Introducing AX64 Time Machine - hybrid imaging/snapshot software

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

  1. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Thanks for that insight bg (and for your edited warning)! Following up on your previous remark...
    this indicates that 1 out of every 10 hot AX restores (give or take) fail! What are the typical symptoms when that happens? & what do you usually do to rectify the situation? ...a cold AX restore?, or another backup program's restore?
     
  2. Chamlin

    Chamlin Registered Member

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    On my system, it was obvious when it failed. Would just hang or wouldn't really get started. You'll know. Then, it's time to reboot for a cold restore.

    I think that Pete and maybe Froggie did deep testing way back when, comparing their systems from point A: before backing up, then backing up; then intentionally messing up their systems; then restoring (point B). I believe that most of the time, if AX64 DID backup (no obvious failure); then the systems were truly restored. IF my memory of this is correct (always questionable on a thread with 10,051 posts), then I would assert that you will definitely know if AX64 fails. If what I just wrote in this paragraph is not accurate, then I suppose every day computOrs might not know.

    Pete? Froggie?
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    HI Chamlin

    My memory says your are right. It's the "most of the time" that bothers me. Also when the hot restore fails you are just stuck with a non system that you have to recover. What has impressed me about Macrium's new RDR is that if it finds it can't do a RDR restore it automatically switches to a full restore.

    AX64 just needs to grow up
     
  4. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Hey appster, I feel compelled to jump 'into the water'. When a long-time and ardent AX64 user like bg tells you his AX restores fail 10% of the time and finds it necessary to backup AX with not one but two other imaging programs, I've got to believe switching from RB to AX just doesn't make any sense.

    According to your previous posts you haven't had any failures/problems with RB in the 5 months that you've been using it. Certainly that implies a better 'track-record' than bg's (with AX). Also from your previous posts you do backup RB (just in case). With all of this in mind and knowing that AX doesn't come close to RB's speed of creating/restoring snapshots, what are you thinking? o_O

    pv
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  5. Chamlin

    Chamlin Registered Member

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    He's got to be thinking, jeez, I better check out rock solid Macrium v6.
     
  6. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Now I might understand that rationale, if he has the $ to lay out for MR6. ;)
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Appster... failures occurred in basically 3-ways... 1) hung before they ever started, 2) hung somewhere in the middle, and 3) hung at the 99(100)% point. In some cases, #s 1 & 3 were BOOTable when the restoration completed... #2 was definitley a tragedy (if a restoration doesn't complete but somewhat starts, the storage element is left in an invalid state).

    In all the above cases, I would not trust any of them to restore a complete system. If your HOT restore does not complete properly, a COLD restore of some type is definitely the only trusted solution.

    PS- as I've mentioned to you previously, if you have had great experience with Rollback XP (an RX derivative), and really don't need your snapshots if your storage recovery is required (HDD probs), I would continue to use RBxp for snapshots and find a good FREE basic imaging solution (to back that system up in its current state)... and a simple MBR reGenerator when that backup is required. It sounds like you're pretty happy with RBxp... why dump it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  8. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I am being extra cautious when I say 10% failure, I have done a great many successful hot restores and I am not sure of the ratio of successful to failed,,,,it is not at all high though. In fact, I went almost a year with out a failed restore once Isso had identified that AppGuard was causing problems. Still, better to expect the worst and be prepared for it, thats what my regim is built around (more on this below).

    As noted above when a hot restore fails what happens is the PC hangs. Then you do a manual power off of the PC and do a cold restore. I think it important to state that I have not had to use any restore program other than a AX64 based one in the over 2 years I have been using the program. I am not using more than one backup program because I fear AX64 but because I do not trust any single backup program. It just makes sense to be cautious. I was burned before (with Acronis True Image) and I will do what I can to prevent that happening again.

    There is a huge difference between a failure with Rx (a program I used for some 4 or 5 years without issue) and AX64. If Rx fails you are in deep s^%t. If AX64 fails you need to do a cold restore. Even for the 2 times AX64 cold restore failed (it went to completion but check disk ran at reboot and found lots of problem files) my solution was to redo the cold restore but using an earlier hourly snap. Once that was completed I simply recovered any work files not present from the last snap. When I reported this cold restore issue (I think I am the only forum member to have a cold restore fail) to the forum Froggie suggested I upgrade to the last official AX64 release, which I did, and have not had a single issue since then. No hot restore failures and of course no cold failures since I have not had to do any.

