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Advanced Recovery Solutions

Tutorial for creating and using image backups.

Steve Smith, host of your Technology Questions Answered, explains what an image backup is, and demonstrates how to create one using the Acronis True Image WD Edition the process of creating an image backup.

Episode #1-37 released on June 12, 2011

In today's world of the internet, we have persistent attacks from remote servers, hackers targeting companies, virus floods caused by improper education of computer users, flaws in applications and security systems, etc... We, also, have to maintain working workstations, servers, personal computer, laptops, etc... We all know we have to make backups, chances are, that most of you, still don't make regular backups. There is, however, more than one type of backup. Today, we talk about image backups. We'll explain what it is, how to create one, how to deploy a similar backup solution for anyone, and demonstrate how to create one using the Acronis True Image software used by Western Digital and Seagate, both offer this software for free on their web-site, if you use their hard drives.

What is an image backup?

It is a complete backup of all your files, system files, operating system, and includes all partition data for your hard drive. To be clear, an image backup copies and stores every single bit, one for one, of your whole hard drive. This makes redeployment of any system simple and extremely fast to do.

Creating an image backup

Process of creating an image backup is fairly simple in Acronis True Image. A step by step instruction is provided below for the Acronis True Image WD Edition.

  1. Open True Image
  2. Select Backup
  3. Select Disk and Partition to backup
  4. Select Archive Location, preferably a different drive
  5. Optionally, you can allow backup to overwrite previous, it is safer not to overwrite a previous version if you computer fails mid-backup, you may also change the compression, etc... under backup options.
  6. Then click proceed.

Creating a restoration drive

  1. Open True Image
  2. Select Tools and Utilities
  3. Select Create Bootable Media Rescue Media
  4. Click next on first page
  5. Select Acronis True Image WD Edition (Full Version)
  6. Select Next
  7. Select Next
  8. Select drive to store software on
  9. Click Next
  10. Click Proceed

Where to store the image backup

There are several ways of storing and using an image backup, the issue with one, is the size. The bigger the image backup file is, the more likely you need to use an external storage device or internal secondary hard-drive. In principle, storing any backups as the primary drive, is a bad idea. You should, at the very least, have a second hard-drive in your computer, or an external hard-drive, next week, we will show you how to make your own Faux N.A.S.

Recovering Computer from an Image Backup

  1. Plug in the USB drive you created with the recovery software
  2. Plug in the hard drive, if not internal, containing your image backup
  3. Boot your computer to the USB drive containing the recovery software
  4. Select the recovery option, specify the back image, and follow the onscreen guide.
  5. According to personal experience, we have recovered computers in less than 20 minutes for drives of 320GB or less. Rebuilding computers can take anywhere from 2-3 hours for recovery disk based computing, to 12 hours for multimedia rigs like our video editing and recording towers.
  6. When recovery is completed, restart the computer, and remove the USB drive containing the recovery software.

Panic Trick - Recovery software missing, image backup created

It is possible to loss or misplace your recovery software in time of crisis. There are several solutions at your disposal, if you have a second computer. The free versions of Acronis are locked by hard drive manufacture, if you have another computer and the same manufacture, simply create the recovery USB drive with the other computer. If it doesn't have a drive from the same company, plug in your failed drive in the other computer, and the software will allow installation of the recovery software, and creation of the recovery drive.

Final Speech

I'd like to thank you for listening to this week's episode of your Technology Questions Answered. Next week, we talk about network attached storage solutions that using USB enabled routers. Don't forget to subscribe to our show, stay tuned for next week's episode on June 19. Stay safe and online. Have yourselves a great weekend!

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

Sources & Resources