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Moving from Norton Ghost to True Image 2010

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I'm currently using Norton Ghost 2003, running under DOS from a bootable USB thumbstick, to clone my Windows XP system and personal data partition to a backup partition on a second internal SATA drive. It has served me well, and I LIKE that:

* It runs outside of the Windows partition it is cloning - that makes me feel good :)
* It's fast and reliable

I DON'T LIKE that it has poor support for USB and I'm unable to save a backup image to the large external USB hard drive which I have. So I'm seriously thinking of moving to True Image 2010.

I'm sure TI2010 will be able to do backups to the external USB hard drive with useful options like "incremental" and "differential". But I'm unsure how much of my Ghost 2003 functionality it will have, and therefore whether I will need to retain it. So I have the following questions:

* Can TI2010 do a partition-to-partition backup; in other words completely replicate the C: partition on my internal SATA drive 1 to the F: partition on my internal SATA drive 2 ?

* If so, can it do that operating outside Windows in the same way that Ghost operates from a DOS environment?

* And if it can do that, what is the bootable media? CD/DVD? Would it be possible to put the necessary TI2010 code on a bootable USB thumbstick?

Sorry for so many questions. Please keep the answers simple - I'm a retired pensioner, not a young "geek" :)


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True Image can do all of what you ask. No problem in asking questions - much better to ask them ahead of time!

TI 2010 can be run from bootable media. Personally, this is the only way I use TI. You have a wide range of choices of what to use for the bootable media, and the way TI runs from the various bootable media. Here are a few of the options:

1. Linux-based bootable media versions. One of these versions is made from a bootable media media that is part of the installed product, and can be put on a USB thumbstick, burned to a CD/DVD, or saved as an ISO image file that you can burn to a CD with appropriate software yourself. Another of these versions is downloaded from your user account as an ISO image file, that you can then burn to a CD yourself. Also, with these ISO files, you can create a bootable USB thumbstick (or USB hard drive for that matter) using a free bootmanager called Grub4DOS. So from these two Linux-based versions alone you have a range of bootable media that one can use. These Linux versions do have one problem in having sometimes inadequate driver support for your particular hardware. But they operate independently of any installed operating systems and are full GUI applications.

2. BartPE (Preinstalled Environment) version. Acronis supplies a "plugin" that you use to make an ISO image file using the freeware BartPE builder. This is a "Windows-like" environment that is based on core Win XP functionality (you have to have a XP installation disk to make this work). Again, with the ISO file, one can make a CD/DVD or a bootable USB drive to run it (with Grub4DOS). This has better driver support than the Linux versions, and runs independently of any installed operating system.

3. WinPE (Preinstallation Environment) version. Using the same "plugin" for TI, if one gets the Plus Pack along with the base True Image, a WinPE build ISO image file can be made with another media builder that is part of the Plus Pack. You have to get the free "Windows Automated Installation Kit" (WAIK) from Microsoft and install it for the WinPE ISO builder to work. Again, you have choices of how to use this ISO image file - CD/DVD, bootable USB, etc. This has the best driver support than any of the previous versions, and I use the WinPE version exclusively myself.

I've used all of the above several different ways: bootable CD, bootable USB thumbdrive (for Linux version made from Acronis bootable media builder), bootable USB thumbdrive (based on Grub4DOS with Linux and WinPE versions available), bootable external USB hard drive (based on Grub4DOS), and BIOS-selected secondary internal drive (SATA 2) booted with Grub4DOS (multiple ISO version available). You have many options and choices available with True Image!

You can get more information about any of these. I was just describing some of the options.

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Thanks for the detailed and informative response. It sounds as if I shall be able to do all I want to do, even though the "learning curve" looks a bit steep!

I hadn't appreciated the Linux angle. My son gave me a version of Ubuntu on a bootable memory stick, and I used that for a while to make images of my C: drive on the external USB hard drive. I simply ran a script he had prepared for me. As I recall, it was possible because Linux can treat a whole partition just like a file. I'm guessing the Linux-based bootable media versions of TI2010 do something similar but presumably with many more configuration options. I stopped using that method because it was just too slow - Linux was copying the complete 160Gb partition even though it was only 30% used.

Just to recap, the 3 back-up activities I want to be able to carry out are:

1) Cloning my C: partition on internal SATA drive 1 to the F: partition on internal SATA drive 2
2) Create an image file of my C: partition to an external USB hard drive
3) Do incremental/differential backups of essential data - MyDocs, browser profiles, eMails etc - to the external USB hard drive

I would want to run 1) and 2) from outside Windows using a bootable memory stick, and 3) from within WindowsXP

From what you say, that should all be possible.

Thanks again for your help.


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Nice writeup Gary,

Be careful in your use of the term "cloning" because it has different meanings to TrueImage users.

True Image Home performs cloning at disk level. When you clone one disk to the next, the target disk loses everything and assumes the content of the source.

Cloning my C: partition on internal SATA drive 1 to the F: partition on internal SATA drive 2

To achieve what you want to do, you will need to use 2010 to create a image of the disk and then restore only the C partition of your XP system.

If you have other partitions on your source disk, these are not included in your backup of the C only partition and you would need to create a more complete backup where all partitions are included in the backup.

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That's interesting.

On Ghost 2003 I can clone Disk>Disk or Partition>Partition. Are you saying TI2010 can only do Disk>Disk?


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Not really. For True Image, clone means to make an exact duplicate of an entire physical disk with all its partitions to another disk, with the possibility to resize the partitions if you are "cloning" to a physical disk of a different size. It is not a backup function, rather a system transfer function. With True Image, you can make an image of the entire disk, i.e. all the partitions, or any of the partitions individually or in any combination. This is not "cloning" in True Image terminology, it is imaging, and it is the main backup strategy. You can then restore from these images in any way you would like to, whether it be the entire physical disk with all it partitions or any individual or combination of partitions, whatever you like. Imaging and restoring together make up what you might call "cloning" - but most folks on this forum don't use the term "cloning" to describe this process. Cloning implies no image file created, just direct transfer from one physical disk to another.

Does this make any sense?

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Thank you - yes it makes sense. Perhaps I need to re-think my backup philosophy.

At the moment I have an internal SATA drive which has two partitions - one contains the WindowsXP operating system plus all Apps and personal data. The other partition is a Factory Restore partition where the contents never change.

I installed a second internal SATA drive purely for backup purposes; it is the same size as the first and partitioned the same. It's very handy to do a weekly copy of the system partition from Drive 1 to Drive 2; I don't need to do the Factory Restore partition because it never changes. It only takes 20 mins and it's very easy to restore the partition - something I've done several times successfully when the operating system has become corrupted for some reason. I also find it's handy that all the backed-up personal data is instantly available on the second internal drive.

In addition to the weekly partition backup between the internal hard drives, I do regular backups of personal data to the external USB hard drive using standard Windows file functions.

I guess I could still use Ghost 2003 for the partition copying; then use TI2010 to get a disk image onto the external USB hard drive, and to do differential/incremental personal data backups which should be a lot quicker than copying all the data everytime.

Thanks again for your help,

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I have a Windows Xp running on a Mac iMac under VMWare Fusion. I want to image or clone that install and put it on a laptop. Can that be down with True Image?

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It looks like some users have had success doing the image and using afterwards. If you restore in another environment, that will be considered dissimilar hardware and it is very likely that there will be driver issues. You would have to use Acronis Universal Restore to apply this image to your laptop.