Paragon Backup & Recovery 2011 Free Backup Help.

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by grimreaper1014, Jun 19, 2011.

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  1. grimreaper1014

    grimreaper1014 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I seen there was a forum here for help with Paragon products so I decided to register. I have know about the site for a while and I am a frequent reader of the forums. I recently downloaded Paragon Backup & Recovery 2011 Free Edition. I got tired of constantly having to reinstall Windows 7 x64 from the Windows disk, and reinstalling all my applications and updates repeatedly. I have tried reading through the manual as well as searching Google for what I am trying to accomplish. However, I am even more confused. Basically this is what I am trying to do. I would like to create a complete backup of my computer so that in case something goes wrong I can use the backup and pickup were I left off. I have a 750gb hard drive that I partitioned into two equal partitions. Now I have a C: and D: drive with Windows installed on C: and D: is going to be used for the backing up. Both drives show 349GB. Could someone please point me in the right direction so I can accomplish this? If someone could explain what backup option to use, and how to restore it when I need it. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance guys.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I only tried the free product once and what's worse, I'm a very new user of Paragon Home. I can only give you some general comments not specific step-by-step instructions.

    You want to make an image of your C partition and store it on the second partiton (more on this later). I think it may be referred to as a sector backup, you do not want to just backup data files since the restored files will not be bootable even if you backup and restore all of them. I don't know if the free product even allows a files only backup. If you have the option to image the MBR do it as well. You won't normally need this when restoring to your existing drive since it will already be there and is not usually damaged. If you restore to a new, emptiy drive then you will need it.

    The above will create the required image files on your second partition and will allow you to restore your C drive. Now the later part mentioned above. If your drive dies, it is very likely your images will be useless since they are on the same drive. A better approach is to store them on an external HD so they can be kept safely off-line. Another approach is to install a second physical disk for images. It is not likely as secure as the external drive but is pretty good and generally is a faster method of creating images because USB2 is slower than an internal drive. USB3 will give you roughly the same performance as an internal drive.

    Why are you having to keep reinstalling Windows and apps? If your machine has a hardware problem it should be fixed before relying in imaging since the program assumes the hardware is operational - it is not a diagnostic program or a data recovery program the gets data back from a bad disk.

    The bootable recovery mechanism in the free product is based on Linux. It is really necessary with any backup program that you ensure you can recover the archive and until you have done this you cannot have 100% confidence you can recover when necessary. Too many backup program users just make the backup and assume all will be well when they need it and sometimes the recovery doesn't work on their system. When you need it is not the time to find out it doesn't work.

    The best way is to do a test restore to a spare HD. A spare one in case it fails. A failure during a restore will leave you with nothing in the partition being restored. A not quite so good method is to boot up the recovery CD or USB stick and see if you can find the archives on you backup device. I assume Paragon will let you verify the archive from the bootable recovery version. If it is unsuccessful it means that the archive cannot be read properly by the Linux drivers or has an internal problem.

    Sorry this is pretty general but perhaps armed with this information you can find the pertinent sections in the Paragon guide and make a bit more sense of it. Of course, some more knowledgeable person than I may well come along and give you better info.
     
  3. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    I don't want to hijack this thread also but as I have found out, even if the archive completes the integrity test that doesn't insure that it will restore properly. It's been posted many times here before about failed integrity tests and the answer is try to restore a folder/file and if that works it's "probably" fine. Granted, I may be a special case when it comes to all this too! o_O
     
  4. grimreaper1014

    grimreaper1014 Registered Member

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    I like to beta test a lot of different programs. Plus I am always tweaking my computer and overclocking. Sometimes the operating system becomes damaged. I would like to be able to just install a working image before the problem occurred. I need to get a second a second hard drive. However, right now my primary concern is just to have a image to revert to in case a problem occurs. For example if I am using a registry cleaner, and it removes something that breaks the OS. Using the image would save me from having to reinstall the OS and programs again.

    Do I just click on backup. Select all partitions except the D: drive since this is where the image is going, and select no compression with no splitting? Finally, I need to create a recover disk to boot from to perform the restore process in case I can't boot into Windows right? Thanks for all your help. I greatly appreciate it.
     
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I can't say for certain about Paragon but for Acronis restoring a folder/file out of an archive that won't verify is not necessarily a good indicator the archive is good. The reason is that the verification is done by inserting checksums into the archive when it is created and comparing them when it is being read and restored or read and verified. If any one is bad the archive is declared bad and the restoration terminates. Restoring a folder or file only involves readng and comparing the checksums associated with that block of data and they may not be the problem ones.

    Other things to consider: doing a verify in Windows which is not the same as doing a verify using the Linux CD although I would suspect the Windows one perhaps is more likely to work because of typically better drivers compared to the Linux implementation.

