Defragging & RVS info

Discussion in 'Returnil releases' started by StevieO, Aug 28, 2009.

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  1. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Coldmoon

    Scheduled defragging questions and answers, allowed yes or no. If yes but with provisos, please state what these are.


    1 - Vista = ?

    2 - XP = ?


    Please fill in the ?

    Does this include scheduled defragging on shutdown etc, for eg the page file ?


    I think this could be included in the Sticky thread above so people can immediately notice it, as there must be many people who are, or could find themselves in deep doo with this unresolved issue, unless they take the appropiate precautions.

    Thanx
     
  2. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    When RVS virtualization is active, DO NOT SCHEDULE OR ALLOW disk defragmentation regardless of Operating System. In Windows XP, this is more of a manual process. In Vista and Win 7 however, automatic defragmentation is a a default setting so required a more forceful alert and recommendation than with XP.

    Done

    Mike
     
  3. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    I don't see Particular mention of " scheduled defragging on shutdown etc, for eg the page file " in the Sticky yet ?

    Some people might presume you are still only talking about general defragging !

    Thanx
     
  4. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    The issue is not scheduling a defragmentation or when it is scheduled StevieO, it is about performing ANY defragmentation while RVS's virtualization is active.

    The Windows pagefile is irrelevant to this discussion...

    Mike
     
  5. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    " Not performing ANY defragmentation while RVS's virtualization is active "

    Understood


    " Windows pagefile defragging irrelevant "

    Really, i would have thought defragging is defragging whatever type. But if you say so.

    Thanx
     
  6. hawk50

    hawk50 Registered Member

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    Hi Coldmoon,

    I am new to your forum so i hope this is where i should post this reply.
    I wish i had seen this warning earlier.
    About a month or two ago i tried Returnil 3.0 on my Vista 64 Bit System.
    I use O&O Defrag 11 Prof. and is set to auto. About Five-Ten minutes in to the trial my system shut down and when it rebooted i got the BSOF.
    I was not able to re-image or even get past that Blue Screen. I had to take it to BB, they install a new hard drive after hours of trying to fix the problem. ( Boy was I glad i had warranty). I am now Leary of this program, after reading this warning i will try it again with O&O turned off.
    Thanks for the heads up.
     
  7. estervantes

    estervantes Registered Member

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    I also had the same problem Returnil and defragmentation. With a new Vista system I was unaware of the default automatic defragmentation scheduling with consequence that the system shut down and I wasn't able to reboot. I was also unable to restore an image. The hard drive had to be replaced.

    The issue should be dramatically highlighted for users of Returnil when installing the program.
     
  8. hawk50

    hawk50 Registered Member

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    Hi Coldmoon,
    I think this warning should be part of the installation process.
    I did not fine out about this problem until i was in deep trouble and a new hard drive.
    I am not sure, but i think the average user would not find out about this site (warning) until to late.
    Also when i reported it to tech support they told me next time contact them and they may be able to save my system?
    Never mentioned anything about this defragg problem. I told them i was afraid of a next time.

    Thank you for your hard work and fast response.
     
  9. SammyJack

    SammyJack Registered Member

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    Wow,estervantes,and Hawk 50,really bad experence.
    I agree considering the magnitude of the threat,I thank this should be in BIG BOLD letters on install. Particularly with the behavior of the newer operating systems.
    My only question is,were the HD's really trashed,or because you were,thank God,under warranty,this was the quickest/easiest,way to go?
     
  10. estervantes

    estervantes Registered Member

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    I don't know the technical reasons as to why the HD was replaced. The Dell technician said there there serious disc problems, the data was irrecoverable and that a new HD would be provided under warranty. I wonder if they would have been so ready to replace the HD under warranty had they been aware that software I installed might have been responsible. I read of others who were able to restore an image onto the affected drive, but that seems not to have been an possible in my situation. It does seem strange that software could cause disc problems such that new hardware needed to be installed. Perhaps it is as you suggest might have happened; it was perhaps just easier for them to replace the drive.
     
  11. hawk50

    hawk50 Registered Member

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    After the geek squad tried for almost four hour they and the Microsoft tech said they could not retrieve any data and they would have to replace the hard drive.
    I received an email from returnil tech support and they told me they may have been able to retrieve it. They said the geek squad nor Microsoft knew how to retrieve the lost data.
    I am not sure but after reading this forum and seeing this alert i am convinced retunial was the cause. Auto defragg and returnil seems to be the formula for the crash.
    They said if it happened again to let them know.
    I told them i am afraid of there program if it has the potential to mess my system that bad. It was a good program while it lasted.
    I wrote to there tech support last night about my concerns.
    Will post when i get a reply.
    Good luck and make sure you follow coldmoon warning.
     
