Backup Software Alternatives

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by BobT36, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. BobT36

    BobT36 Registered Member

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    Hi guys, I bought Acronis True Image 11 as I was hoping to be able to "image" my hard drive (or whatever it is where you can basically just click fingers and have everything back to the way it was in the event of hardware failure, formatting and data loss and so on) but all I'm getting is the "Backup archive is corrupt" message during validation after trying to create a backup.

    I posted about this but got no answers, and I've scanned round the forum and ensured I've ran chkdsk, memtest and all that sorta thing but still no go, seems just about anything could apparently cause this "corruption" or the fact that if theres apparently one bad checksum in a gigabyte of data (I have about 200gb I need to backup so thats a HIGH chance) than it gives the corrupt message and the backup fails.

    So basically acronis seems to be a piece of c*** and won't allow me to backup my system, (I'm scared of RAID 0 or one of my HDs failing at some point in the future and losing my >200gb and installed programs and the rest) and even if it did I don't think I'd feel secure and be worrying that it wouldn't actually restore right as apparently a host of problems can be encounted there as well.

    Now I'm looking into alternatives to something that can provide equal services to what acronis (apparently) does, in backing up my entire system including programs, drivers, the lot to my external 500gb harddrive, and then let me easy restore my entire data in the event of something failing without me having to go reinstalling everything.

    Any suggestions? I've heard a few people mention shadowprotect, and I know Norton ghost is bad but I've heard very bad reports about that as well.

    And yeah, I'll need something that supports RAID 0.

    System Specs:

    Model: XPS 720 H2C
    Operating System: 32bit Windows XP Professional
    Processor: Intel® Core™ Quad-Core Processor QX6850 (3.46GHz,1333MHz,8MB cache)
    Graphics Card: DUAL 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800GTX graphics cards with SLI.
    Monitor: 20" Widescreen Dell E207WFP, 1680x1050, DVI - & - 15" Dell E151FPp, 1024x768, VGA-DVI adapter.
    Memory: 4gb Dual Channel DDR2 EPP 800MHz [4x1024]
    Hard Drive: 1TB Serial ATA RAID 0 Stripe (2x500GB 7200rpm drives with DataBurst™ cache)
    Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi Xtreme PCI Soundcard
    Power Supply: 1KW Power Supply
    Other Cards: AGEIA® PhysXTM physics accelerator, D-link DWA 556 Xtreme N PCIe wireless adapter.
     
  2. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I have never had a problem with Acronis TI (I use version :cool:. I also like Image for Windows, which can be found here. IFW does byte for byte verification, which I haven't seen any other product do, so that might help you.
     
  3. Cosmo 203

    Cosmo 203 Registered Member

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    I had the same problem with Acronis. It always told me, that the images are corrupt. On a test machine I found, that Acronis at first deleted the partition, that should get restored from an image and then stopped. So the system was now definitely broken. (As said, test machine, no problem.) Than I tried DriveImage XML and it worked perfectly. I stored the images on the same place, where I had told Acronis to store them and with several tries they where all readable. After that one try again with Acronis, again with corrupted files.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    BobT36,

    Everyone has their preference. I've used most and none have failed to image or restore. Some have a better/worse reputation than others. My current favourite is Image for Windows. It's a five click image /restore if that's all you want to do but it can be customized in so many ways. I'm interested in unattended image restores for software problems. You mentioned "where you can basically just click fingers and have everything back to the way it was". That's what it can do. Double click a shortcut and that happens. If your HD fails then you do a conventional restore from a recovery CD. But restores for software issues are done fifty times more often than restores for HD failure.

    Just find an app that you have faith in and does what you want. You don't want to lose 200 GB of data.
     
  5. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    BoB,

    If you do a forum search "Backup archive is corrupt"-you will find plenty of Acronis support answers.

    Probably it would be best for you to initially find a solution to your problem.
     
