Pricing - HDS, Macrium, Raxco

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by jwcca, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Just for fun I looked up the prices a few minutes ago. Prices are for a single PC licence.
    HDS knows I'm in Canada and displays prices in Canadian Dollars.
    The others quote in U.S. Dollars so I estimated the Canadian prices using a typical exchange rate but which varies day-by-day. Of course the HDS prices would likely vary day-by-day too. But the 'flavor' is there... Listed alphabetically by Vendor name....

    HDS
    $ 52.03CAD for RollBack Home ($0) plus Drive Cloner ($52.03) (has some limitations compared to Pro)
    $144.08CAD for RollBack Pro ($92.05) plus Drive Cloner ($52.03)

    Macrium
    $69.95USD for Reflect Home (~$90.00CAD)

    Raxco
    $69.99USD for Instant Recovery (~$90.00CAD)

    Obviously for a home user with one PC, HDS is the least costly for the RollBack Home + Drive Cloner package. Drive Cloner is absolutely necessary for a fully protected system i.e. Bare Metal Restores. But Drive Cloner is still in Beta... not yet ready for the retail market today (it may be close of course:)).

    Macrium Reflect Home and Raxco Instant Recovery prices are almost the same. Both are higher than the first HDS package and lower than the second HDS package.

    ======================= Features =====================

    RollBack (Home or Pro) by itself is similar to Instant Recovery "Snapshots" but doesn't have any backup on a separate drive/partition. It needs Drive Cloner for that.

    Instant Recovery can roll back to a previous state using either it's "Snapshots" in the system partition or it's "Archives" which must be kept on a separate partition which preferably is on a second physical drive, but it doesn't have a standalone Bare Metal Restore capability, it needs Reflect (or it's equivalent) or a re-installation of the OS and itself to get access to the Archives.

    Reflect can revert to a previous (or futureo_O I'm not sure about this) state using Incrementals and/or multiple backup paths, which is similar to RollBack but requires more storage and a second partition, and it can Restore an Image if needed for Bare Metal Restore, which is similar to Drive Cloner, both require a separate physical disk drive, not just a separate partition on the same physical drive as the system.

    ======================== My opinion ===================
    At this moment in time, assuming that I didn't have any SYSTEM BACKUP,
    If I had to pick only one, I'd pick Macrium's Reflect.
    If I could also afford Raxco's Instant Recovery, I'd get that too.
    If I didn't have a second physical drive I'd buy one, either internal or external.
    If I can 'get a deal' discount on it/them, great, but I wouldn't wait too long because disaster can strike anytime and that time might be before I'd bought it/them:(.

    And, I'd keep my Data in a partition separate from my OS partition, and I'd get Data Sync software to backup my data to a third partition which would definitely be on a separate physical drive, and as above, if I didn't have a second drive, I'd get one immediately (I'm in Preaching mode now..;)).

    Caveats:
    I didn't check prices or features of other Imaging software to compare with/to Reflect (or Drive Copy).
    I have had Raxco's FD-ISR (like their IR) for many many years (2004) and I've always had Bare Metal Restore for even more years (when I 'built' my first PC circa 1999).
    I have many separate back up drives, some (4) internal, some (3) external.

    J
     
  2. Kurtis Smejkal

    Kurtis Smejkal Registered Member

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    Great write up, and you touch on a great point, Drive Cloner and RollBack Rx Home Edition is very cost effective. A lot of people will come to me wanting to upgrade down the road, so when that time comes you can always upgrade to Pro if you so desire.

    As I'm sure some of the more bitter users will tell you, and I have to mention it, Drive Cloner Version 6 is not officially out yet. It's incoming, but not out yet.
     
  3. manolito

    manolito Registered Member

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    Even more cost effective: RollBack Home + any good free image backup software (AOMEI, Macrium free, Paragon, EaseUS). Total cost: 0 USD, CAD or EUR.

    If the limitations of the Rollback Home version do not bother you, and you do not see the need to make image backups which contain the Rollback snapshots (like me), then this combination can't be beaten. Just be sure to save your pre-Rollback MBR in case you have to restore an Image backup.

    And if you absolutely have to make Image backups containing the Rollback snaps, just do cold sector-by-sector image backups. Takes much longer, but very secure, and still absolutely free...


