I bought ATI2011 for its Non-Stop Backup feature. It turns out the software is not smart enough to deal with external hard drives.
"Oh well", I thought, and created an hourly backup. At first, I went with the incremental backup, but when I had to restore a few files, it served an half-baked copy of my backups, so I've tried the standard backup, and it worked ok. Later, I've tried to move it to a networked drive, and suprise surprise! it crashed the program. Now I'm reinstalling it because it crashes at launch.
In the end, half the advertised features don't work, and the rest work poorly. Avoid this software.
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Note that if you want partition management you should buy Acronis Disk Director, True Image does what it says which is to create images of drives. It is easy to use, fast and very effective. It has saved my life a few times already. The additional functionality is excellent too, I can't wait for 2012 with it's restore on boot feature.
Bottom line, know what you're buying and you'll very pleased with this product.
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I purchased the program as I noticed my laptop's hard drive commenced to make noises that in my opinion announced early retirement. The intent is to ensure that I will not loose my system programs as well as my data. I did install the Acronis True Image Program and the wizard made this task very easy. For me that is important as I am not a Techie. I quickly noticed that my computer performance was significantly reduced. I then transferred the whole content of my internal diskdrive to an external drive which now act as the backup drive and that reversed the operation of my laptop back to its original status. I now do not have to be afraid of drive failure and loosing my programs and more important my data. Very pleased.
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Oh my god...this program is so annoying. Every time I want to do something I can figure out where it is, or maybe it won't even do it.
I'm familiar with partition magic but it is starting to show its age. It can't handle some of the newest formats and drives and the company that now owns it, has decided to let it go. Such a shame...it had the power and control I wanted to manipulate the partitions with such ease and comfort. I was looking for a replacement to this program. Acronis is not it.
I don't find the menus friendly. I can sometime see what I want to do but I can't do it and I can't figure out why the program is limiting me. Another thing too is the window borders and the overall look reminds me of a Mac and I am used to the Microsoft look.
Maybe I just bought the wrong program. Maybe this was never designed to do what I wanted it to do. It seams to be set up more for file backups not partition backups like I was used to. I bought this because there were such high ratings on this software and I have no idea why people like it.
I have decided to keep the rest of my hair and sanity and just replace the program. This is not the partition manipulator that I was looking for and I am certainly going to download a demo before buying another program.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
151 of 155 people found the following review helpful
Stick to the Basics and It'll Work Well For youDec 31 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm a software engineer and I'm used to pushing computers to their limits. Just my computer at home has 3 hard drives with a total of 14 partitions (I use Boot IT NG to manage so many partitions). I have installed in these disks mostly Windows 7 and Windows XP.
Acronis. A backup and restore solution is like a parachute. It either opens when you need it or it doesn't. It's as simple as that. I've been using Acronis for over 6 years and I've spent my money buying the most recent versions.
Fact: this tool never let me down and it saved my skin several times. However, this isn't to say I love the tool. To make Acronis work for you is simple: stick to the basics, backup and restore. Acronis has a smart team of developers, but their marketing team is stupid. Every version they come up with, more senseless bells and whistles are added which just clutter their tool.
After so many years, here's a list of features that worked well and some that failed miserably. Again, this is my experience with more partitions in my computer than most users.
One-click backup. This "one-click" feature works great if you're buying stuff from Amazon. For backups you can't be serious. What will it back up, where will it store, and how do you recover? Sure, the answers are there but how can you understand things with a "one-click"? It's a silly marketing catch phrase that in the end never did anything useful to me. Spend a few more clicks and... do things right.
Try and Decide This one should be called "please crash my computer". Every time I attempted to make this feature work, something went wrong. To me, this is absolutely useless and it's consistently useless across all Acronis Home versions I owned. This has never, ever worked for me.
Acronis Secure Zone. This one has consistently worked well for me. On client computers I use the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager and it works really well. Again, a core feature that works when you need it. One drawback: it's painfully slow on larger disks with incremental backups. Here's a suggestion for the Acronis engineers:
MAKE EXISTING FEATURES PERFORM BETTER
instead of adding non-sense bells and whistles every year. With Acronis TI 2011, you can convert the ASZ from a FAT files system (old) to NTFS (newer). They claim this should help performance a bit; however, their conversion utility stops working at "33%" on my 350 GB ASZ (not all is used). So, I can't tell you if it's any faster on this version.
