Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

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

  1. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Dear Users,

    After months of development, we're ready to finally let you test the next major release of our beloved hybrid imaging/snapshot program.


    Time Machine v2.0 (Beta). Download here.

    Here is also a sneak peak of our v2 overhauled website (still in draft) that shall replace the current one. PLease note the site is slow due to a slow server:

    http://unbre4kab1e.w.pw


    Before installing the beta, please ensure you remove your old version of Time Machine and then install this version. Perform your new backup from the baseline. Old backups from V1.0 are still compatible with V2.0.

    As this is a beta, there may be graphical glitches and a higher probability that faults may occur. Therefore, please use caution while testing and using the application. Please remember to backup your PC with your chosen software before proceeding with using this software.

    This beta has a 30 day trial. User's will be provided beta keys if the testing period exceeds this time period.


    New Features

    • Refreshed UI/UX
    • Multi-Partition Automatic/Backup
    • Hardware Independent Restore
    • Remote Control
    • Revamped Quick Restore
    • New merging and purging schedule
    Each Feature is discussed in turn.

    I. Refreshed UI

    Time Machine V1 UI was great but following the comments of our designer as well as feedback from users it was clear that the look was dated. We have refreshed the user interface with a fresh flat modern look. We have tried to stay true to our design philosophy. With simplicity and ease of use was at the center of our design ambitions.



    The main interface has essentially only has two main buttons to operate: Make Backup and open Backup browser.


    http://unbre4kab1e.w.pw/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/dahsboard1.png





    We've added a tab called 'Backup Tools'. You can find all necessary tools to perform things other then backup and restoring.

    http://unbre4kab1e.w.pw/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Backup_tools.png



    Tools include:

    • Rescue media builder
    • Support Desk: We have included a support button that will link you directly to our support site. We hope this will makes it easier for our users to contact us for support. In the future, we hope to continue to improve processes for support with even better in-app integration.
    • Remote control: This is a new feature that is only available on the Pro Server version. You can remotely control another PC's Time Machine on the same network.
    • About Time Machine: Click here to learn about your license details as well as export your usage logs.


    II. Multi Partition Support

    Time Machine allows you to select multiple drives for backup. Hourly automatic backups and merging works as normal. Simply select the drives you wish to backup with the click and drag of your mouse.

    http://unbre4kab1e.w.pw/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Multi-partition-backup.jpg

    III. Hardware-independent imaging

    Time Machine now supports restore to dissimilar hardware. Any backup you create in Time Machine can now be restored to any PC, even a Mac.


    IV. Remote Control

    Remotely control another PC's Time Machine from another computer on the same LAN. Simply set one PC to 'server' and connect to it from another PC using this server's IP. Once connected, you can perform restores and backups remotely. This feature is only available on the server version of Time Machine.


    V. Revamped Quick Restore via WINPE

    Time Machine V1 while performing restores attempted to freeze all operations on the disk in order to ensure nothing would conflict with the restore process. Unfortunately, some applications were able to operate even lower than Time Machine and in some cases, restores failed for some users.

    This persistent flaw in Time Machine meant that one of our most promising features was prone to failure. Over these past months we have worked hard to create a new and improved restore method that is free from these flaws.


    IV. New merging and purging schedule

    Following a similar schedule to Apple's own backup solution, AX64 Time Machine now keeps: hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups until your backup drive is full.


    What happens when the drive is full?
    As your backup drive begins to fill up to its capacity, Time Machine intelligently deletes the oldest backups to make room for newer ones. In the future, we are planning to implement an optional "Notify user when older backups are deleted".

    Consider the following options if your backup disk is filling up often, causing your oldest available backups to be erased sooner than you might want:

    • Use an additional drives for your backups or transfer your backups to a new, larger drive.
      • Tip: You can also browse the original backup drive for past backups by using "Browse other Time Machine Disks".
    • Delete file(s) that are no longer needed (such as from your desktop, Documents folder, or other Home folder locations), so they will no longer be backed up. You can also enter the Backup Browser restore interface and find files that can be removed from the backup drive itself to conserve space. To do this, right click on the backup point you wish to delete in the Backup Browser and click delete. Be sure to only delete backups you are sure you won't need or want to restore later.


    Download here.
    Before installing, please ensure you remove your old version of Time Machine and then install this version. Perform your new backup from the baseline. Old backups from V1.0 are still compatible with V2.0.

    As this is a beta, there may be graphical glitches and a higher probability that faults may occur. Therefore, please use caution while testing and using the application. Please remember to backup your PC with your chosen software before proceeding with testing this software.

    This beta has a 30 day trial. User's will be provided beta keys if we feel the testing period exceeds this time period.



