First defense vs Rollback Rx

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Atomas31, Feb 8, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Atomas31

    Atomas31 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Posts:
    923
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Hi,

    Can someone explain the difference and the different functionnality between First defense and Rollback Rx? I didn't find any comparaison chart about the two of them...

    Thank you,
    Atomas31
     
  2. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Atomas31, I would like to type up a rather lenghtly comparison, based upon what I know but I cannot do that now, will probably have to wait for several more hours. Keep an eye out for it; if I cannot get around to it, or feel that I don't know enough, I will simply delete this post. See ya.

    Acadia
     
  3. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Posts:
    57,740
    Location:
    Texas
    Since this will be a comparison thread, it now resides here in Software and Services.
     
  4. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Ok, folks, here goes. I hate to consider this a FirstDefense vs. Rollback post, because both appear to be such excellent programs, so please let’s just consider this a friendly comparison. Before an actual attempt at comparison I’d like to say a couple of things. First, thanks to Atomas for contacting Rollback tech support and providing me with some information. Second, I am currently a FirstDefense user, have been for 1 1/2 years, am totally in love with the program, but I shall sincerely try to be as objective as possible. Third, I have never used Rollback, not even trialed; everything that I say is conjecture based upon reading the manual, online faqs and online Knowledgebase, all at least twice. The best way to learn about any software program is to use it, and I have not used Rollback, so I could most definitely be wrong about some points. Fourth, I recommend that anyone seriously considering purchasing either of these two programs, trial them first. These two programs are not for newbies. For anyone wanting something simple, or set-and-forget, I recommend Norton’s Goback. However for folks who like to play, experiment, or have different configurations of your system, FirstDefense (FD) or Rollback (RB) are a pure joy (remember, I am conjecturing about RB). Lastly, go to both websites and download the manuals and study the faqs and knowledgebases; there is a ton of info in those sources.

    For Raxco’s FirstDefense go here for the manual, faqs, whitepapers, knowledgebase etc.:
    http://www.raxco.com/support/windows/SupportOptions.cfm?product=fdisr&ProductVersion=fd
    http://www.raxco.com/products/fdisr/

    For HorizonDataSys Rollback RX go here for the Profession User guide:
    http://www.horizondatasys.com/downloads.html?product_id=18
    For the faqs: http://www.horizondatasys.com/faq.html?product_id=18
    And for the Knowledgebase: http://www.rollbacksoftware.com/kb/categories/RollBack-Rx/

    Now, here goes. These two program essentially do the exact same thing. They are both “instant” recovery programs belonging to the same category of software as Norton’s GoBack, Farstone’s RestoreIt, and of course Windows System Restore. But unlike the other instant recovery program, FD and RB can do so much more than simply take your system “back in time” to recover from any disaster (except total hard drive failure). With FD and RB you can have completely different configurations of your system (both programs call them Snapshots, so that saves some confusion) that you can boot into at any time. The advantage here is obvious for experimenting and testing, almost like having a partitioned, multi-boot system: playing and having fun without fear of ruining your system. When all done, simply boot back into your regular Snapshot.

    But while these programs do essentially the same thing, THEY USE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT technologies to achieve this. Only the end result is the same, how they get there is very, very different. Since I am still trying to figure out exactly how RB does what it does, I am not going to go into the “How”. I am going to focus on the differences, advantages and disadvantages of these two programs since this is a comparison after all.

    First, let’s take FirstDefense. One advantage is that it has been around for at least two years, so it is an established program and has been, for me at least, very solid and reliable. Rollback may be every bit as solid and reliable, we just don’t know yet. Another advantage, within the FD Snapshots you can actually have different Operating Systems as long as they are NTFS. Yes, that limits you to just a few versions of Windows, but if you wanted you could actually have XP and Win2000 on the same hard drive without partitioning.

