Acronis Secure Zone

Acronis Secure Zone is a special hard disk partition that can be created and used by Acronis True Image (ATI) and related products as a backup storage.

Intention and use

Acronis Secure Zone is designed to be a backup storage independent from the working Operating System(s). Thus it should not be used or even mounted by normal means: only ATI should be able to operate with it when it needs to. ATI itself can create and/or manage only a single Acronis Secure Zone on a machine. However, other Acronis Secure Zones can be created manually (see below); in that case, they are handled separately, but this is a non-typical and probably not officially supported situation.Acronis Secure Zone differs from other backup places in that:
* it's used exclusively by ATI (this provides a level of safety against corruption)
* when the free space is exhausted, old archives (the oldest full slice with all its incremental/differential slices) get automatically overwritten. [ [ Acronis True Image 10 Home User's Guide] , p.13]

The mentioned overwriting technique means one should not use only one scheduled task that stores only incremental/differential slices to Acronis Secure Zone. Instead, one should rather create an additional task which will run less often and regularly intermit them with full ones.

Behind the scenes

Technically, Acronis Secure Zone is a primary partition formatted using FAT32 file system, labelled ACRONIS SZ and with "partition type" code set to 0xBC. Knowing these requirements, one can easily create and/or manage existing Acronis Secure Zone using any partition manager. Note: all aforementioned conditions are required. Not all parts of ATI handle Acronis Secure Zone properly if, say, the label is different.Archives ("slices") are stored as ordinary .tib files with autogenerated names, all in the root folder. Since FAT32 root folders are expandable, the number of slices is unlimited. If there is not enough room to store another slice, the oldest full backup slice with its incremental/differential subsidiaries gets erased.

One can also view/change Acronis Secure Zone's contents directly by changing its partition type code to 0x0B (FAT32 LBA) and assigning a letter to it. Do not forget to unassign the letter and change partition type code back before ATI gets to work with Acronis Secure Zone (or it can issue an error). Also be sure to erase any foreign entities that may have been created during the time of the operation — it's unlikely that they cause a fault, but they will occupy storage space.


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