The difference between Acronis TI and Norton GoBack?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by jeremywms, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    I am hoping to generate a feedback discussion on what the main differences are between the Acronis TI and Norton GoBack products? I routinely use both products and am wondering how I can best utilize Acronis TI. It seems that I use GoBack far more often.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    GoBack is a super-charged XP System Restore. It tracks and stores changes so you can re-build your disk (partition is probably a better term) and data. It also has a boot disk so you can put your disk back if Windows won't start. Acronis takes a complete snap-shot of your disk and restores the entire disk content. So Acronis replaces (restores) the entire disk whereas GoBack rebuilds the bits and pieces.

    I don't use GoBack but what do you do if your disk suffers a hardware failure and needs to be replaced? It doesn't seem GoBack covers restoring in this situation.

    Replacing the entire disk data seems safer than rebuilding but that may be a matter of opinion.

    Are there situations where say the MFT or some other data structure gets so corrupted that GoBack can't do its thing? In this case an image restore to a previous good version would get you going again albeit maybe with some loss of new data.

    GoBack can also use up a fair bit of your disk depending on how many restore points you want to keep. This also makes doing an image with TI take longer. GoBack is another thing that is running on your system in the background which means it is another source of potential conflicts. I don't mean that in a nasty way about Symantec stuff it is just a fact of life - if its there it can cause a problem.

    You obviously are happy with GoBack and I can see where it would be quicker to use that route when trying out new software etc. I would ensure I had some fairly recent disaster recovery images though.

    My personal opinion is that if I had to choose between one or the other I would take the imaging program (regardless of vendor).
     
  3. Alwill

    Alwill Registered Member

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    The important distinction between True Image and GoBack is that the former is a backup program in every sense of the term whereas the latter is what I refer to as a 'backstop' utility.

    True Image takes a snapshot of the hard drive at a certain point in time which, when used as I do, is then imaged to a second hard drive (internal or external) and/or to removable media such as CD/DVD. In the event of the master hard drive crashing, the image can then be restored from either the second drive or the removable media.

    GoBack on the other hand does not take snapshots but instead records every keystroke and action that occurs thereby enabling it to revert the drive to any specific point in time one selects within the memory capacity of the GoBack history log file. However, as this log is located in the root directory of the hard drive on which GoBack is installed, if the drive crashes then so does GoBack and with it any prospect of recovery. Another drawback with this program is that if there is "massive file activity" such as sometimes happens when there is intense disk activity, GoBack's history log can be totally erased leaving no point to revert to until it builds up the log again.

    For my part I have used GoBack since long before Symantec got its hands on it and I swear by it for those quick fixes/recoveries (and deleted files retrieval) when software problems arise as the result of my 'goofing up', when I wish to remove programs I have installed on trial but reject, to get rid of suspect malware, etc. It’s restore feature is a lot simpler and quicker than that of True Image and I would use it much more often than I do TI; however, it is restricted by the length of time it is able to revert to.

    True Image I use to do full images to a second hard drive on a weekly basis and to DVDs every month. This is another program I would not be without and in terms of priority I have to place it ahead of GoBack.

    In my opinion True Image and GoBack constitute a premium data/system recovery utility partnership that inspires confidence and peace of mind.
     
  4. jeremywms

    jeremywms Registered Member

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    Alwill,

    Thank you for your kind explanation that I am very appreciative of and will take to heart due to the fact that you use both programs. As you hinted at and seekforever said, GoBack does seem to me more of a "super-charged XP System Restore."

    There is one interesting thing of note, however. I am not sure it was a true "hard disk crash," but I after installing a software program and revising my windows registry, I was unable to boot into windows after restarting my system. I had previously made an Acronis TI image and was not going to be extremely happy if I had to wade through all of the DVD disks to restore (which I have done before and know works fine). So, instead of pressing "F11" to restore using TI, I pressed the space bar at the appropriate time to restore using GoBack. It worked much faster and was also able to restore the hard disk just fine.

