Helpful ReplyBest Program To Image Multiple Drives

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Starise
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2018/09/18 13:39:22 (permalink)

Best Program To Image Multiple Drives

Looking for a multiple drive backup solution. I am a longtime Acronis user. Thankfully I have never needed to use the back ups.
With these larger multiple drive setups I'm wondering what the best options are. Not only from a backup standpoint, also from the standpoint of fast straightforward recovery. The program needs to flag the bad drive and hopefully back it up without any other disturbances. I don't want a long convoluted recovery option.
 
I looked seriously at the cloud, but most services now have a monthly charge for it which I would rather avoid. Seems to make more sense to use something like Google drive and load images there. I have a few large external drives. I could go the old school way and simply make multiple images on a big external drive. My builds have always worked so well I haven't needed to back anything up. I admit I wouldn't know where to start in an emergency.
 
Any suggestions?
post edited by Starise - 2018/09/19 11:31:01

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#1
slartabartfast
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/18 17:32:08 (permalink)
Drive images are typically very large, making cloud storage somewhat of a long process at best, and of course restoring an image of the system drive would require another working computer to download the backup. Fast straight forward restores require that you have everything you need on site.
 
I am not aware of any consumer backup systems that will detect a bad drive and copy its contents somewhere else automatically, and if the drive has gone bad, there is likely to be data loss already. That situation is the reason you want a backup made while the drive is healthy to restore. 
 
Acronis is probably as good as most drive imaging applications, but there are a bunch both free and paid that various people will recommend. The features you pay for are typically compression, the ability to mount the image or otherwise restore individual files from the archive, and the ability to image only certain parts of the drive or data. Windows still has a free drive image system, but it seems not to be very popular, and is not as easy to mount etc. as some of the others.
#2
abacab
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/18 17:57:55 (permalink)
Been a while since I used Acronis, but really any disk imaging program is capable of this (with exception of detection of a failing drive), and definitely better than nothing when you need it. 
 
I use Marcrium Reflect now, but not pushing that brand, just stating this for clarity so that my comments are in context.  Acronis users may want to jump in with their methods.
 
I set up a separate backup job in Macrium for each internal drive on my PC, and schedule it to run automatically.  The target drive is an external USB3 drive that stays connected to my PC full time.  Which drives get backed up when is up to you, but I do my system SSD 'C:' drive daily.  I retain three days worth of full daily images here (3 most recent image files).
 
I also do a weekly backup of my system drive to a 2nd external USB3 drive that is always removed from my system and stored in a safe location.  This is a redundant backup that covers loss, damage, theft, or corruption of the drive with the daily images.  I always keep two weeks worth (2 most recent image files) of full weekly images here.  So at most I might lose a week.
 
I also have image jobs scheduled for my data drives (content, samples, loops, downloads, installers, etc.) that I run weekly onto the 2nd external drive.  This data doesn't change frequently enough to require daily backups, and most of it could be restored from original installers.
 
You can create folders with relevant names on your external backup drives for each backup job, so you will know right where to look for the image files you will need to restore from if that is ever necessary.  You can set the max number of image files to retain for each image job, so that you can manage the space requirements on each backup disk.  There will typically be some space compression on the image file, so they can be somewhat smaller in size than the source disk, but you will still need plenty of space to image everything.  Multi-TB USB3 drives are getting cheaper by the day, so shouldn't be a showstopper!
 
The bottom line is that the loss of any internal drive could be remedied with a replacement drive and a few minutes of image restore time, rather than the downtime involved with re-installing everything on the drive.  Priceless!!! 

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab; Sonar Platinum, and others ...  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Fathom; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

#3
BobF
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/18 21:23:32 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby abacab 2018/09/19 00:20:26
I also use Reflect.  I have separate jobs scheduled for my OS, non-OS, Samples and Projects.  All but Samples run weekly full images with nightly incrementals.
 
I haven't had to use the images because of failures, but I have used them for routine drive replacements and conversions to SSD.  Reflect has been painless for me.
 

