Genie Backup

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Hugger, Mar 3, 2008.

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  1. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Have any of you tried this?
    Genie Backup Manager 8.
    The reviews I've read seem to give it a good rating.
    Also, I read that it does disaster recovery and it's easy to use while it doesn't take a snapshot image like Ghost or True Image.
    Screenshots show it has the ability to go from caveman mode to power user type user.
    Any feedback please.
    Regards.
    Hugger
     
  2. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    IIRC, Genie Backup does file-based backup. I don't think that it can recover from bare metal.
     
  3. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Lucas,
    Thanks for that.
    I just found this.

    'However as Genie data recovery works on a file by file basis rather than disk sector by sector in the manner used by drive imaging programs it cannot backup the boot sector of a drive.'

    It's got it's good points.
    But if I fry my os I'd be happier if the backup worked.
    Unless I don't understand this part.
    Regards.
    Hugger
     
  4. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    It means that it can not recover from bare metal. There's nothing better than a drive-imaging program (sector by sector backup) to backup the system partition. For your data, you can use any backup app (file backup, drive-imaging, sync app, etc)
     
  5. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    yes its great used it qute abit. it just gets stronger and stronger. reliable pretty good gui and tons of backup plugins to backup your settings of each software such as profile of Firefox or Outlook. 9.5/10
     
  6. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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  7. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    i used it extensively over the year in 2005/6 didn't have a problem. that thread isn't overflowing with complaints. i have moved onto second copy now.
     
  8. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    I used GBUM around the same time as markymoo and while it did the job of backing up my files well enough, I still found it inadequate in that it did not include measures for disaster recovery. So soon thereafter I purchased Acronis True Image to provide for such an event.
     
  9. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    One for free ! legendary. http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp
     
  10. TDAnthony

    TDAnthony Registered Member

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    Version tested:
    Genie Backup Pro Edition Build 8.0.278.448
    On Windows Vista Ultimate on 380 GB of USB drive data.

    Rating: 2.5 (out of 5)
    Promises what we want to hear but doesn't fully deliver. Works in its own way but is missing things, misrepresents others, and is buggy. Since it's shortcomings are too complex to immediately see, it reviews extremely well. I gave it only 2.5 stars out of 5 because a backup product MUST ALWAYS do its job as expected with no major issues and minimum uncertainty. Though costly, slower, more difficult, and sometimes frustrating, the stalwarts of TrueImage and Retrospect deliver the basics and despite confusing options, they do most of what they say. NB: We've yet to find a product that would rate 4+ stars.

    To use the 2008 US elections as a political metaphor: GBP 8 is more like Barack Obama who preaches well, overstates, but hasn't done much! I prefer products that may have shortcomings or rough edges but get most things done correctly - like Hillary Clinton! Other products are more like John McCain - they may be old or unfriendly but they actually work very well but, alas, they don't do what most realy need or want!

    Overview:
    I needed an urgent back up after a recent crash and rebuild and wanted something that:
    a. Was easy to setup and use.
    b. Ran fairly quickly and reliably.
    c. Could back up local open files and network files.
    d. Stored backups in Zip format with encryption.
    e. Was easy to monitor and view logs.

    I previously used Retrospect and True Image. Both use proprietary formats, run slow, but do handle open files correctly. So I spent the last 4 days testing Genie Backup Pro 8 along with several others. They also both work *very* slow.

    Judging by the promo, reviews and its decent looking interface, I thought GBP8 was Nirvana. But, the more I tested, the more things misbehaved, malfunctioned, or did not work as expected. Worse, these things are not readily apparent until you remove its underwear.

    Like a well-designed house that is 70% finished but missing some floor boards, windows, and has some broken materials, it looks more like a product written by a really super-programmer who did not complete the job or did not have the bandwidth to understand, test, and fix the operational design and function. Its documentation is looks like it was originally written and translated well but later versions destroyed its continuity and peppered it with serious inconsistencies.

    Good Things:
    1. Archives in common Zip format with optional encryption.
    2. Tries to create multiple backup versions (but with problems).
    3. Decent looking interface
    4. Decent price.


