Farstone RestoreIT

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TomAZ, Aug 10, 2013.

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  1. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    Is Farstone RestoreIT any different from the other rollback programs? Does it require the use of VSS -- and what about normal disk defragging?
     
  2. JoeBlack40

    JoeBlack40 Registered Member

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    One thing i can tell you about it...when you restore a snapshot,it deletes the other snapshots no matter how many and no matter what...and this kind of behavior sucks IMO.
     
  3. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi Tom :)

    The latest version of RestoreIT, 2013d, i recently tested. it is a major improvement and also much less bloated. I had no issues with it, and it did the job as advertised. I was impressed with how they changed the set up for the recovery manager, now using the winre.wim file and adding it to boot menu. reduced overall space usage by about 250 - 300MB which is impressive.

    I have no need to travel between snaps, and it performed excellent at least for me. Also, what I liked about it better than RBRX was the fact that you can disable the snapshot service, reboot, and do disk maintenance, then turn on the snapshot service again and that was a nice feature compared to having to uninstall a product just to do some routine maintenance. Turning off/disabling the snapshot service will remove all snapshots, but if things were stable, that was not an issue for me. turning it back on it would make a new snapshot automatically with no complaints. Also, it does not install the recovery manager in MBR as some products do, the latest version as mentioned, installs the recovery console as a boot menu item. I also verified by reviewing the MBR and I could find no entries that it made. I used HxD app to check those sectors.

    i still prefer a solid image backup, but as far as daily use, Farstone has improved this product greatly. 2013d was very stable for me.

    I also have a 3 license pack for the older RestoreIT version 7.1 which also worked fine for me, originally bought through ebay for 19.95. Latest version in my opinion is better. I did not have the issues that others complained about, it just took a lot more space but it did the job when I used it and did it well, but the latest 2013d version is an entirely new program compared to the older 7 versions. One cannot go back and forth with snapshots like RBRX which can sometimes cause problems for some rollback users, but for what restoreIT does, it did it well at least for me in my experience with it. I had used an older version on XP years ago which also never gave me any issues.

    Hope that helps :)

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  4. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    RestoreIT creates massive and large buffer files at the root of your drive (not a secret and hidden partition as they claim) so it will mess up with your imaging software if you do differential/incremental images.

    You could have those buffer files created onto a separate partition of the same drive (using the advanced install), but then you need to repartition.
     
  5. legacy

    legacy Registered Member

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    I use Farstones imaging programs a lot.

    I thought i was on to a winner when installed Restore It 2013.

    I got hit with a virus and my system would not boot, even in safemode.

    Only option was the Farstone recovery boot mode and all my Snapshots blue screened.

    Leaving my system ~ Snipped as per TOS ~.

    My advice is leave it well alone and Rollback, because when your system is trashed and you get hit with a MBR virus, None of this software will save you and please no one argue with me, because i like to install viruses and test software for this type of recovery issues in Real World Scenarios.

    The best of the bunch so far for snapshot/image is AX64 Time Machine because it lets you do a master baseline image on to a External Drive
    and actually works when you need to restore via bootcd etc.

    I do not like any software that messes with the MBR.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2013
  6. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Yes. I'd suggest stay away from this kind of softwares, such as RestoreIT and RollbackRX, because these will easily mess up with your OS. AX64 is an exception because it essentially uses the same imaging technique as acronis/paragon, without messing with MBR and system files.
    Better stay with imaging softwares.

     
  7. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    Version 2014 released.......seems that multiple shapshorts are supported now....
     
  8. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    Version 2014 was released a month ago. I tried it, but the installer crashes on me. I reported the issue and they asked for an MSINFO dump of my machine, not a peep since. According to their Facebook page, I'm not the only one experiencing that issue.
     
  9. GSL

    GSL Registered Member

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    It is not supported as confirmed by their staff in other forum.

    Version 2014 is extremely buggy with snapshot out of space error, PC got bricked that safe mode will not load.

    Just dump this piece of junk, not even worth trying when they have make misleading claims of the softwares on their website.
     
  10. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    What other forum? I'd like to see what others are saying...
     
  11. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    +1

    Best regards,
     
  12. Ned2865

    Ned2865 Registered Member

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    I tried Farstone Restoreit 2014 (trial). Installation went well, ceated a small partition for the snapshots etc..So there was that initial snapshot and took a second one. Then, restored to the first one. Up until then, no problem.

    Only when I uninstalled it, at the reboot of the computer, black screen, no booting into Windows. I didn't even tried in safe mode, Probably had to do a startup repair, but I did make an image before with Macrium so I just restored that image and now he PC is back on the road. So for me, I'm not 100% confident with restoreit 2014
     
  13. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    Weird.....I have it on my laptop,can create a snapshot within 20 seconds and can restore to whatever snapshot I choose from the list....
    As long as it's on the same drive,you can choose to put the secure area on another partition,which I did......
     
