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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Acronis True Image 11 Rocks

I’m sure the people at Acronis would rather I was writing about their latest release version 12 instead of version 11. However an indisputable source, my brother, told me that version 12 was fraught with peril. Since I dealt with enough peril when my BounceBack clone feature didn’t work, I decided to avoid more frustration and peril and go with version 11. In an earlier blog I expressed my dismay over BounceBack’s drive cloning feature. Drive cloning is making an exact duplicate of your hard drive including all hidden files and most importantly the OS. This feature is invaluable if and when or maybe just when your hard drive decides to head south, winter or not. BounceBack was doing a commendable job on daily backup and made file restoration quite easy. However on a limping hard drive BounceBack’s clone feature refused to work.
I turned to me geek brother who is still working and who used to be my top tech and asked what he would recommend. He strongly recommended Acronis version 11. Of course that is discontinued but you can find it out in the wilds of the Internet. I found my version on a “buy it now” ebay deal for a most affordable $22.95 including shipping.

The best news is that it worked right out of the box. It stated early on that you had a choice of cloning with no changes to the source drive, a clone with deletion of the source drive and a clone with an aggressive deletion of the source drive. I avoid deletion whenever possible, even on a terminally ill hard drive there is an occasional miraculous recovery where you can strain off more of your data. It was unclear in the documentation but I was led to believe I had to remove the source drive and replace it with the cloned drive upon completion of the cloning process. This was not in my plans. Since above said geek brother is on vacation and although I could call him I try to avoid that since some of his more prickly clients insist on calling him on even trivial problems even while he is vacationing.

I could not find an answer on the Acronis website. I registered the software, which you must do to get support. I registered the software about 8 times and the web site still insisted that I needed to register my software. My initial love for Acronis was losing the luster on the bloom as I became more frustrated. Finally I sneaked into chat pretending to be a potential buyer instead of a “not really registered but tried really hard to” owner. Lucky for me I got a guy who assured me I do not have to remove the source drive when done but reminded me that I didn’t want to leave both source and destination drives installed in the same unit as this could lead to a schizophrenic computer.

I was able to get the dead hard drive on one of my units up long enough to clone it and low and behold when I put in the clone drive it worked just peachy! Then I cloned my main system which has a 300gb C drive that on occasion doesn’t want to boot and has been scaring the bejabbers out of me contemplating the enormous number of software packages I would have to reinstall if said hinky drive went south.

Bottom line is that Acronis 11 works as advertised, I bow down to my geek brother’s expertise and to the folks at Acronis that actually produced a piece of software that does what it claims to do, kudos. This is not a paid blog.

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