Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Isso, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Of course you are right, and I don't recommend to test this alpha version on the main systems. It still needs lot of testing.
     
  2. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Isso, I just watched the videos you linked to and while Rx takes less time to make a snap its not significant. Rx maybe 30 seconds compared to, in the video, AX64 maybe 60 seconds. Not a big deal at all. The restore looks to be about the same speed for both.
     
  3. carfal

    carfal Registered Member

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    I fired up my VM and started with neither RBRX or AX64 installed.

    I installed RBRX first then AX64.

    Panagiotis, I ran the same previous tests that you asked before and i'm happy to report the results were exactly the same.

    I played around with some snapshot of both programs (not as intensely as before) and everything seems to work like the previous setup.

    It seems that it doesnt matter which way round RBRX and AX64 are installed. It still works. :)

    Let me just remind everyone that all this testing has occurred in a VM...not on a real system.
     
  4. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Hmm, actually on the videos backup is exactly 9 sec, and restore is 3 sec :)
     
  5. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    carfal,

    Could you check the content of the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values under

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{71a27cdd-812a-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f}

    registry key? This will give me more info. Thank you
     
  6. carfal

    carfal Registered Member

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    Isso, the following is with RBRX installed first then AX64


    VMW RBRX first Upperfilter AX64.jpg



    VMW RBRX first Lowerfilter AX64.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    OK, no RBX there. So I assume RBX is working at disk level rather than partition level. carfal, if my assumption is true, it means that your setup should always work irrespective of installation order of these programs.
     
  8. carfal

    carfal Registered Member

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    Thanks for confirming this Isso. My testing definitely confirms your conclusions. :D

    EDIT: There's been talk about doing the AX64 restores before Windows loads or something along those lines. Do you think this would effect the current location of these filter settings?
     
  9. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I am referring to the whole process. Not simply the actual backup and restore time. Out of interest you might want to give Rx a try although I expect you are kinda busy at the moment. HDS offers a 30 day trial (I think its 30 days, its been a long time since I did a trial of Rx).

    I should mention that one of the shortcomings of Rx is the lengthened boot time. This is made worse when snapshots are defraged automatically at boot. In this respect for sure AX64 wins hands down as I don't imagine it has any effect on boot time,,,,,or does it. There are folks who have rejected Rx just because of this. I just accept it as a necessary evil. If I want the protection Rx provides, and I do, I have had to accept the longer boot times. I am hopeful that that will change in the near future with the release of AX64.
     
  10. carfal

    carfal Registered Member

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    BG, the long boot times is exactly why I've just now switched to a SSD. What a difference. It's like RBRX isnt installed.

    I know that everyone isnt in a position to buy an SSD but those of us that have one and are using RBRX i think would all agree that they are perfect for each other.

    Not the point you were making i know but i thought i'd throw my 2 cents worth anyway. :D

    EDIT: I'm fairly certain Isso has already mentioned that he tried RBRX as a comparison.
     
  11. CyberMan969

    CyberMan969 Registered Member

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    I still don't understand why someone would need both RX and AX64 installed in Windows. The way I see it:

    1) Have AX64 installed only and deal with slightly longer snapshot creation/restoration times. The snapshot recovery time difference could actually be negligible for small snapshots, especially on newer/faster systems with SSDs; but I can certainly live with that for the added safety bonus that, unlike RX, the backups/snapshots of AX64 do not reside on the same disk. It also means no RX boot sector resident driver and no RX sector re-direction driver, leaving AX64 as the sole backup manager. I feel it's "cleaner" this way.

    2) Have RX installed only and use AX64 strictly off-line via its startup media, in order to create raw disk images which would include all RX snapshots.

    Personally I wouldn't use both of them within Windows. As I said on a previous post I see no point in it as they both offer similar functionality and realistically you would only need one of them running at a time. There are so many different systems out there, all with their own system-specific hardware/software setups. One can never say with any degree of certainty that these two programs would mix well together on every single setup.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  12. defconnect

    defconnect Registered Member

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    Agree with CyberMan. The concept of AX64 just seems more pure and robust to me and I see no use in duplicating similar functionality if there is no critical reason for it (a small sacrifice in speed I do not regard as of major importance).
    There is also the possibility that two pieces of such software seem to cooperate well during smooth operating circumstances, but when sh*t really hits the fan for whatever reason, neither work as intended due to a low level conflict with each other or with a third party (Windows) function, leaving the system not as up-to-date as possible.
     
  13. carfal

    carfal Registered Member

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    Hi cyberman and defconnect. Your resistance to have both RX and AX installed at the same time makes sense. Each program is designed to do the same thing. So what is the point of running both and causing confusion.

    The following is my view (and only my view).

    As you've probably worked out, I love RBRX. No one will ever convince me otherwise. As far as im concerned (as of this date) Rollback is the standard for all ISR type programs...end of story.

    But my beloved RB has an achilles heel...no way to recover from a HD failure.

    Currently, Terabyte IFW is my back up plan. But i have to perform full backups which take too long. Performing incrementals take just as long because it compares the existing backup in order to determine what's changed. So if it's going to take ages then i might as well just do a full backup. Space is not an issue but the length of time sometimes stops me doing a backup when i know i should.

    So along comes AX64. It does a full backup and then super fast incremental backups. Not only that, it does them on a seperate drive/network/ usb and the icing on the cake is it works like and ISR program. (heavens open up and the sun shines)

    Now even though AX64 is being designed to work like an ISR program, how its used is not a rule written in stone. Its a hybrid program. It can just as easily be used as a periodic backup program for which you can use to recovery offline should disaster strike. Here is the advantage. The incremental snapshots will definitely be much faster and use less room than what IFW or any other backup tool can do. Its perfect for the job of what i need it to do.

