Fed Up With ATIH "Blue Screens"

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by Arvy, Dec 31, 2011.

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  1. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    First, let me apologise as a newcomer with limited knowledge of this unexplored territory. I have tried searching here for answers, but not sure that I've looked in all the right places.

    Basically, before installing Paragon even for evaluation, I just want to know if it uninstalls cleanly. In particular, does it make registry modifications that affect normal OS HAL handling of device classes (e.g., the DiskDrive and Volume classes) by inserting its own filter entries or whatever. And, if it does, are all such changes reversible simply by uninstalling the product.

    In case anyone wonders, it's not an idle question. I'm more than slightly fed up with fixing "blue screens" caused by the sloppy installation-uninstallation package handling of certain other backup and recovery products that completely mess up Windows own hardware abstrction layer and leave the consequential death traps behind for unwary trial users.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Short answer is I don't know. I used ATIH since version 9 (not 2009) and up to TI2010. The TI2011 inteface turned me off it and I was getting tired of each new version being buggy. I also never used anything but full, manual images of C so all the bells and whistles were useless to me. Paragon Free does all I need but they has some attractive deals so I bought the product which also gives me WinPE.

    I never had any of the bluescreen issues or any other related misery that is discussed on the Acronis forum and the restorations never let me down.

    To give you a bit of info, I don't see a Paragon driver in Device Manager. Acronis always put a driver into Device manager. Paragon uses Microsoft VSS as the default snapshot method although if it doesn't work you can switch to Paragon's live imaging method in the defaults.

    The Paragon forum compared to the Acronis forum is dead which may mean that there are fewer problems or there are fewer people who know they have problems. The number of high-power users on the Paragon forum are very few compared to the ATI forum.

    You have a very easy way out of your problem. Make an image of your system with the Windows 7 imaging tool. If it isn't to your liking you can roll the system right back to pre-Paragon.
     
  3. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    I know how to get out of the registry messes that the current ATIH release creates. If I didn't, I'd really be tearing my hair out by now. I just want to know if Paragon creates such problems in the first place. Call me lazy, but I'd rather not find out the hard way -- again. Surely some experienced user here must know.
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Maybe but my impression is that this forum is lightly-travelled by highly knowlegeable users and the fact that the type of problems encountered caused by filters etc are not reported is an indication it isn't an issue.

    Paragon staff do not participate in this forum so if you want to ask them you will have to go the support request route. They seem pretty good at replying.

    Considering the way live imaging programs work combined with the huge assortment of hardware, third-party drivers and Windows configurations I would say to assume every PC behaves the same is risky. Ten people can report no problems and then along comes number eleven with a problem. In other words, you need to try it on your setup to be sure which I why I suggested to make an image before trying it.
     
  5. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    ~ Removed Off Topic Remarks ~ I'm just looking for a specific and exact answer to the question that I asked about OS HAL modifications. That's all. If this is not the place for it, I'll ask the same question elsewhere.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2011
  6. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Well, I didn't think there was anything "demeaning" to anyone about underlining the fact that my original request for information was very narrow and specific in its scope, but if it seemed so, I apologise.

    In any case, I've emailed my original question to 'support AT paragon-software.com'. Hope that's okay.
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Please let us know what they say.
     
  8. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Will do.

    One other (secondary) reason for my asking is to know how easy it's going to be to include in multipurpose Windows PE environments using something like WinBuilder. From what I think I know about it already, the scripting should be quite easy. If it is, and if I switch, I'll post scripts for using PE2 (Vista) and PE3 (Win7) as well as PE1 (WinXP) sources. Using 64-bit sources can be a bit tricky, but much less so if no device class filter drivers are needed.

    The WAIK requirement for PE2 and PE3 can be a heavy download, but even that isn't insurmountable.
     
  9. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    UPDATE: As requested, here (below) is the reply that I received from Paragon support and (below that) my own response to that reply.

