Paragon not intuitive

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by sag, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. sag

    sag Registered Member

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    I'm coming from Ghost 15 and am not sure I'm creating a "disk image" using Paragon.
    What I want is a complete image of my entire hard drive so that if there is a failure, I can simply restore the latest image and be back up and running in less than an hour. I've noticed that there is a "General Copy and Backup Options" section. In this section there are 5 options. Do I check HDD Raw processing or Partition Raw processing or neither. The current settings have neither checked.
    Also, I want to do multiple backups...lets say 1 each day at 7:00pm, Monday through Friday. Ghost would let me specify how many backups (images) to save...lets say 7. Then each day as a new backup (image) was created, the oldest would be deleted, thus giving me a rolling 7 days of backup images. Where, in Paragon can I do this with the free version?
     
  2. emibel

    emibel Registered Member

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    I'm coming from Acronis True Image and also have your second issue. There seems to be no way to limit automatically the number of daily backups kept, for any type of backup.

    There also seems to be no way to schedule any type of backup more frequently than daily (e.g. hourly).

    I'm using Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Suite.
     
  3. fireworker

    fireworker Registered Member

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    The Paragon programs has a way to schedule any type of backup, with limit automatically the number of daily backups kept ..
    .. if you know Paragon Scripting Language :)
    Also, there is an addon called "Paragon Retention Wizard", which is easy to schedule for many (including free eg BR2013) programs, but it available (for free) only to the enterprise versions.
     
  4. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    As stated by Paragon_Matt, in a past thread, "It is unnecessary to use the Raw processing unless you have bad sectors on the drive. ..... ". I have never used this option, myself, and I only perform Full "Image" Backups and have successfully restored from them.
    I am using an older version of paragon B&R Home and it uses windows task scheduler by placing the backup task there and setting windows task scheduler. If the the newer versions/i.e. your version still uses the same approach, then you should fine an entry in task scheduler. If that is the case just change the scheduler interval there for hourly.

    Yes, this is true, there is only an option to limit the number of backups for "cyclic backups" in the paragon product versions that you give you the option of "cyclic backups". However, I do *not* use their cyclic backups, as its too limiting an implementation for my tastes because it only limits the number of differentials and does not delete the base. .... Anyway, I only make Full Image Backups, so I never create differentials or incrmentals, so I do not use cyclic backups.
    Yes, Acronis is more robust in terms of auto deleting any type of backup type, but I have heard about some serious issues with acronis, so I never choose to try it. Paragon I have found to be reliable, but it does not have all the deletion features that your looking for bulit-in to its gui, yet.

    If you **only** make "Full Image" Backups (*no* differential, *no* incremental, *no* cyclic backups). I created a Script in another Scripting tool/language that will delete old backup full image archives by retaining the x number of generations you want, for the Full Backup Image Archives. ... I also found way to have the Script "delete" the entry from the Archive Tab View (i.e. the Archive Database)
    ... I found that the paragon scripting language too limiting for myself and choose to use another scripting tool. The scripting tool/language that I used is a paid product that you would have to purchase, in order to use my script, at this point. The scripting tool/language costs $149.
    If your interested in my script and purchasing the scripting tool/language, in order to execute my script, let me know and I will supply more info.

    P.S. I do have plans to come up with a version of the script as a complied .exe which would not require having purchased the tool, but I keep getting interrupted with other projects and I do not know exactly when I will get back to it.
    .... However, if other users here indicate they have an need for my script and it would be valuable for them to have, then it would motivate me to find time to work on making it an .exe with command-line options.

    P.P.S. My script is written in the scripting tool/language "winautomation", so if you already have winautomation you could use my script in its current form, just let me know if you have the winautomation tool, then I can supply the script to you in its current state.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  5. emibel

    emibel Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply JosephB, but I've decided to stick with Acronis True Image for now.

    I found other things I don't like about Paragon (and Macrium Reflect), in particular they both generate much larger files than Acronis (about twice the size for a full backup of my system disk), even with maximum compression, and take longer to do it.

    Also, I don't like the idea of having to use additional products (Win PE, WAIK) to recover system images with Paragon and Macrium.

    I know other people have had problems with Acronis over recent years, but it's worked fine for me (although I haven't tried full system disk recovery with the 2014 version yet).
     
  6. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I always thought that if Paragon worked on the GUI their market share would soar.

    Because others have easy GUIs I haven't used any Paragon products but a couple times in the last 8 years or so.

    But they're stubborn. If one had an idea to buy into this market sector. Paragon would be an ideal target. Just rework the GUIs & Paragon would clobber a lot of their competition.
     