    Cheers
    manolito
     
  4. Kurtis Smejkal

    Kurtis Smejkal Registered Member

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    Another valid point!
     
  5. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Yeah, but - that would require the user to know that that's what they need to do and first get the free imaging software, etc. etc.....
    Or if they were really savy, and they had RollBack, that they'd need to:
    - merge to a new baseline and uninstall RB (which would have to do what's required to the pristine MBR pre-RB)
    - install the imaging app and run it, etc. (and buy a new physical disk)
    - re-install RB.
    That's where Keatah and RBF make their points, there's been no proper documentation so far that would make a user savy enough to do that.

    HDS could (emphasize COULD), and some would say should, include that information on their site, and as I said someplace else, they really should sell RB + DC as a package. But then in effect there's be no RB Home Free (baseball anyone).

    J
     
  6. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    '
    Hi manolito,

    That's been my 'm.o.' over the past 9 years that I've been using RBrx. As I (always) have a minimally-sized C-drive, just 'protecting' C: with RBrx results in very acceptable backup image sizes, as well as the time to backup/restore. When I find DC6 to be 'ready for prime time' I plan to transition from my cold-'raw' backups to hot-'smart' backups. ;)

    pv
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pvsurfer,

    I don't know about Macrium but you can (hot) image a Rx system with Image for Windows 2.95 and restore the image to a new, empty HD (simulating a HD failure). Windows boots and the Rx snapshots work. The OS used was Win8.1 installed in UEFI mode.
     
  8. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Hey Brian, I haven't any experience with W8.1 or UEFI, but that outcome had to be a fluke. Was that a hot normal (imaging only Windows used sectors) backup? Which version of Rollback Rx did you use? Any special recovery provisions? ....more details please.

    pv
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pv,

    Thanks for the questions. You should remain skeptical. That's sensible.

    Hot imaging with this option, "Backup Unused Sectors".

    Rollback Rx Pro 10.3

    I've done it twice with IFW and restored with IFW and IFL. Both successfully.

    The first image was an Entire Drive image so 600 GB of unallocated free space was imaged too. The second image was just the 4 partitions.

    Recovery
    EFI
    MSR
    Win8.1

    IFW automatically backs up and restores the First Track. No special options were used for the restore. It was done with the same options used for a normal Windows restore.

    In the Registry Upper Filters I have..

    Shield
    phylock
    PartMgr

    IFW was installed months ago. Rollback installed today.

    I've also done this "cold" with IFL (backup/restore) and the results were the same.

    Edit... the Entire Drive backup took 90 minutes, The 4 partition backup took 4 minutes.

    Edit... The 4 partition restore took 4 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  10. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Brian, that sounds like what Froggie discovered a few years ago using IFW and RBrx 9.1, but he subsequently determined that it no longer worked with RBrx 10! I have only 'played with' IFW on occasion, so I suggest you run this by Froggie, as he can discuss your test and outcome with far more expertise than me.

    Otoh, achieving a successful recovery after running a cold raw (unused-sectors) backup with IFL or any other disk imaging program doesn't surprise me at all.

    pv
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, I saw Froggie doing this a few years ago but I gather it stopped working. I haven't tried it in the past.

    I'll try this with Win8.1 installed in Legacy (MBR) mode when I get a chance.
     
  12. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Those results would be even more pertinent as I'm running RBrx on a W7 MBR system...

    Good night.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Success with Win8.1 installed in Legacy (MBR) mode.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Success with Win7 64-bit installed in Legacy (MBR) mode.

    Backup and restore times were each 2.5 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  15. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    To quote Paul Simon ("Feelin' Groovy")... "Slow down, you move to fast!"

    Brian, what you say is very interesting BUT I have serious doubts (as PV did) :doubt:

    When you speak above concerning HOT "All Sector" imaging and the 2-1/2 minute time in Post #14... what and how did you actually image in that step, and was it a RBrx snapshot laden system (System partition, all partitions, etc.)?

    I will also get my hands on IFW v2.95 and try to corroborate some of this (should be fun!)... this could be interesting if what Brian says is really apparent.

