True Image versus the competition

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by pszilard, Dec 14, 2008.

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  1. pszilard
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    pszilard Registered Member

    This is NOT a flame thread or a spam. I am a registered user of True Image since version 7, but would like to know what people think about competing imaging type backup programs.

    What is better/worse and at what price and who like what? Please only include products that are able to restore entire drives, i.e. bare metal restores to the same system.

    (BTW, for file backup I like SyncBackPro).

    Cheers,
  2. dennisthemenace9
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    dennisthemenace9 Registered Member

    I use the free xxcopy (xxcopy.com) to backup files.
  3. shieber
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    shieber Registered Member

    ATI has more features and more bugs. Shadow protect has few bugs but way fewer features (it uses VistaPE for the bootcd instead of linux which most other brands use.

    Paragon is somewhere in the middle). you'd have to try each to find which bests suits you. You can try them all for free.

    Norton is, well, you have to deal with Symantec's oppressive hard sell tactics after purchse and infamous anti-support -- it seems the forum was taken down and cleansed of criticism long ago.
  4. jhwker
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    jhwker Registered Member

    Registered user since version 10.

    Version 10 was the last version of TI that worked right out of the box, for me at least. 11 and 2009 have been disappointing to say the least.

    I finally bit the bullet and purchased ShadowProtect Desktop by StorageCraft a week ago. It has been the best $96.00 US I have spent in some time, That price includes a 1 year maintenance fee ($16 US) which raises the base price a bit but I get all updates, point and version. Not like Acronis who charges at least 50% to upgrade versions... (StorageCraft also charges a 50% version upgrade fee if you do not buy the maintenance so the $16 US is money well spent AFAIAC)

    Pros:
    It works. Create a job, define retention policy, set the schedule, and forget it.
    You can edit a job and be assured that it will run, not like TI 2009 where editing a job and expecting it to run is a gamble at best.
    It is fast. TI 2009 took over 24 minutes to do a full backup of my OS partition, SP does it in under 10.
    Incremental backups are lightning fast, a minute or less.
    The support forum is not full of posts complaining about there not being any support.

    Cons:
    No file level backups. I can live with that, Goodsync does a fine job for me.
    Some would say the price is a con but you get what you pay for and knowing that your backups are being done with no fuss is worth every penny.

    Summary:
    I suffered through several years of paying for upgrades to TI which I hoped would lead to a rock solid and hassle free product. That never happened, Acronis failed to address existing issues and instead released new versions, collected the upgrade fees, and left the users to stew in their juices. It has gotten to the point now where Acronis seems to have quit responding to emailed support requests except to send a email back saying we will get around to it sometime and don't bother us again until we do. Is it any wonder I left this sinking ship?

    YMMV
  5. dennisthemenace9
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    dennisthemenace9 Registered Member

    Why does their web site show up in yellow by Mcafee SiteAdvisor?
  6. jhwker
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    jhwker Registered Member


    Mcafee says:
    The file they mention is ShadowuserPro trial.
    http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/shadowprotect.com/downloads/13781413/
    It is supposed to change settings on the computer it is installed on. It's a desktop security and protection application. Mcaffe only rates it a two.

    ShadowProtect is rated 0
    http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/shadowprotect.com/downloads/13781451/

    Mcafee does not say the site is bad, it says that one of the programs you can download makes changes to your system. Which is nat always a bad thing...
  7. jonyjoe81
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    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    With true image 10 it has been very reliable for me as long as I have a "boot corrector" to fix minor issues here and there. I tried other software and I found out I also on occasion need a "boot corrector" to have success with them.

    I prefer the speed and ease of use of true image versus the competition. I haven't tried the latest version of true image (no need to upgrade since I don't use vista) but I'm sure I would have no major problems that I couldn't fix. There's no perfect imaging software, even the premium software have problems.