    Problem Isses:

    1. Bare metal restore. Not!
    It cannot do this at all as it's poorly translated and incorrect docs would suggest. What it does do is allow you to backup whatever you say (not necessarily what you need), as well as providing specialty "plug-in scripts" that attempt to identify and backup all the important hidden data and settings for popular applications. It also suggests it can create self-executing EXE's on CD/DVD media allowing for restoration without the main program. What it really does is try to create a more complete file-by-file back that includes pp settings so you can better recreate a system after it is reformatted and reloaded with a new OS copy. That is not bare metal. Only a complete system drive image can restore to bare metal and then, only to the same exact hardware. True Image has an extra cost add-on that purports to resurrect to dissimilar PC's but even their support group advises against using it since it is not perfectly possible due to the 100's of hardware support issues.

    2. Plug-in Scripts - More like Pandora's box
    Plug-in App Scripts are listed under a "Plug-ins" tab on the file/folder Selection screen during backup configuration. Though a wonderful idea, such scripts cannot be relied upon for advanced systems were the data areas are often manually reconfigured. Although scripts provide amazing power, they require patient and deep understanding. You cannot, for example, trust anyone else's script that might be provided on the net since systems can vary and if a single needed data item for an app is missed or it is for a different build, the app may not run or be damaged. To be reliably used, this feature requires very high maintenance and the bleary eye of an advanced techie - which is the opposite of its purpose.

    2. Vista - Not quite
    GBP8 doesn't seem to be fully Vista compatible. Vista was obviously a last minute support idea. Scheduled backup job we created did not appear in the Vista schedule manager until we re-ran the program several times and attempted to create our own additional schedule tasks. Then, without notice the GBP tasks suddenly appeared, in addition to their own. We ended up having to delete the GBP8 tasks, disabling the schedule options in our GBP8 backups and manually entering them in Vista. It then seemed to start working.

    Also, when backups are set to run as "currently logged in user" -or- the separate system tray "backup agent" program is used to initiate a backup, a progress box pops up and summarizes the final success/failure. Then when you close the progress box, you get a crash message but the main program if still on screen does not. Even when set to run when logged off, it crashes less but still does on occasion if the pop up progress indicator appears and you manually close it.

    3. Outlook
    Although it claims to use Vista's VSS shadow copy service to back up local open files, it does NOT backup Outlook PST files when Outlook is open. There are global options to close and re-open Outlook prior to and after backing up but GBP8 didn't close Outlook. It did, however, open Outlook when it was closed after the run.

    4. Frequent crashes
    After a back up if its summary box appears and is manually closed, you get a crash message but the main program, if open, continues to run. Very confusing as the summary box doesn't seem to op up all the time. Not confidence inspiring.

    5. Conflicting interfaces:
    GBP8 seems to work with 5+ separate run-time components whose operation is at best confusing and at worst fatal to your backup.
    a. GBP8 GUI program. Configures and runs backups.
    b. GBP8 Tray program. Runs backups, shows status.
    c. GBP8 GUI program scheduler (just configures Vista scheduler)
    d. Vista Scheduler - what REALLY schedules backups.
    e. GBP8 backup engine? What really runs under the covers?

    For example, though surprisingly difficult to find, you can start a backup within the main program. Ok, but you can also start a back up from the separate "system tray agent" program. And the Vista scheduler can also start a backup. Thus, it is possible to run the same backup 3 times at the same time which trashes the backup. Avoiding these conflicts is like walking on thin ice, you can do it carefully but you are bound to fall in one day. We did and had to restart our 200 GB back up.

    6. Fragile backup command sets
    You can also break your back up sequence if you change a back up config. We're not sure how but our main backup config lost its 200 GB document folder selection. When we opened the backup config and reselected to folder it then ran another complete 200 GB backup (another 8 hours), even though the previous backup was for the same selection and already there in the back up directory. It seems to up the "backup set number" unexpectedly. So we ended up with 400 GB! Since we initially blew the 1st backup, we've now backed up 600 GB. Another such mishap and we'll have another 200 GB! Not confidence inspiring.

    7. Versioning - not!
    Some of the ads portray GBP8 as having file versioning. It does not. It works like traditional backups and simply backups up multiple copies of changed files. If you want to resurrect a single file you have to find and open and inspect all of the backups to find your file. It really doesn't have the catalog complexity required to do file versioning. We also could not find a catalog rebuild tool. So, when we deleted earlier backups they still show in the various restore selection boxes though the files may not be there. Archaic stalwarts like Retrospect, though prone to the same problem, at least let you rebuild a catalog, search for all versions of a file by its. It's also painful but it works, eventually.

