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Reflecting on a Post-ATI World

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J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

With Acronis deciding to force both cyber protection services and a subscription license model on current (and future) users of Acronis True Image, many will choose to seek alternatives that still offer perpetual licenses and are focused on disk imaging sans bloatware.  My hope is that those who have made or are contemplating such a switch can discuss their experiences and recommendations here.

I feel that this discussion would/should be allowed under the Terms of Use, as it is Acronis-related in at least two ways:

  1. Discussion will be most likely be framed in terms of what features users liked in ATI (prior to the recent changes), and may thus highlight any Acronis product features that are be difficult/impossible to replicate with competitor products.
  2. Implicit in this discussion (and similar threads on the ATI forum) is that long-term ATI users would most likely prefer to stay with ATI if Acronis management reverses their recent decisions about malware protection integration and license subscriptions; thus, by demonstrating that customer dissatisfaction with these decisions is sufficiently real that many are now shopping for alternatives, the hope is that management will reconsider their current strategy and save what was once the premier disk imaging product on the market.

However, please do not use this topic to post discount links for competitors of Acronis, as this is explicitly forbidden by the Terms of Use.

4 Users found this helpful
Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

J K, I have played with a few different products over time including MiniTool ShadowMaker, Ashampoo Backup, EaseUs ToDo, AOMEI Backupper as well as using Macrium Reflect Free.

Of these, Macrium Reflect has been my main alternative for a few years with their Free version (limited to Full and Differential options) but their Easter offer convinced me to buy a 4-PC perpetual license that includes a free upgrade to their new version 8.0 when it is released.

Ashampoo Backup works fine but creates far too many files per backup for my liking!
EaseUs ToDo and AOMEI Backupper have their own quirks and will suit users who like those!

Macrium for me is the best alternative to what ATI used to be before all the added angst of having Cyber Protection and now loss of perpetual licenses!  They give access to Logs within the main GUI, have simple, easy options for using batch, Powershell or VBS scripts if wanted, plus have a very small footprint in terms of disk and memory / cpu usage. 

My Acronis ProgramData folder is nearly 800MB in size compared to under 13MB for MR.
ATI 2021 has a bucket full of background services & processes.  MR has one service and no processes active unless performing a backup etc.  MR has the Macrium Image Guardian to protect only files used by Macrium without going for world domination in Cyber security!

EDIT: Correction to my comment above about MR.  It does have 3 processes active along with just 1 service when inactive.  The 3 processes are all 64-bit which is why I missed them previously! EDIT:

On a performance comparison doing a Full then Incremental backup to a second internal SATA HDD for the same source disk drive (Samsung NVMe M.2 970 EVO Plus)

ATI Full - 31 to 45 minutes  Incremental - between 6 to 12 minutes.

MR Full - 12 to 18 minutes  Incremental - between 6 to 12 minutes.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

Steve,

Thank you for sharing your experiences.  One feature I didn't see in MR is the option to create your images using bootable media (unless you purchase a Technician's license, which is prohibitively expensive).  This is something I would like to be able to do if possible (and it is how I am currently using ATI), because my impression of shadow copy (which would be required if imaging a system disk while booted into Windows) is that it does not always work reliably.  Are my fears unfounded?  Do you know if any of the other competitors offer imaging from bootable media in their entry-level products?

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

MR Home definitely allows creating backup images using their bootable media, see image below of the rescue media desktop app when booted on my PC.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 5

I've been enjoying Paragon Backup. It's simple and also has a recovery media builder. Only thing I will say is recovering a single file could have been easier to figure out. But now that I know, the nice thing is you can choose from exactly which version as well as which incremental backup within the version to restore from. Here's an example. I've made 1 initial backup with a few incremental backups. The red arrows show how you can select from along the version chain. You could do a full image restore or just restore individual folders/files. I looked at Macrium, the only thing that puts me off from it is that the paid version indicates it includes ransomware protection, which is exactly what I'm fleeing from. Paragon is *just* backup. Nothing else.

M S
Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 8

Well,  I abandoned ATI after it completely destroyed my system and it took me days to restore. Acronis is going overboard with all their protections and forgetting about just plain simple to use backup solutions.

When I was having problems I kept a log of all the services/processes that were running on my machine related to Acronis ATI in order to figure out what was going on and the list is long, over one dozen!

