Backing Up a Computer Hard Drive Such That Recovery After a Crash is Speedy

  thegreypanther 09:53 12 Apr 2012

I have recently suffered a couple of hard drive failures, such that I have had to re-instal Windows and ALL of the programs and settings on my PC. Fortunately, all data was fully backed-up on each occasion.

Would I would like to have, to protect against future crashes, is a system that enables me to recover EVERYTHING as rapidly as possible, so that I don't spend several days messing around re-establishing my PC.

Is there an "easy read" guide as to how to do this? Would it help to set up a server so that I have such a back-up? And, if so, is there an "easy read" guide as to how to do this.

I use Acronis True Image to back up my data, but I find their manual rather lengthy and not particularly helpful.

  compumac 10:14 12 Apr 2012

If you have Acronis then you have the best already. Just create a full image and verify it afterwards.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:54 12 Apr 2012

Should't take more than 30 mins to apply an Acronis image

Boot from the rescue disk - click Backup and Restore - Click manage and restore - select the image to restore from the list.

  Diemmess 15:13 12 Apr 2012

Agree wholeheartedly with the others.

Acronis is fine but like every sort of file transfer, the more there is to be moved, the longer it will take.

When all is calm once more, consider the possibility of keeping Drive C: for the operating system and major programme installations.

Data of any kind which usually needs the largest space can be stored by itself on a separate drive. this action will speed up Acronis in its image making.

As before, you don't really need a manual if you stick with the screen by screen process and stay with the defaults.

On last silly thought.... When restore is on the way the very earliest "Estimated time" may often suggest 4-6hrs............ Ignore that because you will witness the fastest count-down ever, 'till it completes in about 20 minutes [depending on those Gbs you are imaging.]

  thegreypanther 15:38 12 Apr 2012

Seems like I had better study the instructions that go with Acronis a bit more carefully!

My current system is to have the operating system and all the programs on the C-partition, and all the data in the D-partition. I incrementally back-up the D-partition on a regular basis to an external hard disc. It would be catastrophic to lose the data.

So, looks like I had better read the book of words as to how to best protect the C-partition.

  lotvic 15:51 12 Apr 2012

Which version of Acronis True Image do you have? There are simplified instructions for various versions.

  proudfoot 16:13 12 Apr 2012

I have used various versions of Acronis TI for many years. My first version was free with a magazine and I have never had any problems. Now using ver 10. I have never used all the bells and whistle that come with my version, just make regular backups of my system and programs on my C drive. All other files etc are either on separate partitions on my internal HD or my USB drive. Make sure you put the backups on another partition or preferably another drive,

  robin_x 16:39 12 Apr 2012

They are known as 'System Images'. Compressed copies of the boot, OS and other partitions are made to a single file or set of files in a folder (usually on Ext Drive).

'Backups' refer to files and folders, not the whole system.

The terminology is widely misused and leads to confusion.

I use 'File/Folder Backup' and sometimes 'Backup Image' instead of 'System Image'

Some pointers here. It's not difficult after you've done it a few times.

Windows 7 also can image (Start search Backup and Restore).

Also free apps such as Macrium Reflect and Easeus Todo Backup.

Strictly you don't need them since Acronis does the same. But maybe useful for learning/clarification purposes.

Note: All Image methods allow creation of a bootable Recovery CD/DVD. It is essential to make one and test boot it and keep safe.

Some apps also allow a dual boot Recovery setup. The idea being you don't need to boot from a CD to recover. It's no use though if the hard drive fails.

If you don't want a full restore, just a few files and folders, Images can be 'Mounted' and explored to copy whatever necessary.

It's a good idea to keep an Image after clean install and all the setup. Then make regular images thereafter (say every week or two).

Delete old ones when space is running out.

You can also continue making normal file and folder backups more frequently of course.

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