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System State vs Disk & Partition backup

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Beginner
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I'd like to better understand what each of these backups does for my protection. From what I gather I would need both of them, taken about the same time, to help me restore my computer in it's entirety. Is this right?

What I'd like to do is take a snapshot of my new computer (an image of the entire system). I would then have the ability to restore that image one day if I want. That would prevent me from having to manually wipe the drive, reinstall Windows, reinstall all my apps, etc. I'd like the ability to take the machine back to it's original state if necessary. What is the easiest way to make this full and complete disk image? Is it a combination of both backup types?

I guess I would want to use Chain2Gen on both backups so I don't over-write a previous backup file, right?

Do these 2 backup types overlap in any of the files they backup?

Any help you can offer in teaching me about what exactly these 2 backup types do would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ken

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Legend
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#1

Ken,
If you perform a Disk & Partition backup and if you check mark the disk option so everything within the disk will be included within the backup, then this type backup is all you need to either restore to a new disk or to overlay your old disk in the event of a virus.

I never do System State backups which are mostly a backup of your registry. This type backup is not bootable and will not restore any of your data. In my mind, this is mostly a waste of time and this type backup is not necessary if you regularly perform full disk backups. See item 42Q of my signature index.

Figure 11 of the Chain2Gen(C2G) pdf guide illustrates what needs to be checked for this type backup. If you create one of your backup tasks according to his guide, it is this type backup which can help you to recover with the fewest problems. If you use C2G regularly, you will want to be performing this type backup regularly and optionally you may be doing incremental type backups along with the full.

C2G can handle any type Acronis backup you choose but the first and most important type backup you must do is the Disk&Partition backup where the entire disk is checked. This offers you the most choices of recovery should a recovery be necessary. This type backup will enable you to restore single or multiple disk partitions and track0/mbr--should any of that be necessary. If you are new to Acronis, then item 7A of my index would also be beneficial reading. I believe you will be well served in your choice of C2G to help you manage your backups.

You may not have seen my edited response to your prior posting (link below). No further response to that posting is necessary but I thought you might have missed what I had added at a later time.

http://forum.acronis.com/forum/7089#comment-14784

Beginner
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Comments: 6

#2

Thanks for the info Grover.

You wrote: if you check mark the disk option so everything within the disk will be included within the backup

I've looked at this screen many times and never noticed that I didn't have the check mark next to the disc; I had the check mark next to 'C' drive. Thanks for saving me!

Can this drive image be run from within Windows or should I boot from the rescue CD and run this job?

Thanks again,
Ken

Legend
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#3

When restoring a system partition or to a new disk or Windows files, the procedure is best done when booted from the Rescue CD.

If you have some reading time available, you might enjoy reading the backup procedures used by some of the others. Check item#12 inside my signature index.

Beginner
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#4

OK; I get that a restore should be made from a Rescue CD boot. But is it necessary to create the image when booted from the CD or can it be made when in Windows?

Thanks,
Ken

Legend
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#5

A few almost never use Windows but Many or perhaps most of the forum regulars use both methods. Either can be successful but it is prudent that a portion of your backup validation be done when booted from the Rescue CD so that you know for sure that the REscue CD does not have any problems using the backups created inside Windows.

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#6

Greetings, Grover- -

In post #1 above, you said:

"If you perform a Disk & Partition backup and if you check mark the disk option so everything within the disk will be included within the backup, then this type backup is all you need to either restore to a new disk or to overlay your old disk in the event of a virus."

Are you saying that when the disk is partitioned into C: and D: partitions, I must image the entire disk as a unit, in order for the restore to be bootable, rather than an image of only the system (C:) partition?? I have been doing separate images of the system (C:) and data (D:) partitions, so as to be able to restore either independently. Have I left myself exposed to an unbootable restore of my system (Win7 home prem 64bit)?? Thanks .... Bob

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#7

Bob,
Having a disk option backup rather than backups of individual partition means you have the most options for restoration should you have a problem. When restoring to a new blank drive, most of the Acronis recommendations has been to restore from a disk option backup.

Having a disk option backup does NOT preclude you from restoring individual partitions or more at one time. Restoring a single partition is the most common and this can also be done from a disk option backup.

I don't have Windows 7 but from what I have seen posted, Win 7 sometimes has hidden or boot partitions. Having a disk option backup means you have everthing you need (inside one backup) to upgrade to a new drive or to restore your existing partitions. Restoring a disk option backup do a new disk will normally result in a bootable disk.

If I only have room for one backup, it would be a disk option backup. If I have additional room, then I will include single partition backups. If I need to expand into a new drive, my preferred type backup is the disk option backup. It includes all the partitions, track0/mbr and disk ID and nothing else is needed.

Can you restore to a single partition to a new blank drive and it be bootable, sometimes yes and sometime no. But with a disk option backup, your chances of a restore being bootable are much improved.

Sometimes you chances of success depends upon your skill level and knowing what not to do and sometimes a plan b is necessary. Restoring a disk option backup offers the best chance for success so it is always my recommendation--but it is not the only way.