    Lastly, a big thank you to all of our users. Thank you for your patience and your belief in us over the months.


    We take your comments and feedback very seriously and can't wait to hear what you guys think! Please send your all your bug reports to:

    info@ax64.com


    Cheers,
    The AX Time Machine Team.
    ;)
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  2. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    you have it blocked so i can not install with perfectdisk? i understand the issues so instead of having it totally blocked you should offer a yes or no would you like to continue and give a warning that perfeckdisk is installed. i dont use the auto optimize features at all so something like this normally would not affect me unless i manually do a defrag. i also understand the boot time should not be used with ax64. guess ill have to pass on this one. i have paid lic's to pd13 not going to remove it on every computer just to install this. none of the previous versions including the latest beta .48 required this.

    will our old paid keys work on version 2.0 once its released? i ask because i see where on the site it says major upgrades from 1.0-20 will be offered at a discount.

    and honestly i much prefer the old interface FAR more than the one shown here. being 100% honest...
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  3. Chamlin

    Chamlin Registered Member

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    Waj, congratulations to you and the team on delivering the beta! Looking forward to testing.

    FYI, connection times out on all of the .png links, and the link to the new website preview. Have tried a number of times.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  4. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    new website works fine here.
     
  5. Abdallah

    Abdallah Registered Member

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    Looks very nice , BTW pictures and website is ok here...

    I can't test it right now , maybe I will later on another pc
     
  6. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Hi Zfactor,

    Thanks for your feedback. We do take it very seriously. Regarding the Perfect Disk issue, I'll look into this for you. I actually wasn't made aware of it being blocked.

    Users of Wilders registered before the release of the beta with keys will get a free upgrade.

    We will announce a simple mechanism for this to occur smoothly when the paid version is released. The old paid keys will not work with the Beta.

    Best regards,

    Waj



     
  7. Chamlin

    Chamlin Registered Member

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    Re: What happens when the drive is full?
    As your backup drive begins to fill up to its capacity, Time Machine intelligently deletes the oldest backups to make room for newer ones. In the future, we are planning to implement an optional "Notify user when older backups are deleted".

    Waj, might it be possible for there to also be a warning notification prior to the deletion of the older backup? Could you implement an optional "Warning: drive is almost full, oldest backups will be deleted". That would allow us to take action, like deleting some of the interim backups or moving the oldest to another drive.
     
  8. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    it says raxco perfectdisk is installed cannot continue with installation with only a ok button and then it exits.
     
  9. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Hi Zfactor,

    We are still looking for a good workaround for the Perfect Disk incompatibility. However, in some cases it caused the worst of all scenarios, cold restore failure. We found out that Boot defrag feature of PerfectDisk may result in corrupted AX64 backups. So until we find a workaround it's not recommended to use boot defragmentation with PerfectDisk. Online defragmentation is ok.

    Due to the severity of this incompatibility, we have stopped users from being able to install Time Machine if it detects perfect disk installed. This is still beta and we are just seeing how users react to these circumstances.

    With the final version, we can have a more flexible installation procedure - giving user's choice - as you suggested above.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Cheers

    Waj




     
  10. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Hi Chamlin,

    This is a good idea and yes we can implement this quite easily.

    "Warning: drive is almost full, oldest backups will be deleted""

    Also, the site is on a really bad server so it is expected to have slow response and poor loading. When we move it to ax64.com this won't be an issue.

    (It is also down on my end currently).


    Cheers,

    Waj

     
  11. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Greetings, Waj. Thanks for the v2 BETA... looks like fun!

    W7sp1x86
    ----------
    Observation #1: when installing the LOCAL BOOT environment, the installation changed my BOOT timer from 8 to 3-sec which basically made it unBOOTable for me... had to change it back manually. This should not happen. TM should accept the system's DEFAULT (usually 30-sec) or use what the current setting is, it should not make any changes. If you're first on the block and MicroSloth makes you pick a number for that, I would suggest 10-sec at a minimum. Mine was 8 due to the fact that my display needs about 3-sec to sync in to the current scan for display purposes which leaves me a 5-sec visible selection window which is fine. Other displays may need more, some none at all.

    Observation #2: LOCAL BOOT environment - the EXIT button in the BROWSER window appears to be inoperative (didn't do a thing)... had to close the window to get the normal EXIT operation.

    To quote Ah-nuld... "I'll be bach!"
     
  12. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Congratulations Waj on getting ver 2 out.

    Just tried a backup of my C drive and that performed fine. But then I expected to be able to select another drive to backup but this does not seem to be possible at first glance. It would seem that you need to select all drives when you first backup - unless I am missing something. This way of working does not suit me as my drives do not all have a need to be backed up at the same time.
     