    So why did I stop using Rx if I had used it successfully for so long? Because others reported disastrous failures where everything was lost. That was not the thing though since I was imaging my drive using Paragon Backup and the worst case scenario was that I would have to restore my PC using my Paragon image and then have to reinstall Rx to get running again. I had a potential loss of work files but I was uploading my critical files to the cloud on a daily basis. I felt pretty secure. What caused me to abandon Rx was 2 fold, first, the absolutely horrific tech support that HDS provided. With support like they provided to folks who were having problem I felt I wanted nothing to do with them. The 2nd and very important thing was the arrival on the scene of AX64. A vastly better option in terms of recovery from a failure and (at the time) awesome support (from the originator of the program Isso). I ran not walked away from Rx and I have not regretted it for a second.

    Now I could have sugar coated AX64 but I don't feel that would be right. AX64 is not a perfect program but it is not something I feel folks should be afraid to use as long as they take a few precaution. A worst case scenario, one in which both hot and cold restores failed with AX64, would be the restore of the PC using a week old Paragon image (now a restore using a daily snap from MR) and then launching AX64 to go to its last hourly snap to recover any files I need to bring up to date. As long as you are doing weekly images with some other program, are not storing your AX64 snaps on the same drive you are protecting, and maybe doing a daily manual snap with AX64, I think you are well protected and will have nothing to worry about.

    I hope this clears things up, if you have any specific questions about any of this I will be happy to clarify.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  9. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Macrium is very nice but it is not a snapshot program and is nowhere as easy to use as AX64. When I first bought it I expected to drop AX64 but AX64 has not been dropped, Macrium has been added. I believe that Froggie, for one, has done something similiar (if I am wrong Froggie I am sure you will correct me).
     
  10. manolito

    manolito Registered Member

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    This is only required for RB RX version 10.2. If you have a non-GPT system good old RB RX version 9.1 works just as nicely as version 10.2, and for version 9.1 an MBR reGenerator is not necessary.


    Cheers
    manolito
     
  11. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Ok, here WAS my thinking BEFORE reading remarks by bg (+Froggie, +Pete, +...) about failed hot AX restores. Although I have not experienced any problems over the 5 months I've been using RB I was 'spooked' by the RB horror stories I've come across, both here and on HDS' forum. So I thought that AX might be safer in the long run while also providing integrated image-backup, thereby relieving me of my current RB cold-raw backup routine (which pvsurfer uses). Now I am beginning to see that AX isn't yet (and may never be) sufficiently reliable to be any more trustworthy than RB!

    Froggie suggested if I would be satisfied just to backup my current RB snapshot I could do hot backups of my RB system which along with a one-time backup of my standard MBR would be simpler and faster than cold-raw backups. After thinking about this, in any situation where I had to recover from an RB failure I would be quite content with this solution. I see this as an easier and free failsafe solution for RB. So that's my current thinking. ;)
     
  12. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Hi manolito, I'm using RBxp, a free version of RB based on the RBrx v10.2 engine.
     
  13. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Seems to me that you have to do a system restore in either case!

    Regardless, even though you used Rx successfully for years, you were still 'spooked' by the horror stories just as I was.

    Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate your detailed and honest feedback. :thumb:
     
  14. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Hey appster,

    If you would be satisfied with just recovering your current snapshot after an RB disaster, then Froggie's suggestion is definitely the way to go (hot backups are far more convenient than cold raw backups).

    In any case, your reasoning is now a lot more lucid (for a while there I thought you were smoking Maui Zowi)! :p

    pv
     
  15. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    :argh: That's very funny pv. :argh: (but I believe you are referring to Maui Waui). :argh:
     
  16. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Registered Member

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    Now, I never used RB, so can't comment on that, but since I'm using AX64, then I can say that it IS trustworthy. I don't have the exact count of hot restore failures, but it's definitely near 0 (and it's a perfect 0 for cold restore failures).

    Mr. Goodman mentioned about "disastrous failures" with RB, well, me & my machines certainly never experienced it while we're using AX64.
    And also, if I'm not mistaken, he's the only one here who experienced cold restore failures. For the rest of us, the un-trustworthiness of AX64 maybe in the area of hot restore (please cmiiw).
    For why it has different hot restore success rates for different people & machines, not that's the question for the developer.
    But generally, I think, if your several trial restores are ok, then that means AX64 likes you (or your machine) :)
     
  17. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    I would LUV to correct you... but, you're absolutely right :p
    It's been over 2-yrs and they're still trying to come up with an answer for that one.
    Your IMPness is absolutley correct. I still use the utility... and during my extensive testing of Macrium v6 I used it as my 2nd source of backup (now that's called taking a chance :cool:)

    But in your case, Rollback XP has also been trouble free so for your system, it's still an option (with the appropriate backup). If you're looking for a "low cost" single solution for both SYSTEM imaging and snapshot capability, AND AX64 is working well for you (especially in the HOT imaging area)... it should definitely be on your consideration list, as long as you don't expect too much from it and your system doesn't get too sophisticated in all its bells and whistles.
     