    Now Rollback. If I understand what I am reading about RB correctly, they’re a few distinct advantages here. First, unlike FD, RB can also be used on Win98 and WinME; it does not require NTFS. Second, with FD you are limited to 10 bootable Snapshots; with RB you have no limit (well, if you want to get technical about it, you ARE limited to 60,000 Snapshots, but you get the idea). Yes, the latest version of FD will let you make an unlimited number of Archived Snapshots on another hard drive, but these are not bootable. Third, RB updates its Snapshots much faster than FD. I can update a FD Snapshot usually in 2-4 minutes; RB appears only to take several seconds. Both programs need to be rebooted in order to switch snapshots so the switching times should be similar. Finally, what should be the biggest RB advantage for many users: RB apparently will take up MUCH, MUCH less space on your hard drive. RB is a complicated program, even the website states that somewhere, so this is kind of hard to explain (if I am even understanding it). Let’s say you have 10 Snapshots with FD and 10 with RB. Let’s go down to the level of a Word document. With FD, each Snapshot will have an exact copy of the entire Word document contained within it; so one word document is taking up 10 times the space. With RB, all ten Snapshots will use the exact same word document until you make a change, then, whatever Snapshot you are in will now have the new, updated Word doc, the other 9 will still be using the old. The space advantages are obvious. (SOMEONE FROM RB TECH SUPPORT PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM EXPLAINING THIS INCORRECTLY, thank you).

    So that’s basically it. I feel very confident that I am correct about FD but as some of you start to use RB please let me know if I am wrong about that program so I can then edit this post. Thank you.

    Have fun enjoying and exploring these two excellent programs, let us all know what you discover.
    Acadia

    EDIT: Because of the unique things that Rollback does to the filing system on your hard drive, it comes with its own Defragger. The website explicitly states that you must use the built-in RB defragger if you want your hard drive to be completely defraged. It is OK to use other defraggers, no harm will be done, but the Snapshots (which are basically everything!) will not be completely defragged unless you use the utility that comes with RB. I do not know if this is a positive or a negative. (Save you money on a third party defragger??) This from their website: "...you can use any defragmenting tool on a Rollback Rx protected system. It won't damage the snapshots or system. However the defrag won't help much (or anything), because the defragmenting tool will not know the Rollback Rx Data strcuture..."
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2006
  5. Skytrooper

    Skytrooper Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Posts:
    101
    Thanks for your post, Acadia. After a bizarre computer glitch a few weeks which inexplicably transformed most of my data files to zero byte files (including my two backup CDs), I purchased Acronis True Image. In less than a week, I discovered the buggy version 9's Secure Zone can't be depended on. After reading positive reports by you and Peter2150 about FirstDefense-ISR, I installed the trial version then ordered a FD-ISR CD.

    While FD-ISR seems to be a thoroughly reliable program, the problems of NOD32 scanning every FD-ISR snapshot and having to disable ProcessGuard in order to make error-free snapshots are nuisances, particularly not being able to use FD-ISR's automatic scheduling of backup snapshots due to the PG conflict.

    Since reading this thread, I've been devouring information about Rollback Rx. Does anyone here know if NOD32 scans snapshots made using Rollback Rx and if ProcessGuard must be disabled before making Rollback Rx snapshots? Are there any known conflicts between Rollback Rx and True Image and/or FirstDefense-ISR? I hope I'm not going to have to be a guinea pig and find out for myself.
     
  6. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Skytrooper, I cannot answer your ProcessGuard questions, I do not, and never have used PG, but I can make a, hopefully intelligent guess, on your other questions.

    Yes, NOD32 will scan EVERYTHING but with Rollback that is no big deal because of the way that RB works: 10 snapshots don't use all that much more disk space that 1 snapshot.

    Yes, you definitely need to be aware when using disk imaging programs such as Acronis when using RB, BUT the RB website addresses most if not all of these issues, see my next post below. Good luck.

    Acadia

    GOOD GRIEF, I just might talk myself into trying RB ... nah, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2006
  7. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
  8. Atomas31

    Atomas31 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Posts:
    923
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Hi Skytrooper,

    To answer your question No Rollback have no problems with Process Guard enable, and it also have no problem with NOD32 scan or any other scan (didn't try all my scanning software on it yet!). I think that Acadia answer your concern in regard of Firstdefense and True image.

