Acronis True Image 10 and SmartSync Pro
I’ve been a loyal follower of Norton Ghost for many years. I’ve used it regularly in the past to copy, clone, and restore drive images. I’ve always used a dedicated drive image tool to create my own system restore points. The last DOS version of Ghost running from my boot CD with USB support to store the image was the zenith of Ghost usage for me I think. Feature bloat and a really terrible recovery CD in the latest version forced me to begin a search for an alternative.
Powerquest’s Drive Image Pro is long gone thanks to their acquisition however - happily I found exactly what I was looking for at Acronis True Image. Thank you Acronis. What an excellent piece of software. For starters the imaging tool is cool – well designed, easy to use and FAST. I can do a full image of my OS disk in about 15 minutes (a 14GB image file from 28GB of data). But the really amazing part is their recover CD. It takes only a couple of minutes to prepare, boots VERY fast, and runs True Image nicely – allowing me to browse for the backup image wherever it’s located, on another disk, or on my USB drive. The Ghost recovery CD takes nearly 10 minutes to boot – using a PE version of Windows (I think). The simplicity of True Image combined with their excellent recovery CD was the killer blow to Ghost, and I’m now an Acronis True Image convert.
For interest – I use True Image to create recovery images of my OS partition (my C: drive) and another very cool tool called SmartSync Pro to sync my data volume (my D: drive) with an external USB drive. I run backups (syncs) to the USB drive every day and also keep a fortnightly drive on rotation, locked in a safe at a friends office for off-site storage. The Robocopy console app is also a good way to kick-start the backup of a data volume and can also be used to mirror or sync data – but I liked the UI in SmartSync Pro enough to pay the asking 35.00 USD for the product.
Between the two – Acronis True Image 10 and SmartSync Pro, I’m pretty much covered on the system backup and data recovery front.