Can someone clarify functionality of Backup&Restore

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by three_jeeps, Jan 15, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. three_jeeps

    three_jeeps Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    USA
    I downloaded and installed Backup & Restore 2012 free version.

    I am under the impression that I can create and save to an external USB HD an exact image of my c: partition.

    My desire is to be able to put in a new HD, boot using the B&R recovery disk, and do a bare metal restore from the previously saved image (of my original HD) on the USB HD to the newly installed HD.

    The size of the partition on the new HD is larger than the partition on the original HD.

    Can someone clarify that B&R will infact allow me to do thiso_O?
    (have you in fact done ito_O)
    Where in the manual does it say how to do this??

    The reason I am very confused is that the manual talks about taking snapshots periodically of a live partition and then being able restore (e.g. rollback) to a previous snapshot if the partition should be corrupted. This is different than doing a bare metal restore.

    If this product cannot do the bare metal restore, what product cano_O

    Thanks
    John
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Yes it can. Runnng through the Restore wizard will do it. The new disk will look like unallocated space and the partition can be resized to fit the new disk if that is what you want.

    If you plan on doing this now, that is before your old disk dies, you are in good shape since you can make your image of the old disk and do the restore to the new disk. Should things not work as planned you still have your old disk intact.

    I'll give my usual caveats:
    Until you've done a restore you do not know with certainty that it will work on your system. This applies to any backup/restore program not just Paragon. So a test to a spare drive is a very good idea. A spare drive is recommended because if it fails you can be left with nothing on the drive being restored.

    In the free version, the bootable environment used for the restoration is Linux and it may not have suitable drivers for your system. The driver problem is more likely on very new systems or very specialized hardware. The paid versions alllow you to build a WinPE recovery CD which has benefits like Windows drivers and the ability to add special drivers.

    If you bootup the recovery CD or USB key and create the archive with it the chances of the Linux working with your system can be somewhat tested since it has to work to make the image. Verfiy the image after creation and if it verifies your chances of a successful restore are very good. If you can't verify the restore will almost certainly fail.

    Make sure all your partitions have meaningful labels. The drive letter assignement may not be what you expect but it will all be OK when the system reboots. The labels keep things straight. Another trick is to go into your BIOS and record the somwhat cryptic drive model numbers before you start as an additional piece of info to identify the drives - assuming they aren't all the same model. For a new drive you can read it off the label on the outside of the drive.
     
  3. three_jeeps

    three_jeeps Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    USA
    Great, and thank you for the addnl tips. Yes, I am planning to test the backup/restore with a bare HD...just to make sure (I've been burned before...)

    So now the question is, how do I do the backup and what settings should be in place to ensure all the components get properly copied?
    I am concerned about ensuring the MBR does get copied & restored properly as well as my C partition.

    A related question: I have a C partition that contains the win os, and a D: partition that contains my apps. Assume I restore the C: partition successfully, and the C partition on the new drive is larger than on the original drive. On the new drive I create a D: partition that is larger than the D drive of the original drive. Now I want to restore the D backup to the new D: partition.
    When I run restore, will it put the applications in the logical D: partition of the new drive, or will it try to put the applications on the disk to match the physical cylinder/sector/track, (e.g. a true disk image)?

    Thanks
    John
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Just go into the backup wizard and you will see in a tree that you can select the MBR/Track 0 as well as the partitions on the drive. You can also select the whole disk which is the MBR/Track 0 and all the partitions.

    I'm not familiar with the free version about how flexible it is for restoring to a larger unpartitioned disk. You may be able to image the whole disk and then proportionally resize or individually resize all the partitions during the restore. I've never done that with Paragon. In fact most of my restore work has been done to disks which have been pre-partitioned by Disk Management.

    Do you have a 100MB System Reserved Partition? This is most commonly seen in Vista (?), W7 or as 350MB in W8. If so it needs to be backed up and restored.

    To do the partitions individually, restore the MBR/Track 0,(then System Reserved if present) then go through and restore C changing the size to whatever you want then go and restore D changing its size as well to what you want.

    Another way, is to set up your partitions including System Reserved in advance of a restore, by plugging the drive into an operational computer and using Windows Disk Management. This method allows you to easily setup your C and D and other partitions if desired as you wish. Then do restore the MBR and partitions from your archive resizing to fill the partitions. In Disk Management you can also label your partitions such as NewC, NewD so they are more obvious.

    While the program is an imaging program it does not deal with physical addresses like tracks and sectors for restoring. In fact the restored image may well allocate files to different locations. In other words, the sector data at address ABCD may not be put back into location ABCD. The program makes any necessary adjustments to the file structure when this happens. The only way to make a "real" image is to use the RAW method which backs up every sector in the partition, not just the "in-use" sectors. If there is a large amount of unallocated space this will take extra (often a lot of) time and will increase the archive size considerably. It is not recommended for normal operations.
     
  5. three_jeeps

    three_jeeps Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    USA
    Again, thank you for taking the time to explain the finer details of the program.

    I am primarily working with XP and my methodology is to create 3 separate partitions: c: OS, d: Apps, e: data. This partitioning has a number of advantages over M$ monolithic (stupid?) approach to system installation & management.
    I remap all of M$ 'helpful' directories (Documents, Pictures, etc) to the e: drive (data). In the past, I have had the luxury of an attached, spare HD that I would occasionally update the bit image of the original installed system disk.
    Things have changed, I am now looking at machine image backups on to several NASs and now I am looking at programs like Paragon. I have also used Ghost in the past, but want to look at some other options.

    I have been working with W7 quite a bit, but our IT dept has locked it down so much that I only use it to read my email. I haven't had to deal with management of that machine. I did not know about the System Reserved Partition - will make a note to back that up if I deal with Win7 mgmt.

    I have migrated to a Mac and have installed a VM where I run Slackware where I can do all my work unimpeded by either Windoz annoying prompts or our IT walls.

    I'll take some time to explore the backup/restore options, together with your comments, and see how it goes...I may return a little later with some additional points that may need to be clarified.

    -John
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    I agree with the usefulness of partitioning but disagree a bit with splitting the OS and apps. Given the entries in the registry and the inclusion of files on the C drive in many cases even when the app is installed to a different drive care has to be made to keep the 2 partitions in sync. For this reason I just put them both on C. The exception to this rule is for large games that rarely if ever change. No point in backing up GBs of unchanged files.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.