I’ve been using Acronis True Image Home for a long time, as readers of my newsletter know. I started with ATIH 7, then ATIH 9, ATIH 11 and now I use ATIH 2009.
Each of the versions included improvements over earlier versions — but when I saw the features of Acronis True Image Home 2009, I didn’t hesitate long!
I love the new interface — it’s a lot easier to understand than the ATIH 11 version (which was similar to older versions). It simply looks good. It also has many of the options settable via the options menu (Tools > Options) instead of forcing us to walk through all the options every time we wanted to create or schedule a backup.
Let me repeat that — there are a lot of options, including ones you really want to use, such as Validate backup archive when it is created that are in the Options menu. (This option lets you make sure that the backup you just made is good. I ran into that problem years ago with Drive Image — I deleted the partition to restore it from Drive Image, and then Drive Image decided that the backup was bad, and refused to restore it. Not a good thing…
On the left below, we see the main menu screen (Home) in ATIH 2009. From here, you can easily do each task.
The image on the right is the first Backup and Restore screen. Think of these as individual wizards to walk you through each step.
The next screen on the left is the Tasks and Log screen, where we contrrol the scheduled and unscheduled backup tasks. As you can see from the calendar, I have True Image Home 2009 run a scheduled backup every three days. Although you can’t see the details from this display, I run a full backup on or about the first of the month and scheduled incremental backups after that. Occasionally, I run an unscheduled incremental backup, too. The color coding makes it easy to see the status of the backups.
The next screen is the first Utilitites screen, which provides two hard drive management tools. Notice in the top left, there are two entries: Disk Management and Cleanup Utilities.
From this hard drive management menu, we can clone a disk (for example, if we wanted to replace the disk with a larger one, or we can add a new disk to the computer. This latter function lets us configure the initially blank hard drive so that we can use it to store data and programs. Of course, Windows also has tools to do this, but they’re hidden and it’s not as obvious how to use them.
The last image shows the Cleanup Utilities provided in True Image Home 2009: the Drive Cleaner (to securely wipe a hard drive, which takes hours and hours), the File Shredder (to securely wipe individual files) and the System Clean-up utility Interestingly, the System Clean-up utility says it "cleans all your Windows activity traces” (what about traces from common programs like Firefox and Opera?).
Even more interestingly, it says that it "securely wipes hard drive free space." That’s a nice feature which is hard to find — many programs will do individual files or files and folders. More will wipe the whole hard drive. But, I’ve found few over the years that are designed to wipe free space.
The final image is the Cleanup Utility, with one level of its findings shown. You’ll have to click on the small triangles to show the details under each item — and you may think the program has frozen as it creates the list (my list had 3,651 items!).