Bob  --
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Starise
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/19 12:56:48 (permalink)
Well,....I had a lengthy reply to you guys but I don't think it posted. I'll wait and see.Thanks for the replies.

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BobF
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/19 13:10:50 (permalink)
Starise
Well,....I had a lengthy reply to you guys but I don't think it posted. I'll wait and see.Thanks for the replies.




I tried to reply to that post, but I got an error and then your post was gone.
 
Here's what I had tried to post in response
======
 
No, not a paid studio.  A serious home studio is a better description.  Way back when I had disaster strike and it was a major PITA, taking days and days to get everything reloaded and configured just so.
 
I use a USB3 dock and 3x Toshiba 3T SATA drives for the backups.  Super fast!
I rotate drives monthly, so I always have a min of 2 months inside a fire box inside a fire safe, plus the working drive in the dock. 
 
bitflipper's break in/robbery reinforced my thinking about this stuff.  His story is the reason I keep drives in a fire box with a handle so I can carry the box with me if we're going to be away for an extended time.
 

Bob  --
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#6
Starise
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/19 17:19:03 (permalink)
Thanks BobF nor sure what happened. Yes I can see why you would be so cautious. I remember that incident.
 
In the event of catastrophe I am curious which programs could take another new computer build and load it with everything that was on the old one. I'm not completely sure how much Win 10 is tied to the hardware. Seems to me
I remember the MOBO is tied to the Win 10 SN. 
 
In that case, might be easier to simply reload at least a new OS and updated versions of all programs. The secondary drive images could be used easily enough for sample libraries. Maybe this isn't case so much any more. I remember when I loaded an OS update over an older OS. Things seemed to be slower and more bogged down.Less efficient. If you've spent untold hours configuring a computer most would opt to keep it as it was if possible.Maybe since WIN 10 they've cleaned up the code some, eliminated some of those bugs. 

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#7
abacab
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/19 18:37:35 (permalink)
Regarding Windows 10 and hardware, there are several users here that have reported upgrading motherboards, and Windows 10 booted right up after and kept on ticking.  Something to do with an improvement in the hardware abstraction at a low level in the OS now.  It can handle major hardware changes gracefully now without melting down.
 
Dealing with Microsoft activation might be a different issue with replacement hardware.  But if you link your Windows license to an online Microsoft account prior to the change, you should be able to re-activate your Win 10 digital license online with new hardware once you sign back into your online account.  Worst case, you may need to purchase a new license.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab; Sonar Platinum, and others ...  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Fathom; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

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slartabartfast
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/19 18:54:37 (permalink)
Windows activation system is not tied to the hard drive in most cases. So if you just lose the drive, swapping in a new drive and restoring an image of your old Windows on the old machine should result in a painless re-activation. Losing the motherboard on the other hand will probably be seen by the activation servers as installing on a new machine. In that case, you will need to talk to a person at MS to get activated. If your original Windows came installed on the old machine, and if you pretty much replace the MB with the same model, you may be able to convince MS that you have "repaired" the original machine and get activated. If your original Windows was purchased as a separate piece of software, you may have the right to move it to a new machine, in which case you have a lot more latitude. In any case people have had inconsistent results, in some cases being permitted to activate under situations that would not seem to qualify if you read the license terms.
 
Restoring an old installation to new hardware has been surprisingly easy for some users. Just restoring the image will often get you up and running as the hardware abstraction in newer Windows can cope with most of the new hardware. The installation may not be activated, but it may work once it is without re-installing everything. Your results may vary. But this feature is not really dependent on what imaging software was used to save the image, although booting and copying your image may require drivers that some imaging software will include in the image disc. Most people would recommend a new install of everything to avoid potential problems. The various activation or copy protection schemes on software, plugins etc. will often not make the transfer intact.
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abacab
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/20 00:04:27 (permalink)
I think the most probable failure is with a single disk failure.  Imaging and activation should not be an issue in this most likely scenario, so there is really no excuse to not implement a disk imaging strategy! 