  7. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    Yes, there is only an option to limit the number of backups for "cyclic backups" in the paragon product versions that give you the option of "cyclic backups". However, I do *not* use their cyclic backups, as its too limiting an implementation for my tastes because it only limits the number of differentials and does not delete the base. .... Anyway, I only make Full Image Backups ....

    If I had not created my "Retention Policy/Delete Archive Script, I would have also switched to another product like Macrium, etc. I was initially very disappointed when I purchased paragon b&r and found that it lacked a gui - retention policy/delete feature for Full Image Backups (i.e. any type of backup, besides cyclic). But, my script gave me the missing deletion/retention policy missing form the GUI.

    I tell you I was sure that the need for my script would not be needed for too long because I guessed that a near future version of paragon b&R would add this missing, but important feature that the majority of competitive products have out there. But, you know what, I have been using my retention policy/delete script for 2 years now because paragon never added this capability in the releases that have come out over the past 2 years.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paragon Matt,

    1. Any plans to release an update (for B&R Home/HDM) to add a Retention/Deletion Policy - GUI feature for all types of backups - like Full Image backup, etc and not only for cyclic backups ?
    ... The majority of your competitors have had this for at least the past 2 years, I believe.

    2. And even cyclic backups should have a retention/deletion policy to delete the base after a specified number of generations has been deleted and then start the creation of a new cyclic backup set.

    3. And cyclic backups need to be enhanced to work for backup of multiple partitions, and not be limited to the current restriction of single partition backups only.

    Therefore, in summary:
    .... 1. You should be able to easily schedule through the GUI the creation of cyclic backup sets for all types of backups - entire hard disk, multiple partition backup archive, single partition backup archive.

    .... 2. Retention policy to maintain a specified number of generations whether you choose to make Full Image Backups or Cyclic backup sets of base and differential or incremental.

    .... 3. For cyclic backup sets, a retention policy that will create a new base after a specified number of differentials or incrementals have been created. And a Retention policy to delete cyclic backup sets, after a specified number of set - generations has been reached.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    You don't have to use WinPE or download the WAIK or the latest WinPE build files from MS - you can use the basic Linux recovery environment. However, many of the problems on recovery are frequently caused by a lack of good Linux driver support especially for newer hardware. This is also why Acronis offers the WinPE option (or at least it did the last time I fooled with it). WinPE is Windows-based and generally is better option.

    Unfortunately many people only find out the Linux recovery doesn't work when they really need it. When you really need it shouldn't be the first time you see if it works.

    The reason things have to be downloaded to build it rather than come pre-built like the Linux one, is that MS changed the licensing method about a year or so ago. Prior to that you could just download an .iso from Paragon or Macrium and burn it to your device even with the free version. You could do the same with Acronis but they used to charge for the WinPE version - no idea what they do now.

    I dumped Acronis after many years because it was always in a beta-version state when the marketing department said to release it. Just got tired of listening about all the problems on the forum and thought there has to be something better. I admit that Acronis probably is the most full-featured product (when they get them working) especially if you consider options directly through the UI. The Paragon Scripting Language should be replaced with something less arcane. I also detested Acronis' desire to start up archive validation processes automatically. With the version I last used, it could not be globally turned off - nothing worse that wanting to do a reboot and having to wait for Acronis to finish its automatic validation.

    My systems with Paragon or Macrium take about the same time to do full images and I don't think they differ much in size but I don't really care.

    Once the WinPE recover CD or USB key is made, there is no need for the WAIK etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  9. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    seekforever,

    1. Since, you use both products, how would contrast the pro's and con's of each (paragon/macrium) ? ... and the feature set ?

    2. Are you using the free or paid version of Macrium Reflect V5 ?
     
  10. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I have a license for a Pro copy of Macrium which allows you to use what they call a Redeploy feature - restore an image to different hardware like Paragon's Adaptive Restore.

    I never had a problem with Paragon for restoring an image but IMO, its UI is indeed convoluted.

    I am not a good person to be answering questions about features because I only do full images on my C drive when I feel like it. My data files worthy of backup are stored elsewhere and I use SyncBack Pro which keeps the File and Folder format on the archive disk to back them up since I don't want them dumped into a container file.

    You need the Macrium Reflect paid version to do incrementals (maybe differentials too) and Files and Folders, i.e., the Free only does images.

    My opinion: Macrium Reflect (MR) and Paragon both have a OWYTH (Obvious When You Know How) interface but MR's is easier to understand because it doesn't have the database view with a file view. It is archive files only but it does have a list of what it calls locations that you define for the archive and it will search them for archives and to store archives. I have no use for the database and having to put archives into it - I want a program that I might need in a disaster to be simple.

    Both the Free and the paid versions of MR allow you to make a WinPE 3 or 4 rescue CD or key in a fairly automated process. You need as per MS's new licensing to download the appropriate WAIK or WADK kit. There is a Linux recovery included if you don't want to make a WinPE.

