Shadow Protect or Paragon Drive Backup Pro?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by besafe, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. besafe

    besafe Registered Member

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    I have narrowed my selection to Shadow Protect or Paragon Drive Backup Pro.

    The Paragon Product seems to have a lot features I will never use. It works well on my PC though. Haven't yet tried Shadow Protect but have read many great reviews of the product.

    My criteria?

    1. Easy to use, otherwise, I won't use it.
    2. Reliable. I want a program that will flawlessly create and restore images.

    So long as the program is under $100, I'm not too concerend with cost. Please limit the discussion to these products. If you were to choose between these 2 products, which would you choose and why?
     
  2. Minimax2000

    Minimax2000 Registered Member

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    I find the Recovery CD of SP for Bare metal restores superior to the one of Paragon. (Pre Boot-CD supports HIR = Hardware Independent Restore).

    Secondly the incrementals are very quick in SP. Mounting of images and incrementals is also very reliable in SP. I have tested both packages.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I also am a fan of Shadow Protect. For ease and convenience, the continous incremental's are hard to beat. I've done countless restores, and never have had an issue.

    Pete
     
  4. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I moved from Acronis to Shadow Protect. It is amazingly fast and stable. I was willing to pay more to not have to deal with all that linux/bartpe stuff that I don't understand (wish I did, but alas, no time:( )

    I miss a few convenience features that TI had, but that is truly a minor comment.

    Don't know a thing about Paragon:oops:
     
  5. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    btw just to note the paragon winpe recovery cd in the 9.0 pro version has hardware independant restore.
    i found it a bit confusing to schdule just one backup a day with shadow protect desktop.
    both are execellent products and i would reccomend eiether.

    i have done imaging and restoring on this system since i got it nearly a year ago (last xmas) and all paragon restores have been successfull.
     
  6. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    I hear good things about paragon. I use shadow protect but I wonder if Paragon can match the reliability of Shadow Protect? I have done, I think more than 100 restores now, and only failed once (after testing Windows 2008 I couldnt restore one incremental for some reason)
    What is Paragons licensing criterias? Can I deactivate and activate it on my machine(ie same hardware) as I please?

    I am really interested, even though SP serves me very well and I am truly satisfied with itś performance, I am a bit tired of their over zealuous licensing policy so if another product with a bit more normal licensing policy that is as reliable as SP should come I'd look into that.
     
  7. besafe

    besafe Registered Member

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    What do you mean overzealous licensing policy? Is this something I should be concerned with?
     
  8. besafe

    besafe Registered Member

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    My initial impressions of comparing these products:

    1. Shadow Protect runs lighter or appears to have a smaller footprint.

    2. Paragon DB Pro offers more advanced options.

    3. Shadow Protect backs up faster, but not if you verify the image. You can automatically set Paragon to verify. I did not see this setting Shadow Protect, though I have only had the product on my PC for an hour.


    SO...Those using Shadow Protect:

    1. Do you verify every image? If so, can you set this an automatic?
    2. What is your backup strategy/frequency and to what media?
     
  9. Minimax2000

    Minimax2000 Registered Member

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    No, I don't. I restore the image immediately. This is the best verification.:cool:

    Backup to external usb drive. Full backup twice a month.
     
  10. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Not really, if you´re a normal user who doesnt change OS or hardware that often or use software like FDISR where you can have several snapshots of different windows versions.

    They have this online activation and deactivation. When you want to move Shadowprotect from say Windows XP to Vista you first deactivate the license in XP and then activate it in Vista. I understand why they do it - to protect their license. If you bought one license you can only have it activated in one computer (it calculates a machine ID much like Windows does) If you change your hardware too much - you have to activate it again.
    But, and this annoys me, you can only deactivate it two times then it gets locked and you have to contact support to unlock your license.
    Seems like they dont trust their own license protection. btw SP has been cacked nevertheless, but personally I dont use cracked software because of the obvious risk that comes with cracked software.

    But hey, their target customers are companies, not the home user, so maybe I shouldnt complain. I am a tester who tests new stuff so I am looking for a software that lets me do it without hassle. I dont regret paying the $80 coz I´ve learnt that there actually is software that can deliver what they promise. It would be great if Paragon had this industrial reliability and a bit more modern policy, if so I´d gladly pay $80 again (or whatever it costs)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  11. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    1. Never verified any image. Well did it once when I used Image for win but did not see the point wasting the time.
    I have this idea that either the image software delivers reliable images every time - or it doesnt. If it doesnt I dont use that image software.

    2. periods when I dont test that much I run one full image twice a month and one incremental every other day.
    If I have a testing period I do hourly incrementals
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  12. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    i have reinstalled vista 2 times and then installed 64bit vista and paragon has installed fine. so licensing shouldnt be an issue.
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    1. No. I verify some, but if I am doing a manual backup, I will usually boot to the recovery cd, image, then mount the image, and extract a file to the machine desktop. Finally I restore the image. Verify is not automatic, as most SP users problably wouldn't use it.

    2. On the machine,I use primarily for business, I just let the continous incrementals run and take an incremental every 30 minutes. On my other machine I just image when I feel it necessary.

    Pete
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    besafe,

    This is what one of the SP developers (Nate) says about Verify.

    "The problem with doing a verify on your image immediately after writing your image is that your data can go bad on your disk (for all kinds of reasons from hardware failure to bug in drivers in your storage stack) long after you've successfully written your data to disk. What is really needed is a periodic verification of all of the image files in your image repository to ensure that they're still good and useful."

    Verify is more for testing your hardware rather than how well your software has worked.
     
