don't care about the pain involved with reinstalling the OS, the updates, the applications, the settings then you don't need a system image. You are looking at it right.

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I regretted the day I paid for and upgraded from 2010 to 2011 and had nothing but problems and was very dissappointed and disallusioned with this 'so say' upgrade, and it ain't looking to good for this 2012 if the posts are anything to go by, I can appreciate users who are happy with their purchase not posting, but some of these problems and feedbacks do not bode well with me. Count me out for an upgrade at this moment in time I'll let a few more revisions/fixes come out first, then re assess. I'm not sure what Acronis are playing at, they had a good product, but seem to be be on a self destruction path at present.
I think with me, when you have all these problems with the backup software, it unnerves you with possibly the fact that all the backups you have religously done may fail like the software does.
In my humble opinion I think they have over complicated things. I'm not wishing to compare software on here but some of the free versions of backup software are simple and they do work, without unnecessary bells and whistles to coin a phrase.
Hope those who have purchased 2012 do not have any problems and if they do can overcome them without too much hassle.

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Alan:

When I read Pat L's comments I started to think it may be good to keep Acronis for the OS and other program backups, but I too have some trust problems since Acronis can not even backup files. I have since downloaded Genie products and they perfoem what I want correctly without "double loading" the C-drive data. That is a SERIOUS mistake that Acronis knew about, but they have done ntohing to fix it. That is just plain LAZY on their part.

In addition to Genie there are other programs form various companies that do it to. One is called "OPPS."

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Just like to add my comments on ATI 2012.
I found in order to install this version, I had to disable my anti-virus program (NIS 2012) during the actual installation otherwise it would not install. I kept NIS running during the download but turned it off and disconnected from the internet just during the installation of ATI.
Now as far as the actual operation of this new version of ATI, I have found that it caused my computer to be more than just sluggish as mentioned in previous posts. In many cases, using the program caused my computer to operate just short of a virtual standstill. Even when I did not use the Non-Stop backup (which requires 1G of ram), the situation was only slightly improved. Numerous program glitches and errors were encountered some of which have been noted by other users here. The solution for me was to uninstall ATI 2012 and reinstall the 2011 version which I had initially upgraded from. Night and day difference! The latest build of 2011 works as it should at a respectable speed.
Only because I had been satisfied with 2011 and previous versions did I decide to give 2012 a try. As a matter of fact, I had recommended ATI 2011 to others. ATI 2012 definitely needs a major overhaul before I will give it another try.

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GroverH
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crescere,

Perhaps you would be interested in signature index item #12.

crescere
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Grover. What is signature index 12 and how do I find it?

GroverH
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Click on the first line of my signature below and browse the posting until you find index item #12. This #12 is a listing of methods used by others to back up their data using a variety of methods.

You can also access the same index by using the "Grover's Guides" link along the left margin under "Useful Links."

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Grover that is all very interesting, but I prefer to have an easy and intuitive program to use. I have been testing Genie’s and Nova’s backup systems. With both of them you just select your data source and the drive to which it will be placed and go. One should not have to find “hidden” ways and workarounds to make Acronis work. The responsibility lies with the Acronis people to make their program usable.

data7
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I am the OP, and I thought I would provide an update regarding my use of ATI 2012 via the iso file burned to a CD as rescue media.

I have successfully made a number of full image backups (with verification turned on) to my USB passport HDD. All appears to have gone well.

My next step is to verify my first two image backups (I had verification turned off) to make sure they are okay. I have no reason to think they are bad, but always best to verify.

Then I plan to purchase a new 500GB HDD and swap it into my new Dell XPS and try to restore. The remove/replace operation for the HDD looks fairly easy.

I will give an update when I finish this part.

I see the built-in Dell backup reminder, which backs up to a different partition. AFAIK, there is no reason to use this if I use ATI 2012. Does anyone have experience with the Dell backup process ? :)

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The short answer is that if Home 10 and 11 worked for you, they will continue to work for you as well as you expect, and you won't have new problems to deal with. The biggest advantages of the new versions are for users not familiar with the old interface. You are better off buying copies of the old version if you need more licenses.

There are some changes with respect to backup strategies, but the old ones weren't bad and the new ones still fall short of what mainframes had decades ago in terms of daily, weekly, and monthly backups based on incremental and differential strategies. We still haven't gotten to the point that PC software companies have stopped trying to reinvent the wheel rather than looking at what wheels looked like to begin with.