Independent Restore Imaging

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by n8chavez, Jan 30, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Location Unknown
    It seems that there has been a lot of talk talking about H.I.R (Hardware Independent Restore), if you are using ShadowProtect lingo, or M.I.R. (Machine Independent Restore), if you are using O&O Disk Image lingo. I think that's great, because in my opinion imaging is the first layer of protection and should be the first thing set up on a system.

    But I got to thinking that the technology required for this doesn't really work as it's intended. If your harddisk crashes you can reimage with ShadowProtect but you better not take that opportunity to upgrade your machine (or hope your current machine as a whole doesn't die on you, because you will not be able to do and H.I.R. if that is the case. ShadowProtect forces the user to have it's product installed on the drive in order to use H.I.R. That will never happen if the disk is brand new unless the user wants to reinstall Windows first, which drastically subtracts from its convenience and value.

    O&0 Disk Image Pro on the other hand does not require the product to be installed. However they use an approach that assumes every restore is going to be an M.I.R., required you to select a target system and its hardware because the rescue disk launches. You better hope that they have the drivers required for whatever system you're imaging to because if it does not you will not be able to even launch the restore disc. If the motherboard and disk drivers are not found then it will say there licensing error that prevents you from continuing. A simple glance will let you know that by the size of the recovery IOSs ShadowProtect has far more drivers than O&O Disk Image.

    As far as I'm aware these two products are the only applications that offer this kind of restore, excluding any server product that is not designed for the home user and/or any product that costs above $500. So how valuable is this technology then if it cannot be used when you need it the most. I say not very. An easier solution would be to include driver packs with you on your flash, or other recovery solution. Using an imaging application that allows the user to add drivers as part of the restoring process, i.e. Drive Snapshot, Active @ Disk Image (or Boot Disc), Macrium Reflect, etc. Then it's just a matter of pointing to the chipset, motherboard, or disk drivers you need and installing those. The idea is only to get get the system bootable, not to ensure all your hardware functions as it's intended. Right?

    Or am I way off here.
     
  2. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Posts:
    3,719
    I have used BartPE along with the macrium plugin. It is relatively easy for moderately advanced users to put thier drivers into BartPE.

    I used to use ghost, and I did run into issues with ghost not knowing about newer hardware, especially sata controllers or even worse raid controllers.

    Since I did not want to buy a new version of ghost, I played with other methods. For a long time I just used my dvd to reinstall all the time. Then I went to USB installations. Finally I started playing with software imaging again, and found macrium. I know there are many available, and each person has thier preference. The thing I personally like about macriums restoration process is that it is only a plugin, and it is up to you to build your boot method to get into PE to use that plugin.

    Maybe there can be a better method. One think I do know is that with macrium, I can explore my images, and if I had the paid version I could write files to the image. That means I could place new drivers, manipulate .inf files, change the hal if needed.

    But I agree with what you are saying I think. For me, true imaging and not the rollback shadow stuff is what I count on. For me, and I know this is definately not the case for everyone, it seems much simpler and faster just to restore an image rather than 'rollback'.

    Sul.
     
  3. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    This discussion for the most part is beyond my comfort/knowledge level but I do not get why you would say that restoring an image is simpler and faster than simply rolling back. True an image is more secure as its not residing on the drive you are trying to protect which is def very important but I have found RollBack Rx to be extremely fast to both create rollback points and to effect the revert process.

    PS: as noted elsewhere I use SP on my desktop and RollBack Rx on my Tablet. I image the Tablet using Rxs imaging program weekly and once a month I uninstall Rx and defrag etc as well as image with (currently) Paragon Compact. I also upload my critical files as they are created to a remote server so if I have to revert to an image thats a few days or weeks old I can do so without the loss of my most important data files.

    PS: it probably is fairly obvious but I will say it anyway --- I am NOT a moderately advanced user and after reading the above 2 posts I doubt that I would have much success with HIR of any stripe.
     
  4. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Location Unknown
    I do not believe the point is that using rollback software is simpler and faster, but that definitely safer and more all-encompassing. Rollback software, such as Rollback RX, Comodo Time Machine, GoBack, etc., all rely on the harddisk to store their restore points. But what happens when the disk has been destroyed and there are no rollback points to chose from? You're screwed at that point. That is why many believe imaging software to be safer, because images can be stored externally and are not dependent of the health of the current hard disk.
     
