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December 15, 2003
Last year I reviewed Acronis
There are other programs out there that do the same thing such as Symantec's Ghost or PowerQuest's Drive Image. What impressed me with Acronis
When I heard that Acronis
The first thing to notice is the redesigned user-friendly interface. Acronis
The Create / Restore / Explore / Unplug Image functions work as in Acronis
A new addition to creating an image is the option of performing an incremental backup which means that after an initial full backup image has been created, subsequent backups only contain changed disk sectors instead of a full backup. The advantage to this method is that incremental backups take less time and the image files are smaller. The downside is that a restore requires the initial full backup as well as every incremental backup. If one of them is missing or corrupt, the entire process may fail.
There are several new functions listed. Verify Image allows checking the integrity of an image after creation to ensure the image was created successfully a very important and welcome addition to the program for additional peace of mind. After all, there is nothing worse than having to revert to a backup and realizing it is corrupt.
Add Disk is a great way to add a new hard drive to a machine and migrate data from the old to the new drive. This comes in especially handy when replacing an old, smaller or failing drive with a new one. Once again, a wizard guides the user through the process of selecting the source (old) and destination (new) drive, what partitions to migrate and how to resize them, etc. After a reboot, the migration process takes place. When finished, it will give the option to shut the machine down and even remind to change jumpers when swapping drives.
One possibly dangerous option of this process is the ability to remove the data from the old drive after migration including zeroing the drive for added security. While this is a nice option if you have a known good backup, it is safer to first boot with the new drive and verify that the transfer was successful before zeroing the source drive.
Another immensely useful new feature is the ability to schedule backups. Another wizard allows easy configuration of scheduled drive images. The scheduling function is extremely flexible and supports multiple scheduled tasks. Having the ability to perform regular drive backups without interrupting productivity, without having to lift a finger, without rebooting, really leaves no excuse not to do it. Complete system backups have never been easier.
The Acronis Secure Zone is a new feature that enables the user to create a secure partition on a hard drive that is hidden and inaccessible to all other operating systems and applications, and dedicated to storing Acronis drive images. You then select it as the storage area for your next drive image where it is protected. When set up in combination with the Startup Recovery Manager, it makes recovery in case of disaster as easy as possible. Even if Windows is unbootable, restart the computer, press F11, select the Acronis recovery option, restore the image from the Secure Zone and you're back in business.
My main machine runs on an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe motherboard with an Intel 875P chipset. Unfortunately Acronis
I ran into a small problem on two different Windows XP SP 1 machines. When I upgraded Acronis
Acronis has taken an awesome program and made it even better. Looking back at my previous review, they pretty much took my entire list of criticism and turned it into a new feature list for Acronis
Having used Acronis
I highly recommend Acronis