I'm done with Acronis

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Executioner
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I'm done with Acronis

Postby Executioner » Sat May 23, 2020 2:05 am

I've been using Acronis for several years, probably going back to 2010, but I can't stand their interface. I think they changed it around 2013 or so, and ever since then, I simply could not get use to it. It seems like they dumb-down the interface.

With my new desktop, I've switched to Macrium Free. I've already been using for the last 4 years with zero issues using the free version. I've also used it to restore images 3 or 4 times during this period with no issues. The other part I like are the patches that come out quickly when a bug is discovered. It also makes smaller images compared to Acronis.

https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

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psypher
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby psypher » Sat May 23, 2020 7:30 am

Congrats and welcome to Macrium! I've been using it for many years and I agree, they fix bugs on a regular basis and they never change the interface. I've been using for several years, I actually have a paid license as I utilize the file based backup as well.

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Losbot
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Losbot » Sat May 23, 2020 7:41 am

Can you get away with purchasing a single license and drop it on a few PCs at home or does it need to call Big Brother regularly?
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat May 23, 2020 8:19 am

The free version is actually all most people need, and you can get a 30 day trial of the paid version before it reverts to free, to see if you need any of the paid features.

The main difference between paid and free is you can't do differential backups with free, but I never use differential, even in Acronis. Free also can't do file and folder backups, just full images, which I never use on my own PCs either, although I have used that feature in Acronis for clients.

There ARE some nice features in the paid version that I might need occasionally, like cloning or restoring an image to dissimilar hardware, which is a feature of Acronis I've used a few times, so I will likely pickup a copy of the paid version for bench work, and to support the company.

Version comparisons here: https://www.macrium.com/product-comparison

I've been using Macrium on my gaming PC form the past year to image the boot drive once a month, or before updating drivers, and it works just fine. It's faster than Acronis.

I'm still using Acronis on the file server and workstation out of pure inertia, but eventually I'm going to switch them over as well. Acronis really isn't aging well. I don't mind the stupid GUI so much - I've gotten used to it, but they really haven't dramatically improved the product in years and they were very slow to support Win10 and secure boot properly, and of course forced you to spend a lot of money on an entirely new version to get that support when it was finally released, despite promises to the contrary.
- “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus. You know, you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.” -Donald Trump

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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Losbot » Sat May 23, 2020 8:34 am

I might give it a try if it can backup up to network locations. I place my backups on my NAS but don't map drives to the backup folder in case I somehow get compromised. I don't want it to go through all my drive letters.
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat May 23, 2020 8:53 am

Hmm. I can try making a Macrium image to my NAS via the network path tonight to see if that works - I don't see why not. The Macrium recovery drive does have network support as I recall.

Keep in mind, however, that modern ransomware is smart enough to find your network shares even without mapped drive letters. They can just search your LAN IPs even if you have network discovery disabled. That's why I go to the trouble of imaging on a weekly schedule (on the workstation and server) to a physically attached drive, and then using batch files to run a commandline tool to connect the physical drive just before the image job runs, and disconnect the drive after the job is finished. If the drive is offline, ransomware can't see it, and the only time it's visible is the brief window during the image job.

I posted about that commandline tool here last year: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=63323&p=367981&hilit=ransomware#p367450
- “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus. You know, you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.” -Donald Trump

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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Losbot » Sat May 23, 2020 9:48 am

OK. Maybe I'll set permissions on the share so that the backup volume is only accessible by a separate user account if Macrium can provide that.
I might switch over to Macrium. I've been using Acronis by booting from a USB thumbdrive and creating images to the NAS. I hate the process and if I can have the PC running, then that would be ideal versus restarting and booting from USB.
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Executioner
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Executioner » Sat May 23, 2020 10:20 am

Yeah I've been thinking about buying the paid version just to support the company. I hope they NEVER change the interface.

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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Genom » Sat May 23, 2020 12:57 pm

Honestly, I have quit imaging systems. I have Duplicati on the Unraid server doing misc. backup jobs, such as important docs and pictures to a amazon s3 bucket, important docs also go to a physical local drive it controls, and done. Between a decently setup pfsense firewall and machines in the house all run non admin accounts so my wife doesnt mess up, I just havent needed any image backups in a looooong time.

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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby psypher » Sat May 23, 2020 1:36 pm

Losbot wrote:Can you get away with purchasing a single license and drop it on a few PCs at home or does it need to call Big Brother regularly?


I only use the licensed version on my workstation. Laptop uses the free version.

