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Acronis Bootable CD/DVDs with Images

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How to create a CD/DVD based image of your hard drive with Acronis True Image

I was digging around on the Acronis website and couldn't find what I wanted. Acronis has the ability to write the image to a CD/DVD if you have UDF packet writing support (Nero InCD or the like). But that CD/DVD isn't bootable. I wanted a bootable CD/DVD with the image of my hard drive on it. That way, if I had to replace the hard drive in my computer, I could simply pop in the CD/DVD and be back to everything exactly the way I wanted it.

Foreword

If you are going to be creating your backup image on CD-R's, follow the blue text. If you're going to use DVD-R's, follow the green text.

What you'll need

  • Acronis True Image
  • UltraISO (Or other image editing software)
  • CD/DVD Burning software (if your image editing software doesn't support burning)
  • Free space on your hard drive equal in size to your hard drive image
  • Some blank media (CD-RW, DVD-RW recommended)
  • Some time (30mins-1hr)

How-to

  • Open Acronis True Image
  • Create image of the partition you want to back up (most likely your system partition) and save it to a location on your hard drive. Select Maximum Compression to ensure that the image fits on the disc. Let's call it C:\Backup.tib. Acronis will complain that it's not safe... blah blah blah.
  • At the Image Archiving Splitting screen, select Fixed Size. In the box enter 650MB/4GB
  • Grab a cup of coffee or a beer or something... come back 10-20 mins later
  • Click on Create Bootable Rescue Media. Insert blank CD-R/RW (do not remove after CD is created)
  • Exit Acronis True Image

  • Open UltraISO
  • Go to Tools->Make CD/DVD Image. Let's save this as C:\Acronis.iso
  • Browse to C:\Acronis.iso and open it
  • Right click on the Recovery Manager folder and select Hide/Unhide
  • Rename the CD Label to ACRONIS
  • Drag the BackupX.tib file to the upper panel to add it to the image (where X is the highest number)
  • Save this as Acronis_backup0.iso
  • Create a new image. Repeat the above 3 steps, each time using a different Image archive file and saving to a new .iso file. Name each .iso file with the corresponding number of the .tib file it contains
  • Burn all of the ISO files with your favorite CD burning program (or UltraISO). Be sure to label them in the order that they have the image archives. I call the CD/DVD with the bootloader Disc0, and then each disc with the number of the archive file that's on it.

To restore the image

  • Insert Disc 0 into your optical drive and set your BIOS to boot from this drive
  • Boot into Acronis True Image (full version)
  • Click on Restore Image
  • When asked to select the Image Archive, browse to the CD/DVD drive and select BackupX.tib (X=some number)
  • Continue through the menus, until you get to press the Proceed Button. Take out Disc0 and insert Disc1. Click Proceed.
  • When Acronis needs the next volume, it will give you an error about opening the file. Simply enter the CD/DVD with the corresponding image that it's asking for and click "Retry". When it asks for the last Volume, insert Disc0.
  • You're done!

Final Notes

I would recommend uninstalling games before creating the image. Most games today are very large and would cause the image to be too large for even a dual-layer DVD. It would probably be best if you install all your core programs, configure them to your needs, and then follow the guide. You do not need to worry about disabling your pagefile or the hibernation file (if you use them), as Acronis will automatically detect them and not include the data within them in the image.

I keep all my documents and files on other partitions, so my system drive contains only Windows and my programs. With all the programs that I use (Acrobat, Photoshop, Office, MathCad... not "small" by any means), my system partition on my laptop is just over 5GB (without pagefile or hibernation file - those are excluded by Acronis in the image). The image (max compression) took about 20 minutes to create and came out at 2.7GB. This will easily fit on a single-layer DVD, and for those of us with more programs or files, there are always dual-layer DVDs.

Obviously, if your image fits onto one CD/DVD, then great. Just drop it into the ISO and you're done.

Some comparison

I created a VM with a vanilla XP install to test all this out. All of my images were run from my 24x CD-RW/DVD drive, so there's no unfair advantage of being run from the hard drive. I used Acronis True Image 8.0.912 and UltraISO 7.6.2 to follow the guide.

The image created by Acronis came out to 458MB.

With the Acronis bootloader, it's 480MB.

The XP CD that I used to install XP was 576MB, created with nLite, all hotfixes integrated and cab files set to high compression.

To restore the image took 5 minutes. To install took about 20 minutes.

Hope this is helpful to everyone! I'm sure that you could emulate this with Norton Ghost if you've got that instead. If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know. :)

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Nice guide :) BTW you don't need to emulate it for Norton Ghost since the App can backup & burn the backups directly to disk all in one process.