    Edit: Also, did you use PhyLock or VSS in your imaging process?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  16. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Good Morning Froggie; Brian is using PhyLock, as clearly indicated in his statement...
    -----
    Edit: If my brain's memory cells are not mish mash, I recall your old pdf, 'RBrx & IFW Perfect Together' (or something like that) proclaiming that PhyLock.sys had to be above Shield.sys in the registry's upper filters for the IFW hot backup method to work! :confused:
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  17. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    OK... I think Brian, as a newer user of Rollback RX, may have been a victim of "RollbackGhost RX." What this tends to be is the effect of "leftovers" on the disk when an image is restored. This is what I just did and what happened as a result...

    I already was running a Legacy/MBR RBrx enabled system (different) than Brian when I installed IFW v2.95. I also already had a single timeline with 7-snaps in it.

    1. I rolled back to my baseline and installed IFW v2.95... this begins a 2nd timeline running from the installation baseline. Checked UpperFilters and found PHYLOCK in list above SHIED (as expected since IFW was installed AFTER RBrx). To be the same as Brian, I reversed their UpperFilter order and reBOOTed system... UpperFilter order is now same as Brian.

    2. Created IFW Recovery Media then took an additional snapshot on the new timeline.

    3. Imaged my protected partition only using all DEFAULT settings (at the beginning) except changed the GEOMETRY to 1mB partition alignment (out of habit). Then in the final options window, selected "Backup Unused Sectors" and "Enhanced Speed - A" in addition to the DEFAULT offerings... off it went and created an ALL SECTOR image (Observation: the rate was pretty slow in comparison to past efforts <a while ago>... I know not why).

    4. BOOTed system into a LINUX-based CD containing PARTITION WIZARD... my choice for monkeying around with partitions. Selected the imaged partition and used PW's "Wipe Partition" function (using all ONEs) to eliminate any "leftovers" that may get in the way eventually. Used PW's "reBuild Standard MBR" function to insure that the system's MBR was made standard rather than have RBrx's leftover MBR in place... this to insure that the restoration indeed will install the imaged MBR (from the old days, I know it will).

    5. BOOTed system into IFW Recovery Media, selected "Restore (Normal)," set the Geometry to 1mB (it's an SSD restoration and that's where the partition was when it was imaged), selected the ALL SECTOR image taken in Step #3, set the final option window with "Set Active" (out of habit) and "Restore First Track" and off I went.

    After a successful restore, I reBOOTed the system and found the Rollback RX sub-Console active and in tact (IFW did restore the imaged MBR which in v10 is the RBrx MBR <not so in v9>), it then went through its "Improper Shutdown: Checking system %" error it always sees after a HOT RAW image restoration, then BOOTed into the snapshot it was in at the time of imaging. Rollback appeared to be functional, displaying known snapshots in its UI... but here is where the fun begins :ouch:

    Being in SN2/TL2 (Snap #2 of TimeLine #2), I rolled back to SN3/TL1. Rollback went through the motions but died upon attempting to BOOT into W8.1 (Error: Bad System Configuration Info). Using RB's sub-Console (HOME screen) I reverted back to SN2/TL2... all looked as it should. Then rolled back to SN1/TL2 (using sub-Console only) and system BOOTed fine... BUT, actually found myself in SN2/TL2 rather than SN1/TL2. At this point, things are not looking very good.

    Using the sub-Console, tried to rollback to SN1-3/TL1 and all failed with above W8.1 BOOT error. Then went back to the Baseline (RBrx installation snapshot) and all seemed normal after a successful BOOT. I really didn't go any farther with this. The experience tells me that indeed IFW imaged "some" of what RBrx needs to run (more than before with v9.x) but not everything. The RBrx database (I know not where it's actually kept) seems to be in tact BUT the places it points to are all screwed up. This usually means that the image really didn't get all the SECTORS that it needed from the disk. I expected this 'cause that's the way Rollback works... it hides things from all Windows applications (as well as Windows itself) and IFW should not be any more special than any other imager.

    This situation is actually worse for the user than it was prior to IFW v2.78 when the HOT, All Sector image would actually work if the UpperFilters were in the proper order (PHYLOCK before SHIELD). Here you have a restoration that "appears" to be functional but actually is seriously flawed.

