Imaging and Snapsots

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by n8chavez, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I’ve been wanting to experiment with various types of snapshots software since shadow defender appears to no longer be actively developed. There are times when it would be nice to be able to restore my system for earlier point that also allows for automatic snapshot creation. Shadow defender is nice, but it does not allow for the ability. My goal is to create full system images about once a month manually, and use some sort of snapshot software about twice a day.

    As far as I am aware the only software that can do such a thing is rollback RX. But before I install it and give it a try I need to know if it will have any compatibility issues between itself and my imaging software, which, as always, is Terabytes image for Windows. Both IFW and rollback RX default to using VSS. If I were to configure IFW to use phylock do you think that might remove any possible compatibility issue?

    Does anyone have any opinions on rollback RX and image for Windows being used at the same time? if I am able to use both at the same time would echo about excluding snapshots created by rollback RX in IFW?

    n8
     
  2. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    N8, there's no reason to fear more than one app using VSS at the same time. The VSS architecture handles that very well, although I don't picture you running a Rollback snapshot at the same time as an IFW FULL image. A while back, Rollback didn't even use VSS and as a result, sometimes had a FileStructure inconsistent snapshot that used to bite people in the "you know where." Learning how to use VSS was a good thing Rollback did along the way (maybe the only good thing :eek: ).

    When you use IFW to FULL image your System under the LIVE Windows OS, you will not get Rollback's snapshots in your image, you will only get the present System configuration at the time of the image. The only way to image both your System and its Rollback snapshots is to COLD image that System (using IFW's BOOT Media) and use a forensic (or all sector) image mode. The Rollback snapshots, its databases and its special BOOT sector are completely hidden from Windows (and its file structures) so the only way to get them is to image the entire disk, both used and unused sectors. This image, of course, is much larger than the standard "used sector" image so if you decide to do this, you'll need extra space for the resultant image.

    And finally... the secret to any success in using Rollback on your System is to insure you have a good image to fall back on. Rollback has quirks, and sometimes will blow that System up... you need to be prepared for that. Since 2015, I have replaced Rollback's snapshot capabilities by using Macrium Reflect's Incremental imaging System and its RDR (Rapid Delta Restore) capability, both features which are available within IFW's metadata imaging methods. The only thing I have found is that the snapshot restoration time is just slightly longer (seconds to a minute or so) which does not bother me at all due to the reliability of Reflect (and IFW). The two main benefits of this approach are... 1. You only need 0ne application to do this, and 2. The snapshot DATA is where you want it to be rather than buried/hidden on the protected volume. The buried DATA becomes a real problem as you gather snapshots... it disappears from the protected volume (allocatable space) until cleanup is performed, and sometimes that doesn't even work properly under Rollback. The only thing you gain with Rollback is another $69 application license fee and a little faster restoration to your snapshot. For me, it wasn't worth the Rollback issues I saw along the way... I am a lover of both CONSISTENCY and RELIABILITY :cool: .
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Another IMPORTANT fact I forgot to mention... if you decide to use COLD IMAGING in any other way other than ALL SECTOR ("used sector," the DEFAULT), you will only get your Rollback System BASELINE (System before snapshot gathering began) and it will be unBOOTable due to the fact that your imaged BOOT sector(s) will be the Rollback convoluted ones but no Rollback DATABASE information will be available for use with its snapshots. Even to make that BASELINE image BOOTable, you will have to reWRITE a "standard" MBR back on your System. This type of recovery can be painful at times depending on whether you're using a Legacy-MBR or UEFI-GPT System.

    Basically a COLD IMAGED "used sector" System image is almost unusable in the real sense... it will be a very old image and, like Humpty, will have to be put back together once again before it's BOOTable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Basically, a Rollback-enabled System in not like any other "normal" System structure... the System rules (and assumptions) are changed drastically by Rollback.

    I've been around Rollback since v8 (and @carfal a bit earlier) and I still don't know all the idiosyncracies involved with Rollback, especially in the UEFI-GPT era.
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I would concur with Froggie. I take hourly images with Macriium and the imaging time, and restore times, make the Rollback solution unnecessary, and there is no risk unlike Rollcack
     
  6. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    ...and remember, if you're an SSD user, Rollback's prevention of Windows use of the TRIM command to internally manage SSD storage allocation does have an effect on the lifetime of the SSD.

    You might wanna peruse the Rollback RX - The 'unOfishul' FAQ thread and the FAQ itself concerning a lot of the major issues associated with that application.
     
  7. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. The RollBackFrog, I was hoping would respond. I have read many, many posts of yours here and at the horizon forums about rollback RX. I was under the impression that the trim functions had been solved in version 11, but that seems to not be the case. I think I will not be using rollback RX as a result. There just seems to be too much that can go wrong, especially with the negative effects on SSD's. The risk does not seem to be worth it. I'll probably end up with something similar to Peter2150 end his setup.

    I wonder if such a thing be done with IFW, allowing for auto-restores?

    thanks for the help
     
  8. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Although many claims have been made by the Horizon DataSys folks as far as successful TRIM is concerned, all have been proven to be bogus, even with the latest version. If TRIM is important for your operation, stay away. Many users use RBrx then run their System maintenance operations while RBrx is uninstalled (partition work, SSD TRIMming, etc.). This alleviates some of RBrx's many pitfalls but even that process has to be done right (System must be reBOOTed following RBrx's uninstall).

    I'm not sure what you mean by "auto restores," but with scripts by @pandlouk and the knowledge of @Brian K , you should be able to do whatever is needed with IFW.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi N8

    If you use onf of Pandlouks scripts and task scheduler you can do hourly images easily. I've done it. As for restore, I use a Strelec USB key, and just keep the lastest image64.exe and inf file on it. On a 160gb drive the meta restores take about 2 minutes. Note quite as fast as Macrium, but also risk free.

    Pete
     
  10. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys. Because I have SSD that uses trim, I have decided not to use rollback RX. instead, I'll be using either reflect or image for Windows to accomplish my stated goal. (I'm hoping I can rig image for Windows to accomplish what reflect can do; such as auto restores and differential imaging. Peter2150, thanks for the tip regarding the scripts. I'll be sure to check them out. Regarding auto restores, BrianK has said before that he is able to accomplish this, so I'm hoping he will be able to help me.

    I currently use a custom WinPE disc to restore images, but it would be much easier to use the reflect approach and simply tell the imaging program which image to restore and restart.
     
  11. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I just saw that I misspelled "snapshots." At least I didn't type snapsnots....
     
  12. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    :thumb: Awesome USB Recovery item. It's rendered all my 8 units so trouble-free and easily restored that it's second nature.
     
  13. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    By the way Easter.. there was a new version a couple of days ago.
    http://sergeistrelec.ru/version_history_en.html
     
  14. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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