Online backup Another "you've got to be kidding me feature". Why would you want to do it this way? Simple: another marketing catch. This is simple: save your backup locally, validate it, THEN you upload it to the online service of your choice. Now... uploading the file "directly"? It sounds good in theory, but in reality upload speeds are slower, they drop, people use wireless (!) and you set yourself up for failure. I'm sure this works well for some people, it's just that I'm not one of them. I stay away from this one. If you save your stuff online, save it locally first.
Scheduled Backups Another feature that works well. I have several backups that run every week and Acronis does a great job emailing me the results (good or bad). These backups have worked consistently well for me over the years and they never failed me. Here's something they did right and it works well.
Recovery / Restores This is thee acid test: does the parachute open or not? In all fairness, a restore with Acronis has never, ever failed me. I restored partitions, files, data from internal hard drives and from external ones (USB). It worked 100%, all the time. It's even smart enough to deal with the file security in Windows O/S and it even updates the boot.ini file to make Windows bootable. Smart. Useful. It's great.
All other features I can't cover them all here without making this review 50 pages long. However, stuff like mount / un-mount images, file shredder, system clean-up, work "alright" but... they're slow. What's up with the Acronis team that their tool is "consistently" slow? How do they manage that? :-)
Again, in my opinion Acronis is going in the wrong direction trying to add more "features I don't need" to their software to make it more marketable. Instead, they should make this tool screaming fast, but it has been consistently slow over the years.
In the end: does it work? Yes, but only if you stick to the basics. Do I recommend it? Yes, but only if you stick to the basics. I've been running TI Home 2011 on my computer at home and it seems to perform better from prior versions. The interface is now centered around backup files and this takes some getting used to. If you want to schedule a backup, it's not as obvious as before in my opinion, but it's there.
All in all, buy it if you don't have one. The price is good and the tool works, just make sure you understand what this tool is: backup and recovery. Stick to the basics. All the other stuff is almost useless to me and I guarantee you all bad reviews here have something to do with their "extra" features (Acronis just needs to get smarter). Their basic backup and recovery works well, if you can deal with slow performance (this could be because of so many partitions I have in my computer too). So your mileage may vary.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing upgrade- Part II - Down to One StarJan. 13 2011
Robert A. Sacks
- Published on Amazon.com
First the good news. I've been using Acronis True Image for several years. It has saved me more than once, so I was predisposed to like the product. They recently told me that there was an update.. it was cheap.. and they offered additional licenses for free. How could I resist?
Well.. in retrospect, I wouldn't have done it. The new user interface is confusing. In fairness, it might just be that it is "different", but I find it hard to use. Second, it's a dog. It seems like I spend a lot of time looking at frozen screens with a "(Not responding)" message in the title bar. I don't recall having that problem with previous versions. I like to start a backup image running as I leave the office for lunch or a meeting. It used to be easy to do that. Now it freezes/pauses in the midst of a lot of questions that it asks you, so I can't just start it and walk away like I used to. It does eventually start working, but it's a frustrating process. I also seem to remember that it used to keep my ThinkPad alive when running. Now, I come back and find that my laptop has gone to sleep and the backup has locked up. That's probably something that I have to change in my power management settings, but I can't remember it ever being an issue before.
Finally, a number of reviewers have said that things just don't work - and that they get little sympathy from tech support. I honestly haven't had that problem yet.. but I haven't had a catastrophic failure since I upgraded, so I haven't tried a full image restore. Makes me nervous!
I think they must have run into the classic "QuickBooks/Quicken dilemma". They produced an inexpensive well functioning product, and then realized that they had no revenue stream, since there was no compelling reason to ever upgrade. So they mess around with the user interface every year to get you to think that it's "better". If you have the 2010 version, I'd advise you to skip this one. Maybe they'll work out the problems in the 2012 version... It just doesn't seem to work as well as the version I replaced. It's still inexpensive, but I can't see any justification for spending even the modest price of the upgrade.
******************* FOLLOWUP COMMENTS (3/12/11)************* ************************************************************* Something is just not right here. I've been using True Image Home for years, and until the 2011 version, would have given it 5 stars.
