Drive Cloner 6

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by manolito, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. manolito

    manolito Registered Member

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    The latest version of Drive Cloner v.6 promises to finally work together with Rollback RX by offering the option to backup and restore the Rollback snapshots. After year long delays I fully expected that folks would jump on this release and hold HDS to their promise, but so far nobody really seems to care. Even Froggie has not reacted up to now.

    So I decided to do my own tests (took two full days), and I have to say that I am quite disappointed. Their main promise to be able to backup and restore Rollback snaps did not materialize, at least not for Bare Metal restores to a blank (wiped) target HDD.


    Here come the details:

    Test platform:
    6 year old notebook, AMD Turion Dual Core 1.8 GHz x 2, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HDD (MBR)
    Win7 64-bit, very basic installation (21 GB used)
    Partitions:
    System Drive C:
    Data Drive D:
    System Reserved Partition (no drive letter)


    First observation:

    Drive Cloner 6 is not compatible with the current Rollback Build from Aug 24th. When trying to do a backup with snaps included I always get the error message "GetProtectedDiskPartInfo is false". Only way to solve this is to go back to the Rollback RX Build 2700482570. Looks like the HDS quality control has room for improvement...

    Next thing I found is that a Drive Cloner backup including snaps can only back up partitions which are protected by Rollback. In my scenario I had set Rollback to only protect my system drive. But then Drive Cloner would not image the whole drive. So I reinstalled Rollback and told it to also protect my Data drive just to be able to do a full backup with Drive Cloner.


    I made 4 small Rollback snapshots (just duplicating some desktop icons and deleting the recycle bin). After this Rollback reported a Baseline size of 21.2 GB and a total snapshot size of 213 MB.


    Now a comparison of the backup times and sizes using different programs:

    Acronis Cold All Sectors Backup
    Time: 2h 10m
    Size: 20.7 GB

    Drive Cloner 6 Hot Backup including snaps
    Time: 1h 42m
    Size: 9.46 GB

    Drive Cloner 6 Hot Backup without snaps:
    Time: 47min
    Size: 8.01 GB

    Macrium Reflect Free Hot Backup
    Time: 15 min
    Size: 9.67 GB


    As you can see Drive Cloner 6 is incredibly slooooow. The compression settings for all programs were set to the default Medium / Normal setting. It is interesting to see that the Drive Cloner with snaps backup time is not that much faster than the Acronis Cold All Sectors time.


    And here are the results for restoring those backups:

    Acronis Cold All Sectors backup restored without problems. All Rollback snaps were fully functional.

    Drive Cloner 6 backups including Rollback snaps restored without errors, but the computer was not bootable after the restore. The Rollback console popped up with a message that an improper shutdown was detected, then "checking..." After this a Windows screen told me to repair the boot mechanism by inserting the Windows installation disk, but this did not help.

    Drive Cloner 6 backups without snaps showed an interesting behavior. I fully expected that the computer would not boot, but it did. The dirty shutdown bit was obviously set, a screen popped up asking me if I wanted to boot normally or if I wanted to boot into safe mode. Choosing the normal boot option resulted in a fully functional Operating System.

    Restoring the Macrium backup went fine, but of course you must restore the pre-Rollback MBR using a tool like BootICE to make the computer bootable.

    What I found is that Macrium makes it much easier for the user to fix the MBR. After restoring just click on "Fix Windows Boot Problems", and Windows will boot just fine without using any additional tools like BootICE.


    My conclusion:
    Don't spend any money on Drive Cloner 6. As a normal image backupper it is just too slow, and the promise to be able to backup and restore Rollback snapshots is not true (at least not for Bare Metal restores). Using Rollback together with Macrium looks like a very attractive solution to me.



    Cheers
    manolito
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  2. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Morning, Mab!

    Everything you described above was discovered during the so-called BETA test, and when it went into Black Hole mode (no additional contact between the test management and the testers... actually non-existent contact between the Developer and the testers DURING THE TEST), those items were left unattended so that the product could get out the door (more pressing matters I would guess... Rollback RX-W10 maybe). I had a feeling this would happen although I had hoped it wouldn't :doubt:

    Bare metal restore: It would only work if you had 2-backups... a FULL system image w/o snapshots and a separate image with just the Rollback protected partitions... restore the 1st, restore the 2nd on top of the first. And when I tested that function, the 2nd w/snap restoration put my protected partition on a different boundary than where it was when imaged. We never heard anything back concerning that anomaly.

    Speed: you probably didn't notice the result of that slow imaging :shifty:. Not only was it slooooow, but to be that slow it took a 90+ % of your multi-core CPU to actually perform its internal image compression... and that also was never addressed.

    There were a scad (8-10) of other issues found during the BETA that I believe were never addressed as well... one of the main ones being a backup file naming issue causing the disappearance (overwriting) of previous backups (yea, just what you need).

    My conclusion: The BETA effort for the development of Drive Cloner v6 was the single worst experience I've ever had working with developers during a BETA phase, bar none. I have been part of many BETA testing teams over the years and there is none the equal of the Drive Cloner v6 testing phase. It does not surprise me if all of the items found during the test were left on the board when the development period was over (we found out it was over when it was released to the public)... and there were many. I would not touch this product with a 10' pole... the agony would not be worth it.

