Backup app roundup?

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

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  1. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

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    Personally, I want file backups to be in a native format, so I can use them without needing the backup app and any custom formats. Disk space is cheap, and you can always turn on compressed folders if needed.
     
  2. layman

    layman Registered Member

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    Read extensively in the Acronis forum and you'll find countless horror stories about unverifiable images. No one has ever gotten to the bottom of the reason(s) for this. I've had frequent problems with this, myself -- or, I should say, HAVE problems. After spending some time in the Acronis forum, the developer of a well-known defragger told me he thought TI is a horrid product that should be avoided like the plague - that it might be screwing with the operating system somehow. I think the many corruption reports are more likely related to non-parity memory and other hardware-related faults. By keeping track of corruption incidents, I suspect a particular one of my machines as the culprit in my own case. By closely examining the files, I find dropped bits as the cause of the corruption. It could be a transient error in almost anything: disk drive, data cable, memory, power supply. I constantly check files with hash totals, keep redundant copies, and so forth in order to spot these problems when they occur. One way I can sometimes induce corruption is to defrag an image file.

    I don't buy the notion that images are especially susceptible to some form of corruption - other than the fact that being multi-gigabyte files makes them a big target. But, read the many horror stories about TI 2009 that aren't related to image corruption. It "loses" Outlook files, for pete's sake! I'm still running vn. 10, but Acronis has lost me as a customer. I'm shopping for something else, but haven't found my ideal. I do like Drive Snapshot, but it's overpriced for multiple licenses and the cost of having to roll your own recovery disks must be added onto that. No sale.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  3. Coolio10

    Coolio10 Registered Member

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    Does eazfix count here?

    I think it would be the best if it was more reliable. It even images as well.
     
  4. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    I'm curious as to what it is about EF that you consider unreliable?
     
  5. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    ZipBackup will store everything in native format and will work with any Zip utility. I've used it for backing up data and photographs for years with no problems. Very easy and quick to retrieve an older version of any file:

    http://www.zipbackup.com/

    Another useful method is batch files -- you can customize to make special backup files. An example: I can keep a backup of all of my applications' Configuration, Preference, Option files, emails, (.ini, .dat, .reg etc) in one place -- all in native format.


    ----
    rich
     
  6. Coolio10

    Coolio10 Registered Member

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    Well, when i uninstalled rollback rx it killed my system.
     
  7. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    I have just finished testing Macrium Reflect. And I must say that, this program is really impressive.
    Out of 15 full backups/restores,15 differential backups/restores and 6 incremental backups/restores (with 10 incremental files each) it only failed in creating 2-3 of the incremental points but the autoverification eliminated those problematic files.

    Macrium Reflect is an extremly reliable product along with those mentioned here, is very fast (especially its incrementals) and as a bonus includes a very nice file backup feature.

    Panagiotis
     
  8. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    My problem with Macrium is that its a bit challenging to create the rescue disk. It makes no sense to me that you need to go to a 3rd party site, download 3rd party software, and use it in conjunction with Macrium in order to create the boot disk. And the issue is not just one of technical know how. I don't know if you have heard of Gizmo Richards but in his review of backup programs he mentioned he had to try 3 or 4 timers to get a rescue disk to work. He liked Macrium once he got past this but.....

    I had tried it but when the rescue disk I created failed I moved on.
     
  9. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    The same is true with acronis BartPE plugin.
    Macrium Reflect (not free) also includes a vista based PE iso.

    Well... those kind of reviews are at least questionable...
    You cannot give a verdict for an imaging application by testing only the full backup/image and testing it only once! :cautious:


    Panagiotis
     
  10. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Understood, I have TI and have not had to create a BartPe plugin so I have learned yet something else from you.