    So the idea is born. I'll use Rollback for my everyday security and AX64 for my long term security. Pefect. All my dreams have finally come true.

    So getting back to your point of why use both. I'm too comfortable and feel secure with RBRX. I never really was looking for a replacement but rather something to compliment it. AX64 is that something.

    As you've seen from all my posts, I'm still more than willing to make AX64 an excellent ISR program and will still endeavour to contribute.

    PS There are a couple of other advantages to using both but i didnt want to make another huge post. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  14. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Wow... way to deflate my computer's ego, Isso :D

    Here we are thinking a Western Digital BLACK with a 64mB cache and 7200rpm is a pretty spunky drive (compared to others)... and you jump on and tell me it's an ol' SLOW drive being run by on ol' SLOW 2.7mhz Core2Quad CPU.

    Now I really feel bad... :( :'( :D
     
  15. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Nice, then as Isso confirmed, AX64 is fully compatible with RBRX.
    That would be a gamble everytime you perform it.
    It depends more from the virtual disk driver of RBRX (the one that loads the current snapshot). If the driver is loaded before the bootexecute command kicks in, it will work.
    If Isso adds a delay, optional command, in the restore script, should work fine.

    Panagiotis
     
  16. CyberMan969

    CyberMan969 Registered Member

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    Hi carfal, I also love the functionality of RX. As a software reviewer I try different software on a daily basis; so for me RX is a lifesaver as there is no need to uninstall programs after testing them, I just restore a snapshot and my clean base is back with just a simple reboot.

    I understand that there will be some people who may need the combined functionalities of both programs. I'm glad that they both work well together on your system covering your needs, and I appreciate you taking the time to test their co-existence on the same system. :thumb:

    Regarding RX: of my pet hates is the RX boot sector driver (which is essential for RX functionality of course), and also the idiotic RX activation system which checks online on every reboot. I am a freak when it comes to computer security and I severely dislike the fact that a program can have online access on every reboot, and even before my firewall kicks in. The thing has already been activated online after its initial installation, so I find it extremely irritating that it has to recheck on every reboot! I have now renamed RX's NetReg.exe file and I also always start my system with my network adapter disabled, just in case something else has crept in...

    Also RX is very expensive. A single license with Gold support costs £65.77 at the moment (which translates to $103.36), plus an extra £10.96 ($17.22) every year for Gold. I have two new testbeds coming soon and I certainly don't want to buy any more licenses; so I am looking for alternatives and AX64 so far fits the bill perfectly. The only other viable alternative for me would be the new freeware Comodo Time Machine 3. The problem is that Comodo has assigned minimal developmental resources to it (they have bigger fish to fry ATM), so it's release is a long way off. I will be probably retired by the time it is released and its bugs are ironed-out!

    Because of these reasons I will be glad when AX64 matures so I can use it as a replacement for both RX and Acronis (I only use Acronis via its startup media anyway, I never have it installed in Windows).
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  17. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    As carfal has said I too am so comfortable and confident with Rx that I would not be happy without it on my PC. At least until I have gained a similar degree of comfort and confidence with an alternate. The fact that the 2 programs appear to be so compatible makes it easy to go to a 2 program approach,,,,at least until AX64 has proven itself to me personally. At that point I can easily see myself getting rid of Rx. The beauty of the situation is that individuals can use the 2 programs in a variety of ways apparently without negative consequences.

    I agree 100% with carfal when he says

     
  18. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    CyberMan,

    I agree with your point of view. In fact I'm always trying to keep my system as clean as possible, with only a handful of most needed programs installed.
    So I too wouldn't go with both of the programs on the same machine.

    However carfal's and bgoodman's points of view make a lot of sense too, and the fact that carfal got AXTM and RBX working together is very exciting, I was sure that it was impossible. I'm happy to hear that AXTM can be used in scenarios that are different from what I had in mind.
     
  19. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    carfal,

    I agree with Panagiotis on this, and as soon as this feature is there I'll try to check the compatibility with RBX.
     
  20. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    bgoodman,

    Sorry, I missed that you meant the whole process. Last time I used RBX two years ago and frankly I forgot it's backup and restore speed numbers.
    Yes, since this discussion often becomes "AXTM vs RBX" I'll certainly need to install RBX again and compare.

    That's right, AXTM doesn't have any effect on boot time.
     
  21. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    defconnect,

    Agreed too. Although from carfals description I concluded that mostly these programs should work fine together, the probability of conflicts is higher compared to a single program.
     
  22. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    Froggie, time to upgrade your system! :D Dump HDDs and move to SSD, and you'll never look back! :thumb:
     
  23. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    I just booted and noticed that ATX started to take a snapshot straight away - it might be better to insert a delay after desktop loads -


    AXTM is more like FDISR really .... although I have 4 RX lics I don't trust or use it very much.

    It would be very nice if the user had the option to create a new full snapshot manually whilst keeping the old baseline and snaps. If you could do that you could allow support for multi os version within ATX as a group with the incremental snaps. The user could then choose a different full snap restore - I guess this could done in a snapshot in any case but it would be easier to remember and manage
     

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  24. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    starfish,

    We'll add a delay for the first backup after boot - thank you for suggestion!

    For new full snapshot - will consider it. But for now you can just rename the target folder (from AXTM to something else), and on next backup the program will create full image (because it won't find the previous one). Then you can use "Open Backup folder" button in Backup browser to specify alternative folders with backups and restore any of them. Hope this makes sense.

    Isso
     
  25. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Luckily my production machine does have a li'l jewel in it... and I agree.

    BUT... your testbed needs to be the "average" system, and that's what it is. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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