B & R Suite 10 - Some archives corrupt

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by bbriley, Sep 23, 2011.

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  1. bbriley

    bbriley Registered Member

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    Hi Everyone. I have been using the Paragon B & R Suite 10 for two years, and it has "saved my tail" three times during that time, mostly connected with my being a new adopter of Windows 7 (an operating system which I truly like) - and/or replacing a hard disk.

    However, I am writing to say that I had a bad scare when I had to replace a failing C:\ drive (I also have F:\ and G:\ hard drives) today. I normally do a full system backup once a week, and the backup is for all three HDD's. The backup archives are stored on a 320 GB Maxtor One Touch USB External Hard Drive. I only connect that drive to a USB port 90 minutes or so a week, when the system backup is working - otherwise, it sits there idle, just to avoid unnecessary drive wear. Over time, I have used both the System Backup and the Smart Backup features of the suite. For the sake of simplification, I like the System Backup approach better. In this case, my last two backups were done on Sept. 5 (System Backup) and Sept. 20 (Smart Backup). I missed one in between due to our being out of town.

    Today, I tried to put the C:\ image onto a new, "bare metal," C:\ drive from the Smart Backup of Sept 20 - but halfway through, the Linux Boot Disk version told me an archive was corrupted and it stopped the disk restore. I NEVER had that happen before with this suite.

    In desperation, I went back to the Sept 5 image archives and used that - and apart from one minor archive issue, the new C:\ drive restoration worked perfectly.

    My questions:

    1. Have others here had some troubles with corrupted archives? If so, is it likely to be a B & R 10 issue or is it possibly related to the USB External Drive?

    2. For a full system backup weekly, do you think it is better to use the System Restore feature of the B & R Suite, or the Smart Backup approach? Why?

    3. After each backup, do you routinely run the "archive verification" process just to check for any corruption? I have not normally been doing that. That probably was a mistake on my part!

    Thanks for any help here!
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I don't know the difference between the system backup and smart backup. However, it has nothing to do with your problem. The fact the archive was declared corrupt means the program couldn't read it and perform its data intgegrity check without error on the block being read. Normally, imaging programs embed numerous checksums with the data in the archive and these must be reconstructed perfectly or the archive is declared corrupt. Just how Paragon does their checks I don't know for certain.

    My guess, since you have restored before with the CD and successfully restored a different archive with it, is that you have a bad sector or sectors on the external HD storing the archive. Bad RAM can also cause the problem since it will interfere with a checksum calculation. In fact, anything that causes incorrect data to be placed in memory is suspect!

    Poor Linux drivers can be a problem but since you have restored with the CD this not likely the cause.

    Try running the Paragon verify on the archive and see if it turns up an error. I would tell you to run it from the CD but I don't think it works properly and I have reported this to Paragon and they said it would be fixed - I haven't checked the new version to see if it was corrected in it.

    I would run chkdsk X: /r on the partition storing the archive. The /r causes the sectors to be checked. I think their may be a surface scan function in Paragon as wello_O?

    You can check your RAM by running Memtest86+, free from www.memtest.org . Let it run for several passes, overnight is best. You should have zero errors.

    As a rule, but not always, I run the verify after archive creation. PCs do not do much if any data checking on writing, it is only when the the data is read that problems are uncovered. RAM on typical PCs does no error checking at all.

    Paragon has very confusing information in its documentation on just what it does for archive integrity. It almost implies it will do error correction but their support said that is not the case.
     
  3. bbriley

    bbriley Registered Member

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    Hi Seekforever (are you, like me, a spiritual seeker?), your reply was most helpful. I am doing a checkdisk on that USB drive now - and when I just earlier did an integrity check on the archive made from our old C:\ drive, it failed in the second 4+ GB archive. Since the original C:\ drive had several bad sectors and also a bad block (which is why I finally replaced it), I have wondered if that might have corrupted the archive itself by definition - I don't know.

    In all events, I am continuing the full check disk process just as you described - it is a slow process since it is an external USB 2.0 Hard Drive (Maxtor OneTouch, 320 GB, of which only 90 GB are in use with archives), so will take several hours.

    I do believe that the archive failure was not so much a backup program failure (Paragon's offerings seem better than the Acronis or Norton offerings,from what I have read for several years) as it may have been the bad sectors and block on the original C:\ drive - but the check disk could still reveal a problem with the external hard drive, if it has deteriorated over the past three years - although that seems unlikely, since I only have it running about two hours a week.

    Thank you again.
     
  4. bbriley

    bbriley Registered Member

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    I just now completed the full check disk on the external HD - it is free of defects in files, sectors, etc.! So that wasn't the problem. I still suspect that the archive failure was related to the bad sectors and block in the C:\ drive from which the archive was developed, but I don't know for sure, of course.

    Thanks again for your very helpful answer!
     
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