Quick backup question

By Kua ยท 4 replies
Nov 4, 2008
  1. Hi,

    For backup I'm using Acronis to make an image of my HDD on my external HDD.

    Should the unthinkable happen, say my harddrive frazzles. How would I restore this image on a new HDD? I've checked the instructions but I'm afraid it goes over my head a little. Does it involve re-installing the OS? Do I boot from the CD?

    Sorry to be such a noob!
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    Take Acronis and make a full HD image; save it.

    Take periodic backups of user files and mark the dates.

    If the HD fails,
    1. install a replacement HD
    2. get your Acronis CD and the full image cd
    3. boot from Acronis CD
    4. restore using the full image

    Your system will then be bootable and of the same state as the full image taken.
    To 'roll forward' with your user files, you can restore from the periodic backups :)

    You should take a new full image at least once a year; some do it more, but
    monthly is WAY too frequent (imo).
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    if your hard drive frazzles you better know how (ahead of time) and have a bootable Acronis CD.

    Did you buy Acronis as a boxed set (which includes the Acronis CD) or did you buy it online and download Acronis? (in which case you have to build your own CD - and build BEFORE you actually need it! ;) )
  4. Kua

    Kua TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 58

    Not quite sure what you mean by 'save it', by creating it on a different HDD aren't you effectively saving it.

    Could you define user files? Are you referring here to differential backups?

    By full image CD I presume you mean whatever data source contains the image (in my case the external HDD). I guess when I boot from the Acronis CD (I do have the boxed set with the CD by the way!) it will give me the option to access the image from there.

    I presume this is simple enough - that you use the Acronis CD again.

    You say this just because its easier to make differential backups?

    I have a 1TB internal HDD and was going to buy a 500GB external for backup. Once the 1TB HDD is full (which could take a while), I'll stuggle to have room for differential backups, even if the full image is compressed.... May be I should be going for a larger external HDD :S .

    Thanks for your help :) .
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    You will need to boot from the recovery media and Acronis has the CD for that.
    As noted earlier, if you downloaded the program, then you need to create the
    recovery CD.

    The media you use for user backups doesn't really matter much as long as it
    can be accessed when needed.

    User Backups are 'best' using the differential technique to
    1. reduce the size of the backup media required
    2. simplify the recovery process (ie the full image + one differential)

    Backing up the whole disk repetitively is wasteful and duplicates files that have not
    even changed. As the Users are located in \Documents and Settings\ (or in Vista \Users\)
    this is an ideal source of differential backups :)
    Caveat: If any user can or has created a folder at C:\xxx, then these will need special attention too.
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