I do not believe it until I see it.
If it is possible, can True Image produce an image on the same partition that it is imaging? For example, my laptop has no partition, it's just drive C:\. With ImageX, I can image C:\ as c:\xp.wim. No need for another partition, external media, etc. If True Image can do this, then it is file-based.
Also, when restoring, does True Image overwrite files/folders and delete files/folders that is not on the image, or does it leave files/folders added after the image taken alone? If it can't, then it's sector-based since file-based only overwrites files that are in the image and leaves everything else alone.
If you can confirm the two above, then I will believe True Image is file-based and not sector-based.
And to argue that True Image uses a sector-by-sector approach, this is straight from the PDF manual of True Image 11 Home edition, chapter 3:
Backing up disks and partitions is performed in a different way: Acronis True Image Home stores a sector-by-sector snapshot of the disk, which includes the operating system, registry, drivers, software applications and data files, as well as system areas hidden from the user. This procedure is called “creating a disk image,” and the resulting backup archive is often called a disk/partition image.
and it goes on to say...
By default, Acronis True Image Home stores only those hard disk parts that contain data (for supported file systems). Further, it does not back up swap file information (pagefile.sys under Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista) and hiberfil.sys (a file that keeps RAM contents when the computer goes into hibernation). This reduces image size and speeds up image creation and restoration. However, you might use the Create an image using the sector-by-sector approach option that lets you include all of the sectors of a hard disk in an image.
So, it does a sector-by-sector image excluding free space, but the option "Create an image using the sector-by-sector approach" is for imaging free space as well. That's the only difference.
And let me add the following on page 17:
An incremental or differential backup created after a disk is defragmented might be considerably larger than usual. This is because the defragmentation program changes file locations on disk and the backups reflect these changes. Therefore, it is recommended that you re-create a full backup after disk defragmentation.
For a file-based, it doesn't matter where the file is located, but it would matter for sector-based. Hence, you can see that Acronis employs sector-based imaging for whole disks and partitions.
Well, the only reason for my post is I was considering switching over to True Image because I thought it was file-based, but I can see that it is still sector-based so I'm going to stick with ImageX.
Edited by spacesurfer, 18 July 2008 - 10:28 AM.