I need a simple incremental backup system

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by friendlyfriend, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    I'm looking for a backup system that at backup time just finds everything that has changed on my hard drive since the previous backup and immediately imposes the changes on an external hard drive making it logically identical to the one in my computer. This means there is no restore process. After a hard drive crash, I simply unscrew the bad hard drive, remove the backup one from its enclosure, screw it into my computer and I am done.

    All I can find is backup software that does complete cloning only (without any incremental option) or involved backup processes that involve a "rescue cd", some proprietary backup container file and all sorts of nonsense like picking and choosing Microsoft Outlook info or Registry info or encryption or just certain folders or assigning a password, blah blah blah.

    Where can I find a simple incremental backup system that maintains an exact duplicate of my hard drive without requiring the whole thing to be copied every time?

    I don't want a disk image wrapped in a proprietary-format file that requires a restoration process before I can use it. I don't need to keep every old version of every file. I just want a simple incremental backup system that maintains a usable-as-is logically exact duplicate of my hard drive without requiring the whole thing to be copied every time. I know it's possible and I know it makes a ton of sense but I just haven't found it.

    Does Paragon provide this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    Yes, You will find it in the B&R10 suite , and, I believe, in the DB10 Pro:

    PARAGON -INC - DISKCOPY-2010-01-04_192705.jpg

    Hope it helps.

    B&R 10 Suite


    DB 10 PRO
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  3. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    Awesome! That looks perfect. Now that that's settled, can I use as the external backup hard drive one that has a higher capacity than the one in my computer? That way, I would not only quickly recover from a crash but also quickly increase my capacity when my disk fills up. I see a checkbox for Perform Incremental Copy and a checkbox for Copy Data and Resize Partitions Proportionately. Would I check both of those boxes if I'm copying from a smaller disk with one partition to a larger disk with one partition?

    Also, do I need to do anything to the backup hard drive to get it ready for the first copy such as formatting it or running chkdsk?
     
  4. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    Yes, you can use a higher capacity drive and Resize partitions proportionately.

    I don't think you need to do anything to the target drive first - perhaps Tommy will confirm that tomorrow.
     
  5. Spiral123

    Spiral123 Registered Member

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    Or setup a mirroring RAID configuration.
     
  6. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    First time copy you need the hard drive as free or unallocated space but after it's as is. RAID is not a problem as Windows will see the array as one disk.
     
  7. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    Okay, I finally gave it a try and ran into a couple problems when doing the initial hard drive copy:

    1) I got this error:
    Operation Failed
    Incorrect dir structure - errors in dirtree. CHKDSK should be used to correct
    Error source: Hard Disk Manager
    Error code: 0x10021

    2) I used a 500 GB target hard drive, 160 GB source hard drive and checked the box for "Copy data and resize partitions proportionally", but the new partitions are the same size as the old ones and the extra space on the new drive is unallocated.

    I went through it twice. The second time I also checked the box "Remove free blocks between partitions". The only difference is that after the second try the free space shown in Windows explorer for the target drive was 0.1 GB LESS than what was shown for the source drive.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  8. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    Did you run checkdisk as suggested?

    It sounds like there are filesystem errors on the drive you are trying to copy.
     
  9. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    Yes, I ran chkdsk /F on the source drive. I did it 4 or 5 times with /F and restarting each time, but it kept telling me I still needed to do it again.

    Originally the entire new disk was unallocated. Then the copy with partition resize didn't work and the extra 317 GB was unallocated. I tried it again with no luck. Do I need to unallocate the whole thing between trials?

    Also, while I have your attention, can I clone from the bigger drive to the smaller drive as long as the used amount is less than the capacity of the smaller drive?

    I've had various output from chkdsk, even when running it repeatedly in read-only mode. Here is what's come from the last couple runs...

    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    Volume label is ACER.

    WARNING! F parameter not specified.
    Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
    File verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
    Index verification completed.
    CHKDSK is recovering lost files.
    Recovering orphaned file ETILQS~1 (92:cool: into directory file 175.
    Recovering orphaned file etilqs_o1t5hxjRkjFhyYqjkeJd (92:cool: into directory file 1
    75.
    Recovering orphaned file f_00007e (69214) into directory file 41253.
    CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    Usn Journal verification completed.
    Correcting errors in the master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
    Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
    Windows found problems with the file system.
    Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.