  18. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I thought that they had pretty much solved that with the warm restore in the V2 beta. Then for some reason they let the beta expire with no replacement. But they did solve it I am pretty sure about that. ----- Even Pete was happy with that beta (cmiiw)
     
  19. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Registered Member

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    Wasn't that when then they lost the person who solved it? And then they're back to square one?
    (Although I can't understand, are the documentation for the solution also lost with the programmer?)
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Actually in that last beta they solved both the warm and hot restores for me, but not for everyone. That was a bit scary in that you never knew if some change would totally break it.

    So the question is would I go back, and the answer is NO!. Backup and restore is critical to me. There are two very important components. First the obvious, the software. But secondly and equally important is the company behind it. And they flunked.

    1. The way the handled that last beta was horrible. Yes the date was posted, but it was way down at the bottom where it was almost hidden. It should have been at the top and also in the software so there was no mistake. Plus since they were posting here, and announcing beta's here, one would presume they should have been watching and realized some of us were having a lot of success. Did they do that..nope

    2. They officially state that they will provide me no support. Think I am kidding. When I install it tells me since I use Perfect Disk they won't support me. Blah. Perfect Disk has no impact on Macrium at all. So what does this tell me.

    3. Market. They are designing a product that is very simple for people who are technically oriented, but is there a market, and worse do they know if it is a viable market.

    4. Technical competence. Macrium had an idea, and when they brought it out, they had home, workstation, and server versions, that work. Where are we today on AX64. Yes the V2 beta worked for me, but would it have performed through all the unreasonable tests to which I subjected Macrium. I doubt it.

    The other issue for me is not unique to AX64, but the way I use my system programs that use tracking files don't end up saving me any time.

    Pete
     
  21. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    BG, maybe you missed my posts during that time frame o_O

    The same exact piece of hardware/software/OS that had been HOT restore trouble free since v1 Build 996 (literally hundreds of restores), failed totally and completely with the "new" HOT restore offered in v2 Build 548... I was quite surprised. I could get it to fail on queue with that release. No errors, no indication of any kind of problem until after the restoration was complete, then all hell broke loose. MS Office and OS activation errors, loss of automatic logins for various services (Skype, DropBox, etc)... the whole thing fell apart, it looked like massive REGISTRY errors. I worked with the Devs and they said they were eventually able to reproduce the error and identified it. They needed a little time to figure out exactly which of the multiple fixes to use to solve it... they said they had choices. A week or so later the BETA died... so much for that fix :blink:

    I had only done a few WARM restores with v2 Build 528 (the WARMs were error free and the continued use of HOT was also error free) when they came out with the HOT new Build 548 with a "completely fixed" HOT restore... so much so they had changed the DEFAULT restore back to HOT in the LIVE version. Pete had very good luck with Build 548 and I could not get a single successful restore... go figure :isay:

    I'll wait... I still have a use for a successful product like AX64 but until then, I won't use any version past v1.4.1.48b, I just don't trust it at this time.
     
  22. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Registered Member

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    Yes, at least now we know that AX64 isn't for Peter :D

    I'm not saying that it's a perfect product, heck, maybe it's even a dangerous one. But what can I say, it works for me. Of course, until it burns me (heaven forbid).
     
  23. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Registered Member

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    By the way, Mr. Frog, I haven't had the chance to ask then, but the "apparently" registry errors couldn't be caused by AX64, could it? Looks to me AX64 failed in doing the restore (although it seemed to be successful).
     
  24. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    It is clearly a HOT restore issue... exactly what happened, I haven't a clue. When I say REGISTRY errors what I'm saying is that the particular file(s) associated with the REGISTRY must have gotten clobbered during the restoration.

    The imaging part of the equation was fine... I was always able to successfully COLD restore using the same images the HOT restore was trying to use. I reproduced the problem five successive times, with each time creating slightly different error sets (all very obvious, though), many of them. If the REGISTRY file(s) were getting clobbered, there was a good chance other files were also getting clobbered but I never got that far with checking the integrity of the restoration... too much else was already wrong at that point.

    I had to give up and wait for some additional contact with the Devs... it never came after they said they had found the problem.
     
  25. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Sadly you are correct. My only advice is measure your risk, ie can you afford to lose something, and based on that take appropriate action.
     
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