I upgraded to 2011 and nothing has been the same since. My first problem was that it was painfully slow. I'd get screens with a "not responding" message. I posted an unflattering review here, citing that problem, and I got a response from a tech named "Yana". Yana told me that there was an unreleased new build available. I downloaded it and, sure enough, it resolved the "not responding" issue.
Unfortunately, it introduced another problem. I always do FULL backups. With the new build, EVERY time I do a backup and then try to shut down the computer, I'm held hostage for 20-30 minutes with a "Operations are in progress" message, which prevents an orderly shutdown. This happens even if I do the shutdown hours after the backup has completed. Once it has completed whatever the heck it is doing, I'm all set until I try to do another backup.
Yana corresponded with me for a while and suggested that I download their Schedule Manager. When you run this, it takes you to a command prompt, which allows you to "ZAP" all scheduled tasks. I can't see any scheduled tasks and did not intentionally create any. Doing this does eliminate the shutdown issue, but I sometimes forget, and it's a real pain. Yana suggested that there might be some kind of corrupt driver issue, and then simply disappeared. I've tried over several weeks to reestablish communication, but can't get any kind of response from Yana.
I submitted additional support requests and have been contacted by other techs. They are friendly and polite in that perfunctory/boilerplate "your call is very important to us.. sorry for the inconvenience ..." way, but neither has been able to explain to me what is going on or how to stop it. One again suggested corrupt drivers and had me download a fix. That didn't work and then that tech disappeared. Another support request and another tech... this one tells me that this is the way the program is supposed to work.
I Googled the issue and find that a lot of people have the problem. I never had it before. I don't understand it. I don't like it, and I can't find a way to turn it off. I take my laptop with me to client sites, so it's on and off several times a day. I can't wait 1/2 hour for the machine to shut down.
I'll typically start a backup when I'm leaving the office for a while without the machine. I expect the machine to be functional when I return. So far, I've found two workarounds. One approach is to do the scheduler "ZAP". The other is to set the backup so that it shuts the machine down afterwards. The downside of approach #2 is that I have to make sure I allow for the additional 1/2 hour for the "operations in progress" thing to complete. The other problem is that the machine is off when I return, so I have to restart it. Not a huge deal, but why do I have to put up with this hassle?
Bottom line advice. If you have a previous version of True Image that is working for you, DO NOT UPGRADE!!! I'd even be suspicious about downloading an update for your version. Maybe they will explain it eventually. Maybe they will even fix it. Until then, stay far far away from this version.
136 of 166 people found the following review helpful
Probably not a good use of your timeSept. 8 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
First let me qualify my remarks with my career history. I have well over 20 years in IT, many of which were spent in the area of "operations" and "system administration", both of which include dealing with system backups as a primary component of the job function. So I've been dealing with backups for a while and have a pretty good idea what they should do and how they should do it.
To be fair, I'll also point out that my system isn't "standard". I have several different RAID arrays, and back up to an eSATA external hard drive. So this isn't your typical one-drive PC. But the OS deals with all of that just fine, as do all my applications - so a backup program shouldn't care either.
I have been looking for a reliable feature-rich backup utility to replace the bare bones backup utility that comes with Windows. I thought I had found it in Acronis Home 2011/2010. It looks good, the feature set is good, and when it works, it is much faster than the Windows backup.
I started with the trial version of Acronis Home 2010. After several tries of various types of backups, I finally got one to run correctly. Each attempt resulted in some new kind of error message. And even when I did get one that appeared to be "valid", it reported as "corrupt" when I tried to browse the backup contents.
I then saw the 2011 product had been released. With about a week left in my trial period, I upgraded to that. I gave the whole thing one last ditch effort by trying the Non Stop Backup feature. It sounded great ... just like Apple's Time Machine. There's just a little difference ... Apple's program actually works.
Just like with the other types of backups I tried, it appeared to work once, and failed every time after that. It got to the point where I couldn't even "edit backup properties" without generating an obscure error of "an error has occurred" or something equivalent.
The very worst part of all this is that I tried to open a support case to resolve the issues. Hey, maybe I was doing something wrong and they could point me in the right direction. So, having worked in IT for so long, I realize the importance of logging a fully detailed trouble ticket ... it makes the support person's job so much easier. So I jumped through hoops to gather detailed information, take screen shots, and carefully note each error in my report submission.