  1. Acronis Active Protection Service
  2. Acronis Agent Core
  3. Acronis Alert Manager Service
  4. Acronis Cyber Protect Agent
  5. Acronis Cyber Protect Agent
  6. Acronis Cyber Protect Service
  7. Acronis Scheduler Manager
  8. Acronis Task Manager
  9. Acronis TIB Mounter Monitor
  10. Acronis TIB Mounter Service
  11. Acronis Updater
  12. Acronis VSS COM server executable (this is what the Acronis updater messed up causing me problems)
  13. AcronisProductUpdateUtility

And this is when it wasn't even running!

Now compare that list to AOMEI Backupper:

  1. AOMEI Backupper
  2. AOMEI Backupper Schedule task service

And that's when it's running,  When it's not running there is only the AOMEI Backupper Schedule task service running and that's it.

The interface is clean and simple.







 

You can also do backups and create images from the rescue media.  Booting up from the recue media the interface is identical to the images above.  And to top it all off, it's a lifetime license, no more paying to get the latest version.

 

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 5

OK I sort of take back what I said about Paragon/Macrium. I have a very unique network set up that most won't have so most won't run into this problem. My NAS which I back up to is on a physically different network (I use a pFsense firewall). Getting Paragon to backup to this wasn't an issue. I did a test though with the rescue media and it just could not connect to it. Well that's not quite true: it could connect but it kept throwing a Windows error about logon session issues. Anyway, I decided that won't do for me. I looked into the Macrium suggestion: Turns out, when you go to install the paid version, you can totally opt out of installing the ransomware protection 100%. So I switched over to Macrium. The downside is that the UI is definitely more off putting for the casual user. I'm a software engineer so wasn't an issue for me, but I wouldn't recommend it for the casual user. It did however work fast and flawlessly to restore images/individual files both while in Windows and from the rescue media.

The above suggestion regardgin AOMEI looks interesting. Wish I had seen it before buying Macrium as the UI is so much cleaner (akin to Paragon), but whatever I found something that works for me. I'd say if you're a casual user, look into the above poster's suggestion of AOMEI. If you're a power user, look at Macrium, has a ton of features that are neat if you're into performance and other nerdy things.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

Syncback pro is a nice piece of software but does not do images only files and folders. Retention is also messy. However It offers a live sync folder to folder on changes which may be of some use to some people?

Then Paragon. I found this did everythign I wanted and it would have been my choice, but it seemed REALLY slow... has anyone else found that? Priced well for 3 PCs (I have 2).

On google EaseUS always seems to come out on top with Acronis often second. I downloaded the free version and found it fast but a little confusing on retentions. I have now got the hang of it and I am actively using the paid version with the free version on my second PC which is just a straight daily image backup incremental for 30 days. The only thing I wished it had was the ability to duplicate a backup job (just being lazy!). Acronis made it very simple for me to set up duplicate jobs and then just modify which saved me time and made sure my underlying settings were the same on all jobs. Now that is all done I think EaseUS is where I will stay.

I have a Music studio setup with several disks backing up daily and weekly to one large internal and one USB. I will also look in to the cloud connectivity of EaseUS for my absolute critical files (C and my actual data), but so far i am very happy with it. The rest of my drives can be rebuilt as they are mainly instrument samples and audio content but nice to be backed up for speed if something went wrong.

I said it before and I will again. I was very happy with Acronis for many years and if they want to get in to protection i have no problem with that at all. Just make it optional.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 3

I am a software engineer who experienced a non-responsive system after the March ATI update. It took me about two days to figure out that the problem was ATI. My dev-ops staff was sure it was a hardware problem, so we spent a lot of time going down that path. Their belief was mainly based on the abnormally high CPU temperatures we were seeing.

Finally, I did a lot of safe-mode startups and clean-boot startups. I narrowed the problem down to ATI, and was really surprised to see that my backup software was suddenly doing 'cyber protection'. I already have enough cyber protection tools on the laptop, and in the network. This was a real problem, since the system involved is my primary development system. An outage like this is expensive - way more expensive than the cost of a perpetual license.

ATI support did respond after about a week, but I had already switched to Paragon by then. I doubt I will return to ATI unless they give me option to totally disable their cyber protection.

My experience with Paragon has been positive, and I get backup speed comparable to ATI.

Paragon pros:

  • Backup speed comparable to ATI
  • Perpetual license
  • Full/Differential backups
  • Single file recovery
  • Recovery Media capability

Paragon Cons:

  • Users on a domain will need to get the 'business' version which is a little more expensive
  • Perpetual business license is single user

I also tried EaseUS, but was unable to find a way to do single file restores. In addition, I didn't get any better backup performance with EaseUS than with Paragon.