  15. besafe

    besafe Registered Member

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    Shadow Protect Users: This is what I want to do with the program. Is this wise? Is this possible?

    1. Schedule it to do a full backup every day.
    2. Limit the total space used on my external hard drive to 200 GB (this should be about 8 images).
    3. Keep one image on the external that NEVER gets erased. Kind of like a baseline image that I can always go back to if I ever get a nasty.

    My external HD has 500GB of memory (465 GB useable). So is the above possible? Also, what would you do differently? I have read about using frequent incrementals but don't know the possible pittfalls of this scenario so I have opted to simply take a full image every backup. Please advise. All responses welcome!
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    They are all easy. Just that SP leave's it to you to manage the disk space.

    When I take images manually, I take full images. You can do incrementals/differentials if space is an issue, but done manually full images can be quicker. On my mission critical PC, I just let the continous incrementals run. SP manages everything. Takes an incremental at specified intervals, (I use 30min) then at the end of the day collapses the incrementals into one daily incremental. At the end of the week, the dailies are collapsed to a weekly. All done automatically. The average time these incrementals take is about 7-10 seconds unless you defrag.

    Pete
     
  17. besafe

    besafe Registered Member

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    Is ther any risk associated with using incrementals?
     
  18. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    I'd like to add to this question.
    I may be the dumbest person to find Wilders but I'd like to know how to restore a SP image that has been put on a disk?
    I need to use the SP disk to boot into the program. That's why I get lost with this.
    Humbly yours, Hugger
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Besafe

    None that I found. When I tested continous incrementals, I was able to a) mount one and all it's associated files, and pull something out. I also did a restore to one of them, and no problem.

    Pete
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Hugger

    It's really not that hard. I put all my images on either internal hard drives, or external USB drives. What you want to do is boot to the Recovery CD, and make sure you can see all the drives. Then when you restore, you select the image from the drive it's located on.

    One thing I'd recommend is while in windows make sure all your drives have unique names. My c: drive is always Primary, my d: drive is Secondary, and similiarily my USB drives have names. The reason for this is a hardware/windows issue. On my Intel based desktop when in Windows my C: is Primary and D: is Secondary. It is the same when I boot any recovery environment. But on my AMD based desktop, it swaps. In Windows it's C:=Primary and D:=Secondary, but from any recovery environment it's D:=Primary and C:=Secondary. Confusing, but you always go by the name and you are safe.

    Let me know if you want to purse further.

    Pete
     
  21. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Statistically speaking, the incremental approach is much riskier than taking multiple full images and even riskier than the differential approach! When using an incremental approach, one typically accumulates a number of images in the 'set' and if just one of those images is corrupt you will not be able to perform a complete/successful restore (it's the old saw about the 'weakest link in the chain'). ;)

    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Yes, if I did it manually, I'd use differentials. Since I don't really need the history, about once a month I do a manual image of the system, I use the continous incrementals on , then blow away all the images in the CI set, and start the whole thing over. Still I've never had a problem with them as to restoring.

    Pete
     
  23. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Thanks Pete. I'lll try it that way soon.
    Hugger
     
  24. mikeo1313

    mikeo1313 Registered Member

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    Shadowprotect ALL THE WAY.

    Network restore, can't be beat! Built in vnc in the restore cd.

    Put as many of the agents in all the pc's you wish, (not more then a couple megs). Now you can manage the backup of these all from your main/full install.

    PLEASE. don't even put paragon next to Shadowprotect, don't shame yourselves. :argh: :argh: :argh:
     
  25. Jeff Bellune

    Jeff Bellune Registered Member

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    I am here because of Paragon Drive Backup. My system vendor (ADK Computers in KY) installed Paragon because the backup capsule is part of their tech support and warranty services. I decided to try to use Paragon for my system and data backups on my new Vista x64 system since I had it available and my old Acronis TI10 wouldn't fully support Vista 64.

    I restored one of my System disk images only to find that one system partition out of 2 (dual-boot with XP x86) was restored un-bootable. When I checked the restored partition with Paragon Partition Manager, PM said it was unformatted. Further restore attempts resulted in the same thing.

    During my last file-based data backup of about 350 total GB from 2x 1TB RAID0 arrays to a 1TB RAID5 array, Paragon DB hung. The UI froze and Vista reported it as Not Responding, but the backup continued anyway. I decided to let it be and see what would happen. Eleven and a half hours later, the backup finished, but the UI was still frozen.

    I tried to restore a single folder containg about 240 .png files that made up a 60 fps image sequence. After about 120 files, DB hung again. The restore never finished. I tried to restore that folder at least a dozen times, and never got more than 150 files to restore before the UI froze and the restore operation stopped.

    Today, before installing the demo of ShadowProtect, I thought I'd do a quick system backup of my Vista partition. At 30% completion, the DB UI froze again.

    Paragon tech support has responded to only one of my 2 support requests, and all they did was ask more questions. They didn't reply to my answers or to my first support request. To be fair, I should give them until the end of the week, but I can't wait that long to have my daily work backed up.

    I've backed up my system drive and my 2 RAID arrays already with SP, and I've restored folders and files from the data backup with no trouble at all. The same operation that took Paragon DB 11.5 hours to complete took SP 3.75 hours.

    I'm trying to come up with a reliable and minimally intrusive backup plan, and this topic has helped a lot. I'm now deciding between SP (almost certain) and Acronis TI2009, which I have yet to try. On my old system, over a period of almost 3 years, I never had one bit of trouble backing up or restoring with TI10, so I figure I should at least give TI2009 a test drive.

    Thanks for letting me vent,
    -Jeff
     
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