Recovery DVD

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by arrowone, Jul 11, 2012.

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  1. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    I have just started using Backup & Recovery 2012 Free and am impressed

    I have created backups from multiple PCs, laptops and netbook (Windows 7 & Vista) of the system drive and mbr to a NAS Raid and backup capsule.

    Can I use the same recovery dvd for all them. Is it generic or does it contain anything specific for the system it was created on?
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    It is generic. However, remember it is Linux, not Windows, and it may have problems with some hardware configurations due to inadequate drivers. OTOH, you may be lucky and it will work just fine on every machine.

    Ideally, it is good to test recovery and the best test is to restore to a spare HD. A spare HD in case it fails and you are left with unallocated space since one of the first things prior to a recovery is to delete the existing partition. and if this is your C drive, well....

    Another test perhaps not quite as good is to boot up the recovery CD and both create and verify the archive with it. This will indicate that the disk and backup device can be read and the resulting archive can be properly read into RAM and the checksums properly recreated.
     
  3. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    Thanks for your helpful answer.

    Could I just make sure I understand your advice:

    When you say test with a spare drive, do you mean:

    1. Boot with recovery dvd
    2. Restore to an external spare USB drive
    3. Boot to the USB drive

    I did test booting with the recovery dvd. I also used Paragon to check the archive. However I did not create the archive with the recovery disk, what's the benefit of this last step?
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    AFAIK Windows will not boot off a USB drive.

    Creating the archive with the DVD is just another confirmation that it will handle reading from and writing to your hardware. Since you already have an archive it doesn't look as useful a step but if you didn't have an archive and tried to create it with the DVD version and it failed you would know you have a problem right away.
     
  5. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    So to test reboot from a spare drive. I'd need a 2.5" drive for the laptops / netbook and a 3.5 for the desktop.

    Not that enthusiatic about swopping disks on the laptops / netbook
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, it is a PITA not to mention the need for some spare drives so there is always the create/verify method which is pretty good. As a rule if you can see your drives and can verify the odds are very high it will work and is certainly a lot better than just creating an archive with Windows and assuming all will be well when you need it. This is where many people come unstuck when they need to recover - they have only worked in Windows and don't realize that the free version uses Linux as a recovery environment since regular Windows cannot be running when the active partition is recovered.

    If you buy the paid version of Paragon you get the tools to build a WinPE disk which is Windows based and typically cures the problems caused by the Linux environment. It also has the facility to load any extra drivers that are not inclcuded in the typical WinPE build - this can sometimes be required for very new hardware.
     
  7. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    Last year while using HDM11S, it failed to restore an archive and also a Windows backup failed also. What is strange was that as I kept on trying to restore different archives, one that failed was actually one that I had previously used to restore my system.

    The HDM11S failure was for some problem files but when prompt to view the problem files, there were none. It also wanted to reboot to continue which isn't going to work half way through the restore process.

    The Windows backup failed for a registry issue of some sorts.

    Funny because I had been backing up and restoring back/forth installing W7 SP1 which I had problems with. So I may have done four backups/restores in a week or so with no problems.

    I was confident with Paragon HDM and surprised when it failed. I've never had a reason to restore since but "almost" did the other day but a system restore saved the day.
     
  8. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    Sounds like there are reservations about the reliability of Paragon Backup & Recovery Free 2012.

    Any suggestions for a more reliable system / data backup tool

    Spent many happy hours reinstalling my daughters laptop with Vista, countless updates and reinstalling programmes. The Dell supplied recovery cd installed fine but Windows kept hanging in the final stages of install. My Fujitsu laptop recovery CD actually worked fine on the Dell!
     
  9. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Is the Windows backup a backup made with the imaging program that comes with Windows or is it an image of your drive containing Windows?

    Was the Paragon one with the "bad files" a file backup or a sector-based image backup?

    I've never had a problem yet and with Acronis the only time I had a problem was with verifying an archive which turned out to be a flakey SATA disk cable and the more serious case, bad sectors developing within a couple of recent archives. These archives were in a different partition on the HD in a laptop. They had failed after being written because I always verified the archives after creating them. I was able to fall back to an earlier archive which also reinforces the rule to never have just one backup. Of course, you never want to have your backups just on the physical device being backed up and I assure you I could have retrieved one from an external drive.
     