Regular Poster
Posts: 46
Comments: 187

Thanks everyone for this priceless thread!  (I saved it locally just in case.)

Macrium sounds like it might be for me.  Not because I want complicated, but because I expect a lot of functionality.

@JK
I've never had an issue running backups of my OS drive in Windows.  But I do like to also run backups from boot media, so I'm glad MR does that! 

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

Coyote, responding to your comments in the 2021 Forum (copied below):

I'm looking to try Macrium.  Until then I might use my ATI2020 boot media on my new install; but I really want to run incrementals in Windows (I've never tried them via boot media, as that sounds like a bit of extra manual work).

I am running Macrium Home (licensed version) and am pleased with this for making fast incrementals along with better scheduling options, i.e. a monthly new Full backup on the first Sunday of each month with as many incrementals in-between as needed.

Making regular incrementals via ATI boot media is always going to be a manual exercise and thus be more prone to mistakes!  I still have a number of regular ATI scheduled tasks making incrementals which are also running fine!

Note: the free version of MR only allows differentials to be created, not incrementals.

Regular Poster
Posts: 46
Comments: 187

Thank you for moving my text here, you're right of course, I should have posted it here.

I'm in the middle of setting up my OS, so I think I'll use the familiar ATI2020 boot media.  Then I'll get a Macrium Home license.  (I hope for both our sake the Macrium forum already has someone like Steve!)

I don't think I'll have the guts to run both at once on the same OS.  Long long ago when I was still a Norton Ghost user, I auditioned Acronis for the first time.  For some reason doing so totally hosed my OS.  (I think there was some conflict.  Here's why I now think it was Ghost's fault:  When my OS crashed, Ghost always required me to start a new chain because otherwise it needed to spend endless hours "reconciling"; I think this happened because Ghost must have relied on constantly logging changes in realtime*.)  I think that that painful memory will keep me from ever running two backup programs at once again.

*I sure hope that Macrium chains don't similarly break (by which I mean require a new base/full backup) when the OS crashes.  I was jubilant when I switched and found ATI doesn't have that major weakness.

 

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

Coyote, there should be no issues with having both ATI and MR installed, I have been doing this for some years with MR Free used alongside ATI, and now on my main PC have ATI 2021 with MR Home 7 with no issues!

Ghost has been gone a long time now and I haven't used it for an equal time, probably around the time I started using ATI 9.0 - still have some Ghost CD media in a cupboard!

Regular Poster
Posts: 46
Comments: 187

Good to know.  Still not sure I can get over my PTSD from my Ghost v. ATI disaster.

I suppose I could throw out my Ghost CDRs now, and delete my final 2014 Windows XP backup.

Regular Poster
Posts: 19
Comments: 81

I just learned of the elimination of perpetual licenses.  While I use subscriptions for Quicken, Adobe Photography Plan, and Office 365, I feel they have been beneficial to me.  I'm not pleased that there is no ability to disable the Cyber Protection.  It looks like it is time to begin to look for alternatives.  I'm glad to see I can run some of these while having ATI active.

Frequent Poster
Posts: 66
Comments: 490

When I started looking for an alternative, I downloaded and evaluated all of the backup/restore programs mentioned in this thread.  Everyone of them has their pros, cons and caveats.

After loads of testing, I decided on Macrium Reflect because everything just worked correctly right out of the box and all my clones, restores and backup testing were just flawless.  All that was with the free version.  Once I moved to a paid, non subscription version, I found that MR did even more and was really fast.  Reliability and Fast, I like that !

I have been a Acronis customer since ATI2009 and I will look at their products in the future but for now, I am very happy with my new choice.

Steve F.

 

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

Perdido Beach :

Steve,

Let me know if you do try the viBoot feature.  ATI does not have native support for anything like this, but there is an Acronis Knowledge Base article that describes how to accomplish it using third-party tools; I tried it with disastrous consequences!  Thus, the fact that Macrium Reflect has this function natively supported is a great positive, as it allows operating system images to be validated without messing with hardware (swapping disks etc.).

I haven't quite yet taken the plunge over to Macrium Reflect, but I will likely do so soon, based in part on your and Steve Smith's experiences.  Reading a first-hand account of success with viBoot would probably seal the deal for me.

