Recover From Virus Attack With Acronis True Image Home – Hands On Review

by Harlan Yee on February 18th, 2011

Acronis True Image Home BoxYou never know when you’ll get a virus on your PC and you need to stay protected with anti-virus software that is constantly updated to prevent infections. But even with the best anti-virus software, your computer is going to eventually get infected or corrupted. I’ve had my laptop for approximately 3 years with no signs of viruses or programs interfering with computer. However, that streak ended when my laptop recently got infected with a virus. The first sign that something wasn’t right was that audio would just start playing out of the speakers spontaneously. Sometimes it was music, other times, it sounded like a radio advertisment. Then later, Internet Explorer windows would just start popping up displaying various websites.

 

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And every once in a while, my anti-virus program would detect trojans showing up. My laptop was definitely infected. And an annoying little display window kept popping up in the system tray notifying me that my computer is infected! I’m sure clicking on it would’ve installed some other virus-like program. But did I panic? Not really. Luckily I had installed a program awhile back called Acronis True Image Home and used it to create an archive of all the partitions on my C: drive. I stashed the archive away on an external hard drive for safe keeping. But today was the day where that archive came in very handy. 

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I started the recovery process at 1pm. I launched Acronis from a shortcut that was placed on my desktop when I installed Acronis True Image Home. The dialogue window that popped up indicated that I would be restoring 99.28GB. I followed the instructions and selected the destination where files would be restored to. Then Acronis True Image says the system has to reboot. I hit OK. 

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Acronis takes over and starts the recovery process. The current operation progress bar says 22 hours remaining! I was expecting maybe 2 hours since that’s how long a friend told me it took him to recover his computer. At 1:17pm, one green bar appears in the progress bar and the estimated time says 14 hours remaining. At 1:27pm, a green bar finally appears on the total progress bar.

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I then walk away to some editing on another computer. I return at 4:30pm, the screen says 12 hours remaining. At this time, I’m frustrated that this might not work. The only thing I can do now is let it continue overnight and see what happens in the morning.

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Next day, back to work at 7:30am, I check my emails then go to check on my laptop. The screen is off! I’m worried now! But I swipe a finger across the touchpad and ta-da! I see my XP desktop again and my laptop is fully functional again. The only other thing I see is a window from my anti-virus software that says it’s expired but that is expected considering my laptop system archive was done 3 years ago. So the Acronis True Image recovery software works! Amazingly well! Using Acronis allowed me to recover my laptop to the clean slate I had when I made the archive… saving me time from having to figure out how to use the recovery partition to restore my laptop to the original factory system configuration when I first bought my laptop. All my installed programs were there, I didn’t have to reinstall any programs because they were saved on the archive. Well, let me take that back, I forgot that I made the archive before my installation of the Adobe Master Collection CS3 so I had to reinstall that. Even so, Acronis saved me from having to reinstall all my other programs. Acronis True Image Home also has incremental back-ups so next time, I may do periodic back-ups to reduce the amount of software I have to reinstall.

This incident has prompted me to use Acronis True Image Home on all my computers. I’m always hesitant of doing anything that wipes out my main hard drives but the restoration process was quite easy with the prompts to guide you through the process.

Here are some of the benefits and features of Acronis True Image Home:

  • Support for Microsoft® Windows 7 – Delivers more comprehensive functionality over Microsoft Windows 7 backup capabilities

 

  • New Powerful Scheduler – In addition to the scheduling tools found in previous versions, the new scheduler expands the amount of scheduling options available. Use the new calendar view to build schedules and tasks. Suspend and enable tasks, specify dates to run tasks, and copy tasks to new dates

 

  • Continuous Data Protection – Acronis Nonstop Backup automatically creates incremental backups every five minutes allowing users to roll back their system, files, and folders to any point in time

 

  • Acronis Online Backup capability – Optional Acronis online storage services are available to automatically backup valuable data or files over the internet to a secure location

 

  • Boot from Windows 7 image – Windows 7 Ultimate users can boot from a backup image (.tib file) containing a backup of their system partition. This will allow the ability to test a backed up system without actual restoration. If the operating system boots from the .tib file, then it will boot when the need arises for a system recovery. (See full features…)

Its a good idea to have a separate external hard drive to store your Acronis archive files. I would recommend a drive with a large capacity to make sure you can fit the entire archive onto it. Here are some good 2TB external drives for back-up:

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

I don’t really worry as much about getting a virus on my computer anymore. Acronis True Image Home isn’t a super fast solution but it works. It’s most effective to install Acronis soon after you get your new computer or laptop and right after you install all the software you’ll need at that time.

As far as amount of time for recovery, I think it was faster and easier to use Acronis than to have had to restore the computer to it’s factory operating system and then have to reinstall all the other software I had already installed. If you do have to recover with Acronis, I’d recommend starting it in the evening so it can do it’s work overnight while you sleep. Luckily, my computer was still functional so I copied all the files from my C: drive to another external hard drive before proceeding with the Acronis recovery. And just remember where you put your archive! That’s why it’s better to have it stored on a separate external drive kept in a safe place.

2 Comments
  1. I kinda prefer free versions of anti virus software such as Microsoft Security Essentials.

    I really want to see some “about you” video and see first hand your video quality.

    I am thinking of getting into vlogging and I am highly interested in those kind of tips.

    See you on Youtube :)

  2. Harlan Yee permalink

    Hi Bojan,

    I haven’t used Microsoft Security Essentials before but you can’t beat the ‘free’ price. Acronis worked extremely well for me which is why I endorse it here. I had such a relief when my laptop’s hard drive was finally restored.

    If you want to see more videos I’ve made, click on the ‘Videos’ tab at the top of the page. I’m still fairly new to vlogging even though I have lots of experience with video. Most of the stuff I produce is for broadcast television and when I have time, I make YouTube videos for this site. I’m in the process of consolidating my YouTube videos into one channel. I messed up when I created the first channel and it’s one I will delete soon… maybe. Some of the videos I have on that other channel have a few thousand views.

    I’ve been getting more into product review videos but the only problem is getting more products. See my post: 11-awesome-tips-for-shooting-product-review-videos

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