    8. Creates needless empty archives
    Each time GBP8 runs, it scans for files that were new or changed and creates a backup archive. Even if there are NO FILES backed up it still creates a backup archive of 150 kb. So, if you set your backups with the popular frequency of "every few hours" and make no changes for a week, you will have 84 (7x12) empty backup archives totaling 13 MB. So, in a time of need, you may have to investigate literally 100's of archives to find the file version you want. That is simply not feasible.

    9. User Forum suspended 3 years ago
    As a developer, I can commiserate with those having to suffer the dirty diapers of the many ignorati that defecate in forums, but, alas, a product support forum has become de rigueur for any development house - even if ignored by the OEM. The last posted comment about its closing said little more than "it has been closed" and refer to "our paid support". That doesn't inspire confidence.

    Bottom Line:
    It works well if only if you do NOT need to depend on advanced features, do NOT have mammoth amounts of data issues or complex application configurations, do NOT need a bare metal back up, do NOT need documentation that matches the product, and do NOT mind some crashes in Vista. But, if you do NOT need all those things, there are simpler products around like Second Copy which has its own shortcomings but does what little it tries to do easily and well.

    We're still testing GBP8 since we have already invested 4 days and 600GB of backups now and full backups can take 6-16 hours. We suspect we may go back to using the following tedious combination:

    TrueImage Workstation:
    Despite the issues some have, we have found TI to be reliable for system drive imaging and full restore (only bare metal if same system). It also does file-by-file but its still an image so it is very slow. It took 12 hours to do our 300 GB data drive. As most imagers, it uses a proprietary format.

    Retrospect:
    For complete data backup with multiple versions (not versioning, it simple doesn't delete them). As painful and pricey as this product is to use and as easy as it is to fail, it works and has rebuild functions to get around its infrequent catalog corruption. It does open file backups but cannot do bare metal restore to a dissimilar system without extensive options. It also has a pruning feature that tends to run out of disk space but is great when it works. Since EMC bought Dantz (original OEM) it may drop this product in the near future since, for them, it's small potatoes. Current product works in Vista with some shortcomings. Its backups can be encrypted and compressed but in its own proprietary format using 100's of files and a very complex fragile cataloging system.

    Second Copy
    This is a fast, simple, limited, and cheap way to replicate most important files from and to any local, attached or network folder. It also does simple file versioning by adding a suffix. It can also compress and encrypt backups but you lose file version. Also, you can only compress the entire backup into one mammoth archive or each backed up file individually. If ALL, then the mammoth backups are a problem since it has to rebuild them each time. If separate, then you have the overhead of compressing 100's of 1,000's of files, one-by-one.

    = = =

    In short, there is no product yet available that we have found that meets our needs for a modern system with lots of files using open file backup, standard zipping, and file versioning. GBP8 purports to do much of this but needs a significant rewrite to fix its man problems and add the features it promises but does not yet implement. Also, it needs to call its file versioning by what it really is, simply multiple backups with rotation options. It also needs a true file catalog or a much better way to find files. With all that confusion, it is unclear how it really restores a complete backup.

    -- fin --
     
  11. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Hugger,

    This may be a carryover from that other thread,so presumably what you are looking for is a specialised image backup app.

    One of the most favored is Shadow Protect,which you can try HERE

    For data backup,just use Karens Replicator instead of Genie,free,simple and fast.

    You really will need another HDD for archiving any backups and the simplest idea would be to buy an external,preferably eSATA which is the fastest- if your mobo will support it.
    Another idea is to buy an external fitted with either a Seagate or Maxtor drive and that way you are entitled to D/L and use DiscWizard for free,virtually the same as Acronis True Image 10 :thumb:
     
  12. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Thanks all for the feedback.
    TD Anthony, got any more good reviews hanging around. That was the best down to earth review I've seen in a while.
    Best regards to all.
    Hugger
     
  13. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Hairy,
    You're right.
    At first Genie looked good nut obviously not anymore.
    So I guess I'll be removing TI and visiting the fine folks at Storage Craft.
    Regards.
    Hugger
     
