Rollback versus FDISR - An Update

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Peter2150, May 2, 2006.

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  1. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi All

    As I indicated in the main thread, I've pulled Rollback from my Desktop and gone back to FDISR. The reason:

    I originally tried Rollback as I had a problem with FDISR(note, it never failed me). Raxco and Leapfrog worked and fixed the problem. I was very excited about Rollback as it offered some significant advantages for the type of testing I do. The two things in particular that were of value to me. Being able to Rollback with a simple reboot, as opposed to a reboot,copy,reboot. A significant time difference. Also the ability to install two new programs and quickly separate them with a snapshot.

    So what went wrong. Well first, I beta several programs that operate at the kernel level, so I am used to crashes, system hangs, etc. One of the things that I started noticing was that after many crashes, or hangs there was having chkdsk run. Never had that with FDISR. Also during these chkdsk runs, I saw some pretty scary error messages, I'd never seen before. In all fairness to Rollback things always corrected okay, but it was a bit scary. Also I am testing both KAV 6.0 and OA AV+ which uses the KAV engine. Since the install the same files, in the same place, but different versions, clearly isolation was essential. I was beginning to suspect it wasn't as good as it should be.

    Last weekend I uninstalled Rollback as I had been, and then reinstalled. The installation included SSM and Avast AV. THe installation snapshot became snapshot 1. I created a 2nd snapshot as a buffer, uninstalled Avast, and installed OA AV+ and create snapshot 3. Then created snapshot 4 as a buffer, and uninstalled OA and installed KAV, and made snapshot 5. I was able to boot back and forth without problem.

    Then I wanted to update versions on OA AV+ and I booted back to snapshot 3 and uninstalled the old version and installed the new version, and saved a new snapshot 3A. I got this idea from Aigle, and HDS confirmed that this is fine. Then defragged(HDS confirmed this also was no problem) I then booted back into snapshot 5 and discovered KAV had been trashed, SSM had been trashed and I had no sound. This shouldn't have happened. Backed up to Snapshot 4 and at least had sound, so I stayed there, and repaired.

    I called HDS and first confirmed everything I'd done was okay. They said yes. THen I explained what happened. I was told no other people using it for beta testing had these issues, and it was suggested maybe a virus was at play. I asserted my system is clean. It was then suggested that to trouble shoot and eliminate conflicts I should install a clean system, install Rollback and go from there to try and isolate the conflict. Nuts to that. I can't install a clean system, and the whole point of using this type of program is to recover from the result of conflicts.

    Since I have some more testing(read crashes and hangs) I need something totally reliable and that is FDISR. For simple uses I would be comfortable with Rollback, but with hardcore beta testing, I need reliablity, and that has returned me to FDISR. All the problems with Rollback lately totally wiped out the time saving.

    I will continue to follow Rollback closely, as I've learned alot about it, and it has some real potential.

    Pete
     
  2. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I, also, have beta tested lots of stuff, using Rollback. I have had great success in rolling back multiple times -- whenever & however desired. The result of each & every rollback was --- Poof!!! Clean system, working smoothly, & Bob's your uncle.:cool:

    In other words, Rollback works fine for me. As with all SW -- your mileage may vary (& objects in the mirror are closer than they appear).;)
     
  3. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    I am in a similar situation to bellgamin and I can also report 100% success rate with RollBack,absolutely faultless- and Robert is also my relative:D
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I pretty much had the same experience. Funny that the last thing was trying the "fork in the road" so to speak. I also wonder if it was the combo of two KAV based programs with the same name drivers. still that should be okay.

    Have you guys seen it thru many crashes and system hangs, where you need to power reset??
     
  5. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    To me crashes and system hangs,denote problems unconnected with Rollback-maybe its time for a dreaded reformat- if its that bad.

    Had plenty of these ,coincidentally prior to Rollback,but its just a matter of methodically going thru the checklist of whats causing them!

    Never had a system hang or crash with Rollback,as it was installed on a well functioning system!

    Mike .

    .
     
  6. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    If you mean have I had to hit the shiny little button that sits next to the power switch on my computer's tower... then, yes. Several times, in fact. But only when messing around with beta stuff, or when trying a security program that refused to play nicely with my other security stuff.