    One thing I like about Rollback over Firstdefense is the fact that it can be use with a windows in other language than english...(that is a very important point if your window ain't in english!)

    Best regard,
    Atomas31
     
  9. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Folks, if you have read my lenghtly comparison of FD and RB up above, I have added a brief Edit to the very end (I will probably be adding many more :) )

    Acadia
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    Where do I start. Let me start by saying, I like Acadia, started with Go-Back, and then switched to FD-ISR. I probably wouldn't have tried Rollback Rx had I not broken FD-ISR. That issue still remains unsolved. That having been said, my initial reaction to Rollback RX is GREAT!!!

    Couple of minor things first.

    PG. I think anything like this is going to require you to disable PG due to the dat files. One of the biggest reasons I finally dropped PG.

    NOD32. Shouldn't be an issue. I don't see my disk using any more space then the "one snapshot"

    Disk imaging: Read the website closely. There are some issues, but a couple of solutions

    1) Uninstall and then image. Not the best
    2) Image and do the fixmbr thing as outline on the website
    3) They over there own disk cloner DCclone which does work and it's free. I just don't know if it works with external drives.

    Booting to snapshots.

    In FD if you have 3 snapshots you have 3 complete copies of your disk, and you can indeed boot into each. In RBRX you can effect the same thing, but it still is different. An example might help

    Tonight I was testing to see which of several programs was conflicting with SNS when I let it upgrade. Lets assume I have one additional snapshot in each program.

    FD-ISR

    I would start by refreshing my secondary snapshot(SS) from my Primary Snapshot(PS). THis would take about 5 minutes. I would then uninstall one of my test programs, and then let SNS upgrade. My system would hang and the Windows Startup screen. At this point I had to power reset. During the reboot, I would use the FD preboot screen to boot into the SS. There I would do a refresh of the PS, which would take another 5 or so minutes. Then I would reboot into the PS, and go on to the next stop.

    Rollback Rx

    Starhing in my current working snapshot I started by createing a PreTestSnapshot. Time was 10 seconds. Yep thats right. I am now in the PreTestSnaphot. I then created another snapshot TestSnapshot. Again time 10 seconds. I am now working in the TestSnapshot. Note:No reboots are necessary after creating these snapshot. I now do my uninstall and upgrade and reboot. Again as before system hangs. Again I hit the power reset button, and again on reboot, I use RBRx's preboot intercept. At this point I select Restore a snapshot, and chose PreTestSnapshot. The program then loads this snapshot (about 1 minute) and then on to the normal boot. When I come up I am working back in PreTestSnapshot. TestSnapshot is still out there, as well as one created by the program one restore. I just deleted those. Time to delete each snapshot, was on the order of 2 or 3 seconds. I then start over.

    I don't know if it's clear, but the test with Rollback Rx was significantly faster.


    Another very key difference. If I am working in FDISR and I crash and the system generates minidumps, I might want these, but I can't boot, so I use F1 and go to an alternate snapshot, and refresh. So long minidump.

    RBRx in the same situation, when I restore a good snapshot, they system saves a snapshot of the crashed system. I can then retrieve files from that snapshot.


    Hope this helps.

    Pete
     
  11. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    LOL. Peter, you lost me bro! I'm almost positive I read that you must reboot to enter another Snapshot ... or is that only if you want to do some restoring? If one can switch from Snapshot to Snapshot WITHOUT rebooting, that really is something!

    Acadia
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    Hi Acadia

    If you want to restore yes. But when you create a new snapshot thats were you are. Like in FDISR if you are in Primary, and you create Secondary, they at that point are identical, and yes you have to reboot to get into Secondary. With Rollback if you were in a snapshot called primary, and you create a new one Secondary, when you check you will find you are in Secondary. Yes you would have to reboot to restore to Primary.

