Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

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

  1. Kit1cat

    Kit1cat Registered Member

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    I have no use for a hourly backup, but I do think a daily backup is a must for ALL computer users not just for geeks and experts users, and for me AX64 v1 is the best program I have ever used. OK, Rollback is a better snapshot program, but we all know the problems with it. I am just glad AX64 v1 is still working great on my system.
     
  2. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    I just installed v1.4.1.48 and when I attempted to build the Recovery (Boot) CD/ISO a message box popped up to the effect that the OS (WinXP SP3 x86) is not supported. I would appreciate hearing from any WinXP users of AXTM (v1.x) re this issue.
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    "In the beginning" it was supported somewhat... I have not been on XP for quite a while, though.

    Worst case, borrow a friends W7 computer, install the TRIAL and create a W7 ISO and use that... it'll BOOT just fine on your XP computer. If you can't do that, I'll be happy to make a W7 ISO available for your use.

    PS- you cannot use the LOCAL STORAGE option in the Create Media section... XP does not support that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  4. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    TRF, I would really appreciate it if you would make a Win7 ISO for my use with WinXP SP3 (32-bit). I don't understand your PS (re using the Local Storage option). What is the Local Storage option? Thanks!
     
  5. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    In the "Create Recovery Media" section of v1, there's (2) things you can do. The 1st is USB (or CD/DVD or ISO)/START and the 2nd is "Local Storage"/INSTALL. I think the 1st is obvious for creation of a BOOTable UFD/CD/DVD, and the 2nd is for adding a Local Storage option (BOOTing from a HDD-based ISO... much faster). The LOCAL STORAGE option is only available for BOOTmgr-based OSes (Vista/W7/W8 ), it will not work with XP (an NTLDR-based OS).

    Will PM you shortly...
     
  6. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    I see. If your rescue (boot) disk works on WinXP then AX may be worth considering as an alternative to RB, because backing up RB is a drag. From what I gather, it seems you have much experience with both AX and RB so I'd be interested in your take.
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Well... those who have used RBrx (and haven't gotten burned) know that its CONTEXT switching is 2nd to none as far as speed is concerned... both taking snapshots and restoring them. As it's entered the world of UEFI/GPT storage & Windows 8, it's gotten a bit quirky at times and as a result really needs to be protected... almost against itself (and MicroSloth W8.x updates which occasionally blow it away). If you need your snapshots, there's just no easy way to do this without... 1) an imaging program that can do RAW disk surface imaging (all sectors), and... 2) a large amount of secondary storage to store those images. With all this the whole process may become tedious depending on what your protection requirements are.

    Along comes AX64 with its intended capability of taking snapshots and being able to restore to those snapshots in a new and different way without reBOOTing to do the actual restoration... restoring differences only. Well... its HOT restore kinda works sometimes but not really well enough for many users. It was flakey enough to cause the developers to design a WARM restore (requiring a reBOOT for the restore and an additional reBOOT to arrive at the intended system time point). This kinda worked most of the time but as the BETA moved along it got even quirkier... this is where the product is currently. Those who have had little or no issues with v1's HOT restore are usually very happy if all they want to do is protect their SYSTEM partition... I am one of those users. Others are waiting in the wings for additional fixes/functionality/etc. to appear.

    I really need that additional successful functionality so I've kinda moved sideways toward an additional product which offers a predictable WARM restore capability and some excellent scheduling capability (for me, anyway). I haven't given up on AX64 but I can't just wait around for it to reach the basic set of specs it set out to be 2-yrs ago.... I need to keep looking.

    AX64 is NOT RBrx in speed but when it works it can provide system protection in the form of imaging and decent snapshot capability... but it just isn't a real solid product yet, hopefully it will be. If your system is simple in its configuration, you just may love v1.4.1.48b.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  8. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Hm, it seems to me that AX and RB have a lot in common when it comes to maintaining compatibility with each new versions of Windows as well as advances in storage technology. Really too bad the original AX dev (Isso?) sold-out rather than seek-out investors.
     
  9. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    As posted in 10027, yesterday I installed AXTM v1.4.1.48 (after uninstalling RB to my current snapshot, then running CCleaner and Puran Defrag). So far all seems to be working well. I've attempted a few hot restores and all were successful. Since AXTM's boot disk creator does not support my OS Froggie created an ISO for me and the resulting CD seems to be working well. Later today I will use it to attempt a cold restore. Any precautions re cold restores? :doubt:
     
  10. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    I don't have a precaution to offer re cold restores, BUT in case you were not aware of it, running a light virtualization program (Shadow Defender or the like) breaks AXTM's sector-tracking mechanism!

    Just a heads-up. ;)

    Cruise
     
  11. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    They've always worked for me... but be aware, AX64 needs the exact same partition to restore to or one that is bigger... it will not restore to a smaller partition then what was imaged. If it finds the same partition, it will restore to that partition automatically. If it finds one bigger, it'll ask you where you want to put the restoration.
     
  12. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks for the heads up; good to know as I was interested in trying an LV program. Are there any other conflicts I should know about?
     
  13. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks Froggie, that's reassuring (I can't envision a need to restore to a smaller partition).
     