    Sorry if I was not clear. I used Gizmos comments as a confirmation regarding the ease with which the rescue disk could be created. When I tried to create one I had trouble even when I tried following the directions provided. I thought this was due to a lack of tech smarts on my side but then felt that the process was apparently more difficult since Gizmo, who arguably is reasonably tech savvy had problems as well. I was looking for a backup program for a friend and had seen Macrium mentioned on these forums so I thought I would give it a try. Considering she has even less tech knowledge than I do I decided to pass on Macrium. She and I decided to go with TI (she would have preferred a free program) since I had experience with TI and this would make things much simpler. There was no intention on my part to give a verdict on Macrium and for the record Gizmo gave the program high marks in his review.
     
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Sorry, I'm not native speaker and probably expressed myself in a wrong way. I only critised Gizmo reviews. It's impossible to test properly an imaging application by testing it only once. One must test full backups, differencial backups, etc. a lot of times and in different circumstances (normal use, high disk activity, high processor activity, etc.) before saying that a imaging program is good or is bad.
    If not, it does not matter if the verdict is positive or negative, will not reflect the true abilities and will mislead its readers.

    Panagiotis
     
  12. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Which is a nice, not to mention comparatively unique, feature....particularly considering the price of the product. I mean, of all the imaging s/w out there do any, other than ShadowProtect, include a WinPE 2.0 recovery environment?
     
  13. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Actually I could not test its Vista PE, since I used a trial, and can not give any info about it.
    Symantec, paragon, roxio provide a VistaPE recovery disc.

    Panagiotis
     
  14. Karen76

    Karen76 Registered Member

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    Challenging? 3rd party site? :blink: I didn't have to download any 3rd party software to make a standard MR rescue disk; the process was as simple as creating rescue disks with ATI and Paragon. To refresh my memory, I just checked the help file and confirmed there's nothing about needing to visit any website, 3rd party or otherwise.

    Since I obtained my full version MR licenses for free from giveawayoftheday.com, I had to pay a nominal $5 to MR for a file to create a WinPE rescue disk to supplement or replace the standard one. My MR WinPE rescue CD works fine and recognizes my external hard drive. The only thing I found awkward about using MR is their unusual process for scheduling backup images.
     
  15. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I now understand what you are saying and it sounds as if you read Gizmo's review. I just got to the part where he was talking about creating the disk and thought to myself that if he had a problem no wonder I did as well. Then I skipped to the end of his article to see the order he had rated reviewed programs and I saw that Macrium was at (or near - I don't remember exactly) the top of the list.
     
  16. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Sorry, evidently the paid version enables you to create a disk with other than a BartPE plugin. I did not know this and had only tried the free version and thats where I ran into the problems. I also did not know that you could take the same route with Acronis TI since I just used the TI wizard to create the rescue disk and it was as easy as pie.

    Here is something on the process that I found with a google search. Much more complicated than I was prepared for. http://www.macrium.com/blog/2008/09/22/HowToCreateABartPERescueCDForMacriumReflect.aspx
     
  17. Karen76

    Karen76 Registered Member

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    I didn't realize the rescue disk creation process was any different between the free and full versions of Macrium Reflect. The Feature Comparison chart on MR's website says both versions have the same ability when it comes to making a Linux rescue CD. I created my standard rescue CD using MR's wizard and it was, as you said, "as easy as pie", just as it was using ATI's wizard.

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

    I'm glad to see MR's free version allows for the creation of scheduled backup images. Some backup imaging programs don't permit this feature in their free versions. From the comparison chart, the only advantage I'm getting from using the full version is the ability to use their Windows PE rescue CD.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  18. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    To be honest I don't all that clearly remember the circumstances around the rescue disk issue. I think I may have used a wizard to create a disk and when I tested the disk it did not work. I then tried to make a different disk and thats when I ran into the BARTPE thing. It was more than I was ready for and we went a different route. I was able to find a discounted version of ATI 11 for my friend ( http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681620451SF ) and since I use ATI 11 myself, and my friend was willing to spend the money for the program thats the way we went.

    Again the details are a bit fuzzy possibly because I have been looking at and testing a fair number of imaging and rollback type programs over the past 4 or 5 weeks and it is entirely possible I am getting details mixed up. I know for sure I tried to create a BARTPE plugin disk for Macrium Reflect free version and quickly felt the ground beneath my feet slipping away. I jumped to more solid ground and did not look back.
     