  12. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    Hi,
    Some clarification needs to be injected here and I apologize for not posting earlier. RVS is stable in both release (2x) and the betas (LABS & 2010). The only issue here is one where defragmentation takes place while you are in a virtual session (System Protection is on - 2x/LABS or System Safe is on - 3x). If the virtualization is off, there is no issue whatsoever...

    This issue has a great deal of discussion in may threads in the RVS forums starting with the 1.7x series and in other threads discussing the same potential for damage with all ISR solutions in other sections of Wilders.

    The solution for this is to simply not allow any defragemntation program to run while RVS protection is active whether it be Microsoft or a third party program. This fix will be included in the release of 2010 and will shortly be available in a working beta for public testing.

    Mike
     
  13. estervantes

    estervantes Registered Member

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    First, let me note that Returnil is an excellent product that I have used successfully without issue for many years on my XP system. Moreover, Coldmoon has been diligent and tireless in supporting this forum.

    With Vista there are problems because, as has been noted, Vista by default and unbeknown to many (most??) users, schedules disc defragmentation.

    With hindsight, it seems that it would have been prudent for Retuirnil to

    (1.) have warned users of this potential problem during installation and

    (2.), perhaps, to have programmed into the product a mechanism for overriding auto-defrag. scheduling in Vista while Retuirnil is operative.

    I don't know when this issue became apparent to Returnil technicians, but given the seriousness of this problem, the announcement and warning on this forum late in August was a bit late in the day.
     
  14. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    Hi estervantes,
    This is planned to be included in the release version of 2010 as well as stronger wording in the user's manual.

    This is the current solution being worked on now.

    Defragmentation of a disk while being virtualized (or shadowed if you will) has been known and discussed quite extensively (for RVS going back to at least 2007 here at Wilders). The previous discussions however were for third party defragmentation programs on Windows XP where defragmentation using the native Windows feature was usually a manual process.

    Win Vista and 7 however introduced better native capability that we have always been aware of, at least from a technical POV. The thing we did not adequately anticipate and address in a timely manor was to realize that most users would not necessarily understand that this was now automated in their new OS. So this is not a failure to recognize and understand Windows and our own programs, but one where we failed to anticipate that the user would not deactivate this option in Windows...

    Mike
     
  15. hawk50

    hawk50 Registered Member

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    Hi,
    Estervantes, that was my point exactly. My issue was not how stable or anything of that nature, I just felt something of this magnitude needed a better warning. But Coldmoon has now explained this issue very well. Tech support also told me they were addressing the issue. They gave me more links to track their progress. Coldmoon thank you and Tech support for such a fast response. It must be a big job trying to keep up with all this traffic.
    The program looks very interesting and i liked the concept, so i will give it an other try.
    With Defragg off of course. Now that i am more educated on the nature of forums, It will help me in the future.
     
  16. hawk50

    hawk50 Registered Member

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    Hi Estervantes,
    Not sure if you are aware but one of the links i received from tech support is fore facebook.
    They are offering free license for 12 months for the first 1000 Facebook fans! I just signed up for it and i think the count was around 788.
    Take care.
     
  17. estervantes

    estervantes Registered Member

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  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Couple of comments. First no way I believe the hard drives were physically damaged, but not surprised an image couldn't be restored. Also not surprised that any of the standard tech support folks could diagnose the problem.

    Thru a painful experience, I've learned that if the partition table gets badly corrupted, then the disk can really seem trashed. When I did it, I couldn't even boot to a Windows CD. What worked for me was BootitNG, which was well able to see that partition table and delete it. That done, I could restore an image. Failing that my next step would have been a disk mfg utility to zero the drives. Lengthy but would have also worked.

    Unfortunately one of the prices of using some of the neat programs like Returnil, is having a basic understanding of how they work and what you can and can't do.

    Ideally Returnil should be able to scan and turn off any defraggers, but then some will object to that.

    Pete
     
  19. renegade08

    renegade08 Registered Member

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    I don't see why someone would want to use defragger during the protection is On. It makes no sense (at least to me). Except for forgotten scheduled defragging or auto defragging.
    From what i have read here (sorry i haven't used Returnil recently and i'm not familiar with all features) if someone tries to do defragmentation while protection is On in Returnil he will get corrupted PC?

    IMO when using this kind of software (light virtualization), the best thing is to exit of virtual state, update necessary security tools (if any: AV, AS,), do cleaning with Optimization tool, and at last defrag and go again in Virtual mode.
    That will take only couple of minutes daily.


    Light virtualization

    Light Virtualization - the first year
     
  20. estervantes

    estervantes Registered Member

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    Hi renegade08

    No, of course no one wants to defrag a virtualized drive. The consequences of doing so are severe damage to the data organization of the disc. and even if it could be accomplished safely, it would be of no benefit.

    The question is : should a program install without a warning that on the DEFAULT system settings it will severely corrupt the system?

    The answer to that question seems obvious - no!! And especially so given that Vista in this respect acts differently to what users were accustomed to with XP.


