I have purchased a new 1Tb hdd to use as a storage place for images of all
my computer OS's . I have a choice between Acronis True Image and Symantec
Ghost Solution Suite 1.1 . I'm sure some one here has used either or both ,
which is more user-friendly ? Opinions ?
I did notice while skimming the Acronis user manual it has the capability
of updatingthe image automagically . I haven't seen any user info on the
Symantec so I don't know what it's capabilities are - though the little info
I did find leads my to believe it's more useful as a business IT tool .
What are your needs?
I find Clonezilla (and/or its constituent parts) to be perfect for my
imagine needs. It's not tied to a particular OS (Windows/DOS, Solaris,
Linux flavors, etc.) so can be used without worrying about next year's
OS du jour.
[OTOH, I haven't tried it with UEFI systems, yet...]
It's free and relatively easy to use (esp if you are just imaging -- and
restoring -- disks or "partitions")
I've several "non technical" friends who have adopted this as a routine
backup scenario (not what *I* would adopt but it saves them from having
to come to me when the fit hits the shan).
I use a hybrid approach to build my own "restore" partitions on
machines -- esp laptops. Of course, as I know I'll be wiping the
drive in the process, I can cut corners that these tools can't...
I use BootIt and have for years. $35-40 with
free updates. Very good. Very dependable.
Does everything. Lean and efficient. And the
author provides guidance for challenging jobs
like eliminating multiple partition dependency on
Win7 and adjusting boot files to accomodate booting
from various partitions. I use it for all disk imaging,
booting and partitioning.
I haven't used Acronis. My impression is that
it does more hand holding for more money. They
came out of nowhere and got big quick, despite
high prices, so I'm guessing a lot of their success
may be due to smart advertising. Many
people like Macrium. I haven't tried that, either.
I get much of my software free but for disk work
and partitioning I don't think that should be a
factor. It's too important to just take the free
option. But there do seem to be a lot of
satisfied users of Macrium.
The one thing I would stress is that disk imaging,
booting and partitioning tools have changed over
the years. Many people want the tools but don't want
to deal with them. The result is that a lot of such
tools have bloated into backup programs with limited
functionality. (I think Drive Image was the first
casualty.) There's no excuse for such software to
need to be installed or to be bloated. (BootIt still
fits on a floppy, though I boot it from a CD.) So you
need to make sure whatever you pick can do the
things you need without adding a lot of crud that
you don't need. You also need to be aware that advice
you get may reflect those changes. Some people may
recommend a product that they're actually using
for back-up, not knowing the difference between
basic OS backup and disk image backup.
Personally I would never buy aything Symantec.
*Never*. They ruin everything they touch. Their
MO is to buy successful companies, bloat out the
product, advertise actively, and jack up the price.
They also usually cut back on functionality while
they're at it. AtGuard firewall and Quarterdeck Clean
Sweep are two good examples. Their System Works
has been horribly bloated for years. And Powequest
Drive Image, in Symantec's hands, became a bloated
backup program dependent on .Net. SW was also
the first installer I ever saw that tried to call home
without asking. Did I say I'd never buy their stuff
again? I'd never buy their stuff again. :)
I have been using the free Acronis for years (maxblast) but I have a
license for the TE package and it is more than I need. It certainly
gets the job done if you just want incremental images that you
Reading the various replies made me think of something
else you might want to think about, which I touched
on slightly: Disk imaging can mean different things. Some
people like to do periodic, frequent imaging as a backup,
like System Restore. That's fine, but it's just backup, really,
and it can all be lost if the disk dies. I take the approach
of maintaining a copy of a set-up system for all computers.
I install, then install software, then clean up and tweak
all the little details that I like to tweak. Then I image that,
keep a copy on another partition and copies on DVDs or
CDs. After that, if the machine has anything like a
factory restore partition I clear that. It's no longer of
any value. Then I keep data on separate partitions and back
that up. So at any time I can erase Windows and put in the
image to have a refreshed system, ready to go. There are
probably many other variations that people find useful.
I think it's worth giving that some thought. As the saying
goes, you don't have backup unless you can afford to
lose your computer, and maybe even your house.
Maintaining a copy of all set up comps , with regular updates is my goal .
Not that I have anything that special , but I have been tweaking and tuning
these machines for years in some cases . I have copies of all the software ,
but don't really want to have to rebuild from scratch . Onboard restore
files are OK in some instances , but if a hard drive dies - and that has
happened to me - or the system gets a nasty bug which can and often does
hide in the restore partition I'm screwed without an image stored somewhere
My thanks to all who have responded , looks like it's time for me to do
some research on the offerings out there . The two I asked about are
programs I have on hand and have never used ... I didn't know all those
others were out there .
On Friday, May 6, 2016 at 8:22:47 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:
I used to use the incremental backup approach, but have now switched to
something similar to Mayayana's method. When I've done a clean install,
I get all the updates, put on the other utilities, tweeks, etc that I like,
then image that. I separately back up my important user data occasionally.
I found that the problem with incremental backups is that typically when
I need it, it's because some software has gotten screwed up over time.
At that point, it's better to have a whole new clean install that I
have on that saved image from a year or two ago, rather than try to just
rely on going back to an incremental point from a month ago, etc.
So far nobody seems to be distinguishing between their System and Data.
IMHO, you do *not* want regular backups of you system - only backups of
the last known "Good" system.... Otherwise, doing daily or weekly
incrementals, some malware or corruption can creep into your backup and,
when the time comes to restore, you have a bad system.
OTOH, for data you want incrementals - so, in the event you mess up a
file, you can go back and restore from an earlier version.
I use Macrium Reflect for that. I am not in love with Macrium's access
to older copies of a given file, but it does work and I do not need to
recover an older version very often.
From a recovery-convenience aspect, the best tool I have used is
"SecondCopy". That is a file-based backup utility and all the versions
of a given file are right there in one place conveniently numbered.
OTOH, there are downsides of file-based backup systems - downsides that
I chose to live with... until 2nd Copy started acting weird on my
Windows 7 machine and I was unable to remedy it.
On Friday, May 6, 2016 at 2:44:21 PM UTC-4, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
Odd that you'd say no one has been distinguishing between the system
and data. I clearly did in my post. There is no need for the user
data backup to be incremental. I just do a full backup of all the
stuff I want saved periodically.
Perhaps we should define incremental and full. And full backup is
where you back up all the files. An incremental one is where only
files that have changed are backed up. That is typically done to
save space. With the amount of data I have and the size of storage
today, I just back up all the data files, without regard to if they
have changed or not.
For most folks, the only time the "system" (executables) is accessible
IN THE ABSENCE OF "data" is when the system is initially built.
Almost immediately thereafter, cruft starts accumulating in places that
you rarely foresee (temp folders, MRU lists in the registry, etc.)
It requires a very conscious effort (easier as "Windows" evolves)
to store "data" in a different place than "hidden among the
IME, the savings of an incremental backup (time, space) don't make
sense in the long run. To restore a system, you have to restore all
the changes that have been made to it since it's last "full backup".
So, all of that backup media has to be available and reliable.
It's easier (IME) to just backup the whole shebang and know that you
have a *complete* (level 0) backup available. And, a *previous*
one as well, etc.
If you use a version control system, you can access any version of
a file just by specifying the date or other "tag" associated with
Additionally, you can "see" what changes occurred to the file
(the VCS can highlight them -- if the file's format/type makes
sense to do that) along the way:
"Ah, that's where (when) I cropped the photo to remove the little
boy who was standing in the background!"
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