raid restore success - eaz-fix snapshots all back

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by markymoo, Oct 26, 2007.

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  1. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    I backed up my raid 10gig system partition including all 5 eaz-fix snapshots to an external drive and then restored all back again using drive snapshot in dos. All work 100%. I am using eaz-fix 8.0. I am delighted with drive snapshot as a safe fast efficient backup tool. It took just 5 mins to backup and use up only 4.5gig space. Amazing it just nearly fit on a dvd. :) It would of taken 38gig space using FDISR not to mention the secondary snapshot and more time. In fact smaller images is a big plus because storing bigger images you are more at risk of the images going faulty due to bad corrupted blocks on the hard drive. My system consists of 6 hard drives and i not had any problems with eaz-fix and defragging. I assume it be the same for rollback rx. Its just worked.

    I am going to put a menu front-end together for disk snapshot to work from cd and also from boot.ini so you don't have to scramble for your backup cd unless C drive goes down. This would be alot quicker than having to wait for BartPe to load up and it be more automated. If anyone interested i be welcome of some good menu options for drive snapshot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  2. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Did you use DS' Maintenance Mode to do the backup? It's certainly a great little program :) .
    Do you think the defragging makes a difference? I only ask as the developers seem to suggest that it could be counter-productive to defrag other than with the snapshot defragger. It would be interesting to defrag with EF/RB installed and then uninstall and analyze the drive with the defragger to see what state it is in then. Not sure what it would prove, though :) .

    I keep toying with this but BartPE seems so easy once you've made the disc and it supports more external usb drives.

    I don't know what you had in mind but I did come across WBAT which seems like a relatively easy way to build a menu. I'd certainly be interested in what you come up with. What did you mean by 'good menu options'? Some predefined backup/restore command lines maybe(?).

    Graham
     
  3. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    @Graham

    Yes i used maintenance mode... to ensure i had a 100% working eaz-fix drive with all snapshots. Because the snapshots are so small enables me to have a much smaller system partition :) I think even backing up a 50gig partition sector by sector doesn't take a sad amount of time and is viable. This would give the possibility not just for loads of snapshots obviously but for fewer snapshots like just 3 but each one alot bigger.

    Doing a offline defrag outside of windows makes a big difference because files that are normally in use by windows are allowed to be defragged such as the paging file and also the mft tables. So yes just let eaz-fix/rollback defrag and don't use any other defrag. If you change snapshots you have to defrag again from eaz-fix.

    I was planning on a cdshell or bcdw menu. I like to go into dos select quick and and not wait for bartpe ram disk to load. You can do alot from dos and make dos run from boot.ini. Yes some predefined commands. I am doing it for myself anyways so it would be a simple thing for you to edit it and put your own in. As long as you have your usb external plugged in before you boot your pc it should be detected.

    I see some not happy with this software but i see FDISR is not without its problems looking in FDISR thread. ErikAlbert quotes are kind of contradicting. Whats the real deal? lol

     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2007
  4. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Well what do you know! :eek: Hallelujah - What timing :p

    I just tried Eaz-Fix 8.1 and theres a new option that includes Drive Image which enables you to backup your drive in windows! HeHe :) and create bootable media so you can restore it with all snapshots :cool: :D Looks like i might not have to bother with Drive Snapshot after all.

    The images are now even smaller with it because it it knows exactly what data is being used and so what to back up so obviously it don't need to backup the entire drive.

    10gb 7.6gb full of data

    Drive Snapshot - maintenance mode = 4.5gb

    Eaz-Fix Drive Image - no compression = 6.8gb = 4mins
    Eaz-Fix Drive Image - normal compression = 3.53gb = 6mins
    Eaz-Fix Drive Image - high compression - = 3.48gb = 9mins

    I can fit it on that dvd afterall. I will decide on a 30gig partition in the future.

