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Acronis True Image is a program I first discovered several years ago when the software I had used for a few years was quite suddenly discontinued. I have now used it for many years and find it quite indispensable. I have recommended it to many friends and relatives, several of whom have now become dedicated users.

The Plus Pack adds some extra options to the standard version, specifically allowing files to be backed up on one drive and restored to another and it need not be of the same size. It also allows restoration to a completely different PC. Not every user will need these additions, and in that instance, the standard version will suffice. If buying this Pack as an add-on to a previously purchased standard version, it will need the supplied serial number to be applied for activation.

On initial start-up you will be presented with a four-tab menu comprising Get Started, Backup and Recovery, Synchronisation and finally Tools and utilities. This simplifies the various groups of functions and mostly presents associated items together. Tools and utilities comprises a mixed bag of items that don't really fit anywhere else. You will need the serial number provided for initial installation and later in the event that it needs to be re-installed.

Its most obvious and probably most often-used function will be to perform backups which can either be disk-based on a complete drive or partition, or a data backup of certain directories. You can have a mixture of both, if that is what you want, schedule them to run daily, weekly or monthly at a specific time and day of the week. Provided that you use a distinctive name for the different files, you can have as many different backup series as you wish. It will allow either full (standalone and separate) backups or an incremental series where only the changes from one period to the next are backed-up after an initial full backup. Obviously, in the event of a disk failure, you can recover your data and place it back on the original drive. Although its files are in a specialised and compact format, it is possible to open them and to extract a single file, directory or several in the event that something may have been accidentally deleted.

Acronis True Image has one ability that many others do not; it can backup open files without any damage to the current state of the file and without needing to reboot soon after the program starts doing its thing. Consequently, you do not need to stop doing whatever you are doing if the backup on that drive is about due, has started or is part-way through to completion. This saves a considerable amount of time not needing to shut things done correctly, reboot the system for the backup and again when it is finished.

I would strongly recommend the purchase of a fairly large dedicated hard drive for the backup files that will created. Apart from the immediate issue of having the files on Drive C which would be obviously lost should the drive crash, Acronis will not permit it and insists on a distinct and separate target drive. It could be a drive used for another purpose as long as there is sufficient spare capacity; 2TB is the smallest I would suggest as individual files can be quite large, especially if movies are included and series can soon build to be very sizable. I would not suggest initially backing up to DVD or Blu-ray disk, but you can copy a file or a small series to such a disk once written to a hard drive.

Other functions will allow a drive to be cloned in the event that you may need to replace a smaller one with a larger one. It can also be set to substitute for Windows System Backup.

This is a backup tool that is, in my opinion, the best of those currently available. However, it may not be the simplest to use and it does have a short associated learning curve. However, it is very powerful and definitely worth spending a little time in order to better acquaint yourself with it. You will definitely benefit from spending that time.

One function will allow creation and burning to CD of a recovery disk which can be used in the event of a hard drive failure to rebuild the system or any single drive. This program has got me out of trouble on many occasions and allowed recovery of my system when it had crashed after a power cut or after I or an occasional user I had allowed to use it had done something stupid. The 2013 edition is quite compatible with Windows 8. You can, in the event of a version update, install it over the older version and all you backup jobs will be automatically transferred or converted if needed. If you have spent some time carefully setting up specific back-up jobs, you may not want to repeat that unnecessarily.

I give this my strongest possible recommendation.
66 comments17 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 April 2013
I used Ghost 9 and Iomega backup for many years on my XP PC until I changed to Windows 7 Pro.
I then discovered that neither of these programs would work with Win 7 so searched for other good backup programs and discovered that Iomega didn't exist any more and the current Ghost had a very poor reputation for service. Once I discovered that Ghost based their call centre in India, that was it. I will not deal with any Company with a call centre in India if I can avoid it because I can never understand what they are talking about!
So now to Acronis. What a super program. I does all that I required from both Ghost and Iomega. It backs up and RESTORES partitions, folders and files. It does seem to require more backup space than Ghost but the back ups are easier to deal with and I can restore a single file or folder if I wish.I have created an emergency start up disc. and now feel happy and secure. I contacted Acronis with one question about something I did not fully understand. They offered a chat facility or to contact them by email. The response was very quick , accurate, polite and friendly.You will like Acronis 2013. I am sure of that.
0Comment5 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 July 2013
After reading all the favourable reviews about this product I bought it. Acronis True Image Plus 2013.

As I tried to install it on a Windows 7 Untimate system, it failed with a blue screen of death just at the point the program said it was "registering modules", that was only recoverable after a complete switch off and on.

The same thing happened when I tried to install on a rock solid XP Pro SP3 machine.

So unfortunately I am unable to verify just how good or otherwise this product is. Returnrd it for a full refund.
0Comment3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 September 2013
Bought this Backup and Recovery sofware to keep a copy of my system into an External Passport drive.The Backup was done easily without any problems and in very quick in a few minutes.I have not tried the Recovery proccess yet ,when needed.I have used Ghost 14 to Backup my System up to windows Xp,but for Windows 7 Acronis True Image does a better job
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on 11 May 2014
Clear and simple to use, and will schedule complete or changed file backups. Backup files can be saved on other internal or external drives and moved later if needed. This allows drives to be interchanged and backups restored from places that were not the original backup drive.
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on 22 January 2013
Did everything I wanted and more. I am still going through te various things it is capable of doing. I am finding it better than Norton ghost which I was used to using.
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on 9 February 2013
I've been using Acronos now for many years, it's definitely the best way to restore your entire system after a major disaster, as jt is the only one that restores all your programs as well as data !.....It has certainly saved me a lot of grief over the years.
0Comment2 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 August 2013
The software doesn't work with a wireless keyboard or mouse (Google it, if you don't believe me). I wish I'd known about this issue before I wasted my money. Sent my copy back for a full refund.
0Comment1 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 July 2014
Easy to use full programme
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on 2 June 2013
I needed to replace my existing backup software which stopped working properly. I had previously used Genie Back Up which appears to be now not readily available. After a lot of research I purchase Acronis and have not regretted it. It is easy to use and does the job quietly and efficiently in the background. I would say, the best there is on the market at the moment.
0Comment0 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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