Recommendation: The time to find out whether your backup strategy works is to do your testing while everything is working. Get yourself a new blank drive and perform your restores now when not pressured by time or problems. Item 7G of my signature index may be of interest.

Forum Member
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#8

Thanks much, Glover...

I understand your description, and also the item 7G info. In fact, I have three external disks, two of which I built as described in 7G

I do, however, have two concerns about restoring from a "disk option backup"

First, understanding that my system disk (drive 0) is a 160GB disk containing two partitions -- system on C: (60GB), and some working data on D: (100GB).  There are two other larger disks for data file storage.  Should a need arise to replace and restore drive 0, does a "disk option restore" require that the replacement disk be the same size as the "disk option backup" source , and if not, how does it handle the two partitions?  Do they restore as the same size, or the extra size get added to one of the partitions, etc.??  Secondly, because the recovery disk sees partition address letters different than my assigned address letters, how will the D: partition be handled, since the recovery disk thinks D: is the first partition on drive 1.

I just wish to be sure that this "disk option backup and restore" doesn't fail to restore correctly and also screws up another disk at the same time!!! 

These may seem to be unnecessary concerns to a well informed, experienced user of Acronis, but unfortunately, I don't fit into that category!  Although I have used three versions of ATI over the years, I have not yet had to do a restore (fingers crossed, knock wood)!!     

Thanks again fro any advice and guidance......  Bob      

Legend
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#9

Bob,
It would help to have some additional information.
1. What OS is in use.
2. What version of TrueImage are you using?
3. What TI version was used to create your current backup archives?
4. Type of computer. Desktop or laptop. If laptop, what brand?

Most of your answers to your questions have been answered in items 7A, 7B, & 7D of m signature index. When restoring a disk option backup, the user has complete control over the choices of what is to be restored and how.

Later when I have a little more time, I will edit this post and add more comments but in the meantime, it would help if you were to read the references for a better understanding of your choices.

Forum Member
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#10

Grover,

Thanks again for the information.

All this may well be academic, and will come clear to me with use, but as I said I have been doing partition backups, and for whatever reason, just have never done a "disk option backup" until now. Seeing your posts in this thread got my attention, and prompted my quest for understanding. I will later today do a "disk option backup" of the drive 0 described in my last post. Doing so may in itself answer my questions, but I will welcome any enlightenment you can share as to the concerns I expressed in my last post - re: partition risks due to conflicts in drive letter addressing.

Your questions:

1. What OS is in use. -- Windows 7 home premium 64bit.
2. What version of TrueImage are you using -- ATI2010, build 5055 installed.
3. What TI version was used to create your current backup archives -- For data partitions, the installed version.  For system partition, a recovery CD created from the iso file downloaded from my Acronis account, which I believe is build 6053.

Thanks again for your time.... Bob

Legend
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#11
Robert Vaughan wrote:
I just wish to be sure that this "disk option backup and restore" doesn't fail to restore correctly and also screws up another disk at the same time!!!

1. A disk option backup does NOT mean that the restore will be a disk option restore. It can be but it does not have to be. You can restore a single partition from a disk option backup. A restore cannot screwup anther disk. If you do not like the results of the first restore, you something different such as deleting the mistake and starting over with a different type restore. Most often, it is the user which makes the mistakes and not the software. Note this post,
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/7273
most of his problems could have been prevented has he used a "reverse" clone procedure. Having a disk option backup would have given him multiple options. The time to become prepared is NOW before a crisis arises. You have been lucky that you have never needed to restore but sooner or later, you too will be tested. Do your testing NOW and become prepared NOW before the crisis arises.

Should a need arise to replace and restore drive 0, does a "disk option restore" require that the replacement disk be the same size as the "disk option backup" source

. NO, a disk option restore does not have to be the same size. It can be larger or maybe slightly smaller. If the replacement drive is the same capacity or smaller, a disk option restore is a good choice. However, if the new drive is larger, you can also use a disk option backup but restore the partitions on an individual basis. This is illustrated in item 7B of my signature index. Note however, more and more users are opting to use a disk option restore (which produces a disk of the same size as the prior disk) and then use a free partition manager program to expand the unallocated space into wherever the space is wanted.

how does it handle the two partitions? Do they restore as the same size, or the extra size get added to one of the partitions, etc.?? Secondly, because the recovery disk sees partition address letters different than my assigned address letters, how will the D: partition be handled, since the recovery disk thinks D: is the first partition on drive 1.

If you follow the required procedures of performing the restore when booted from the Rescue CD; plus follow the requirement of disconnected the source disk before first bootup so only the boot drive is attached, then drive letters are a non issue. The user controls the partition sizes if individual partitions are restored. If a disk option restore is used, partitions sizes in the new drive will be identical to the old drive and any difference in sizes between the old and new larger disk will result in unallocated space which would need to be res-assigned via a Partition Manager program.You may find this post of interest as it relates to successful use of a disk option restore plus the added step of expanding the unallocated space using a free partition manager. http://forum.acronis.com/forum/6939
I believe Windows 7 has its own utility for resizing partitions. There has been considerable postings about Windows 7 and TrueImage.

