Rollback RX and Shadow Protect

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by LenC, Jun 6, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I would like to use Rollback RX and Shadow Protect on my son's laptop computer. He is off at school, and I don't trust him to remember to run any maintenance programs or check their status. I can't schedule frequent SP updates because he is always on the go and often disconnected from his external HD, where images reside.

    My thinking is this:

    - If he has a system or software problem, he rolls back to previous version. Snapshots are taken automatically and frequently.

    - If the hard drive fails, I replace the hard drive and restore an SP image. (That image might be weeks out of date, but it won't matter because his data files will be backed up separately.) I can restore his data from the date of last image and do any miscellaneous microsoft or program updates and installations.

    My question is this. Since Rollback RX is (will be) installed on the computer, the MBR will have been modified and any SP image will have the modified MBR. If I have to install a new hard drive, can I restore the SP image to that drive? It seems to me I'll have some kind of MBR problem.

    I tend to get totally confused by these MBR issues, so any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Len
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    Couple of thoughts.

    1. Sooner or later he will need to learn to take responsibility. Show him what needs to be done, and then let him do it.

    2. Trying to automate with both SP and Rollback is tricky. Automatically taking snapshot, and then occasionally imaging with SP, the mbr isn't the only problem you may face.

    3. If the data is backed up separately, where how. If you count on getting it out of an older image, it will be outdated.


    Questions. What kind of computer, how large a disk drive, how full, etc.

    Pete
     
  3. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    Data is backed up daily onto an external hd using syncback.

    It's a sony laptop - core 2 duo -with a 250 gig hd that is 45% full.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042

    If programs don't change, and the only thing changing is data, then I'd continue backing up data daily, and then do a an SP image once a month prior to Windows updates. That should do it.

    I'd drop Rollback, not sure what it contributes and might cause problems.

    Pete
     
  5. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I think I'm coming to the same conclusion - just a lot slower than you did. Rollback does have a very slick look and feel to it, but at the end of the day, I guess it's unnecessary functionality.

    Thanks very much - great reality check.

    Len
     
  6. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Posts:
    1,205
    Location:
    USA
    Len, in light of your intended use of SP, whether or not RB is unnecessary baggage or provides a very real service for your son depends on how he uses his laptop.

    If your son's laptop is used mostly as a desktop then I would agree with your conclusion. But if he frequently 'backpacks it' (as my son does in his job) using it for the mobile PC it is, then without RB he would also have to carry his external HD with him!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  7. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    Aaron -

    He lives in a dorm. He takes his laptop everywhere with him over the course of the day - but winds up back in the dorm at night (I think:D ).

    Every night, his data is backed up to an external HD in his room, and once a week or so his computer is imaged with Shadow Protect. So I think he is pretty well protected against loss/theft of the laptop and against a system or hardware crash. BTW, the external HD is cable-locked in his room.

    I also keep a baseline copy of his data here at home, and every couple of weeks I access his computer with Teamviewer (wonderful software!) and transfer all incremental changes over to me. I just can't get comfortable with these online storage systems (Mozy etc.).

    I don't want him so paranoid that he is afraid to use the computer, but I do want him to be able to recover quickly from whatever problems he might have. College students live and breath by their computers every single day and really can't do their work (and play) without them.

    Any thoughts as to potential flaws or imrpovements - I'd love to hear them!

    Thanks,
    Len

    P.S. BTW, this has given me a profound appreciation of the challenges faced by corporate IT departments that are securing and enabling scores of users. It's amazing how much time I spend on my wife, son and myself - it has developed into an enjoyable hobby, but it is time consuming!
     
  8. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Posts:
    1,205
    Location:
    USA
    Len, since he takes his laptop with him just about every day, I have to assume that he uses it quite a bit while 'roaming about'. Just suppose that while using his laptop (wherever) his system becomes corrupted, infected, or that he simply changed a file and would love to 'undo' that change. Without RB he has to wait until he gets back to the dorm to restore his most recent data/system backup (and in the process, possibly losing other important data/docs entered that day)! With RB he could simply restore a very recent snapshot and/or files at the time of the incident. ;)

    Given the circumstances, imho EF/RB would be invaluable protection!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    But it also runs the risk of conflicting with SP, and making a mess of everything.

    There is less likelihood of system problems then the other which is deleting or changing a data file and wanting to go back. An much better solution for that would be something like AJCsoft.com's Active Backup. Anytime he exits or save's a file it's archived and you can retrieve previous versions. All on the C: drive so no conflicts with SP or doing data backup later.

    Pete
     
  10. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    In a perfect world, I would want my son to have instantaneous rollback to retrieve a file he accidentally deleted or to fix a suddenly corrupt system. I'd like that myself! But I have to balance that against the issue that Peter raised - that conlicting programs could mess things up.

    I think the current configuration is the right one (Shadow Protect + synchback) - it is manageable for my son, and gives him a good level of protection. Let's say he goes off to class in the morning, and his computer dies during the day - the most he would lose is that day's work. He could go back to his room to restore an image and retrieve data from the prior night's backup. He might even be lucky enough to have accidentally saved current day's work, e.g., if he had emailed it to someone and it is sitting in his sent folder on the email server.