    As long as you know the basics of using the software and how to fix problems when they occur any software will work. You just have to choose the easiest to use and test it to make sure it works on your computer.
  8. ambient_88
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    ambient_88 Registered Member

    I am currently evaluating ShadowProtect Desktop, and it is an excellent imaging program. It is fast and efficient at what is does. But like what others said, it has far fewer features than other imaging software out there.

    On the other hand, I also evaluated Acronis True Image 2009 and found it to be less than desirable; it does other things that an imaging program doesn't really do. As a result, there are far more things that can break, which is evident if you look at the Acronis forum.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Defcon
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    Defcon Registered Member

    I am a very happy Norton Ghost user. To me it does everything ShadowProtect/TrueImage promise (file and image backups, recovery environment on disk, VistaPE recovery cd) and it has a simpler UI and so far has been very reliable. I have Ghost 14 but 12 also has all these features.
  10. Karen76
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    Karen76 Registered Member

    In addition to my beloved FirstDefense-ISR, I'm running three imaging programs on both of my PCs.

    Vista SP1:

    Paragon Drive Backup 8.51 Professional (purchased with a 70% discount)
    Acronis True Image 2009 (recently upgraded from Seagate DiscWizard, a free stripped down version of ATI v10)
    Macrium Reflect's full version (obtained free via Giveawayoftheday.com)

    XP SP3:

    Paragon's free Hard Disk Manager 8.5 Special Edition (recently upgraded from v8 )
    Acronis True Image v9 (the first imaging program I ever tried)
    Macrium Reflect (courtesy of GOTD)

    Every Paragon product has been rock solid for me and, unlike Acronis, Paragon's support has been excellent. With all three programs set to use their medium compression level, Paragon produces slightly larger images than ATI and MR. I keep backup images stored on a second internal drive as well as Seagate external hard drives. When using imaging programs' recovery CDs to perform a restoration, occasionally my external hard drives haven't been recognized. Also, when using the recovery CD, ATI has a nasty habit of not working with a wireless mouse and keyboard.

    So long as I restrict myself to full image backups and avoid using Secure Zone (which serves no purpose for me anyway), I've had no problem with any version of ATI despite the horror stories I've read on this board. While Seagate DiscWizard worked fine for me, I upgraded to ATI 2009 (thanks to a recent 50% discount) so I could make automatic scheduled backups instead of just manual ones. After reading relevant posts here, I took elaborate procedures to get ATI 2009 properly installed. No real problems yet (other than a glitch where ATI 2009 reports a nonexistent problem when configuring scheduled images).

    While it took some time to get used to after using Paragon and ATI, Macrium Reflect has proved very reliable.

    Based on so many glowing reviews, I briefly tried ShadowProtect last year. ShadowProtect wouldn't work on a PC with Acronis TI installed and I had to delete some leftover ATI registry entries to get SP to function properly. I found SP's support to be oriented to serve corporate, not home, users and the price (with no apparent discounts) too expensive compared to the competition.

    For simply backing up files, I use Titan Backup.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  11. guest
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    guest Guest

    i am using active@ drive image.

    it is fast, same as Shadow protect
    but its cheeper than sd.

    i think its unknown perfect soft.
  12. Huupi
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    Huupi Registered Member

    AFAIK there's only a bootdisk creator with the registered version,SP provide an iso file with the full evaluation version to test the recovery environment ?? o_O
  13. Osaban
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    Osaban Registered Member

    I hate to repeat myself, I do have True Image 9 for XP, and the few times I have restored an image it worked. I didn't like the frequency of updates from Acronis, if anything too often to be credible, and considering the reaction from latest versions not an improvement.

