System Restore, RSS v3.2.12918.5857-REL14

Discussion in 'Returnil releases' started by Luciya, Dec 16, 2011.

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  1. Luciya

    Luciya Registered Member

    Hi coldmoon, thanks for the welcome in the other thread. I am researching it and will reply there. Now I have another question:

    a) System Restore is heavily based on Windows' own Volume Shadow Copy mechanism, I understand. Where's a technical document about how really Returnil does the restore on a system partition? The native VSC cannot restore system partitions so I wonder how intrusive Returnil has to be to do it.

    b) All my system partitions are 8 GB so they are imageable easily. Now I'm getting the message about the log filling. Having the machine lock up hard is not an option so I wonder if there's a way to keep this log on another (local) partition that's much bigger.

  2. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Hi Luciya,

    A. The SR component can monitor for Windows System Restore points, replication backups (just files and folders), and full computer backups as well. This is what the Real-time restore analysis feature (System Restore > Overview) does - it monitors for any type of backup.

    As for intrusiveness, any information tracked by the SR component is stored/compartmentalized locally in the program to facilitate the function required and takes advantage of the Virtualization component for the File Restore.

    The former uses the VSC to monitor things like Windows backup and Restore and the latter uses the virtualization technology to track the current file system and compare it to the previous machine state to support specific file recovery following a restore action. This comparison is limited to only these two states - what is there now and what exists in the targeted restore point or backup that will be applied.

    B. Can you reply with the exact text of the messages?
  3. Luciya

    Luciya Registered Member

    Thanks Coldmoon

    A. Is there any known activity or program that cannot be well virtualized? Apologies if you have this in a FAQ somewhere, I haven't searched much.

    B. "Virtual Mode is nearing its capacity to track changes in files and documents. Please save your current work and restart your computer. If this warning occurs too frequently, please consider increasing the percentage of free disk space allowed for the Virtual Mode (Virtual Mode > Settings > Advanced section)."

    How do I know what's the capacity? How much "time" is left? I gather it depends on activity but is it going to fill always no matter how big? Are there operations I can do differently to ease the burden of this component? It is a problem to have to monitor the consoles of VMs for this, assuming Returnil cannot send email/hit syslog somewhere else to centralise the warnings.
  4. Luciya

    Luciya Registered Member

    You didn't answer my first question: is there a way to put the log in another partition?
  5. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    A. No, but there are programs that may conflict with the virtualization driver. This is most often due to the other program also having disk level virtualization capabilities. Some program also may interfere with the initial install of Returnil so order of installation can be important in some cases.

    B. The default setting is for 50% of available free space present on the System Partition (usually the C:\ drive). The setting can be changed and is located at Virtual Mode > Settings > Advanced section > "Percentage of free space..." option.

    You will know that you have reached the limit of the cache when you get the warning above or a note from Windows itself such as "Delayed write error" where Windows is letting the user know there is no longer sufficient disk space for it to write to disk. This is cleared by simply restarting the computer to reset the cache.
  6. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    The RVS logs need to remain in the directory they are created in.

  7. Luciya

    Luciya Registered Member


    I will not lose any more time with these vague answers. I asked about programs that conflict and you didn't answer specifically, instead you said 'some programs', 'order of install may be important'. One would expect that you can produce a solid list of software that conflicts, period. This is not tolerable. I asked about how to know the capacity of the log after the warning and you reply with the obvious: that I can set it to higher than 50% and that I will know when it's exhausted basically when disaster strucks. It seems that you try to ignore everything that you don't want to answer, and when you answer you force me to go through my posts and see what's missing. I had to ask twice if the log for the system partition can be put in another partition. Returnil seems to be the kind of high-maintenance hack that's not stackable with other programs, with too many quirks, and with so little technical content in the website that I don't know anything relevant about it to make an informed decision. I was looking for something more well rounded. Maybe other like software is also in the same state, I don't know yet but it seems less of a hassle to just keep Windows up to date. In your PM you even ask me to 'rebuild the database' (= delete files) just after fours days running because it has tripped over itself. This is the hallmark of sloppy programming and I cannot imagine the world of little pains and annoyances that awaits me if I use this software. Thanks but I will not use it.
  8. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    I apologize if my answers appeared vague. I was, in fact, trying to answer your questions as written with as much transparency and accuracy as possible. For the most part, all reports of potential issues ARE readily available in our forums here and had assumed that you did take time to read through them.

    At the moment however, we only know about the following:

    1. CA Antivirus will conflict with RSS and is the only AV that is in this category which is directly related to the Frisk engine part of the Virus Guard

    2. Avast! AV can interfere with the installation of RSS and thus cause potential damage to some files or an incomplete install. This is where order of install is important with RSS first and then install Avast! second. This is not universal however with the vast majority of users who have this combination not reporting any issues whatsoever - in fact, some users have replied in issue threads where others have had an issue but they have not.

    3. A minority of users report potential issues when using Acronis TI and Paragon in combination with RSS/RVS due to the virtualization components in their and our products. This again is not universal...

    In these cases, other than the issue with CA AV, potential issues APPEAR to be related to sandboxing/virtualization capabilities in the products listed above that may cause a proper install failure at some point in the chain when RSS/RVS are installed after they are installed. As mentioned, this is not universal and testing in the lab has been inconclusive - meaning that the engineering team is unable to reproduce the issues with any reliability in the lab.

    This part of your reply may indicate that we are talking past each other and that I may have misinterpreted your inquiry. My reply was related to understanding your question as one about the virtualization cache and not the troubleshooting logs which are located in the C:\Program Data\Returnil\RVS3\log directory in text format.

    The rvs3.log file contains operational feedback while the rvs3-inst.log files detail the installation process or installation failure (if present). The rvs3.log file is appended to and can grow to the size required when required.

    Regarding the cache, the default is set to 50% precisely because we have no idea what the eventual environment will require. It may be too large in some cases and it may be too small in others and depends on totally unique scenarios for each user. Some examples:

    1. A workstation: may not need a large cache especially if production is not stored at the local system but at a server share in the network.

    2. A gamer: may require a very large cache to store and track gaming sessions.

    In #1, you may only be storing some POP e-mails and document drafts while in the second the user may need to store entire directories with intensive graphics data.

    I do my best to make certain I am answering all questions I find and apologize for missing some from time to time. I am diligent in going back and making sure I have answered all the questions; especially when anything missed is pointed out as having been missed or misinterpreted by me.

    There are no topics outside of confidential or competitive information that I will try to avoid giving a direct answer to and you can see this by simply reading through the forums. And you will also see that even for very sensitive questions I do my best to answer them within acceptable constraints.

    This is disconcerting to me personally as part of my job is to collect unanswered questions and then provide answers that clarify, rather than hinder a user. I want to know about them so they can be answered and referenced for others - not hide them or avoid them.

    Our products are not "hacks" or high maintenance nor should they be seen as this because of a misunderstanding of your questions which I again apologize for introducing.

    As I replied in my PM, the logs pre deletion of the database files would not provide the information the lead engineer would be seeking because of the damage in the first place, so the real test needs to begin with what should simply be an automatic re-creation of the database and then get fresh information appended to the rvs3.log file. While the inst file is important for checking the install itself, the rvs3 log will detail the information the engineering team needs to investigate a root cause in combination with a Windows MSINFO32 report.

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