    One thing thats not clear to me at this point, say you are in Primary(just the name, no other significance), and you create Secondary, and work in it for a day. Then you restore to Primary. What I am not sure about is if your work in Secondary is saved. What would happen when you restore is a new snap is created that was the latest of Secondary. What you could do is a delete rename type of thing. May call tech support and ask about this.

    Pete.

    Acadia, you may have to try it. I have a feeling you might like it.
     
  13. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Ahhhh, that makes sense (good grief, am I actually beginning to understand this thingie)

    I believe that it is, Peter, but you had better check with tech support to make sure.

    Nah ... if it ain't broke ... ;)

    Acadia
     
  14. Skytrooper

    Skytrooper Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Posts:
    101
    Thanks for the links, Acadia. I was rereading the Rollback Rx User's Guide and the Knowledge Base on their website while you were making the links. According to the User's Guide, before making a snapshot you need to "save all documents and close running applications before continuing." Say what? Rollback Rx can be set to make automatic scheduled backups on an hourly basis. It's hardly practical for a user to have to shut off all other running programs every time a snapshot is taken. That hasn't been necessary in my experience with True Image or FD-ISR.

    When asked if there's a Rollback Rx forum, the Knowledge Base says "Yes" then lists a thread in Wilders' Other Security Issues forum. Hmmm... There's a world of difference between software having a dedicated technical forum and the fact it was simply mentioned in a thread on a general forum. Such an exaggeration does not generate enthusiasm in me for the firm's veracity.

    I didn't find any reference to conflicts with FD-ISR, but having to uninstall Rollback Rx every time a True Image user wanted to make a backup would get old fast. I think you're correct that NOD32 scans would be much faster on a PC with Rollback Rx snapshots compared to FD-ISR snapshots.

    Rollback Rx is a really intriguing program and I wish I'd discovered it before recently purchasing True Image and FD-ISR. I may still uninstall those programs and experiment with Rollback Rx if only to see if it conflicts with ProcessGuard as FD-ISR does. I'd really like to be able to make automatic daily scheduled snapshots without having to be present to disable PG first.

    Change #1:

    Just as I was about to make this post, I noticed the cogent, relevant remarks of Atomas31 and Peter2150.

    Atomas31, thanks for mentioning your experience with Rollback Rx, NOD32, and PG.

    Peter2150, you scoundrel! You're the duck whose posts did the most to influence my purchase of FD-ISR and now you're pushing Rollback Rx! Oh, well; Fedex isn't supposed to deliver my FD-ISR CD until Friday so I still have time to experiment with Rollback Rx and return the CD unopened if I like Rollback Rx better. As far as True Image v9, I guess I can always give it to someone I really dislike. Are there any BATF agents around?

    Thanks for your helpful information, folks.
     
  15. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    From their website: "Close all apps and files before doing a snapshot" is ONLY a recommendation, it's not required. RollBack Rx doesn't have any problems taking new snapshots while applications and file are open. Rollback is programmed to take care this kind of situations. It's just one of those typical "software warning messages", such as "scanning system for virus before installing etc...". The message is really intended to make users "reasonable", such as not taking a new snapshot while you are copying a 10GB file or something."

    Skytrooper, I believe that you only need to uninstall RB if you are restoring an image, that makes perfect sense.

    Acadia
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2006
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    Hi Skytrooper

    ROFL. FD-ISR is a heck of a program. But when I find something else that might have advantages, I'd have to be foolish not to check.

    True Image is not a comparible program. It is for backup imaging.

    Yes if you uninstall Rollback Rx you do lose the snapshots.

    As for the shutting down prior to save a snapshot. Might be a biggie to some, but not to me. I always closes apps and leave the system alone for imaging, defragging, and when I make FDISR snapshot. So doing it for Rollback Rx isn't a biggie especially given the time to do it.

    SkyTrooper both of the programs have powerful and unique features. It just depends on what is important to you. For some of the testing I do Rollback does appear at first glance to have some powerful advantages.

    Pete
     
  17. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Wow, Skytrooper, you're right, that, to me, is very misleading.

    Skytrooper, I edited my previous answer to your last post somewhat.

