Paragon and Windows 7

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by Howard Kaikow, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I guess that it is time to find an image backup program that is supported for Windows 7. The program must, at least:

    1. Allow for real incremental and differential backups, not as Ghost did (see http://forums.hardwareguys.com/ikonboa....;t=4573).

    2. Be able to mount partitions as virtual volumes that can be used as any other logical drive, including changing the mounted partition, and saving the changes.

    3. Must be able to recover individual files, as well as partitions.

    4. Must be able to boot from a CD to recover files/partitions.

    5. Backup/restore Linux partitions, including ext4.

    Does the Paragon Drive Backup product satisfy the above needs?
    Is the product supported for Windows 7?
     
  2. Caos

    Caos Registered Member

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  3. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    Hello Howard Kaikow,

    1. Paragon Drive Backup 9 SP2 and 10 versions can do incremental and differential in Windows 7.

    2. The current version of DB 9 SP2 is not able to mount images to Windows 7 64bit. For the other operating systems, you can mount images as a virtual hard drive; be able to read and extract files/folders with read-only privileges.

    3. With the File Transfer Wizard, Volume Explorer, or Mount Archives, users can extract files or folders from the archive.

    4. All version of Paragon Drive Backup come with a Linux/DOS recovery disk which makes backing up and restoring entire hard drives from a bare metal standpoint. Simply insert the boot CD/flash drive, perform all Paragon operations as if the software was installed in Windows and not have to deal with the hassle of reinstalling Windows.

    5. Drive Backup will recognize ext2,3,4 partitions and backup using "raw processing". However Drive Backup can not be installed onto the Linux OS but must be run from a boot cd environment to perform backups and restores.

    Drive Backup 9 SP2 and 10 is compatible with Windows 7, with the exception of mounting in Win7 64bit, which will be fixed when Drive Backup 10 comes out.

    -Tommy
     
  4. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    How does it address the issue I raised in http://forums.hardwareguys.com/ikonboard.cgi?s=4492619c5fa1ffff;act=ST;f=13;t=4573?
    I'd have to wait for version 10, as Win 7 will be on 64-bit hardware
     
  5. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    First of all, there's two types of backups that are not complete images that only backups the changes: Differential and Incremental.

    Both differential and incremental need a "base" image which is a complete backup of the hard drive prior to scheduling a differential or incremental backup.

    Paragon does not use a "RPS" file to keep log of the changes. During a differential or incremental backup, the program scans the current hard drive and compares with the base image.

    The difference between the two types are as follow: The incremental backups are file-levels; they copy files that has been modified or added compared to the base image. They are dependent of each other, for example, incremental 4 needs 3, which needs 2, 1, and base image.

    Differentials are sector levels backups that can exist independently of each other. So in the case that one differential gets corrupted or deleted, the other differentials are still good.

    In the case that your differential or incremental gets larger than the base image, we can perform a "Synthetic Backup" to consolidate your images. For instance, if your base image is 40GB, and your differentials are 60GB each, using one of the differential and base, synthetic backup can create a new base image, essentially saving space by making the other differentials redundancies.

    Lastly, Cyclic Backup, which is very similar to Differential, is an automated backup process that can specify how many differentials you want to keep and delete the oldest differential when a new one gets written.

    Cyclic Backup Example:

    If you have a differential backup running everyday, from Monday to Friday, you have a total of 6 images: base+5 differentials.

    On the next Monday, the program notices that you already have the maximum set amount of images (6) and deletes the oldest, which is last Monday, and replaces it with this Monday backup.

    In my opinion, if we're opting to save space and least maintenance, Cyclic + Synthetic Backup will not only automatically consolidate your differentials with your base image to save space, but also delete older differentials as the new ones are being written.

    -Tommy
     
  6. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    So, we can do the following:

    1, Create Base image MyStuff with an image backup of entire system.
    2. Create another Base image MyOtherStuff with an image backup of entire system.
    3. EAch Base image would be on a separate USB drive.
    4. I would then alternate using each USB drive to make incremental/differential backups.

    Since no "RPS" file is used these backup sets are independent of each other,
    Iz that so?

    Another question is which model does Paragon follow?

    Ghost and Storage Protect, last I checked, used a separate base file for each logical drive imafe, whereas, True Image followed the *ix model of laying the entire system in one image. Which method is used by Paragon?
     
  7. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    Essentially what you described is running two separate backups for the same hard drive at different times and to different locations.

    When dealing with a "complex" archive that involves multiple partitions, Paragon separate each partitions with its own image files starting with .000, .001, .002 etc.

