ATI vs DS for Imaging a System Partion with RB Installed

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by appster, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    ATI vs DS for Imaging a System Partition with RB Installed

    Supplementing the excellent disk-imaging tests conducted by markymoo, I can now report Acronis True Image v11 is able to backup and restore a system partition with Rollback Rx (RB) snapshots. Since I had previous success backing up and restorting the same system partition with Drive Snapshot v1.38, I thought I would compare the two with regard to timing and image size.

    For those who are not familiar with Acronis True Image (ATI), version 11 Home Edition is the very first ATI Home Editiion to offer a sector-by-sector imaging option. Since my friend recently bought ATI v11, I borrowed his ATI Boot CD for this test. For my DS tests, I used my own copy of DS v1.38 (after booting into a BartPE environment). ATI is a much larger (and more robust) program than DS.

    On the subject of boot CDs, ATI's Boot CD (which is Linux-based) booted up to the ATI GUI in just under 1 minute! That's almost twice as fast as my BartPE Boot CD and about 4 times faster than UBCD4Win)! Furthermore, the ATI Boot CD had no difficulty identifiying my SATA hard drive with its two partitions (described below) as well as my external USB drive.

    My testing was done on my Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop whose one SATA HDD is logically partioned into C and D. WinXP's 'My Computer' reports the partition sizes as follows:

    C: 16GB (RB installed with 6 snapshots)
    D: 59GB (this partition not included in these tests)

    The disk-images produced by ATI and DS were backed up to an external USB2 drive. For both my ATI and DS backups I compressed the images (in the case of ATI, I selected Normal compression) and validated the images. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to re-do the tests selecting any other backup options.

    First, I'll show the results using DS (as I backed up first with DS, just in case!):
    Maintenance Mode selected
    Size of backed up image = 8.32GB
    Time to backup+validate = 11min 42sec
    Time to restore partition = 7min 15sec
    The RB sub-console appeared and all 6 RB snapshots were intact.

    Next, the results using ATI:
    Sector-By-Sector Mode selected
    Size of backed up image = 9.48GB
    Time to backup+validate = 12min 55sec
    Time to restore partition = 8min 7sec
    The RB sub-console appeared and all 6 RB snapshots were intact.

    Conclusions:
    ATI v11 (build 8053) was up to the challenge, properly and accurately backing up and restoring my system partition with RB installed. It accurately captured the MBR as my RB sub-console and all snapshots were fully functional upon restore.

    Of course, a number of us already knew that DS is a remarkably small disk-imaging program which is quite capable of consistently backing up and restoring a system partition with EZ/RB installed and my tests only confirmed that. Since I only attempted but one ATI backup-restore, I can't vouch for repeatability (for example, Paragon's repeatability in similar testing has been erratic, so it remains to be seen if ATI v11 can consistently produce good results).

    As can be seen from my results, ATI created a larger image than did DS. It was also slower than DS in both backing up and restoring the image. The only problem in drawing conclusions from this is that I don't know the details about the compression-levels used by ATI compared to DS' compression. Also, I'm not sure if DS' Maintenance mode does the same kind of backup as ATI's Sector-by-Sector mode. However, it's fair to conclude that selecting any of the higher compression levels offered by ATI would reduce the resulting image-size and increase the backup time.

    Hope this was informative,
    appster
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  2. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Sector-by-sector mode. What is the default mode of ATI ?
     
  3. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    In its default backup mode of operation, ATI will only backup standard Windows (recognizable) sectors - which I believe is the norm for most disk-imaging programs. When you click the sector-by-sector check box in ATI, it backs up every sector on the partition (sometimes referred to as a "Raw" backup).
     
  4. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Thanks, I can live with that. It would be alot easier if ALL image backup softwares would use the same expression for "raw" backup.
     
  5. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    I completely agree. Some are called "Byte-for-Byte", DS calls it "Maintenance Mode", some use "Sector-by-Sector" and then there is "Raw" ...but please don't ask me what the differences (if any) are between those modes of operation! :p
     
  6. osip

    osip Registered Member

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    Interesting to know that ATI has added the sector option, and that it works...But, having ATI.v10 since earlier, I doubt that there are any gains to upgrade to 11, DS seems to be hard to beat in this field...Do you see any particular reason to use ATI instead ?
     
  7. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    The only real advantage that I see to ATI over DS is in its Boot CD. In order to use DS to backup/restore a system partition (with EZ/RB) you either have to use its cryptic DOS disk or build a BartPE CD. As you know, ATI includes a Create Boot CD wizard and its Boot CD is not only very easy to use, it boots very fast. ATI also has more functions and options than DS.

