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Why does Acronis backup the whole size of the hard drive?

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Posts: 8
Comments: 6

When I create a backup on my computer, it's backing up the main OS partition, along with the smaller partitions. Now, I think when it backups, it's backing up the used space so it doesn't really take too long. Here's the problem. When I try to restore from a backup, it gives me a list of the partitions: The main OS and the other partitions. For the main OS, it's showing the size at 931 gb. Why am I trying to backup THE WHOLE SIZE of the hard drive?! So when I go to restore all the partitions back, it starts the restore process and it is taking A LONG TIME for obvious reasons (it is restoring the size of the entire hard drive). This is not what I wanted. I wanted to back up and restore only the used space of the main OS partition, along with the other partitions. And even if I do attempt to restore from a Windows backup, it will inevitably fail during the restore process (i.e. sector errors (even though there's nothing wrong with my hard drive)) or after the restore process I'll run into a boot error because of a missing bootloader or something.

If I had known this was going to happen, I would have just copy and pasted, or using Acronis on desktop to backup, all the USED stuff on my main OS partition, plus the other partitions. Why would it do that?!

And this is not just with Acronis. If I try to restore a Manjaro Linux system from a backup image with Clonezilla, it takes just as long, if not longer. Why? Because it's trying to restore the size of the entire hard drive.

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Posts: 137
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I suspect there is some confusion here; there is a difference between the size of the partition and the amount of data contained on the partition (which is less); unless you do a sector-by-sector backup only the files are included in the back-up (so files are excluded, for example hibernation files and other temporary system files which are automatically recreated by the PC).  I am unsure why restoration is taking noticeably longer than creation of the backup; one possibility is the backup is on a USB HDD and when you created the backup it was attached to a USB 3 port but when you restored it was attached to a USB 2 port.


Posts: 8
Comments: 6


Yeah, maybe somewhere along the way I probably set one of my backups to backup sector by sector. I dunno, I just thought maybe it was safer or better to do that. I definitely did not want to restore the entire capacity of the hard drive/main OS partition back. I just wanted to restore the used stuff back to the partition.

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What is the size of your backup image .tib file here?

If you are using sector-by-sector mode for the backup and your source drive is 1TB, then the backup image file size would be getting towards a similar size.

There is a difference between what you are backing up and the sizes shown when recovering as Acronis recognises the size of partition / drive where it came from and is being written to and will automatically adjust to try to fit into the available space, hence you can recover to a larger or smaller size drive and Acronis will try to fit the data to that size.