Acronis True Image

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Sep 18, 2020
I have many irons in the fire and cannot spend time trialling Acronis True Image but I do have a need for information about the product from real users. It would like to talk with any user of Acronis True Image in relation to protecting my systems from my fumbling attempts to keep it running.
I have had to rebuild my two main PCs recently because of my ineptitude in solving little problems which became big problems.
I do have an imaging software which provides good backups but I recently discovered to my horror that their support for restoring images to their source HDDs left a little to be desired.

I am looking around for other products which have kept up with modern PCs development and do not rely on DOS based recovery processing. I am led to believe from their advertising that Acronis True Image may be one of these. In these days of hype and false news can I believe what I read.

If you have experience of Acronis True Image I would like to begin a conversation with you, (privately if you prefer). I am not currently at present looking at other products.
I got a free copy of Acronis True Image with my first SSD (so some time ago.) I absolutely did not like the way it worked. It slowed the PC, interfered with other applications by locking their files, and in every respect seemed like I had malware installed. Perhaps it has gotten better, but I would stay well and truly away. You'd probably be better off with iDrive or that drive imaging software @Steve recommend from.
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You may get differing opinions from different people. I've used Acronis True Image years ago to duplicate my hard drives. Nothing recent though. I like the idea of making an image backup so that, should my primary hard drive fail, I can just pop in the backup. Having said that, I'm horrible at actually getting it done. And, I've used Acronis in the shut down the PC and run from a CD mode, which is a royal pain. Duplicating a large drive can take many hours, especially through USB2 ports. Way back in the day, @Steve recommended JungleDisk for online backup via the Amazon AWS storage platform. I still use it to backup my data, but that's not the same as a system backup. JungleDisk has changed so much over time that I don't know if I can recommend their current product line. Many of these providers have gone for the commercial customers, raising their prices and leaving consumers behind. Terabyte Unlimited puts out good stuff, which I've also used. But, it can be complicated to use and understand.

Here's a third option. I have had good luck with a SATA disk duplicator DEVICE that I got years ago at Frys. I think mine is limited to 2 TB drives. I'm not going to mention the brand, since these things seem to come and go. But, it literally is a physical box with a couple of drive slots on the top and a few buttons and lights. You shut down your computer and remove your hard drive. You put that physically in the source slot of the box. You put your backup drive in the target slot of the box. MAKE SURE you don't reverse them, especially if they look the same. The backup drive will need at least as much space as the source drive. Then, you just push the duplicate button and walk away for a few hours (varies depending on drive size). This doesn't require the PC, or any installations on the PC to run, if you get the right box. Once it's done, you shut it down, collect your source drive and put it back in your PC, and collect your backup drive and put it in its safe place. If you wanted to, you could try to boot the PC from the newly duplicated backup drive. Again MAKE SURE you keep track of which drive is which. If your house is dusty, like mine, cover the drive slots on the box when not in use. If you had to, you could boot your backup drive and run from it. Because it's an exact duplicate, including the UUID's (drive rewritable serial numbers), you can have serious problems if you have the source drive and the backup drive attached to the PC at the same time. If you combine an image backup with routine online backups of data, it makes it lots easier to recover data in a disaster. Getting all this done regularly is a hassle. Automating everything is cool, but malware may be able to find backup drives you have online all the time. Also, keep in mind that backups stored at the same location as the PC don't protect against a local disaster like a fire or flood or tornado, etc. They also don't protect against theft if the thief steals your PC and the backups.

Hope this helps. Maybe I should pop the cover off my laptop and run a backup. Keep in mind this doesn't work if the source drive has read errors. Run checkdisk without the option to fix errors before a backup and make sure it comes up clean. If there are errors, run SpinRite on it at level 2, THEN checkdisk to try to fix the errors. There are some methods out there to try to duplicate a drive with errors by saving the good stuff, but I don't have a lot of experience with that. If you run SpinRite on your drives once or twice per year at level 2, it helps keep your drives healthy, not including things like physical damage or malfunctions or things like controller malfunctions. No software can fix that.

For reference, here's a link to a disk duplicator product on Amazon. I don't know anything about it. I just typed hdd ssd duplicator into the search box. But it will give you and idea what's out there.

Hope this helps.

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I am using some Macrium software, Reflect, on their free tier. It seems to be happy to do an incremental backup of my PC to my NAS on a daily basis. What I've not tested is restoring. That's as much down to how I heavily restrict changes to this machine.

I do have a primary PC plus a secondary PC (plus many others, don't mention this to the wife). I never randomly install or change anything on my primary PC. Ever.

Anything I want to mess about with goes on the secondary PC or if I don't like the software at all, it goes on a VM (Oracle has a free one that's pretty neat).

Don't change the machine you rely on - avoid having to restore!
I used to use True Image, but the fact they want to update EVERY YEAR and charge you for that update eventually turned me off enough that I looked into Macruim Reflect and changed to that (using the paid tier because of a feature I saw in the matrix that I liked the concept of).

The first version of True Image I got was annoying because trying to edit my backup job for any reason (even if I wanted to double-check some setting, so if I wanted at the time was effectively a read-only mode of some detail not on the summary view), it took like 5 minutes to do whatever it wanted to do, and at some point would call focus window every second during that loading phase (so I couldn't do something else in another program as a reason because the True Image would steal focus and pop to the top). Eventually, I bought an update in which this issue was fixed. If I had not discovered the free tier of Reflect (which you can use to clone a disk, for example, to replace a spinning rust disk with an SSD), who knows what straw might have broken the camel's back to cause me to go out and look for something else.

That one thing I don't like about my current setup is that something causes my C: drive to need a chkdsk a bit too often, so Reflect would say the job failed because of that. I'm thinking something is fishy with how my mirrored RAID is working, like Windows randomly just doesn't wait for data to be written before shutting down or something.

Edit: Of course because I had hit the forums before I had checked my email, I see that backup fail email from last night. Here's the reason why it failed:
MFT corrupt - Error code = 6. Please run 'chkdsk C: /r'
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