    So i say once again you can backup all snapshots from windows with eaz-fix. You can do everything with one software :) which is how it should be.
    Another feature i find useful is to mount any one snapshot as a drive.

    /waits for FDISR users to jump ship.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  5. huntnyc

    huntnyc Registered Member

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    @Graham,

    Can you back up all snapshots in an image from Windows with Rollback 8.1? If not, I gues this is what sets Eaz-Fix apart from Rollback Rx.

    Gary
     
  6. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    OK FALSE ALARM - This new version can't image all the snapshots :(

    I was thinking if it actually did have this feature it should be called v.9

    It don't work as i had assumed but alot of it improved.

    If you image from within windows the current snapshot is imaged.
    If you image from the cd the baseline snapshot is imaged.

    Duhhhhh

    Sorry my bad. It back to Drive Snapshot.

    @huntnyc
    Both software are the same. Sorry to give you false hope.
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Don't hold your breath for this user. Tested all this stuff in Rollback. Not for me for a couple of reason's

    1) Recovery CD is linux which doesn't work for me.
    2) Sector back for me would be huge if I used Drive Snapshot, which I don't
    3) Doesn't replace FDISR archives.
     
  8. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Peter, I don't think it good practice to have a huge system partition. Keeping just your system files on the drive means you only lose your os and not any data. A smaller partition can defragged quicker and in the case of raid can be faster. You can wipe it on a whim and not worry thinking oh what have i got to backup and not think about losing downloads,photos. You can allocate more space to the data partition.

    One of reasons you need a big system partition is to keep all those FDISR snapshots lol
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Actually I don't keep many FDISR partitions. As I've stated before one partition works great for me. I not only don't loose OS, I don't lose data either. WHen I image it's all there. Especially on the machine I use for business. I run SP's continous incremental so I have OS and data backed up every 15 minutes, with no overhead. Defrags are quick cause I am using about 5% of the disk. I also back up data independently. Have done it this way for 5 years, with no data loss or corruption.

    In all honesty that issue aside, having run latest FDISR and latest Rollback, I just am a bit uneasy about the whole thing. Also FDISR is an integral part of my total backup strategy, which is another reason for one partition.

    Not for everyone, but works for me.
     
  10. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    I am keeping the system partition small and keeping it for the os. I am not keeping data on it. You don't have to be uneasy when all is at stake is the os files using rollback/eaz. Eaz-Fix ensures i can get back to different states of the os due to bad install,blue screens,corruption etc or for testing software or for security purposes. It ideal for this. My data is now on another partition which is raid 1 so that is a backup in itself. I will also backup this raid 1 with true image to an external drive so i can keep it safe. Another consideration spyware,viruses attack the c and 99% of the time end up in the windows folder. My data is off C. What if you done some important work that day and your os went down that same day?, and the most recent backup is from the previous day. Having raid 1 means i can get back todays data. So you have to be very careful installing windows on that same drive without damaging whats there. Not keeping it on c means you can just wipe the c fast knowing its on d. Having a small partition upto 50g which is more than enough room means it don't take long to do a sector backup. and like you said it's what works for you. Theres more than one solution as long as you don't rely on 1 backup plan.

    @nexstar

    I forgot to mention in the batch file i do a full format. It only takes 1 min before it runs disk snapshot. I used winbat in the past i then moved onto commercial winbatch but was very long winded to do simple things and it need a hidden dll to accompany it when you compiled it into a exe. It was not true standalone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2007
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I have 3 backup plans. The one people most often forget is to protect against themselves. Lot of folks have many means to recover deleted stuff.

    Worst case. Working on a critical document, and during edit accidently delete 3 most critical pages. Before you realize you've saved it 3 times. How, and how long is your recovery.
     
  12. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    markymoo, I (for one) am very interested. While I find DS to be a very easy program for creating a system partition image, I find using its DOS restore command-lines confusing, difficult, and error-prone!