JK

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

JK, the viBoot feature will take a bit of learning to get used to!  You first have to enable the Hyper-V features in Windows via the Control Panel > Programs & Features options, followed by a restart of Windows.

I am not seeing the 'Boot image' option enabled for my backups in the main MR GUI but not sure if this is because I upgraded from the Free to Home version.

I was able to launch viBoot and get it to launch my MR disk backup as a VM then to sign in to the VM but didn't have any networking connections (probably another learning exercise needed) plus the VM acted as if it was a new install and gave activation warnings!

Note: I had to navigate to the MR program files folder and launch viBoot from there.

I normally use VMware Player which I find to be easier to use, so could always test doing a MR restore to a VMware VM as another option!  Have done this with ATI successfully!

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J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

Steve,

Thank you for sharing this information.  Perhaps the OS is detecting a hardware change when it is installed in a VM and that may be what triggered the activation warnings?  If so, that would seem to limit the usefulness of the viBoot feature.

I hadn't heard of the VMware Player before -- thank you for this valuable pointer.  I believe the Hyper-V installation on my computer may be corrupted or incomplete, so this may be a good alternative for me.   If you have the time/inclination to post some instructions for how to restore an image into a VMware VM, that would be appreciated!  So as not to stray from the forum terms of use, probably best to post instructions for how to do it using an ATI image rather than MR (and maybe it should be posted in the ATI forum), then we should be able to extrapolate to other backup software.  

JK

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

JK, the key benefit to any ability to use a virtual machine, viBoot or VMware or VirtualBox, is to show that the backup image being used is good for recovery, whether that is into a virtual environment or a physical PC.

I have used VMware Player for a very long time for testing and find it an excellent tool for that purpose, especially for learning.

In terms of using VMware for testing restores / recovery, then the principle is essentially the same as for a standard PC.  The approach that I take, in outline, is as follows:

Create a new VM - selecting the matching OS version & type, i.e. Win 10 64-bit, and allocate memory and some processors (typically 4MB memory & 2 or 4 CPU's), then set the CD/DVD drive to point to the Acronis Rescue media along with allocating a virtual disk of sufficient size.

Next, ensure that the VM will be booting in the correct BIOS mode to match that of the PC for which the backup was made, this is easiest via editing the VM configuration .vmx file and use the 'firmware=' option to set this to 'BIOS' or 'EFI' as appropriate before attempting to start the VM.

VMware will automatically boot from the rescue media .ISO file if there is no valid OS installed, so once booted to the ATI offline application, it is then a matter of being able to access the location of the backup image.  I have tended to use my NAS location across the network as being easier than connecting a USB drive!

The above process should work equally with any backup / recovery application where you are able to boot the VM from rescue media.

Beginner
Posts: 6
Comments: 16

I upgraded to a newer version of Acronis True Image a few years ago because it could automatically back up my phone. I had to to go back to a previous build of ATI last week because the current build has a fatal bug with mobile backups. Now the inability to buy a perpetual license is the breaking point. Is there any other PC backup program that also automatically backs up your android phone?

Products: Acronis True Image 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021 perpetual licenses

Regular Poster
Posts: 19
Comments: 81

I've done minimal testing of Macrium Reflect, and have found a minor issue for me that is only for a specific case.  This should only occur for those who also use Backblaze for cloud backup.  I tested a file recovery from a Reflect full image backup.  Reflect does a virtual mount of the image backup file so File Explorer can be used to copy files/folders from the image backup for recovery.  This causes a popup message from Backblaze because it sees two .bzvol files and thinks there are two C drives mounted.  The Reflect user manual says a reboot is needed to unmount the virtually mounted drive.   I checked Disk Management and Diskpart to see if they displayed the virtually mounted drive, but they didn't display it.  Because this would only occur during a recovery I would have no problem doing a reboot to do the unmount.  A very small issue for me, but I wanted make people who use Backblaze aware of it. Otherwise testing has been positive.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 3

FWIW, I've used Paragon in the past, but came back to Acronis because Acronis is just slicker and a bit more intuitive. With the recent changes (no perpetual license & more and more focus on malware I don't need in a backup product), I'll likely be going back or looking at some options suggested here.

 

One plus for Paragon is that it uses the Windows Task Scheduler instead of its own scheduler which just adds a few more running services and slows boot times a bit as with Acronis. So there's that, too.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

GaryG45  

(Disclaimer: I, too, am just starting out with Macrium Reflect, so I am no expert!)

