Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

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

  1. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Hi Pete,

    I was under the impression that if AX64 v1's hot restores worked on her machine it would be reliable (guess I was wrong)! I've been using AOMEI Backupper on my PC which I find to be very reliable as well as pretty easy to use. However, when I put it on my wife's PC, she wouldn't use it.

    Scott
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I also use AOMEI, but it's terminology is a bit confusing. You might look at Macrium Std. Once you set it up, all she has to do is invoke a definition file and it is automatic.


    Pete
     
  3. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "invoke a definition file". And are you referring to MR v5?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Macrium allows you to create a "definition file"... a specification for your backup. It includes how much compression to use, where the backups go, what their names should be, etc... SPECIFICATIONS. Once they're set up, all you do is <right-click> on the definition you want to use. They have names like MANUAL (for snapshotting maybe) or AutoIncremental (for background auto imaging management). You <right-click>, select "Run now, choose the "style" of the image (Full, Differential or Incremental) and off it goes to create such an image according to the specifications in your DEFINITION file... that's it.

    The AutoIncremental system can run in the background and keep your system imaged at periodic rates, the MANUAL can allow you to take a snapshot prior to any big change on your system (just in case)... just a coupla examples. If you use the scheduling system, this can all happen in the background and keep your wife's 'puter protected. You can even create 1-click options to do manual snapshotting for example (no choices, just <click>). Once you've set it up for her, I don't think she has to worry about anything until her system blows up :)
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I don't remember if this works on 5.3, but on 6.0,you can put a Shortcut on the desktop. Double click it and you've done a backup. It just doesn't get any simpler then that.
     
  6. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Frog/Pete,

    If you guys are only referring to v6, it still hasn't been finalized; has it?
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Scott

    It has blurred for me, but yes 6.0 is awesome, but not released yet. But if you buy 5.3 now you get 6.0 free.
     
  8. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Reliability is a tricky term here. For the majority of users AX64 has been fairly reliable in terms of hot restores (many folks finding it 90% or better in terms of reliability) and very reliable in terms of cold restores (some, like myself, have had a few issues with cold restores but generally these tend to be very rare). The bottom line is AX64 is far better a solution than no solution at all. That being said it would not be a bad idea for you to occasionally generate an image of your wifes PC with a 2nd program just in case. I do, and will continue to do so, always use 2 dif imaging apps, I learned the hard way that this is a good idea. FWIW I am still using AX64 and will continue to do so until something else comes along (Macrium Reflect V6 looks like it may fill that bill but only time will tell for sure).

    I hope this helps.
     
  9. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    v1 was imo pretty stable v2 has not been very much for me at least
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Barry. For me imaging programs at 90% reliability is unacceptable. Same is true of the company behind it.
     
  11. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Yes, you are correct but thats not the whole story, its the snapshot component that has 90% reliability, for most users the cold/full restore capability was much more reliable (I do not think that anyone other than myself reported cold restore issues). I have had Acronis fail me on a number of occasions so its no better than AX64 cold restores very rare cold restore. As I said above, AX64 is def better than no protection at all so if Scotts wife will use it she if better off. In other words, if we forget about AX64s hot restore feature and only use it for cold restores, then you have a very simple to use, reliable product. In this capacity it compares very favorably with a great many, much more complex, imaging programs.

    AS far as the company behind it is concerned I agree with you 100%.
     
  12. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Maybe it's too late at night for me to get my arms around needing a 2nd backup program as a safety net. It now seems evident that AX64 v1 doesn't possess the reliability necessary in a system backup program. So I'll give MR a trial run on my wife's PC and see how that goes. Thanks to all for your feedback.
     
  13. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Registered Member

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    Hi Scott, welcome to the (dying?) club :)
    Joking aside, actually how important is it to backup/image your wife's computer? The reason why I'm asking this is because from your posts it seems that your wife hasn't been using any for quite some time.
    Now, if it isn't THAT important, since she (& the computer) survived so far after all, then I'd like to share MY experience.
    First, highlights from this thread:
    1. Yes, AX64 is not 100% reliable for some, even to the extent of 100% unreliable for some of the users (this is the 1st group).
    2. However, for the rest of the users, the reliability can be said to be bordering the 100% mark (this is the 2nd group).
    3. Then again, even for those in the 2nd group, because of their high standards or the utmost importance of their computer contents or other reasons, they need to deduct some more reliability points from AX64. So for them, there are only 3 reliability stages: 0 for junk, 100 for software they use, and 50 for the rest. 80%, 90%, maybe even 98% :p, all belong to 50. I believe Peter is in this 3rd group :)
    4. Lastly, another subset of the 2nd group, are people who use AX64 daily/regularly, and actually quite content with it. I'd say that "cold restore" works 99%, with the 1% accounts for Mr Goodman's experience, which was an anomaly I believe.

    To be able to put yourself in those groups, sadly, it's true that you must try it first yourself.
    As long as you aren't in the 1st group, then to quote Mr Goodman: "AX64 is def better than no protection at all."

    Now my experience follows.
    So far, I only use AX64. I use it to backup my system partition. For data, I backup it up manually (well, actually automatically, but it's just a copy procedure). And "hot restore" worked about 9 in 10 times. When it didn't work, then "cold restore" would work.

    So, if your wife's computer configuration is happened to be like mine (in a sense that AX64 likes it), and you/she want(s) to try a very simple yet worked (caveat above), then AX64 could be your/her best assistant. It sure is for me to this day.
     
