many similar ways how to create a virtual disk / machine

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by Izibia, May 25, 2015.

  1. Izibia

    Izibia Registered Member

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    Many different Paragon's tools can convert a physical disk to a virtual disks (VD), even different functions of one tool can do it, but the diferences of use are very little. Or am I missing something?

    Let's compare:
    • Create Virtual Disk/Convert physical disk to virtual disk
      (included in Virtualization manager and Drive Copy;
      the result is just a VD)
    • P2V Copy
      (included in Virtualization manager and Drive Copy;
      the result is VD+.vbox/.vmc...)
    • Backup to VD
      (included in Backup&Restore ;
      the result is VD+.pfi)

    Yes, there are little differences
    ("P2V Copy" requires there is an OS installed,
    "Convert to virtual" also allows just a volume is converted,
    "Backup to VD" can create also .pvhd but not .vdi
    ...)

    but in general the tools seem to be interchangeable:
    • in place of "Convert to virtual" you can do "P2V Copy" and throw away a vbox/vmc file
    • in place of "Convert to virtual" you can do "Backup to VD" and throw away a pfi file
    • in place of "P2V Copy" you can create just a virtual disk by "Convert to virtual" or "Backup to VD". Then you can set up a VM by a software that will run the VM (at least for me it always worked with VirtualBox)

    (My experience comes from these concrete products:
    Backup & Recovery 14 Free Edition
    Drive Copy 14 Special Edition for XP
    Virtualization Manager 14 Compact )
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Yes, there too many Paragon programs with many overlapping functions. Perhaps a marketing scheme, but very confusing for the users. To compare the different repacked programs is not easy. Perhaps that´s their purpose. You buy HDM Suite and then they "recommend" HDM Pro, and in your account page appears and ad for the "new" Backup and Recovery...

    I´d like to see a few, clearly differentiated programs, and the differences explained in a clear and simple way. As, for example, here: http://www.macrium.com/pages/comparisons.aspx.
     
  3. mickiem

    mickiem Registered Member

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    FWIW, backup to VD is just the format of the archive -- it's listed in case you want to use the old format I think.

    Also FWIW, conversion to VM is basically cloning the drive to a VHD, then using the migration tool to remove registry entries that would otherwise start the wrong critical drivers. There are many ways to get from point A to point B, whether you use Paragon software or not, & in fact you may not need any special software -- that last depends on if the OS will boot in a VM or not as-is, & I've had that happen.

    The problem with virtualizing a Windows install is the original size of the partition, stuff starting with Windows that you will not want starting with Windows, at least initially in the VM, & the accumulated garbage of a well used Windows install that's suddenly expected to run with a 1/4 the hardware resources.
     
  4. Izibia

    Izibia Registered Member

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    and I guess "Backup to VD" is cloning the drive to a VHD, then writing some restoration info to a .pfi file

    Unfortunately such points are not so clear from the Paragon's UI (and even from the documentation)

    So I would prefer another UI:
    create a VD + have optional checkboxes:
    - use the migration tool
    - create vbox/vmc with VM specifications
    - create .pfi with archive specifications

    (some chcekboxes could be greyed out according to Paragon's sale policy)

    I don't know about many ways.
    And I thought the adavantage of Paragon (in comparison to tools like Acronis, Easeus, Macrium ...) was that Paragon allowed to use VD formats besides of a proprietary format.

    This is my knowledge how to achieve tasks related to virtual disks:

    create VD from a physical disk:
    - Paragon
    - Disk2vhd from Sysinternals (.vhd only)
    - Windows Image Backup in Windows (.vhd only)
    - by more complicated ways, like dd + ConvertFromRaw in VirtualBox

    restore whole VD to a physical disk:
    - Paragon (.pfi needed)
    - restore Windows Image Backup (.vhd only)

    boot a VM from a VD :
    - Paragon may help to achieve it

    mount VD to a real OS (and possibly restore individual files/directories):
    - by Paragon, but .pfi is needed, and the mounted disk is read-only
    - by Windows, but it works with .vhd only, and may change the disk's signature
    - by ImDisk, but it can open only one partition of a VD simultaneously
     
  5. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Also, the PVHD format allows compression, the other formats don´t.
     
  6. Izibia

    Izibia Registered Member

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    pvhd is a proprietary format, isn't it? So it has its limitations - for example one cannot write into .pvhd .

    So I prefer other formats, because a ntfs compression may be used. (a ntfs-compressed .vhd file cannot be opened by Windows' Disk Manager, but it may be opened by ImDisk)
     
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