    I've already spent way too many hours (days, actually) unsuccessfully trying to create a BartPE CD for the sole purpose of simplifying a DS (system partition) restore, but I just can't get BartPE to bootup... So please keep us posted on your DS 'menu front-end' project.

    PS. I completely agree with your philosophy about keeping the system partition to a minimum size. I keep all my data, docs, photos, music, etc on my D-partition along with My Documents folder.

    Good luck,
    appster
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    The real deal is that FDISR does a good job most of the time and it failed a few times, which I consider as very normal and I like to be honest about this.
    The few failures were caused by legitimate softwares, which didn't like my total system. With so many softwares world-wide, written by different programmers, I would be an idiot to believe that all these software would work together without one single conflict.

    So don't be too enthousiastic about your system, because it will fail one day too. Hundreds of posts of troubles with Rollback Rx have been written at Wilders and Eaz-fix is just a clone of Rollback Rx. You only had ONE good experience until now. I'm working with FDISR since March 2006 and had only a few problems with it, which were solved by Image Restore, I call that very reliable.

    Image Backup can't fail as much as Immediate System Recovery and the reason for this is very simple :
    - Immediate System Recovery software are acting and conf'ronted with new softwares constantly and most of the time in an on-line environment. So the chance is much bigger that something goes wrong.
    - Image Backup softwares only have to work when you need it and most of the time in an off-line environment. I need only 3 things to restore an image : Recovery CD, my external harddisk and an Image. Not much can go wrong with these three things.
     
  14. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    As you all know each software is worthy and not perfect. Once both softwares have all the snapshots setup you need then thats ideal. We on a equal footing. They both can be made to have frozen read only snapshots, thats great but whichever software you use you still have to have a secondary backup plan in place and thats to make in image of the system partition. Both softwares are still lacking a decent imaging program built in. Having to use more than one software to backup is annoying. Our needs are different. I am a tech and switching to another windows in a blink of an eye to test software or do lots of changes is great as i can still maintain focus on my work which is important. Eaz-fix enables me to test out software or do some modifications in another windows safely. I don't have more than 4 snapshots. Anymore than that is surplus to me. We all know you don't need more than about 3 to have a happy config. Setting them up in FDISR can take awhile if you have lots of data. I can go into the past and into the future so quick. Eaz-fix ensures i keep the system drive small which still leaves plenty of room for data and still have access to 3-4 windows.

    Doing the same thing with FDISR means my C drive be so big of data which i could of allocated the space to the data drive. Whats the point of having it so big? It just means the image the backup and restore will take longer. If i store 2-3 snapshots of FDISR that would be alot more data to defrag also. Eaz-fix stores them tiny. I'm saying that when the system partition goes down and you have to put the image back on. Its faster to put back on a smaller image even if its a full sector backup. So using it the way i described eaz-fix has the edge. I think we all feel more confident in our backups if we make them outside of windows and not relying on some software device driver to back it up.

    I used it for several weeks now and its stable and seen as its running on raid reliably thats encouraging. I not getting any problems described on this forum which makes me wonder if it badly configured pcs. The software is dependable so far. Any software can go down just by 1 corrupt byte thats not the softwares fault but as long as you have a failsafe you covered, which most common sense users on this forum have. :)

    @appster

    If all you want to do is create a working bartpe cd should take 10 mins. Make sure you cd is clean so it copys all the files 100% to BartPe. It even comes with drive snapshot but you have to copy a later version over the existing one. Does BartPe come up with any errors making the cd? The problem i don't know is it could be your lack of drivers for your hardware. Like for me i have to add the raid drivers which is very simple. You just put the drivers in a folder and copy it to drivers\SCSIAdapter in BartPe folder. I send you my menu real soon. I am also happy with Image for Dos and include that also. Tell me what hardware you got and what you backup to so i can include the necessary drivers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  15. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Markymoo

    It might be worth your time to really gain an understanding of how these two different programs work. Depending on what you test it might matter.

