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Cloning a drive a good alternative to backup

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
For some reason, the backup option in Acronis is not working for me.

I have the space to copy all the contents to my external drive, but how reliable is it to do a hard drive clone for backups?
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post #2 of 11
If you have the space and time, then go for it.

However most of the backup programs do have some nifty features (like compression or file manager access) which make them preferable to a direct clone of the drive.

Either way, as long as your data is safe, then it's all good.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Is it possible to boot my OS from an external drive?

Let's say I clone my main C drive to an external drive and then at the computer startup, I direct my BIOS to boot from the external drive. Can I run my system of the external drive?

If yes, this would make a case in favor of backing up by cloning instead of imaging.
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestyle View Post
Is it possible to boot my OS from an external drive?

Let's say I clone my main C drive to an external drive and then at the computer startup, I direct my BIOS to boot from the external drive. Can I run my system of the external drive?

If yes, this would make a case in favor of backing up by cloning instead of imaging.
Your BIOS may have the option of booting from a USB drive. I assume that is the type of external drive you are referring to.

For me, the great thing about using a drive imaging program is that if I have a HDD crash, I just unplug the dead drive and boot from the second drive and it's like nothing ever happened. You get the exact same environment you had the last time you made a duplicate image of your boot drive.

Of course, I never trust any system that has a single point of failure, so I also use two "Backup" applications to make separate copies of my data in two separate locations. I know it sounds paranoid, but I suffered mightily from a DELL system that ate HDDs for breakfast. It killed three good HDDs before I retired it. I lost some data the first time, never since. But I got tired of having to rebuild the Windows environment every time.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FerdinandII View Post
Your BIOS may have the option of booting from a USB drive. I assume that is the type of external drive you are referring to.

For me, the great thing about using a drive imaging program is that if I have a HDD crash, I just unplug the dead drive and boot from the second drive and it's like nothing ever happened. You get the exact same environment you had the last time you made a duplicate image of your boot drive.

Of course, I never trust any system that has a single point of failure, so I also use two "Backup" applications to make separate copies of my data in two separate locations. I know it sounds paranoid, but I suffered mightily from a DELL system that ate HDDs for breakfast. It killed three good HDDs before I retired it. I lost some data the first time, never since. But I got tired of having to rebuild the Windows environment every time.
Why don't you just Raid the hard drives in raid 1?
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestyle View Post
Why don't you just Raid the hard drives in raid 1?
Raid 1 is an option that theoretically does the same thing in "real time". It was tempting, since I would possibly lose NO data in case of a HDD failure.
Kinda like this...

Problem is, one of my buds had his RAID controller crap out and he was left with two identical, useless images that he couldn't boot from.

I know.... what are the chances...., but I figured the software solution was more bulletproof. Yeah, that makes me a hardware engineer, because I don't trust the devil I know.

Bruce.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FerdinandII View Post

Problem is, one of my buds had his RAID controller crap out and he was left with two identical, useless images that he couldn't boot from.


Is this the issue with all Raid controllers?

I assume you can just take 1 of the hard drives and install 1 of them into a motherboard port (away from the raid controller) and be all good, no?
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestyle View Post
Is this the issue with all Raid controllers?

I assume you can just take 1 of the hard drives and install 1 of them into a motherboard port (away from the raid controller) and be all good, no?
I know you're pwned if this happens in RAID1, but I suppose there are HW solutions for RAID0 that will do what you suggest (i.e. the drive itself and data and file system are exactly the same as one that has not been hooked up in the RAID1 configuration). But it is still possible for the RAID controller to mess up both drives at once, so you're back to the single-point-of-failure mode again....

I'm not saying "Don't do it; it's bad.", I just felt that it was easier for me to get the SW solution reliable.
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestyle View Post
For some reason, the backup option in Acronis is not working for me.

I have the space to copy all the contents to my external drive, but how reliable is it to do a hard drive clone for backups?
True Image worked f9 for me.
It should backup and create bootable disk, so if you have TI installed
and it would easier to fix it, rather then search for another solution.

Could you please specify what the problem was?
or you might join Acronis Official Support forum.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by apsyrtus View Post
True Image worked f9 for me.
It should backup and create bootable disk, so if you have TI installed
and it would easier to fix it, rather then search for another solution.

Could you please specify what the problem was?
or you might join Acronis Official Support forum.
I did.

...almost the same screen name... not quite though.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=204856


http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=204441
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