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Abe Minah

Disc image backup choices?

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Hi,

 I have an old optical disc of  Acronis True Image that I associate with my very old DAW, and I have occasionally used that with households laptops as well.

I have an old Macrium Free usb stick that I have used to back up my old home theater mini PC but I have never needed to use it. (knock on wood)

I just purchased a new Win10+ Pro laptop for my wife, and I would like to make a series of back up images as we load her software on it. I would like to continue the convention of booting to an auxiliary device, such as a USB stick, and cloning images to an external drive. I don't need any incremental backup or management features.

What are the choices these days?

It seems like Acronis has gone to a subscription, and I did not find much info about booting to a USB stick, and if you can if it may be used on multiple computers the way the old optical disc worked.

It seems like Macrium offers a free and or a reasonably priced one time purchase of a Home backup. It seems like Macrium has a ready method for a USB stick but suggests it may be tied to a single computer unless you buy an expensive "technicians" license. If I settle on Macrium Free would I need a unique USB stick for each system?

I am hoping someone can help me make sense of the choices.

Any suggestions?

Thank you! 

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Personally, I use Clonezilla which does complete disk images. I doesn't support incremental backup, but it's free.
 

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Thanks for the info.

Can Clonezilla live on a USB stick without any install on the system?

I think I am realizing that the contemporary versions of Acronis and Macrium require installation on the system that they are intended to restore. I guess that is how they prevent use with multiple computers as the 1 computer license looks for that computers licensing info or something like that.

It has been my habit to clone the system disc before I put anything additional on it.  

I would like to pay for a perpetual product that is intended to work as a portable install USB on a typical household of computers.

Thank you.

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2 hours ago, Abe Minah said:

Thanks for the info.

Can Clonezilla live on a USB stick without any install on the system?

I think I am realizing that the contemporary versions of Acronis and Macrium require installation on the system that they are intended to restore. I guess that is how they prevent use with multiple computers as the 1 computer license looks for that computers licensing info or something like that.

It has been my habit to clone the system disc before I put anything additional on it.  

I would like to pay for a perpetual product that is intended to work as a portable install USB on a typical household of computers.

Thank you.

Yes, you can boot from a USB stick.  I personally boot from a CD. 

Clonezilla is actually the Clonezilla program plus a Linux distribution in one, so it's completely separate from whatever operating system is living on the disks you're backing up.  I prefer this, as there's no way the OS on your disk can interfere.

I've used it to back up disks containing Linux, Windows ( XP, Vista, 7 & 10  both 32/64bit), and Mac OSX, as well as general data disks.

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Thanks again. I have been asking about USB sticks because the new laptop, and I imagine any computer I acquire in the future, will not have an onboard optical disc drive.

I prepared a Clonezilla Live usb stick (amd64 Debian build) and will give this a try.

Thank you. 

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Oh, almost forgot... I did some tutorial videos a while back on using Clonezilla, as it can be a bit quirky for first time users.  It's using an older version, but the options are basically the same:

Backup:

clonezilla_backup.gif

Restore:

clonezilla_restore.gif

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Thank you for posting this. Prior to viewing your tutorial I had worked my way through the exercise using my home entertainment PC as a sand box, and I was overwhelmed by the unfamiliar interface and Linux jargon.

The experience caused me to better appreciate why the other Windows capable solutions rely on a Win PE boot system as it seems familiar.

I will try to gain some experience with Clonezilla, but suspect that, considering I am primarily interested in protecting the system from some inadvertent install and merely want to have the capability to restore a system on its own hardware platform that I may be a candidate for Macrium Reflect.

I still have a lot to learn.

Thank you very much.

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I and most techies I know use Macrium Reflect.  There is a new V8 recently released.

I make full disc (all partition) backups alternated to two different USB connected drives.  

I don't use the Incremental backup, it can be confusing if you need to restore.  I'm a retired Network and Hardware Help Desk Manager.  We tried incremental backups on our servers but found just doing a daily full backup was the best and safest option.  It was also a quicker restore if needed.

 

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Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Is it possible to use a single Macrium Reflect 8 Workstation on a few household computers?

It seems to me that 99.9% of the time I would not need any more capability than restoring a system on the exact same hardware and configuration that the disc image was based upon.

On very infrequent occasions I have moved my system partition to a larger hard drive, then used the new hard drive on the  original computer while retiring the previous system install.

Is that possible with the free edition?

If I start with the free edition and can not migrate to a replacement hard drive  with free, would I be able to upgrade to the Home or Workstation license and then use the backup made with free to fix a computer that had a failed hard drive?

I would never imagine cloning a system with the intent to run it on a new motherboard etc.

Advice appreciated.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Abe Minah

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I've used Macrium Reflect, free version, to clone, make full disc images and to restore disc images.   

I haven't "moved system partition" operations, its always the full drive, a lot safer and less messy.

I have both a paid copy of Macrium and a Free version and for clone or disc images both work identical.

I have a USB flash drive with the Macrium for restoring.

My OS is  Win 11 on my DAW system desktop and Win 10 on a Dell laptop that is used for mobile recording.

 

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Thank you for the info.

I was able to learn that I had been completely unaware of Macrium's nice Black Friday special. I had not begun looking for back up software until the delivery of my wife's long time back ordered laptop became imminent.

Macrium was kind enough to extend the Black Friday pricing,  so I just bought a 4 pack license.

I'll probably never need more than the Free features, but it seemed like an good opportunity to be a customer.

Thank you. 

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As I noted I have full paid version and a free version.  The free does everything I need but we have to support software companies or either they stop development, or the free versions go away.

 

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I've done some weird and wonderful stuff with Macrium (free) and it's pretty good.  I've had a couple of duff images though, which is most likely the external media's fault (long story about USB2 vs USB3 not being as compatible as they should be, it seems), so I take multiple copies now.

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