  5. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Absolutely, this is the main benefit of imaging software over rollback software. Of course a proper backup of images is not complete unless the images are on two (or more) physically separate locations. This is apparently missed by a lot of people who backup to, say, an external h/drive, forgetting that if that drive fails they're hosed.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Nate,

    You and I have discussed HIR with TeraByte's TBOSDT (TeraByte OS Deployment Tool Suite). You will recall that it was a time consuming, complex task, but it worked on all computers I tested. I was able to restore images of old IDE HD computers to new SATA HD computers. TeraByte have now released a tool that does away with the complexities of the previous method. 5 to 10 keyboard presses and you are done. The new computer boots. For SATA HDs you need to provide AHCI drivers. For IDE HDs, no drivers need to be provided.

    No proprietary imaging app needs to be installed prior to the "crash". As long as you have a backup image you can just restore it to the new computer and run the tool.

    Edit.. The tool costs about $15 but you don't have to buy it until you need to use it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  7. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Posts:
    943
    Exactly;
    that's what happened to me.
    All of my backup images on an external drive were corrupted due to a stupid error on my part.
    Not an unmitigated disaster because I didn't need to restore at that point in time, but I did have to completely rebuild my image files from scratch, and that took some time.

    Now I keep duplicate image files on two separate USB hard drives, each drive containing a complete set via Macrium Reflect and Paragon 10.

    Overkill ?

    Perhaps, but the peace of mind is absolutely worth it.
    -Additionally, I use Comodo Time Machine for quick recovery within the same drive.
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Absolutely not. Very sensible.
     
  9. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Agreed. @wtsinnc, I had similar experience to yours, though at that time I was backing up to dvd's (my images a few years back were small enough), and I would routinely ditch older archives, except I mistakenly ditched one that had some data I needed that wasn't on any of the recent backups *oops*. Oh well, live and learn and learn I did ;)
     
  10. nineine

    nineine Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Posts:
    140
    I think that you are a little bit off here, as you said. I am not familiar with O&O Disk Image but I am with ShadowProtect and its HIR feature. You are not forced to use the HIR feature when you are restoring. It is only an optional feature, which you would use if you want to restore your system image to different hardware.

    ShadowProtect needs to be installed on your system before you make an image of that system, if you will ever use the HIR feature to restore it to different hardware. However, if you are going to be restoring your image to the same hardware(due to HDD failure, or malware issue), ShadowProtect does not have to be installed on the system prior to making the image(because you won't be using HIR).

    It is a good idea though, to install SP prior to making any image of a system, just in case one day your hardware fails(or you change hardware), and you must use the HIR. And even if your hardware were to fail and you could not use the HIR(because you didn't install SP prior), you could still restore the image to a drive and have access to the files.

    The goal of the HIR feature is to make your system image bootable on a different set of hardware, using a basic set of drivers. Once SP has made this image bootable, it is up to you to install all of the correct drivers from within the OS(ie. Windows).
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  11. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Location Unknown
    I understand that. But what is the point of trusting an application like this is it is going to be restrictive? I want something that will fully work when I need it to. Not all restores are going to require H.I.R., but why both if it doesn't work right?

    Okay, but as I mentioned forcing users to install Windows and then ShadowProtect is not very realistic (not to mention the fact that it's a pain). It subtracts greatly from its ease of use and reliability.
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Why wouldn't you normally have shadowprotect on the system when you image it. It needs to be on the system you are imaging, not restoring.
     
  13. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Location Unknown
    Right. The purpose of this thread wasn't really to find the answer to some problem, but rather to point out the flaws in the current technology (or its implementation) and present a possible viable alternative. I did not mention TBOSDT because it's not user-friendly, and quite frankly I fail to see how it would work seeing as how it lacks the actual drivers that need to be applied. But I understand that it's out there.
     
  14. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Location Unknown
    I was told that wasn't the case point blank at their forums; that SP needs to be installed on the receiving partition. Is that not the case?
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    You are referring to the old TBOSDT. The new one is very user friendly.

