Drive Snapshot Users ?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by MerleOne, Mar 22, 2006.

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  1. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    I just discovered recently this excellent drive imaging software, thanks to Wilders Security Forums.

    Is there anyone here having a good experience with it ?

    Thanks.

    .merle1.
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    HI Merle1

    I had/have it, and I found taking the images was very easy. But the recovery CD was to me totally confusing, and very prone to messing up. For that reason I abandoned it. Tereabytes Image for Windows/DOS gives you, in my opinion as good an imaging program, with a recovery CD that is menu driven and easy to use.

    Pete
     
  3. Don Pelotas

    Don Pelotas Registered Member

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    Try to ask Paranoid2000, he uses it.:)
     
  4. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    I've also been evaluating drive-imaging alternatives of late, looking for a replacement for Acronis True Image (ATI), and a low-priced option for an SBS server. Drive Snapshot looks the most appropriate for my needs, since:

    (1) It's backup speed is comparable to that of ATI.

    (2) It has a neat facility whereby you can, in effect, exclude defined folders from the backup. What it does is to replace 'excluded' files with zeroed-out data, which then compresses very significantly, but retains the folders containing them. It also automatically adds a batch file to the backup image which, after restore, you can simply run to fix things up.

    This is pretty unique, as far as I can see, and makes Drive Snapshot an excellent companion to FDISR or similar, in that you can significantly reduce the size of images (and thereby the time taken to create them) by excluding the snapshots.

    (3) It has comprehensive command-line support, so I can automate its use across a network (especially when used in conjunction with SysInternals' PSExec).

    (4) Like ATI, it allows you to mount an image as a virtual drive, making it very easy to extract individual files or folders when needed.

    (5) It is very reasonably priced, especially for servers.

    On the downside, its user interface leaves a lot to be desired.

    Terabyte's Image for Windows/DOS also looks good and reliable, but I found it to be very slow to backup, when compared to Drive Snapshot and ATI, and I wasn't convinced by the viewer it uses in place of image mounting (and it took an age, in my testing, to open a viewer on a backup image).

    I haven't made a decision yet, but so far Drive Snapshot looks like it'll be the one I choose.
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi SPM

    Does it still use the command line interface for the restore disk. That is what I found so terribly confusing. It was very difficult to identify external drives.

    Oh one thing I remember is I don't think it had IEEE support and I have trouble on my external drives with just USB. Any change here?

    Pete
     
  6. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    It does, and yes - this is a weak feature of the product. That said, I use UBCD4Win (it's like Bart PE on steroids), and there is a Drive Snapshot plug-in available which, if I'm not wrong, allows the use of the GUI version. I haven't yet gotten around to testing this, but I will do so.

    Pass on that one. I image to USB drives, though, and Drive Snapshot works fine with mine (again, doesn't using UBCD4Win or Bart PE get around any such problem, anyway?).
     
  7. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Thanks all for your replies.

    Actually, I also use TerabyteUnl. Image/Windows and I find it invaluable when it comes to burn backup on DVD, which Acronis fails to do currently. Also, Image/Windows cannot encrypt backup and doesn't propose incremental/diff/ backups. One of the main drawback of Image/Windows is the file restore feature which is very slow.

    Drive Snapshop seems to be a handy complement.

    There is also a very basic features all other solutions seem to forget, namely the possibility to have an automatic naming of image files. I was very happy to see finally it is available in Drive Snapshot.

    Anyway, I still have some questions about DS : for instance, can one restore a partition onto a smaller one, provided that the used space of the saved partition is smaller than the size the destination ?

    .merle1.

     
  8. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    It seems not. See here - http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/irestdos.htm#AutoFdisk - where it states that the destination partition must be at least as big as the original.
     
  9. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Well, this § tells about restoring a whole disk onto another one. Not about a single partition. I know it would be a logical deduction that the same happens for a single partition, but what is really logical when it comes to computing ?

    .merle1.


     
  10. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    Yet another question about Drive Snapshot Differential mode :

    If I perform a full backup of a disk, say C:, then perform every day a differential backup. I get images files looking like :
    C-Snapshot-Full.sna
    C-Snapshot-Full.hsh
    C-Snapshot-Diff-060323
    C-Snapshot-Diff-060324
    and so on.

    I would like to be sure that, the "*060324" file + the *Full" file are enough to reconstruct the whole C: disk as it was on March 24th, and that I can get rid of the -060323, just losing the possibility to restore the drive as it was on the 23rd. In other words, that it is truly differential and not incremental as with Acronis True Image.

    Thanks.
     
  11. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    See http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/idifferential.htm
     
  12. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Thanks, exactly what I was looking for.
     
  13. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    I'm using DS as the low-cost backup solution for all our soho clients. Scheduling seems to be bad compared to TI or ghost, but actually it's better. Just a few nice batch files and you can do anything you like with it. Differential BU's are nice, because you can clean them up:

    For example, do a full BU the 1st of the month, then do daily differentials.