    So a backup with 2 partitions look something like this:

    archive_092909.pbf //pointer file
    archive_092909_0000p.000 //first file of the first partition
    archive_092909_0000p.001 //second file of the first partition
    archive_092909_0001p.000 //first file of the second partition
    archive_092909_0001p.001 //second file of the second partition

    If you disable image splitting, each partition will be one complete file.

    You can restore individual partitions from a complex archive by selecting the .000 file.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Yes.

    I am asking whether one can have:

    AND

    Code:
    archive_whatever.pbf                             //pointer file
    archive_whatever_0000p.000                   //first file of the first partition
    archive_whatever_0000p.001                   //second file of the first partition
    archive_whatever_0001p.000                   //first file of the second partition
    archive_whatever_0001p.001                   //second file of the second partition
    
    Call each of these a backup set.

    My question is that can each backup set be updated indepebdently of the other backup, In particular, if I run Paragon to update the 1st backup set, then immediately run Paragon to update the 2nd backup set, will ALL files still be backed up (of course a few files will have changed whilst running the 1st backup set).

    In the case of the issue I posted describing how Ghost did incremental/differential backups, the backups get out of sync due to the vsnap.idx mechanism used to track files.

    Why would one want to split images?

    What happens with an incremental/differential update?

    When will version 10 be released?
    I ASSuME that my questions could be answered by downloading a trial.
    Hopefully version 10 will work with Windows 2000?
     
  9. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    Between the differential backups, only the changes happening between running the two differential backup with will be different. If you one run after another, changes will not be noticeable at all, the time stamp will be different and log files will be different. I don't know how critical it is that you need two backups to be closely identical to make 1-2 hour differences matter, otherwise a duplicate of the backups to the two external location is your solution.

    If you are referring to that Partition A and Partition B (both in the same backup) are out of sync after performing the differential backup, because the program takes a snapshot of them individually, Paragon takes a global snapshot of all your partitions at the same time, so the data across the partitions are from the same time instance.

    For example: Entire Backup of Hard drive which includes two partitions

    Paragon takes a global snapshot of your hard drives with VSS.
    It then writes the archive file of the first partition
    Following the archive file of the second partition
    Although the files were written one after another, perhaps hours apart, they are still from the same time-instance.

    This is critical when your Operating System needs to be in sync with your data partition.


    Earlier you mentioned you are doing two backups to two external hard drives. You have to treat these two backups as independent backups and subject to their own time stamps, changes, and schedules.

    Image splitting is particularly useful when you need to burn large archives into multiple CD/DVDs, transfer over the network, or stored on a FAT32 file system.

    Differential/Incremental works by comparing the current state of your hard drive with your base image and writes the changes. When multiple partitions are involved in one differential update, a snapshot of those partitions are taken at the same time but written one after another.

    DB 10 is expected to be release end of October or early November and compatible with Windows 2000.

    -Tommy
     
  10. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I understand all that.

    This is critical when your Operating System needs to be in sync with your data partition.

    I guess I need to clarify what I'm trying to avoid by using Ghost 10 as the example:


    That's what I want.

    I would have no reason to do any of those.

    Is the basic mechanism the same as in DB 9?
    If so, I could try the trial of DB 9.
     
  11. Paragon_Tommy

    Paragon_Tommy Paragon Moderator

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    Hello Howard,

    Drive Backup 9 is compatible with Windows 2000, so the trial version will do what you need.

    Regarding Symantec and the RPS file, and I'm starting to understand the limitation of it. What you're saying is that with two separate and independent backup of the same hard drive, Symantec shares a common RPS file that forces the two backups to be out of synchronization.

    Backup1 Runs on Monday and Wednesday
    Backup2 Runs on Tuesday and Thursday

    By the time Backup1 runs on Wednesday, it is using the RPS file written from Backup2 on Tuesday, completely missing the tracked changes between Monday and Tuesday necessary for Backup1.

    Paragon has no such RPS file to keep track of changes. All changes written to the differential are based on the comparison scan done right before the backup. To my knowledge, there's no way for two independently running backups to interfere with each other. I can understand why Symantec would incorporate this method to save time by avoiding the preliminary comparison, but as we now know, there's an obvious flaw.

    I hope that answered your questions.

    Regards,

    Tommy
     
  12. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Yes, and the overhead is enormous, not to mention the software having open handles on each and every drive.

    Storage Protect used to do the same thing, but I had extensive discussions with them, helping them fix a bug in SP 2, and discussed this issue. Changes were made in version 3, but I believe the fundamental issue still exists. I got a free license for SP 3, but it would not run on my Windows 2000 system. I might try SP 3.5, as I think that my free license applies
     
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