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If there's a better backup product, I haven't found it

  • Jul 20, 2010
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I've used Acronis True Image for years, and each new release truly improves the product. With True Image Home 2010, Acronis has pretty much polished off my wish-list and I depend on it to protect all of my systems.

Here's how I use it on my main desktop system. I have two backup jobs, one for each of the two disks, that run alternate days. They do incremental backups to a NAS (Network Attached Storage) box in my basement. After the initial backup, each incremental job runs for no more than 10 minutes. I get an email notification when each completes.

I have set the options so that when the backup is more than 90 days old, it automatically discards older backup information so I don't fill up my backup disk - I always have backups going 90 days back. The backups are compressed and password-protected. I have a third job that backs up the boot disk to an "Acronis Secure Zone" on the second disk - this is a hidden partition managed by True Image that is not visible in Windows, so it is much less likely to be corrupted by something going wrong on the system.

You can create bootable rescue media, on CD, DVD or a USB key, that can restore images from local or network disks. You can also install a recovery manager on your boot disk so that you can recover just by pressing a key at boot time.

Acronis True Image Home 2010 also includes file and folder backup, a disk cloning feature, and a secure file eraser. If you also have Acronis Disk Director 11 Home, this can integrate with True Image on the recovery media.

I have also used Symantec Norton Ghost 15.0, but I don't like it anywhere near as much as True Image.
- Ghost can't back up multiple disks in one job
- Ghost won't let you define multiple jobs for one disk
- Ghost is much slower to back up
- Ghost's bootable recovery disc is MUCH slower to load and start
- If your system is asleep or off at a scheduled backup time, Ghost will just skip the backup whereas Acronis True Image will start it the next time the system is on (this can be disabled.)

Until recently, Ghost did have one advantage for one of my systems, which dual-boots Windows and Mac OS X. By itself, Acronis True Image Home won't work with a disk that has non-Windows partitions on it, while Ghost will at least deal with the Windows partitions. But you can buy as an add-on, a "Plus Pack" that recently added support for disks with non-Windows partitions, virtual disks, and one more thing - the ability to do a "bare metal" restore of an image to a system with different hardware. This used to be a feature restricted to Acronis' business software line, but the Home line can now use it for much less. I don't see that Amazon sells the Plus Pack - you can buy it from the Acronis web site.

There are several other features of True Image Home 2010 that I have not used, such as "Try and Decide", which lets you easily roll back the disk state after doing a software install or similar modification, the "Nonstop Backup" which provides continuous protection, and the Boot manager, which lets you boot directly from an image backup!(This works only on certain editions of Windows 7)

Acronis support is pretty good, though unless you pay extra it is mainly forum-based. Luckily the forum works well and useful help is available.

I like Acronis True Image Home 2010 very much, and have found it to be extremely reliable. I trust my systems to it and consider it a bargain.

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More Acronis True Image Home 2010 reviews
review by . August 03, 2010
After reading a number of negative reviews, I was hesitant to install Acronis' True Image Home 2010. However, having suffered the horror of not having data backed up, I decided to give it the test.    Installation was smooth on my XP Home, SP3 Dell Dimension 5150. (I recommend not selecting the bootable disk option.) Pluses for True Image Home 2010: easy and fast backup and recovery and a friendly, Windows style user interface, also continuous data protection. Additionally, the …
review by . August 19, 2010
Trying to make a long story short, my netbook just didn't like this. It installed well enough, but proved to be such a memory hog that I uninstalled after a month.    I wanted it to work, but it didn't.
About the reviewer
Steve Lionel ()
Ranked #828
I'm a software engineer specializing in compilers, Fortran in particular. I've been into computers since 1970 and in the industry since 1978. Other than that, I run a web site for a no-kill cat … more
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Acronis True Image Home 2010 provides home users with reliable and timeless backup and recovery of systems, applications, settings, and personal files. From an intuitive graphical interface, users can easily define where, locally or online, and how often to back up a PC. In addition, Acronis Nonstop Backup delivers continuous system and data protection, preventing data loss. Acronis True Image Home 2010 meets home user needs with a simple, yet comprehensive, backup and disaster recovery solution. The variety of backup and restore capabilities, including disk imaging, file backup, local or online backup, and continuous data protection provide ultimate protection for private systems and data. This unique consumer software offers a full set of advanced features in an affordable and easy-to-use solution.

Welcome screen
Welcome screen provides quick access to backup and recovery features, as well as highlights any issues with your system's protection. Click to enlarge.

Easy and Fast Backup and Recovery
Acronis True Image Home 2010 provides home users reliable and timeless backup and recovery of their operating system, applications, settings, and personal files.

Friendly, Windows-style User Interface
From an intuitive graphical interface, you can easily define where, locally or online, and how often to backup a PC based on your needs.

Acronis Online Backup to a secure location
Optional Acronis online storage services are available to automatically backup valuable data or files over the Internet to a...

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