    MR releases updates every now and then I can't recall if it is any more frequent than Paragon but I think it might be. The updates tend to be patches rather than complete new versions.

    You need to have a paid version to access their support forum which is one reason I have a paid license (the free does all I really need). There are some very knowledgeable users on the forum and the real nice thing is that there are about 2-3 MR staff who very, very actively monitor the forum and answer trouble questions right away!

    I'd say the Paragon user guide is more complete than the MR help file but they have a Knowledge Base on their site that has good documentation on using and trouble-shooting.

    MR writes a XML file defining backup after you go through the Wizard and which is saved by default but you can untick the box. This file, like the PSL file can be edited. It can be referenced in a VB Script file or a DOS Batch file. You can apparently use VB scripting to setup an archive. I don't think MR suffers from a lack of features and it can send emails. Obviously the fancier things are only in the paid version.

    One beef I had with Paragon was the inability to automatically verify an archive after creation. With the paid version you can set a default settings flag to do this. Acronis still wins this battle since you can set it as you are going through the wizard for the current backup. Remember, I only do full, manual images. If you are using a script you can set this up although I found that doing it in PSL was obscure.

    MR paid requires an activated license for each PC to run under Windows. They do have a very reasonably priced 4 home pack but in my case the free is all I need.

    Which do I prefer? Well, you may have noticed I haven't been around here nearly as much in the past while.
     
  11. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    seekforever,

    Very informative !!! , .... as are all your posts on various backing up topics.

    BTW, a side question - In the past everyone use to use the acronym of GUI for a graphical desktop interface, but I have noticed now that lately people use the acronym of just UI instead, how come ?
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Glad you found it helpful.

    Interesting question about GUI. My only guess is that when graphical first appeared there was still a lot of command line work being done in DOS, Linux, etc and the distinction was being made for work being done on computers using the new-fangled Windows or other graphical interface. Marketing people probably liked hyping "GUI" since it is more user-friendly.

    Now there is very little done at the typical user level that isn't graphical and if a distinction is being made, something like "command line" requires the clarification if the usual GUI isn't being used.

    Of course, UI is more generic and can mean either command line or graphical so if it applies to an action that can be made regardless of which is used it makes writing simpler.
     
  13. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    seekforever,
    thanks, for explanation.
     
  14. Volare

    Volare Registered Member

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    @ seekforever - well said and very thorough. Thank You.

    According to my experience, it appears the amount updates released by Paragon does not even come close to the amount released by MR (That is, in comparison to B&R). It seems MR release updates very often - I don't use MR myself, but from what I gather, they appear to release updates at least monthly. Perhaps the Paragon flagship product - HDM, receives more updates than B&R. I'm using Paragon B&R 12 Home and according to my Paragon account, the last update was released in December 2012 (apart from the WinPE media which was updated in March 2013 - If anyone knows any differently, please correct me. I'm only going by what's listed in my Paragon account). I reported a list of bugs about 3 months ago re B&R 12 Home - Paragon Support acknowledged these bugs, however I have not seen any updates/fixes. You would think a few, maybe many bugs would have been reported by customers over the last 12 months, therefore I find it surprising that no updates have been released since.

    It would not surprise me if Paragon release the next version of B&R soon, which would leave users of B&R 12 Home with software that has not received an adequate amount of fixes/patches via updates. IMO, this is just not good enough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  15. Paragon_Matt

    Paragon_Matt Paragon Moderator

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    Just to clarify the GUI has been updated in HDM 14 series, as far as it goes for retention, for paid editions of the Paragon Software there is the retention addon which is available. It is also in development for updated retention for the 'cyclic backup' as well.
     
  16. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    Paragon_Matt,

    1. Someone in one of the Forum Threads, said that "Retention Addon" was only available for the Enterprise Version.

    A) .... Is it available for the Home version of B&R or HDM Professional Version ?
    B) .... What version number of B&R Home (12? or HDM Professional (12? 14?) do you need to use "Retention Addon" ?
    C) ... Where do you go to Download the "Retention Addon" ?

    2. At this point, Is this Planned as an Interim Update to HDM or B&R or for the Release 15 versions of B&R and HDM ?
     
  17. fireworker

    fireworker Registered Member

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    04-12-2013 v3.0.2.7

    Retention Wizard was updated yesterday and now has the system requirements
    A Pre-installed Paragon Backup Utility
    • Paragon Drive Backup 11 Workstation, Small Business Server, Server
    • Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Professional, Server, Business, Premium
    • Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional, Business, Premium
     
  18. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    fireworker,

    1. So, does this mean it can not be used with B&R 12 - Home ?

    2. Does it come with the installation of "Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 (or 14) Professional" ?
    .... If not, where is the Link to Download it, assuming that you have purchased either "Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Professional" or "Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional" ?
     
