How reliable is the backup created by the desktop version of B & R vs boot media version

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by Muse2u, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. Muse2u

    Muse2u Registered Member

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    I am a little nervous about relying on a disk backup performed by the desktop version of Backup & Recovery 14 Home that I am using, a backup that is taking place while potentially any number of processes could be changing the drive while the backup is taking place. Unless B&R is able to and locks the whole drive while the backup is taking place, the final backup is not an accurate snapshot of the drive in a point of time. For example, say the program has backed up "tracks" 1-100 and while it is backing up "tracks" 101-200, a process changes "tracks" 1-100. If the content of "tracks" 101-200 depend on/ are related to the content of "tracks" 1-100, they are now out of sync. So instead of the final backup being a single snapshot of the drive in a point of time, it is a series of snapshots, at different times, of different locations of the drive, any of which could have changed after that location was backed up.

    I assume that when a backup is being performed using the PE boot media, the booted OS is not writing to the drive being backed up and therefore avoids this issue.

    I also assume that since I have not heard of anyone complaining that backups of this nature using the desktop version of the program, do not restore a drive properly, I must be missing something in my understanding how this works.

    Does anyone have any insight on the reliability of a backup performed by the desktop version vs the PE boot version? The former has the advantage of convenience while the latter "seems" not to have all the same bells and whistles.
     
  2. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    Some do everything from WinPE. I myself backup from Windows and restore from WinPE but you "might" not have any other option but to use WinPE if your PC won't boot up. I'm on a dual boot, separate physical drives with W7 and W10TP. I have restore W10TP three times using the Boot Media Builder(WinPE) on a RW DVD but have it on a USB flash drive now as it loads so much faster.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Both are reliable. Problems in hot backups are avoided using the MS service VSS. Look for "VSS" in the Paragon manuals, or search it.

    I usually work with boot media. In the case of Paragon the Linux is a good choice, if it works on your hardware. It´s fast, easy to build, more versatile to restore backups.
     
  4. Muse2u

    Muse2u Registered Member

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    It sounds like you both have confidence in the desktop version of the backup, but that it would still be wise to have a Linux or PE boot media disk available to perform the restore. I will do some research on VSS and see how that applies.

    In my initial post I did not differentiate between the backup of the system drive (the one containing the booted operating system that the desktop backup program is executing from) and a simple data drive. Would your recommendations be different if we were talking about the system drive? I have performed several desktop backups of my Windows 7 system disk but do not anticipate that I could restore them to the same location from anything other than a boot media disk.

    Can the backup program be run in Windows Safe mode? Would that be an option to performing a backup with reduced IO activity?
     
  5. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    I don't use a separate drive for data so all are OS drives. I doubt if it would run in Safe Mode.
     
  6. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    You should always restore the OS from a boot medium. If Windows is working, it may be possible to begin the process from Windows and do the restore in a "pre-OS" mode, but I don´t trust this method.
     
  7. Muse2u

    Muse2u Registered Member

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    I am leaning towards using a boot disk for both backup and recovery.
    Although I haven't tried running B&R, there are a lot of programs that will not run in safe mode.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  8. Muse2u

    Muse2u Registered Member

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    Excellent suggestion. I found the technology very enlightening. From what I read, and some of it is between the lines, the hot/VSS technology appears to allocate enough space on the drive being backed up or another drive, to cache i/o or changes to "sectors" that haven't been backed up yet and then applies them some time after that "sector" has been backed up. I use the word "sector" but I think another unit of disk space may in fact be used. Using this technique, every "sector" being backed up represents part of the snapshot of the hard drive taken at the start of the backup. On the surface a very simple idea but I suspect significantly complex.

    Does this interpretation sound correct?

    It would explain the success of hot backups.
     
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