Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Isso, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    OK thank you Fad, next release will have logging included, and that should help me to figure out what's happening when you get error 1060.

    Isso
     
  2. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    Just a quick note about what appears to be an AX triggered event log error when AX runs...

    Click the "Make Backup Now" button, then check the event viewer, and immediately this error shows up...I tested it several times, so presume it`s related

    Error: Event ID 137 - Source: NTFS
    The default transaction resource manager on volume WB encountered a non-retryable error and could not start. The data contains the error code.


    I just wanted to check if this WAS a related error, or something else... I didn`t notice anyone else mention it when reading through this megathread.
     
  3. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    I no longer have a working VSS on my XP SP3 machine and I also have a pretty small HDD (but quite a bit of space on my two usb external drives). Will AX64 still be an option for me?

    I also have Macrium Reflect Pro installed. Are these two programs compatible or is one or the other?
     
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Hi again Tom! I'll let Isso answer "ofishuly" but I now the tool needs VSS to be able to make its snapshots and be sure they have full integrity.

    The only background task Macrium seems to run is one needed if mounting their snapshots... I think none needed for their incremental imaging. That would probably allow for non-interference between the tasks.

    Others more familiar with Macrium than I am will chime in I'm sure...
     
  5. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Tom, you've mentioned this in other threads as well, and since VSS is a very important Windows function I believe you should definitely try a repair install.

    Cruise
     
  6. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hi Tom,

    Froggie and Cruise mentioned exactly what I was about to write (thank you guys!). Indeed, AXTM relies on VSS, and if latter isn't working you might consider repairing it, as it's an important part of the system.

    Isso
     
  7. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Fad, thank you for the information! I did a quick check on one of my test systems (Win 8 x64), but didn't find such event. I'll be checking on more systems in coming days, meanwhile I did a quick search and seems this issue has something to do with NTFS transaction log, you might check this link for more information and methods to fix it.


    Isso
     
  8. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    I was just double checking a comparatively lengthy reply before clicking post when the pc froze and had to hard reset and lost it all :rolleyes:

    I`ll quickly try again...

    I did search myself yesterday about the 137 error without much luck, tried the fix you linked to, fix succeeded, but had no effect - errors still occur.

    Found this link on here from ages ago which seems to mention locking volumes, backup progs etc, the first post on the second page seems to refer to this error particularly, but no solution that I can see, not sure if it`s in any way related ?

    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=175737

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    As a test I decided to try and snapshot a different partition, so changed the drive & backup folder settings and let AX run, the error appeared for the different partition,
    so although AX appears to be triggering it, I don`t know if it`s actually the cause or that it`s just making the symptoms appear of an underlying, different problem ?

    Another issue that appeared when trying a different partition is that when I reverted my drive & backup destination settings back to what they were originally...

    when I tried to do another snapshot - what actually happened was AX made a complete & full image again rather than the snapshot I was expecting tagged onto the end of the existing list of snapshots for that partition.

    It`s as though AX didn`t even recognise the contents of the original backup folder,
    so it appears that changing settings and then changing them back again makes all that has gone before effectively useless ?!

    I tried to remove the newest full backup via the AXBrowser, but it wouldn`t let me. Removed it manually and still no luck.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Also, I noticed this error when trying to mount an image within AXBrowser:

    2013-02-25_092830.png

    Now, I don`t know if this is happening as a direct result of what happened, or whether it`s a genuine error.

    I`m going to test some more, but just wanted to get the basics of what is happening down in case this pc locks up again :D

    I`ll add any extra info later as I find it....

    Just one thing I did notice is that the AXBrowser doesn`t seem to remember the last backup folder, it would be useful if it did...
    and also, although it`s probably not important, but the AXBrowser doesn`t show the sizes of the snapshots - I only noticed this because of it`s absence :thumb:
     
  9. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hi Fad!

    That's a lot of information, thank you!

    I've gone through the thread that you mentioned on Error 137, and looks like it was Vista fault that was fixed in Vista SP1 (one of the Microsoft employees mentioned it). Which OS are you running?

    If you change the settings then revert them back, the program should still do an incremental backup, but it'll take some time, because it compares the last backup and the drive sector-by-sector. I.e. if you check the final size of the image it should be small. If it's big (as a full backup), please let me know.
    (This however doesn't apply to a situation where you just change the output folder. If you change it, then a full backup will be created - that's normal).

    The browser should remember the folder - there shouldn't be any need to specify it. I.e. it should automatically open the backup as soon as you hit the Browse button.

    I'm not sure what's happening, but it seems to me as some problem with the system, as soon as we release the version with error logging I'll be hopefully able to give more exact answer.

    Isso
     
  10. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    Hi Isso.....

    I do realise that very old thread was regarding Vista, but wondered if the mechanics of the error were in any way similar or had any connection, with it having something to do with locking the volumes before taking an image - I`m using Win7 x64

    I see, so the browser not remembering the folder I suspect is tied in with me not being able to launch it from within AX itself - will wait for the update


    Regarding the snapshots, I changed the drive and destination to different values, tested and then changed them back to what they were originally.....

    I can say for certain the next snapshot was not a snapshot but a complete image, as the resulting file in the list was bigger than the original baseline image.

    So it shouldn`t have done that....I thought as much, but it happened here unfortunately for whatever reason.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Update: tested again and it does the same....change drive & destination - do backup - change drive & destination BACK and it creates a full sized baseline image !

    Another oddity.....using the browser to delete the original baseline image (or any for that matter) and the dialogue box appears asking if i`m sure...then when I click yes...the whole AXBroswer just disappears, nothing deleted !