    151171649 KB total disk space.
    116823864 KB in 145545 files.
    58620 KB in 14099 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    485029 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    33804136 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    37792912 total allocation units on disk.
    8451034 allocation units available on disk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  10. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    Checkdisk is still reporting errors - even after you ran a couple of times it with /f ?

    You may need to run checkdisk with /r switch - will take a while.
     
  11. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    Still stuck. I ran it with /r and then again with /f and then ran the copy disk process and I have the same problems... there's an error message when the disk copy finishes and the partitions are not resizing to occupy the whole disk. Last time the Free Space of the two disks were identical. This time the new disk's Free Space is 0.1 GB less.

    I'm using Paragon Drive Backup™, version 10.0, build 9105 (18.11.09 )

    Also, after doing chkdsk on restarting, a bunch of my applications won't open until I restart it again. Strange.

    Chkdsk output:

    =============================================
    after I ran chkdsk /r on startup, I ran chkdsk in read-only mode
    =============================================

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
    File verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
    Index verification completed.
    CHKDSK is recovering lost files.
    Recovering orphaned file tmp.edb (43852) into directory file 19847.
    CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    Usn Journal verification completed.
    Correcting errors in the master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
    Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
    Windows found problems with the file system.
    Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.


    ===============================================
    after I ran chkdsk /f on startup, I ran chkdsk in read-only mode
    ===============================================

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
    File verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
    Index verification completed.
    CHKDSK is recovering lost files.
    Recovering orphaned file tmp.edb (4385:cool: into directory file 19847.
    CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    Usn Journal verification completed.
    Correcting errors in the master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
    Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
    Windows found problems with the file system.
    Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.
     
  12. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    I wanted to see if the incremental checkbox worked. So after doing the initial hard drive copy, I saved a new text file to the source drive and did another hard drive copy with the incremental box checked. It took just as long, about 2 hours, to do that copy as it did the original. So, I'm concluding that it's ignoring the incremental checkbox as well as the resize partitions proportionally checkbox.
     
  13. brocks

    brocks Registered Member

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    I don't understand why you are trying to back up to a defective drive. If CHKDSK says the backup drive has errors, then you are wasting your time trying to make Paragon, or any other program, work with it. I would delete all the partitions on it, make new ones, reformat it, and copy all your data to it just using windows file manager, and then run CHKDSK again. If it still reports errors and cannot fix them, then the only thing to do is replace the drive. I wouldn't even think of using it for testing a backup program until all your CHKDSK problems are gone.

    By the way, since you want to just plug in the backup drive and run from it without a restore, you may not want a backup program at all, since they specialize in making image files, and you said you don't want that. Have you googled for a directory synchronizer? For example, I found this with a quick search

    "Auto Folder synchronization 2007.1.2 — Easy-to-Use File synchronization and backup tool, it can automatically Compare, backup, synchronize, and replicate any type of files/folders from one computer to another computer, local hard disk to…"

    No idea how well it works, but if you search around for reviews, you should be able to find a freeware or shareware product that does what you want.

    Note that if you use that approach, you will need to also find a BCD edit utility (assuming you're using Vista or 7, which would have been helpful to know) to run after every backup to make Windows happy with the new drive, since it will have a different disk signature. Otherwise, you may have to run a repair from the Windows install disk before your backup drive will boot. I would test all of that before you need it for real.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  14. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    I am having chkdsk problems with the source disk inside my computer, not the brand new external target disk. I'm using Windows XP Home edition. I'll check out the syncing options. I just want to make sure it works with a bootable disk and it copies everything, not just my documents.

    So today I tried something else. I have two extra hard drives, an 80GB and 500GB, that pass chkdsk with no problems. I put them in separate external enclosures and ran a disk copy from the 80 (with only one partition) to the 500, checking the resize partitions checkbox. Afterwards, I looked at them with Windows Explorer and both displayed identical Total size and Free space values. The bigger disk should have had bigger values.

    Then I added a text file to the 80GB drive and went to do another copy with the "incremental" box checked. On the first page of the wizard, where you select the source disk, it displayed the 500 GB disk as having just one partition as big as the disk, exactly as I hoped. On the next page of the wizard, where you select the target disk, it showed this drive as having a partition the same size as the 80 GB disk had and the remainder as unallocated.

    I finished the wizard, clicked apply, and the disk copy process in which I checked the "incremental copy" box took about the same amount of time it took when I had not checked this box.

    Then just for kicks, I repeated the exercise using a 2 GB FAT16 SD card as the source. The proportional resize didn't happen, the incremental copy was significantly faster and the target drive vanished completely from Windows Explorer, but in DB Pro appeared to still contain the little 2 GB partition and 464 GB of unallocated space.

