Discussion in 'Application Software' started by Atari800XL, Feb 25, 2014.
DISCUSSION - ("Cold") disk imaging
While I don't have multiple programs on one key, I do have Acronis and Paragon and have done many backup/restore operations of Windows 8.1 GPT systems, with and without secure boot, never a problem. The only hassle with secure boot is I must disable it first to boot from the USB key, do my backup or restore operation, then enter UEFI again to re-enable secure boot.
I have seen posts from other members who use Aomei and Macrium products with great success as well.
In my opinion, there is no absolute "best way"/"best program". With many workable programs and approaches available, it will be up to you to decide what suits your environment best.
I use AOMEI and I regularly backup and restore using it.
I am using Acronis True Image from 2010. Now 2014 version with support for EFI based systems.( i think efi support started from 2014 on words, i am not sure.) I am using 2014 now and having no issues on UEFI bios systems with secure boot. I have used in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 laptops and PCs. I find the program one of the best.
Clonezilla supports efi/secure boot without issues.
I tested Active@ Disk Image v5.62 today with one of my Windows 8.1 computers (UEFI secure boot). I ran Active DI as a portable program in a Windows8.1 PE to back up 4 partitions: 3 UEFI/GPT partitions (Recovery, EFI system partition and MSR partition) and C: partition. The backup was done with some warning regarding the EFI partition "GetVolumeNameForVolumeMountPoint(1) for "\\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolume3\" failed. Error = 1 (<Unknown error code>)". The rest appears normal. What impressed me is its speed and compression - on par with Acronis and IFW.
However, the disaster occurred when I tried to restore the image to its original disk. To test the restore reliability of Active DI, I deleted the UEFI/GPT partitions and C: partition using AOMEI partition assistant. I then tried to resotre the image to the disk. The program threw out some error message (memory could not be read) then crashed. Tried multiple times and same story. The bad thing is Active DI apparently deleted the whole partition table so now my whole disk (including 2 extra data partitions) were now "unformatted" raw disk.
So in conclusion, Active DI is not really ready if you are using a Windows 8.1 system with UEFI/GPT with secure boot.
Although I like the speed and compression of Active DI very much, unfortunately I have to let it go at this time, unless they fix this BCD problem on Windows 8.1 to fully support it.
I use Acronis True Image for WD 2011 edition released in 2012. It works 100% reliably on win 7, 8, and 8.1 and on GPT disks. This is free for me since I have Western Digital disks in my system. Just plain, full backup and restore with no messy interface of recent Acronis.
It may be difficult to get the download now since WD servers have replaced it with newer Acronis version which is horrible. Even Seagate offers one and while the old one 14387 was reliable on UEFI/GPT, the newer one posted recently is horrible. Both WD and Seagate are free if you have their disks as internal/external.
If you have Seagate/WD as disks, and want a free one, get these versions:
1. WD one: 126.96.36.19957 (147MB)
2. Seagate: 188.8.131.5287 (144 MB).
Maybe there will be a download somewhere.
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Right click on backup is not associated with Acronis anymore. That is, no acronis icon type on backup image.
Interface is messed up and not user friendly.
Tried it once or twice but although backup/restore may be reliable, the above 2 are deal breakers for me.
One more thing: once the restore failed, but acronis 2013 WD put the acronis loader in the UEFI. Could not remove it all even with optimised defaults. Had to flashback the BIOS (ASUS P9X79D) to remove the entry. Then update the BIOS.
Most of all, since ATIH for WD 2011 works for me on GTP/UEFI and on win 7, 8,8.1; why bother with newer versions.
I bet you do not have secure boot enabled? if you do, you want to use newer version that support secure boot.
Yes I do not have secure boot enabled. Acronis 2011 for WD does not work (restore) with secure boot enabled. Acronis 2013 WD does work even with secure boot enabled but I do not want this version. Anyway, win 8.1 does not have the secure boot watermark anymore after an update.
I haven't backup disks for a long time, anything goes wrong, re-install.
But if you don't want 3rd party softwares, you could use imageX or DISM to backup, now the win8.1+update DISM can apply ESD's, you could even export the wim to the even more compact ESD image...... just a suggestion.
Thanks for the tip. Yes I just read the DISM to install.esd thing, but was not sure how to realize this on a GPT/UEFI system - there are typically 3 GPT partitions + C: partition. If there a way to backup all 4 partitions using ImageX or DISM?
No serious problems with newer Acronis. I only use Acronis but the 2011 version.
You do not need to install acronis. Just download the boot CD iso from torrent sites for acronis 2013 or acronis 2014. However, if you have a GPT and UEFI, you may need to change the boot order everytime you need to boot from acronis cd. In MBR, that is not a problem. So more time required to get into acronis boot environment in UEFI/GPT. But the boot CD is 100% reliable.
I personally use Acronis and nothing else.
Sorry, I have no idea, maybe other guys could answer you on this.
BTW if you use Acronis do restore the image without the master boot track on GPT partitions other wise it won't boot anymore !!
OK, HD-Clone needs to be installed, but: after done that, it's your choice to create an bootable media on FD, CD/DVD or USB which gives you the freedom of use! Those bootable media will works on any computer!
This is how I use/have used Acronis True Image for year, no issues.
Good for you! I had several time problems with Acronis True Image Home and also the Server version. With HD-Clone never had an problem. I use them just for cloning and/or HD Imaging and not Backup, for that I use different Software with output to BD 50GB now and big Tape 80GB for either full and differential backup's!