    ShadowProtect (I use it for Vista), is not cheap but they don't update/upgrade so often, I started with version 3.1 - 3.2 - and now 3.3, I have performed at least 20 restores of different images from different USB HDs, and not only it works but one gets the feeling nothing will ever go wrong. People complain about the demise of First Defense ISR 'Classic', but ShadowProtect Desktop is an excellent facsimile, I'm more and more creating copies of my OS with different features, to use in different situations. Highly recommended (the general rule to trial it first goes without saying).
  14. jhwker
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    jhwker Registered Member

    Anyone notice this thread was moved from the Acronis TrueImage forum where it started? Perhaps Acronis does not like where it might be going...
  15. InfinityAz
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    InfinityAz Registered Member

    Going to echo many of the sentiments here. Used ATI for a couple of versions but caused too many problems. Switched to Paragon Drive Backup and have never had any issues. ATI will remain in my rearview mirror for many of the reasons others have mentioned.
  16. pepin
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    pepin Registered Member

    This is a subjetive view, based on the features that are more important for me:

    - Symantec Backup Exec:
    + Works from a XP installation in USB drive
    - Can't set a custom the image name!!
    - Can't take incrementals from a custom image!!
    - Can't mount image in a folder
    - No image consolidation
    - No mounting images in write mode

    - Shadow Protect
    + Can mount in a folder
    + Image Consolidation
    + Fastest
    + Mounting images in write mode
    - Don't works from a XP installation in a USB drive

    - Acronis TI
    + Works from a XP installation in USB drive
    + Image Consolidation
    + Mounting images in write mode
    - Can't mount image in a folder


    Don't like Symantec Backup Exec, too rigid with image filenames, very few image tools.

    I find Shadow Protect interesting, but it don't works in my XP USB drive. I boot my machines from this drive for maintenance and backup pourposes.

    So Acronis TI is the best for me.
  17. mistycat
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    mistycat Registered Member

    Long time user here too of ATI since v7 and now use v8 & v9 on 2 computer's, never failed in hundred's of restore's. Last week, tried Paragon Express (froze my pc at bootup screen every time), IFD (couldn't backup), O & O (couldn't backup), very old version of Ghost (worked fine but very slow, again, extremely old version). Novastor was one I used before ATI, v9 of ATI does work with Vista here, using XP but keep an image of Vista and restore it to look around. I won't upgrade ATI because thing's work but probably Ghost if I had to. Incidentally, I have used both Seadisc and Maxblast but after a restore, they shut down my pc, annoying. Bottom line, I haven't seen anything better or faster than ATI.
  18. Huupi
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    Huupi Registered Member

    Concerning speed, its my finding that SP is way much faster as compared with ATI on all my rigs.In the past i used ATI but converted immediately to SP after trialing it.
  19. Brian K
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    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    mistycat,

    Can you recall what particular problem you had with IFD?
  20. mistycat
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    mistycat Registered Member

    Didn't try much but it was something along the lines that it was able to boot but not start a backup, didn't freeze. Don't remember getting an error message and I was trying so many program's, don't want to mix them up. Edit: speed is all relative, 2 minute's or less to restore 5-6 G is fine by me, 15-20 minute's for (bloated) Vista isn't but sure beat's a reformat.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  21. Brian K
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    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    We know the feeling.

    I thought you were going to say you had trouble seeing the backup USB external HD. Certain BIOS do this and it used to happen to me. The IFL disk gets around this issue as it doesn't use the BIOS.
  22. HAN
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    HAN Registered Member

    In testing IFD at work, I too had the same issue with my Dell PC. No matter what I tried, it just couldn't see the external USB drive. And I discovered what you pointed out. IFL works fine in this case. (I still prefer IFD when it runs ok. Seems a bit faster than IFL to me.)
  23. Brian K
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    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Han,

    My computer is a Dell and I agree that IFD runs slightly faster than IFL. It must be the Dell BIOS.
  24. Huupi
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    Huupi Registered Member

    with respect to the OP,ATI versus others ,it would be great if you have tested ATI against others and get your conclusions here,some replies are muddying the topic !
  25. mistycat
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    mistycat Registered Member

    No, I don't use a USB HD, back up to an internal HD.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
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