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on September 7, 2013
Initial review:
ATI has more features than the other brands and, unfortunately lots of bugs, poor error handling and an oddball interface that leaves even veteran ati users confused. ATI's paradigm for creating, storing, and managing backups in not the backups files or the source disk but the instruction set. Unfortunately, if you alter the settings in an instruction set, ati no long knows whether to treat a backup as in one set or a different one. If you cancel one backup, it might stop making scheduled backups altogether without letting you know. These problems have persisted since 2008.

In fact just yesterday, 9/12/13 another user posted the following on a trueimage forum:

"Scheduling incremental backup schemes once a day at shutdown with ATI 2013, either was not reliable or did not work at all. 2nd level support could not get it working after many attempts and finally said it could not be fixed. I upgraded to 2014 and the problem is just as bad."

Updated review:
My own experience of the last several months is that ATI 2014 is substantially fixed compared to prior versions. There are still some update issues and the interface is still a bit whacky by most standards but the scheduling is repaired. While I cannot say the product warrants more than 3 stars, it is one of the better backup programs around, inasmuch as they all have a serious bug in one or another critical function or simply lack key functions.

If you use ATI, I recommend you start simple, read the manual, and work your way up to more complicated stuff if necessary.
3131 comments| 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 21, 2013
This product gets high marks for ease of use. But this version seems not quite ready for prime time. It often doesn't give you what you expect--for example, you type in a name for a backup, and the system insists of giving you the default name. Perhaps the problem is a user error, but despite the admirably clear instructions, some important information is left out. For example, the manual says you can backup in zip format, but the mechanism for doing this is never explained, and the option never appears when it comes time to configure a backup. The program seems to tie itself in knots easily. Several times I've had to use ctrl-alt-del to stop it from churning.

Update 9/16/13. I continued to have problems with Acronis to the point where the program crashed. I'm not sure which was at fault--the program or me. Even so, the program should be smart enough to protect itself from user incompetence. I had to contact Tech Support, which seemed to originate from a far-off land. To my surprise and pleasure the support, which required a tech to log onto my computer, proved to be excellent. The problem was swiftly solved and the tech spent some time explaining what he had done. He also offered to call me the next say to make sure everything was all right. If all continues to go well I will consider upping the number of stars. I've been impressed at how fast the program does it's initial backup.

Update 10/6/13 Acronis is now behaving itself backing up four different drives, although I could never get it to backup emails, even with the patient help of tech support. I finally used another program do that.

I've upped the number of stars.
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on December 26, 2013
I upgraded my computer from Windows XP to Windows 7 Pro 64 bit in Oct 2013. I also thought it best to upgrade Acronis from the 2011 version to 2014. (Version 2011 was very useful and I had few if any problems with it). So I had an essentially new computer with a new installation of Win 7 and all my previous compatible programs

Acronis 2014 has been a disaster with its Try and Decide module and file Recovery. Problems:

(1) Try and Decide disabled Hibernation Mode and I have not been able to enable it even after the uninstall of Acronis. I contacted tech support but received no workable remedy.

(2) Using Try and Decide for a test of a complex software installation that I was not sure I wanted to keep (Corel VideoStudio X6) caused the hard drive to become unbootable after I had Try and Decide "allow" the changes. I recovered the hard drive from a fresh Acronis backup made just before this procedure. However.....

(3) The Acronis full restore got my hard drive back as it was before the Try and Decide trashed it, but was a *itch trying to figure out the correct procedure. Version 2011 was so simple and easy to use. So why is 2014 a major fail? I spent several hours trying to get the frigging restore working as Acronis Restore would not accept the backup image as valid until I used ANOTHER PC to recover the hard drive from my trashed PC! The Acronis Recovery CD was useless for recovering the system image. Read on.

Further complicating the restore was the Acronis System recovery CD I created to boot up the computer for the restore. It would not work with the BIOS set to UEFI boot mode. UEFI boot mode is recommended for Win 7 and hard drives of 2TB or larger. (That applies to my system). All I could get was a screen of corrupted gibberish though I assumed the program was working but I could not see the prompts with the garbled nonsense on my monitor until I changed the BIOS UEFI boot to normal. Although, I got the CD to run the Acronis utilities, I had to first select from a list of about 26 choices for the monitor resolution. This is nuts because with the 2011 version, it made the right choice automatically. Do I care if the color resolution is 16 bit vs. 32 bit? Why, why the hassle?

