Protecting your system and data

To protect your system and data, please take the necessary precautionary measures:

1) To protect your system from a disaster, you need to make a full backup of your system. To make this task easier, Acronis has provided the One-Click Backup feature. It allows you to back up the system partition when you first start the newly installed program. If you decide not to use the One-Click Backup, make a system backup as soon as possible.

2) Whenever possible, you should store your system image on a hard drive other than your primary hard disk C:, preferably on an external one. This gives an additional guarantee that you will be able to recover your system if your primary hard disk drive fails. Furthermore, it is usually better to keep your personal data separate from your operating system and applications, for example, on disk D:. Such arrangement speeds up the creation of your system and data disk (or partition) images. It also reduces the amount of information you will need to recover. This makes the backup file of your system partition much smaller and recovery easier. The smaller the backup file, the less chance it will be corrupted and the less time required to recover your system.

3) If you store your data (documents, videos, photos, etc.) on a non-system disk, e.g. using the arrangement described in item 2), it needs to be backed up too. You can either back up the folders containing your data or create a data disk image. Remember that the imaging procedure is much faster than copying files. It could speed up the backup process significantly when backing up large volumes of data. If the image file becomes corrupted for some reason, it is sometimes possible to mount the image. You may be able to save most files and folders by copying them from the mounted image using Windows Explorer.

4) Because recovery of your system after a crash in most cases will be done after booting from the rescue media, you must create the rescue media (see Creating bootable rescue media) and then test it as described in Testing bootable rescue media.

Backing up your system partition

If you want to use your external drive for storing the backup, attach and power it on before starting Acronis True Image Home 2011.

  1. Start Acronis True Image Home 2011 and then click Disk and partition backup in the main window.
  2. This opens the Disk Backup window with your system partition (usually C:) selected by default.

    If you use Windows 7, the program will also select the System Reserved partition. Do not clear its check box, because you may need to recover that partition if your system crashes.

  3. Select a destination for backup (you can leave the default destination or browse for a destination after clicking the down arrow to the right of the current destination and selecting Browse…).
  4. Click Back up now.

Additional recommendations

1) Many IT professionals recommend that you have at least two copies of your system backup (three are even better). It is further recommended to keep one copy of a backup in a different location from the other (preferably on other premises – for example, at work or at a friend’s home, if you use the backed up computer at home). One more argument in favor of several backups: when starting recovery, Acronis True Image Home 2011 deletes the target partition (or disk). If you have just a single backup, you are at great risk. The moment the system partition is deleted on the computer being recovered the only thing you have is the image being recovered. If the image is corrupted, you will not be able to recover the system.

2) If you have only one computer at home, it is advisable to print some information that may be helpful in recovering from a disaster, because you may not be able to use the Internet. We recommend to print the following sections: “Recovering your system after a crash”, “Recovering partitions and disks”, and “Recovering to different hardware”. Keep the printed material in a safe place along with the rescue CD/DVD or another rescue media.

Protecting your system and data