    FDISR, basically uses the windows file system as is, and only plays with the MFT and partition table to accomplish it's switch into the alternate snapshots.

    Rollback/Eaz-fix use a kernel level driver to pass windows IO thru to their own data base sector system.

    Although finally with 8.1 they seem stable, since everything I test are kernel level programs, the rollback/eaz-fix system just leaves me a bit nervous.

    Finally I want to be able to image my system with the program of my choice, and I like to defrag before doing so. Easy with FDISR, and not as easy with the others. I can't use anything linux based in the recovery stuff.

    Finally with the off line archives, FDISR doesn't need quite as much disk space as you'd think.

    Pete
     
  16. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    I am upto speed on how eaz-fix/rollback works. Its running in menory all the time just like FDISR but it only does this kernel access when its taking its 3-5 second snapshot. Eaz-fix may even be lighter on resources i haven't compared. I notice no speed loss. It intercepts the writes but if it works so reliably then wheres the problem. I am like you i have a 3 plan backup. On your pc theres already programs that use undocumented illegal microsoft calls like your anti-virus and don't specify they do in there documents but they reliable. Doesn't mean they don't work 100%. Another famous program that goes so low level is Mojopack. http://www.mojopac.com/portal/content/what/

    I already tried FDISR. Thanks for the info. I will return to it if Eaz-fix lets me down in the future. If eaz-fix was buggy or odd crash even then i wouldn't use it but its stable. I have my verified image to fall back on and as they so small i can copy them quick to other devices.

    Heres some nice easy comprehensive info on NTFS structure and MFT
    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/ntfs/arch_Files.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  17. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    .....
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  18. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    I've come across another worthy dos backup software called Active@ Disk Image 2.0. It does RAW backups and allows to copy files and folders from the image to another location and it does compression It supports sata scsi usb. I can browse the drives,images in a tree like structure. Does anybody remember X-Tree Gold, it reminds me of that.

    http://www.disk-image.net/
     
  19. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    For my needs (restoring image of system partition for desktop & laptop), the DS Restore FD (note: a Restore CD is necessary for laptop use) should facilitate finding & designting the image backup file of my C-partition) as best as is possible (considering the DOS environment). That is often a major area of confusion!

    More often than not, I backup to an external USB2 drive, although there are times when I backup my laptop HDD 's C-partition to its E-partition (I've thought about backing up my laptop using its DVD drive, which would be very convenient but would probably also add more complexities).

    Hope that's what you are looking for ...if not, do let me know.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  20. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Its a shame Drive Snapshot dosen't backup in Dos. The author only used a free ntfs4dos which only lets you read a ntfs partition hence the restore only and not backup. The command-line options are different in win32 dos compared to dos. I found a free util that reads but also writes to ntfs. Using this i managed to backup an ntfs partition to a file on ntfs with Active@ Disk Image in dos. I been formatting the partition but theres no need as restoring a sector image writes over the whole drive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  21. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  22. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    markymoo~ Looks very nice (as far as I can tell from the initial 2 screens)... Keep up the good work and please keep us posted! :thumb:
     
  23. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    @appster - We getting off topic in this thread and thats my fault. Just pm me about that or start another thread. Just discuss related issues to the titled thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  24. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Thanks for pointing this out.

    Pete
     
  25. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Peter, You asked how long it take to do my backup well i did a full sector backup of a 100gb system partition in so doing backed up all my Eaz-Fix snapshots using Drive Snapshot in BartPe outside of windows. The time taken isn't so bad and the image size is great. This is not so long a time to use in a daily backup thanks to the raid 0. Image for Dos full sector took ages(10% in 10mins). So utilizing windows drivers results in alot faster backup. Image for Windows took 40mins.

    Drive Snapshot in maintenance mode

    Raid 0 3 Raptors(1st generation)
    Partition size 105Gb
    Time: 24 mins
    Verify Image: 8 mins
    Image Size: 15.2Gb
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
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