Acronis and the Partitioned Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Backup and Security' started by gnome, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. I tried to make an image of wifey's notebook which had the HDD partitioned.. and Acronis didn't like it... possibly because the main partition was NTFS and the restoration partition was in FAT.

    I've thought about experimenting with partitioning the HDD on one of my desktops and wondered the best way to do it... I guess I'm really only interested in this if Acronis will make "an image of the drive, both partitions"... It's not that big of deal to have apps on the same partition as the OS..

    Install WinXP and the drivers on C:\, and all of the apps on D:\? Then if I need to reinstall the OS, just reinstall on C:\ with WinXP disk?

    Does Acronis make an image of the drive? Both partitions?


  2. nevadan


    This is probably a long shot but I bought my box from these people and when I had a problem mirroring my second hard drive their tech support got me squared away. I'm assuming you aren't already a customer but you might give them a call anyway. You are practically neighbors, maybe they would answer a few questions.
  3. Imaging a second DRIVE is easy... you just choose it as the source.

    My concern is "2 partitions on the same drive".
  4. nevadan


    They use Acronis in their systems. I'm just suggesting that they might know the answers to your questions.
  5. Acronis will make a backup of which ever partitions on the drive that you select.

    If you have the OS on one partition and the Apps on another and reinstall only the OS partition, I would guess that it would probably, mostly work. Problems may arise from differences between the OS partition from when it was last backed up and the Apps partition from when it was last changed. If the registry entries on the backed up OS don't quite match the most recent changes to the Apps, then things may go wrong. So it probably better to restore both partitions at the same time.

    The partition set-up that I'm currently using, based on 'expert' advice from a website, consists of a partition for the OS, a partition for the Apps, the largest partition for file storage, and a small partition for the paging file so that it doesn't fragment any other partition.

    The benefits of this set-up are not particularly striking. However, it does have obvious advantages for defragmenting, and preventing fragmentation. Also, having all OS and Apps on separate partitions to the file storage makes restoring the OS faster.

    There are plenty of problems with set-up though. XP will by default want to install all apps on the same drive as the OS. The default can be changed in the registry, however there will already be some applications installed on the OS partition because XP puts them there during initial installation of the OS. Changing the default is necessary because some applications don't let you change the install location.

    Also, the user 'documents and settings' folder is by default on the OS partition - but I'd prefer it was in the 'file storage' partition. Not that I use the documents folder, but a lot of stuff goes in there automatically, like temporary files and internet cache files. Again, this can be changed in the registry, but only after those folders and files have already been created in the OS partition during installation.

    To avoid these problems from initial install you would need to create a customised XP install cd, that would have updated registry settings, and would install the separate components on the desired partitions. I believe there are plenty of utilities available to do this, but I haven't yet tried it.
  6. Thanks for this post...

    1. It appears ATI Home 11 does not make images of individual partitions.. you'd need Acronis' Disk Director for that. And it seems like the only partitions which would not have problems with this would be ones for data and perhaps for the page file.

    2. Looks like the main advantages of partitioning the HDD would be possible small increase in speed and speed of defragging.

    Considering the registry issues you mentioned and the fact that many apps will resist installing elsewhere besides the C:\ drive, looks like more hassle than it's worth.

    My primary question was about "having the OS on a separate partition such that reinstalling the OS when necessary would be a snap and would not require the reinstall of all apps"... makes sense that a redo of the OS would destroy the old registry and likely give they system fits because the old registry would have been overwritten.

    If anyone else has experience with "imaging/restoring individual partitions or reinstalling the OS in its own partition", please chime in. TIA
  7. When you do a "repair" instead of a fresh install, that doesn't foul the apps' registry entries, right?

    A repair and Windows updates would result in a fresh OS install ??. Is that worth the other hassles? Hmmm.....
  8. With Acronis True Image 11 Home, you should be able to select partitions to image by going to 'Create Backup Wizard', then going through the 'My Computer' mode. Selecting 'Disks and partitions' should provide you with the option of selecting which particular partitions you want to image. If you select more than one partition, when you use the restore function, it will allow you to select which individual partitions you want restored.

    I don't think I've ever bothered using the windows repair function with XP, but I used it a lot with windows 2000. I think it just reinstalls default drivers and other essential files. But it only fixes problems with the windows files - if an application file is causing a problem it won't be able to fix it, unless you can reinstall the application.

    It would still be a lot faster to restore the disk images using acronis. Whether you had the OS and apps in one partition, or two, they would still likely be in total less than 20 gigs. This would should only take about 20 minutes to restore. The repair process would be a lot slower - similar to reinstalling the OS (but without having to reinstall all the device drivers and applications).

    If you can get acronis to work with the individual partitions, then having the OS and apps separate from your data files would be far more convenient.
  9. I have two partitions on both of my two hard drives. One for programs and one for storage. I actually bought the second hard drive because I had a software problem with the first that prevented me from accessing it. But I didn't want to delete the files on the first in case something went wrong with the restore.

    I used Norton Ghost not Acronis but perhaps there are some common points to consider.

    From what I remember you should take care to format the destination restore drive the same as the image copy.

    My first drive was partitioned as NTFS on the first partition and FAT32 on the second. To restore without hassle, the format should match with the one used when creating the image file.