Comodo Time Macine & Imaging

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TerryWood, Nov 13, 2009.

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  1. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi All

    I posted in Comodo forums no reply so I feel no obligation to continue there It is like sleepwalking with Zombies.

    I have one or two questions based on the fact that I have read somewhere in the CTM forums that you lose your snapshots when you upgrade to another version of CTM. If this is correct here are the questions.

    1) Is it possible to use imaging software like ShadowProtect and or Macrium Reflect to take an image of a CTM snapshot that can later be restored?

    2) Is it possible to take an image all the snapshots individually by switching from one to the other?

    3) Is it possible to take a collective image of ALL the snapshots at one go?

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  2. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hi Terry,

    While I'm a Rollback Rx and not a CTM user, from what I can tell they are quite simlar in operation. With that assumption, the answers to your 3 questions are yes, yes and yes. I practice the 3rd approach, but before jumping for joy, be aware of the following:

    Method 3 works best with a relatively small C-partition (mine is 16GB). With large system partitions, backups can take quite a bit of time and storage space, so it becomes less practical.

    Be aware that all Windows disk-imagers typically backup used-sectors only (i.e. sectors that Windows knows are being used). The rub is that Windows can't see the sectors being used by apps like CTM and RB, so in order get method 3 to work you need a disk-imager that provides an All-Sectors backup mode. Some other names for this mode of operation are Maintenance Mode, Raw and Sector-by-Sector.

    The 2nd requirement to accomplish method 3 is that you must not run the backup from within Windows. You have to run it after booting into a 'Live' OS, like DOS, WinPE or Linux. So you need a disk-imager that offers that option as well.

    Hth,
    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  3. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron

    Thanks for your help

    Does "backing up unused sectors" count as the equivalent of Raw mode to achieve question 3) in my previuos post?

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  4. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron

    Can you explain the differences in approach to imaging

    a) taking an image of all the snapshots individually by switching from one to the other?

    b) taking a collective image of ALL the snapshots at one go?

    ie Whats the procedure to get an image of just one Comodo Time Machine Snapshot and then whats the procedure to get all the snapshots in one image?

    Thank you very much for your help

    Terry
     
  5. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    hi there Terry

    from my experience i may advice you to skip method 3 , in my case it corrupted all my snaps , force me restore from an image (lucky me i got one in handy before made this operation)

    cheers
     
  6. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    No. You must backup all sectors (used and unused).


    Well again let me couch my answers by repeating that I'm assuming CTM functions similarly to Rollback Rx (judging from demoneye's reply they may be considerably different)! :doubt:

    Using Rollback Rx, method a) would be extremely time-consuming (and confusing), so it wouldn't make any sense to consider doing that.

    In Rollback Rx, you can make a backup image of your current snapshot (i.e., the current system state) by simply running the disk-image program from within Windows. However, upon restoring that snapshot you would find that RB (CTM) is no longer installed and would have to be re-installed. Also upon restoring, all of your other snapshots would be gone!

    I already explained (in my first reply) how to capture all snapshots in one image (i.e. 'method 3') ....tell me what part of my explanation you didn't understand and needs clarification.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  7. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for that insightful explanation. However I may have a problem performing that procedure with my image-backup program, Symantec Ghost, as Ghost's recovery bootdisk doesn't seem to offer the option to backup! Would you (or anyone else) know of a way of using Ghost to backup my system including all snapshots?

    Wendi
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  8. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Wendi,

    I am not too familiar with recent editions of Norton Ghost, but from what I've read Symantec, in their 'infinite wisdom', hasn't included the backup task in their recovery boot disk since Ghost v8 (2003).

    Perhaps a more knowledgeable Ghost user will chime-in...

    Aaron
     
  9. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron

    Just to be absolutely clear about your replies given so far:

    1) In the case of a single snapshot you dont need to use RAW mode but its better to backup from a boot CD ie outside of Windows?

    2) If you want to backup multiple snapshots you need to use RAW mode plus backing up from outside Windows?

    Please correct any misunderstanding

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  10. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    TerryWood i may advice you to buy (if You intend to) eaz fix which include disk imaging inside in same price as RB , its big advantage over RB is when You back up current snap it will make any Eaz Fix remaining gone upon restore :)
    or just use Comodo time machine (free) its faster than both of them hehe :D

    cheers
     
  11. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Terry,

    As I mentioned before, my experience is with Rollback Rx (RB). That said, here are the answers to the above questions:

    1) In the case of capturing a single snapshot, it is not better to backup from a boot CD outside of Windows. If you do that, you will wind up capturing the baseline snapshot and not the current snapshot. If you want to capture only your current snapshot you must backup from within Windows! Furthermore, in the case of capturing a single snapshot, using raw mode would 1)serve no purpose, 2)take longer, and 3)consume more backup storage space.

