Some questions about Raxco InstantRecovery

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Enigma83, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Enigma83

    Enigma83 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Posts:
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    Location:
    United States
    I just installed IR today on my Win 7 Home Premium, after restoring from the Dell recovery discs. I had too many issues running 8.1 and 10 on my Alienware M14X R1 laptop, made in 2011, so I figured it would be best to use the OS that Dell officially supports for my model.

    So far all is doing fine again, but I haven't really dug into IR to see what it can do and what its' primary purpose is. Is it a backup software? A snapshotting solution like Rollback RX? Or is it more like DeepFreeze? Perhaps a so-called "reboot to restore" solution? In the past I've used Drive Snapshot, Shadow Defender, AX64 TM, Rollback RX, and TeraByte Image for Windows, but most of those failed to meet my requirements in some way. I'm looking for something that can create snapshots and restore to them on demand, but not restore my system to a "frozen" state on every reboot. Basically I need something that is a hybrid between imaging and snapshotting, not too much else. I don't really need multiple bootable snapshots (one for gaming, another for work, etc) that can be booted into on-the-fly for different situations/purposes. Of all the softwares listed above, I only continue to use SD, DS, and TIFW, they have been mostly reliable thusfar. But SD isn't for imaging/backup, and DS doesnt quite have all the features I need.

    Here's what I'm looking for in a nutshell:
    1. Compatible with UEFI/GPT
    2.Compatible with multiboot systems/bootloaders (I run Arch and Kali Linux alongside Windows)
    3. Compatible with system encryption (I'm currently using BestCrypt Volume Encryption but my C drive isnt yet encrypted on this new install)
    4. Fully compatible with SSDs and TRIM
    5. Ability to modify the C drive from outside Windows without corrupting snapshots (RBRX and AX64 have these issues and employ "sector tracking" mechanisms to keep track of changed data on the volume
    6. Can simply "snapshot" the encrypted volume while it's "online" without having to make a byte for byte image of the volume (which is typically the case when backing up encrypted volumes)
    7. Compatible with Shadow Defender and DS

    #3 has particularly been a pain, I haven't found any snapshotting softwares except DS that work with system encryption. I know that IR isnt meant to be a full backup/imaging solution, so I will continue to periodically use DS and TIFW for full system backups.

    I ran a preliminary test with IR already installed and partially encrypted the C drive with BestCrypt. BC's UEFI loader appeared on reboot and I gave the password, then IR popped up in text mode and sent me straight into Windows. So far, so good. But I'm not sure if a restore would fail, so I need to test that soon. Would IR's snapshots be encrypted if the C drive is also encrypted and BC is active?

    A few caveats:

    I haven't even made a secondary snapshot yet (besides the one that was auto-created when I installed IR). But a 2nd drive letter for my C drive appears when I log in, that appears to be exactly the same as C, and with the same volume size. My EFI system partitions also appear, briefly, and I can browse their contents. By default, Windows will not allow the user to view the contents of the EFI in Explorer. But I was looking at the files in those partitions nonetheless. It is essentially creating acessible drive letters for volumes which I havent even backed up with IR. Also, when I plug in my external 3TB Seagate USB and mount the volume in VeraCrypt, yet another drive letter appears with a size of 8MB. The partition it references is clearly the 8MB NTFS partition I created because my Samsung Magician SSD software wont let me allocate space for overprovisioning space at the end of my drive if the partition just before it has an unrecognized filesystem. So that partition is basically just there as a stopgap measure. These volumes are basically "ghost volumes" so far as I can tell. I haven't even allocated drive letters for them in Disk Management, but they do appear in the diskpart application when using the Command (CMD) prompt to view my volumes.

    I also need to know if there are any other caveats in regards to using IR. Maybe another solution would be best for my needs? I'd appreciate any recommendations/advice that can be offered.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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