Busy, busy few days here... and a very welcome opportunity to not even think about computer stuff for a while!
First of all, I want to make it clear that I take full responsibility for not understanding well and for not communicating the reasons for my confusion to you adequately enough. I get very frustrated with myself for knowing so little and for struggling to explain well........
First and foremost it is important that you do not undertake any task unless you are 100% comfortable in doing so, you are under no obligation to do so after all
Absolutely, which is why I would not go ahead with this until I was absolutely clear about what needed to be done.
You may recall that I suggested uninstalling any unused programs on the C: drive, this was to make sure that you had enough space on the smaller D: drive, you do have enough space on the D: drive for the clone but it will not leave enough free storage space to allow for file swapping etc, you need about 25GB of free space on the D: drive for this.
I do indeed recall this.... but I really do not have any unwanted programs. If you are talking about temporarily deleting 25 GB then actually programs are not the place to look, as the total value for our programs is only 12.30 GB. On the other hand, My Documents is 9.40 GB, My Music is 19.10 GB and My Pictures is 65.10 GB (this includes some home videos also). I guess I could delete some of the files in My Pictures for the time being
I do not use Acronis only Macrium Reflect + I do not know what particular Acronis product it is that you have thus meaning that you know more about what can and cannot be done with your Acronis software.
Firstly, of course you cannot be expected to know everything about every possible program. I just never imagined that there would be any major differences between back-up programs. I thought they would all be pretty much the same.
Secondly, you are right that I should indeed know much more about Acronis then I do! From my side though, I think the program is a bit confusing. When you first go into it, it shows some help files to the left, but these are limited and cannot be printed out easily (they are in lots of small pages, with just a few lines of text on each page), nor can they be saved to file. There is no obvious reference whatsoever to anything to do with cloning and until a few days ago I had no idea that there was such a thing as a cloning option in the program - or indeed that cloning itself existed. It was only when I finally thought to search for - and found - a full online manual That I was able to read about cloning. I subsequently learned that to get into the help files about cloning on my program itself (which is Acronis True Image 10, by the way) then I have to first click on Manage Hard Disks: more help files then magically appear! So easy when you know how.....
If I am now understanding correctly what you transferred from the C: drive to the external HDD was not cloned but copied, is that correct.
You know, even after reading lots of info both in the online manual and in the Acronis link you gave me about the difference between Backup and Disk Clone, I am still not absolutely one hundred percent sure how to answer this question.
I am going to copy some of the Acronis info at the end of this message, so if you want you can read through it. My understanding of from that though is that the option I always choose - which is called the 'My Computer' option - is not strictly speaking just a copy of files etc. To quote from the Acronis info below: 'Acronis True Image Home stores a sector-by-sector snapshot of the disk, which includes the operating system, registry, drivers, software applications and data files, as well as system areas hidden from the user. This procedure is called “creating a disk image,” and the resulting backup archive is often called a disk/partition image.'This does not sound to me the same as merely copying the files.
However.... the Acronis link you gave me does say: 'When you create a backup with Acronis True Image or Acronis Backup & Recovery, you get a compressed .tib file containing an exact copy of your hard disk, a disk partition or individual files or folders (you make this choice when you create an image archive).' I guess from that then that what I have is indeed just a copy, albeit one which includes all the system files and everything.
Some information from Acronis here and whatsabyte here
Thanks very much for these links. I had already seen the whatsabyte one, but the Acronis comparison between back-ups and cloning was very helpful. It says that the cloning option should only be used when copying from one disk to another (as we propise to do), so I guess I was right to use what I did to back up on the external drive - even if it is only a copy!
You may recall me saying before that when our hard disk failed, I had no idea what to do with the Acronis back-up on the hard drive. I had no manual to refer to, apart from what was on the program CD itself - and therefore the back-up files were wasted and never used to restore anything. It looks as if we could have still have used the back-up files to restore everything, even though I now know that they were just a copy and not a clone.... but would have had to take our external drive into the shop at the time for them to do this.
I ran into a bad patch with this proposed project last week. It is a big fault of mine that I care too much about what other people think of me. Last week, I thought (although I do sometimes jump to the wrong conclusions) that you were not answering my questions because you thought they were stupid. This was quite a big project for somebody like me to take on; maybe it was a bit over-ambitious. I wanted to do it though because you convinced me that it was such a sensible thing to do, especially with the support for XP being withdrawn. I sort of got a sense though (and again perhaps I was wrong) that you were maybe getting a little bit impatient with me. I really would not blame you if you were; I am guessing that most people who approach the forum for help have quite a bit of technical knowledge already, so you are probably not so used to dealing with people like me who know very little. In addition, you and I are both quite sensitive to criticism.... so that in itself could be a big recipe for disaster!
But hey, I am going to be positive about myself (for a change!) now! I am in my sixties..... and the little I do know about computers, I had to teach myself as I had nobody to help me. I am not going to give up this current task now just because I lost confidence a bit last week.... I am made of stronger stuff than that! I feel I am getting somewhere now and am very close to reaching the point when I might feel able to start to get this project off the road. So, today I am determined to be happy and optimistic........
Can I ask you..... I would like to do this as much as possible stage-by-stage, rather than everything at once. If I start by only formatting the present D drive, I presume that will not affect the C drive in any way? I mean, it will presumably still boot up okay and enable us to use it, until such time as I am decide to move onto the next step?
FROM ACRONIS ONLINE MANUAL
3.1 The difference between file archives and disk/partition images
A backup archive is a file or a group of files (also called in this guide “backups”), that contains a copy of selected file/folder data or a copy of all information stored on selected disks/partitions.
When you back up files and folders, only the data, along with the folder tree, is compressed and stored.
Backing up disks and partitions is performed in a different way: Acronis True Image Home stores a sector-by-sector snapshot of the disk, which includes the operating system, registry, drivers, software applications and data files, as well as system areas hidden from the user. This procedure is called “creating a disk image,” and the resulting backup archive is often called a disk/partition image.
Acronis True Image Home stores only those hard disk parts that contain data (for supported file systems). Further, it does not back up swap file information (pagefile.sys under Windows NT/2000/XP) and hiberfil.sys (a file that keeps RAM contents when the computer goes into hibernation). This reduces image size and speeds up image creation and restoration.
A partition image includes all files and folders independent of their attributes (including hidden and system files), boot record, FAT (file allocation table), root and the zero track of the hard disk with master boot record (MBR).
A disk image includes images of all disk partitions as well as the zero track with master boot record (MBR).
By default, files in all Acronis True Image Home archives have a “.tib” extension.
It is important to note that you can restore files and folders not only from file archives, but from disk/partition images, too. To do so, mount the image as a virtual disk (see Chapter 12. Exploring archives and mounting images) or start the image restoration and select Restore specified files or folders.
5.1 What data to back up?
If you are not concerned about restoration of your operating system along with all settings and applications, but plan to keep safe only certain data (the current project, for example), choose file-level backup. This will reduce the archive size, thus saving disk space and possibly reducing removable media costs.
Backing up the entire system disk (creating a disk image) takes more disk space but enables you to restore the system in minutes in case of severe data damage or hardware failure. Moreover, the imaging procedure is much faster than copying files, and may significantly speed the backup process when it comes to backing up large volumes of data (see above details in 3.1: The difference between file archives and disk/partition images).
Acronis True Image Home offers you backup of the following data categories:
My Computer (image backup of any set of disks/partitions)
My Data (file-level backup of any set of files and folders or an entire file category)
My Application Settings (file-level backup of Windows applications settings)
My E-mail (file-level backup of MS Outlook and MS Outlook Express settings and messages).