The Reflect user manual says a reboot is needed to unmount the virtually mounted drive.

At least in MR Version 8, you can just right-click the virtual drive and select Macrium Reflect > Unmount.  The only issue I noticed is that the drive node remained displayed in Windows File Explorer (but with a "?" icon signifying a missing drive) -- but this was fixed by exiting and restarting the File Explorer after unmounting.

 

Regular Poster
Posts: 19
Comments: 81

J K,

Thanks for the information.  I'm using the free version and version 8 hasn't been released for it yet.  I hoped that when version 8 of the Home version was released they would offer some type of discount.  I'll wait and see what happens.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

GaryG45 

It seems that the Macrium Reflect > Unmount option should be present also in Version 7 (not sure if there are limitations in the free version, though); see the second screenshot in this article.

If this option is missing from your right-click context menu in Windows File Explorer, the following article may be relevant to you:

Windows Explorer shell extensions missing

 

Regular Poster
Posts: 19
Comments: 81

J K,

Thanks again for the information.  I believe I saw that information while researching Reflect, but I was too interested in the install, backup, and restore processes to remember it.  I have to test the restore process again because I don't recall seeing the Macrium Reflect Image (E:) as shown in the second screenshot.  I remember using File Explorer and Disk Management to look for it.  I'll what happens with the next test.

Regular Poster
Posts: 19
Comments: 81

J K,

I finally tested another file restore.  I saw the virtual drive in File Explorer and was able to right-click to unmount it.  I obviously missed something the first time I tested the restore.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

GaryG45  

Glad you got it to work.  From within the Reflect user interface (at least in v8), there is also a button to "Detach a backup image from Windows Explorer".  It gives you a list of all Reflect images currently mounted, with an option to select which one(s) you want to unmount.

By the way, if you ever have any other issue (major or minor) with Macrium Reflect, I would encourage you to post in their online user's forum.  Unlike this ATI forum, the participants in the MR forum include not only users (from novice to expert), but also Macrium employees, including the software developers as well as the CEO.  As a result, if a problem reported in the forum is due to a software bug, a patch will often be made available within weeks or even days.

 

Regular Poster
Posts: 61
Comments: 272

To start off, i never use the image feature, only files and folders backup.

Having that said i have tested a lot of applications and though Macrium Reflect 8 is great it biggest disadvantage is that one cannot select individual files for backup. Let´s say that you have one folder with 10 files and only want to backup two of them you just cannot do that in MR. In any other backup application it is possible to pick the 2 files you want to back up from that folder.

I have tested other apps as well but too many of them are coded in China and thus i avoid them. None of them states it clearly, but upon more reading the info can be found.

Today i use CloudBerry Backup 7 as my main backup app and it has some nice features but it imo to sensitive when it comes to restoring files. It puts the backup in several subfolders and if you move them and alter that folder path the app refuses to even recognize let alone restore the backup. That´s one thing i like with True Image, that you just can move the .tib file to another computer and just rock on and restore.

Another app i used before i started to use True Image in 2012 is NovaBackup. I downloaded a trial now and the user interface looks exact the same, but no bloating has been done over the years on the other hand and thus it wins over True Image.

I stopped using True Image when version 2021 arrived. If Acronis in version 2022 still insists being an swiss army knife that no one has been asking for i am gone. I just want an app that back up my precious data. No more, no less.

On the positive side with True Image 2021 and Acronis policy when it comes to upgrade it´s cloud storage was that i stopped using Acronis Cloud and started to use Backblaze. So now i get storage a lot cheaper, way faster uploads,  way faster downloads, several apps that supports Backblaze such as CloudBerry Backup and CloudBerry Explorer. With Cloud Berry Explorer i can browse my uploads as fast as local files on the computer. No syrup browsing with Acronis Cloud anymore iow.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

I posted back in April that I had settled with EaseUS Todo Home and have managed to replicate prcisely what i did with Acronis. It also has cloud options. I have several drives and a do various backups daily and weekly, whole disk and critical selections to two different local locations.It is now July and it has been very reliable and I can see no reason to move away from it.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

I have been using ATI since 2016. I got version 2020 but didn't use it because the problem of cloud saving settings still exist for me and Acronis didn't fix it while my tickets were archived. I still use version 2019.

