I have Acronis True Image Home 2012 (ATIH) and my Dell desktop has Win 7 and RAID0 HD.
I was told by Acronis tech on a chat that RAID is Not Cloneable because Acronis can only Clone MBR disks.
MBR is Master Boot Record, i.e. the First Sector on the HDD that is accessed by the machine while booting.
Acronis can do an Image of RAID and I will be able to Restore the Image to Any HD, RAID or Not RAID.
I’m confused because I saw in some forums that people Are able to Clone RAIDs with Acronis.
- It is Compressed and as such is prone to Errors when Decompressing and the SW or HW Setup is a little different from the original HD.
- It is not immediately Verifyble, i.e. you need to Restore the entire Image to see if it's ok.
- You do not have access to individual files if you need them as in the Clone case.
I have been working on this also. I have 2 150GB 10K raptor drives in RAID 0 that I'm needing to clone over to 2 120GB SSD Corsair GT's. The first step is finding a cloning software that will create an image archive of the RAID pair. That is fairly easy, the hard part is that most cloning software is not able to recognize a RAID configuration when restoring. I have read that both Ghost and Acronis sometimes work as long as your RAID is hardware and not software. The second problem is that unless you have two RAID controllers, you would first have to make an image of your RAID to a secondary storage drive that is still accessible by the cloning software, pull out your RAID pair, install your new RAID pair, create your pair and then boot from some media like CD or bootable thumbdrive, run the cloning software, point it to your stored archive image and cross your fingers that the software sees your RAID pair and clone the image back to your new pair. My main issue is that my new pair is not as large as my old pair even though the storage area needed is smaller than the new pair would contain. That is why I have stopped for now. It is not that easy and from the answers I am reading here most people apparently don't get it.
First: Acronis never did and never will be able to "Clone" BIOS RAID see this link: http://kb.acronis.com/content/6533. A better way to think of this process is how do you implement a Solution which will image ANY RAID implementation (to be safe) <1.56TB of storage for the logical drive, then be able to restore from the same one Disk. You can trick most into using multiple disks, but I would not, most BIOS won’t handle this.
Before I give you the correct answer on exactly how to backup and restore anything from 32 SAS, 4-Spinners, or 8-SSD implemented as RAID-0 (the configuration matters not), I initially noticed on the Acronis website they made the claim they can back up just about any RAID level except I believe RAID-6 , and they made this claim about Fake RAID. Yes, they did have sense enough to put in a disclaimer that to backup and restore (ALTHOUGH I was unable to quickly find the word restore) , what I call Fake/BIOS/Software RAID you needed to pay for their plus pack. They do not tell you the "Plus Pack" is FREE AND simply creating an AIK/WinPE disk and then 'HOPE' your software RAID driver would be seen by Acronis.
I took down a work station just to have a laugh and used since the Work Startion with the board I have come to like, the same ASUS P9 Pro x79 LGA 2011. I simply setup RAID-0 with 2 disks for the test. Even if it did work, for kicks I called ASUS who I do like and asked what they were thinking when they used the Intel x79 Chipset for 2 x SATA3 and 4 x SATA2 and then stuck two silly Marvel SATA3's restricted with the silly sticker that calls out SSD Caching. That is nothing but RAID-0 with no way to back up. I can understand a person using it for a file mirror, RAID-1, but that's it. To use 2 SATA3’s and 4 SATA2'S (total 6), why ANYONE would waste the drop down in bandwidth, is beyond me and they gave me bull about the Opticals not working. No excuse for 4! Anyway, sorry I digressed, I would NEVER USE on-board RAID if it were 6 x SATA3. Why? It’s on-board. Good for Optical, eSATA, a place to plug in a hot swap and I can think of nothing else useful.
1. First, for BIOS RAID to be able to back up and restore, the backup Application must understand a file system. (simple enough), but to clarify, the reason is the OS has a (let's call it an abstraction layer) which works in terms of logical blocks (both Linux and Windows work this way). There yet a different layer which translates logical blocks to physical data on the storage, then organizes it based on the file system.
As long as the imaging software works on logical blocks, and understands the file system structure (so it can do resizes) and the software can actually see the raid device ], it works very well even for BIOS RAID. However, Acronis still uses their universal restore even for a normal Hardware RAID Controller and lacks the ability to do what I just mentioned. What puzzles me is they cannot even do a simple clone of Hardware RAID either.
The Acronis rep is answering a question from a user who titled his post: "4446: Hardware RAID drivers with Acronis Bootable Media."
No, the Acronis rep did not reply. “There are no such thing as a HW RAID Controller drivers, they use firmware, but no drivers.
To address some of your other questions:
"Imaging has some disadvantages:
"- It is Compressed and as such is prone to Errors when Decompressing and the SW or HW Setup is a little different from the original HD."
That is not correct. You believe it's compressed because you are right clicking your Logical drive and doing the same with the backup. You're including the invisible file system restore. Go to disk management, assign a drive letter to the second volume (not the MBR) then open it and match folders. Each one will match except after the first image. After the first image, Casper, as one of many, does differential images. (BTW, this is no different than they way RAID Racks in a Server or workstation, have been and continue to be backed up to SANs (Storage Area Networks), direct or otherwise.