TWO DAYS later, someone emailed me and informed me they would "take full ownership of my issue and would make sure it was completely resolved to my satisfaction". They then went on to ask questions which indicated they hadn't even looked at my carefully submitted problem report. They even referred to the wrong product name. I wrote back within a couple hours and supplied (again) the information they had apparently missed in my report.
That was three days ago. OK, to be fair, there was a holiday in between, so it was 2 full business days ago. And this is PRE-SALES. In my experience, if a company won't even provide quick support to someone about to purchase, but having problems with, their product, chances are they will pay even less attention once they have your money.
I have removed the Acronis software from my computer and will purchase a competitor's product. I simply don't have time to waste on flashy software that doesn't work ... ESPECIALLY when its function is "disaster recovery". It has to work, and it has to work right ...
Maybe YMMV but I personally would definitely not recommend this software.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Acronis Disk Clone a disasterNov. 25 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
First of all I've been a fan of Acronis for over 8 years, not anymore. I work in an environment where loss of ANY data is critical. We also have an in-house policy that if a computer goes down we MUST be back up in no more than 15 minutes regardless of hardware or software failures. As a result we clone the drives at night and not the small 80, 250, or even 500GB drives. The smallest drive we have is 750GB with most at 1.5TB and some at 2TB. We cannot afford to lose any client data as I mentioned so cloning is absolutely critical so that we can pull the drive and put it in new hardware, or if a disk crashes put the clone in the hardware and reload the latest version of any files worked on that day till the crash. Bought the new True Image 2011 and installed the "latest downloaded version" fine. Went to clone and it did nothing. Rebooted and tried again. This time it sat there doing nothing. After hours thought it might be me so I rebooted. Nothing. Even tried uninstalling and reinstalling. Tried the version on CD. Nada. Figured, it must be me so tried another XP Pro machine different hardware. Same results. Tried 2 different Win 7 Pro machines with different motherboards. Thought I had it working at one point but after waiting overnight I was wrong. I have no idea what Acronis has done but my experience is that this is a pile of junk. Forget tech support, it's non-existent. I'm really saddened by this whole mess because I was a big fan of Acronis. No more. Sad they took a great product and destroyed it.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A must for backup and disaster recoveryFeb. 25 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I support residential and business clients and on one particular business client job, I had the task of salvaging a crashed IDE hard disk and hopefully 7 years worth of business and personal data. In my tool kit, I had a SATA hard disk, a USB SATA hard disk dock, and an Acronis CD which is bootable on the off chance Windows won't boot up. On this job I ran a separate utility to move data to good locations of the hard disk and mark of the bad sectors/blocks. Once this completed, I attempted to boot into Windows XP and was successful. Now it was time for Acronis. I restarted the PC but booted into Acronis instead of Windows and chose the option to clone the drive to the good external SATA hard disk I had. It did this without any errors. I then verified with the client that all their data was now on the cloned SATA drive and then I simply cloned the SATA drive back onto a replacement IDE hard disk I had purchased for Their PC. End result: Other than having to replace a Windows XP .dll file and reinstalling their wireless mouse software, all their data and Windows XP was intact and they were once again able to work as if the hard disk hadn't crashed. I was a hero to them and it felt good. Now, for non techs, it is one thing to back up data to an external hard disk or on a cloud server but in the event of a hard disk crash, having to reinstall Windows (usually not an option if it came on your PC) and all your applications takes up a lot more time than I would guess you have. That is where Acronis shines as a backup program. You do one full backup of your entire system (includes data)and then use Acronis' backup scheduler to automatically do weekly or even daily incremental backups that back up only the changes that occurred since the initial full backup. Once it is set up, all you have to do is make sure your external backup hard disk is turned on the day and time your backup is scheduled for. In the event your hard disk crashes beyond repair, you have the hard disk replaced, boot up with the Acronis CD and restore from your backup, everything! Operating system, data, Outlook settings, pictures, music, videos, everything that was there before the crash. Bottom line: I've used this software for 3 years, now and I swear by it.
Update: I have since installed Acronis True Image 2011 version on my PC and a new option is available in this version and the one prior to it called "Nonstop Backup". What this does is do an initial full backup and then running in the background, it frequently checks for changes and then records only those changes as it detects them. This means, if you have a critical problem with Windows or a hard disk crash in the evening and you get a replacement internal hard disk, you can recover your Windows, programs and data from that morning's backup file. Sweet!