    Peter2150

    Turning off auto defrag. in a virtual state needn't be automatic if some object but provided as a choice for the user. But why would anyone want a choice here? There is no benefit to having auto defrag. scheduling while the drive is virtualized. Turning off scheduled defragging while Returnil is active needn't apply while Returnil is off.
     
  21. kimotheraphy

    kimotheraphy Registered Member

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    My experience: I've had many roller coaster rides with Returnil, with many system corruptions, restoring my system with image backups when it happens, and then starting the journey all over again. There would be periods of happily using Returnil and then BAM! > System Screwed Again... Being none too tech-savvy, I was quite clueless as to why the occasional screw-up occurred. I did scan the forums, but there were so many posts that I couldn't narrow down what the problem was.

    Nevertheless, I was not too worried about the system corruptions as I thought my Image Backups using Lenovo's Rescue & Recovery would dig me out of any hole.. Until one day in May 2009, when my Thinkpad BSOD upon bootup after using Returnil in Session Enabled mode the night before. My Thinkpad kept looping into BSOD at bootup and I could not access the Lenovo Rescue & Recovery program to access my image backups.. Even pressing the Thinkvantage blue recovery button which would normally access the hidden recovery partition would not work! In a panic, I ran through all the possible options I could try and remembered my Thinkpad Product Recovery Discs! Thank God I made a set for myself when I first purchased my Thinkpad! I took them out and tried to make them work... Met with failure the first couple of tries as the system was still booting into BSOD.. Eventually, I managed to get it to work: by using the "start" disc while pressing the Thinkvantage blue recovery button. Thus I managed to recover my system to factory settings, phew!

    I was still clueless as to what caused Returnil to crash my system so badly.. but because I loved using it so much, I reinstalled and continued using it... I have had two more system corruptions since then but only not-so-serious ones which allowed me to boot into Lenovo Rescue & Recovery to restore my system from image backups. It was only recently when I saw the sticky on the defragging warning that I finally clued-in on the cause of the problems...

    For other Thinkpad users, here's the thing: My Thinkpad (Vista) comes with Diskeeper pre-installed... My normal way of accessing the defragmenting function in Vista is to go to My Computer>right click C Drive>Tools>Defragment. When I do this, Diskeeper pops up and I thought this was Vista's one-and-only defragmenting tool. I did come across mention of turning off all defragging activities while Returnil protection was on, while googling Returnil problems before.. and I made sure Diskeeper's auto-scheduling was always set to OFF. Yet the system crashes continued to occur. When I read the WARNING posted as a sticky on the forums recently that defragging causing SERIOUS issues.. something told me that I needed to revisit the possibility that I was overlooking something related to this in my system. I posted in the forums and it was only then that I came to learn that Vista has its own native defragging tool which is accessed by going to Control Panel>Performance Information & Tools>Advance Tools>Open Disk Defragmenter. I did that and lo and behold! Therein was Vista's own defragmenter.. scheduled to run every Wednesday, unbeknownst to me.. Wednesday was the day of my most recent system crash!

    Many home users who download and use Returnil Free 2008 are not likely to go to the forums. As for me, I normally go to the forums only when problems occur, in search of solutions. I can imagine that for many, by the time they know enough to go to the forums, it would be too late to salvage a system already damaged. I too think that strong warnings need to be in place at an earlier point, ie. as part of the product description at the point before installing. True the new version of Returnil will have its warnings and such, but what about pre-emptions for the current version that is freely available for download?
     
  22. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    Hi,

    @Pete:

    That is the solution that should be available in the next Beta release for 2010. The solution has already been developed but needed some additional in-house testing to ensure it was working properly. All testing now appears to confirm stability so expect to see it soon.

    When RVS virtualization is on, all defragmentation attempts will be blocked regardless of whether it is a third party application or the Native Windows feature and you should be able to see it happen if you test with a tool like Sysinternals process explorer. When the virtualization is deactivated, defragmentation can proceed as normal.

    @kimotheraphy,

    This correction will be included in the free version of RVS 2010.

    Mike
     
  23. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    It sounds like people are asking for the Extremely important defragging info to be included as of right now. I can understand why it wouldn't be feesable to include it in the Apps just yet, but least on your www and at other download www's prominently positioned so everyone would immediately be able to see it, and be forewarned.

    For eg -

    rvs-.gif
     
  24. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    Hello StevieO,
    The solution will be available in the next Beta release. The correction will disable defragmentation so there should be no reason to add a warning to the website front page. We will however add an FAQ that addresses defragmentation and virtualization.

    Mike
     
  25. hawk50

    hawk50 Registered Member

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    Hi Coldmoon,
    I have been trying Returnil, other than the defragg thing, it has perfrom great.
    The more i learn, the better i like Returnil.
    Any time frame? I almost messed up again.
     
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