The day I discovered Acronis

A few weeks ago, I decided to upgrade my laptop with an SSD primary disk – and along the way, I discovered the magic that is Acronis.

It was supposed to be a trivial upgrade.  Especially for a guy who does backup & recovery for a living, right?  My awesome Lenovo T420s allows for not only a standard SATA disk but also an mSATA slot, so my thought was to back up my System Volume and C:-drive and then restore them to the SSD.  This would give me a fast OS and longer battery life, but keep my big data set on a 7200 SATA disk – sounds easy?   Actually, no.

Attempt # 1 – I assumed that I could use the Windows Backup (WSB) utility, which after all enables a push-button system restore.  But there were some limitations.  WSB didn’t want to restore my SYS and C partitions without also restoring my D (data) volume.  Uggh !

Attempt # 2 – So, I figured out how to selectively back up the whole SYS and C partitions in WSB and then restore them selectively.  But WSB wouldn’t restore my 76GB C partition to the 74GB of free space on the SSD, even though there was lots of free space.  Dang it !!

Attempt # 3 – I disabled Hibernation and the paging file.  Rebooted.  Then, I shrank the C partition by 3GB.  Then I backed it up yet again with WSB.  And the restore failed – with no actionable error message.   $%@& !!!

Attempt # 4 – So, I tried to back up to an alternate media type with WSB and then restore from the System Restore Disk … and the restore failed again.  AGGHH !!!!

And then my IT guy sent me a CD with Acronis on it (am a remote user) – thanks Dan!

After booting from the CD, I used their very straight-forward UI to get a copy of my C: to a USB disk – and then restored the backup to new partitions on the SSD.  DONE !!!!! 

(now I remember why peripheral manufacturers ship OEM licenses of value-add software)

  • My boot time went from 85 seconds to 17 seconds (from first graphical elements to login prompt)
  • My battery life on airplanes went from about 1 hour to 2.5 hours – using Word or OneNote non-stop.

Will I ever use a primary laptop without an SSD C:, NO.

Will I ever do partition management/protection without Acronis?  Why?!

My next mission is to visit with the Acronis folks on how they do that voodoo that they do so well … and what else does their magic pixie fairy dust solve for.  Maybe, I’ll even talk the ESG Lab guys into doing some validation of whatever Acronis releases next.  Maybe, I’ll be able to help them the way they helped me.  However it goes, you’ll hear about it here.

Thanks for reading.

[Originally Posted on ESG Technical Optimist .com]

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