    I need to accomplish three objectives:
    1) I need the extra hard drive to be bootable
    2) The system only copies what has changed since the last copy
    3) The extra hard drive is a different size but is fully partitioned proportionally.

    I can't yet verify whether item 1 is happening. After my initial copy of the source disk with the chkdsk problems, I changed the boot order and one time it seemed to boot properly from the external disk, but the next time it didn't. I'd have to have a good, bootable source disk to know for sure whether this feature works.

    Items 2 and 3 seem to not be working for me.

    Thanks for any ideas you might have. This software seems to have exactly the features I need, so it's extra frustrating that they're not working for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  15. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    Today I tried to do a backup again. While it was starting, I tried to disable my internet connection and both DB Pro and the internet connection windows hung. So I killed both processes with task manager, and tried to restart DB Pro. The splash screen just came up. Then I clicked it and it went away but the program didn't start. Then I tried to start it again and it tells me

    "Paragon Drive Backup could not be started because some product that uses the Hard Disk Engine must be already running. Please close that program first and try again."

    Meanwhile, launcher.exe is taking up 40% of my processor until I kill it.

    So, I've uninstalled DB Pro, rebooted, reinstalled, uninstalled, rebooted, run ccleaner.exe, deleted the C:/Program Files/Paragon Software folder, reinstalled again. And I still can't get DB Pro to start.
     
  16. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    After killing launcher.exe and reinstalling, "Paragon Drive Backup could not be started because some product that uses the Hard Disk Engine must be already running. Please close that program first and try again" should have went away. Are you receiving a different error message now?
     
  17. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    It still wouldn't start after killing launcher.exe.

    Here's what I've done lately...

    Paragon DB wouldn't run so

    I created a clone using Acronis which required me to reboot and did the cloning then. No problems. Chkdsk checked out. I installed it into the computer. It was bootable and fully allocated. Then chkdsk found problems with it, but I read here that this happens when you run chkdsk on an active drive. So what I thought to be a problem with my source drive before wasn't one. I just don't know why in my first tries Paragon DB did the copy without requiring a reboot.

    After installing the 500 GB disk, Paragon DB magically started working again so I tried again to copy with it. This time from the 500 GB now internal to the 160 GB now external. This time Paragon required me to restart so it could do the clone during bootup time.

    The Paragon clone worked and chkdsk passed without errors.

    Then I tried cloning from the 160 GB external to the 250 GB internal drive in another computer. I installed Paragon DB on that computer. It required a reboot and did the clone. When it finished, it only booted up as far as the Windows XP screen. Then it rebooted and display safe mode alternatives. The keyboard functioned on this screen. If I chose safe mode, it would get as far as the login screen, but the keyboard would not function here. I had the same behavior whether I chose to boot from the internal disk or the external disk.

    Then I tried doing an incremental disk copy of my 500 GB disk. It required a reboot so I rebooted. After an hour, I fell asleep as it continued. I looked at the log files in the morning and couldn't tell how long it took. I saw one entry in the log for tomorrow, which is strange.

    http://i593.photobucket.com/albums/tt16/camerageddon/logs.jpg

    So I don't know whether the external disk I have is bootable or not. I'd have to install it in my laptop to be sure and that's a pain. I also don't have any evidence that the "incremental" checkbox is working. I am confused about why when I check this box, Paragon DB still gives me the options to resize partitions proportionally and remove space between partitions. It seems to me that those two options should not apply when you're doing an incremental copy of only what's changed since the last copy.
     
  18. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    I hooked up the copy disk to a computer and it wouldn't boot. Then I tried creating a "restore disk" on a USB flash drive and booting from that and restoring from the external copy disk to the internal disk and it couldn't see the external disk.

    Yesterday I ran an incremental copy. It ran quickly without requiring a restart. When it was done, the copy disk was completely unallocated and not given a drive letter at all. This is not my desired outcome.

    So has anyone ever tested the drive copy feature with the incremental box checked?

    Why does it offer me the options to resize and to remove space between partitions when I check the incremental checkbox?
     
  19. friendlyfriend

    friendlyfriend Registered Member

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    I found one that almost works. XXClone does the incremental disk copy and doesn't require a restart, but it doesn't boot when connected by USB in an enclosure. I also like its short, meaningful and well-placed explanations through the process. I'll see if it works any better if I install the disk into the computer instead of connecting it by usb.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
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