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Author Topic: Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...  (Read 4177 times)

Carol Haynes

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Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...
« on: September 21, 2005, 06:38:34 PM »
On paper the new version looks good - not only does it have all that version 8 had but also it now includes file level backups too. There are also customisable before and after backup links to run external programs. For example, you could set it up to run a complete virus and spyware scan before backup and the shutdown afterwards using batch file scripts - really useful.

I have been using "Powerquest V2i Protector" which was Powerquests corporate backup utility (with on the fly and incremental backups) This generally works well but has always had an odd problem with its incremental backups (like it suddenly wouldn't do one and you had to start with a fresh backup for no reason). The final straw was with the Symantec buyout it has been killed off as an app in favour of Ghost (previously aka Powerquest Drive Image) and a really expensive corporate backup application.

Having read the TrueImage reviews here I purchased version 8 a few days ago after a trial period. I like it very much and it doesn't seem to suffer with the eccentric problems of V2i Pro. I got an email last night with a free upgrade to the new version 9. I was quite chuffed with the new features and so installed it straight away.

If you use this and are tempted to upgrade give it a while. You get the impression this version was really rushed out. It seems full of bugs ... so far I have reported:

  • Browsing backup archives only works for image based backups - not the new file based backups. The help link for this feature is also broken.
  • The before and after scripts don't seem to work at all. the manual says use batch files but the batch files just trigger an error, and the script doesn't run
  • File level backups work and can be restored, but restoring a single file doesn't work - you can select the files you want in a browser type window but unless you select everything the restore fails with a 'nothing to restore' error
  • Sceduled tasks seem to get corrupted very easily and for no apparent reason

Judging by comments on their support forums I am not the only one experiencing these problems.

I really don't know why companies do this sort of thing - it really reduces confidence in a good product. Backup utilities after all are supposed to be solid and reliable - not flaky and frustrating!

mouser

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Re: Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2005, 02:39:55 PM »
seems some other people having trouble too.
wilders security forum for acronis: http://www.wildersse...orumdisplay.php?f=65
the good news is that acronis is already accustomed to doing lots of updates so one assumes they will be fixing these issues soon.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2005, 09:10:23 PM »
Most of the 'bugs' seem to have been fixed now (well of sorts).

I have had a LOT of correspondence with their Tech Support over the last couple of weeks. I really can't believe they released a new version in that state. They boasted new functions which didn't work at all - not even vaguely!!

Do commercial companies really release ALPHA software to the general public (the first version 9 download couldn't be consider even a beta release because so many of the functions didn't even have a stab at working).

There are still a few oddities in the interface - especially with the file archives (a new feature). Basically they have tried to add file based backup to the existing partition based backup software but the file backups really were incomplete when the software was released (like you couldn't restore a single file from a file backup).

The trouble is backup software is a tool that has to be 110% dependable - all the bugs, missing code, poorly thought out new 'features' leave you wondering if it is safe to use this software for critical backups.

If/when all the problems are finally resolved (incluing adding a proper browser for file backups - which tech support says is impossible) they will have a really good product but for now I would suggest people would be better staying with version and using MS Backup for file backups.

The one facility they have added is 'differential' backups in addition to 'incremental' backups. I haven't dared try it yet but for most purposes this will be a really good addition.

They have also added a very scary Snap restore facility - again I haven't tried this becase I haven't needed to. The idea is that you can start using you system while a partition is being restored - including data on that partition (if I have got that right) !!! This strikes me as the ultimate in scary facilities ...

mouser

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Re: Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2005, 09:22:28 PM »
Quote
Do commercial companies really release ALPHA software to the general public (the first version 9 download couldn't be consider even a beta release because so many of the functions didn't even have a stab at working).

one thing i've learned in talking to companies.. its completely impossible to predict which ones are professional and which ones are dysfunctional.  famousness of program is no guide.

Quote
The trouble is backup software is a tool that has to be 110% dependable - all the bugs, missing code, poorly thought out new 'features' leave you wondering if it is safe to use this software for critical backups.

very good point.  security soft and backup soft really need to be treated differently than other soft. you cant just release buggy versions of them.


i have personally advocated using different programs for these tasks.
i do a FULL IMAGE backup once per month.
and then do incrememntal backups of only my personal files every couple days.
i'd rather do that then incremental image backups of whole drive.
just my 2 cents.

zridling

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Re: Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2005, 01:22:17 AM »
I agree with Carol. I licensed Acronis, too, and was disappointed in the original 9.0 release. Now they're three builds later and everything seems fixed on the surface. But that's a bad practice. Executive Software did this with their Diskeeper 8.0 release. 7.0 was solid, but 8.0 was a flake. In no time, they fixed everything and offered 9.0, which confirmed my theory that every other major version of most software programs is good.*

*I should write an article on that phenomenon.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Acronis TrueImage version 9 now available - but be warned ...
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2005, 04:52:14 AM »
I agree with Carol. I licensed Acronis, too, and was disappointed in the original 9.0 release. Now they're three builds later and everything seems fixed on the surface. But that's a bad practice. Executive Software did this with their Diskeeper 8.0 release. 7.0 was solid, but 8.0 was a flake. In no time, they fixed everything and offered 9.0, which confirmed my theory that every other major version of most software programs is good.*

*I should write an article on that phenomenon.

I was thinking of writing that too ...

Actually I always assumed it was a Microsoft phenomenon ! Except in the case of MS it seems all new builds are full of holes and that service packs alternate in quality ;-)