    Acadia
     
  18. Skytrooper

    Skytrooper Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Posts:
    101
    You may be right, but the language in their Knowledge Base is ambiguous: "If you use the file backup feature of Acronis, their [sic] shouldn't be any problems with RollBack Rx. Acronis file backup shouldn't modify the MBRs unless it does a complete drive image backup." A "complete drive image backup" to me means creating a full backup image, not necessarily using an image to restore a drive.

    I tell my wife that all the time, to no avail. Hasn't worked for me with federal judges, either. ;)
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    The forum issue isn't that much of a biggie to me. At least they are pointing you somewhere. I know a couple of pieces of software where they do have a forum, all 5 posts. Thats not much help.

    More significant to me is the fact that I can call an talk to a knowledgeable human. Comparing that to Shadowstor where you get an answering machine and they don't call back. Now that concerned me.
     
  20. Skytrooper

    Skytrooper Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Posts:
    101
    You're right about various software vendors having defunct forums. However, for Rollback Rx to tout having a dedicated forum when their "forum" was nothing more than a thread on Wilders constitutes deceptive advertising to me.

    We certainly had different experiences with Shadowstor's tech support. I e-mailed them with a question regarding ShadowUser and within moments of sending my message there was a response. I couldn't believe it. A follow-up question took a couple hours to get a reply, but I'm accustomed to waiting for days to get responses from tech support at Acronis, MSN, Microsoft, etc.
     
  21. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    Hi Skytooper

    On the forum issue I think you may be being a bit hard on them. They don't reallly "tout" it. In fact the only mention is a question in the FAQ. It isn't even listed as a support option.


    @all

    Will call later with key question for them and post back.

    Pete
     
  22. Atomas31

    Atomas31 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Posts:
    923
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Hi Skytrooper,

    Concerning an official forum and probably a live chat support, here's there answer :

    " I have talked to our webmaster about your earlier requests; and as a result we will be having our own public forum. We are also looking at a livechat solution."

    Best regards,
    Atomas31
     
  23. Skytrooper

    Skytrooper Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Posts:
    101
    "Hard on them"? I'm treating them with kid gloves. In their Knowledge Base's FAQ, they included the question, "Is there a forum for RollBack Rx?" They answer, "Yes" then cite a thread here in Wilders. If that isn't deceptive, or "very misleading" as Acadia put it, I don't know what is. Now that I've beaten that dead horse, on to my experience as a guinea pig with Rollback Rx.

    I completely uninstalled FirstDefense-ISR (including all snapshots), turned off all running security programs, and installed Rollback Rx (or, at least, I tried to). Near the end of the installation process, I got a message saying: "Rollback Rx Error: 1406 Could not write value key group to key \System\CurrentControlSet\Services\shdbus." Swell. After hitting the retry button several dozen times, the installation process completed. Upon rebooting, Rollback Rx was included in All Programs, but there was no system tray icon. Following advice in their User's Guide or Knowledge Base, I clicked on the Rollback Tray icon in the folder in All Programs. That caused a gray (not full color) Rollback Rx icon to briefly appear in my system tray before disappearing. Clicking on the Application Console icon gave this message: "Init IID_IShield Ctrl Failed." When I reboot, I get a Rollback Rx screen for several seconds, similar to that of FD-ISR. Rollback Rx appears to be "semi-installed" on my PC. It's a tad difficult to make snapshots, etc. without an Application Console.

    I e-mailed Rollback Rx tech support around 11 hours ago. If I don't hear from them by tomorrow, I'll go back to FD-ISR and learn to live with the ProcessGuard conflict. Why can't things go smoothly every once in a while? :rolleyes:
     
  24. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Yeah, that's the problem with a brand new program, still working out the bugs. :doubt:

    Acadia
     
  25. Atomas31

    Atomas31 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Posts:
    923
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec

    Hi Peter2150,

    Just want to know, how does Rollback Rx preboot interceptor works? What are the procedure to have access to the preboot menu of Rollback Rx? I didn't find this mystery yet...

    thanks,
    Atomas31
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.