I note that you are using Windows 7. Have you looked at your partitions via the Windows Disk Management Graphical view. You may already be aware of your partition construction but many are not.

If you have not done so, you should assign volume names to all your drives so they can be also identified by their name or drive characteristics rather than drive letter. Since the Acronis Recovery CD is Linux based, it may show different drive letters when viewed in TrueImage but will revert to the correct letter from within Windows. Drive letters are not an issue unless the user makes a mistake and restore the wrong partition or leaves the source disk attached when booting the first time into a new restore. Do NOT perform a restore of your system disk or partition while still booted from within Windows!

Caution: True Image is designed to recovery your disk or your data onto the same computer as used when the backup was created. If you plan to upgrade to a new computer or motherboard, etc, then you will need additional software such as universal restore and all your software should be reinstalled fresh.

This forum has a wealth of information on Windows 7 and/or TrueImage. Any time spent researching is time well spent. Good luck with your testing.

Forum Member
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#12

Thanks, Grover, for all your insights.
I guess I was most concerned that the backup of my D: drive would end up restored to my G: drive, because the recovery CD version thinks my D: drive is G:!!! That would be a disaster to my photo files that would require major restoring that I would hope to avoid!

I guess the key is that a backup of any letter drive can be restored to any other letter drive, not necessarily back to the letter drive from which it came.

Sorry if my mental block was confusing to explain! .... Bob

Legend
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#13

As part of my volume naming convention, I include the drive letter as part of the volume name
My C (first) partition is volume named SATA-P1_C
My D (second) partition is volume named SATA-P2_D
My E (third) partition is volume named SATA-P3_E

I assume your current drives has volume names or will have such as
Win7-C
or MyData-D

In this manner, I ignore the letter displayed by Linux and base all my decisions either on the drive volume name and if that is not displayed, I know enough about my system disks to recognize them by their size or space consumed or model number.

Remember, it is a Windows system and it is Windows that assigns the drive letters. Any drive letter you see displayed in Linux is nothing more than a display.

When I want to do a restore of my data partition (p2), I boot from the CD and browse to the backup which displays "SATA-P2_D" as part of the
1. Locate the desired backup file and then choose restore locations which reads "SATA-P2_D. I simply do not include Linux drive letters in my decision making.

Extreme caution: TrueImage is known to assign the wrong partition type or the wrong partition sizes, or the wrong active partition etc. You must not accept the defaults offered by TrueImage unless you know them to be correct. It may help you if you so a screen capture of your disk partition arrangement so you know which is active, and primary, etc.

Forum Member
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#14

Yes, I do use a similar name convention:

Drive 0 contains: System_C, Data01_D
Drive 1 contains: SysBkUp_E, Data02_F, Misc_X
Drive 2 contains: Data03_G

Therefore, realizing that the restore operation can be directed to wherever I wish it to go, rather than where the address letter dictates, I have far less worries.

My backup .tib files currently go to an external 1TB eSATA drive. I think I will create a partition on drive 2, name it Z: Testing01_Z, and use it for testing restore operations.

Thanks again for your time and information. .... Bob

Beginner
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#15

Hi Grover - I am a total idiot (for definitive proof see below) and have read your index, and your reply to Ken and am still confused.

I changed my c drive (with XP 64 OS) to a dynamic partition in the vain hope of doing something clever in the way of data backup (told you I was stupid!!!) - I have now bought True Image and the plus Pack and want to back up everything from the C: drive (to a second drive I have installed), then delete and re-create the partiton as basic (so I can keep a complete cloned copy) - will a disk and partition backup / restore enable me to do this - if this is what I need to do, also where is the disk option I have to check mark? If there is a better way of doing this and keeping a complete copy of my C: drive I would also be interested in the benefit of your advice.

Thanks in advance for your patience.

Colin

Legend
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#16

Colin,
I have no experience with Dynamic drives. Maybe another volunteer could suggest some ways of simply changing partition from dynamic to basic without data loss--if that is possible.

Review signature index item 7A--both parts. It illustrates how to do disk option backups and restores.

Beginner
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Comments: 1

#17

To change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk using the Windows interface

  1. Back up all volumes on the disk you want to convert from dynamic to basic.

  2. In Disk Management, right-click each volume on the dynamic disk you want to convert to a basic disk, and then click Delete Volume for each volume on the disk.

  3. When all volumes on the disk have been deleted, right-click the disk, and then click Convert to Basic Disk.

Forum Hero
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#18

Floyd's method is correct, but will result in the need to wipe the disk.  If you cannot / do not want to wipe the disk (still take a backup before proceeding), EaseUS is the only tool I know of that does this well, but unfortunately, it only has this capability in the paid version:

http://www.partition-tool.com/easeus-partition-manager/convert-dynamic-disk-to-basic-disk.htm

C Benson,

Unfortunately, I believe that when you image a disk and/or its partions, they will be pushed back exactly (dynamic=dynamic vs basic=basic).  Honestly though, I haven't tried. If you have a spare disk though, a test would be simple enough so you could confirm and report back.