    ===

    Actually, I'm beginning to think that it might be easier just to install/uninstall the darn thing myself on a spare box and do a "before and after" registry comparison. I've already tried some quick WinPE builds of my own using Winbuilder PE1, PE2 and PE3 scripts and it looks quite simple. In fact, the whole Paragon HDM suite looks almost as easy to handle as just the backup proggy alone. Very encouraging. In fact, it would probably be worth the 50 bucks or so just to try out their own PE3 build. That's how I do most backup, recovery and other "rescue" work anyhow.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  10. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    Probably your best move. Results may vary depending on the OS and other software.

    My experience was with TI 2009 on XP and it uninstalled cleanly enough that I experienced no problems following removal.

    Good luck !
     
  11. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    There is a thread titled 27907: Leftover Drivers? over on the acronis forum discussing some of these leftover driver issues...
     
  12. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Yes, thanks, Kent. Been there. Actually my "Arvy" nick here is an abbreviated (RV) version of my full name (Richard Virtue) there. :)

    I'm here looking for an alternative backup and recovery solution that doesn't irreversibly step on and actually reduce(!) the normal capabilities of the OS HAL for handling USB, NAS, SSD and RAID storage devices configurations. Pretty bad when a version "upgrade" is actually less capable than previous ATIH versions. :eek:
     
  13. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    OK, now I know both user names are you as I had not even thought of that before (although I now see the posting styles are the same/similar).
     
  14. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Well, I bit the bullet and forked over the price for the Hard Disk Manager 11 Suite just to have the a full "official" edition for test purposes. Prospects look excellent for running it as one of many applications on a multipurpose WinPE "rescue" disc using any PE1, PE2 or PE3 source.

    Its uninstall cleanups are far from perfect however. On the positive side, it does NOT insert device class filters that would alter the normal OS HAL control over storage devices. It does, however, add its own system (start=0x00000001) services and drivers which get left behind in the registry and on the system drive when the application is uninstalled as follows:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UimBus]
    "Universal Image Mounter Controller"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Uim_IM]
    "UIM Drive Backup Image Plugin"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Uim_Vim]
    "UIM Virtual Image Plugin"

    Certainly better than ATIH's open invitations to system corruption disasters, but sloppy programming none the less. Wonder if they have a "suggestion box" or pipeline to their development team members anywhere. Not sure that a message via the normal user support channel would actually get to the right place.
     
  15. HoratioAlger

    HoratioAlger Registered Member

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    Richard,
    Thanks for your diligent approach to testing, and willingness to share. Like you, I've gravitated here after many years using Acronis, following failed ATIH2012 installs - that pushed me toward the Acronis forum and your many helpful posts.

    So far, B&R 2011 is working well for me, though I haven't used it in anger yet. Interesting to read about the hanging registry entries - I wonder if these would be picked up and deleted by something like CCleaner?

    If I find some time later, I'll try removing B&R and then run CC to check.

    Why is something so important so hard to get right? Don't have these problems with Linux, where tools like CloneZilla or even dd achieve much the same result without the faffing around.
     
  16. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Hi "Horatio." I did pass my comment along to Birger Teetz (Pargon user support) and he promised to forward it to their developer team. Hopefully, they'll see fit to do something about it in some future update release.

    In the meantime, it's not really a huge issue. It's not like the "leftover" ATIH device class filters and Start=0x0 services under the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet branch where load failures can produce blue screen death traps. The "leftover" Paragon items are Type=0x1 Start=0x1 (kernel initialization) services which means that, if the driver fails to load or initialize, the startup will proceed anyhow. So, while uninstallation should clean them up, it's not really a critical fault.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  17. garioch7

    garioch7 Registered Member

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    Welcome to the Paragon world, Richard. I am using it on three computers (3-pack) licence and have been very happy with the Hard Disk Management 2011 Suite.

    Thanks again for all of your help over on the Acronis forums that permitted me to get my two personal computers back online after the disastrous "upgrades" that I installed from Acronis. Took many hours, but without your help, I would have been forced to format c: and reinstall everything.

    I know that your expertise will be very appreciated on this forum. Have a great day, and thanks again.

    Regards,
    -Phil
     
  18. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Hi garioch. You're entirely welcome. Glad you were able to expel the beast. I suspect we may be seeing more than a few of our old Acronis forum acquaintances here before long.
     
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