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Old 04-11-2007, 11:35 AM
jreffner jreffner is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19
Here's the deal with Acronis

Ok, here is a follow-up to my initial question in case others find it useful. I want to clone a Windows Vista drive on my Mac in the same manner I use SuperDuper! to clone my Mac OS X drive.

I asked for advice as to which Windows app would do this besides Retrospect. Acronis was the only suggestion made. So upon reading the info at their site I was left with no information other than the usual, "it looks pretty, so buy it". So finally, I had a chat with Alex at Acronis who only became confused when I mentioned terms such as, "Macintosh" and "Boot Camp". Finally I skipped all of that and just asked him if I could use Acronis Drive Image 10. Home to make a Smart Clone of an internal Windows drive to an external FireWire drive. The short answer is, No. It will apparently make a bootable clone, but it won't make a SMART bootable clone. Hence it would be like using SD! in its free mode (a complete waste of time). The chat is pasted below for anyone who wants the details.

I'd also appreciate any other suggestions as to which Windows app I should use to make a Smart clone of my Windows drive. For that matter, I'm not even 100% sure that Retrospect Professional, Express, or HD will do it. It's becoming apparent that the way of thinking in the Windows world is to create an image of the source drive to the destination drive. Then boot from a bootable CD (in the worst case) and use the app on the CD to copy the image back to the original source drive not in the form of an image, but rather in the form of a working bootable drive with the file system and structure in-tact.

Suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Enjoy the chat log.


Thank you for contacting Acronis! The chat operator will be with you approximately in 0 minute(s) and 13 seconds. Thank you for waiting.
You are now chatting with 'Alex'
Alex: Hello! Thank you for contacting Acronis Sales Team! My name is Alex, how can I assist you?
James Reffner: Hi, I have a few questions if you don't mind.
James Reffner: I'm planning on running this application on a Macintosh under Aplle's Boot Camp (which runs native Windows). Are you following me?
James Reffner: I need to know if this application will allow me to clone an internal SATA drive to another internal SATA drive, AND will it also allow me to clone it to an external FireWire drive?
Alex: We do not support MAC OS. But if you can install trial on such machine then you can use full version
Alex: We do not expect any difficulties with this hardware configuration.
Alex: We may recommend you to install a trial version available at in order to make sure that the program runs flawless for you.
James Reffner: I realize you don't support the Mac OS. I'm not planning on running it under the Mac OS. I'm planning on running it on a Mac maching under Boot camp which runs native Windows OS and apps. Do you know what this is?
James Reffner: Ok, forget that, please just tell me if this appication will make me a bootable clone.
Alex: What do you mean by 'bootable clone'?
James Reffner: I want an app that will duplicate a drive to another drive that is bootable. I don't want an app that will copy a drive to another drive in a single file or multiple file sets. I want an exact duplicate with the file structure in-tact and I want it to be bootable.
Alex: Yes, Acronis True Image 10.0 Home can do that
Alex: You can try a trial
Alex: Acronis True Image trial version has the following limitations:
Alex: Windows: all are functions available, 15-days trial period
Alex: Acronis Bootable Rescue Media: Recovery feature is available only
James Reffner: Great, so I assume that I can duplicate ot clone an internal esata drive to another internal esata drive then?
Alex: That is correct. Acronis True Image 10.0 Home supports SATA
James Reffner: Ok then can it duplicate an internal SATA drive to an external FireWire drive and make it bootable?
Alex: It is different hardware and you will need to use Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation with Acronis Universal Restore
James Reffner: I'm sorry, but I'm not following you. Of course it's different hardware. Are you telling me that True Image 10 Home doesn't support external drive, or that it doesn't support FireWire, or that it can duplicate to an external FireWire drive, but it just can't make it bootable?
Alex: Sorry, let me explain
Alex: Acronis True Image 10.0 Home supports Fireware drives and ext drives as well. But if you do simple clone to ext drive your OS will be unbootable. You have to create image and restore it using Acronis Universal Restore option which can be purchased with Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation
James Reffner: Ok, thank you. So am I correct in assuming that there is no way then using any of the Acronis apps to Clone or duplicate my internal Windows drive to another drive so that in the even of a catastrophe I could boot to the clone, open an Acronis application and duplicate or clone the bootable clone that I'm booted from back to the original/internal Windows drive that somehow became damaged withing reinstalling the Windows OS or any Acronis apps at all?
Alex: Please check the following page and tell me what exactly do you understand by 'clone' term here?
James Reffner: Thank you, now that was helpful! I do NOT want to create an image file. I want to use the "Disk Clone Tool" to clone the internal SATA Windows Vista drive to an External FireWire drive so that when I screw up my internal drive I can can simply boot to the extrnal FireWire drive and reverse the normal direction of the Clone Tool making the source the external drive (which I would be currenly booted from since the internal drive would be screwed up), and the destination for the Clone Tool would be the internal drive. I then procede to transfere the data from the external clone to the internal drive. A few minutes to hours later, I simply reboot to the fixed (a.k.a. non-screwed up) internal drive and all is back to how it should be.
Alex: Ok. If I understand you in a right way: you wish to do clone to ext drive and in case of disaster make clone from ext to internal drive, correct?
James Reffner: You got it!
Alex: Ok
Alex: You can do that BUT
James Reffner: Will Home 10 do this? Does it come with a "CloneTool"?
Alex: Yes it does. BUT it is much better to do IMAGES
Alex: You can save space and restore them in the same way.
Alex: from boot CD
James Reffner: So you're saying that it's better to create an image on the external drive, and then use a bootable CD to copy the image from the external drive back to the internal drive, not in the form of an image, but in the form of a bootable disk with the file structure in-tact?
Alex: Create image, save it to ext drive and RESTORE (not copy) to int drive
Alex: It is better and faster. Moreover you can validate images to make sure everything was copied ok
James Reffner: But what if your internal drive is unbootable? Are you implying that the restoration takes place while being booted from a CD?
Alex: Yes, in case your int hd is unbootable should use boot CD
Alex: you can create such CD in Windows
James Reffner: Ok, so why is this better? I understand that you validate the image, but aren't the odds of using the Clone Tool to "clone" all of the files reliable too?
Alex: after installation
Alex: It is better because you can use incremental/differential backups also:
Alex: for saving space and keep your backup up to date
James Reffner: Ok, I understand that. Is there also a fear that if I use the clone tool and clone the drive AFTER a critical file has been damaged that all I will do is copy a damaged file to the external drive an thereby create a worthless clone when I need it?
Alex: Yes and in this case you can be ok if used full backup + set of incrementals scenario
James Reffner: Alright, one more question. Assuming that I choos to ignore your advice, and still use the Clone Tool to clone the internal drive to an external drive, will the "CloneTool" in Acronis True Image 10.0 Home clone every file each time I run it, or will it be "smart" enought to only copy the files that have changed from the internal to the external? Additionally, if I have deleted "file X" from the internal, will it be smart enough to delete "file X" from the external drive that it copied there in a previous session?
Alex: It do the exact clone each time you run it. It is not 'smart'
Alex: but if you do images you can use differential/incremental backups and they are 'smart' enough
Alex: they will save all changes you made
Alex: for example you delete X file
Alex: by mistake, but it is important for you
Alex: you can get it from incremental set
Alex: and be ok once again
James Reffner: Ok, so basically the image method is "smart", but the Cloning Tool is not. Correct?
Alex: Correct
Alex: Clone Tool do the exact clone of the original
James Reffner: Thank you very much Alex. You have been extremely helpful!
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