August 28, 2006
by Miles Cheatham
Original article at Bjorn3d.com web site
Acronis True Image Workstation Version 9.1
My first associateion with computer imaging software began rather auspiciously five years ago; after I experienced a computer user's worst nightmare, a hard drive completely seized locking down my entire system; resulting in the loss of all my data. At the time the only decent imaging product on the market was Symantec's Norton Ghost and then later PowerQuest's Drive Image, a very good product which has since been purchased by Symantec, and essentially disappeared from the market. These products served me well for a couple of years; but as time moved on my data files once again had become very large and extremely important to me, this coupled with my previous experience made me very anal about the redundancy and backup of my data. I never wanted to experience another catastrophic event as the type described above without being adequately prepared.
Three years ago I began looking for a new tool to image my complete system. This call for change was necessitated as my old standbys: Symantec's Norton Ghost and Power Quest's Drive Image were no longer working properly with the new computer I had recently built. I had moved to the then new Intel 875 chipset; more importantly, I began using RAID 0 and RAID 1 arrays based on the Intel ICH5-R controller and SATA drives. The then latest version of Drive Image would not recognize my RAID array and Norton Ghost would go through its DOS based imaging regime without incident only to be unsuccessful restoring my data on a consistent basis. Hence the search began for a new product that would meet all of my detailed imaging needs.
To make an increasingly long story short, after an exhaustive search where I virtually looked at every backup utility and imaging product on the market, I found Acronis True Image which is an imaging software product authored and distributed by a company named Acronis. This product which at the time was the newly released version 7 proved pretty much faultless in giving me images from my SATA RAID array. I have used Acronis products religiously since that time in most cases backing my entire system up a couple of times a week and on any occasion that I feel the need to radically experiment with system settings. Yes! There have been a few more occasions where I experienced either major file corruption and/or system issues. The current iteration(s) of the Acronis "home product" has always literally saved my hind parts from the exhaustive process of reinstalling my OS, applications, and data. We're talking a 15-20 minute restoration of a fresh, unadulterated image as opposed to the 6-8 hour process of manually restoring everything.
About six months ago I began planning to do a recurring series of articles that looked at a complete overview of RAID technology and products for our readers' workstations and/or small business servers. Given the sheer scope and magnitude of this task I began to question whether the home version of Acronis True Image would facilitate the imaging tasks I was planning using a number of different RAID formats on several different computers. A short visit to the Acronis website revealed a product in their "Corporate/Enterprise Product" line that appeared to be perfect for the tasks at hand, Acronis True Image Workstation, version 9.1. Please join me today as I test the capabilities of this product to see if it will truly measure up and keep my previous "lily white impression" of Acronis products in tact.