    2) Your statement is correct. In addition to that, only this method preserves the RB environment, precluding the need to reinstall RB after restoring the image!

    Hth,
    Aaron

    PS. Re CTM, it is my understanding that it's still a beta product. On my systems I would not trust a beta for any critically important functions!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  12. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    demoneye,

    The image backup program included with Eaz-Fix does not have any advantage over other independent disk-imagers and it's more limited in that it does not provide an all-sectors (raw) mode of operation! :thumbd:

    Aaron
     
  13. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

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    Well that's what I'm seeing (or should I say, not seeing?). Since no one else has offered a solution, I guess I just can't use Ghost v14 to make a backup from it's recovery CD. :(

    Which imaging program would you suggest for this purpose?

    Wendi
     
  14. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

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    Hi Wendi. I use the Acronis Home v.11 recovery CD exclusively for offline image backup and recovery. I don't like the Windows installed Acronis program because of "features" I don't need or use. The recovery CD does all I need including recognizing USB drives. Hope this gives you another option.

    SourMilk out
     
  15. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Wendi

    I am a Shadowprotect user. For standard imaging and recovery, the CD is good by itself. I install though to take advantage of SP's continuous incrementals, which are a neat feature.

    Pete
     
  16. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    you 100% right , but if u are a RB/EF user it remove any trace after full image recovery , this thing must be taken under consideration when choosing a backup software under rb/ef environment :)

    cheers
     
  17. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    demoneye,

    I'm sorry, but I truly don't get the point you are trying to make here! :doubt:

    Aaron
     
  18. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Well I use Drive Snapshot, but most any disk-imager that provides a raw backup mode from a live boot CD should work. It should also allow compression of the raw backup in order to mimimize the resulting image-size.

    Wendi, if you will hang tight for a little while I am about to conducting a test of a free disk-imager that has real promise!

    Aaron
     
  19. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    its simple , i will write more clearly , eaz fix got a build in backup software ok? nice , it backup with out any trace of eaz fix after you need to restore the image:)

    so its the best solution IMO to all eaz /rb users .
     
  20. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Demoneye

    You have put in another way what I have been trying to both get accross and establish facts across several forums.

    Whilst Comodo have been beavering away, first dropping DiskShield then developing CTM, I am far from sure that anyone at Comodo has actually thought things through.

    You either believe that CTM will be so fool proof that you will not need bare metal recovery imaging, or like me you are asking the questions of lots of people "How do we do we CTM and Image safely"

    There has been deathly silence in the Comodo forums. I learnt quite a bit from Aaron Here in this forum, but from what he says and my "practices" with CTM and imaging, it is to say the least not foolproof and definitely problematic.

    At this stage from my perspective, attractive though CTM is, I am not sure that as yet there is a case to be made for it. At least until Comodo addresses the issue of communicating how we should use CTM with imaging software. Or whether they are going to incorporate softare in CTM to make seamless imaging like AYRecovery and I think Rollback RX.

    There are many who criticise the system restore function in Win XP but at least when you do a backup you get the "snapshots" with it. At the moment if you want "belt and braces" by using CTM and Imaging software you have to jump through hoops.

    I am not sure the loyal Comodo crowd will suffer the inconveniences for long.

    That said, and in fairness to CTM it works very well. I am just nervous.

    Terry

    ps Thanks to all those who helped me gain insite it the issues I pose above
     
  21. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    So you are saying if I set an XP restore point, which by default AyRecovery (these apps are alike, in fact hasn't it been mentioned that Comodo is using AyR code?) has disabled, I have another backup option? That would work for me!
     
  22. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Re: Comodo Time Machine & Imaging

    Hi Ratchet

    I thought I'd made it pretty clear, but I'll have another go.

    I am simply saying that, whilst XP restore is not perfect, the snapshots it produces can be backed up (Imaged) seamlessly at the same time as the operating system. This is not currently the case with CTM even Rollback as I understand it.

    So when the superlatives are flying about in respect of CTM & Rollback & AYRecovery, users need to show some perspective and care. Because, from my limited exposure to CTM I see it is a bit " fragile". If you put that and the lack of ease of imaging then it becomes less than impressive.

    Win XP Restore snapshots are dead simple to backup, its the reliability of restore that is the problem.

    Hope thats clearer

    Terry
     
  23. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    Re: Comodo Time Machine & Imaging

    My mistake, I understand, the snap softwares or System Restore.
     
  24. demoneye

    demoneye Registered Member

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    hi TerryWood

    as few ppl mention before, you can use drive snapshot or shadow defender outside windows, making a working all snap backup.
    at this moment officially niter eazf/rb nor ctm got any on their own solution to backup all snaps :)

    chers
     
  25. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Wendi,

    As promised, I think you will find a solution in this thread.

    Aaron
     
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