Drive Cloner v6

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TheRollbackFrog, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Greetings! Yea, I know most Rollback RX users have been waiting for this iteration for better than 3-yrs... but, something's finally out the squeaky back door and is somewhat functional. This was the version from Horizon Data Systems that would be able to not only image your system but also image a complete Rollback RX-enabled system, including snapshots LIVE (HOT). Just think of it... a real way to recover from a Rollback RX explosion to your system, or any other nasty along the way.

    Anyway, I had recently set up an RBrx system for testing various ways to image the system and its snapshots without headache. When finished, I decided since the Drive Cloner v6 BETA was available, I would give it a shot... being it's supposed to be capable of doing what I was testing for. This, of course, is the great product that all of us RBrx users have been waiting on for almost 3-yrs. Let's see what it can do at this BETA stage...

    System: 2.4ghz Core2 Duo, 2gB RAM, 2-partition 500gB MBR-based SSHD (1st generation Seagate Momentus XT, RBrx protected partition #1 - 55gB (1mB, not CHS, aligned), unprotected partition #2 - balance of space)
    OS = W7x64sp1

    Test #1
    1. Simple image, without snapshots, of partition #1 using all DEFAULTs.
    2. ZEROed out data area of partition #1, left MBR in place (I have no idea what DC6 does withn the MBR or whether it even saves it in the image).
    3. Using the CD RECOVERY ENVIRONMENT, restored image (not Sector-by-sector) to ZEROed partition #1

    Results #1
    Following restore, upon reBOOT, system entered the RBrx HOME screen (didn't expect that), discovered Improper System Shutdown (msg: "Improper System Shutdown. Checking for<running percentage>"), then vectored off into the following msg: "Missing Operating System."

    Since I have no idea what DC6 does with the MBR when it images or when it restores (it would be nice to know), I really don't know what to expect at this point... an explanation would be useful. Previous versions of RBrx (v9.x) used to offer the imager a STANDARD MBR (specifically the one filed away prior to modification during an RBrx installation), and when the restoration (incl. MBR) was complete, it would BOOT fine into the last system state, albeit with a neutered RBrx which had to be unINSTALLED.

    Test #2
    1. ZEROed out data area of partition #1, restored STANDARD Microsoft MBR.
    2. Using the CD RECOVERY ENVIRONMENT and image from Test #1, restored image (not Sector-by-sector) to ZEROed partition #1 with STANDARD MBR.

    Results #2
    Following restore, upon reBOOT, the system entered the WINDOWS ERROR RECOVERY area (no RBrx HOME screen offered), offering the usual SAFE MODE, etc. options... I selected START WINDOWS NORMALLY.

    The system booted up fine to a neutered RBrx desktop with the following ERROR MSG: "Error: Open Protect System Failed. Error: Server Execution Failed (0x8008005)." This is what I would expect vectoring through a STANDARD Windows MBR, the one I wrote in Step #1 above. Based on this I would say DCv6beta does not RESTORE the image's MBR (if it was even saved.)

    No options were offered during the restoration (or imaging) wizards to speciallly process the MBR so I can't tell what's going on.


    Test #3
    1. Simple Image, INCLUDING SNAPSHOTs, of partition #1 using all DEFAULTs.
    2. ZERO out data area of partition #1, restored STANDARD Microsoft MBR.
    3. Using the CD RECOVERY ENVIRONMENT, restored image (Sector-by-sector) to ZEROed partition #1 w/Microsoft MBR

    Results #3
    Following restore, upon reBOOT, system entered the RBrx HOME screen (ahhh, the MBR has been restored), discovered Improper Shutdown (msg: "Improper Shutdown. Checking File for<running percentage>"), then vectored off into the WINDOWS ERROR RECOVERY, offering the usual SAFE MODE, etc. options... I selected START WINDOWS NORMALLY. After the Windows firefly was done, system entered ChkDsk and ran, deleting many index errors followed by saving some orphaned files. When ChkDsk finished, system reBOOTed and sailed into a normal RBrx desktop without problems. Tested some snapshot reversions in both directions, all worked well.

    Impression after the limited FULL image testing above... DCv6beta appears to be somewhat functional, albeit simpler than I thought (as far as how it appears to work). This imager is doing nothing more than a fairly standard HOT NORMAL (used sector) imaging operation, but apparently without any MBR manipulation. This can be a problem if someone tries to restore a non-snapshot image to a RBrx enabled system (special RBrx MBR)... it will not run.

    The snapshot included image seems to be doing nothing more than a standard ALL SECTOR (RAW/sector-by-sector) imaging operation but it knows something no other imager knows... it knows where the last allocated disk block (used by either Windows or the snapshots) is located, and as a result, it only ALL SECTOR images up to that point, making the resultant images small as expected (unless you have tons of snapshots). It's also using a feature (Windows API or RBrx API) that allows it access to the raw disk surface without going through the RBrx special disk driver... that makes LIVE RAW imaging pretty easy with this system. Windows used to have a Direct Disk I/O API (it may still have it and it may be non-blocked by RBrx)... this may be how it's all being done.