  14. GSL

    GSL Registered Member

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    Unfortunately it is a underground forum. It's intriguing that a farstone staff, a senior manager chose to engaged ppls from illegal forum instead of coming here.
     
  15. GSL

    GSL Registered Member

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    Startup repair will not work too so basically it mess up safe mode, last known good config and even RestoreIT own rescue environment.
     
  16. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi guys :)

    I must say, I am surprised at the problems some mentioned they had with RestoreIT. I have used the old version 7.1, 2013d and 2014a, and they worked fine, but only after I made some adjustments in the settings which only takes a few minutes. I uncheck ALL auto snapshots, and I create only manual ones. Not doing so would quickly use up much of the space of their file system they create to house the snaps, due to the SMART style manner in which it will take a snapshot even when a system file changes, etc. This could easily fill up a lot of space on many folks computers, but I do not make many changes, so I have not had any space issues concerning their method of storing snapshots. Secondly, I always create the snapshot space on another partition.

    Their new format in how they handle recovery is much improved in my experience, and I ran it through the mill with making a lot of changes, or restoring to a snapshot days old, and although it took much longer to restore, about the same time as restoring a partition image, it was flawless in each case of restore.

    I can only think there is either software interference on some machines, perhaps some other type of rollback software was not completely uninstalled for instance, or incompatibility of some hardware, but they should certainly work those issues out if their software is to blame. Their weak spot is still thorough support. The times I contacted them they were quick to respond, but did not always completely read what I was telling them concerning an issue I had with the last version 7.14 that would not open the interface within Win7, they told me that version 7 would not work with Internet Explorer 9, 10, etc. only 8 and under versions. Version 7.1 worked fine under IE 8, 7.14 simply would not open its UI.

    I told them I had not upgraded IE, so that was not my problem. They did end up giving me a free license for 2013d which will also work for 2014a, which I did not ask for, so that was a kind gesture on their part, as I had bought a 3 license pack of version 7.1 a few years ago, but I felt they needed to issue a patch for version 7.1 to simply work for a user who decided to upgrade IE to a newer version, but I assume they were focused upon at the time, version 2013 that came out early in 2013 and did not want to work on patching the IE problem. Certainly this software is not a complete solution, but I have run the versions through some pretty tedious restore tasks, and there were no issues, so I am stumped at what some have had problems with, although certainly it happens with any software that works at this level.

    As for me, it did what it stated, but their feature list in my opinion is not 100% accurate, but where it counts is how reliable are the restores, and for me, they were solid every time. There are some areas that I would like to see improved, such as the potential to house snapshot storage on an external media, but I do not ever see this feature a reality.

    It is by no means a thorough solution, but I will say it is easier to manage than say RBRX, because you can disable RestoreIT, which will clean out all snapshots, and perform disk maintenance, and also I would think one should be able to create a drive image, but making sure one captures the BIN files where the snapshots are stored, in my case on a separate partition. I have not tried the imaging of a disabled RestoreIT, but as long as it would be turned off, it should work as mentioned above. I would think after restoring that image, all that is needed done is to turn it back on, but as mentioned, I have yet to confirm this would work, but one still always needs a backup image solution in my opinion...snapshot style apps are convenient, but cannot help one if there is a drive failure.

    But at least one does not have to jump through so many hoops just to do disk maintenance such as uninstalling the app, etc.

    As with many softwares, some like it, some had a bad experience with it, but for the majority, it appears to work, and in my experience testing it, there were no serious issues, but I can certainly see how this or any type of software such as RestoreIT could cause major problems if one does not manage it properly or the software breaks, but that is true about any apps. As with ANY software of this genre, I would always advise using caution, and take time to learn the product, because when things do not work properly for whatever reason, it could definitely take down ones entire system, and this is the danger with any quick restore style apps, hence the need for full image backups to undo potential problems caused by this type of software.

    Thanks for the discussion about this, I do wish Farstone would improve their depth of support, but they have improved timely communication, but it often is lacking technical depth, and they must improve this in my opinion.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  17. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Dearest Jim,

    As usual excellent and very through review. Out of curiosity what version of Windows you tested the excellent software.

    I am presently testing v2014a on 4 computers all with Windows 8.1. The amount of space it has reserved on each disk is 1.82GB and it works fine within this space. However, the default setting is to take snapshot every .25 hour and/or changing of files. While it takes a snapshot it slow down the computer for few seconds.

    I have found that it works the best on default settings, maybe it has to do with latest Windows.

