Rollback RX - successful imaging of snapshot data

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TheRollbackFrog, Jun 5, 2014.

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  1. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Greetings! I'm about to start the extensive re-testing of Rollback RX v10.x. In the past there have been many claims about the successful imaging of the entire protected Rollback system environment, including its snapshots and snapshot database. In almost all cases it was done via COLD (off-line) RAW (all disk sectors) imaging.

    I'm trying to find out which imaging applications, especially with the use of Rollback RX v10.x, were successful in recovering the above application/system environment. Thank you...
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  2. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I take it that the long awaited Drive Cloner with snapshot capture is still being waited for. When I saw your subject for the thread I thought that HDS had finally released this long awaited capability.
     
  3. Masterblaster

    Masterblaster Registered Member

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    As of a few days ago, an update to RRX10+ and RRX-XP are ahead of the Drive Cloner update. As expected, HDS will not comment of the release date of DC6. I guess that's better than pulling the date out of their ***'s.
     
  4. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    I didn't see RRX-XP on their site.
     
  5. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Well, they went to release it publicly and at the last minute discovered some serious issues from their "beta test" group. I think they are trying to fix them now...
     
  6. Yin Cognyto

    Yin Cognyto Registered Member

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    Well, I can confirm Rollback Rx 9.1 and Acronis True Image 2010 work well together (cold imaging), but I know that you know that already ;)
    I don't know about Rollback Rx 10.x, but I don't see why it shouldn't work with ATI.
    I'm about to reinstall my system so I could test it for real, BUT ...
    1. I'm not having much time, as I want to watch all the World Cup 2014 games, and I do that from my TV tuner, so I need a working system before the matches
    2. From what I see, both 10.0 and 10.2 versions of Rollback Rx are still buggy, given the addition of UEFI/GPT/etc. support and new version's recoding/redesign. Version 9.1 is stable/tested so this avoids nasty problems.

    What I would like to know though is :
    1. How to image and restore a Rollback Rx protected partition (both hot and cold) with Image for Windows. The folks from Horizon DataSys seem to have deleted older posts regarding this on their forums (or the links to them don't work anymore), so a complete guide is nowhere to be found. As you already know, there are some tricks/settings that have to be applied in IFW for it to successfully image and restore a Rollback Rx protected system, and with so many checkboxes in IFW it's easy to get it wrong. I'm not a newbie on this, having managed to do it with ATI on my own, but still, for a successfull job, one should get all the settings right.
    2. I don't know about you, but everytime I restored my Rollback Rx protected system image with ATI Boot CD, the free space before the partition to be restored was by default set at 19 (I don't remember if they were bytes, kbytes or sectors as I didn't restore an ATI image for a while now). I tried either leaving the free space before the partition as it was by default (19, not 0) or "dragging" the partition to be restored so that the free space before was 0, with the same effect : the restore was successfull, all the snapshots available, etc. I wonder if you experienced that too (the free space before the partition to be restored being greater than 0), and if you did, what did you do : leave it at default or trying to drag the partition so that it would leave 0 free space before it. Do you have an idea why this happens? Maybe this is free space left behind by the Rollback Rx subsystem after uninstalling?
    3. What would you recommend as an imaging solution for a Rollback Rx protected partition : sticking with ATI Boot CD or changing to IFW/IFD? Does IFW/IFD have significant advantages over ATI (smaller backup file, less backup time, more useful options or greater reliability)?

    Regards,
    Yin
     
  7. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    This is why I need a bulletproof imaging solution to recover from... I s'pect I'll be seriously blowing up Rollback RX v10.x when I get started once again.
    Yin, the bad news is that the original HOT IFW solution failed upon IFW v2.78 and beyond. I know not what the IFW changes were but I was unable to restore a full RBrx image + snapshots after that release. All tests after that point failed for me. I wrote the original IFW HOT imaging guide for Rollback but at this point it's no longer valid.