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I've been using Acronis for a couple years. I just save my drive images to another partitian on the hard drive. I use to save to disk but I figured within a couple years all the programs would be outdated anyway. Great information and I would also highly recommend Acronis. I have backup drive images of XP, Vista, Server 2003. Has been great for Vista as I got all my programs, sound driver and graphics driver installed then saved an image, so if I do run into any glithces, BSOD and can just delete (Acronis Disk Director Suite) and restore the Acronis image. Takes about five minutes.

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Nice guide :)  BTW you don't need to emulate it for Norton Ghost since the App can backup & burn the backups directly to disk all in one process.

586633827[/snapback]

Are those discs then bootable? That was the key point of my guide - create a set of bootable discs with the images on them.

I've been using Acronis for a couple years.  I just save my drive images to another partitian on the hard drive.  I use to save to disk but I figured within a couple years all the programs would be outdated anyway.  Great information and I would also highly recommend Acronis.  I have backup drive images of XP, Vista, Server 2003.  Has been great for Vista as I got all my programs, sound driver and graphics driver installed then saved an image, so if I do run into any glithces, BSOD and can just delete (Acronis Disk Director Suite) and restore the Acronis image.  Takes about five minutes.

586633917[/snapback]

I've been using Acronis for a while now as well. I've also got an image on my hard drive for quick restoration, but this gives me the peace of mind that if ever my laptop hard drive dies, I can simply throw in my old hard drive, pop in the CD, and be back in working shape in no time. :)

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Forget the DVDs. Just go out and pick up the largest IDE hard drive you can afford. They are dirt cheap these days.

Then get your self an IDE to USB 2 converter cable. Or if you prefer an enclosure which is a little more.

Then backup to this instead of to DVD's. You can carry the hard drive around when the need arises. Since it's now USB it can be added/removed very easily.

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The cheapest hard drive I could find at my local computer outlet was $75 CAD.... DVD-Rs are $0.30 a piece...

Then there's also the problem that if I have a hard drive lying around, I always manage to fill it up. :p

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Are those discs then bootable? That was the key point of my guide - create a set of bootable discs with the images on them.

586633960[/snapback]

Yes, they were bootable :) You could choose which partitions to copy or if you wanted the whole thing, etc.

And the problem with external harddrives is that they have been known to fail easily.

BTW for the guide, why not burn the bootable image onto a virtual drive, edit the iso to include one of the images, and then your first disc can include an image :) ?

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Cool, but i just use a CD-R with the Acronis info for the boot and then the image on a DVD-R, just switch after the program loads

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BTW for the guide, why not burn the bootable image onto a virtual drive, edit the iso to include one of the images, and then your first disc can include an image :) ?

586634707[/snapback]

Isn't that what it does...? It may not burn the bootable image to a virtual drive (I've never been able to do this), but you end up using the recovery disc to store one of your images. Disc0 has the bootloader and the last image (since that's where the image archive info is stored).

@dolomite - You could cut the number of discs you use in half!!! Combine the two discs that you have onto one DVD-R and you'd have an all-in-one backup solution... :p

I suppose the guide is somewhat unclear regarding why I do all the mumbo-jumbo with UltraISO. For the most part with a DVD-R, your hard drive image will fit onto a DVD (dual-layer if need be). For those people without access to a DVD burner, let alone a DVD-drive, spanning the image across multiple CDs is the only other solution that I could come up with (except for buying a DVD-R drive, but that's sometimes not possible for laptops).

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how n use what program to burn a Bootable ISO? :unsure:

:D Im a technicial NewB

mind to explain or tech me how to do this....

- Make a 700MB CD-R that inside hav

( Windows XP )

( Windows ME )

( My all Driver )

- Can All this thing Goes in 1 CD ??? even if it can but can make it into Bootable?

Thx for the pro that help :woot:

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acronis will create/burn a bootable cd. and i doubt you will get all this onto one cd. i suggest puttuing it all onto a sperate partition/harddrive.

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Acronis creates a basic Bootable Recovery CD. From this you can restore an image that is located on a hard drive or network drive. The guide is meant to allow you to keep your hard drive image on discs instead of the hard drive (in case the hard drive dies... you know? ;)).

It is possible to make a multi-boot CD that incorporates all your drivers. This isn't really the place to ask, but I suggest you look into nLite and the guides at the nLite forums. Oh... and why on earth would you want Windows ME? :x

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Thanks for this little guide. I've recently discovered this holy company known as Acronis and have made a full HDD image of my laptop in factory state (for fast recovery since they didn't include recovery disks - Was 6.5gigs compressed to 3.5) and one of an nLite-ed install of XP (2gigs compressed to 200mb) for a quick recovery. After I did that I went looking for a way to do something like this :) Soon I'll have a DVD burned with both of these on there just in case.