 

I wanted recently to upgrade to version 2021 but read the PC Magazine review about it, its warning about ATI long list of background processes made me hesitate. Now I wanted to buy a Perpetual License for a new laptop but I discovered that Acronis did remove it.

 

Your reviews helped me decide the future for me. Thanks

Forum Member
Posts: 2
Comments: 27

@Robert Moyers:  I also ran into severe slowdowns. A 10Gbit connection between a Threadripper 3970x machine (Linux) and a Threadripper 2950 machine (Windows 10) suddenly slowed to 1 Gbit/sec on Iperf3. If I booted the Windows machine with Linux, Iperf3 showed 9.8 Gbit.  I did numerous clean installs and test runs. First to go was  Zonealarm, which lifted speed from 1 to 2 Gbit/sec. That was easy. Faster than 2 Gbit/sec was not.  Finally, and after many more tests, I found out that Acronis had “upgraded” to  power-sapping “cyber” protection I did not ask for.  Who would have suspected backup software that should be totally out of the way except when activated on a schedule? All gimmickery turned off, the network was up to speed again.

Anti-virus has no place in backup software, except **MAYBE** to exclude malware from being written to the backup set. It definitely should not be added if it ruins network speed, especially not if it is unable to detect other anti-virus software already on the system.

The other factor causing severe slowdowns was the decision to write incremental backups to a single file. My Windows backups are written to the Linux server via Windows shares (that way, no ransomware can attack network shares open to Windows.) With incremental files, backing up to the Linux servers is a fast nightly affair. With the single backup file, the whole shebang gets laboriously copied each night,  and it gets slower and slower as the file gets bigger.  Very boneheaded decision.

Minor gripes: The UI that often flakes out for minutes, even on a fast multi-core machine. The non-standard file selection. The insistence on, without being asked to, checking multiple drive and partition boxes when setting up a new backup schedule.

After having paid my annual dues to Acronis, I now am back to the 2019 version that makes multiple files.

I am also running an eval version of Macrium React, and so far, I like what I see. Sure, the UI looks a bit dated, but it is snappy, and being dated, it is familiar. I like nice thoughtful touches like excluding  Robocopy from automatic protection (with Acronis, Robocopy must be put on a whitelist), and the ability tio use the backup set as the image for Virtualbox: Voila, another running system!

As far as the perpetual license goes, I do not mind paying $50 a year, especially not if it comes with some helpful improvements. I get hostile when the $50 pay for making my computer slow down, and make me waste time with helpless tech support, or writing rants like this one.  

My annual Acronis dues were collected a few months ago. If Acronis won’t see the error of its ways, my money will go to Macrium, even if it costs 20 bucks more a year.

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

Bertel Schmitt  

My annual Acronis dues were collected a few months ago. If Acronis won’t see the error of its ways, my money will go to Macrium, even if it costs 20 bucks more a year.

I haven't looked at the relative pricing, but I hope you are aware that unlike ATI2021 and its successors, the Macrium Reflect license is perpetual, meaning that you are not required to pay the license fee each year.  For example, there is still a large body of users who use Reflect Version 7 (which first came out in 2017), and who maintain an active support forum for that version of the product.

The only reasons to upgrade each year is if you want all of the latest improvements, or if you want to maintain access to the technical support team for more than one year.  The one-year limit to tech support does not seem like a major issue, because there is excellent support available from the Macrium user forums.  And unlike the Acronis forums, Macrium tech support personnel, software developers and CEO are active on the Macrium forums (along with "MVP" users).  I have also seen that for issues that cannot be resolved on the forum, Macrium staff will often invite the user to submit a formal tech support ticket, even if the user's one-year tech support access has lapsed.

Forum Member
Posts: 2
Comments: 27

J K wrote:

I haven't looked at the relative pricing, but I hope you are aware that unlike ATI2021 and its successors, the Macrium Reflect license is perpetual, meaning that you are not required to pay the license fee each year.  For example, there is still a large body of users who use Reflect Version 7 (which first came out in 2017), and who maintain an active support forum for that version of the product.

 

@JK, I know. However, I've always paid my $50 or so per year to Acronis, and I would gladly continue doing so if Acronis would not annoy me, and force me to use a version 2 years (or $100) ago to solve problems Acronis created. Likewise, I would make my contribution to the Macrium cause, should I decide to switch. You usually get what you pay for. Except when it is Acronis. 

