NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, June 2003
Back to Back-Up
by Bob Schwabach
From 5th Week of April, 2003
"On Computers," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Reprinted with permission
(click to email author)

"Acronis TrueImage 6.0" for Windows backs up the whole drive, not just the current day's doings. Their point is if your computer breaks down, you don't just want the data to be saved, you want to be able to come back up with your whole system in place. Makes sense to me.

The best known products of this type are Symantec's "Ghost" and Powerquest's "Drive Image." A feature of both these programs that annoys many users is you have to drop back into DOS to use them. The Acronis program, on the other hand, performs it's total backup in Windows (NWA-PCUG Ed. Note: Italics are mine) and will work even with a Windows program open and running at the same time. As far as we can tell this is the only disk imaging program that can do that. It means you do not have to shut down while backing up. At $45, it's also cheaper -- about half the price of Ghost, though I don't think price is a crucial issue for whole drive backups.

User comments centered on a couple of points: The program seems to work best with Windows XP, though most said it also works fine with other versions of Windows. Some, but not all, had trouble backing up to CDs or DVDs, and one made the recommendation that the backup first be made to a hard drive and then use a CD/DVD burner program, like Nero, Roxio, or Nti's CD Maker to burn to disk. But large hard drives are fairly cheap now and it is still fastest and easiest to back up to another hard drive.

The program uses a "Wizard" helper to step the user through the backup and it's clear and easy. Like all such programs, however, there are pros and cons and some people love it and some don't. Since you can download a free trial version from the web site http://www.acronis.com, you can try before you buy.

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