System Restore Alternatives?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by CogitoErgoSum, Dec 24, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cybershot

    Cybershot Guest

    I often use System Restore in the very same manner as zapjb. Most of the time it works great, but every so often it reports "No Restore Points" which I don't understand. I suspect it has something to do with my reg cleaning (RegVac), disk cleaning (Window Washer), or defragging (Diskeeper), but so far I haven't been able to isolate any definite action as the cause of this problem!

    Anyone know for sure why SR will sometimes (apparently) lose its Restore Points and how to prevent that from happening?
     
  2. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,228
    Location:
    US
    I have never used SR but I know that defragging will sometimes, not always, make GoBack lose its Restore Points; could the same be happening to SR?

    Acadia
     
  3. Idoubtit

    Idoubtit Guest


    I doubt that's the reason, if you understand why GoBack loses its revert times.
     
  4. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,537
    Location:
    USA
    Asuming that whenever this occurs SR was not previously disabled (as disabling SR wipes all RP's), the problem could very well be related to running low on disk space (on any monitored disk drive).

    That problem has been reported quite often and (along with the lack of RP management) is a known weakness of SR, especially if any monitored disk is more than 80% full. Imho, disk/reg cleaning and defragging are not the cause of the problem, but I don't know that for sure. Personally, I strongly suspect it has to do with SR's FIFO management algorithm.
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    5,129
    Location:
    USA still the best. But barely.
    Cybershot, I definitely think it's one of those 3 programs you mentioned. I don't use any of those 3. I consider dk & ww to be pos programs. Don't recall using RegVac. I use O&O to defrag & I'd recommend it or PerfectDisk. And for general cleanup & registry fixes I use RegCleaner & RegSeeker both freeware. I also use TuneUp Utilities 2006, excellent program. Imo get rid of those programs & select some from the list I've given & I'd say no more problems with system restore.:D
     
  6. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Posts:
    1,678
    Location:
    Philippines, the Political Dynasty Capital of the
    I uses ERUNT, it makes daily back-up in which I can use to restore my system if something wrong happens. I just delete past back-ups it made when it starts filling up the hard drive. :cool:

    There are several good alternatives to system restore especially the paid programs... but the above is free, besides I can use Nero to copy important files to discs if I want to. ;)
     
  7. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,537
    Location:
    USA
    zapjb~ I've been using both Diskeeper and Window Washer for several years and I've never had a problem with either one. Therefore, I can't understand why you 'consider dk and ww to be pos programs'!

    sweater~ While ERUNT is an excellent tool for registry backup/restore, it can only help you for registry-related issues. System Restore (and its alternative programs) address far more than just the registry.
     
  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    If you backup your OS/Softwares on another harddisk at the right moments, you can restore your system also, using your backup/restore software. So I don't see the necessity of winXP System Restore or any other alternative.
    If I'm wrong, please tell me.
     
  9. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,537
    Location:
    USA
    That is sufficient, providing that you use backup software capable of backing-up Open System Files, the MBR and Partition Tables. Furthermore, if you can't afford to lose even a day's worth of file additions/changes, you have to backup at least once every day! So yes, with the right backup software and the discipline, what you are doing is good enough...
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,590
    It's also a question of time. Say something you have trashed your system to the point you can't reboot. With your backup approach how long would it take you to recover. If time is critical then it's hard to beat FDISR. I've trashed my system with some beta's, to the point I couldn't even get into safe mode. Complete recovery took to reboots, and a 5 minute copy.

    Pete
     
  11. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Thanks, that's what I wanted to know and I fully agree with you that this requires DISCIPLINE and of course the right backup software.
     
  12. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,537
    Location:
    USA
    Exactly - lack of discipline, or forgetfulness, or not wanting to bother performing a backup that often, are reasons for also using System Restore (or an SR alternative) - better safe than sorry! :oops:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I agree with the time issue, but this is for my future home computer, which isn't used for business.
    It's also the very first time, I will use a real backup system at home.
    So I'm not familiar with the time it takes to restore my OS/Softwares/Personal files.
    It can't be that slow, because I will have a fast CPU, large RAM and fast harddisks.
    I just wanted to know, if I could restore my system with the absolute minimum without needing XP System Restore or alternatives and that has been confirmed.

    I need an image backup system anyway and backup has nothing to do with internet security.
    If you aren't connected to the internet, you also need an image backup software.
    So whatever I buy, it won't be a waste of money.
    Using CD/DVD's as backup media for HARDDISKS is out of the question, that's what I call an amateuristic solution and only good, if you have nothing else.

    Reading the posts, it seems to me that there is a difference between FDISR and an image backup software, although I don't really understand the difference.
    Is it only a difference in speed or are there other differences, I need to know ?
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,590
    Hi Erik

    There are major differences between FDISR and imaging, but also similiarities. I'll try and explain.

    In FDISR's basic operation you have a snapshot(s) of your c: drive on the same physical drive. If something trashes your system or a software installation or you just want to test something and be able to remove it then FDISR is your fastest solution. But if the hard drive fails, you are still toast.

    The image on the other hand allows you to replace the hardrive, and restore the image bringing back your system.

    In my case I have one internal drive and external usb/firewire drives.

    For all non drive failure issues FDISR is clearly the fastest fix, usually less then 5 minutes.