  6. BobT36

    BobT36 Registered Member

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    As I mentioned Hairy, I did have a look round and found PLENTY of problems about the Image is corrupted message, but not so many answers. Also I find it quite amusing Acronis support has just replied to my topic minutes after me posting this, with a reponse asking me to do what I've already stated I've done. :p

    Most of the answers or "solutions" were to run memtest and chkdsk, both of which I mentioned I'd already ran in my problem post, as well as saving the image to my internal HDs just to test whether it was my External USB drive that was the problem, (I even disconnected it to fully rule it out) but no go, as said if its due to a checksum failing (apparently over 4k are run on each gig) than thats basically 1 in 800000 that could bodge it, (I have around 200gb of data) which is probably whats happening. Also one post even stated corruption problems could be due to the computers going too fast, and if ya look at my specs then, that could be a problem I cant really solve if its true lol.

    Anyways thanks for the suggestions guys, and yeah I'm normally ok with software and so on and watch what I'm doing, its just I'm absolutely petrified of RAID failing on me, (My two 500gb HDs are in RAID 0 so if one goes, it all goes) when I've got craploads of assignment work on, where I definately wouldn't have the time to reinstall my programs, it took me weeks when I got this computer lol.

    So yeah, just a program to save the hassle of reinstalling/setting up everything again, including drivers and the lot if anything critical goes wrong, replace the part or whatever, whap in a boot CD, click a button/run a program and bang, its all back.

    If those two programs, Driveimage XML and Image for windows can do that, I'll look into them and see how they run, as long as they both support windows XP pro 32, and RAID 0 then all will be well if they actually work, any idea which is the better out of the two and has the most success rate? Or is it basically just personal preference.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  7. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    OK Bob,

    You may find Shadow Protect's layout similar in use and feel,plus of course its other legendary well known advantages,including industrial strength reliability :D

    Suggest the first step would be to try out the likely candidates.

    Try out SP by installing the full trial version available here

    edit-RAID shouldnt be a problem -at least one member is using RAID 0 and SP with full capabilities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    BobT36,

    DriveImageXML is freeware and you get what you pay for. It works but it's three times slower than all other imaging software. There was another disadvantage, an irritation, but I can't recall at present. I do remember telling myself to avoid it.

    You mentioned your Uni assignments. You probably already do this. Back them up with a data backup program rather than relying on an image. This can be done in minutes as opposed to hours for an image. And you can have multiple backups of the important data. And in native format so you know it's not corrupted.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I would concur with Hair Coo. I've beaten Shadowprotect hard, when I was doing some beta testing. Never has failed. I do use Raid 0. I've done hardware independent restores where I've restored different raid's onto the main machine, and then restored the machine back to original condition. All worked flawlessly.

    Plus if you need an ongoing image through out the day, you can't beat the continous incremental feature.

    Pete
     
  10. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    I have used Paragon Hard Drive Manager & Hard Drive Backup with good results.
     
  11. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    One more vote for Shadowprotect. I´ve done many (maybe 40) restores with it since I bought it last summer. Never had a single issue with it, it just works, first time every time. I know that's much more than normal but I have done some wild experimenting.
    The restores are so fast (~35GB=11minutes on my machine) and easy so I´ve become lazy basicly :)
    I dont like their licensing policy though, but since the damn software is so good I´ll accept it...

    Another one extremely reliable image software ime is Image for win/Image for Dos. Very basic and not as fast as Shadowprotect, but delivers what it promises.
     
  12. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    Thanks to Brian's help, I have Image For Windows setup in exactly the same way so I simply double-click a shortcut and about 6 minutes later it's automatically done the restore and has rebooted to the password prompt :) I can re-image at any time from within Windows.

    I haven't got around to it yet, but I'm going to write a small app/AutoIt script which will allow me to use IFW/SPD in a way similar to ISR software (ie. create snapshot, restore snapshot, view snapshots etc.).

    I also have ShadowProtect which is slightly faster, and has the great/unique ability to add/remove files from an image.