    If you already own a copy of DS, then I would definitely say 'stand pat' (especially because at this time I don't know if the success I had with ATI v11 will be consistently repeatable)! However if you don't already own DS, you could upgrade from your ATI v10 to v11 for about half the cost of buying DS. ;)
     
  8. osip

    osip Registered Member

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    Yes, I will stay with current DS/IFW, tried to upgrade ATI when v11 was released but could´nt install it,new version maybe has solved that...As goes for the startup I followed markymoos advice to disable network plugins in BartPe and it´s almost similar/not far from ATI rescue CD...Anyway, appreciate your input...
     
  9. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    I'm pretty much in your boat... I bought ATI v9 Home Ed. (which doesn't support sector-by-sector backup) before I bought RB, so when I realized I needed to backup my system partition with RB, I tried DS, which flat-out worked, so I bought it (before ATI v11 was released). When my friend got ATI v11, I was curious as to how well it would do the job in an RB environment, so I borrowed his v11 boot disk and the rest is discussed in my first post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  10. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    A good report of events and success but nothing to sway us to use it over what we using already. The already big disappointment of users with ATI 11 on simple issues is a concern from a big outfit especially when the software is for critical task as backup! I tried the new recent build of ATI 11 and it still not detecting my raid. If a company as high profile as Acronis can come out with software with so many niggles then its good sense to use software that doesn't. I'm not holding my breath for ATI to sort out there issues. I have 3-4 better choices. I'm sure you knew it wasn't going to beat DS speedwise :p , what's great is this software does it so fast and yet still always verify it done 100% reliably.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  11. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    markymoo, the v11 CD was available from my friend, so I thought I would just add one more comparitive test to what you started.

    Based on all of the problems reported in the ATI forum here at Wilders, I understand your ATI sentiments. However, I must say that my ATI v9 had a perfect backup/restore record before I installed RB! Then I discovered that backing up my system partition using the ATI Boot CD only captured RB's Baseline snapshot! About that time some others in this forum were reporting success with DS. Eventually, I too was convinced it did a fast and complete job of backing of an RB environment. :thumb:
     
  12. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Fair play to Acronis they have a forum for people to air there views, some companies don't allow a forum to discuss there product for obvious reasons.
     
  13. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    As much as i never really enjoyed building a BartPE before, this discussion about DS has moved me along just enough that i done one today to include DriveSnapshot. So that CD and/or the DOS Floppy should just about cover bare bones imaging/restoring outside my workings across partitions or an even more Lazy way of connecting up a Slave drive to image/restore.

    DS is very unique and i agree with the summations above, it blows Paragon away in speed, not by such a huge wide margin, but nearly enough IMO. It's remarkably reliable alright. In my own comparison testings DS is 100% so far whereas i did experience at least one failure with Paragon. I need to practice more on this to better confirm if it's a setting issue in Paragon i missed or something else. As for DS, working across partitions imaging & restoring i don't use Maintenance Mode. But then i don't use EZ/Rb either, but it's good to know sector-sector copy restore those snapshots for them.
     
  14. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    @EASTER I think your DS's biggest fan. :) i surprised you could afford it as the postage to the Caprica System must of been astronomical. It be nice if it could automatically image to unallocated space.
     
  15. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    It's Cubits very well spend compared to some before that i've simply donated for apps with lackluster at best returns not too mention low morale.

    You already noticed i am a really HUGE BattleStar Galactica fan and just spent over 50 USD for the DVD Classic Series 1978-79, and waiting for the Galactica 1980 soon to be released DVD December 26. Sci-Fi space adventures is long been an exciting hobby of mine and i'm only now finding these jewells.

    DS to me is one of those surprisingly good imaging apps that almost border on the old Windows 98 form but perform exceptionally well, and i trust in it completely. The results just simply can't be denied, and i been a big supporter of Paragon for years.
     
  16. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    ....just as I've been a 'big supporter' of ATI (which never failed me) until getting RB. That's understandable in the case of ATI v9, because it doesn't support sector-by-sector imaging (v11 is the first ATI home version to do so). However, I sure don't understand why Paragon doesn't produce consistent results. It has a sector-by-sector option and the one time I used Paragon HDM v8.5 to backup & restore my RB system partition it did the job (albeit much slower than DS)! :doubt:
     
  17. osip

    osip Registered Member

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    @appster:
    I saw that I have almost the same partitions as you, C: 17.4GB(9GB free), but a smaller D data partition. What draw my attention is the difference in sizes of the images...With DS compressed maintenance mode & 2GB split to USB 2.0 drive I get ~3.5 GB .sna image in total, with IFW raw 2GB split ~4.4 GB .img files in total, however, If I make them to DVD 1.49GB split they will be in total ~8.9 GB...
     