    I guess my question is, in this case was my hard drive completely crashed as you said if this happens, GoBack is not able to restore? I am with you, though. I put much more faith in TI as I have everything backed up on DVDs. My only wish is that if I were to have a complete system failure (as I did on my business computer a year ago) I could transfer the image to a new system without having to worry about all of the hardware and device difficulties. I guess I have to hope that the only thing that will ever go will be my hard drive. There doesn't seem to be any "perfect" answer.
     
  5. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    Another point worth mentioning is that Go Back turns your hard disks into dynamic disks and Acronis does not work with dynamic disks. I installed Go Back as part of Norton SystemWorks 2006 but Go Back would not allow me to boot in Windows because it found a problem with one of my disks. My computer was in a loop as Go Back forced a reboot each time it encountered the problem with the hard disk.

    Upon attempting to use an Acronis boot CD to get out of the loop by restoring an image I discovered that Acronis could see none of my disks because they were now dynamic. Uninstalling Go Back fixed this except that one disk (the one Go Back had the problem with) remained dynamic and I had to use other ways of making it basic again.

    It was an unpleasant experience and I will never use Go Back again!
     
  6. Alwill

    Alwill Registered Member

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    jeremywms

    The “drive crashes” I was referring to are those attributable to the hard disk expiring or being knocked out by other major hardware catastrophes. GoBack sits between the hard disk and the operating system so if your “crash” had been disk related, you would not have been able to access the GoBack Boot Screen.

    Further GoBack is only effective in undoing software failures and restoring crashed systems. I would guess, therefore, that the problem you experienced was caused by the software you installed or your tweaking of the registry or both.

    Although I have XP (Pro) I have never used its System Restore feature because of having GoBack. However from what I have read, SR is only a shadow of GB with GoBack not only being able to revert your entire hard drive (system/applications/data) back to a time in the past but also being able to recover individual files. Other advantages which GB has over SR include the ability to function even should Windows fail to boot.


    mareke

    I don’t know what may have caused your problem but in the years I have had both GoBack and True Image I have never experienced any problems in creating and restoring TI images nor have I heard of other users of both encountering difficulties. The only thing that has to be remembered is that when restoring a TI image, GB must be disabled (no need to uninstall).
     
  7. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

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    Interesting. I presume disabling Go Back changes the dynamic disks back to basic. The problem is that you never know when a serious problem might occur requiring an Acronis image to be restored and this was not possible with Go Back enabled (I tried disabling Go Back by the way and the problem with the hard disk stopped this).

    I assume it was Go Back that made the disks dynamic as I’ve successfully used previous versions of SystemWorks (without choosing to install Go Back) and the disks were not changed to dynamic. When you disable Go Back it presumably removes the data for going back to an earlier time and Go Back must work in such a way as to make the disks dynamic. The only way disabling Go Back could allow you to use Acronis (if I’m right that it was Go Back that changed the disks to dynamic) is if disabling Go Back changes the disks back to basic.

    I do know is that once I installed Norton SystemWorks Premier 2006 all my disks became dynamic and the Acronis Boot CD would not show the hard disks. Nor would the Bart PE CD or the Reatogo CD and this was disastrous as I rely on Acronis to get me out of trouble and have multiple images on different hard disks to choose from all of which became inaccessible after installing Norton SystemWorks Premier 2006. Since I’ve used earlier versions of SystemWorks without a problem but not chosen Go Back I presume Go Back was responsible for the disks becoming dynamic and I think SystemWorks is a generally a good program.

    Disabling Go Back to use Acronis might be OK if you can do this in the early stages of boot up and this causes the disks to change back to basic disks so you can then use the Acronis boot CD but I would not like to rely on this being possible in every emergency requiring an Acronis image restore!

    I will not use a program that changes your hard disks to dynamic (and doesn't tell you this beforehand by the way) but I may try installing SystemWorks again without choosing Go Back as I'd be very surprised if it wasn't Go Back that was the culprit that makes the disks dynamic. Anyone else that relies on Acronis to get them out of trouble would also be wise to not install a program that converts your disks to dynamic even if disabling the program changes them back to basic disks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2006
  8. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

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    Thread moved to a more appropriate Forum given it's subject matter in the comparison of like products.
     