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab; Sonar Platinum, and others ...  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Fathom; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

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Starise
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/20 15:32:09 (permalink)
I guess the only way to find out if it happens is to get in the trenches and try it. Hopefully I won't ever loose a MOBO.
Whatever isn't deemed as probable still has a scary potential. I'm attempting to plan for the worst. I will eventually be changing computers one day unless something unprobable happens to me or my funds.
 
When I think about it. If any system could easily be duplicated to new hardware someone somewhere would likely be duping entire daws and selling them. This is what Windows is trying to avoid, hence the verification process. I have no issue upgrading an OS with a new computer. I just wish the restoration process was easier. It usually takes at least a day for me to fully load new daw with all my stuff and I have even more stuff now.
 
Hopefully we all we need is disk backup if that.

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#11
abacab
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/20 16:34:07 (permalink)
It takes me about 25 minutes to completely restore my C: drive from an image.  It would take me a least a week or so to clean install Windows and applications, and configure everything exactly the way I have it now.  If I could even remember everything that I've done to it in the two years since I last clean installed Windows 10, LOL!  I'm happy with it just like it is, and wish to keep it that way! 

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab; Sonar Platinum, and others ...  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Fathom; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

#12
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/21 14:02:39 (permalink)
Backup software that's constantly monitoring your machine (with automated/scheduled backup) is *exactly* the type of scenario you want to avoid when configuring a DAW for maximum performance.  
 
It's a matter of convenience... or performance
 
Reloading a typical boot-drive (DAW install) from a True Image backup takes ~10-15 minutes.
Can be done without installing anything...
Zero impact on performance

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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abacab
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/22 03:34:08 (permalink)
Jim Roseberry
Backup software that's constantly monitoring your machine (with automated/scheduled backup) is *exactly* the type of scenario you want to avoid when configuring a DAW for maximum performance.  




Hey Jim, I just have Macrium scheduled to take a full image at the same time each day.  No monitoring or system impact involved in this method, other than than the image itself running.  As long as you schedule it for "off hours" you will never notice it running. 
 
I would agree that any backup schemes that involve monitoring for changes are best avoided.

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab; Sonar Platinum, and others ...  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Fathom; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

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BobF
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/22 09:28:52 (permalink)
abacab
Jim Roseberry
Backup software that's constantly monitoring your machine (with automated/scheduled backup) is *exactly* the type of scenario you want to avoid when configuring a DAW for maximum performance.  




Hey Jim, I just have Macrium scheduled to take a full image at the same time each day.  No monitoring or system impact involved in this method, other than than the image itself running.  As long as you schedule it for "off hours" you will never notice it running. 
 
I would agree that any backup schemes that involve monitoring for changes are best avoided.




Same here.  Scheduler is the only impact.  The jobs run between 11P and 3A.  I suppose one could argue there has to be *something* periodically deciding whether it's time to launch or not, but I'm not taxing my system that close to the edge anyway.

Bob  --
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/24 14:14:13 (permalink)
It doesn't get any cleaner than zero install, zero scheduling, zero monitoring.  
If the boot drive fails or the OS is hosed, you're set (same exact method to restore).

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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abacab
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/24 15:55:43 (permalink)
I did the manual imaging thing for years.  Sorry, but not going back.  Too much work.

DAW: Cakewalk by Bandlab; Sonar Platinum, and others ...  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Fathom; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Miroslav; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1709  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Fender P-Bass

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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/24 20:45:47 (permalink)
It takes all of two minutes to get started.  
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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BobF
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/25 01:59:50 (permalink)
It's not difficult or time-consuming to manually kick off backups.  My problem is remembering and being awake when I want them to happen

Bob  --
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Best Program To Image Multiple Drives 2018/09/25 12:30:05 (permalink)
BobF
It's not difficult or time-consuming to manually kick off backups.  My problem is remembering and being awake when I want them to happen




Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
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