So what is my solution to backup my computer now that the hated and feared Acronis is gone? I use the free built-in Windows 7 backup and system image utility. I also use the paid Carbonite on-line backup service.

The Windows 7 utility makes a daily backup of my files and a system image all onto another hard drive. Depending on the backup hard drive size, you could have multiple file versions from different dates to choose from when recovering a single file or multiple files and system images. Great!

This utility also makes an emergency boot CD like Acronis to enable file or system image recovery to the Primary hard drive or to a new one. I have tested Windows 7 Recovery and it worked! Caution, the hard drive you recover to in the event you replace the old one with another one must be the same size or larger. With Acronis, destination hard drive size doesn't matter as long as the destination drive capacity is not exceeded during recovery.

Oh, lest I forget, here is a positive use for Acronis 2014: it can easily clone a hard disk.
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on September 24, 2013
I am happy this worked for others, but for me, disaster. I have 20,000 hours of commercial software dev from lower level languages on up. Acronis 2014 has a great scheme, and good pricing, but it constantly broke. Would run for hours, then choke with "server unavailable", "connection lost", ... I have a brand new Win 7 Pro machine and a highly reliable internet service. My machine runs great with everything else. Also, not going to recite the litany of details, but Acronis support was strange and in a couple ways very unethical in dealing with my situation. Uninstall required me to manually stop processes and services in windows. That should never happen. If you want to turn your computer off and get somewhere with it, you may get the "Operations being performed, please wait..." for 30-45 minutes before the computer will shut down. This is Acronis preventing you from getting where you need to be. There is NO option to suspend and just shut down. You are stuck waiting. Maybe this will get better, but way too many problems from design through implementation. Backup software requires a high level of trust. Sadly, none here for Acronis.
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on January 4, 2014
Okay, I installed this software because my computer has been failing. In addition to backing up, however, I started cleaning up my machine by removing obsolete software, cleaning up the system, etc. Many times those activities require
a reboot, which you CANNOT do if Acronis is running even in the background. I mean, you can try to reboot, but when you do, you will have to wait for about 6-12 hours until some unspecified "operations" are complete. Wait. What? You're asking, surely Acronis would give you a message when you try to shut down, something like Outlook's "Messages in Outbox. Exit without sending?" you know, give me the option of killing Acronis and continuing to restart OR not restarting and letting Acronis finish its "operations.". What's funny is that at first I didn't blame Acronis; I thought the hangup was something related to my overall system instability. Uh, no. Let me get this straight: the thing that is supposed to help me fix my computer is preventing me from fixing it? Buh-bye Acronis.
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on August 29, 2014
I abandoned Acronis last year after using it for many, many years without problems. At that time I had taken a pair of backups of my girlfriends daughters computer with verification and both passed. I wiped the computer and went to reload a backup and it failed to restore. Turns out that if you have a corrupt partition Acronis will back it up and not be able to restore it but will verify it okay. Fortunately in this case the partition wasn't necessary and by 2AM I was able to get her computer working so she could use it in school the next day. Turns out this bug has been in the software for years. I changed to Macrium Reflect free edition which has worked fine for me since.

I just bought a new SSD for my son's computer and it came with a code for the new Acronis. I made a mistake that would cost me the rest of my day. Instead of ~10 minutes to stick the new drive into a sata port, run an image and swap out the old drive for the new, this turned into a 12 hour fiasco.

I installed the drive and acronis, told acronis to image the old to new drive, it rebooted and gave me an error. And it was stuck like that. I could boot into windows after the error, but acronis had put a boot loader on there and for whatever reason it wouldn't boot into it or remove it. I tried to use the software to remove the acronis bootloader but it told me I had to pay to upgrade the software to do that. I put a windows restore/bootfix disk in made on another PC loaded from the same windows install disk and at the same patch level and it said "not the same version of windows". I used Windows' automated boot fixer, it said nothing was wrong. I pulled out the original windows 7 SP1 install disk I'd used on the machine, same 'not the same version of windows'.

To make a long story short, after looking this up and seeing that Acronis had been doing this since 2008, no support thread ever showed a resolution other than loading windows from scratch, and trying every little thing I could come up with to fix the boot loader, I ended up just restoring a Reflect image I'd taken a few weeks ago and having my son re-do all the installs and changes he'd made since.

Acronis. Never again.
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on October 13, 2013
Having used Acronis True Image v2010 for years, I am greatly disappointed in the quality of v2014. Not only are there major bugs but major steps back in functionality that worked in older versions.