  13. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    W7sp1x86
    ----------

    Observation #3: apparently, you WARM RESTORE process installs a LOCAL BOOT environment for purposes of this restore. It appears to install it prior to the 1st reBOOT into the WARM RESTORE and removes it when complete. The problem with this is... if you already have the LOCAL BOOT environment installed prior to a WARM RESTORE (at least my 1st one anyway), it was removed at the end of the WARM RESTORE leaving me with no LOCAL BOOT environment which was there before I began the WARM RESTORE operation.

    Methinks that shouldn't happen...

    Continuing down the yellow-brick road...
     
  14. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Thanks Froggie for your comments, we will likely make these changes in the next build.

    Djg05, thanks you! To re-select the drives you want to backup, simply click on any part of the backup task row. For example, click on "C:". This will bring up the select drives Window. Here, just select the drive(s) you want to have backed up.

    In this first stage, Time Machine will back up all the drives: C, D, E etc. It will occur in alphabetical order and one after the other.

    Once they are all backed up, Time Machine will monitor the drives and by default, will perform automatic hourly back ups on all of them. You can also perform manual incrementals on these drive(s) by clicking the 'Perform Backup' button. When you click it, you can select the drive(s) you wish to backup.

    Currently, we do not have the flexibility to assign automatic backups on/off on individual drives. It is either auto on for all of them or auto off for all.

    In future, we may include more flexibility. Ie. Allowing you to better manage the backup schedules of each drive. But one thing at a time. :)

    Best regards,

    Waj
     
  15. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Thanks for this observation Froggie. This was a bug I picked up before fixed. But strangely it has appeared in this build. The next build should not have this issue!


    Appreciate you picking these things up!
     
  16. Chamlin

    Chamlin Registered Member

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    If you have drives C, F, G, J all backed up, when warm restoring, will we have an option of choosing which singular drive or combination of drives? And if cold restoring is it only the C drive?
     
  17. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    Seems to work great so far - well done everybody involved!

    Forgive my OCD, but the (otherwise decent) new UI's flat look is somewhat diluted by the old-school rounded tabs. The typography could be simplified too.

    Untitled-1.jpg
     
  18. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    To add to this... when you head into the WARM RESTORE, if the LOCAL BOOT environment already exists (having manually been installed), TM appears to not create one like it does when one doesn't exist. But clearly, on the way out of WARM RESTORE, it doesn't know that the current LOCAL BOOT environment was not already there and proceeds to delete it.
     
  19. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Currently, Time Machine's system for picking which drives to restore is still only one at a time. It is exactly as it was in V1, only that the system drive defaults to restoring via WINPE (Warm restore). For non-system drive, like D, F, G, J etc.. restores actually occur via Windows by default using the 'Hot restore'.

    Note that if you wish to use Hot Restore for restoring your system drive, it is still available via the advanced button in the restore confirmation window.





     
  20. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Thanks for these comments and the mockup. I agree and such tweaks are not difficult. But for now, priority is on making sure it all works. Hopefully not too many issues and we can make a official release before the 30 day trial ends!

     
  21. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks Waj for the explanation. I was expecting to see them on the next screen. Maybe this should be made clearer of other users.

    I have tried the rescue disc on a USB stick and I am having the same problem as before. It gets to the blue screen and freezes.
    On the local storage it also fails with a Windows screen about missing files. It highlights "COMPBATT.SYS". The only option is to hit Enter and select a different O/S.

    I have also found that on installation it has removed the Windows 8 graphical boot screen.

    I am using Win 8.1/64.

    On a positive note it performed a warm restore without problem
     
  22. Baldrick

    Baldrick Registered Member

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    Hi Waj

    A bi & hearty well done to you, Isso (?) and the Team on finally getting to the v2.0 beta stage. First impressions of the new GUI are excellent IMHO...need to look more closely, and then conduct some tests, etc.

    Will report back findings as and when I start these, which should be shortly.

    Regards


    Baldrick
     
  23. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Waj, Just so I can prepare myself for moving around throughout both the v1 and v2 environments, may I assume from the above statement that both v1 and v2 backups may be restored using either a v1 or v2 RECOVERY MEDIA (UFD and/or CD/DVD)?

    Edit: ...and a natural follow-up to this would be... can I use the v2 WARM RESTORE environment to jump around through a v1 backup chain?
     
  24. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    Understood - I'm loving the multi-partition support!
     
  25. wajamus

    wajamus Registered Member

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    Hi djg05,

    We're aware of the issues you had before the beta and I will be continuing to see how I can help resolve this issue. I am really glad the warm restore worked well for you. This is very good news.
     
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