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Post new topic Setting Up New Computer, Drive Image Transfer question
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Author Topic:  Setting Up New Computer, Drive Image Transfer question
Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 9:24 am    
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Instead of replacing the nearly full 250GB drive on my 7 year old Win 10 32 bit machine (upped from Win 7 a couple of years ago), a rig that has gotten very slow and balky and wasn't very fast even when I got it..... I've gotten a new computer....seemed like it was time. Up from 4GB RAM to 12GB.

This new Lenovo is Win 10 64 bit.

While I have images of the old computer on an external drive via Acronis, I am tempted to start fresh and just install programs that I really want/need. Lots of old junk on the old rig that I'd just as soon not import.
But it is still tempting to restore the whole Acronis image on this new 1T drive. If I were to do so, will the computer know what to do about the 32 bit to 64 bit change? Will there be a lot of errors & error notifications?

I'm doing new stuff here--never tried to transfer a whole drive before. And still may not do it. Fresh starts are good.
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Randy Schneider


From:
Hanover, NM USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 9:50 am    
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Short answer: don't do it. An image of a drive is just that - a snapshot of the old system - complete with OS and all.

If you restored the old Win image to the new machine, you would wipe out the 64-bit Windows install on the new machine (and replace it with the 32-bit version from the old machine). In addition, Windows already has drivers installed, etc, for the new hardware on the new machine. If you took that old image, from another machine, and moved it to the new machine, there would be a *lot* of issues with the hardware not being the same. You also run the risk of messing up the Windows licensing scheme - it used to be dependent on many of the HW signatures on the machine (I would imagine it still is), and the old image would not match the new HW.

Start fresh - install new apps on the new, clean, 64-bit OS. Transfer data files, etc., from your old machine/image as you find you need or want them.

Start with adding your image backup SW to the new machine and begin making regular image backups of the new one as you make changes!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 9:57 am    
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Ok. That's a great answer and I appreciate it. Not gonna do it. I'm in a bit over my head anyway. More grief I do NOT need.
Thanks!
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 1:22 pm    
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Jon:

I certainly agree you should do a clean install on the new hardware.

However----


Have you ever actually done a restore with Acronis?

This might be a good time to test yourself to see if you can actually do it correctly, making all the correct menu choices. It might even boot OK.

Then of course, wipe it out and do your clean install.

I'd just hate to see you be too complacent about image restoration. Lots of things can and do go wrong and that is the worst time to have a surprise. Practice and familiarity helps.

But it's harmless to try now as long as you have the fall back position of doing a clean install--which is your plan anyway.
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Randy Schneider


From:
Hanover, NM USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 1:29 pm    
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Mitch,

That would be ok if he were starting with a fresh, blank drive, but as I understand it, the new Win 10 64-bit is already installed on the new Lenovo machine.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 1:39 pm    
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Thanks Mitch. Randy, you are absolutely correct. The only installing I will be doing is the installation of programs like Audacity and stuff like that. I must have several dozen programs installed on the old rig that I never use but there are many that I do. But my best bet will be to just download the ones that I want again and install them. Besides making images, I also saved many large folders by themselves so transferring them over will be uncomplicated.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 1:52 pm    
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Aye aye....

Just install programs as you need them and make periodic full images. I'd stay away from incrementals if at all possible. I typically keep 1 made within a week of a new build and then make 1 a month thereafter, keeping the most recent 2--for a total of 3 on hand at all times.

Be sure to get the most recent versions of any downloadable programs you may use--presumably 64-bit versions.

You may or may not want all of the "extras" Lenovo may have put on the machine and you can always do a clean install of nothing but Windows, without extras, any time you want.

Now is the time to consider making a separate data partition if you ever thought about it. Windows and programs on C; data on D. It can simplify your backup procedures.

I'm guessing you don't have an SSD in the new Lenovo?


Last edited by Mitch Drumm on 17 Jun 2018 2:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 1:59 pm    
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So now I can't help but ask---

For the past few years I've had Acronis making weekly (I think?--need to check that...maybe every other week...) images, ditching all but the previous one and the most recent.
AND I have it backing everything up in real time, all the time.

You see problems with that or is that not what you are talking about (re: incremental)?
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 2:12 pm    
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Jon Light wrote:
So now I can't help but ask---

For the past few years I've had Acronis making weekly (I think?--need to check that...maybe every other week...) images, ditching all but the previous one and the most recent.
AND I have it backing everything up in real time, all the time.

You see problems with that or is that not what you are talking about (re: incremental)?


Jon:

I'm not sure what terminology Acronis uses. I use Macrium.

It's on you to figger out if you are making incrementals or full images.

A full image on Macrium is typically just a single file and would be roughly half the size of the occupied space on the drive that was imaged. If C is 1 TB, with 300 GB occupied, I'd expect a full image to be circa 150 GB. Are your Acronis images roughly half the size of the occupied space on C? You need some way to confirm that you are making full images, not incrementals.

Incrementals introduce a point of failure, which I don't want. Their advantage is that it saves some space.

If your data is on C, then your image file contains all of your data as well as Windows and installed apps. The image files therefore can get quite large.

If C contained only Windows and programs, the image file would be correspondingly smaller. My C has about 34 GB occupied. Image files are around 18 GB.

I have 700 GB of data, but it's all on a separate D partition. I don't image D. I back up data with a garden variety "file by file" backup program.

Your choice entirely. It's just another way to manage data and backups.

Windows 10 has a couple of hidden partitions and ALL of them need to be part of your backup image. Acronis should have a clearcut way of ensuring that happens. If you leave out the hidden partitions, a restoration will fail to boot.