  19. Karen76

    Karen76 Registered Member

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    I wouldn't call $40 for the previous version of ATI much of a discount. I just checked amazon.com and they're selling ATI 2009 for $39 with free shipping (a person could save a couple bucks buying it from a vendor on Amazon's marketplace). I purchased ATI 2009 last November directly from Acronis for $25 (using a past customer discount); a week later I saw it going for $20 (I think it was on frys.com).

    Considering all the flak I'm catching on Wilders lately for using ATI (and not having problems), I think Acronis should have given me a free license. :)
     
  20. Kapiti

    Kapiti Registered Member

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    Friend just has the same problem with getting the Linux rescue disk to boot up using Macrium Reflect free version. It ended up just needing the "Compatibility Mode" box ticked in the advanced option and everything worked great.
    The more I play with this software the more I like it.
     
  21. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Yeah, but bgoodman4's link was to *Newegg.ca*......gotta convert that $39 to CAD.
     
  22. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Thanks but I guess I should have been a bit more specific. So, what reliable imaging s/w, other than MR, includes a WinPE 2.0 CD for ~$40?

    Symantec certainly does but, IIRC, both BackUp Exec and Ghost cost considerably more than MR. Also, I was under the impression that a VistaPE recovery disk from Paragon was only available with the Pro version (again, at a considerably higher cost than the base version).
     
  23. Karen76

    Karen76 Registered Member

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    Sorry about that; I didn't notice the sneaky rascal's link was to Newegg Canada. :) I just checked Newegg's USA site and the price for a download of ATI v11 is $31.99. Personally, I'd hold out for ATI v2009 on sale somewhere but that's just me. If I was rich, I'd simply tell my butler to order me a couple ShadowProtect licenses. ;)

    Since you focused my attention on his link, I noticed the first Newegg.ca user review for ATI v11 by a "bgoodman" (any relation?) stated v11 "was not designed for Vista" so another user shouldn't have complained about that. To the best of my recollection, ATI v10 was the first version Acronis designed to be Vista compatible and v11 surely should be. Seagate DiscWizard (a stripped down version of ATI v10) certainly worked well on my Vista PC until I upgraded to v2009 a couple months ago.
     
  24. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    Please evaluate Drive snapshotand Image for windows both (esp DS) of which i consider to be the best softwares for imaging.Ds is the least bloated of imaging apps.Any bartpe and any boot disk can work with DS.

    Out of 100 times i restored ,it has not failed even once.
     
  25. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I felt that a 20% discount was not bad and really I was just glad to be able to find the older version at all. I have read that a lot of folks feel version 11 is buggy but it has worked quite well for me and so I felt OK about advising my friend to pick up a copy of a program I was reasonably familiar with.

    On another thread someone mentioned that they were glad to have bought a copy of 2009 before seeing all the negative comments about Acronis on the Acronis forum. I must admit that that forum had initially left me a bit shaken when I first encountered it a short time ago, then I stepped back and asked myself what was going on. Why would I start doubting a program that has worked well for me for many years, it did not make sense. Now I must admit that I use ATI simply. I just image my drives to external media (scheduled incrementals), occasionally mount and unmount an image, and thats it. No secure zone, no erase etc., so perhaps that partly explains why I have had no trouble. Still, since reading the ATI forum I have decided to add a 2nd backup program to the mix. It doesn't hurt to add a layer of protection since no program is perfect (except for, from what I read, possibly the original and now defunct FirstDefense-ISR). I feel the chances of both programs, with all the backups made by both, failing at the same time, is remote.

    In the end we have to rely on our experience and take what others say with a grain of salt. Everyone has their own reasons for using or avoiding certain programs. I avoid where possible all Symantec products because of my experience with pre revamped Norton anti-virus and the tech support that I received when I was using it. Symantec products are arguably just as widely used as Acronis products and have their supporters and detractors just as Acronis does, so logically I should no more avoid them than TI (or vice versa) but I do anyway. I guess thats just the way we humans are built.
     
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