Image vs. File-based backup

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Howard Kaikow, Jun 2, 2006.

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  1. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    The following is my understanding?

    When doing an imaged based backup, TI directly uses the file systems internal structures to directly read the clusters constituting each file and to get the atributes of the files, i.e., the file system is not actually used to OPEN any file.

    When doing a file-based backup, TI does operate thru the file system using the built-in API functions, e.g., FindFirstFile, FindNextFile, CreateFie ReadFile/BackupRead, GetFileAttributes, etc. .

    Or is the above a misunderstanding?
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Howard,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    I've already provided the detailed explanation of how Acronis True Image creates both file-based and disk\partition backups in another thread you started.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  3. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    You did not answer the question of file-based backup.

    This issue has become even more important as I have (painfully) uncovered a problem with certain files. There are two problem areas:

    1. In one area, I was able to figure out how to use the Windows API to overcome the problem, so I must ASSuME that True Image is using the same method. Retrospect too.

    2. However, there is another type of file that I have not been able to open using the Windows API. TI fails here too. And Retrospect can open the files.
    So I am not yet giving up. If Retrospect can do it, I will eventually find a way to use the Windows API to open the files.


    In the meantime, I suggest that users ONLY create image backups. Heck, they are faster anyway, as that avoids SOME of the problems.

    Note, the files in question cannot even be restored from an image backup, so TI has a deeper issue.
     
  4. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    It's been a good day, so far!

    Using the Windows API functions, I figured out how to open the files on which TI was issuing errors.

    So, Acronis needs to do the same.
     
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Howard,

    Could you please clarify what exact errors\problems you mean and how exactly you solved them?

    Please describe actions taken before these errors\problems appear step-by-step.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  6. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Due to "stupidities" in the Windows file system, it is possible to have at least the following situations:

    1. A file may have gotten saved with a name that could not be used via the GUI, and Windows Exlorer does not display the "invalid" characters, yet, e.g., IE and Opera can open the file and Firefox cannot.

    This seemed very odd to me, so being a masochist, I finally figured out how to open the critters using the proper Windows API call.

    It is necesary to use the Unicode, rather than the ANSI, version of certain APIs, e.g., FindFirstFile and CreateFile.

    It is all too easy to have such files by merely doing a Save As in, say, IE. I created such a file about 3 years ago, when IE foolishly used a name that contained a character that was invalid in the GUI. Indeed, Windows Explorer masks the problem by not showing th character, tho you can see the character if you use DIR in a command prompt, or create a zip of the file and view the archive.

    So, for this case, solution was simple, just use Unicode calls, not ANSI calls.

    I believe that I tested whether TI could handle this case in file based backup, but I am too groggy to recall.

    You can find the test files at http://www.standards.com/KB-Test.zip,
    The file with the 2003 date is the problem critter.

    2. I felt oh so good figuring out the above, but then I hit a wall with another problem.

    Some of you may be familiar with the \Program Files\Plus!\Themes directory that was installed by, I think Office 97, or some other MSFT (or maybe Adobe) product of the same vintage.

    THere are about 580 files in that directory, but 4 of them #$%#%# cause some grief.

    When attempting to open the fiiles, either with my code or Stuffit, one gets the error code 2 which means 'The system cannot find the file specified", yet Retrospect can backup the files! So I just had to find a way to do this. I did!

    Bye the waye, TI's error messages are uselessly cryptic AND incorrect. The message was:

    The path in TI's message is totally screwed up.

    Note the message occurred for 4 files:

    The solution involved, checking for an error, and if an error was found, redo the CreateFile using the short file name for the file.

    Ugly, but it works!

    Note: Running chkdsk does not fix these problems.

    Also, I am using Windows 2000. Do not know if problem occurs in Windoze XP.
     