    Macrium & Rollback RX together... sure, you could image & restore (your current system) successfully but it's a $140 "solution" that gives you successful imaging (with or without snapshots) and fast snapshotting. Or almost any other imager (w/MBR restorer) with RAW imaging capability could give you the same with long imaging times and image restoration success ($70 + $35+).

    In my case I selected Macrium REFLECT as my single go-to product for successful imaging/restoration and with its new RAPID DATA RESTORE feature, snapshotting is done very effectively as well. Sure, the snapshotting is not as swift as Rollback RX, but the minor time differences between the competing products, IMHO, is not worth the cost differential ($140 vs $70)... and with Macrium I have a company that provides excellent product support and does not obfuscate (lie?) to its users as far as product capability is concerned.

    ...and as far as BETA testing is concerned, I won't even mention the two companies in the same breath :rolleyes:
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Golly Gee. I am shocked by all this.......ROFL. Actually no surprise here. When they said they were uping the release date, I don't believe they ever said it would work.
     
  4. Masterblaster

    Masterblaster Registered Member

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    The reason no one cares is because DX6 and RRX do not work together on Windows 10. My guess is once HDS gets RRX running on Windows10, an update to DX6 will be required. I think this will go on forever.
     
  5. Stode

    Stode Registered Member

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    Me too... incrementals for me take like 2-6 mins,depending on what changed on my OS.
    RDR is just fantastic.

    @manolito:
    Thank you for your tests,and reporting them here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I'd be curious to test, but just to risky, with their disk naming approach.
     
  7. manolito

    manolito Registered Member

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    I cannot speak for the Drive Cloner betas, but for the current stable version I did not notice any disk naming problems.

    As I understand it the user can give a name to a partition, but he cannot give a name to a drive. DC6 when selecting a restore target shows a tree view with the drive name as it shows up in device manager, and below the drive name you see the different partitions of this drive. Highlight any of these partitions and you will get the partition info in the right pane of this window. And this partition info does contain the partition name (if the user bothered to give it a name). So I believe that a user who mistakenly restores an image to a wrong drive must have been a little disturbed...


    Cheers
    manolito
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Nope. That is a change, you state "As I understand" I have you actually done and seen it.
     
  9. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Brian_K can best explain what was originally discovered during Drive Cloner's BETA period in this regard... he was the one who discovered the anomaly.

    It's possible they fixed the issue in the final release... I'd have to re-check. But I really have little interest in the product at this point.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    manolito,

    That's me, a little disturbed. I restored an image to the wrong drive with the beta. The beta didn't enumerate the hard drives in the same order as the BIOS. I must say the current version does enumerate the hard drives in the same order as the BIOS. I don't know if this is due to an improvement in the app or due to my hardware changes.

    I just restored a disk image with DC6 and none of my partitions have labels in the Restore Wizard. All partitions have labels in Windows. I have 4 drives and none of the partitions on these drives have labels in the Restore Wizard.

    Having the drives in DC6 enumerated in the same order as the BIOS order makes it harder to make the dumb mistake I made earlier. But the Restore Wizard isn't ideal.

    Edit... The DC6 boot media only boots in MBR mode and not UEFI mode. Annoying.
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Is this the current release version?
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes. Downloaded about 10 days ago. I'm waiting for one that supports Win10.
     
  13. manolito

    manolito Registered Member

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    I have to correct myself: The partition labels are not shown in the restore wizard. But the partition numbers and the original drive letters do show up. Of course only if you have not wiped the target drive for a bare metal restore.

    But still I think that the drive ID taken from the drive firmware has all the information to identify the drive correctly. For all the drives I have encountered the ID contains the manufacturer and the size.


    Cheers
    manolito
     
  14. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Mab, the problem Brian had was that both of his drives were the same manufacturer and size (slightly different part #)... that's when he had the problem.
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    The drive I backed up was HD0 but in the restore wizard it was HD2. The Hard Drive Model Numbers (Hard Drive Device Name) were...

    My OS drive is........ WDC WD6400AAKS-00A7B2
    My Data drive is.......WDC WD6400AAKS-75A7B0

    My fault of course but this confusion isn't present with other imaging apps.
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I decided to try the lastest Drive Cloner 6. The good news is they have fixed the drive labeling problem, but everything else was horrible. Note I didn't have RBx installed

    Installed fine, and actually built a recovery USB drive fairly easily. Fired up the gui and it was very straight forward, drive labels and letters were fine. Tried to do an image and no way. Followed the wizard, but it was no go. So I decided to boot in the RE and check that out. It was winpe 3 based. Once there it was the same gui. Drive letters and partition labels were all there, so I decided to take an image. That was successful so I decided to boot back to windows and check things out.

    Hmm. System boot manager was gone. Whoa, I didn't even do a restore.

    So if you have RBx "protecting" your system,
    Then Drive Cloner "protects" Rbx
    so all you need now is something to protect you from Drive Cloner

    No thanks
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Pete,

    Maybe it's my UEFI system; I have drive letters but no partition labels in the Disk Backup Wizard. In the Disk Restore Wizard there are partition labels to let you browse to the image but no labels or drive letters thereafter.
     
  18. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    It's amazing they even have the nerve to release it as a product. Obviously it's so buggy that you don't want to risk your data with it.
     
  19. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    (
    "A little bit off history repeating."
    Shirley Bassey
     
  20. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    :D
     
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