  18. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    With 9GB free, it doesn't seem like you have as many apps installed and/or as many EZ/RB snapshots as I do!
     
  19. osip

    osip Registered Member

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    Well, I have 148 apps...and in general 3-7 snapshots, the free size mostly between 7.5 to 9.5 according to snapshots and their sizes...sys restore off, hiber.sys off....fixed page file size...
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I don't use RB and I'd be interested to know how large are the RB snapshots compared with a DS backup image.

    Are the RB snapshots stored in the OS partition by default? If you had several snapshots that would make a DS backup image quite large if it included the standard OS backup as well as the RB snapshots.
     
  21. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    @appster
    Interesting testing, thanks :thumb: . I used to use ATI years ago and was caught out by images that were verified being corrupt on restore. I'm sure it has moved on from that now but we are creatures of habit ;) .

    @osip
    I may have misinterpreted what you were saying but it seemed as though the DS snapshots changed in size depending on the output size chosen. Is that correct? I've just run some tests here using 1GB, 1.5GB, 2GB and 4GB output sizes and the resulting images were all pretty much the same size.


    The RB 'snapshots' are more an exercise in indexing than alternative storage. Sectors are protected by RB which contain files that are part of a snapshot. The data is not moved from where it was originally which is how it does what it does so quickly and with least impact on disk space.

    However, as there is no copy of the data, it makes having an image something of a pre-requisite :) .

    So, yes, the RB snapshots are effectively stored in the partition and, yes, the RB image can become quite large depending on the number of snapshots you have and how much data is contained in each. On the other hand, if you have an installation of, say, MS Office which is common in all snapshots then this is only taking up the space that the original installation takes...so it can work both ways.

    Graham
     
  22. osip

    osip Registered Member

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    Well, just noticed the big difference in DS sizes in compare with appster...Checked again,yes, my first DS image with 1.5GB split to USB 2.0 FAT32 turned out to be 7.45 GB in total, almost the same as appster... 2nd was with a 4GB split to ntfs data drive and resulted in 3,45GB (!)...both restored with success, the only difference between the both is that the latter was with hiber.sys off...With IFW I got 4.4 GB to the USB but 8.7GB to DVD (uncompressed by default?). So, yes I noticed changes in size...
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  23. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    They vary in size - right now I have 7 snapshots, the smallest is 56MB and the largest is 710MB. I've never had an RB snapshot ever get as large as a DS snapshot. However, regardless of an RB snapshot's size (which isn't known in advance), it never takes more than a few seconds to create any one!


    Yes, they are stored in the system partition. The only time that all RB snapshots are included in a DS backup is when booting up into another OS environment to run DS and selecting Maintenance Mode. Doing that it stands to reason that the more RB snapshots you have, the bigger the DS image. ;)

    --------
    Note 1: Whereas the current RB version is 8.1, I am still running RB v7.2.1 (don't know how much of an impact that has in the info I provided, but I just wanted to qualify my reply).

    Note 2: I just deleted 3 of my 7 RB snapshots which resulted in an automatic snapshot defrag & optimization (by RB) when I restarted my system. Upon restart, RB created a new 'scheduled' snapshot and I see that the sise of it is 1005MB, the largest I have experienced to date.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  24. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    What you tend to find is keeping snapshots on a small partition is that you space goes down alot because when you uninstall software Rollback doesn't reclaim it back. So you can have like in my situation 3gig used up by RB thats really free. I had this trouble on 10Gb partition. You have to take another snapshot and delete the old one to get back. When you using RB for awhile you feel invincible lol and in my case i done alot changes and added some really important bookmarks and i forgot to take a snapshot and lost them. It seems Rollback doesnt just protect the C drive, someone told me they spent 2 hours deleting duplicate photos and maintenance off there D and they uninstalled Eaz-Fix and the whole lot came back to how it was. lol

    @appster
    Hi, have you not heard that theres alot people including myself that the acronis 11 cd boot recovery don't work by default. It just hangs. I not bothered to try all the options in that thread.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=55317
     
  25. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Yes, I'm aware of that, and in no way am I promoting ATI's Boot CD. I was just making the point that if speed of booting up into another OS (for backup purposes) is a more important factor than a faster and more efficient backup, then ATI may be one's 'cup of tea'. As for me, I'm a DS convert and have put my ATI 'into moth-balls'.

    As for RB, I have set it to automatically defrag (and optimize) after 2 snaphots (instead of the default 4 snapshots) are deleted or taken. Doing that takes very little extra time during system startup and seems to recover wasted space! ;)


    .
     
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