Acronis or something else? Help needed...

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by str0, Oct 9, 2008.

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  1. str0

    str0 Registered Member

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    Hi.

    I'm looking for a good program to backup my 2 computers. I have tried ATI but after reading some information here and having some problems with it (ATI windows freeze when making backup, strange behavior of progress bars, possible corruption of TrueCrypt container files because ATI is writing something to all partitions sic!) I'm looking for something really reliable. I was trying Symantec Ghost but it has its own problems and it can make my machine slower, EMC Retrospect is too expensive and has problems too, I think it's not well maintained too. I don't know what to choose. Can somebody please help me? I need compression, encryption,full/incremental option, managing backup destinations (how much space it should use), splitting archives and preferably SFTP. I don't need image backup of whole drive. I think that those are basic needs for any modern backup program. I'm just looking for something really stable for backing up my documents, desktop and mail folders.
     
  2. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    You don't say which version and build of TI you have tried. However, TrueCrypt I think will be a problem for most imaging programs.

    If you don't require actual imaging and just files and folder backups, then does MS Backup work well with these?

    As far as TI is concerned v9 - v11 then the progress bars tend to be a little wacky, possible due to the way the image estimation is calculated, having said that unless the bars get stuck or the text never alters from 'your image will take 23 days' or it fluctuates wildly (5 mins , 10 hours, 4 days, 3 seconds sort of thing) I would ignore this foible, your images will be made correctly.

    If Windows or TI freezes, then the culprits can be - some background process trying to take exclusive use of the drive or RAM, video card requires driver update, faulty or aging RAM modules.

    I suggest running Memtest86 for a complete day or at least for 12 hours or so, TI is very very memory intensive and will sulk well before other memory intensive programs begin to fail. If your RAM passes with flying colours, then check the video card driver. SQL Server or Exchange, if running on your machine might cause a problem if they are trying to write to disk, whilst TI is trying to read from disk.

    It would also be worth running chkdisk /r on the drive just in case the MFT has corrupt entry in it.

    Colin
     
  3. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    See private messages.
     
  4. str0

    str0 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the message!

    About TrueCrypt - look at TC forums. It's confirmed that ATI is writing some data to volumes including TC volumes and damaging the first header (new volumes have now backup headers). Those are not backup problems but unnecessary writing to the drives header. Other programs don't do this.

    About the freezing - yes I have a program that is using MS SQL Server 2005 on my machine.


    I just need something reliable with some basic funcionality - synchronizing tools don't have functions that I need so I need something for backup. It should just make full backup every weekend and incrementals at weekdays, upload to my other computer over network (SFTP for online backup would be nice too) and make encrypted archives. I have found Areca - it looks nice and all but I have to test it more (it's free and open source and stores files in AES encrypted zip files!). You have to generate scripts and schedule them using windows scheduler - it's actually not so bad. The only bad thing is that compression is taking a long time and it's not backing up open files. I think that using some synhronization tool that can copy open files to make a copy of files to backup and then making backup of that copy would be ok. This is not so nice as ATI but it should work. Even without open files support Areca is a really nice program.

    Do you have any other recomendations?

    (If this topic is inappropriate for this forum please move it to other one)

    PS. Sorry for my english ;)
     
  5. RAD

    RAD Registered Member

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    I recommend Paragon Drive Backup. I can't claim it is the best, because I haven't really tried them all; but I can say that Acronis never worked for me, but Paragon has always worked and saved my system numerous times now.

    (VISTA Home Premium, SP1)
     
  6. Ed_H

    Ed_H Registered Member

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    I am using ShadowProtect and TrueCrypt containers. Never had a problem with backups or accessing TrueCrypt containers after restores.
     
  7. karad

    karad Registered Member

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    I agree with RAD,I'd only want to add a KA ...(sorry I couldnt resist).
    To stro0 I want to say that my experience with Acronis 7,8 and 9 was really great, while with a uselessly bloated 11 version my hair stood on end in the only instance I tried to restore. (and I still dont know how I came out of it)

    With Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2008 suite,which I bought for only €32,which is gifted with full Hard disk capabilities as the name implies, not one problem both modifying partitions and backingup-restoring.
     
  8. emperordarius

    emperordarius Registered Member

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    ATI 11 runs very well here. No problems.
     
  9. str0

    str0 Registered Member

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    Can somebody please confirm that Paragon Drive Backup Professional has options of encrypted backups (which algorithm is used?) and burning backups automaticly to DVD? I'm testing the trial version and can't find those features, they are probaly only enabled in full version.

    It works good and makes really small backups, ~1,7GB from my user profile (~3,1GB) compared to ATI ~2,4GB all with maximum compression enabled. Backup takes longer but it does not slow down my system and works nice with open and locked files.

    Paragons website is currently down but after visiting the Drive Backup forum earlier I saw that there are not many active topics. Do you know why? Is it because Drive backup works so good or because you can't get any technical help there?
     
  10. karad

    karad Registered Member

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    Cannot speak about Paragon Drive Backup Pro,as I purchased Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2008 suite, which behaves like you depicted,but it does not take longer than ATI,if you consider that images are automatically verified,whereas with ATI it's an added job- and a necessary one in my opinion,as I dont think it viable to have to verify or,as version 11 says, validate, when you need to restore.
    Better doing it when you create an image ,isnt it?

    I use ATI since many years and Paragon only since a few months,but I remember I had to read the Manual when I bought ATI and later,too ,but not when I first used Paragon.
    True,now I am less inexperienced, but there is a degree of healthy simplicity in Paragon dictionary.
    Perhaps that's why their forums are not well attended,but I dont really know as I never joined any.
     
  11. RAD

    RAD Registered Member

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    I jus confirmed that Paragon has password protection for archives, but I am not sure about the encryption method.
    This is probably a good excuse to contact Paragon support. I deliberately asked them a few "stupid" questions just to see how well they responded before I purchased. I didn't go to a forum thouh, I created a help request through the official support channels. I got emails regularly with one day turnaround.
     
  12. str0

    str0 Registered Member

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    Paragon Drive Backup Pro is making backups longer than ATI if you select the maximum compression option but then compressed images are much smaller than ATI images. If somebody is backing up to DVD it can be useful. On normal settings it should take the same time.

    I will contact Paragon support, ask them few things that interest me and post answers here.
     
  13. Minimax2000

    Minimax2000 Registered Member

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    Give ShadowProtect a close look. Very reliable and fast. I performed six bare-metal restores and all were flawless.

    And Keep your data on a separate partition, so ShadowProtect can make fast incrementals of just your data.

    Frank
     
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