    RB has seamlessly recovered my box to a stable/clean system even in those instances when ctl-alt-del went totally numb, as well as those times when (in desperation) I hit start-restart, & got a black screen with nothing but a flashing cursor in the upper left corner.

    BOTTOM LINE: When the fit reeely hits the shan, I click the little silver restart button. Half a mo' later, RM's red cross thingee comes up -- I hit the "home" button. Few seconds after that... heeeeer's Windows! Clean as a whistle.*puppy*
     
  7. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    :D BOTTOM LINE: When the fit reeely hits the shan, I click the little silver restart button. Half a mo' later, RM's red cross thingee comes up -- I hit the "home" button. Few seconds after that... heeeeer's Windows! Clean as a whistle.


    Great idea (when there are problems with no2.)!
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Some times I've used the Home key and the intercept, and yes it always did fine. It's only after a crash or power reset and just a straight reboot, I've seen Rollback check the disk, and often it would be fine, but then occasionally no, and as I said Chkdsk always fixed the problem. Be interesting to get Chris's take.

    Also my other issue may be related to two programs using the same file structure. With FDISR when you have a snapshot there are two separate copies of files. But with Rollback when I have a driver KLIF.sys and I create a new snapshot, the new snapshot doesn't have another copy of that file. So initially the new snapshot has to use the other snapshot's file. That may be where the issue is coming into play in what I was doing.

    Could be a fluke, but I was dismayed by HDS's response.

    Pete
     
  9. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    I suspect that this is the reason Trueimage will not image on my system. I have had a number of these crashes the startup chkdsk error messages are more alarming than any I have seem before.

    In fact after the chkdsk run the snapshot has generally been rendered dead ie file read erorr in the boot - but as I snapshot every boot (yes I have around 40 snapshots on the go). I have been able to go back to a slightly older snapshot and fix stuff.

    At the weekend I started looking at the structure of my disks as suggested by Acronis support.

    While I wait on them. I have run a Chkdsk Disk: /r on every partition off line. Result I had more errors than ever before.

    Other odd problem I had was with the video card driver resetting parameters seemingly across all snaphots.

    For the moment I will stick with two systems using RB and one using FD. In terms of trust or reliability I prefer FD but RB has always recovered so far. But bare metal recovery is still an issue for me.
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Funny thing was I did check my disk prior to last RB install. You are right about the bare metal recovery issue. That is also a factor to me in switching back. Yes imaging takes longer, but the FD Archives are a tested way to also recover from hard drive failure, and those refresh daily in a few minutes.
     
  11. nicM

    nicM nico-nico

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    Hi Peter :) ,

    I can tell you that in the past 5-6 weeks, I've used Rollback in quite a "hardcore" way as you suggest, using it to perform some "heavy duty" tests on Defensewall (details here - Kareldjag's blog for thoses who are interested - especially part 2 + few other "live" infections) ... and to use it to to some beta-testing in the same time, for several programs :

    Doing this I've had the worst crash I've ever seen, with a computer unbootable included in safe mode, but even this was not important, as Rollback simply allowed me to load a working snapshot :D , to recover... Took 10 secs. Same with others unusable or deeply malware infected snapshots.

    I've installed several security setups, with 3 main snapshots, each one with different AVs (I had Avast, Antivir and AVG - with OA AV+ as a 4th AV :cool: ). I've even installed two times on different snapshots low-level programs such as Process Guard (which was installed temporarly in two groups of snapshots, before I deleted one group), and 2-3 other kernel mode softs....

    I've had to uninstall Antivir in 2 groups of snapshots, to install AVG, Avast and OA AV... No problem, Antivir was working as if I never uninstalled it when I reloaded it's snapshot! :D

    So I've had up to 40 snapshots total, with all sorts of different security software - even some installed two times without to remove, as I said - and stealth malwares/trojans installed, and I can assure you that in none of theses misdeed :D Rollback have ever let me down...

    I did intra-daily rollbacks from one to another snapshot, in the three main groups of snapshots, despite the presence of programs installed several times (or uncompatible programs in two consecutives snapshots), I've never had problems. Honestly I don't know how the computer can deal with all theses setups and crossed operations without to get a headhache :D , but it works!

