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Sunday, April 17, 2011


Well after 4 days of struggles and unexpected patching sessions, I now have my new 750GB SATA drive in my laptop. Once I started using samba it all went much better than I expected. To make things faster be sure to choose restore partition not files. Restoring files takes a lot more time. Despite your first guess that restoring by partition doesn’t require extra steps if you installed a larger drive, it uses the partition scheme you setup on your new drive. You just need to specify where you want your files restored too. The process goes much faster, when I tried using the file method it gave me a time of 19 hours, and went up occasionally to 3-5 days. When I switched over to partitions in the morning when the timer still gave an ETA of 18 hours, it went down to 2 hours, but took like 3.5 hours to complete the process.

When I rebooted the laptop after the restore completed, it immediately started booting Windows, no hiccups, no little tweaks, it all just worked, I was surprised and impressed at how well it did the job. Of course this raises the question could I have used full drive backup and got better performance, and still restored to a larger partition?

After windows booted, it did have to look for and install a driver for the hard disk, I didn’t change the controller, so I was surprised it needed to install a driver for a SATA hard drive that replaced a SATA hard disk? But oh well it worked, I will have to see next time I reboot if it gives any performance enhancement.

The reason I purchased Acronis and didn’t use Clonezilla and gparted type solution was because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make Vista boot on the new disk, all the entire how-tos I read required repair work and/or recover disks. My laptop didn’t come with a Vista install disc; I did create the recovery disks nearly 3 years ago, damn if I know where those disks are hiding. So in the end Acronis did what I expected just the backup progress wasn’t as easy as I expected, but the restore pretty much exceeded my expectations by far.

But it is nice to see 487GB of free space, and even gave 60GB of space to Linux partition should I choose to dual boot sometime in the future.

Lessons learned in this process.
  •  Install as Administrator, an administrator enabled account isn’t enough, after the restore process it still doesn’t like running as a normal user.
  •   Don’t bother using FTP with Acronis it really doesn’t play well with others.
  •  Defragment your drive before you start, backups go faster with it defragged.
  •   Use the fastest transport media possible, wired is much better than WIFI even “N” class wireless
  • Gigabit would of helped, but wasn’t an option on this laptop
  • Don’t use dynamic style disks the restore process doesn’t like it, and you can change later
  • Be sure to have another computer if possible for several days while the backup/restore is proceeding.
  •  Install gkrellm on your fileserver so you can see throughput, and be sure that Acronis is doing something. 


Blogger tm said...

Once upon a time I tried Acronis, but now use the method documented here:

12:25 PM  
Blogger Ouacaze said...

Hi, have you ever heard of Clonezilla ?
It's a great partition backup/recovery software. It's perfect for cloning a system and restoring on a bigger HDD.

9:49 AM  

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