Genom wrote:Honestly, I have quit imaging systems. I have Duplicati on the Unraid server doing misc. backup jobs, such as important docs and pictures to a amazon s3 bucket, important docs also go to a physical local drive it controls, and done. Between a decently setup pfsense firewall and machines in the house all run non admin accounts so my wife doesnt mess up, I just havent needed any image backups in a looooong time.


Most people don't really need to image. They can use OneDrive/Google Drive/etc... to sync their files or any other number of solutions to backup their files. I image because it's my work computer and being down costs me $$$. If something were to happen to my drives, I need the ability to quickly (relative term) get my image restored on a new drive. Files are easy as I typically sync all my files and source code is checked in, but if I don't check it in, I have daily backups. I only upgrade my computer like every 4-5 years or longer. It takes me weeks to get all my applications and development software reinstalled and configured. So basically the imaging is just an insurance policy. In the 20+ years working, I've actually never had to restore an image due to a failure. The most common reason to restore is due to upgrading the drives :)

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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat May 23, 2020 2:07 pm

OK. Maybe I'll set permissions on the share so that the backup volume is only accessible by a separate user account if Macrium can provide that.
I might switch over to Macrium. I've been using Acronis by booting from a USB thumbdrive and creating images to the NAS. I hate the process and if I can have the PC running, then that would be ideal versus restarting and booting from USB.


Macrium, like Acronis, can be installed and can run scheduled jobs, or you can boot from a thumbdrive. Either way.

As a test I was able to backup to my NAS by specifying it's LAN path (eg: \\192.168.1.5\Backups\). This was from the Windows install. There was also a network folder in the file browser, but I always disable network discovery.

I then booted from the thumbdrive version and while I couldn't directly browse the LAN's network path to restore the image I just saved, it instead wanted me to map a drive temporarily to the NAS (Macrium rescue runs under Windows PE) and that did let me see the image file on the NAS.

There is support for setting alternative credentials for a backup path. It's explained here: https://forum.macrium.com/28193/Network-Credentials
- “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus. You know, you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.” -Donald Trump

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Losbot
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Losbot » Sat May 23, 2020 2:59 pm

Cool. I'll tinker with it over the weekend and do some tests. I could see paying for it if it does what I need.

Thanks for testing, Bob. Much appreciated!
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Executioner
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Executioner » Sat May 23, 2020 4:14 pm

Genom wrote:Honestly, I have quit imaging systems. I have Duplicati on the Unraid server doing misc. backup jobs, such as important docs and pictures to a amazon s3 bucket, important docs also go to a physical local drive it controls, and done. Between a decently setup pfsense firewall and machines in the house all run non admin accounts so my wife doesnt mess up, I just havent needed any image backups in a looooong time.
I have a different app I used for that: AlwaysSync. It will copy my important files to a separate external hard drive. It's able to see changes and backup only those files.
I like creating the image. If something was to go wrong, I can be up and running in about 15 minutes or so. I'm one that will keep an OS for a long time without reinstalling everything which is a hassle. My old desktop had win 7 which was installed back in 2014.

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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sat May 23, 2020 5:53 pm

Yeah my purpose for imaging is not data backup - I also use AlwaySync, like Exec, to backup to mirror drives on my server and to a NAS box.

The workstation makes a full image once a week of JUST the boot drive and my data is not on the boot drive (I relocate all personal folders to another drive). So a full image file isn't very large - maybe 50GB. I use this as a far more reliable roll-back system than System Restore in case something corrupts the OS, some update goes awry, or the drive takes a dump. I can be up and running again in no time. The server doesn't change much so I just have that setup to image the boot drive once a month.
- “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus. You know, you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.” -Donald Trump

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Losbot
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Re: I'm done with Acronis

Postby Losbot » Sun May 24, 2020 10:31 am

Genom wrote:Honestly, I have quit imaging systems. I have Duplicati on the Unraid server doing misc. backup jobs, such as important docs and pictures to a amazon s3 bucket, important docs also go to a physical local drive it controls, and done. Between a decently setup pfsense firewall and machines in the house all run non admin accounts so my wife doesnt mess up, I just havent needed any image backups in a looooong time.


I have been using Syncovery to sync folders (back them up) to multiple locations on a schedule. It's VERY versatile and full of features. It supports copying files to Amz, Google, etc..
You can schedule unattended jobs and it's very granular as to how you want it to behave with an attended job vs unattended job, so that you don't find it waiting for input from you the next morning. You can copy newer files over or do a sync and it'll delete files on the other end if you want. Pretty cool but that's just for backing up my photos, documents ,etc...

I still like the idea of creating an image once a month.......just in case or before some big MS update that kills the box.
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