Corruption solution found and review backup software

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by agent86, Nov 7, 2004.

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  1. agent86

    agent86 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
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    Ok I have spent days at this so you might save some time :rolleyes:

    I have 3 SATA hard Drives and running Windows XP Pro.

    I have moved images around a bit over time.

    One drive was in a Raid 0 setup previously.

    I was able to create images no problems on Drive C but on the second Data drive the images would create but check image would show corrupt.

    I could explore the image but some files would not restore or be viewable like a lot of jpg photos.

    I had previously used Ghost 9 because unlike Acronis it supports my Adaptec 1210SA SATA Raid card (hint hint :) Unfortunatly to get more than two SATA drives on a computer requires a SATA card and to date they are all some sort of Raid card. I found a Silicone Image card that eventualy worked with TI8 but back to that later. I found Ghost 9 worked fine with both Raid cards but would also fail on verify. I was going nuts over this and had uninstalled and reinstalled both programs countless times. It apeared random but frequently enough not to trust the backup.

    I next pulled out Retrospect www.retrospect.com which is a file based backup. This started me onto the way of fault finding because unlike TI8 and Ghost 9 it had a proper event log (Big Hint guys) I found that backing up 30 or so files would show an error in the log. I did not understand the error but it was enough to start seeing the problems were limited to a few files. The crazy thing was each backup showed different files. Now I had about 100G of photos and 20G of Data so all this proceedure took some time. Longer than it should have because I was new to Hot backups.

    After pulling my hear out and cursing the backup industry I pulled out a 200G IDE drive. I put my photos onto it as one partition and the other 100G was for the image. It took a while because of the read / write on the same drive but all software applications worked. A partition copy was not good enough I had to create the partition and copy and paste the files.

    Summary of many wasted hours.

    Don't always blame the software.

    Ghost 9
    Positive
    Supports any raid drive from the boot disk that windows does.
    Does a verify after the backup so you are not guessing about the integrity of your backup.

    Negative
    Even on a very fast computer the Recovery enviroment takes a long time from the CD.
    I could browse to the computers on my network but could not find anyway to access the shared drives. I kept getting permission problems. I tried mapping drives and kept complaining about already in use. I spent about 3 hours reading the newsgroups and trying different strategies. Yes my network had WORKGRUP as default because Norton believe that is how it should be. From what I read it looks like at least in a peer to peer network Ghost 9 is useless to recover across the network. Not something you need when you are in a rush to get the computer up and going.

    Retrospect
    Positive
    Excelent event and transaction logging.
    Far more flexability on media.
    Far more confidence of a reliable backup.
    Multiple backup media available, it seems to work with the broadest range of media and redundancy is good.
    Customisation is fantastic.

    Negative
    Takes time to learn and understand.
    Full restore of failed system would take a lot longer.
    Not sure of the system state option for the OS and how that would compare to a hot image backup but does have a lock or logout for Outlook and if you are a heavy outlook user that is good. The help file recommends shutting any unused applications down but I guess that makes sense for any backup but I think TI8 may take some sort of snapshot at the start and monitor changes so it has a frozen point of time. (Anyone with a clearer understanding feel free to explain how hot backups of partitions work when they are dynamic)
    Backups take longer.
    Less efficient on space as any change in a file like my 700M outlook pst file would cause a full file backup each time. With the drive imaging only changes are backed up.

    True Image 8
    Good
    Fast to backup or restore under the boot disk, infact it was the only one that allows backup under the CD.

    Browse to backup or restore over the network is intuitive and works great.

    If a backed up partition was say 20G and had only 10G of use then you could restore to 10G which gives a lot more flexability especialy if you don't have an identical drive and need to get going fast or if you made a poor choice in partition size when you started making images.
    Works with older versions of windows. Ghost 9 only works with Windows 2000 or better.

    Negative.
    Does not have good support of RAID cards and I guess other hardware may be an issue.

    Does not do a verify or check the image after the backup. Their is a manual option but who has time to check images every day, this seems a trivial operation to automate so why is this not in TI8, both Ghost 9 and Retrospect do a verify. Infact verify of backups is mandatory as far as I am concerned. If I installed Acronis and did not do a verify I would not know I had this problem untill I needed the corrupt images. Why would you verify before restoring but not after backup. What are Acronis thinking?

    No CD or DVD backup!

    True image - What I think it should have to be truely great.

    1. Event logging with email at the end to indicate the process, not uncommon with backup software.
    2. VERIFY image at the end of the backup!
    3. Better driver support especialy now SATA Raid devices are very common.
    4. Burn to DVD or CD directly.

    I have not compared the time between TI and Ghost but I did not notice either being unduey long for what they were doing. Reliability was my main concern and rightly so. You can have every feature and blistering speed but that is pointless if the backup is corrupt or difficult to restore (Ghost 9) when you need it. If you buy and Icecream and put it in your freezer and then go to get it out and the freezer is not working all you will get is a mess and a empty stick. Backups are a necessary evil but when you need them you realy need them to be reliable. I think I have repeated this enough :D

    I hope this is of some use and may save someone days or even the misfortune of an unchecked corrupt image. I hope Acronis can take on board the observations and difficulties I found to improve the product. I am not a newbie and have done real server based backups on Tapes that cost a fortune but even though I have had 25 years of messing with computers and am the point of contact for many this experience shows why many people have faulty backups or just don't bother. I wonder how many people check their backups proactivly?

    If you got this far well done *puppy*

    Ps I will have to re purchase TI8. I got a refund with little fuss when I originaly blamed the software. I also got a nice email asking if they could help. TI have a forum even if the official Admin is a bit dry and asks people to email issues. You get fast email replies.

    Compare that to Symantec who don't even try.
     
  2. Steve Mattos

    Steve Mattos Guest

    Are you saying the "image archive is corrupt" error is due to certain files located on the source drive? How did you determin which files were causing the problem? Did you identify a pattern to the problem files?

    Thank you.
     
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