Information on backup programmes

  Housten 16:01 21 Nov 2011

Good Afternoon,

I have been trying out various backup programmes on my computer, especially after I had bought a Seagate 500 GB portable computer, and they include a cut-down version of Acronis which seemed to do the backup quite quickly. This was of my 'C' partion, only about 44 GB. In the end I bought Version 2011 from them as Seagate had not included differential or Incremental backups in their version. However a few days later I was offered Version 2012 of Acronis True Image Home for free as I had just bought 2011. We - that is Acronis staff and I - have spent something like 3 months trying to sort it out. NO go. I mean I only wanted it to do the backup in under 40 - or better 30 minutes - but the final straw was when it appeared to have done less than half and the remaining time was shown as one day and 41 minutes!! So I have tried some others since but the one I have been impressed with is Macrium Reflect Free. The programme can do a full back up - on my computer - in less than 24 minutes. Exactly what I want? Well almost!! To get either Differential or Incremental backups it is necessary to buy the whole thing. So what I am hoping is that someone knows a programme - preferably free - that is as fast as Macrium AND which also does Differential/Incremental backups. If the worst comes to the worst then I will have to buy Macrium but I do somewhat resent having to buy the whole programme when they release most of it for free but fail to include a very small part of it that - as far as I am concerned anyway - would make a vast difference.

  T I M B O 16:26 21 Nov 2011

I am not an Acronis lover myself, but if you have win 7 then u can make an image anytime. For backing up your documents, then i have al2ways used for the last 10 years is Replicator

  john bunyan 18:55 21 Nov 2011

I have ATI 2010 and W7. My 500gig main hard drive ion is partitioned 100 gig for system, balance data, all in various folders in a main "My Documents" folder. I make ATI images to a second drive - of the C: drive, takes less than an hour plus time to validate. I do not bother with incremental images, I keep the latest two full images and delete the oldest on the third image. For data I use Freefilesyhnch or Synchtoy to make frequent mirror images of my data drive ie My Documents and all its sub folders to a second drive. This is very quick as only altered files are changed, and the contents of the backup are very easy to read via W Explorer. As belt and braces I occasionall make an ATI clone of the whole main drive to yet another drive. PS I have put my "Outlook" files in data folder within My Documents, so it gets backed up along with other data.

  robin_x 19:21 21 Nov 2011

I am a great fan of Macrium and it does my 60GB image in 60 mins!

Easeus Todo v3.5 is Very good but sadly is double the time. I still recommend it highly and it does diffs and inrcementals. And File and Folder backups.

You could try Paragon Backup and Recovery Free (I haven't for many months) I think it was slow too.

PING 'unallocated' my whole main drive. Don't know what I 'did wrong'

I never use W7 built-in backups.

I looked into all Gizmo's just a couple of weeks ago and concluded Macrium and Easeus are my recommendations.

  Housten 11:22 22 Nov 2011


Many thanks for all your replies. I am considering whether to do Differential backups, or just to continue with full backups. This is because with Differential you only have the one file and it has all the changes/differences. But will it be any faster? I am not sure, and Macrium is very fast - I am only hoping it is reliable when it comes to Recovery!!

Many, many thanks to you all.

  cocteau48 11:46 22 Nov 2011

Acronis have issued an updated version of TI 2012 (originally #5454 now #6131) which you can download from the your account page on their website or from MajorGeeks enter link description here

This does seem to have addressed and solved many of the problems with the original release.

  robin_x 11:51 22 Nov 2011

Another advantage I found with Macrium was being able to carry on working while it ran in background.

Usually browsing and emails. Since, I use Mozbackup separately for those, I wasn't worried about Macrium being locked out of my profiles for example.

My laptop is too laggy to work while Easeus is running a full backup. Differential is very fast, but after a while they become big too.

It's better to have more than one image anyway, for safety. Corruption is rare but not that uncommon.

Some restoration issues on older versions (not sure if still apply):

Macrium demanded restore (overwrite) to EXACTLY correct size of original partition. If you resize partitions even a little, make fresh backups.

Easeus doesn't care, allows restore to any large enough size but won't overwrite. Have to delete the partition! Annoying but easy enough with Partition Wizard (or PW Bootable CD).

  robin_x 11:52 22 Nov 2011

Always validate your images!

(or at least mount and browse as a quick test)

  cocteau48 11:55 22 Nov 2011

As an aside I also tend to disregard some of the daft timings which the Acronis GUI can throw up. Hovering your cursor over the Acronis icon in the task bar during backup will normally show you an accurate indication (as a balloon pop-up)of progress as a percentage.

Mine will often show over 20 minutes still to go at the moment that the backup completes.

  Housten 15:44 22 Nov 2011


Having read your post maybe I should claim commission!!!!!

As I said I spent 3 months trying to get Acronis True Image Home 2012 to work properly. I had bought 2011 and it's backup time was a bit slow and I was convinced to try 2012 by the fact that it was supposed to be faster, OK and I was offered it for free. It was not until I installed 2012 that I found out that it wiped out 2011's backups AND 2011 as well. Then I spent all the time trying to get it right, I am afraid I wouldn't trust them again.

I was communicating with one of their staff but kept getting general emails that couldn't be just 'Reply'd to and to find where to send them I never did find out. Very badly organised!! I would advise anyone buying their programme that a lot of care should be taken on installation and that one should be ready to ditch it to and get your money back when the first problem erupts. I know people will say I am cynical and wrong, but if they had tried for 3 months to get a programme to work, they would probably be cynical too.

  cocteau48 16:33 22 Nov 2011


Earlier versions of Acronis have been brilliant (I'm still using ATI 2009 on XP and Vista machines without fail) but not being compatible with W7 I eventually succumbed to ATI 2012 and it is,as you say,a complete load of poo!

I spent two nights on their live chat service trying to get it to work,even allowing them brief remote access to my machine and still they could not get it to work. I got a refund,and I hope that you did as well.

The fact that their revised updated version has apparently addressed most of the problems (the list of issues addressed runs to a full page on their website and there are pages and pages of complaints on their forum)only highlights that the original release was anything but ready for release.

I will keep using my older version but I yourself. never let them use me as a guinea pig again.

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