Last edited by Mitch Drumm on 17 Jun 2018 2:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 2:27 pm    
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Thanks Mitch. I'm pecking on a phone right now. I'll check that out later but I do believe I'm making full images.
My bottom line is that data is what will kill me to lose. Info. Photos. Videos. Music. So I'm crazy redundant about that, saving stuff on multiple externals + some cloud. I want to be able to have a total crash and be able to load my valuables onto another rig and toss the old one on the bonfire.
I'm much more dependent on the real time backup than I am on imaging, now that I think about it.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 2:44 pm    
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Jon Light wrote:
I'm much more dependent on the real time backup than I am on imaging, now that I think about it.


Are you using Acronis to make this "real time backup"?

I'd try to have some data backup that did not rely on Acronis in any way whatsoever. Just a common drag and drop if nothing else.

I don't use "real time". I just run my data backup program manually, at least once a day. Usually 2 or 3 times. I don't rely on "automatic"--I want to keep things "manual" so as to better keep my head in the game.

Have you ever attempted to recover something--say a picture of your cat--from an Acronis image?

You need to realize that if you make an Acronis image on July 5 that contains your data and then have a drive failure on July 7, and then restore that July 5 image, that any data you developed after July 5 will NOT be restored if data is kept on C. Thus the likely need for data backup that is not dependent on an image.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 3:05 pm    
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Quote:
You need to realize that if you make an Acronis image on July 5 that contains your data and then have a drive failure on July 7, and then restore that July 5 image, that any data you developed after July 5 will NOT be restored if data is kept on C. Thus the likely need for data backup that is not dependent on an image.


Hence the real time backup. I've checked it in the past and it's straight-up data, not in some proprietary form.
However, being paranoid and, like you, wary of eggs in th4e basket, I also occasionally manually drag/copy folders too. At least quadruplication on various devices for some of the stuff I really care about. I think I'm in good shape (although I'm thinking about more cloud usage since all my stuff lives in one potentially combustible house.)
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 3:25 pm    
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Jon:

Take a look at this pic.

That's what I see when I open Macrium.

The solid blue line at the bottom is my data drive D. One big partition on it.

Notice the 4 blue segments at the top.

Those are the 4 partitions installed by default by Windows 10 on my other drive--an SSD. Only the C partition is normally visible in Windows Explorer.

All 4 of those need to be part of an image if you intend to boot from a restoration of that image.

In Macrium, I would just poke the "image this disk" button to ensure all 4 partitions on the SSD are included.

You need to confirm that Acronis will include those 4 when you make an image. It might or might not be intuitive.




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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 3:54 pm    
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A light switch is not as intuitive as I would like.

There's no question that as was configuring Acronis (which came as a limited version with my WD external drive) I was NOT sure about some of the choices I was required to make. A classic case of 'they THINK they have it designed for idiots but they haven't met me.'
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2018 8:09 pm    
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Jon;
The version of Acronis that comes with a drive is the limited version. It has enough functionality to clone and image visible drives and normally hidden system partitions. I don't think it can run other types of backups, like incremental, differential, and certainly not real time/nonstop backups. Those backups require the full version of True Image.

I use Acronis True Image (2018) to save full C drive images to two different drives, twice a week. I also schedule a daily incremental backup of my documents (including pictures, music and videos), which consolidates them after 6 incremental backups into a new full backup, erasing those incrementals. I keep just one version chain of these backups.

Those backups are saved on internal and external hard drives. I also save photos and documents to the cloud in Google Drive and OneDrive.
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"Wiz" Feinberg, Moderator SGF Computers Forum
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2018 2:52 am    
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Ah. Then the real time backup is a WD utility, bundled with the Acronis lite. Installed at the same time, with the new drive. I'll make a decision about imaging software later but the realtime thing is a keeper.
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2018 8:06 am    
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Jon Light wrote:
Ah. Then the real time backup is a WD utility, bundled with the Acronis lite. Installed at the same time, with the new drive. I'll make a decision about imaging software later but the realtime thing is a keeper.


Right. To get nonstop backups from Acronis you'll need a recent, licensed version, or subscription.

FWIIW: I was running nonstop backups and after 30 days the service would stop and not restart. Each time this happened I tried different fixes, including deleting and recreating the backup. I finally gave up after three months and just do images and incrementals. I did find that drive/folder permissions had to allow the logged in user full read/write/modify privileges.

BTW: You can open your saved Acronis image files in Windows Explorer and explore the contents. If you need a certain older file back, simply find it in the image window, then drag and drop it where you want it to go. It will decompress and be as it was when saved.
_________________
"Wiz" Feinberg, Moderator SGF Computers Forum
Security Consultant
Twitter: @Wizcrafts
Main web pages: Wiztunes Steel Guitar website | Wiz's Security Blog | My Webmaster Services | Acronis True Image | Trend Micro Security | MalwareBytes
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2018 8:38 am    
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Wiz Feinberg wrote:


BTW: You can open your saved Acronis image files in Windows Explorer and explore the contents. If you need a certain older file back, simply find it in the image window, then drag and drop it where you want it to go. It will decompress and be as it was when saved.


Thanks Wiz. That's good to know. Years ago, back on Win95, I had some back-up program that worked in some proprietary format. Every file had some alien extension name and when the program got corrupted and I then I moved on to Vista (or was it XP?...) the company was dead and the utility wasn't Vista compatible and the ext. drive with my 'backed up' files was totally worthless except for the stuff I saved manually. I forget what the lesson was but it was a lesson.
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