Acronis True Image: Can't Record Backups to DVD (solution)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader James D. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

After reading your in-depth review on Acronis True Image [disaster recovery / disk imaging software], I immediately purchased a registered copy. Unfortunately, I've run into a problem being able to record my image backups directly to DVD. According to Acronis, I need to install packet-writing software in order for this to work. What is packet writing software and why isn't it included as part of the Acronis package? "

My response:

This is a frequently asked question.

In short: Packet Writing software is a "plugin" (per se) for Windows that allows you to use your CD or DVD record much like you would a floppy disk or hard drive. In other words: packet writing allows you to write to recordable optical media "on the fly", rather than on a per-session basis (as with CD Mastering Software).

For example: with packet writing software installed on my system, I could write a document in MS Word and then save it directly to my CD or DVD recordable disc without having to launch a special CD / DVD recording program (I.E.: CD Mastering Software).

Packet Writing software isn't included with Acronis True Image because it isn't entirely necessary. And to this day I am unaware of any freeware packet writing software programs (if you happen to know, please email me). Currently, the two most popular packet writing programs are Roxio / Adaptec DirectCD and Ahead [Nero Burning ROM] InCD -- and they both cost money.

If you want to burn your backups to DVD using True Image, you have two options. You can:

  • Burn direct to DVD during the backup process: this will require third-party Packet Writing software (supplied by Roxio [DirectCD] or Ahead [Nero InCD], for example), or
  • Write the image backup to the hard drive, and then burn to DVD recordable later: this method does *not* require Packet Writing software.
  • With respect to option (b): if you have another hard drive partition ("D drive") or another physical hard drive, you can write the image backup temporarily to D drive, then burn it to DVD afterward using your favorite CD / DVD software (example: Ashampoo Recording Studio: it's dirt-cheap, reliable, does a lot, and only costs $19.95 through our site).

    Even if you don't have a second available hard drive, Acronis will allow you to write your image backup to the same drive being imaged (I.E: the C drive). This is not recommended, but it is possible.

    Note that the downside to storing the image on another hard drive is that it can potentially eat up a lot of storage (even if it is kept temporary). For example: If your "C drive" has 40 gigabyte of data to backup, you would need (at maximum) 40 gigabyte of available space to temporarily store the image backup to a second hard drive.

    And one last tip: before you begin your backup, make sure you tell True Image to store each image file in 4.7 gigabyte chunks so that they will fit perfectly on a DVD recordable.

    Hope that helps. ;-)

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