SHould I upgrade from Backup & Recovery 2011 (Advanced) Free! ?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by alexis1, Jul 24, 2011.

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  1. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Hi -

    First time poster here.

    I just backed up (and am in the middle of testing the Archive Integrity) about 74 gig of data from 3 drive partitions on my XP SP2 to a separate hard drive. So far, so good! If you can't tell already, I am VERY much non-technical, I feel kind of fortunate things didn't blow up as I got to this point!

    I wonder ... do I need to trust the Archive, or is there a way I can confirm that I will be able to truly replace the contents of my computer's hard drive? I don't understand how the 74 GB of data gets stored to a 10.2 GB archive size, if that is compression, that's not exactly a mirror image I'm guessing, but I guess it doesn't matter?

    I'm doing all that on a non-internet computer, I had to go back and forth with USB drives and pieces of paper to make it work, but the computer needs to be not connected to the internet (it's a music production computer, and bad things happen more when they're connected to the web).

    I wrote all that so you'd have an idea that I'm not a techy, just a regular end user kind of guy. Given all that - is the free one good for me, or do you think there are big advantages to my shelling out some $$ for a paid version?

    Thanks so much for reading all this!
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Many experienced people will tell you that until you have successfully restored an archive you have only done half the job and cannot have confidence that it will work when you really need it.

    The absolute best test is to put in a spare HD and do the restore and then see if the restored disk boots and your files are present. A spare drive is recommended because one of the first things a restoration entails is deleting the partition to be restored so if the restore fails you end up with nothing.

    A second way of gaining some confidence that is good but not quite as good as an actual restore is to boot up the recovery CD or stick and ensure it loads then verify the archive using this environment. The restore environment is Linux so you need to ensure it works on your PC and the verify shows it can correctly read the archive.

    The compression from 74GB to 10GB is quite a reduction. Is the 74GB the amount used or the total partion size? The normal imaging only captures the actual in-use sectors and the un-used sectors are not archived.

    I don't know about Paragon but other imaging programs may put the sector contents back in different sector addresses and then the file system references are adjusted. It all gets taken care of so it is nothing to worry about.

    If the free version does all you want then there is really no need to go to a paid version if you only do the basics.
     
  3. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    seekforever - thank you for your response! Just a few questions in follow up, please ...

    I'm pathetic in terms of doing things like "put in a spare HD". I'm wondering though ... Can I use a new portable "stand-alone" hard drive that I connect to the computer with a USB for the test instead?


    I'd like to try the way you suggested is the best, with another hard drive if possible, as above. But re: the recovery disk - I did put it in the machine, and asked the program to verify its integrity and it said fine. Is that the process you're describing here, or is there something else involved I should be doing?

    74 GB is the actual amount of data that I think I asked it to back up (I subtracted the free space from the total space for each of the 3 drives (C:\, D:\, and E:\) to get that number. A fair amount of that was .wav audio files. Is there reason for me to be concerned ... I guess that's what the "restore" test is for, right? :)

    Thanks again seekforever, and whoever else would like to answer!
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I've never done it but you can try it. Just make sure that it is indeed the drive you are restoring too! It is a good idea to use meaningful labels on drive partitions - the Linux letter assignments may not agree with Windows assignments.


    If you verified it using the bootable CD version then you did what I suggested.

    Certainly is reason for a test restore. I used PeaZip to create a compressed archive of a WAV file and it shrunk it about to about 80% (3OMB down to 24MB). Paragons compressing may be better but I don't know. Also the imaging normally leaves out the pagefile.sys and hibernation.sys files since these are always recreated on a reboot so there will be a saving here as well. You could try restoring some selected files with Paragon rather than the whole image but unfortunately you don't necessarily know what may be missing or screwed up if anything.
    You're welcome.
     
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