Product: Acronis True Image Home 2010
Class: Hard Drive & Partition Backup Program
License: Commercial product. Free trial. Upgrade pricing (from earlier versions) available.
Operating Systems: Windows XP SP3, Windoww XP Professional x64, Windows Vista SP2 (all editions) , Windows 7 (all editions)
Version Reviewed: v2010
I’ve recently upgraded two of my computers to Windows 7 — well, actually upgraded one and built a new one, but that’s another story. Both are using Windows 7 Professional.
The upgraded computer is a five+ year old Dell Inspiron 8600 notebook computer. Of course, it needs a 32-bit operating system. The new computer I built has an Intel Core i7-860 processor, with four processing cores and handles either 64-bit or 32-bit operating systems.
Since I’ve been doing my computer backups with Acronis True Image Home for a number of years (my earliest version was v7 — they incremented to v11 before v2009 was released in late 2008), I needed to back my new systems up the best way I know how — with Acronis True Image Home.
Acronis True Image Home 2009 worked fine on my notebook with Windows 7. I’d read that the new v2010 version had some new features, as well as officially supporting Windows 7, so I wanted to check into them.
The final straw, though, was when I built the new 64-bit PC this week and installed the 64-bit version of Windows 7. I’ve installed several pieces of other older software on the computer, since the 64-bit version of Windows 7 generally knows how to handle the other software.
But, it doesn’t always…sometimes, the software can’t do what it needs to do…
That’s not an acceptable answer for a backup program. I decided that I needed to have the new version of ATIH, since it supports Windows 7, among its other improvements. While I was at it, I bought a second license for ATIH 2010 to put on my notebook, just to make sure (Acronis offers a significant discount for upgrades).
Why should I upgrade from Acronis True Image 2009 (or earlier)? Two basic answers — you might want the improved support for Windows 7 and Acronis keeps adding new features to Acronis True Image
The new features in Acronis True Image 2010 include:
- More comprehensive Windows 7 backup support. Windows 7 has backup imaging functions (system image backup) built in, but you can only restore the entire image; you can’t restore only some of the files and folders. If you want to be able to restore files and folders, then you have to make a different kind of backup with Windows Backup.
- Nonstop Backup — select the partitions to back up and let Acronis True Image Home 2010 make backups as you work — incremental backups every five minutes!
- Virtual Hard Disk support (if you’re using the virtual machine capablilities of Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate, you may want this.
- Windows 7 Ultimate users can even boot from the image backup files
- Time Explorer — ATIH 2010 has a feature that allows you to easily view your Acronis Nonstop Backup and Acronis Online Backup based on when the backup dates.
- Acronis Online Backup capability — warning — this is an extra-cost service and is priced per license
The first image below the main window of Acronis True Image Home 2010.
In this image, you can see a series of selection buttons on the left side, with Home selected. You can also see the manu bar with a shorter list (Backup, Recovery, and Tools & Utilities), which still has all the same options. I’ll display the menu bar selections below, as they will be smaller and easier to download with slower Internet connections.
Notice, first, that Arconis True Image Home 2010 reminds me that I haven’t created the Bootable Rescue Media (CD) yet. After all, if my hard drive actually fails, I will need a CD to boot in order to reinstall on a new hard drive!
The Backup menu bar item has the functions that I expect to use most often. The top one "Disk and Partition Backup" is my preferred function, since it makes the image backups.
When I schedule an image backup, I can select whether to make a full backup (you need at least one), an incremental backup (all the changes since the last backup of any kind) or a differential backup (all the changes since the last full backup).
I schedule one full backup each month, giving it a file name structured in the format backup-YYYYMMDD-.tib. Notice the last dash after the DD.
When I create subsequent incremental backups, which I schedule to occur every 2 or 3 days, True Image will add a 2, 3, 4, etc. for the new backups.
Also, if you have True Image set to break the backup into DVD-sized pieces so you can copy them onto DVD’s, they will be named similarly.
Finally, notice the File Backup function. I don’t plan to use this at all, as it’s stepping outside the normal backup pattern — and requires a different selection when restoring. I’ll restore by treating a backup image as a hard drive (see below).
The Recovery tab in the menu bar gives us the obvious ability to recover from the hard drive from the backed up images. It also gives us the Time Explorer views of the Nonstop Backup Mode (included) and the Online Storage Mode (extra cost subscription).
The Tools & Utilities menu bar selection is where we can pick the many more functions of Acronis True Image Home 2010.
How do you use these functions? If it’s not obvious, click the Help question mark at the right end of the menu bar. The Help dialog box has a lot of helpful information.
This is the place where I can choose to treat a backup image as a read-only hard drive, so I can copy files and folders from it to my computer, using Windows Explorer.
The Mount Image option from this menu allows us to pick which image is to be treated as a hard drive, and allows us to pick the drive letter we want to assign to the image.
By the way, don’t forget to register your license for any version of Acronis True Image Home 2010 and earlier versions, if you have them.
Normally, I do not register software unless it is required to make the software work, since most manufacturers seem to use that registration for nothing other than email, mail and phone marketing. However, I do register my Acronis license codes because there is value to me in registering.
After you do, you’ll be able to log into your account at Acronis’ web site so that you can download updated versions of those products, as well as add-on’s for them.