    That`s repeatable too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  11. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Fad,

    Got it, I'll see if I can reproduce these issues, I'll be able to work on it after the beta is released (too busy at the moment - sorry).

    Isso
     
  12. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    I've already been down that road, Isso, and I'm not inclined to go there again. It created a bigger mess than just not having a functional VSS. Because I'm sure there are others who experience the same issues with VSS, you might consider including an alternative proprietary driver as an alternative to VSS (similar to what Macrium Relect has does - it works well). Just a suggestion.
     
  13. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Tom,

    Thank you for suggestion. I've been thinking about it, and frankly I don't quite understand how it's possible to create a replacement for VSS. The problem is that there are a bunch of programs that work closely with VSS to make sure their files are in consistent state at the moment of snapshot creation.
    Even if I create a similar component I won't be able to force everyone to use it. And without it, it's pretty much useless.

    I would be grateful if anyone could enlighten me how custom VSS-like implementations handle the above mentioned issue .
     
  14. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    Thanks, I`m subscribed to this thread now anyway, so will be checking on any developments regardless....

    it seems odd as nobody else appears to have come across these problems, so may very well be a peculiarity of my particular system.

    I guess it`s better to figure it out one way or another in case there is some weird configuration here that`s either causing or exposing it

    I can say that when simply doing a restore - it appears to work without any problems at all, I have tried it a couple of times now :thumb:
     
  15. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Fad,

    I also tend to think that the problems that you described are specific to your system, as I never received such bug reports before. Anyway I'll look into it as soon as we release the beta.
    For restore - great to hear it! That's actually the most complex part of the program, so I'm happy to hear it works well.

    Isso
     
  16. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Hi Isso,

    I hope that you have the boot-iso issues in your beta queue, and specifically the one where you're not 'picking-up' the Intel RST driver for HDD-mSSD (RAID) operation. Let me know if you need any info regarding the driver.

    Cruise
     
  17. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    Not exactly sure how Macrium has designed this, but it works. I believe Reflect is designed to be VSS based, but if it encounters a problem with VSS during an imaging session, it calls on it's own driver to take over. Have used it for quite a few years and it works great for me.
     
  18. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Cruise,

    Yes, boot ISO issue we must fix, as for RST driver - if it's something easy, then the fix will be in beta. But if something complex, I'll need to leave it for later, sorry.

    Isso
     
  19. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Tom,

    The question here is: can Macrium's VSS replacement handle VSS-specific tasks (like SQL Server database to be in consistent state at snapshot)? If it can - I would be very interested to know how (I really don't see any solution). If it can't - then we can create a similar component too, but it will in no way be a replacement for VSS.

    Isso
     
  20. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    Some products do it FDISR included
    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=126193&highlight=shadow copy


    Todd

    noted the following

    RSS and VSS are open file technology drivers. The basis behind an open file technology driver is to provide a mechanism for creating consistent point-in-time copies of data. When a open file technology driver is called, two data images are created; an original volume and a "shadow" volume. The original volume maintains full read/write capabilities, whereas the shadow volume, the one to be used as the source of the copy requester, is read-only. This read-only status ensures that the shadow volume remains a perfect point-in-time copy until its requester does not require its services any more.

    Before XP, 2003 and Vista, this functionality was not provide in the Windows platforms. It had to be provided by the application developer, or purchased by a third party. Our OFT built-in to the product is called RSS. We will still use it for Windows 2000 installations.

    In the next release of our ISR technology, we are migrating to Microsoft's VSS (Volume Shadow copy Service) technology, that is built-in to (read as free) Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, and future versions of Windows to come (according to Microsoft).

    The reason for this migration is VSS has the added capability beyond RSS to coordinate with various application to initiate a pre-shadow request. This pre-shadow request will allow the specific applications to to flush buffers, perform record clean-ups, etc. Some the of the applications that directly take advantage of this are SQL Server, Exchange, Oracle products, Citrix, etc.

    You can read more about it here (great bedtime reading)
    http://technet2.microsoft.com/Window....mspx?mfr=true


    Which supports your view point
     
  21. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    starfish,

    Thank you very much for the information. The solution described in your post (RSS) is basically what I expect from other vendors (like Macrium) as well. But such solutions are very limited compared to VSS, and work properly only when there is no VSS-supported software (like SQL Server) installed on the system.

    We can build a similar module too, but I doubt it's worth the effort. I mean other vendors developed it primarily because there was no VSS at the time they entered the market. For us it doesn't make much sense to develop an extremely limited replacement of a module that gets shipped with every modern Windows version anyway.

    Also, most of the failing VSS systems seem to be running XP, and that OS is dying - this is another reason that I'm reluctant to develop VSS alternatives, sorry.

    However if there is a demand (I mean lot of users with failing VSS), I'll consider working on it.

    Isso
     
  22. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Isso,

    Nothing complex about it (really). The necessary driver (for each Windows version) can be found here.

    Hth,
    Cruise
     
  23. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Cruise,

    We don't include any driver into the distribution, and neither we download it. What we do is detecting all RAID drivers installed on the system and automatically copy them to the freshly created WinPE.

    That's why the current version should have worked fine with your setup already. The fact that it doesn't work means that we somehow fail to detect (or to copy) the RST driver from your system to WinPE. And I'm not sure what might be the problem. Hope this makes sense.

    Isso
     
  24. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Isso,

    I do understand. Could the reason that you fail to detect the RST driver is that you're not looking in the right place? In any case, if I can help further in this regard - just holler.

    Cruise
     
  25. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Thank you very much Cruise! I may need some help, I'll send you a PM when I get to that issue.

    Isso