    The only and single error I ever had with Rollback so far was that one time, it's systray icon didn't load ;)

    I didn't even take care to use any "buffer snapshots" as you did, I just did build 3 main group of snapshots, three different branch starting from the 1st snapshot.

    In my experience, every snapshots are really separated one from each others, in a way I could do anything one one without to have a problem when reloading another one. I don't know what happened in your case, and I'm sorry for the time you wasted, all I wanted to say is that for me, Rollback actually works as expected ;) .

    Cheers,
    nicM
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2006
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi nicM

    I am as puzzled as the rest of you, as that was my experience prior to what happened.

    Pete
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Just out of curiosity, what file system are you all using. I am using NTFS with no compression.

    Pete
     
  14. nicM

    nicM nico-nico

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    NTFS without compression for me too, on XP Home.

    BTW yes I had, but they were not caused by Rollback. Was a little bit stressed when forcing a reboot with a system in such a bad state ;) (during theses events - happened few times), but it worked too.

    Im' not sure about that, as i was able to install the same programs several times (on different snapshots) without problems.

    nicM
     
  15. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Lest anyone get the wrong idea, none of the crashes or hangs requiring power resets were caused by Rollback. My concern was when it happened the frequency of chkdsk running, and the error messages.
     
  16. Atomas31

    Atomas31 Registered Member

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    Hi Pete,

    What is the link between the frequency of chkdsk and the error message and Rollback? I am not sure I undestand or see the relation between Rollback and the frequency of chkdsk and the error reported! what was the error reported?

    Personnally, I have a hanging system at one and for wich I had to power reset and than a chkdsk was automatically made without any problems or errors. And I never got any problem with Rollback afterwards...

    I also use NTFS without compression (in fact, I think you couldn't use Rollback if your NTFS has compression!).

    Best regards,
    Atomas31
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    The link was the fact that many of the crashes and power resets were triggering a chkdsk run. Frequency of chkdsk to crash was very high as opposed to being very low when I was using FDISR. Also the messages. There were lots of index's being deleted, and replaced, files being recovered, and even saw one (didn't catch the details) that made reference to the MFT.
    Now as I said after it was all repaired I didn't see any problems. But it is scary to see this when you've not seen it before, and it makes you wonder if one time...... Then add in the problem with the snapshots, and I just am leary of problems. So...

    Pete
     
  18. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    I think what Peter2150 is trying to say is this.He loves Rollback but customer support is very important to him and it should be.And from some of his posts on FD ISR, he receives excellent support from them on any issues he's had with that product.But he has a concern with some issues he's experiencing right now and wants Rollback support to work with him to make sure it is not involved in any way with what's happening instead of somewhat of a "brushoff" that he was given from them.Am i correct Peter2150?.
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Tobacco

    Yes you are. I like Rollback as much as FDISR, but I have to have a high degree of confidence, and if there is a problem get it resolved. Up to this point the customer support from Rollback was fairly good so I was surprised. But saying no one else has a problem doesn't cut it. The bug I found in FDISR was a total surprise to them, but they worked it until solved. Thats what I expected, and didn't see. I certainly am still open to working with them, but in the meantime, I just had to switch back.

    Pete
     
  20. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Well stated Pete... Problems (or even bugs) occur with most all software products, but when reporting a problem, if the incident doesn't have an known solution, it would be comforting to hear a degree of concern and followup at the very least.

    When I related my bad Rollback experience to HDS it received but a token reply and no other contact since it occured 3 weeks ago. A week ago, I left a voice mail message with the program's developer and my call was never returned. :doubt:
     
  21. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    Surely,the fact that CHKDSK is showing errors cant be blamed on RB,as all RB does is take photos of disc segments,rather than writing to it.

    I run CH occasionally and havent had even 1 error listed -all 100%

    Regrettably,I must once again say that a lot of the errors thought to be caused by RB, seem related to a faulty system even prior to installing RB.

    My customer support has been 100% ,but I do feel that after considering the problems presented to them,as outlined here,they may be giving up,as they may think these after all, arent to do with RB.

