How Reliable Are 'Image For Windows' Backups?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by DasFox, Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    With Terabyte's Image For Windows how safe and reliable are the backups it makes?

    What I want to know is should I worry about using the 'Validate' or, 'Validate Byte-for-Byte ' options?

    I'm using Image For Windows on my home box, so I wouldn't exactly call this Nasa mission critical, but I do want to have safety and reliability non the less...

    Also I was reading this in the manual:

    Omit Page File Data – If you select this option and the PAGEFILE.SYS file resides in the root directory of the source partition, Image for Windows will not back up PAGEFILE.SYS. If PAGEFILE.SYS resides anywhere else on the source partition other than the root directory, Image for Windows will back it up, regardless of this setting

    I don't get this, by default pagefile.sys exsits on C:\ so it's not going to be backed up on C:\?

    Also for home backups does it really matter if I go with compression, or standard, again I want the best reliability.

    I don't get 'File Size' if you're going to go with a compressed image, what does file size have to do with anything, I would of thought if you're going to make a compressed image then it's going to make it the size it chooses.

    One last thing, when restoring a backup with Image for DOS, and I've only backed up the C: and I just want to restore it all back default, do I need to check any settings in Image for DOS to do this, or just leave all the settings alone and it will restore what it backed up originally? Some of the settings are taking me for a loop here...

    Scale to Target ?
    Scale to Fit ?
    Assume Original HD
    Set Active ? ( Well this is the C: drive so I'd assume it's still active on the backup image )
    Write Standard MBR Code ?
    Move to Original MBR Entry ?
    Resize After Restore ?

    THANKS
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I've never seen an image or restore failure with any backup software.

    I validate every image. In addition to checking the image it also checks your hardware. For example, you may have a good image but it won't restore because of bad RAM.

    It is confusing, I agree. If the page file is in the E: drive, and you backup the E: drive, you don't have the option of excluding the page file.

    Personal preference.

    This just indicates where the image will be split.
     
  3. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian, I guess it's probably best for keeping the backups small to omit the page file and just create it again when Windows boots backup, or will Windows automatically do this?

    Also what about these settings to just restore the image with image for dos, I just want to have the image restored as an original, the way I backed it up...

    Scale to Target ?
    Scale to Fit ?
    Assume Original HD
    Set Active ? ( Well this is the C: drive so I'd assume it's still active on the backup image )
    Write Standard MBR Code ?
    Move to Original MBR Entry ?
    Resize After Restore ?
    Validate Before Restore? ( really need to if you already validated the backup?)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Most people don't include the page file. It's recreated when Windows boots anyway.

    IFD certainly gives a lot of choices which most of us don't need to use.
    I only use.

    Set Active
    Validate Before Restore

    I leave everything else alone.

    Re your final sentence, sorry, your full quote was...

     
  5. mata7

    mata7 Registered Member

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    i made more the 100 restore wiht IFW and Never fail one, brian is the guru for this software
     
  6. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Thanks Mata7, ok Brian....

    But if I was backing up the C: drive why would I need to set it active, I would of thought it's going to remain active on the backup I created?

    For my backup settings I left everything at default, I didn't compress and the only thing I changed was to 'Validate', I thought the Byte for Byte might be a bit extreme for a home box?

    THANKS again guys! :)
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    mata7,

    Shortly, TeraByte will be publishing a tutorial on automated unattended image restores. I'd like to see more people using this technique. You would have to be the most experienced unattended restore man in the world.
     
  8. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    So always use, 'Set Active' even if you are backing up the C: drive?

    THANKS
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Being "active" is a setting in the MBR, not in the image. I haven't tested what would happen if you omitted the tick.

    If you were restoring a non OS partition then you would not tick "Set Active".

    I use "Byte for Byte". It does take a little longer.
     
  10. mata7

    mata7 Registered Member

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    thanks brian, thas a great news cant wait
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    The recent IFD versions have two validate choices. A before and after the image is restored. I use both. The second choice is a byte for byte comparison of the image and the restored partition.

    I think the first validate is more important.

    For example, if you have bad RAM, your target partition could be deleted and the image not restored if you didn't select Validate.
     
  12. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian, I do know about the MBR, hehe... :)

    Ok well I guess to be safer I'll do byte for byte...

    Well all I can say is I restored an image the other day and I didn't check to set it active and it booted just fine, so what does that tell us?

    Hmm not sure, but I guess I'll ask terabyte too and see how they respond...

    THANKS again...
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I half expected that it would boot. The Active Flag in the MBR obviously remained set to the last booted partition. I guess this "set active" setting applies if you have two or more OS. You need to set active the one to be booted next.
     
  14. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Yes if you were dual booting that would certainly make sense to do it, BUT then again if IFW doesn't distrub the MBR during the backup, then it shouldn't be needed also when doing a restore for a dual boot system.

    I don't get why IFW would be messing with, or causing issues with the MBR, therefore needing this option...

    Hmmo_O
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    All imaging software has a "Set Active" option.

    IFW has numerous options for restoring the MBR and First Track. These are specialized and most people can ignore them.

    "Set Active" is only changing one byte in the partition table of the MBR. It's not altering boot code. Sounds like it doesn't matter if it is ticked or not if you only have one OS as this partition is always the one and only active partition.

    Sometimes when restoring an image you don't want it to be the active partition as you want the other OS to be the next boot OS. In this case you would not tick "Set Active".
     
  16. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Unlike Brian K I have encountered imaging software where images fail, maybe not the first time but sooner or later (within the first 4-5 restores ime)
    Image for Windows was one of the two imaging software that I have tried that gave me reliable restores every time (I think I restored ~40 times with IFW) I only stopped using IFW because I found a software that was as reliable as IFW but much faster (+ it had HIR)
     
  17. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    What software just as reliable and faster?

    Well I contacted their support, they're aren't very technical with their reponses.

    The reply I received for 'Set Active' ----> It's not needed some times

    Ok that's a GREAT technical support response, LOL...

    And what the heck is that suppose to mean, not needed some times...

    Sheesh

    Anyhow I wrote back asking for some explaination...

    Let's see what I get now...
     
  18. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Shadowprotect
     
  19. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    o_O ROFLMAO : read the support news groups.
    The response will be an exact response to the Q ;)
    Ask a technical question: see what you get !!
    if you ask a simple question: often get "yes" "no" "maybe" response :D :D
    I think that occasionally Terabyte support cant help themselves being a bit dry.
    lol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  20. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    They never replied back, not exactly good techincal support...

    So I wrote a NICE LONG email in regards to this, let's see what happens now...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I don't blame them. It's not like you have bought software from them and you weren't asking a specific question about their software. Just a general question about imaging.

    I've rarely waited longer than 1 hour for an email reply about the software I purchased.
     
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