    If someone is smart enough to restore an image they are smart enough to find SATA drivers on the internet for their storage controller. Those drivers are the only ones needed to boot the new computer. And if you have an IDE HD computer you don't need to supply drivers as TBOSDT finds the drivers (as yet uninstalled) on the Windows installation.

    It has worked in the ten or so computers that I've tested.
     
  16. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Posts:
    2,302
    Location:
    Location Unknown
    That being the case then, is it possible to just include the various drivers and have the image software, in my case Active @, load the drivers for you? It sounds like that's what TBOSDT does.

    What are the drivers that can effect whether or not a system can boot? Is it just disk and motherboard drivers?
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    I doubt it. I've looked through the OSDTool script and it makes various registry changes as well as file installs. And the drivers loaded by Active@ are only loaded for the duration of the session. No permanent changes are made to the OS.

    You can run the tool from its own CD, floppy or USB flash drive. It will also run from a BartPE CD and an IFL CD. If you put the drivers on the same BartPE CD it would be all in one. You could put one of those mass storage driver packs on the BartPE CD and use it for multiple computers. Could you put the tool and drivers on your Active@ CD? Probably. And you already have a license for TBOSDT Pro.

    It is just storage controller drivers that are needed for the new hardware to boot. IDE or SATA. Otherwise you get a BSOD.


    Yesterday I played around with an IDE computer and chose to remove all installed drivers (with the tool). Not surprisingly WinXP would no longer boot. Back in the OSD Tool Script it offered to restore a registry backup. Did that. I then chose Install default IDE drivers. WinXP booted again.
     
  18. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    You will get no argument from me on these points which is why I am imaging the PC I have Rx installed on as well as uploading my critical files to a remote location between images. My comment was simply that rolling back is faster and simpler than imaging and restoring (I said this in response to a post stating the opposite), not that it was better or more secure than imaging.
     
  19. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    I would suggest even having the backups on 2 diff drives can be insufficient if both drives are at the same location and there is a fire or theft, then you are out of luck. I have images on 3 drives (one external and 2 portables) one of the portables is stored in a safety deposit box and I rotate the portable dives every two or three weeks so I maintain a reasonably current image off-site at all times.

    Sorry to have contributed to diverting the discussion away from the OP.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  20. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    Sounds real nice, too bad I have selected other imaging programs but no doubt SP and others will follow suit and offer similar capabilities in the future (if they do not already have them - this was not something I concerned myself with when making my purchase decision so I did not investigate the other programs capabilities in this area at the time). (Does SP have this? I know its supposed to be able to do HIRs but probably/possibly its more complex).
     
  21. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    Ah! That makes sense, thanks for the explanation.
     
  22. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    That makes very little sense. Consider the situation where you had to reformat the drive for whatever reason. You certainly would not have SP (or much of anything else) on the drive you were restoring to. Yet this is exactly the sort of situation the image has been created for.

    Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or some failure to communicate clearly on the forum you mention.
     
  23. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    In most scenarios you want to migrate to a functional target machine that has SP installed on it,if the image is restored to a new or formatted disk in the other machine or for that reason any other disk in that same condition, it should fail because of that STUPID requirement. o_O
     
  24. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Posts:
    1,425
    Location:
    USA
    I am sorry if I misunderstood you but are you saying SP needs to be installed on a partition before you can restore an image on it from the SP boot disk? This does not make any sense. In fact, if this was true it would defeat the purpose of SP, i.e in case of hardware failure, SP allows you to restore your image to a new hard disk and get back up and running in no time.

    Not true, Paragon backup and recovery 10 suite and Paragon drive backup 10 pro allow you to do HIR. You have two options, either start a restore using HIR to begin with or just restore an image on a new drive and then use the P2P adjust option to either inject your own drivers or load default drivers to make your system bootable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  25. buckshee

    buckshee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Posts:
    134
    This is an e-mail I got from O&O last week - however Disk Image 5 is out now and supposed to restore to dis-similar hardware. But they implied in Disk Image 4 that it would too

    ~Private email removed per the TOS.~
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2010
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.