  14. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Hugger
    Didnt realize you had TI-nothing wrong with that-just be sure to get another HDD:thumb:
    bestest hairy
     
  15. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Hairy,
    I was trialing it and didn't like it.
    I should have gone right to Shadow Protect.
    Now I have the dubious pleasure of uninstalling all of it.
    Enjoy.
    Hugger
     
  16. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Hugger,
    Be very careful to uninstall TI properly-as detailed in the TI threads-otherwise SP wont run.
    Once you get used to SP,theres almost nothing it cant do(except cook your meals:D )
     
  17. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Hairy,
    Job done and I survived.
    And I agree with you about Shadowprotect. I just started the trial and am liking it already.
    Regards.
    Hugger
     
  18. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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  19. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    You might also like to look at the comprehensive comparison reviews here. I don't think any of them do bare-metal restores and, if that is required, then you can't go far wrong with ShadowProtect and its incrementals.

    I bought Backup4all after reading the review and testing it out though and have been very pleased with it. The benefit of combining an imaging solution with a file-based one is that the file-based one can be filtered to backup only the files you need and in a form that may be easier to get at ie either simple copies or in zip archives.

    Graham
     
  20. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Interesting roundup of apps designed for data backup,but as they mostly only achieve the same end result as the much recommended Karens Replicator,cant really see a lot of users needing them .
    They all seem to feature uneccessarily complicated GUIs.
     
  21. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    I guess it depends on your requirements. I was looking for something that would backup to ftp as well as local, run pre and post applications, filter by size, allow you to have groups of tasks and run from a U3 stick :eek: . I think Backup4all was the only one at the time which covered all of the requirements. Maybe it still is, I haven't checked.

    I don't have a problem with its gui but I'll grant you that some of them are a bit of a dog's dinner :) .

    Graham
     
  22. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    In your case,can see your point:)

    Anyone who may require this type of data backup-GiveAway of theDay have Titan Backup
    here for another 8 hours.
     
  23. TDAnthony

    TDAnthony Registered Member

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    Thanks for the kind words. Here's an update on our quest for a backup that can protect our extensive file libraries as well as a comment on backup software types. This may be a duplicate since my last submission didn't seem to take.

    == resubmission follows ==

    We also looked at ShadowProtect and it did look interesting but one shortcoming it has (as do most partition level imagers) is that it it cannot backup network folders. So, we have to relegate it to an option only for system drive backups leaving the great need for data backups to the "lesser" programs.

    Thus far, in our quest to find a stable and effective data backup system, our findings are:

    1. Most imagers work pretty much the same and all do the jobs give or take a few bells. TrueImage remains a leader if you already have it. ShadowProtect if you do not. For those that already use TI, did you find any advantages in in SP over TI?

    2. Data backups and replicators are more problematic and fall into 3 distinct groups:

    a. File copiers (replicators) that work without too many advanced options (Second Copy in this category does have its share of good ones). These work at a higher level so allow access to any folder, including network folders but are lacking some important features for more complex systems like encryption, file versioning, etc. Thus far, we find the apps in this category do more of what they say than the others simply by living within their capabilities. This saves users the time and pain finding features that don't work (usually when it is too late).

    b. Automatic Set and Forget programs that only backup the standard data areas they think you have. These only work for users with minimal systems that are not reconfigured and whose key data folder locations have not changed. For moderate to advanced users who routinely move data folders around and have multiple drives, these programs can be fatal in that they will skip many items not in their narrow view of what a standard data confuration is - such as your entire data area (or important piece) if you don't stay within the "My Documents" regimen. Many users with larger systems can no longer do that as My Docs could soon reach 1+ TB with video, music, and graphics libraries. Such scenarios demand separate partitions or, at least, folder trees, that can be used, backed up, and restored separately.

    c. Full blown complex backup systems like Retrospect, Novastor, etc, that can backup everything, are intensely high maintenance and, as such, will often fail or miss files due to the complexity of their setup. In reality, the apps in this category do not provide all that many more core backup features than the simplest file copiers. What they add are complex support for tape libraries, advanced storage systems, elaborate file cataloging for versioning etc (which easily corrupt), and the consumption of large amounts of your time to monitor, fix, and tweak them on an almost daily basis!​
    Although we still have many more more products to review, we have yet to find a product that meets the needs that most of us seem to have. To wit: A product that has the following features (Second Copy "SC" is noted for comparison in each):

    1. Multiple profiles to backup multiple sets of data. Most apps now have this so it's not a big issue. SC does this well.