Keep up the good work.

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Drag the BackupX.tib file to the upper panel to add it to the image (where X is the highest number)

Thanks for the tutorial. I have a few questions. Do you place the image file in the root directory of the image file or in the "Recovery Manager" directory? I placed the images in the root directory and for some reason when I try to restore, my CD/DVD drive is not listed, only the hard drives, so I can't locate the images.

Also is it possible to store two or more divided parts on one DVD instead of placing each part on an individual DVD? My backup file is 4.5 GB, which should fit on a DVDR, however I'm not able to store a single file that's larger than 4GB on the image file so I set Acronis to divide it into two parts.

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I place the image file in the root of the image.

Is your CD/DVD drive connected via SATA? I'm not sure if Acronis has SATA support from its recovery media. All my PATA connected drives have been shown when using the full version of the recovery loader (not safe mode).

I'm pretty sure that you should be able to fit both parts of the backup on the same DVD. You'll probably avoid having to click anything when restoring the image as well, since Acronis will simply look on the DVD for the next image file. The reason I said split at 4GB is because of the file size limit of DVDs.

Best way to find out is to try. Let us know how things go. :)

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how n use what program to burn a Bootable ISO? :unsure:

:D Im a technicial NewB

mind to explain or tech me how to do this....

- Make a 700MB CD-R that inside hav

( Windows XP )

( Windows ME )

( My all Driver )

- Can All this thing Goes in 1 CD ??? even if it can but can make it into Bootable?

Thx for the pro that help  :woot:

586665601[/snapback]

Just use magiciso to burn bootable ISO. or create iso for multi-boot cd.

http://www.magiciso.com/tutorials/miso-cre...multi-os-cd.htm

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A good alternative to Ghost

I've been using Symantec Ghost a few times, with bootable DVDs and in a PXE environment as well. But I was upset as it's working in DOS mode (thus, I had to build bootable 3'5 disks with the right NIC DOS driver, burn them as DVD with disk emulation, etc.) And it required a Ghostcast server... And it's not free.

So, I've built a Linux ISO image (based on RIP), and added tools and scripts. This is now a full-working project, completely free.

I've called it PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost). Features include:

# Backup and Restore partitions or files to a MS Network Shared directory;

# Backup and Restore the BIOS data as well;

# Either burn a bootable CD / DVD, either integrate within a PXE / RIS environment;

# Possibility to Blank local admin's password;

# Create your own restoration bootable DVD

=> See all features / download here: http://ping.windowsdream.com.

Hope it'll help some folks out there...

Please, if you give it a try, tell me how it's working for you.

Natan

http://www.windowsdream.com -- Auto-update your PC with freeware/opensource

http://ping.windowsdream.com -- Partimage Is Not Ghost

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Nice guide, one question if we intend on using Acronis (or any other backup solution), should we turn off System Restore prior to doing the backup? As well clearing the last created retores. It might save some space right?

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That's a good question... I'm not entirely sure about that. I'll have to give it a whirl to let you know.

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Nice guide, one question if we intend on using Acronis (or any other backup solution), should we turn off System Restore prior to doing the backup? As well clearing the last created retores. It might save some space right?

Hi Thenay. You don't need to turn off System Restore, nor to set Pagefile off before launching a backup. The PING linux comes with a NTFS driver, which enables my script to delete Pagefile.sys and Hiberfil.sys before making the backup -- which is safe, since Windows will recreate them automatically when booting up the system again.

Regards

Natan

http://www.windowsdream.com -- Auto-update your PC with freeware/opensource

http://ping.windowsdream.com -- Partimage Is Not Ghost

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So... why are you spamming this thread? This guide is for Acronis products, not PING.

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Regarding the System Restore question posted by thenay, yes, you will save some space on your image. So you'd probably want to do that before creating the image.

Thanks for pointing that out thenay. I don't even use System Restore anymore, so I had completely forgot about it. :)

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Vista Images. Anybody figure out how to restore the bootmanager/bootloader for Vista. When I go to restore my Vista image on a seperate partitian I'm unable to boot into Vista (5270) because the bootloader is created on the OS installation. I'm dual booting with XP Any ideas here.

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I submitted this question to Acronis and a tech responded saying that future developement will incorporate the MBR when restoring the Vista OS images. ?

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Hello

I need some help. I have tried to follow the guide on creating bootable DVD. the only difference is i am using the acronis True image 9. I was succesfully able to create the Bootable CD and created the ISO and added the .tib file and saved it to new ISO.

After i burn the new ISO to DVD and try to boot from it It comes to screen saying Acronis boot Loader and then error unable to load.

But if i use the CD ISO it boots fine. Could it be that i am missing a step? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Parminder

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