- It is not immediately Verifiable, i.e. you need to Restore the entire Image to see if it's ok.
Farstone is a Good solution, one of dozens, focused on Ennterprises. The same way IT deploys images to multiple users at a large companies the same requirements, [the imaging is at the block level keeping the file system out] is how RAID is backed up and restored. The problem many companies will face is Windows 8 Beta uses WinPE 3.1 and has cut the consumer market out. That is why Acronis never worked. They never added just about every known driver to their boot disk, that comes with the consumer version for just a few more weeks with Casper and a few others. You don’t really need it unless you do odd stuff.
One of the companies we decided to become resellers for is Future System Solutions. It seems when they split from Symantec 8 years ago, they kept the code for imaging, Symantec kept Ghost.
Not a wise decision on their part.
NOTE: Not all Motherboards allow booting from USB HDD's. In other words, most of us here I assume use our HDDs in the enclosure of our choice. IF your Mobo has the ability to boot from a USB HDD, that is the easy way. I tried the Casper Consumer Solution (which removes the admin abilities, the ability to backup Server Images to Disks or SANs, many things not needed to mention and the ability to backup whole disk PGP and Bitlocker encrypted drives. The cheap consumer version does the trick and more.
The second and for most, the fastest way to backup and restore is to purchase a single SATA3 PCIe card ($19.99) for the backup drive and if you must, use the software RAID on your motherboard.
1. Not sure how many disks you use, but a good test is to use two drives and implement them in RAID-0. Use Casper to make your first image, (the rest are differential and may be timed). (You also DO NOT need TO stop working during backup). Use Atto to create a benchmark.
2. When you backup the RAID-0 with two drives, intentionally, DESTROY the RAID-0 you just builT. Even take one of the drives out and format it whatever you prefer to kill a RAID-0 Storage Logical Drive. (Do not STEP on the drive, or drill any holes. . Reset your 2-RAID drives, oR, if you like, build a new RAID-0 with 5, OR 9 drives.
3. Restore 9 drives from the backup from 2 with one disk. (A secret: If business were unable to do this, they’d be out of business. However, I seem to always find most have never heard of this. Then again, I don’t play games. Well, chess.
Email me at my company address, I have many copies of the consumer version and would be happy to send you one. Report back when you’re done if your still think you cannot backup AND restore any RAID implementation.
If needed, feel free to email any questions, but you’ll likely figure it out in 5 mins. PS: To test, note the Atto bence prior to destruction and run Atto if you go higher than 2 drives. You may use the Intel IRST drive manager to test the integrity of fake raid, or the controller card for HW raid.
It irks me a when people still believe RAID-0, or RAID-5, 6, 10, or 60 cannot be backed up. People call RAID-0 DANGEROUS and it's no more dangerous than 1-drive. ONLY RAID-6 double parity has a higher factor of disaster recovery. However, the way to equalize is use two drives, then you go beyond RAID-6.
The only limitation for now is you cannot use anything larger than a 1.6TB drive RAID-0 (I'm OK with that, if they're all SATA3 SSD's. Everyone (including Casper) is working on restoring NTFS from GBT. An interesting problem, GPT spans a layered partition across the entire disk. Annoying.
RE: Acronis True Image Home 2012 and the Intel X79 / C600 chipset.
Acronis TIH 2012 does not support the latest Intel x79/c600 chipsets. Moreover, the company expects that if they do not support the hardwware you are running the backup on, that you will spend as much time as they require troubleshooting the issue. Furthermore, they do not appear to invest in hardware platforms for testing. (At least it would appear to be the case as they obviously try to get you to solve the problem by troubleshooting the issues. For example, in my case they asked me to download a ton of Linux distros to see if one supported my hardware. Of course, they all basically did... because the distros were MUCH more current than the Acronis TIH 2012 Linux based bootable media.)
The thing that I would warn EVERYONE about is that if you are running ATIH 2012 on a Windows system with continuous backup: It will backup without issue... but then if you need to restore using their backup media, and your hardware is not supported, you are hosed. I have first hand experience with this related to the Intel x79 chipset, RAID 0, and 2 x Vertex 4 513GB drives.
Acronis does not publish a specific HCL (Hardware Compatibility List), and as of 8/1/2012, it appears they do not go out of their way to tell people the hardware they don't support BEFORE YOU PRESS TO KEY TO PURCHASE THE SOFTWARE.
Lastly, the first level and even the second level tier support is a joke. If you give them detailed technial information, they can't work with that. Moral of the story: Don't be a systems engineer with 20 years of experience and expect technical support at Acronis to be able to understand what you are telling them.
If your computer is an old piece of poo, you're probably fine. If it's a Intel x79/C600 workstation, or a Dell R815 server that all current Linux distros support... don't bet on Acronis supporting it!
I made a backup of the files from a computer with a corrupted copy of windows, but I can't mount the backup. Acronis gives me the error: "This is not the last created volume of a backup archive" and I get a corrupt image error when I try to mount it. I can tell the data's there; it's a 36 GB image of the disk. Is there ANY way to extract the files from it? What about validating the image using the Acronis Coupons for boot disk? Thanks!