Regular Poster
Posts: 46
Comments: 187

This is all so sad.  A few years ago, on a significantly less terrible product decision, I wrote to the Acronis CEO that Acronis' technical leadership needed replacing.  The new horrible decisions imply that my advice was not heeded.

Forum Member
Posts: 2
Comments: 27

Acronis v.v. Macrium backup performance

I have done a little comparison test. YMMV

Machine: Threadripper 2950X  128GB
Windows 10 21H1
Acronis and Macrium both current versions
Acronis no "advanced protection," ransomware attack protection on, illicit cryptomining protection off
Macrium at default

Copy from system drive: Crucial CT1000P1SSD8 1GB NVME filled with 167 GB data
Copy to backup drive:  Samsung 970 EVO 1TB NVME filled with 262 GB data

First run, backup full system drive:
Acronis:  5:13 minutes
Macrium: 7:24 minutes

2nd run, incremental, 190MB added to system drive
Acronis:  2:30 minutes
Macrium: 0:32 minutes

3rd run, incremental, nothing added to system drive
Acronis:  2:30 minutes
Macrium: 0:34 minutes

Uninstall latest Acronis version. Install ATI 2019

First run, backup full system drive:
Acronis:  2:12 minutes

2nd run, incremental, nothing added to system drive
Acronis:  0:53 minutes

3rd run, incremental, nothing added to system drive
Acronis: 1:03 minutes

 

Analysis:
In creating the initial full backup, Acronis was 42% faster than Macrium
In creating the incremental files, Macrium was more than 4x faster than Acronis

As we usually create many more incremental files than initial full backups, the total time savings with Macrium can be significant. When creating incremantal backups, Acronis spends most of its time in "calculating the data size"

The 2019 version of ATI backs up considerably faster  than the current one.

 

 

J K
Regular Poster
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Comments: 90

Bertel Schmitt  

That is interesting information, thanks for sharing.  I believe you said you are using the free evaluation version of Macrium Reflect.  You may be interested to know that other ATI users here have reported that the full, paid version is even faster than the free version.

In addition, I wouldn't be surprised that you'll find an additional speed boost after doing a full, clean uninstall of ATI2021, which seems to be the only way to  kill all of its background processes.

 

 

Forum Member
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J K wrote:

Bertel Schmitt  

That is interesting information, thanks for sharing.  I believe you said you are using the free evaluation version of Macrium Reflect.  You may be interested to know that other ATI users here have reported that the full, paid version is even faster than the free version.

I am  indeed using the preview version with both Acronis and Macrium on the system. I will continue the tests. 

Forum Member
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I have updated the speed comparisons with results of the same backup, performed with ATI  2019. See above.

The initial full backup of the old version is more than twice as fast as the current version. Likewise the incremental files.

ACRONIS, you are supposed to make operation faster, not  slower..

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25902

Any direct comparisons between ATI and MR is going to vary according to the system used, source & target drives etc.

On my main laptop (HP Omen i7 8th gen, 32GB ram) backing up my Samsung 970 EVO Pro 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD to my second internal Seagate 2TB HDD.  The SSD has 340GB free space.

ATI 2021 took 1 hour 12 minutes and created an 84GB .tibx full image file.

MRH 8.0 took 20:24 minutes and created a 94GB .mrimg full image file.

So in my case MRH 8.0 is over 3 times faster than ATI 2021 using the exact same source and destination drives / content.  Both applications are using default compression settings etc.

Typically, ATI incremental backups average around 10 minutes versus MRH at 3-5 minutes.

MRH 8.0 is a fully licensed perpetual version (upgraded from 7.0 after 8 became available).

J K
Regular Poster
Posts: 10
Comments: 90

Steve, thanks for the clarification and additional real-life data.  Curious if you used Reflect's "Changed Block Tracking" (CBT) feature, which is supposed to speed up incremental backups.

Legend
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Comments: 25902

J K, CBT is enabled by default or unchanged by me in MRH8!

Forum Member
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@Steve: Of course are the performance data different from machine to machine. Hence the YMMV.  What's important are the trends:

- Macrium beats Acronis on speed

- Acronis 2019 beats Acronis 2021 on speed

 

 

Regular Poster
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Comments: 176

As a long-time Acronis customer, I have now switched.

My choice was Aomei Backuper Pro Version with lifetime upgrades for new programme versions. 

