Acronis Back up

  chub_tor 15:25 16 Sep 2008

Ok I took advantage of the Acronis True Image 11 for $10 - easy for me as I have a US address and credit card having lived there once upon a time - now I have to learn how to use it. I have installed it and performed a full back up of the two partitions on my desktop now I am confused as to future back ups after my data has changed. Do I need Incremental or Differential? Not a lot changes on my machines, I have been using Windows back up every two weeks just to make sure that I don't lose all my documents and pictures and now plan to use this Acronis instead, but I am unsure which type of backup to use for the changed items. Acronis users, your advice please.

  cocteau48 16:10 16 Sep 2008

It,s all a matter of personal preference and also on how big the image is and how long it takes to create your backup.
I use Acronis all the time as a tool rather than just an insurance policy for when disaster strikes.
Mine is set up to take a full image (around 11Gb) every day and once a week I run a complete restoration.
If everything is OK I delete all the images up to the latest one and start the cycle all over again.
At the hint of any problems with the system it only takes me about 20 minutes to restore an image which is never more than 24 hours old and the problems are history.
Anything of crucial importance,like docs/pics etc. just get copied/pasted to my ext HD as a matter of course anyway.
By the way there is nothing to stop you taking advantage of the Acronis TI 11/Disk Director Suite all for $9.99 this side of the pond.
Did it myself this morning.

  provider 2 16:13 16 Sep 2008

Acronis 11 User Guide

Chapter 5 Creating Back-up Archives
5.1 What data to back up?
5.2 Back -up Procedure

I think you will need to refer to the User Guide (from the Acronis site) mainly because there are so many options from which you need to choose the one most suitable for you.

  crosstrainer 16:18 16 Sep 2008

It's also a good idea to configure boot manager and make a boot cd.

It's in the list of tasks.

As cocteau48 say's... How you use it is up to you. I use one master backup on an external hdd, a spare one on an internal 500gb sata drive, and make incremental backups weekly, or after software installation.

Restoring from an incremental backup takes longer, but I prefeer to do it this way.

When my external drive is full, I dlete all but the original backup file, and I start again.

  Pine Man 16:48 16 Sep 2008

I carry out a full back up once a month or less if something has been changed. All are saved onto an external drive which holds nine back ups.

Now the drive is full the oldest back up is deleted each time to make space for the new one.

  Pineman100 17:12 16 Sep 2008

I'm a different Pine Man, but I do the same as my namesake. The problem with incremental backups is that if just one of the stack is corrupted for any reason, you're in trouble.

So I prefer to do a full backup every time, and delete the oldest of the previous backups.

  Pineman100 17:13 16 Sep 2008

I meant to add: make sure that you always Verify the backup, every time you create one.

  chub_tor 17:22 16 Sep 2008

Thank you all for the suggestions. Cocteau48 surprised me by making regular restoration from a back up even though nothing may be wrong, I hadn't thought of doing that, merely using a backup in case of emergency was my plan. In fact I hadn't really considered making multiple full back ups anyway I was just planning to make one full one and then increment it regularly. I have a 500Gb external hard drive so I have space for several back ups anyway.

Provider2's mention of the Acronis 11 User Guide is a good one except that I couldn't download it from the Acronis site - there seems to be a broken link, I downloaded Acronis 10 guide instead. I have a suspicion that the User Guide was part of the original download as I saw a reference to it when I was installing. 130 pages is a lot to read though isn't it?

Crosstrainer I did make a boot CD via the Acronis Disk Utilities so that is covered but what happens when you boot from it? I was a bit reluctant to try in case I got into a loop that I couldn't get out of.

I will post this as resolved but will keep an eye out for additional comments. Thanks again and well done Cocteau48 for spotting that low price.

  cocteau48 17:49 16 Sep 2008

Remember that you can set it up to verify the backup,as Pineman 100 suggests,automatically when the image is taken.
I have never yet found a corrupt image which would not restore although there has been the odd time that it would not restore from within Windows and the boot disk has come into play to affect the restoration.
Doing a restoration once a week is just a way of making sure that the latest image is OK before deleting all previous images...probably a case of mild paranoia but it has not let me down yet and it's easy to set the process in motion and go and take the dog for a walk.

  chub_tor 18:15 16 Sep 2008

I have just had a quick glance around the menus of Acronis about verification. I can see a reference to Validate which I presume is the same thing but I could only see Make a Backup or Validate a Backup radial buttons which seem to be either/or. Where do I find the Automatic Validation so that it will check after the backup is made that it is a good one?

  Caså 18:29 16 Sep 2008

I like to keep an early clean & healthy uncluttered image as well!

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