    If you'd like I can repeat the above sequence with the UpperFilters reversed as they were way back when... but I'd like Brian to comment first on the IFW settings I'm using to be sure the effort isn't wasted.

    ...I'm not quite as excited as I was when PV sent me to this revitalized thread. :doubt:
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  18. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Thanks, PV... but that just tells me that PHYLOCK is installed but not necessarily used. The option is available in IFW and Brian didn't mention what he did.

    For my testing I assumed he used mostly DEFAULTs which is what I used... PHYLOCK is the DEFAULT unless it doesn't work, then IFW uses VSS instead. Of course, when taking an ALL SECTOR (RAW) HOT image with IFW (or any imager), VSS or any other FileSystem LOCK doesn't make any sense... the System is HOT so changes are occurring all the time during the ALL SECTOR image. This is what I've been trying to get across to the DCrxV6 Devs (who are struggling to find out why there are CheckDsk errors upon restoration)... any HOT imaging process of RAW (All) disk surface will most likely wind up with FileSystem errors, mainly due to the FileSystem dynamics occurring during the imaging operation. Think about it... the imager scarfs up the $MFT right in the middle of file modifications and later picks up the actual file tables and file content, well after the $MFT has been saved. At that point the $MFT won't be valid for the file just picked up. There will almost always be some level of FileSystem errors (many, if not all will be benign and correctable with CheckDsk)... they just can't be avoided with HOT imaging of any kind or whatever app does it.
     
  19. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Well, now 'the ball is in Brian's court' - so we have to wait for Aussie sunrise. ;)
     
  20. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Not wanting to ruin Brian's beauty sleep, I went ahead and duplicated the testing in Post #17 after rearranging the UpperFilters (PHYLOCK before SHIELD in two REGISTRY locations)... the results were error free (as they were when using IFW v2.77 and RBrx v9.x). All 9-snapshots were completely functional as was the OS during my quick test time.

    This is the first time (for me anyway) since IFWv2.77/RBrxv9.1 that this process has succeeded. This time I used IFWv2.95/RBrxv10.3... looks pretty good for those that might wanna try HOT "All Sector" imaging with the latest IFW release. If you installed IFW AFTER Rollback RX, no REGISTRY edits will be necessary. IF IFW was installed BEFORE Rollback RX... REGISTRY edits will be required to make this work.

    The only downside to the above issue is it would be nice, under W8.1, if Rollback would allow optimization of the OS partition's "unused" disk blocks... that would really make "All Sector" HOT imaging much quicker and smaller for SSD users as it would have the SSD TRIM all the unused disk blocks (as Windows sees them), returning them to either all ZEROs or all ONEs depending on your SSD manufacturer... very compressible DATA. But ALAS, Rollback DOES NOT TRIM optimized disk blocks under W8.1, regardless of what you might hear elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    TRF,

    I imaged the 4 partitions using the "Backup Unused Sectors" option. Rollback had previously been installed and I'd created 6 or so snapshots. Prior to restoring the images I used Diskpart "clean" so your comment below about "RollbackGhost RX." may be relevant. I'll check. The Win8.1 partition was 25 GB with 13 GB used space.

    "PHYLock using RAM" was used. Chosen by the software, not by me. For a normal backup I see "PHYLock using Disk".
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just wiped each of the 4 partitions (Win8.1 system) with zeroes and used Diskpart "clean".

    The Win7 images were restored (SRP and Win7).

    The Rollback Home screen was seen, then a message about Windows not shutting down properly, then chkdsk C: with errors, then restart with Rollback defragging snapshots, then Win7 loaded. My Unlocked snapshots were missing. I tried to restore one of my Locked snapshots and Windows failed to boot.

    Oh well.........
     
  23. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info, Brian... I thought what you were experiencing might have been bogus. Rollback can trap you easily if you're not careful... it's just not a "normal" program.

    If you have the time, can you confirm what I experienced in Post #20... I might feel better if you could :D
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just wiped the Win7 partitions with zeroes and used Diskpart "clean".

    The Win8.1 (MBR mode) images were restored.

    The Rollback Home screen was seen, then Win8 loaded normally.

    I could restore my snapshots.

    Oh Oh well.....
     
  25. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Retake the ALL SECTOR images with the UpperFilters in the proper order... then you should be able to play all you want.
     
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