NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2009
Barlow's Technical Newsletter June 2009
Summer Special:

by Gene Barlow
(click to email author)

We are enjoying the lazy days of summer right now. Many of us use this quiet time to work on our computer systems. There are always projects to do on our computers that we save for a time like this. So, why not take this summer to get your computer system backed up and protected from a hard drive crash? To help you do this, we are offering a special summer price on the best backup utility on the market, Acronis True Image Home 2009. Now through the end of August, you can purchase this excellent backup utility from us for the special price of just $25. Take advantage of this special offer while the sun is shinning. Order now while the price is the lowest ever!

Automatic Backups with Acronis True Image Home 2009:
By Gene Barlow
User Group Relations
Copyrighted June 2009

Backing up your computerís hard drive on a regular basis is the most important thing every user should be doing on their computer. The hard drive on your computer will eventually crash and when it does, you will be protected if you have a good backup. Without a backup, your computer will no longer function and all of your important files and pictures will be lost. Start doing backups today and be safe! The best way to backup your computer is to use Acronis True Image Home 2009 and save your backups on an external hard drive. You should backup your main hard drive at least once a week including the entire hard drive and not just a few files or folders on the drive. I recommend a full backup image at the beginning of each month and then weekly incremental backup images during the month. See my article titled the Perfect Backup Approach at http://www.ugr.com/nl0804.html for more details on the best way to do your backups. You can order the latest version of Acronis True Image Home 2009 from us at http://www.ugr.com/TrueImage.html. Use the order code of UGNL0609 when completing the order to get an excellent discount price.

Many users start with a great determination to do their backups on a regular basis, but after a couple of weeks of doing backups they tend to forget to do regular backups. I have found that it is best to automate your backups, so that you donít need to remember to do this very important task. Let the computer remember to do its own backups when they need to be done. That way, your backups will get done on the weekly basis, so that you are properly protected. The purpose of this paper is to help you set up automatic backups on your computer.

Acronis completely redesigned the end-user interface to True Image 2009 to make the product easier to use. The automatic backup function was also completely revamped. This new automatic backup function was not ready to release when the rest of the product was released in October 2008. It took Acronis a couple of extra months to complete and perfect this important function and it was then put in the product with follow-on builds of the software.

Before you start to set up an automatic backup on your True Image 2009, you need to update your True Image 2009 software to install the latest build (#9709) which became available on January 23, 2009. To do this, you must do three things: 1) set up an account on the Acronis web site, 2) register your product serial number in this account, and 3) download and install the build from the entry on your registered product. Details on how to do this can be found on my web site at http://www.ugr.com/AcronisQuestions.html. The rest of this paper assumes that you have upgraded your system to this latest build in order to work properly.

Before we begin the detailed steps to set up your automatic backup, let me suggest a calendar change that needs to be considered. I recommend a full backup at the beginning of each month and then weekly incremental backup images at the end of each week during the month. The problem in doing this is that every month has a different number of days and begins on a different day of the week. So, setting up a rule to do exactly this schedule is not possible. A better approach is to adopt the 13-month calendar of exactly 4 weeks that many businesses use. That would give you exactly a full backup followed by 3 weekly incremental backups 13 times each year. This approach is more regular than trying to fit a regular backup schedule into our irregular monthly calendar. So, in this paper, I will be showing how to set up a 13-month approach.

First, create a folder on your external hard drive to contain your backups. Name this folder after the computer and partition that you plan to backup in this folder. If you have one computer and one main partition on it, this folder may simply be named something like My Backups. If you have two computers to backup on the same external hard drive, set up two folders and name them after each computer. For example, name them My Backups HP Computer and My Backups Dell Computer. Now we are ready to start setting up the automatic backup process with True Image 2009.

Setting up Automatic Backups with True Image 2009 Run Acronis True Image Home 2009 on your computer and on the main screen, click on the Task Management button under the What would you like to do? heading. This will take you to the area in True Image where you set up and manage your automatic backups. Now click on the Scheduled Tasks tab in the middle of the screen under the calendars. Below the tabs is an area where you will see all of the automatic scheduled tasks on your computer. At this point, you should see the indication, No items to display. Next, click on the Create Backup Task menu item near the top of the screen. This will begin the Backup Wizard which will guide you through setting up an automatic backup task on your computer. The Backup Wizard is mostly self explanatory, but you can see a full version of this article on my web site at http://www.ugr.com/nl0609.pdf. It will contain all of the details that you need to follow. I would suggest that you go to this page and print out the PDF form of the article and then follow it step by step as you set up your automatic backup process. That will make sure that all of the steps are filled in properly to do your automatic backups with True Image 2009.

In closing, let me suggest that you periodically look at the backup image files True Image is automatically making for you on your external backup hard drive. Use Windows Explorer to do this. After a few weeks, you should see a list of files something like this:

    My Backups (folder name)
    MyBackup.tib (full backup image of first month)
    MyBackup2.tib (incremental backup image of first month)
    MyBackup3.tib (next incremental backup image of first month)
    MyBackup4.tib (last incremental backup image of first month)
    MyBackup(1).tib (full backup image of next month)
    MyBackup(1)2.tib (incremental backup image of next month)
    MyBackup(1)3.tib (next incremental image of next month)
    MyBackup(1)4.tib (last incremental image of next month)
    MyBackup(2).tib (full backup image of current month)
    MyBackup(2)2.tib (incremental image of current month)

If they do not look similar to this, then you may have set up your automatic task wrong and you need to check it and edit it so that it is set up correctly. I hope this helps you set up True Image 2009 to run automatic backups on your computer. If you have questions about this article or have problems setting up your automatic backup tasks, send a note to support@ugr.com and I will try to assist you. With a little care, you should be able to have your backups run automatically on your system.

Copyright ©2009, by User Group Relations

All Rights Reserved.

For questions, problems, or comments regarding this newsletter, please send email to: http://support@ugr.com.

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