  10. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    Both backups were on seperate external HD's. The Windows backup was from the built in W7 imaging app and the HDM11S was a file archive.

    I put in a ticket on this problem. Their answer was that sometimes but not all the time WinPE will write to the HD causing issues. I thought at the time I was really covering myself by having two seperate and different routes to get out of a jam but both failed that were made on the same day/time.

    At the time I discovered a problem with my Task Manager, it wasn't major and I just wanted to see just when the issue started. I was confident that Paragon backup/restore would work as it had done in the past.

    All HD's passed CheckDsk and also Western Digital Data Lifeguard too.

    I could see them both fail but what's odd was one that I tried was used before and restored my system. IIRC, they all errored at the same point or percentage of completion. I think that's when I started to run the integrity test after every archive I make.
     
  11. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    I'm thinking my thread has been hijacked!
     
  12. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Maybe a little but you pushed it a bit with your post #8. This type of evolution is very common here and was also on the Acronis forum - I think it is the nature of the beast.

    Bill (wptski)'s problem is a reason I use a program like SyncBack for data files - it keeps the files in their native format and file structure and you don't have to worry about a corrupt container file losing them all. Arrowone you can take this as a comment on your "more reliable" question.

    On that topic, imaging programs in general tend to get more into the guts of the system and write huge amounts of data as fast as they can. There is also more stringent data checking on restores than with the normal disk CRC mechanism such as checksum calculations that will fail if RAM or any other part of the system isn't working perfectly. There was a person on the Acronis forum that had 2 identical systems, one verified the image, the other didn't. After much testing it was determined the bad machine had a faulty CPU of all things. The basic premis is that the PC hardware is functioning properly. It is not unusual for a first-time user of an imaging program to find out they have RAM or disk problems.

    There is no doubt threre are cases where an imaging program works on some systems but not on others. The user will declare Program A a pile of junk because Program B worked. You'll quite possibly find Program B users who consider it junk because Program A worked on their system where B failed.

    Bill's problem is a bit different though.
     
  13. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

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    I hate to get into the details bbbuutttt...... My system was new, 22 BSOD's in 6 weeks and it was bad memory. So Windows installed by Dell was on bad memory. I avioded reinstalling software and manually fixed all my issues, learned lots, forgot most now.

    I even had system filenames with graphic characters in them! :eek:

    There were still some issues at the time of my Paragon problem, so that could be the route cause. My Task Scheduler was the last known issue that I fixed which was the reason for the last restore which I had the problem with.
     
  14. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    Fair enough, fortunately you've been kind enough to answer most of my questions with really helpful responses.

    I have been using Synctoy but recently migrated to FreeFileSync which I discovered when searching for a way of scheduling synchronisation.

    I have actually been trying to work out a plan for syncing files between my desktop and RAID NAS. And a subset with my netbook. Haven't decided whether to sync the netbook with the NAS or with the desktop. Some files like Microsoft Money and my encrypted password file really need to be immediate when my netbook connects to home network. But I digress.

    I guess the plan would be something like following:

    System

    - Backup System drive to NAS & backup capsule
    - Schedule or adhoc? - Full or differential? system backups monthly?

    Data

    I guess two objectives

    1. Have a mirrored version in case of drive failure:

    - Use FreeFileSync to synchronise data to RAID NAS - real time, scheduled or adhoc?

    2. Preserve previous version of data

    - FreeFileSync can put put deleted / older versions in another location
    - Paragon could create full backup and differential backups using much less space?

    Which would be better option. And is it possible to set up a schedule to create a full backup say every week or month and differential backups in between. Differential backups earlier than the last full backup would not be required.

    On my desktop I have:

    System 500 GB
    Data 2 x 500 GB
    Data 1 x 2 TB

    On my netbook I have:

    1 x 250 GB split into system and data partitions

    On my laptop I'm only really concerned about the operating system not data.
     
  15. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Either scheme is workable but you have to decide what are the limitations for how you work which may make it inconvenient (ease of access, time to backup, effort to backup, etc).

    I can tell you what I do and why which may give you some insight into how you want to proceed. Some of this is just personal preference and not necessarily being done because it is the only good way, IMO, to do it. You may already be doing some of it.

    1. Windows/Apps are on one partition (C drive). Imporltant data files are not kept on this partition to keep it small which makes it easier to image and restore.

