Assuming I have used Acronis True Image 2016 to create a full backup of a Windows 8 system drive using the file based backup function (i.e. not a drive image).

If now the system drive dies, is it possible to restore the system to a new hard drive (including partitions, filesystems, etc.) without reinstalling Windows?

Or is this only possible from a drive image?

Edit 1: Response to Ramhound: I am not backing up "specific files" but ALL files on the system drive.

Edit 2: The question basically boils down to:

When using Acronis True Image with the filesystem based backup function, does it also make copies of the partition table and boot section so as to allow restoring the filesystem from scratch?

  • 2
    You will be unable to restore partitions if you only indicated you wanted to backup specific files. In other words the type of backup you have would require you to install Windows again. – Ramhound Jan 7 '16 at 15:04
  • No, only a full disc image can recreate partitions using Acronis. – Moab Jan 7 '16 at 15:43

An image is not essential to restore your machine, but it is a lot simpler and allows for compression, as well as being an almost automatic process through Acronis.

You would have to recreate the partitions manually, and likely recreate the MBR or BCD entries to boot correctly. I can't answer if Acronis provides tools to do this for you in its recovery medium as I don't have this version to hand, so unless it provides an easy way to recover a file based backup it would be a lot more work.

I would usually suggest doing file based backup purely for any data you want to easily retrieve, and an image based backup of any system partitions to allow for a quick and simple recovery.

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