Major problems with this product.
- Backups frequently fail.
- Backups always fail if automatic clean up is enabled.
- Backups always fail if using differential schemes.
- Once or twice Acronis randomly changed a task's settings, leading to the wrong partition being backed up.
- Recovery for a backup (if the backup was successful in the first place) only allows recovery of the entire partition. You have to mount the backup as a virtual drive to recover individual files.
- Mounting an archive sometimes gets stuck at initialization.
- Windows shell integration not quite right. Selecting one or two of the Acronis menu items opens up the backup file's property page, rather than actually do what it is supposed to do.
- Email notifications do not work, when they worked perfectly fine in v2010.

This product is so unreliable that you might as well not be running a backup program at all. Maybe if Acronis focused on releasing quality software rather than releasing half baked goods every year, their product might be worth buying.

Look elsewhere.
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on December 22, 2013
Restore just doesn't work reliably. And this is the last thing you want to see from a recovery software. The fact that only 30 days of support are included and then it's $10/incident for low quality support from India is a big issue for me, I'd like to see at least a year of support included. Consolidating archives to prevent running out of space never worked correctly, not in the last 3 versions.

I tried to restore HDD image to SSD, following their KB process and every time I tried it was restoring only 20% of data, then failing. So a recovery product is pretty much useless to me if it can't restore my data.
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on December 19, 2013
I've tried using multiple versions of this software with multiple machines over the years. I've tried backing up to internal and external drives. At this point I feel stupid for having given them money multiple times. Each time I figure they must have it working by now, yet every version I've triedover the years has been so bug ridden to be useless. I'm currently trying to use the 2014 version again and it's been nothing but wasted time and money.

This version makes backups, but when it consolidates the backup it corrupts them. It also goes into internal loops when I try deleting backups. It keeps saying it can't find backup files that don't exist because the backup was consolidated. I have to keep deleting backups because they are corrupt and then recreate backups, so I never have a backup.

As I said, I've tried using this software on multiple machines over the years. It never worked. I'm curious if anyone who thinks it's working will have a backup when they actually need it.

What has been useful is the drive cloning feature. That I've used successfully when upgrading laptops or machines. So, big points for the drive clone feature. Just has never served as a reliable backup.
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on December 30, 2013
The "Acronis Extended Capacity Manager" which "allows your operating system [sic] support large capacity disks with the MBR partition style" (quoting from paragraph 8.8 of the User's Guide, poor grammar and all) has the "unadvertised feature" of disabling the RAID configuration of a computer. My Intel motherboard (Model DH67BL) with a Windows 7 64 bit operating system running "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" software allowed me to add or remove backup storage drives (both MBR and GPT configurations) without affecting system operation. But after adding "Acronis True Image 2014" this feature ceased to work - I had to shut down the computer to disconnect an eSATA hard drive. I removed the "Acronis True Image 2014" software, was warned in the process that I would loose the "benefits" of "Extended Capacity Manager", rebooted, and then RAID worked as before. Therefore "Extended Capacity Manager" appears to "manage" hard drives you didn't ask or want it to.

The other big issue - backup filenames - was already cited by previous reviewers. But, silly me, I thought Acronis may have been prompted by such negative feedback to fix that issue by the time I tried their software. Not so. When I did an initial full "File backup", it ignored the backup name I had specified and chose its own. This can get very confusing when you back up more than one computer and you are not allowed to use your own file naming convention to keep the backups differentiated from each other. That was bad enough. But then when I did an incremental "File backup", the Acronis software suddenly decided to use the name I had asked it to use in the first place. The consequence was another FULL file backup using the specified name. So, thus far, two full backups and no incremental backups. I didn't try a third time to see what it would do. This "unadvertised feature" reminded me of a "one-armed bandit" gambling machine.

When I did a "Disk and Partition" backup the Acronis software also ignored the backup name I had specified. I didn't try an incremental backup for this; I already had the two foregoing reasons to remove the software.

If anyone wants a recommendation for viable backup software, I have two. For disk image backups, StorageCraft's ShadowProtect software works very well. This is sold by the Manufacturer only. For file backups, Genie-Soft's Backup Manager Professional works very well. Amazon.com used to carry it and I have a positive review posted for it. It can still be purchased from the Manufacturer. Norton/Symantec has lost the edge they used to have in this market since their Ghost 14.0 product. And Acronis . . . well, who would have thought to invent backup software that tries to reconfigure your computer's previously-working hard drive operation and features a random backup filename generator that actuates when you try an incremental backup?
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