    Using COLD imaging with IFW v2.78 and beyond should work just fine (I have not tested it)... just make sure you have the "Backup unused sectors" option checked in the BACKUP OPTIONS window before proceeding. When restoring (to the same HDD), be sure the "Restore first track" option is checked in the RESTORE OPTIONS Window, and set the "First Track Sectors value = 64. This will insure that the entire EMBR (Extended MBR) area is restored along with what RBrx's sub-Console requires. I would test this to be sure.
    This I can't really help you with. It really doesn't matter if there is FREE SPACE in front of the partition. Rollback does not move the partition when it installs so whatever you saw wasn't done by that. On a non-EFI MBR-based HDD system, the partition is usually installed starting at sector 64, the end of the EMBR space. The EMBR space does not show up when partitioning. If the system was a FRESH INSTALL of W7 into an existing partition, that's where it would have gone. Some imagers (don't know about Acronis) nowadays install images to a 1mB partition boundary (2048 sectors) to make them SSD friendly, if necessary. Other than that, I haven't a clue. If BrianK is following this thread, maybe he can shed some light on the 19 something or others.
    No recommendations yet as that was why I started this thread. For COLD imaging, there have been successful restorations of RBrx v9.1 using Drive Snapshot, IFW/IFL/IFD, Macrium Reflect and Acronis. I would not put Acronis on my system except to make a Recovery Media and the only way I would remove it is via backup imaging... it's just too bloated an application for LIVE Windows use and still has many problems associated with a standard Windows unINSTALLation (lots of things left behind, many affecting other system options). Macrium and Drive Snapshot both do reasonable INCREMENTAL and DIFFERENTIAL imaging as far as time is concerned, IFW does not (the time is unacceptably long for me). All do decent FULL imaging.
     
  8. Yin Cognyto

    Yin Cognyto Registered Member

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    Hm...that got me curious. I've been through worse (lost then recovered partitions, failing hdd then recovered the important things, etc.) so I have no fear on what will happen, I could give 10.0 a shot. My only problem is that I must have enough time to recover (if problems arise) to be able to use my tuner inside Windows.
    That being said, I don't know how useful such a test would be in my case - I have "old" MBR HDD, so Rollback Rx / cold imaging would probably work anyway. I don't think they would release a new version which doesn't work on areas where the previous versions did work. You would probably be more interested in how the new 10.0/10.2 versions work with new UEFI/GPT schemes and imaging.

    Thank you very much for this info - I suspected something like that while reading other posts between the lines. I would have gone with the safer COLD imaging solution anyway, but this warning is valuable nonetheless.

    Could be. In that case, I would be better leaving the free space before to the default value.

    I completely agree. I installed ATI in Windows just to make the Recovery Media, and since then, I didn't install Acronis in Windows anymore, just using the Recovery Media for COLD imaging/restoring at boot times.
    Bloated applications seem the way to go nowadays, unfortunately. My biggest WOW on this was when I compared 10 GB MS Visual Studio with 15 MB freeware SharpDevelop - and these two provide 90% of the same functionality. No problem with MS, just giving an example. Just like ATI 2014 is 300/400 MB compared to the 100 MB of ATI 2010. A lot of space wasted, just because it's more available than in the past.

    Bottom line :
    I'll probably stick with my "old" ATI 2010 and Rollback Rx 9.1. Still thinking whether or not to give RB RX 10.0 a shot... it seems to me just a redesigned 9.1.
    On the other hand, 10.2 IS something new - unfortunately it didn't settle down just yet and I don't have the new UEFI/GPT features in order for the test to really mean something.

    Regards,
    Yin
     
  9. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    Yin, other than GPT/EFI environments, I didn't find a single feature added in v10.x... and the new environments seem to be causing most of the current problems. You're best off continuing the use of v9.1 and any good successful COLD imager for a true backup of your system... those (2) tools together seem to work fairly well.

    In the past, when I'd do any system cleanup/defrag/partition work, etc. I'd unistall RBrx, do the work and when ready for reinstall, I'd run an unused disk space wiping tool and set all unused disk blocks to ZERO. Then I'd reinstall RBrx. This would allow for the best compression by your imaging tool when doing a RAW disk image to save your snapshots... sometimes only a li'l bit larger than a "used" disk block disk image. But don't do it with RBrx installed... you'll get a BIIIIIG snapshot :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
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