    2. Mutiple file selections within a single profile and, for each, separately allows multiple incudes and excludes of files, folder, or extensions. SC does this well.

    3. Back up any folder anywhere to any folder anywhere including network, USB, eSata, Firewire, thumbdrives, and memory cards. Seocnd Copy does this well since it is a higher level app and sees whatever you can see in Windows Explorer.

    4. Full and Incremental backups using simple comparisons of backup archive. Differential is a nice-to-have but not often needed since it consumes a LOT of space. SC does full, incremental, and synchronize well but does not do differential.

    5. Granular scheduling that goes beyond "every few hours" or "at this time" to specify frequency, odd date ranges and allows the dating of backups so you can have a separate profile that, say, backs up up your financial data to a separate dated archive folder or zip once a month (in addition to your regular backup schedule. SC fails at this as it only provides a simplistic "every few hours, every day" and oddly allows exclusion but not inclusion of certain days.

    6. Encrypts back ups (See Zip compression, next). I can't believe this is not a mandatory feature in ALL backups. Think of the personal, bank, and purchase info that most now have on their drives today - not to mention any personal/private images one might have! For the financial aspects alone, I dread the possibility of my computer and/or backup drive being stolen. Think "identity theft" and its potential financial devastation!

    7. Standard compression (like Zip) to reduce backup sizes by 30-60%. Using the routinely available Zip programming libraries, it is entirely feasible to create a backup system that encrypts everything while not resorting to SC's more simplistic Zip Nothing, Zip entire profle selection, or Zip each file separately. SC also excludes file versioning when using compression. Apps need to provide all their regular options while also compressing. Compression needs options such as:
    a. Compress folders down "n" levels (0=no folders, 1=root only, etc)
    b. Limit size of archives to a definable maximum
    c. Limit minimum size of file to compress
    d. Define file types NOT to compress (Zip,Rar,Mp3,AVI, etc). ​

    8. File versioning. All too often we we discover a large doc or spreadsheet was that corrupted or mis-edited 1-2 versions previous. This is an important feature. SC does versioning but falters a bit in that it only does it when NOT compressing or encrypting.

    9. Simple file find and restore (or a version thereof) to restore and another to simply restore the latest versions of everything. SC is limited here. It is unlcear how well it does a complete restore.

    So, that's our wish list. Does anyone know a file back up that comes close to these objectives below or near $100?
     
  24. TDAnthony

    TDAnthony Registered Member

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    This "give away" is actually an unlimited trial with NO support, NO upgrades, and you MUST install it immediately.

    Have you tried it? Is it worth looking at?

    Feature-wise like Genie:
    It looks almost identical to Genie Backup Pro v8 which I already reported on here as being buggy and didn't live up to many of its promises. If it's the same developer, I hope they are happier when they produced this incarnation, ha! This underscores a major issue with a lot of the products in this category. They are often written by a few developer(s) who sell the product to software marketing outfits. Thereafter, support is limited or non-existent since the original develops are long gone. You can tell that scenario when responses to support emails say "Thanks for your comments. We will forward them to the developer." Not very confidence inspiring. Judging by the holes in the last revision of Genie, it looks like its developer(s) burnt out.

    Net folder access in Titan?
    The on-screen demo at their site suggests it CANNOT back up network folders since there is no "Network" folder shown in the "folder list". Can anyone confirm this limitation? So, when it says it will "sync" a laptop to desktop, it is confusing. Perhaps they limit the net access to "sync" and not backup to get you to but the much more complex "Business" edition with separate server and workstation modules. Most of our files are scattered around our home network so access to net folders is mandatory for us.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
  25. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    TD Anthony,

    Could you please quote the source -thanks.
    Interesting reviews.

    edit;I did install Titan,seems a nice app,also quite reasonably fast -18gb uncompressed took only 12 mins for a full B/U
    But incremental backup was slow,obviously not sector based.
    Would say Karens R. is quite a bit faster overall,certainly simpler to use
    Cant say how reliable Titan is in longterm use or what else may pop up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
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