-Advantage are simple Backup&Recovery for home use in German language like Ati Version 2010 times......
-Support active in the forum

 

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Regular Poster
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Comments: 272

I have changed my mind regarding Macrium Reflect 8. It has it´s limitations when it comes to the backups i do on a daily basis, file and folder backup. But, i discovered that it has a wonderful feature to choose what files to include and not just exclude we have in True Image.

So, i do a lot of video work and what i want to save is the project files that the video app creates. All video files are already backed up. I Macrium Reflect i can specify so that it only backup lets say *.prproj and *.aep and discard all other files on that drive. When i discovered this combined with it´s speed i upgraded my license to V8 from V6.

I will test it further to see if i find any downsides with this.

Another tipping point is the Acronis support. I have an open ongoing ticket regarding a Drobo drive. I have done screen recordings several times that i upload to YouTube and recorded logs with ProcessMonitor simultaneously. Several times he get backs to me urging me to upload the logs. Even if i reply that i uploaded them several days ago he persists. 

To prove my point that True Image 2021 is to blame for the issue with the Drobe i reproduced it with a clean install of Win 10. Today i got a reply urging me to upload the screen recording to the ftp since "...we are not allowed to access or download content from those sites as per company policy". Why is he writing this when the ticket has been ongoing for more than two weeks? This is just frustrating.

I read somewhere in the forum a couple of days ago about a similar user experience, were they, Acronis support, seems to just prolonging everything repeatedly instead of reading the already uploaded logs and do something. I once had a support ticket that were exact like this for almost a whole year. That isse never got solved.

Back to topic:
I will participate in the beta for TI2022 if i get an invitation, but if Acronis still insists to make True Image a molasses swiss knife focusing more on antivirus and still being trapped in the 32-bit world i am most probably definitely gone from the Acronis world. It´s sad because the overall backup features it offer are one of the best on the market.

Forum Member
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I have done extensive tests of network speed degradation caused by Acronis. It is posted here. 

Tl;dr:  "Active Protection" did cut my precious 10Gbit network speed in half. 

Regular Poster
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@Roger A.  I had a similar experience with support about 2 years ago.  They kept asking for what I had already sent them and for Acronis messages.  I explained that I didn't receive any messages.  I sent the logs numerous times and pasted significant parts in my email replies.  My problem was the deletion of many backup files after an Acronis error.  I finally got someone on the problem who understood problem determination, but at that time it was almost two months after the problem and needed data was no longer available.  We ended up closing the issue with no resolution.

For me, the free version of Macrium is about the same as Acronis 2020 for full backups of 340GB.  I'm backing up to a Synology NAS and am Ethernet connected to an eero mesh network satellite.  I'm not impressed with the speed of the eero mesh network, so that may play a part in the backup time.

Forum Member
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Comments: 27

@GaryG45: For  hundreds of GB daily backups, I'd stay away from WiFi, and go hardwired. 10 Gbit Ethernet, if possible (and if the NAS has a 10 GBE NIC.)  Faster, and safer.  My home Wifi is totally isolated and can't get to the computers that talk on a private hardwired network that is not connected to the Internet.

Beginner
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Comments: 19

I just checked my account; I've had just about every version since 9.0. Until two days ago I was on 2021.

No idea if my problem is Windows 11 beta related, but I found that although backups worked fine I couldn't restore any files; either getting "an error occured" using the program, or a zero-length file copying from a mounted tibx.

I'd been pretty disillusioned with TIBU for some time anyway, finding minor issues with 2021 that were first reported by many years ago (such as spurious event log errors).

So I tried the Macrium Reflect 8 trial, which backs up and restores just fine with Win 11, and decided to purchase it.

Good bye, Acronis.

 

ps if anyone reads this - do check regularly that you can actually restore files from your backups, whatever program you use!

Regular Poster
Posts: 61
Comments: 145

Laurie wrote:

I just checked my account; I've had just about every version since 9.0. Until two days ago I was on 2021.

No idea if my problem is Windows 11 beta related, but I found that although backups worked fine I couldn't restore any files; either getting "an error occured" using the program, or a zero-length file copying from a mounted tibx.

I'd been pretty disillusioned with TIBU for some time anyway, finding minor issues with 2021 that were first reported by many years ago (such as spurious event log errors).

So I tried the Macrium Reflect 8 trial, which backs up and restores just fine with Win 11, and decided to purchase it.

Good bye, Acronis.

 

ps if anyone reads this - do check regularly that you can actually restore files from your backups, whatever program you use!

 

What if the issue is related to Windows 11 beta?