True Image's skills at estimating backup times aren't perfect, though. It predicted our 16-minute backup would take 40 minutes. (Then again, we're not complaining about the faster performance.) Similarly, it estimated the size of our compressed archive to be 6.6GB, when the actual size was significantly larger, 8.1GB. According to Acronis, estimates are often imperfect because the program doesn't know what types of files are on your drive. For instance, on a disk with a lot of compressed files, the archive size will often be larger than the estimate.
True Image performs tasks that Ghost doesn't. For example: partitioning and formatting a new drive are simple chores when handled by True Image, but not by Ghost. And the millions of PCs stuck with Windows 95/98, lacking the memory and processor power for Windows XP, can use True Image but not Norton Ghost 9.0. For Windows 95/98 users, the Ghost 9.0 retail package includes a copy of the clunky, old Ghost 2003, which reboots you into DOS to run a backup.Acronis's phone support is expensive: $35 for a single incident or $100 for three incidents. (An "incident" isn't a single call, but rather a specific problem than may take several calls to resolve.) Symantec charges $29.95 per incident or $2.95 per minute for incidents involving Norton Ghost. Most users will opt for e-mail or fax support, both of which are free. We found the e-mail option to be very efficient;. Acronis answered our e-mail queries within 24 hours, while Symantec took four to five days.
Two small gripes: There's no online support form for e-mail queries; rather you must enter the product name (Acronis True Image), version and build number, and operating system information in the body of a standard e-mail message. It's a bit tedious. And the program's help section is in Adobe Acrobat format, which is harder to navigate and search than a conventional Windows help file.