    That's probably the best backup he can have without the arrangement getting so complex (at least for him and me as non-experts) that it takes on a life of its own.

    Aaron and Peter - thank you for your help.

    Len

    P.S. I will take a peek at that AJCsoft.com software;)
     
  11. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Posts:
    1,205
    Location:
    USA
    Pete, since I'm not an SP user, I'll defer to your expertise insofar as potential conflicts (I use DS for imaging and have not encountered any conflicts with EF/RB).

    I guess it all comes down to which apps an individual feels secure with. ;)
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    There's the issue of what you are capturing, baseline, snapshot, current snapshot. I think it's going to cause more confusion in this case, then be helpful.

    If he sync's at night, does an image monthly, he will be fine, and AJCSoft's Active Backup, will cover any file oops's
    None of this will cause imaging issues.

    Pete
     
  13. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    I feel Rollback is a good solution for a laptop since the opportunity to backup and restore moves with you. The odds of a drive melt down is far less than the odds of some software related issue that can easily be fixed by rolling back to an RX snapshot. As to the MBR issue with RX the simple solution is the RX companion Drive Cloner. Since the PC will not be automatically imaged this is an decent option all your son will have to do is remember to use it on occasion. Also, and this is a big one, Drive Cloner does understand RX images and thus using it will avoid the MBR issue. Its draw back is that its a fairly new program so there is not much in terms of performance & reliability history,,,,but so far its been working fine for me.

    I think having both SP and RX on the same PC is not an ideal solution. One or the other but not both. On a desktop SP, on a laptop the best solution is RX coupled with an on line backup service which will automatically upload critical data files when the PC is connected to the net. I have been using iDrive and its been excellent in all respects. $49 per year gives you up to 150 gigs of storage and it will maintain up to 30 versions of a file so recovering an earlier version of a critical file is a snap. ....Oh yes,, only the latest files count toward the 150 gig size limit. Finally backed up files can be accessed from any PC with an Internet connection so I think RX and a service like iDrive should give your son a nice level of protection, and beyond setting it up he will not have to do much to maintain the setup. All he will have to do is remember to create an image with Drive Cloner every so often.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  14. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    I see these services as a last line of defence. First line on my tablet is RollBack RX, 2nd line is images created using RXs own imaging program (I am using RX 8, the new version has this functionally stripped out and replaced by the stand alone Drive Cloner, I also periodically uninstall RX and image using Acronis TI since I have a licence and feel I may as well us it, after creating the TI image I reinstall RX and away I go but this is probably something your son need not bother with), last line of defence is the on line backup service. I would not feel at all comfortable if iDrive were my only line of defence but its nice to have the possibility of recovering files created while I am on the road if my PC dies or is stolen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  15. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    bgoodman4

    All you say might work well for you, but that's not what the OP expressed as what he wants to do.

    Pete
     
  16. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I agree. Bgoodman4 lays out an excellent and thoriugh approach for himself - one that my son couldn't possibly understand or follow.

    My son is like many end-users - just wants the computer to work and wants to focus on his applications. I'm trying to do is educate him - that he has to make reasonable efforts to backup and secure his system. Next step is for him to take over the process, which I will make him do (eventually:oops: ).
     
  17. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Posts:
    1,205
    Location:
    USA
    I couldn't have said it better.


    I would agree your key phrase - "on the same PC", but I definitely disagree with the implication that using both with the same PC isn't a good idea. Using RB (actually EF) on my PC, I make weekly (raw) images using DS from a bootup disk and I find them to be a very good 'backup team'.
     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    Aaron

    What you guy's aren't getting, is it's a great solution for you, but you aren't paying attention to LenC. How many times does he have to say it probably wouldn't work for him.

    Pete
     
  19. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Posts:
    1,205
    Location:
    USA
    Sorry Pete; I really was trying to help Len - but as often happens in these threads, many of us go astray!
     
  20. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Posts:
    846
    Location:
    CT, USA
    No apologies! This was a great discussion - I learned a lot for my son and myself. I appreciate your all taking the time to help me.

    Regards,
    Len
     
  21. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,042
    No sweat. It's sometimes easy to lose focus. I know I do also. Just want to make sure we help, and not confuse. Thanks for understanding, and being willing to help

    Pete
     
  22. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    Sorry if I missed the point,,,, I thought the point was finding an easy to use solution and I thought RX would provide that but that the OP indicated a misunderstanding of the best way to use RX in achieving the goal of protecting his sons PC.

    Again sorry if I was off focus, it was not my intention to distract.
     
  23. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    Again sorry, I thought Len was saying this due to a misunderstanding of how RX could be used as a solution, this is why I kept going one about it.
     
  24. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,130
    I was just basing my statement on what I was told when researching RX a while back (I believe you were active in that discussion so you may recall it). It was/is my understanding that unless you are creating sector by sector images, using an imaging program while RX is installed on a PC would lead to issues (such as damaged MBR) when the image is restored to the PC. This is why I suggested avoiding using both on the same PC....but this is a subject for another thread.
     
  25. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,559
    LenC,

    have you considered 'FD-ISR Rescue'? Combined with 'Shadow Protect' they make a fantastic combo.

    Panagiotis
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.