    EDIT: I'm using on-board RAID0 and RAID1 and haven't come into any problems, apart from some dodgy RAM which was causing SPD backups to be corrupt (not SPD fault). After replacing the RAM, I have had no more problems.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Defenestration,

    I've continued my work on unattended restores. It's possible with....

    IFW
    IFD
    Drive SnapShot
    Ghost 2003
    Ghost32.exe

    Do you think it can be done with ShadowProtect? That would be interesting.

    Were the IFW backups corrupt as well? I'm not sure what it means if they weren't. How did you determine that the backups were corrupt?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2008
  14. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    Yes, almost definitely. I haven't looked in detail, but SPD can be controlled through a script using DCOM interfaces. It's a bit more complicated, but there were some sample scripts posted by Nate in the following forum thread (10th post)

    http://forum.storagecraft.com/Community/forums/p/413/1935.aspx


    I only had one corrupt backup with IFW. Due to SPD's faster imaging speed, it would appear that this placed more stress on the system resulting in many more corrupt backups.
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It looks like I edited while you were typing.

     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I was interested to see those scripts. They are pretty much the same ones he supplied to me in a thread I started in September last year. About the Verify function. He offers incredible service.
     
  17. Stijnson

    Stijnson Registered Member

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    Acronis TI creates .tib files when doing a backup.
    How does IFW work? Are backups also contained to one file? Is it possible to save these backups to an external HD?
    I noticed they are also offering free utilities for IFW. Are they needed or can one manage with the main program itself?

    And one final question: Can I install both IFW and TI (v10 currently installed) on my pc?
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Stijnson,

    IFW/IFD (ver 2) has a .tbi file format. The image can be created as a single file or can be split into custom defined sizes. Images can be written to internal and external HDs or optical media. The optical media are bootable.

    They are not needed. TeraByte has a lot of free software modules. They are fun to use and handy at times.

    I don't know. My guess is there would be no problem.
     
  19. Stijnson

    Stijnson Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian! :thumb:
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Since my bad experience with ShadowProtect and ATI, both installed on the same PC under Windows, I install only one Image Backup software on my computer.
     
  21. Stijnson

    Stijnson Registered Member

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    That does seem the right way to go. I was just wondering if there were any known compatibility issues.
     
  22. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I know for a fact that ATI and SP don't like eachother and it has been confirmed by support of SP.
    SP can reboot suddenly during making a backup due to the presence of ATI and your backup file of SP is corrupted of course.
    There is technical explanation for this, but I always forget them, because I'm not a techy.

    If you want to use SP and ATI, don't install them, but use their Recovery CD.

    Although I never had a problem with ATI, it had a glitch two times, while ShadowProtect is perfect.
     
  23. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    The SPD images were all created with the SPD recovery environment and verified successfully after the image was created. I also mounted the image successfully. However, when I later tried to restore the image using the recovery environment, it failed. I then tried to verify and that also failed. Can't remember if I tried to mount the image. I also tried verifying with SPD within Windows (ie. not the recovery environment) and that failed. However, the IFW images had no such trouble and verified and restored successfully, apart from the one occasion.
     
  24. RAD

    RAD Registered Member

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    If you search for numerous of my prior posts, you can see my evolution from hopeful beginner to realizing that ATI simply does not work as advertised with Windows Vista.

    Since that time, I have wrung out Paragon Drive Backup 8.51 thoroughly. It works perfectly as advertized and you can try it for free with their download demo, which is the same as the latest full package, but with a 30 day license. It has already saved my system at least half a dozen times due to failed Vista SP1 installation attempts. Their tech support actually answers questions with intelligent answers.

    Also, if desired, it is one of those that you don't even need to install: just run it from the recovery disk. I installed mine, however, for convenience.

    All imaging softwares claim to have a lot of great features and look like they are 'protecting" you.....until it is time to restore. It is the RESTORE part that is the real test. :D

    I can vouch for PDB 8.51.
     
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I find that fascinating. Nate did say we should verify our images at regular intervals after they have been created. I think I'll start doing it.

    When you discovered the bad RAM, were the images failing to verify immediately after they were created?
     
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