  19. fireworker

    fireworker Registered Member

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  20. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    fireworker,

    Based on the PDF you found, it implies that the "Retention Wizard" works with "Backup & Recovery 10, 11, 12", if this is true, then:
    1. This is the best kept secret around !

    2. And even a better kept secret is where to download the "Retention Wizard", for use with paid Backup & Recovery 10, 11, 12".

    3. I checked my support page - regsitered products - download section for my Paid - B&R 12 - Home and the "Retention Wizard - Addon - is not listed.

    ..... Boy if users here only knew and were told where to download it, it would prevent many users from jumping ship to another vendor because it appears to everyone that paragon does not "retention deletion" option, but if we only knew about this and where to Download the software for use with "Backup & Recovery 10, 11, 12".


    Paragon_Matt,

    1. So, where to Download the software for use with paid versions of "Backup & Recovery 10, 11, 12" ?

    ... And how long has this "Retention Wizard" existed that know one knows about ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  21. John Doe Genius

    John Doe Genius Registered Member

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    I have always found Retention Wizard in “My Acciount > My Downloads” on the Paragon web site. The first time I became aware of the wizard, was in October 2012.

    The latest version of Wizard & Manual is 3.0.2.7 released 04.12.2013. This manual states these system requirements:

    A Pre-installed Paragon Backup Utility
     Paragon Drive Backup 11 Workstation, Small Business Server, Server
     Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Professional, Server, Business, Premium
     Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional, Business, Premium
     
  22. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    John Doe Genius,

    1. So, am I right in assuming that you are not using B&R 12 - Home ?
    ... Because I have B&R 12 - Home and it does not appear in the My Downloads section of My Account page.

    2. Which of the listed versions, from your posted above list, is the Version that your using ? HDM Professional 12 or one of the others ?

    3. P.S. Was the "Retention Manager - Addon" announced somewhere or did you just stumble upon it by accident, by spotting it one day in your downloads section ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  23. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    Doesn't appear for HDM14S either.
     
  24. John Doe Genius

    John Doe Genius Registered Member

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    JosephB, you are right, I have been running HDM12 since March 2012, now HDM14. But I have registered several Paragon products (some om them free, from Give Away Of The Day, I think). I have registered these apps:
    Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Home (English)
    Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free (English)
    Paragon Backup & Recovery 12 Compact (English)
    Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Professional (English)
    Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Professional (English)

    I can confirm that Retention Wizard only appears under HDM12 & 14. HDM14 Suite is not listed in the User Guide; as wptski confirms. Really strange! I have always had trouble to understand all the various variants of Paragon software.

    My intention was to tell what the latest user guide says about requirements. I did not try to answer your initial question, JosephB. It is my opinion that Paragon_Matt should chime in and give you a honest answer.

    Another anachronism, when you run the latest wizard, the help link directs you to the guide fireworker referred to!

    Your question #3 is difficult, I am not a youth anymore; my brain is tired. I do not recall how I learned about Retention Wizard, it is possible I just found it listed in My Account. I think (I am not sure) I have run it at an earlier stage, but I got some scripting errors. I ran ver 3.0.2.7 today and it worked very well. I'll look closer to this app; seems to be useful.
     
  25. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    It sounds like for some strange reason to get "Retention Wizard" you have buy HDM xx "Professional" as a Minimum Version level or a higher corporate version.

    Paragon_Matt,

    1. It really should be available to those that have "Paid: B&R 12 - Home" and I think Paragon_Matt should "Lobby" Development/Marketing to include it for "Paid - B&R 12 - Home".
    ... You would stop to great degree those user's jumping ship to another product that contains the equiavlant Retention/Deletion Policy/Wizard feature.

    2. My second beef is that it was not made obvious that "HDM 12 Professional" came with it starting last year. Why I could have purchased HDM 12 Professional last year, if I had known about it and made use of the "retention Wizard" for the past year, if i had known that HSM 12 includes it !
    ....P.S. I just checked the web page, as of yesterday, for HDM 14 Professional features and does not even mention that it comes with the "Retention Wizard" addon. ... How is/was one suppose to find out ?


    John Doe Genius,

    1. If you try the "Retention Wizard, let me know if it works to your expectations for "deleting old beyond limit for "Full Backup Images" and for "Full Image Base + Differential Backup Image Sets".

    2. And, How does it delete the old beyond limit generations, by adding scripting code to the generated paragon backup script or is the Retention Wizard always running in the System tray and performing the delete of backup image generations?
    .... Would like to determine whether going for HDM Professional is worth it just to get the Retention Wizard or whether I will stick to my "full image deletion script" that I wrote that works perfectly, for Full Image Backup Generations.
     
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