Barry's rigs 'n reviews
March 15, 2007
by Barry Little
Original article at Barry's rigs 'n reviews web site
Acronis True Image 10 Home Review @ BRnR
Application Backups: The little things do matter
We've all had the annoying and frustrating experience of our favorite applications suddenly going haywire, losing the customized setting we've created for them. In the past, the only way to fix the problem was to uninstall and reinstall the program, and then recreate our settings assuming that we didn't forget how we did some of them. For situations like this, Acronis has made things a little easier for you with Acronis True Image 10 Home. Now you can back up the application settings for some of the most popular programs and utilities available today, and restore them in minutes.
As you can see from these screenshots, Acronis True Image 10 Home can back up customized settings from a wide range of popular applications and utilities. Acronis plans to add more applications in the future, either through updates for Acronis True Image, or via the Internet on the Acronis website.
As you might expect, a check box next to a program preset is not selectable unless you actually have that program installed on your PC. Unlike Backup Categories, you cannot modify or make changes to any of the presets supplied by Acronis. Power users probably won't be too happy about this, but Acronis has undoubtedly worked with the publishers of these specific apps and tested their individual settings in-house to make sure that they restore customized user settings properly. I created a backup of Word 2003, and as I suspected, a quick look through the resulting archive revealed a backup made almost entirely of registry keys some familiar, some not. Which would explain why the whole process took thirty seconds to complete!
Keep in mind this feature only backs up an application's settings and not the actual application or data created with it. If the application itself gets corrupted, you'll still have to uninstall the application; reinstall it and any service packs or updates and then restore your customized settings for the program with Acronis True Image. Looking through the list, though many are not the most current versions, we see quite a number of popular applications. Acronis plans to update these on a regular basis.
Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express users can back up and recover messages, E-Mail accounts, address books and other settings, as well. Anyone who has ever had to run Detect and Repair for a Microsoft Office program gone bad, and then had to go through all of their Office programs to set them up from scratch all over again as if it were a brand new installation, will really appreciate this new feature in Acronis True Image.
- Also new to Acronis True Image 10 Home, is its ability to backup and restore Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express messages, settings, E-Mail accounts and address books.
- Here I'm going for the whole nine yards for the Outlook backup...
- ...and I've taken the liberty of creating a Backup Location for it.
- This is my first Outlook backup, with Acronis True Image, so I'll choose Create a new full backup archive here.
- Logging in automatically works for me...
- ...as does Use default options.
- A short and to-the-point Archive Comment.
- We're ready to back up.
- This was over before I even had a chance to blink!
- Now it's time for some fun. I'll open Outlook and delete all of these messages from the Inbox.
- ...and from the Deleted Items folder.
- Those messages are now history. But what if they were really important and I desperately needed them back? Normally I'd be SOL...
- ...fortunately, I have Acronis True Image 10 Home and a recent backup!
- You know the drill by now...
- ...select the backup archive we just created...
- ...select what to restore...
- ...problem solved!
Scheduling: Getting the job done consistently and reliably
Even if you're conscientious about performing backups, a little assistance never hurt anyone. The only way to insure that you don't miss a backup is to schedule it. Acronis True Image 10 gives you a lot of power and flexibility in scheduling any of Acronis True Image's backup types, while keeping things simple with its easy-to-use Schedule Task wizard. A long-overdue addition to the Schedule Task Wizard, is Acronis True Image's Backup Policy.
- Backup operations that rely on user input and are not hands-off, are backup operations that don't get done. Acronis has added a new feature to Acronis True Image 10 Home that makes scheduled backups even more powerful and flexible.
- To schedule a backup, we need to Create a new task.
- As always, you are give the option to choose what you want to back up. For this example, I'm going to select My Data.
- I'll use my preconfigured Oblivion backup selections once more...
- ...and skip excluding any files from the backup once more.
- I'll save it to the Backup Location I created before. Remember earlier when I mentioned I deliberately chose to use the UNC path for the Backup Location, on my Buffalo TeraStation NAS, rather than the mapped network drive letter? The reason is that any job scheduled to backup to a Acronis Backup Location will FAIL if the Backup Location is set up with a mapped network drive letter rather than the UNC path!
- Backup Policy is a new Acronis True Image Schedule Task feature. With it, you can have Acronis True Image automatically create full backups after a specific number of incremental or differential backups are created. Used in conjunction with a Backup Location's rules, and you've got a hands-off backup system that practically takes care of itself.
- If you want to password-protect the archive, enter it here.
- If your backup location is on a network share on a remote system or device unless you've configured to log in automatically, you'll have to select the second option and provide your user name and password.
- If you need to modify any of the backup defaults, you can do it here.
You can use the policy to automatically create a new full backup after a user-specified number of differential or incremental backups have been created. When scheduled backups are performed to a backup location, once any of the backup location's user-defined limits are reached, Acronis True Image will automatically delete the oldest backup.
- Enter your comments about the backup here.
- Here's were you select when you'd like the scheduled job to run. I selected Daily.
- Now I'll select the time and day that I want the backup to run. I also have it set so that if the computer is off at the scheduled time, the job will run immediately after I turn it on again a feature that, surprisingly enough, is omitted from a number of utilities with scheduling.
- Next, you'll be prompted to enter your login name and password for the Acronis Scheduler Service. If you don't have a password for your user account, you may have to create one in order for the scheduled job to run.
- Click Proceed to finish your work.
- Here's our scheduled job. Let's give it a more appropriate name...
- ...like so.
- While we're hangin' out, let's look at the Scheduled Tasks Toolbar. We can run our scheduled job immediately by clicking this checkered flag button.
- Selecting your scheduled job and clicking this Edit button will run the wizard and allow you to make changes to it.
- This allows you to change the schedule run time of the selected job.
- Don't need it anymore? Delete it by clicking this.
- Click this to rename the scheduled job.
- Six A.M. the next morning (actually a few hours after I finally went to bed), the job ran and completed successfully.
- Here's the Event Log entry for the job.