Subscriber Norm Sutcliff wrote with some questions about Acronis True Image Home 2010:
Hi Terry. I keep thinking about purchasing Acronis True Image Home 2010 from your newsletter but am a bit unsure about trying it in case I loose stuff. I am not that PC literate when it comes to things like this.
Ok, I can move things between files. Create new files, paste and copy things, just very basic things really but then when I read things like ” you can use .tib or .vhd” when it talks about using the program, well this sort of thing just scares me because I just don’t understand it.
I sort of get the feeling while reading about Acronis and what you can do with it that it would be just a matter of pluging in a portable hard drive and instruct it to copy the complete contents of the C drive and in my case the H drive as well because I have a partition, to the portable hard drive and it would be as simple as that. But is it? and is it just as easy to transfer from the portable back into the PC?
The guy that built my PC for me isn’t around anymore because I would normally have asked him to sort me out. He partitioned the hard drive so the XP operating system and anything else related to helping the PC to run smoothly was on the smaller partition (68Gb) and everything else went on what I called the H partition (165 Gb). He did it this way because he said that usually when a PC crashes, something has affected the operating system and it would be simpler to wipe and restore the smaller partition than loose the whole drive.
Are the instructions for using Acronis nice and easy to understand and follow because in my case they would certainly need to be. I would very much appreciate your comments and any advise on this matter Terry. My PC is an ASUS T2 Terminator. I look forward to hearing from you Terry and thank you in advance for any help you can offer me. Kindest regards, Norm.
I wrote back to Norm to remind him that he’s in more danger of losing stuff if he does not have a backup, than if he has a backup.
The formats that Norm didn’t recognize were .tib and .vhd. .tib is the proprietary format that ATIH has used for years for its backup images. .vhd is a new format from Microsoft which stands for Virtual Hard Disk – it’s used by Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005, so that support may be interesting for someone using those programs – which is not most of the world. I use the .tib format, which is the default, for the backups I make with Acronis True Image Home.
Norm also wanted to know if ATIH was easy to use. Yes, I think it is. There are all sorts of additional things you can do, but the basics are pretty easy.
Norm had missed one important concept in doing a system restore – if you boot from the hard drive (e.g., the Windows C: partition), that’s running your computer. You can’t restore the Windows C: partition from backup, if that’s what’s running your computer.
The fix is easy, though. You have to create the bootable CD (which you can do from within the Acronis True Image program after you install it. Then, you boot the CD, and proceed to restore your C: partition. Of course, if you’re only trying to restore a couple files that aren’t part of the operating system (oops, I deleted that spreadsheet and need to restore it from the backup!), you can boot C: and then open the backup image as if it was a hard drive.
It was good to hear that Norm’s PC maker set up his computer so that Norm could easily back up and easily reinstall, including reinstall Windows if he needed to, without writing over his data. In other words, he set up Norm’s computer similarly to the way I recommended in my recent articles about putting data files on a separate partition.
Yes, it’s easy to use. Acronis also offers a trial — so you can give it a try and decide before you buy it.