    For a drive failure, and replacement I have two options after installing the disk.

    1) Restore image. This would be the fastest although would probably take about 30+ minutes.

    2) Use the FDISR archive on my external drive. But to do this would require the following steps.

    a) Use my recovery disks which would put my system back to the day I bought it.
    b) Install SP2
    c) Install my external drive drivers.
    d) pull the FDISR program files from my external drive and install FDISR
    e) Make a secondary snapshot in FDISR
    f) Use FDISR archive on external drive to bring secondary snapshot up to current.
    g) copy secondary unto primary.

    Clearly in this case the image is easier, but FDISR does provide a backup.


    Hope this helps.

    Pete
     
  15. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,228
    Location:
    US
    Peter, my quess is that you can skip the Install SP2 step. As long as you can re-install FirstDefense and retrieve the Snapshot, that should take care of SP2 for you, correct?

    Acadia
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Peter,
    Thanks alot for your time and basic explanation.
    Once I'm familiar with partitioning and image backup (I'm new to all this), I will test FDISR and watch how it works.
    I have the link of FDISR webpage already stored.
    In the beginning, I will use my second internal harddisk as backup medium for my main harddisk (both are 74GB), but the final plan is to use an external harddisk as backup medium, which is IMO even more safer.
    After that I use my second harddisk for personal files and I will have more than enough space on my main harddisk for FDISR-snapshots and other applications.
    Seems to me that the very short recovery time is the MAIN advantage of FDISR and I don't like to wait anymore considering my age (57) :D
     
  17. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Even when it's true, I prefer the first option.
    Simplicity is always brilliant and the second option is too complicated for me.
    Software has to work for me, that's why I pay for it. :D
     
  18. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,228
    Location:
    US
    Oh, I agree. Even though FD can now restore, at least in theory, an entire system due to a hard drive crash, I would still prefer an imaging program to save me once I installed a new hard drive.

    Acadia
     
  19. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Me too. In the very end I will probably use both FDISR and image backup.
    Each seems to have its own advantages and one of the members even adviced to use both.
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    20,590
    @acadia. On the SP2 thing I suspect you are 99.44 percent correct. I just figure since I have the CD thru it on. Better than going further and discovering oops.

    As to the Image vs FDISR thing. I agree I'd rather use the Image approach, but I've never actually tried to restore an image. Unfortunately it is a destructive test, and should it failure, you have a mess. On the other hand, I've tested FDISR, and I KNOW, that works. So yes I'd first try the image restore, but it's nice to know there is a tried and true backup plan.
     
  21. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,537
    Location:
    USA
    Erik~ I've noted in other threads that you also use (or at one time used) ShadowUser. From your perspective, how does FDISR compare to SU? Do they operate in a similar fashion? ~pv
     
  22. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I never used ShadowUser, but I read alot about it.
    I ordered a new computer and then I have to learn :
    1. partitioning, which is important for using SU.
    2. image backup, to restore my system as quick as possible.
    3. ShadowUser.
    So it will take some time before I will be an experienced SU-user and I don't like to help people with a software, I never used myself.

    SU recommends you to separate your OS from your personal files, that's why I have to learn partitioning.
    For instance (to keep it simple) :
    "C:" = OS + Softwares, which is constantly protected by SU
    "D:" = Personal files, which is not protected by SU.
    Any change on "C:" is gone after reboot, including any existing, new, undiscovered threat.
    So a simple reboot of 5 minutes is enough to restore your partition "C:".
    In theory you can install any legitimate/suspicious software on "C:", play with it and any possible infection, including the tried software will disappear after the next reboot as nothing happened.
    That's because SU works in a virtual environment, where nothing is real.

    I assume that the main problem with SU is to keep the GOOD changes on your harddisk between two reboots, but I can't really talk about this because I never used SU.
    The few SU-users at Wilders will be able to tell you more about it.

    I don't know about the other SU-users, but I'm going to use "SU + ZoneAlarm Free + Router" ONLY to protect my PC without any other security software to see how good/bad SU really is.
    And I will surf on the internet like a newbie, unaware of any threat :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2005
  23. VikingStorm

    VikingStorm Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Posts:
    387
    I'm looking for an alternative for extremely low HD space (I want it to take up no more than 2gb out of a 30gb HD, of which 22gb is used).
    I tried FirstDefense, but it doesn't look like what I want it to be (RestoreIT looks to be the same). I just need a barebones System Restore alternative with better management. Anybody have any suggestions?
     
  24. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,228
    Location:
    US
    Hmmm, with just 2gb to spare you are rather limited (I hope that you are also allowing some space for defragging). Anyway, GoBack has a custom install option that allows you to dictate how big the back up history is going to be. That is the only program that I am aware of that does that, and 2gb will not allow you that many days of goback history. :doubt:

    Acadia
     
  25. ring0

    ring0 Guest

    I like RestoreIT myself because it's really like a combination of GoBack and Ghost in one program! I think a program like that would be ideal for someone like Erik Albert because it's very easy to use and covers the areas of programs like TI or Ghost and Goback all in one easy to use program.

    RestoreIT is currently only 40$ which is lower than even just one of those other programs on their own. It's really the best deal going with the most restore options available in one program and of course has a free evaluation version available for those who want to try it first.
    http://www.farstone.com/home/ensite/products/restoreit.shtml
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.