    After that you could proceed to delete all daily differentials older than a week except fridays - saves a lot of place on your BU disk.

    Livestate recovery bluescreened on me on HP570 machines with heavy loads (SAP database servers) - DS works without a hitch. On stability its the best, bar none. The only thing I'm missing is a universal restore. Of course, like every imaging software, you need to watch out for USN rollback issues etc.

    And yes, it's truly differential!
     
  14. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    How do you exclude folders can't see an option? Is this server only?
     
  15. spm

    spm Registered Member

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    There's no 'server only' edition of Drive Snapshot that I am aware of. You can specify file and folder excludes via the command line interface, using the !exclude: option. See http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/commandline.htm for details.

    This option isn't available via the GUI, it seems. Functionally, Drive Snapshot seems very strong but, as I alluded to above, it's interface leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  16. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    Nope, GUI is just for quick & dirty backup/restore jobs - at the command line the product really shines. No installs, just copy the .exe to a machine and go, it doesn't get any easier than this. While backuping or restoring, a driver is installed into windows, but it's removed when the BU is over - clean!

    If I'm correct, the exclude function is in the -! commands (try -!?)

    When excluding files or folders, 0 byte placeholders are created in the backup - at (full) restore time, a batch file will be added to the root of the C drive, if you run it, the placeholders get deleted.
     
  17. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    I do recommend a BartPE or ultimate boot cd setup to use Drive Snapshot when it's time to restore a full drive - beats the DOS way!
     
  18. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    Thanks that explains the lack of GUI option
     
  19. AlanCulshaw

    AlanCulshaw Registered Member

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    Handy Batch file for Drive Snapshot

    Below is a batch file I wrote for using Drive Snapshot. I have three USB drives which I rotate for backup and each can cope with 4 disk images.

    The batch file lets me totally automate the creation of images, deletion of old images and result notification.

    You may find it helpful.

    Batch file dailybackup.bat contents

    @echo off

    cd\batchfiles
    del backuplist.txt
    del backuplist1.txt
    del error-c.txt

    for /f %%a in ('date /t') do set XDate=%%a
    Set Day=%XDate:~0,3%

    if '%Day%=='Mon del e:\mo*.*
    if '%Day%=='Tue del e:\tu*.*
    if '%Day%=='Wed del e:\we*.*
    if '%Day%=='Thu del e:\th*.*
    if '%Day%=='Fri del e:\fr*.*

    SNAPSHOT c: e:\$weekday-$disk-$date.sna -L20000 -t -w
    if errorlevel 1 copy c-error.txt error-c.txt

    SNAPSHOT d: e:\$weekday-$disk-$date.sna -L20000 -t -w
    if errorlevel1 copy c-error.txt error-c.txt /y

    dir e:*.* /o-d > backuplist1.txt
    if exist error-c.txt copy error-c.txt+backuplist1.txt backuplist.txt
    if not exist error-c.txt copy good.txt+backuplist1.txt backuplist.txt

    SET MAILIT_SERVER=smtp.myisp.net
    SET MAILIT_FROM=administrator@mydomain.com
    SET MAILIT_TO=me@otherdomain.com;me@mydomain.com
    SET MAILIT_SUBJ= Backup Report.
    SET MAILIT_MSGFILE=backuplist.txt
    MAILIT

    exit

    Contents of c-error.txt

    WARNING!!!!! THE FILES SHOWN BELOW AS LAST NIGHT'S BACKUP MAY BE CORRUPTED. Call Alan or

    Rick as soon as possible. (or whatever you want to put here)

    Contents of good.txt

    THE FILES LISTED BELOW ARE ON YOUR BACKUP DRIVE. Please check to see that files with last night's date

    are listed. (or whatever you want to put here)

    Substitute your own names for smtp server sender and recipients

    Substitute your own drive letters as required

    I have three external USB drives each which will store 5 backups

    This batch file is executed from Windows Scheduler

    Mailit.exe can be found on the internet at yizhar.mvps.org

    The batchfiles folder is at the root of c: and contains snapshot.exe, mailit.exe, good.txt and c-error.txt
     
  20. AlanCulshaw

    AlanCulshaw Registered Member

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    How easy it is to retore a drive is not an issue with me as long as it can be restored. I am more interested in how easy it is to backup.

    But if you try UBCD4 windows you can use the GUI to restore from Snapshot.

    I only discovered UBCD recently. It is great
     
  21. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Yes, just copy the snapshot.exe from DS to the BartsPE plugin/snapshot folder to overwrite the trial snapshot.exe present. Run PE, reboot and then you can restore with this GUI.
     
  22. Cat-21

    Cat-21 Registered Member

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    Has anyone integrated Drive Snapshot into BartPE?? I thought of doing it soon.....
     
  23. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    BART PE has the trial version already

    If you want SATA support etc try UBCD for windows (BArtpe with extra stuff ) which has BTS drivers.
     
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