December 07, 2009
Full text of original article at Infopackets.com web site
Upgrading XP to Win7: How to Make the Transition Easy
Acronis True Image 2010 has recently been released and if you plan to take the plunge to from Windows XP to Windows 7 -- or even Vista to Windows 7, for that matter -- you will definitely want to use this program.
From Windows XP to Windows 7: My Experience
When I moved from XP to Windows 7, I used Acronis True Image no less than 15 times to regain access to my previous Windows installation in order to extract files I simply forgot to backup.
In one instance, I used True Image to rescue a configuration file containing 25 email filters I had previously used on my old Windows XP system. I sure as heck didn't want to re-enter all that information. And thanks to True Image, I didn't have to!
In another instance, my Bookmarks backup (containing OODLES of websites I've bookmarked over the years) was corrupt. Using True Image, I was able to mount my backup file as a virtual drive and use the backup just like it was my old C drive (containing my old Windows system). From there I was able to extract the data and import my bookmarks successfully. This is referred to as mounting a virtual drive letter using an image backup (details below).
"It would not be fair for me to say that other imaging programs are no good as I have only ever used Acronis True Image. I have only ever used Acronis because it does everything that I want ... and has yet to fail. Very few programs can be called essential -- True Image is one of them." ~ Infopackets Reader John B.
How to Mount a Virtual Drive Backup
- Install True Image; backup your C drive (where Windows is stored).
- Locate your backup file via My Computer.
- Right-click image backup file and select "Mount."
- True Image will appear; follow the instructions. Use Read-only mode.
- Your new virtual drive (backup) will then be accessible in My Computer. Use Windows Search when needed or you can double click on it / view it via My Computer.
Announcing Acronis True Image 2010
The timing couldn't be better.
With the current excitement surrounding the release of Windows 7, literally tens of millions of computer users are looking at the need to do a fresh install if they want to gain the new Windows 7 speed, reliability, and features.
In addition to everything else it does well, Acronis True Image Home 2010 is the perfect intermediary bridge to supply you with the least-hassle during this revolutionary operating system upgrade.
Acronis: a Well-known and Trusted Name
Well-established over the past several years as the leading multi-function backup software, this heavily improved and expanded version of Acronis True Image, called "Home 2010," not only allows you to easily and simply back up your data -- including those hard-to-find-and-back-up emails and address books -- it supports a simple, fast copy of your computer's entire harddrive to an external drive, a DVD, or an online repository.
You can choose to save any or all of the following:
- a complete disk image
- any set of files, folders, or entire file categories
- your boot files, registry, protected Windows files, and COM+ CLASS registration database, which allows you to recover your current system files, drivers, and such
- your settings and messages in Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, and Windows Mail
- your current Windows applications settings
"I have used Acronis for some time and I wouldn't be without it. I want to be very clear about this -- for me, it has been more than worth every penny I spent on it." ~ Infopackets Reader Jim X.
True Image Provides Complete Peace of Mind
After you've successfully installed Windows 7, use the backup data saved by Acronis True Image Home 2010 as if it were a virtual harddrive. You can then search the virtual harddrive (your old Windows installation) as if it were a real harddrive, and retrieve the files you need for your new operating system.
If you need to go back to your previous system, you can backup your current Win7 install, restore your old XP or Vista install, and everything is back the way it was. Very few backup programs have this capability -- and that's what makes True Image the best choice for disaster recovery as well as simple backup.
Acronis 2010 New Features
In addition to the powerful features we've detailed in previous reviews of Acronis True Image, this new version offers a variety of enticing features that make this backup software a no-brainer choice for everyone who wants protection against losing data:
- Near-continuous backup as you work on your computer, allowing instant reversions to earlier drafts of data files
- Enhanced features that simplify and speed total system recovery
- More powerful Scheduler lets you select task dates from a calendar, temporarily disable scheduled tasks, clone existing tasks and then modify the clones for slightly different purposes, and more
- Selectively validate individual backups -- an important time-saver
- Support for the new dynamic/GUID Partition Table disk partitioning regime
- Support for the newest Virtual Hard Disk file format with 2-way conversion between Windows and Acronis backup images
"For me, [True Image] works like a dream -- I now make a full image backup *before* I start making serious changes or alterations to my system [including any recently downloaded programs that may harm the stability of my PC] ... True Image has proven to be a lifebelt on steroids!" ~ Infopackets Reader Ken T.
Full, Incremental or Differential Backups
As with earlier versions, Acronis True Image Home 2010 supports full, incremental and differential backups. This means you can save time and backup space by storing copies of only your newest files or only the files that have changed since your last backup, and save them on your choice of a shared space on a network, a CD or DVD, a USB "flash drive," or any local internal or external drive.
Try and Decide Mode
Perhaps the most innovative and important new feature of Acronis True Image Home 2010 is called Try & Decide. When you turn on this feature, the software creates a "test" or "development" copy of your computer's operating system and data and allows you to switch back to a previous state if you need to.
As long as Try & Decide is active, all computer work -- changing data files, installing and removing software, changing system settings, opening email attachments, visiting suspicious websites, and so forth -- happens only in the test system. You can even shut down and reboot within the Try & Decide protection mode.
If a change doesn't work out the way you like, simply cancel Try & Decide to restore your original system, completely intact. At any time, you can switch off the Try & Decide mode and either apply the new changes to your original computer system, or not.
If you do a lot of downloading and program installs, you will definitely like Try and Decide mode.
Security And Optimization Tools
In addition to all the backup and protections you get with Acronis True Image Home 2010, the software also provides an amazing variety of additional security and optimizing tools, including a DriveCleanser, a File Shredder, and a System Clean-up tool. There's also support for the popular Zip format, which makes it convenient to store your backups in compressed form, and access the data again with any software that can unZip a file.
A One-Click Backup and Restore Tool
But you don't have to know anything about the inner workings of computers to take advantage of all this power. Acronis True Image Home 2010 offers a One-Click Backup tool that lets you protect your data as soon as you get the program installed.
It also allows you to schedule refreshers of this back up, so you can automate all your data backup chores. Of course, if you like to take control over your computer's inner workings, Acronis True Image Home 2010 lets you initiate backups of just your system partition or your entire system disk, just your data partition, or selected files and folders.
Acronis True Image 2010 is not just a backup tool: it's a virtual life saver. If your data is important to you, True Image 2010 is a must-have tool to day-to-day backup. I use it on ALL my PCs at home regularly.
For those who are upgrading for WinXP to Win7, you will most definitely want True Image to backup your system. Windows 7 requires a fresh install which means you will be forced to re-install all your programs. And believe me, there will be some files you want to retrieve from your old system to the new one. It happened to me more times than I thought, even with careful planning.
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