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You can run your system in a special try mode with the Try&Decide feature. In this mode you can try out new applications or experiment with the system while being sure that you can always discard the changes made to the system and revert it back to the state it was just before turning on the Try&Decide mode.
When you turn on the Try&Decide mode, the product activates a special Acronis driver, which starts reading all requests to the protected partition and forwards these to the storage location you have selected.
A True Image option will create an area on your hard drive for storing backups, but this Secure Zone facility, as the utility calls it, is misnamed: It's secure only until your hard drive fails, and then it's probably useless. You'd be better off storing backups on one or more external drives. But the terrific feature called Try&Decide lets you experiment with your system by temporarily writing disk changes to the Secure Zone area instead of directly to your system drive.View all 7 photos in gallery
Try&Decide let me test the effect of an update to Microsoft Office before committing myself to keeping it, and I would probably turn the feature on before making any major software changes. I couldn't detect any system slowdown when I used it, and it's a superb safety net for anyone who experiments with software. If I felt really paranoid about system changes, I could even set Try&Decide to turn itself on automatically every time I booted up. Unfortunately, though, the feature does have some notable limitations. Once you commit your changes to the hard drive, you can't return your system to an earlier state. For that, you'd need to restore from a backup image, or use a dedicated drive snapshot program like Roxio BackOnTrack 3 Suite.
Also note that while using Try&Decide, you can't save backups using Secure Zone. True Image doesn't warn you about this when a backup tries to run, though; it simply alerts you that the backup failed. Even if you probe the log files, you'll learn only that the program couldn't get exclusive access to the Secure Zone area; you won't be told that you have to turn off Try&Decide. Unless you know what's wrong, you'll be alarmed to see a red banner on the program's main screen shouting that your backups have failed but giving no reason.
If you want, you can also use the Secure Zone area to store a copy of the Linux-based True Image version so it's available whenever you boot up, even if you don't have a copy of the emergency CD. When you do this, your system prompts you at boot-up to press F11 if you want to launch True Image or simply wait a few seconds to boot normally into Windows. If you turn on this feature, True Image overwrites your hard drive's Master Boot Record (MBR), a change that won't bother most home and business users, but advanced users may be reluctant. Those who have Linux and Windows installed on the same system will have to reinstall the Linux boot loader after True Image changes the MBR. Even if you use only Windows, however, you may instinctively distrust (as I do) any third-party software that makes this kind of low-level change to your drive. It's been years since I've experienced an actual problem with third-party programs that overwrite the MBR, but I feel safer if the MBR remains in the state that Windows or the computer manufacturer left it in.
Paragon Personal has a feature called Backup Capsule that, like Secure Zone, creates a special area on a drive and stores backup images as well as a copy of the program that can be used in an emergency. It has the same potential risks as Secure Zone, but at least it doesn't call itself "secure." The Paragon Personal Backup Capsule doesn't have the equivalent of Try&Decide, though.
I've used True Image's basic backup and restore functions for years without experiencing major problems, but I have mixed feelings about the vast range of features built into the most recent versions. The program used to have the same tight focus on image backup and restore that I like in ShadowProtect Desktop, but Acronis seems to have expanded the feature set without fixing basic problems like the one I encountered with the emergency CD. If you're considering True Image, I suggest you visit the official Acronis support forum at Wilders Security Forums and read some of the problem reports submitted by users.
True Image gets more kinds of backup jobs done than any of its rivals, and if you have a plain-vanilla home or SOHO system, this product will do all you need and more-provided you don't run into the kind of compatibility issues I experienced, and which also seem to be reported often on the company's own support forums. Many difficulties that users report on the forums result from simple mistakes in reading the menus, but a number of others involve problems restoring from backups, and Acronis isn't as quick as ShadowProtect in responding to or resolving these reported problems. This is a high-quality, mature program that's surprisingly flexible, but Acronis won't be ready to challenge ShadowProtect for our Editors' Choice until it focuses more on its core functions and less on the size of its feature set.
Try&Decide - Create a safe portion of your hard disk where you can install new software, open questionable emails, surf the web, or do other tasks without putting your computer at risk; save what you want, delete what you don't want
February 20, 2008
Ok ive installed true image 11 thanks to the info found on here and help in the below thread , thanks all it looks like a great piece of software
i was just looking at the try and decide feature but i wasnt sure on how to go about using it
my hd set ups........
i have 2 internal 120 gig hard drives that show as 110 each,and a 500gig external 7200rpm usb drive
i have C drive- 110 gig partition with windows and all progs installed
E drive recovery - 10gig partition with the dell back up thiing and i also keep vital programs i install and a few bits stored in here
D drive - 110 gig , thats just for my music/pics/etc
, and the 500gig usb is all bigger storage like films and big downloaded files etc, and music and photos back up
i also have a 160gig usb drive that i dont use regular, but just keep a back up of all music and photos on as a back up back up !
So .. i intend to make a true image back up on the 500gig usb drive
and i want to use the try n decide feature and start up recovery thing, but im not sure where best to install the acronis safe zone thing for this and how big to use ? it says 20% of a drive recomended but that seems like a lot ?? i would of thought 3-5 gig would be fine ?
so is it best to install it on the c drive with windows etc or the storage d drive ?
OR ... does the acronis safe zone have to be the same place where the true image back up is stored ? thats where im a little confused about how this all works, id appriciate some advide and tips etc
thanks in advance !!!!
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