    Anyway, the results are as expected, more or less... but the application needs some MBR/1st Track control so that flexibility is available to knowledgeable users when needed (restoring a standard no snapshot image to a previous RBrx enabled system).

    When I get some more time, I'll lay into the INCREMENTAL and DIFFERENTIAL options.

    Some rough timing (7200rpm drive, imaged partition and image storage partition on same drive)...

    Imaging (no snapshots) 55gB with 20.9gB used took 22-min and produced a 8.25gB image
    Same as above WITH snapshots (3-4gB worth) took 27-min and produced a 10.9 gB image.
    Restorations of both ran about 10 & 13 minutes.

    Overall, not too bad. Oh, and all the above imaging was done under a LIVE Windows system (HOT), no COLD imaging.

    If anyone is interested, the DCv6beta thread over at HDS is right HERE...
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    3,518
    Location:
    USA - Back in a real State in time for a real Pres
    I don't get it. Why is this topic titled Drive Cloner v6 & all I read & skimmed is about Rollback RX?
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Mainly because v6 is the first and only imager made that can image and restore the active portion of your Windows system as well as all snapshots created by Rollback RX... and do it under a LIVE Windows system (HOT), no COLD imaging required.

    Previous versions of Drive Cloner were just basic imagers and the basic imaging in v6 is about the same as previous. The unique difference is totally related to the tight integration of Rollback RX.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    I did a li'll follow-up here as I forgot that my ZERO disk block preparation would provide for a very efficient imaging of that part of the disk surface and make the resultant image size/time look extremely efficient, i.e. like maybe it was only imaging the Windows/RBrx-used disk surface.

    So, I did a disk prep with RANDOM data in the unused space before imaging and the result clearly showed that DCrxv6beta IS, indeed, only all-sector imaging the disk surface that's really used by Windows AND Rollback RX snapshots... not unused disk space. This makes me feel better about my statement above.
     
  5. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Very interesting Frog. So it appears that DCrx6 does the job, making a full hot-image of only the used-sectors in an RBrx system. So other than some needed performance optimization what are the outstanding issues that remain before DCrx6 is ready for 'prime-time'?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  6. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Well, I may not be the best person to ask that question of. I've never used DCrx before in my life prior to this test... so I don't know what their original clientele expected from this release.

    As an imager, other than RBrx integration, it's an average product. It compresses at a pretty high level (DEFAULT: Normal) but at the cost of task time and CPU needs. It only offers NONE, NORMAL and HIGH as compression offerings, and the NORMAL seems pretty high compared to other imagers.

    I haven't done the INCREMENTAL and DIFFERENTIAL testing yet, but, for sure the INCREMENTAL/DIFFERENTIAL creation time for the ALL SECTOR, snapshot included, task will be almost as long as the full baseline. That's because INCREMENTALing an all sector image requires the imaging task to compare the entire LIVE surface with the previously imaged surface to make decisions about what is new... this is the only way (by the way, this is the way IFW appears to INCREMENTAL its FULL images).

    USED SECTOR INCREMENTALing can be done a lot of different ways so I"ll have to wait and see on that one. Macrium uses active file structure comparisons and as such is a pretty fast INCREMENTALer.

    Other than its multipartition and scheduling capability, its main drawing card, for those of us who use RBrx, is that particular integration. Otherwise it's just another imager.

    What needs to be tested thoroughly is multiple partition (whole disk, maybe) RBrx-protected systems. Most of us don't use it that way (I think) but that's where the rubber probably meets the road.
     
  7. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Hi Frog, I could use some help here...

    I'm trying to beta-test DCrx6 but I can't seem to produce a Boot CD. I tried burning one directly from DCrx6's boot creation program and the resulting CD wouldn't validate nor would it boot. Then I just created an iso from DCrx6's boot creation program and attempted to burn the iso with my 3rd party burning software. Again, the burn wouldn't validate nor would the CD boot. Could the problem be that I'm running DCrx6 as a trial-user?

    pv
     
  8. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    I used the ISO creation function and burned the result with ImageBurn... it worked just fine, and I'm using the TRIAL also.

    If you want, I can make the working ISO available to you. What you did should have worked just fine, especially the ISO burn if you used an ISO (image) burning tool.

    Lemme know...
     
  9. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Yeah, that would sure help as I just failed trying to burn another CD with the iso! I've never had a problem with iso burning (using UltraISO), but all I've got to show for my attempts here are several coasters! Since you are also running it as a trial user I sure can't figure out the problem. I'm not having any problem whatsoever making a backup image with DCrx6 so I have no reason to suspect that my installation was corrupted. :confused:

    pv
     
  10. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    The ISO'll be ready in about 8-min. Like I said, what you did should have worked just fine... maybe you've got a burner on the fritz.
     
  11. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    I also thought about that, but I since burned an audio CD and it was successful, so I doubt that's the problem.

    PS. Just as a sanity check I'll d/l imgburn and try it.
     
  12. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Holy smoke - I just d/l imgburn (from majorgeeks) and started to install it - PUPs galore!!!
     
  13. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Here's the ISO...
     
  14. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Thanks Frog, it's coming down now.
     