    The verify process relies on the RAM, disk subsystem, etc to be solid. A slightly marginal component can cause the process to be sucessful one time and fail another. Given the much larger volume of data and related checksums being compared when verifying a whole archive rather than just a folder restoration verification it is more likely a failure by a marginal component will occur then.

    The issue of archive verification is an interesting one - not what you would call it when it is giving you problems. It seems to be a issue with imaging programs in general. Users abandon one product and move to another because of the problem and many swear their problem is solved and it could well be. Imaging problems tend to read/write vast volumes of data at the highest possible speed and the verification process checks that it was done correctly. Normally in a PC the volumes are less and any problems that may have occurred are not seen until the data is used if ever. It would not be impossible to have a bad bit in a graphic file that you would never see. A slight alteration in how program A manages the imaging compared to program B very likely could make some problems appear or disappear if some hardware is on the edge of failing.

    I'd be willing to bet money there are ex-Acronis and Macrium users using Paragon as there are ex Paragon users using the other products because of their grief with the verification process.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    That's about it. You can select compression since it reduces the amout of space needed for the archive and it also reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent to the disk which can actually speed up the process if you have a fast CPU. Often the bottleneck is data transfer speeds in the disk system. Also you are reading and writing to the same disk which tends to be a bit slower so reducing the amount of data written to D will help.

    Splitting is optional. Some people like to split the archive so they can copy it to DVDs later. Some just don't like having great big multi-gigabyte files.

    Yes, you need to create a bootable CD (does the free version let you create a USB thumbdrive as well) in case your Windows is totally screwed up.

    Edit:

    If you have any problems put your overclocking and RAM timings to "normal" when creating and restoring the backup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  7. grimreaper1014

    grimreaper1014 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the help. I really appreciate you taking the time to clearly explain everything to me. It all makes perfect sense now. Also, I am sure this will help out a lot of other people to. I seen some similar posts, but as I have mentioned they are hard to fallow. The user guide is a little hard to fallow as well. The free version will allow the creation of a bootable CD, DVD, or flash drive.

    Is the restore procedure pretty easy? Would I have to know certain commands to restore the backup? Do you know if the restore process is setup like the program with a wizard? Also, if the image is split into multiple files on the D: drive would this make it a little more complicated to restore? I am just trying to make things as easy as possible on myself. Then, once I have the basics down I can do some experimenting later.
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I don't have the program on this machine but I think it is Wizard driven - the paid version of Backup Home is. Regardless you do some clicking around and don't need to know any cryptic commands.

    If the Paragon program is like others selecting any file in a multi-file archive is good enough since the program knows that there are other files associated with it and will do them all. If it doesn't work this way it will probably not let you select the incorrect file.

    I wish I could be more specific.
     
  9. grimreaper1014

    grimreaper1014 Registered Member

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    Okay sounds easy enough. Thanks for taking the time to explain all this. I have went from being almost clueless to having a pretty good understanding of the process. Therefore, mission accomplished. I will give it a whirl later tonight. I will try to get the exact steps put in the post so that way other people will be able to benefit from it. If I run across any problems I will post back to. Thanks again for all your help. ;)
     
  10. grimreaper1014

    grimreaper1014 Registered Member

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    Well I tried to copy each sector or clone the C: drive but failed. The C: and D: drive are both the same size roughly 350gb. It want's to copy a little bit more than what is available on the D: drive due to the MBR and 100mb system partition I guess. Therefore, I just did a normal backup using the wizard. The only thing I changed was for it to make the backup one file instead of splitting into 4gb chunks or whatever it is. The backup I performed just copies the used sectors right? If so I should be able to restore my system in case of a problem using this backup. Can someone confirm if this is true? If I wanted to go back to the time of this backup I would just format the C: drive and use the boot cd to copy the backup to the C: drive right? Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    Yes you are correct. I just put this on my machine but I used software from this company in the past. It always worked satisfactorily. You can make a usb rescue drive & you can burn a rescue cd. It will make differential backups. It will also make a virtual disc from the backup to use with VM Workstation. For a free program it offers a lot.
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Don't waste your time formatting the drive before restoring. A format is only provides a filesystem structure - it doesn't do anything to the other sector contents. When the image is restored the partition receiving the data is deleted and the data copied to the now unallocated space and then the partition is "setup". The filesystem or format that is put in place is what exists in the image. In other words any formatting you did prior to restoring the image is overwritten anyway.

    If you want some assurance you will be able to restore your archive if necessary, boot up the CD and make sure it does run. Now select the archive and verify it. If it verifies it shows that the Linux recovery system can find and correctly read the archive.
     
  13. grimreaper1014

    grimreaper1014 Registered Member

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    I will give that a shot. Thanks again for all your help.
     
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