    2. Data is kept on a separate partition, acutally it is kept on a different PC which acts as a simple file and print server. There is no need for a different PC. All data files are kept in my personally designed setup of shares. The My Documents etc could be setup but I just use those folders as scratch areas on the PC I'm using. Important files go to the separate data partition.

    3. Email is left on my ISPs server so he can have the pleasure of backing it up. Works well but you do have to go in and clean it up every now and then.

    4. Large never changing programs like games for which I have the DVDs are installed on a separate partition from C. No need to back them up over and over. An image can be made when a new game is added if desired. I'm not much of a game player so your needs may be different.

    5. I only do full images of my C drive and I only do them manually when I feel like it. Since no important data is on C, I can blow it away at anytime for any reason and reload it with no worries. I also have my Windows and Applications DVDs with serial numbers stored in an orderly fashion so it is all there if really needed. One of the common reasons for real panic if a C drive can't be restored is the person no longer has access to the installation media for his programs.

    6. My SyncBack file backup is scheduled and runs every evening and does an incremental backup to a second physical drive in the file/print server machine. Versioning is enabled so previous versions are kept. Since it makes an identical copy of my folder structure finding backup files and old versions is simple. (I used to use BackUpMyPC and going through its archives to find something was a PITA.)

    7. Having the backups in the same machine but on a second physical drive is relatively safe since most failures are drive related. However, for extra security I copy the backups to an external drive from time to time and I use more than one external which I rotate so there is always a previous backup existing.

    8. I keep a HD of the backups at a friend's house in case I am robbed or the house burns down. I only update this a couple of times a year at the most.

    9. If I am working on something that I really don't want to lose I will backup the fille(s) manually so there is a second copy before the automatic backup runs.

    10. I have an old network/USB D-Link box that was given to me. It is always on and has a few GB USB thumb-drive in it. I store my encrypted password file here along with some other files I may want to immediately access. (The file/print server shuts down at midnight and stays off until I turn it back on.)
    I use TrueCrypt for encrypting my password file.

    I guess the one thing that I do with less frequency than perhaps other users is image my C drive. I don't consider it a necessity with my data files stored elsewhere - so what if I have to apply a few weeks of Windows updates after a restore.

    The real backup effort needs to be for your personally created data files. These are not available anywhere else at any cost!
     
  16. arrowone

    arrowone Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the effort you put into your last post, that's really helpful and quite a few pointers for me in that.

    Much of what you are doing reflects what I would also like to achieve:

    - don't play games
    - music does not really need regular backup as I have most of if on cd.

    A while back I did try storing all my data on an old Buffalo 250 GB NAS (which I still have). It was great to have a single source but I found some programs got really confused when data stored on a network rather than local data.

    From memory Microsoft Money used to have real issues (this backs up automatically on exit to NAS though)

    Photoshop Elements Organisor also had issues I think.

    There is also problem with HD Video I take, don't think performance while editing and ripping would be good enough on a network drive.

    I use EWallet for passwords and sync this with my netbook.

    I have two NAS and a few external USB drives so should come up with a decent scheme along the lines you adopted.
     
  17. Rex

    Rex Registered Member

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    Hi there,

    Somewhat late to the party but I am trialling Paragon B&R Free having been an Acronis fan for many years.

    To date I have no problems but would like to add my two penny worth to the workflow suggested by SeekForEver.

    Like SeekforEve, I image my os (C) to the last partition on my first drive and do it all again to a partition on a second drive. My Docs is on my first drive, but is partition D so it is easy to back up when necessary. I also occasionally make an image of D, just to be on the safe side.

    I use a back-up program that rarely gets mentioned to back-up MyDocs (D) on the fly. it's called File Hamster; I have no connection with the company, just a very, very content user. Create a new document; save anything to My Docs (D) or alter anything on D and file Hamster creates a back-up on the fly to a partition (K/Back-Up) on my second hdd. Delete a file from D and FH will ask if I want to delete the back-up.

    No more having to schedule a data back-up; always as I go.

    Additionally, I moved the default e-mail folder to D/E-Mail. Incoming, outgoing all get saved immediately. (There is a slight downside but that is solvable by deleting the contents of the E-Mail back-up folder occasionally.)

    Check it out; it's a life saver.

    Rex
     
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