  7. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Because of the problems described above, until TI is fixed (and this is very easy to fix), use ONLY IMAGE backups, you can always restore files from image backups.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Howard,

    1. I've downloaded the 'KB-Test.zip' file you have provided, unpacked it, copied the file in question to a separate folder on my internal hard drive, created a file-based backup of this folder using the latest build (3633) of Acronis True Image 9.0 Home and then restored this folder from the beforehand created backup to the 'new location' (another folder on the same internal hard drive). As a result both original and restored files can be opened using both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers. Both file names are displayed correctly as well. So far, there is no problem with creating a file-based backups of such files, at least in Windows XP.

    2. If you can not create a file-based backup of some particular files (this also applies to the file mentioned in point 1) then please provide us with the following information:

    - Create Acronis Report and Windows System Information as it is described in Acronis Help Post;

    - Reproduce the problem and collect Acronis True Image log which can be saved from Tools -> Show Log -> Diskette icon;

    - Make a screen shot or provide the exact text of the error message you receive;

    - Let us know when this error message appears exactly.

    - Are you able to create a file-based backup of these files using Acronis True Image 9.0 Home Bootable Rescue CD?

    - What exact software has created the '\Program Files\Plus!\Themes\' folder on your hard drive? Please let us know it's exact version and build number. Otherwise, we will not be able to reproduce the problem.

    Then please submit a request for technical support with the subject indicating that you want to contact Alexey Popov. Provide the files and information collected in your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  9. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I told you the problem might exist in Windows 2000, but I do believe that TI might handle those files properly in Windows 2000.

    All you need to do is find out if TI uses the Unicode variation of the appropriate API calls. If it does, then this is not an issue, otherwise it is.


    I already described the problem and the solution.

    I already gave you the exact text of the TI message and the real Windows message.


    Do not know, but that is irrelevant.

    You do not need the files.
    They were installed on 6 August 1999, back in the daze of Win 98, and were part of some Microsoft product. Seach the MSFT website, or Google, for Plus!, you might find them.

    I've already told you the solution.
    If TI gets an error code when creating a handle for a file, then all one has to do is retry with the short file name.
     
  10. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Searching the MSFT KB comes up with 200 hits for "Plus!".

    It appears that the files were part of Office 97.
    Perhaps, an optional download.
     
  11. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    y C drive was originally Win 98, but now has Win 2000.

    There is a file in Windows\Help called Plus!.hlp dated 11 May 1998, so I do expect that the files are from either the Office 97 SPBE that wsa pre-installed on my PC, or from the Office 97 Pro that I later installed.

    The Plus!.hlp file states:

     
  12. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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  13. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    The files appear to be in the win98_51.cab file on the Win 98 CD-ROM.

    But extraction might not produce identical results.
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Howard,

    Is there some valid reason why you have a tendency to drip feed your questions and answers into threads? I find it somewhat distracting and often makes your contributions difficult to follow.
     
  15. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Not all the files are in that one CAB.

    I guess the files should be found on an extant Win 98 installation.
    I got rid of Win 96 back in 2003, but the PLus! directory lingers on.
     
  16. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I just posted the following elsewhere:

     
  17. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    The above is off-topic.
     
  18. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    In addition, from my thread \Program Files\Plus!\Themes in the newsgroup microsoft.public.office.misc.

     
  19. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Off topic it may be but as far as I'm concerned it's still a valid question. Your penchant for drip feeding often makes it difficult to follow and properly comprehend many of your threads.
     
  20. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    It's not really my business, but being a bit detail oriented myself, I know am hard to follow at times. Neither an accusation nor a defense -- just an observation that one could extrapolate, perhaps. It takes all kinds.

    Yes, I know, it's OT. Sorry in advance.
     
  21. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi crofftk,

    I don't have a problem with a detailed, well thought out and comprehensive post. It's the piece-meal injection of info that I feel is unnecessary and find very distracting.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  22. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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  23. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Understood, Menorcaman, and, FWIW, your posts are the antithesis of that and I appreciate that. (Well, of course, they aren't the antithesis of well thought out and comprehensive !)
     
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