  14. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    If you're using a defragger (which you really shouldn't be with any snapshot tool), there have been cautions associated with doing BOOT time (preBOOT) defrags with those tool types... I would stay away. If you're gonna use any snapshot tool with an HDD, and feel you need to "clean it up" every so often, with RB(?) you should unINSTALL before doing it, and with AX64, you should most likely start a new backup chain following the maintenance. If you don't, the next AX64 timeslice (or RBrx snapshot) will be pretty huge (remember, it's recording the surface of the disk and its changes... defraggers make lots and lots of surface changes when they run).
     
  15. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Of course everybody says this until they envision their first SSD and find out how expensive they can be at the same size.
     
  16. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    As for RB, I've been following pvsurfer's advice to only do system maintenance after uninstalling RB.
    As for AXTM, how does one 'start a new backup chain'? o_O

    PS. I don't think I'll be getting an SSD for an 8 1/2 year old WinXP laptop. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  17. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    The easiest way (for me, anyway) was to rename the current folder with a .LAST at the end, then create a new folder with the same name before the name change. This allows you to keep the backup around for as long as you think you may need it. The next time AX64 runs and finds an empty folder, it starts a new chain.

    If you don't need those snaps (like a RBrx maintenance period), just empty (delete the contents) the current snap folder and the next snap will be a baseline.
     
  18. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    You question was re LV and I have nothing to add here, but,,,,,,,,,

    I had a problem with AppGuard causing failed hot restores, if you use this app you must reduce the level of protection from high to medium when you do a hot restore or you will run the risk of the hot restore failing.

    You will find that cold restore is very reliable. I believe I am one of the few people on the planet who ran into a problem with a cold restore (and I am still using AX64 without any qualms -- but see below).

    Just a suggestion,

    I use AX64 for day to day quick restores (90%+ success rate with hot restores) but I still, just to be sure, image my drive with a traditional imaging program on a weekly basis. This is not to suggest anything against AX64, I would do that as part of my "best practice" regime regardless of what program I am using,,,,,,,as a matter of fact I just started using Macrium Reflect to do daily snaps and that is an addition to the regime I had in place before buying MR. So now I have AX64 for hourly snaps (and fast restores), MR for daily snaps, and Pagaron Backup for weekly full images to a drive that is rotated to an of-site location. -------- yup, you are correct,,,,I am paranoid about my data/system. As I said, just a suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  19. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    All you have to do is rename the backup folder, I just put a 2 in the name of the folder (so AXTM become AXTM2 - or 3 or however many you want to have) and the next time AX64 runs it will automatically create a new backup folder. Its a good idea to start a new chain every 4 to 6 weeks as the chains can get rather long and this can slow down restores. Also, some folks have found that AX64 will turn itself off if the chains get too long so you should keep an eye on this as well.

    AX64 is a good product IMHO but it still needs some work to get these sorts of glitches sorted out.
     
  20. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    No AppGuard here, but thanks for the heads up. While I understand your compulsion for using more than one image backup program I think using more than two is really bordering on paranoia. ;)

    First of all, you've got to trust the backup programs your using. As I see it, the only way to develop that trust is via repeated successful restores. I tried several such programs with RB and while all of them restored my system successfully I settled on AOMEI Backupper.

    As I'm first starting the use of AXTM on my laptop I'll be saving its snapshots to a 2nd partition on the internal drive. Until I develop confidence in AXTM I plan to make an AOMEI backup once every day to an external drive. If AXTM earns my respect I'll reduce that to once or twice a week.
     
  21. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks, your method is the same as Froggie suggested. I don't understand how 'the chain can get too long' if AXTM is automatically consolidating snapshots? Or doesn't it? :confused:
     
  22. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    It does if you run it in AUTOMATIC mode (hourly snaps and some other progression after 4-hours) but not if you run it in MANUAL. In MANUAL you need to "delete" snaps manually through the "AXTM Browser" window (not via Windows Explorer).

    Edit: the Baseline may also be "deleted" through the BROWSER window as AXTM will merge it forward in the chain... it takes a while.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  23. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    That being the case, what's the downside of allowing AXTM to automatically do hourly snapshots with automatic consolidation?
     
  24. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Ya, I know it sounds paranoid but the Paragon images are made to a different drive than the Macrium and AX64 (the MR & AX64 snaps are saved to an external drive that is almost always plugged into my laptop and it travels with me. The Paragon images are made to a different drive which is only plugged in while doing the images and stored off-site). Until I purchased MR a week or so ago I followed a 2 program regime, AX64 continuously and Paragon weekly.
     
  25. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    The only downside is that you have little to no control over the merging schedule.

    My AX64 regime is as follows, auto snap is on and once a day I do a manual snap (not really doing this now as I have Macrium doing this for me). Auto snaps get merged, manual snaps do not. So, say I want to go back 8 days, with my manuals I can do that, with autos, given the merging regime, you can go back 1 week or 2 weeks but not 8 or 9 days. Same thing with hourly snaps, you can go back 1, 2, or 3 hours but you cannot go back (or recover files from) four hours ago. It is expected that in a future release of AXTM the end user will have more control over the merge schedule but for now its fixed.

    As you use AX you will find a structure that suits your taste, its just good to know these things in advance so you will not be surprised by them,,,,,

    EDIT: you must delete snaps from within the AX64 browser. Doing this from within Windows Exp will break the chain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
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