  14. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    In my honest opinion it does not matter what program you are using to image your PCs a 2nd program is a good idea. You never know when Windows will do an up date that mess's up program one or program one has a fix or upgrade and things go belly up. I learned the hard way after relying on Acronis True Image for years with no issue and then disaster struck,,,,,,,never again.

    At the moment I am using AX64 hourly, and Paragon Backup weekly. I have been doing this for about 2 years and have not had to use Paragon at all in that time,,,,,,,and I do restores often. A 2nd great feature of AX64 is the ability to recover individual files as if they were all (for each snapshot) in Windows Explorer. Regardless of its faults AX64 is a light, tight, innovative program. One that should not be dismissed out of hand.

    By the way, I plan to check out Macrium V6 when it is officially released but this does not nec mean I will be abandoning AX64.

    Oh yes, I ditto what mxyzptlk said immediately above this post.

    EDIT: Scott, just to clarify,,,,when AX64s hot (quick) restore fails all you need to do is a normal (cold) restore. Cold restore is the standard "put the recovery disk in the drive and boot into the recovery console". In my case I had cold restores fail (3 times) and what happened each time was that the PC did not reboot at the end of the restore process. I was forced to do a manual power off and then boot back into the PC. Twice ckdsk ran and found all kinds of orphan files. I simply redid the cold restore to the previous snap and all was well. I should also mention that I was using an earlier version of the program and on Froggies advice I moved to the last official release of AX64 V1. Since doing that I have not had any issues with restoring using AX64.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  15. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. It was certainly interesting (if not confusing) to read your take on AX64. First of all, whatever my wife does on her system it is important to her and that's all that really matters to me. So up to now I have had the burden of backing-up her system on a weekly basis (using AOMEI Backupper).

    As I have enough on my plate, I would like to reduce, if not eliminate that task. Therefore I've decided to put AX64 on my wife's PC, create a recovery disk of course, and allow AX64 to run 'doing its thing' (taking snaps) which I presume will be totally transparent to her? Then once a week (for a while), I'll attempt a hot restore to see how well that works. I presume it is quite evident when the hot restore doesn't work - what might I experience if it fails?


    Ps. I should mention that when I first set-up her PC I created a D-partition for system backup purposes (barring a hard crash). So I imagine I will be able to 'point' AX64 to that partition to save its snaps?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  16. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    The most common HOT restore problem is a HANG during the restore process (the progress "/" freezes for an extended period of time).

    If that "D" partition you talk about above is on the same physical HDD (hard disk) as her SYSTEM partition, you WILL NOT be protecting her against physical disk failure.
     
  17. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Registered Member

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    Yes, I think that'll do. :)
    A reminder, please don't stop using the Aomei until you are certain that AX64 has befriended her computer.
    If a hot restore fails (hangs), then definitely you need to do a cold restore immediately.
    I'm not really sure what happened if a cold restore fails (since that never happened to me). But Mr Goodman's post above might somehow describe it. Feel free to use your Aomei's backup then (and forget about AX64, maybe).

    Just to make it clear, I agree with what Mr Goodman said about having more than 1 backup software. It's just that, at least up until now, I feel that I can be just fine using only AX64. Of course, if something really bad happens in the future, then I can only blame myself & probably have to revise my backup strategy.

    Add: just saw your ps.
    I strongly suggest using an external HDD to save your image.
     
  18. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Good to know - thanks.

    Yes, I realize that (as noted in my ps). My separate backups of her system are to an external drive. ;)
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Scott, be aware, when the hot restores hangs, it leaves you with an unbootable system. At that point, you need a "cold" type restore you can rely on. I will be frank. It sounds like what is important to her, and if so, don't rely on AX64. Also if you do an hourly, in a week you will have a significant number of incrementals to go thru. At that point, the hot restore, even if it works, could take longer then a regular image restore. Be Ware.
     
  20. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Thanks for all of your insight. Fwiw, my AOMEI backups of her system are to an external drive; but as that drive is not permanently connected to either of our PCs I plan to save AX64's snaps on her D-partition.
     
  21. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    My initial plan is to continue to make AOMEI backups of her system but on a monthly schedule instead of a weekly one.


    Doesn't that also apply to any disk-imaging program when taking incrementals? Furthermore I thought AX64 consolidates its hourly snaps on a daily basis, no?
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Yes it does, but some do it way way better then others. I've tested it, and once you get a good size chain the hot restore just slows down. Yes it does consolidate on a daily basis.

    Going with the backups of other imaging programs on a monthly basis is fine if she can afford to lose a month's data.

    I've said my piece. I wish you well
     
  23. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Pete, your precaution is noted, but as I see it no backup program (MR included) can ever assure 100% risk aversion!
     
  24. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    It would be wise to purchase a 2nd external drive for your wifes PC, this way, if by some chance AX64 cold restore fails, you can use your other backup program to get her system running and then go to the last hourly snap in AX64 and recover any files she needs to recover (easy as pie). External drives can be had pretty cheaply these days.

    Also I would like to mention that if a hot restore fails it does not mean there is a problem with that snap. I have recovered to the failed snap via cold restore with no issue.

    Finally, I am protecting a 250 gig drive that has has 35% of the drive free, a cold restore with 2 months worth of AX64 snaps takes apx 1.5 hours on my system.
     
  25. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Both of our PCs are notebooks so it's not practical for either of them to have a dedicated external drive. ;)
     
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