    Best regards,

    Mohamed
     
  18. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi Mohamed :)

    I use it on Windows 7 32 bit. I am very glad to hear it is working well for you. I too find that it does the job, and has been quite reliable for me from version 7.1 up to 2014a. Sometimes I install my old version 7.1 which has been rock solid but its limitation is that the older version 7.1 will not work properly with newer versions of Internet Explorer passed version 8 according to Farstone.

    When I was asking them about why 7.14 (latest version before 2013 came out) would not open its user interface, they thought it was because I had upgraded IE to a newer version, but I had not upgraded, so instead of trying to patch or fix that version to be compatible, they just gave me a license for 2013 which also works with 2014. i like all the versions so far, but since version 2013, they sure have changed a few things. Recovery console is now made from the Winre.wim file and places a boot menu item under windows 7 so one can now enter the recovery console via boot menu item instead of a "hot key". Making this change, they really removed a lot of bloat from version 7 saving at least 300MB or so of installation space.

    So far, it works, and is a much better manageable utility compared to other rollback style apps that must be uninstalled to perform disk maintenance, etc. With RestoreIT, you just turn it off and perform the maintenance, but remember if you turn it off, all snapshots are removed, but if the system is stable, that is not a problem. After doing maintenance, I just turn it back on again, and it creates a snapshot immediately.

    So for me, it has proven to be a much more flexible quick restore utility compared to what is available in this genre of software. I agree with you, some of the problems may be OS related and they will have to work them out, but on Windows 7, no problems for me, it just works. in other cases of reported problems, it is likely it could be as I mentioned, other type of rollback software that was not uninstalled cleanly or possibly some conflict with some security softwares that affect how RestoreIT operates, I don't know, but I assume some of the descriptions of how it messed up systems is likely due or caused by conflicts not necessarily RestoreIT itself.

    Maybe it just is not compatible on some systems, but for the most part, it is interesting technology as to how they handle system changes and volume tracking and how they take their snapshot, being able to lock the drive and create a restore point of the entire drive, etc.

    I think the manner in which you are using it is wise, going with defaults if that is working for you, I just have no need to have it do auto snaps, I do all snapshots manually. My virtual partition space is set to usually between 5 to 8GB when it is created during installation which is always placed on a separate partition, but I could easily get away with less because i do not make many changes. you stated you use 1.8GB? I think their default space usage is dependent upon disk or partition size, but I noticed the later versions 2013 and 2014 offer me around 22GB or 22,000MB which is not necessary for me to have that much space for its snapshots. The drive I am using it on in my laptop is 160GB, partitioned equally with the OS at 75GB and data partition similar size.

    Edit: Mohamed, I checked the installation procedure again for version 2014a...it offers 2 installation types: Typical (applicable for most users) or Custom. I use the custom installation always, so I can set my own recovery partition size. in Custom mode, it offered me 2GB to start. I adjust this to 5GB which really is not needed by me, but it is what I use for snapshot space. I think it was the older version 7 that during custom install, would offer a larger space size, but the smallest recovery partition space it will create is 1200MB or 1.2GB or at least that is what it used to be. 2014a custom installation offered me initially 2000MB or 2GB. I simply increased the size to 5GB. I assume you use Typical installation which is fine, and it allows the program to set the parameters without user intervention. Just thought I would tell you how I install it. :)

    I am glad it is working for you, I like it personally, but I am very aware that any kind of software like this either works well, or can really cause problems, so far for me I have used it off and on since around 2005 starting with XP at the time, and it has been very reliable, but my main solution of course is drive imaging, I just like to use it for quick roll backs of the system when I need to do quick rollbacks. When I used it on Win XP, I would disable it and then perform disk maintenance, then make an image, and it always worked fine after restore which other rollback software is usually broken if one images and restores. With RestoreIT, it would just be re-enabled and start working again for me. Not sure if that is still the case with the new versions, but no reason why it should not work because if it is turned off, all snaps are gone, so it should not be necessary to image anything but the main OS although I have not tried disk imaging with the new versions on Windows 7, but it worked great on windows XP at the time.

    Hope that answers your question my friend. Always great to hear from you :) Have a wonderful evening.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  19. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Dear Jim,

    I like the Recovery Console in the new version as it sits in the bootmenu rather than above the bootmenu. And, as you said it has removed a lot of bloat.


    I am testing RestoreIT along with all imaging software one can think of, including AX64, without any problems.


    I used the default installation and it set the space to 1.82GB, which is 2000MB. Technically, the 2GB will be 2048MB. On my three computers on which the OS is on SSD and has no partition, it put the Recovery Partition Space on the OS drive. However, on the fourth computer, it put the Recovery Partition Space on a separate partition.


    No need to turn if off for either disk maintenance and/or imaging. The imaging software automatically excludes the space reserved by Recovery Partition Space of RestoreIT. In case of restoring the image, one needs to to remember to re-enable RestoreIT.


    Have a nice day.

    Best regards,

    Mohamed
     
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