Acronis has released their latest version of their hard drive imaging backup program, Acronis True Image Home 2012 (ATIH 2012). I wasted no time in purchasing my new copies. Although I could have upgraded at a significant discount (40%), I preferred to purchase new licenses for ATIH 2012, so that I had copies for additional computers.
The new version has some neat new features — I’d read about the new features, but, even then, I really didn’t realize their impact until I started to use the new program.
Of course, there are also the bug fixes and optimizations that make existing functions better -— like the new function for setting "credentials" (user ID and password) to be used when backing up to a network drive. The function was there before, but now it’s in the right place, is much more obvious, and it worked smoothly. Yes!
New features include the ability to synchronize files and folders across multiple computers, multiple hard drives, or even to flash drives. Obviously you wouldn’t do this for the entire hard drive, but for critical files, it should be a nice feature.
The Non-Stop Backup function seems a lot friendlier now. It will make backups of changed files every five minutes. With some common programs like Outlook, it will back up the changes in the .PST file rather than the .PST file itself (which might be huge). However, the key is that you’re backing up changes to / or changed files. If you don’t save a file you’re working on, the Non-Stop Backup can’t save you.
The scheduling function has a new user-friendly feature. The old version allowed you to tell ATIH 2011 that, if it missed running a backup because the computer was turned off, it should run the backup when you started the computer again.
Now, ATIH 2012 allows you to a delay after the computer has started before it runs the backup task that was missed. In other words, you can have ATIH 2012 wait 30, 40, 49 or more minutes (in increments of 1 minute) before it starts, so you can get your work done before the backup starts.
What’s better than a program that let’s you make a backup of your current computer, operating system, programs, configurations, and your data, so you can restore everything in an easy-to-use process. One that will let you schedule incremental backups of only the files that changed, of course, and let you decide how many backups to keep!
I’ve been using image backup programs since Drive Image in about 1999. The computers, hard drives and programs have come a long way since then. But, image backups are still my favorite. Of course, you can restore individual files or folders from the backup, too, so it’s not an all-or-nothing restoration. Just "mount an image" as a hard drive (in ATIH 2012) and then you can copy from it, just as if it was a hard drive.
The new ATIH 2012 starts with a friendly welcome menu — need to understand about backing up your computer? Click on "How to back up?" Then, when you’re ready to back up your computer, click the "Back up system" button.
Similarly, there are "When to recover?" and "What is sync?" selections and corresponding buttons to do those tasks.
I immediately used the backup function. Since I had been running ATIH 2011 (which I uninstalled before installing ATIH 2012, although I probably could have installed ATIH 2012 over ATIH 2011), the new program found the list of existing backups from the old program. I could have restored from any of them; instead, I did a new backup of my C: drive and then a new backup of my D: drive (I back them up in two separate steps, as most of my data is on my D: drive).
As I hover over any of the backup files in the list, I get corresponding choices to Back Up Now, Recover, and Edit backup settings.
The next image is the selection screen when you pick Recover from the menu (as opposed to clicking on Restore on one of the backups in the backup image list.
Then, once you select which backup image you want to restore, you get the following dialog box.
Note that this allows you to select which partition to which you want to restore — or you can switch to "disk mode" and let the program handle it. You also have options to view the MBR (Master Boot Record) and to change Disk Recovery Options.
So far, I think upgrading to the new Acronis True Image Home 2012 was a good choice.
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