    This is the usual behaviour from most companies,they will either tell you directly that they cant help any further or just ignore you,what more can they do for a non-related problem?


    Maybe the reason that FDISR is coping is because its method of imaging is different to RB,even though the underlying system is still sick.

    Incidentally,I tried FDISR about 3 times and didnt like its way of doing things at all-seemed clumsy and difficult compared to RB!

    Mike

    .
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Mike

    I can't for sure say that Rollback was causing Chkdsk to run more, but by observation, I saw many more crashes and hangs cause chkdsk to run since I've been using Rollback then before.

    As to your comment about a "sick" system. Define what you mean by a sick system. Then I can comment on whether I think it applies, in relation to HDS deciding it wasn't Rollback and giving up.

    Pete
     
  23. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    Pete,

    What can I say??:D-OK- Your system isnt healthy-its been corrupted with conflicts-its not working the way it should-it has basic problems.

    What I am getting at,with all due respect to your obvious knowledge and expertise,and bearing in mind that I am only trying to be helpful,is that there seem to be many software problems and conflicts occurring within your system,but these really cannot all be related to RollBack,if any at all.

    It is not normal to have so many crashes etc.etcetc:(

    Even when using FDISR,you were still having problems-quote from your post-

    "Frequency of chkdsk to crash was very high(with RB) as opposed to being very low when I was using FDISR."

    Surely,the fact that CHDSK and crash were still happening with FDISR,must tell you something is wrong apart frpm RBx

    I think in all my years,CHDSK has only scanned a couple of times.

    Dont you think, that it would be quicker for you just to do a complete reinstall of everything,as Rollback suggested.

    This involves in my case a few days-its mean,boring and time consuming-but at least it cleans out all the crap

    Mike.

    .
     
  24. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Mike

    Okay, I think we have miscommunicated. As it stands right now my system is very stable, but beta testing programs working at the kernel level has it moments. For example, KAV 6.0 has been fairly stable, but every now and then a new beta build BSOD's everyone who tries it. So in the process of finding out you can have several crashes. I was beta testing Process Guard in it's early days, and I'll never forget version 1.3. It was so unstable at first, that i would crash 4 or 5 times an hour. Sure take that beta off and my system was perfectly stable. But by doing that I help the programmers narrow done what was going on. I've even run prototype code for one developer. Some was stable, some was.... When I am not doing this kind of testing my system is quite stable. This is definitely not what the average user would see. So starting with a fresh system, and putting all my normal software on would result in the same stable system I have when not testing, but once testing I'd probably again see crashes and hangs.


    But if HDS would walk away for the reasons you suggested(and I am not sure I believe that) then I would know I made the right decision. Let me explain.

    I don't know if you read the thread where I described the FDISR problem I had. It would boot into existing snapshots, but not new ones. I was getting an error when it would attempt its roll over into a new snapshot, and would fail. I called Raxco and they had never heard of that error. Since screen capture was out of the question, they asked me to take a picture which I did. The developer came back and basically said that error could not and should not happen. But they kept sending me test programs to run so I can send them back logs. They finally nailed the problem down. I happened to have an unusually large number of files in my c:\ directory, and that caused a record in the MFT to be almost full, and FDISR could write an attribute it needed to set. They could have said that was my fault, but they treated it formally as a bug, as the program encountered a condition should be able to handle and it couldn't. The made a fix and are encorporating it into the next version.

    By the same token, I had worked thru 5 snapshot, all with stable programs, then went back to snapshot 3 and updated a program with a new version that has proved even more stable. I tested all the stuff in each snapshot. So when I then boot from one to another and stuff gets messed up, how can I blame anything but Rollback. I would felt alot better if they said hey let us send you something, so you can try and duplicate the problem and get us some info.

    Also consider the whole reason I run Rollback or FDISR is so I can recover if one of these beta's trashes something badly.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Pete(off to find out why KAV6.0 beta won't run on the laptop:D )
     
  25. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    Pete,

    Anyway,thanks for the very interesting description of the problem and BEST OF LUCK solving it.:D

    regards

    Mike

    .
     
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