  15. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Frog, after making 8 coasters I finally got it done - here's the story. When I tried burning the image you provided it again wouldn't verify or work. Now I'm really scratching my noggin! Finally, I try burning it at a slower speed (using UltraISO) and voila, it validates and works! Perhaps my burner is going south?

    pv

    PS. Thanks again, now onto some serious beta-testing to see if it lives up to its promise!
     
  16. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    FYI, I've always used the slowest speed (except for CDs, but not the fastest) when I burn. Sometimes that laser lens gets dirty... you can always try a CD cleaner.
     
  17. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,400
    Location:
    California - USA
    Frog, I made my first full backup (all snaps) with the DC6 beta, which seemed to go quite well (insofar as imaging time and image size). I next added a new snap, deleted an old one and defragged my snaps. Then I ran a 2nd backup, appending my full backup and (believe it or not) this resulted in my original image file being deleted! I couldn't believe what happened so I created another full backup (all snaps) and again attempted to append it. I selected my original .ego file as the one to append and although this backup process seemed to be running well (per the progress bar) upon completion my full backup was again gone (as a matter of fact, no files were in my backup folder)! I have no idea whether DC6's use of 'append' means creating an incremental or differential file, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean file deletion!

    I'm running the latest beta build of DC6 on a real (not virtual) test system with the latest RB v10.2. My backup drive has sufficient space, so that isn't the problem. I realize this is a beta, nevertheless I can't believe what I'm seeing (or more accurately, what I'm not seeing)!

    pv


    -----
    PS. I just posted this on HDS' DC6 forum. Have you tried 'appending' any of your original (full) backups
    yet?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  18. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    In reference to PV's comments above... the previous FULL Baseline referred to above actually dissappears (gets DELETed) before the SUMMARY screen in the BACKUP wizard prior to executing the APPEND backup operation.

    I don't think this is supposed to happen... unless, by design, there's no such thing as an APPEND operation when dealing with previous images that contain snapshots. And even if there isn't, the previous FULL image with snapshots SHOULD NOT be eliminated until the new one is completely created AND verified if requested.
     
  19. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    I can't comment on their design but with what appears to be a RAW image used when dealing with snapshots, the APPEND operation by design may indeed be a replacement operation... BUT, the original image should not disappear before you take (and VERIFY, if selected) the new one http://community.horizondatasys.com/core/images/smilies/eek.png

    After I found the original image missing, I didn't complete the APPEND operation. I will try once again to reproduce your findings.

    PS- the concept of FULL/INCREMENTAL/DIFFERENTIAL imaging only applies to non-snapshot imaging, and only FULL/APPEND seems to apply to snapshot imaging. It would be nice if there was some sort of documentation available at this stage... at the moment I'm purely guessing at what this thing is supposed to be doing.
     
  20. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    I'll know better at the end of my current test, but it appears that the DEFAULT compression level for a snapshot image is actually running at HIGH rather than MEDIUM. During this process, DCrx is using 60-65% of a 3.67ghz i7 processor to do the compression... what I would consider to be very EXCESSIVE. My testing is from SSD to SSD and the disk utilization is pretty low. This is usually a sign of a very HIGH compression rate when using an imager.

    More later...
     
  21. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Yes, indeed, the DEFAULT (Normal) compression is the same as the HIGH compression option... pls fix.

    Another observation... I create a snapshot-included baseline but do not EXIT DCrx. Instead just go back to WIZARD 1st screen. I then add a snapshot via RBrx and try and do an APPEND using the idle DCrx and it consistently fails ("Unknown error"... yea, useful info, I know) following a successful VSS lock on the volume. This error is consistent until I EXIT DCrx and restart the app... then all is "normal" (as far as this BETA is concernedhttp://community.horizondatasys.com/core/images/smilies/rolleyes.png).
     
  22. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    PV, I cannot reproduce your LOST image as long as I CLOSE DCrx between image attempts... I always get a new image. If I leave it open between attempts, strange things happen.

    ...and I agree, this appears to be more of an ALPHA release that anything of BETA quality.
     
  23. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Folks interested in this thread... I would suggest you follow the Drive Cloner RX v6 BETA activity over HERE in the Horizon Data Systems forum. Those of us who are testing will be posting mostly over there to assist the developers at HDS (EAZ Solutions?). If we reach some sort of conclusion along the way, I'll be happy to post a testing summary back here at that point.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  24. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Posts:
    6,012
    Location:
    on my zx10-r
    i hate that they did this with all the pup's for a really easy basic burner to burn iso's free try out burnaware. works just as good as imgburn for simple things. imgburn is FAR more advanced if you need it but burnaware is great and simple.
     
  25. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,051
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    C'mon, guys... you make it sound like it's a giant piece of AdWare of something. Everyone of those PUPs are easily eliminated from installation during the installation process. If you're missing those options along the way... believe me, you will get punched eventually by many other installers.

    This is a very common way for FREE software developers to engage in their craft... someone's gotta pay for their effort. If the PUP was installed without your knowledge, I would join you at the highest point and scream along with you... but ImgBurn DOES NOT do that! Since it has to do it, it's doing it the right way.
     
Loading...