  9. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Just an interesting side note to everyone, System Restore was actually developed for Microsoft by the original GoBack folks (not Norton), of course it was a very stripped down version of GoBack. GoBack falls into the catagory of the instant recovery programs, unable to save you from total hard drive failure, but able to save you from just about everything else, and able to do it faster that the true imaging programs; that's why they're called instant recovery programs. Also the instant recovery programs are usually easier to use and more reliable, I said USUALLY.

    Acadia
     
  10. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Usually easier to use - definitely ...more reliable - I sure don't see how. o_O
    Furthermore, most, but not all, of the 'instant recovery' programs will result in an overall system performance-hit (especially with GoBack)!
     
  11. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    I hear of too many failures using Ghost and Acronis yet hardly ever hear of failures using FirstDefense or Goback.

    Acadia

    EDIT: ONLY Goback has a performance hit, none of the others.
     
  12. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I will start with an Image Backup on my new computer, until I need more.
    You always need a backup software, even without internet connection.
    So that investment is necessary and justified.
    I don't like backups on CD/DVD, that's why I bought a second harddisk and much later an external harddisk, which is even safer.
    It sounds unlogical to me to backup a media (harddisk) on a total different media (CD or DVD).
    My preference for Image Backup goes to BootItNG for the moment.

    The rest can wait until I really need it.
     
  13. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Good choice!

    Acadia
     
  14. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Not to start an arguement, but you can read negative comments about any product (especially on their forum where the focus is problem-resolution).

    Secondly, there are other system restore (or as you refer to them, 'instant recovery') programs besides GoBack that adversely impact sytem performance. Adding to this, there is another disadvantage to these programs in that they use up a considerable amount of hard drive space. Go Back will automatically take 10% of your C-drive's total space.

    Finally, I wouldn't rely solely on any system restore program for disaster recovery. These programs are simply not a substitute for thorough and reliable backups!

    Cheers ~pv
     
  15. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    No argument there, but don't the imaging programs do the same, they just do it on another hard drive?

    Acadia
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    The reasons why I hesitate to buy FDISR, Goback, whatever ...

    1. I'm not sure I need it. Image Backup is in theory ENOUGH, maybe less practical and slower, but those aren't good reasons for me.
    2. I'm going to use ShadowUser as well and that recovers my system too after reboot.
    3. If ShadowUser fails (compromised for instance, bugs, flaws, ...), I still have my Image Backup to restore my system.

    I need a very good reason to buy softwares like FDISR or Goback and I don't see any, maybe you guys do.
     
  17. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    ShadowUser sounds interesting, let us know how you like it. :)

    Acadia
     
  18. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I will tell you about it, when I really use it. :)
    I noticed that not everybody likes to talk about ShadowUser in a hypothetical way. I don't care about that, but expressing and defending myself in a foreign language isn't easy and I'm more stupid in English, because I'm so occupied by translations and spelling, that I often lose my concentration on the subject, especially when I want to answer too quickly.
    Most of my posts are prepared in notepad.
    It goes better every month, but it's still slow compared with Dutch.
    Each time I re-read my post, I think by myself "That's not me, that's not how I would say it in Dutch."
    Sometimes I really get angry, because I'm a pretty good writer in Dutch.
    So I try to avoid long discussions, especially when they become useless for me :D
     
  19. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Well, you speak English one heck of a lot better than I can speak Dutch! ;)

    Acadia
     
  20. Heco

    Heco Registered Member

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    Living in Belgium, can you install FDISR? Maybe you are running an english version of windows, right?
    I wonder when FDISR will be available for other languages, outside the US. With the success of Perfect Disk here in France, Raxco could try to release several versions for european users.:cool:
     
  21. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I use nothing but English softwares. English is the ONLY language for computers.
    I always have to laugh with a Dutch version of a software. I'm so used to the English computer vocabulary, that I have trouble to understand the Dutch translations.
    But English software isn't the same as chatting or writing posts in English, that's my real language problem.
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Interesting. I don't know what it is with me and the "shadow". I've tried both Shadow User and Surfer, and I don't think the shadow likes me.

    Shadow user seemed okay, no conflict with FDISR, but I found it somewhat confusing in terms of staying in persistance mode or not, committing changes or not. Managed to make a few wrong terms and it did end up messing my desk top up. Nothing critical. I don't see it offered anything over FDISR at all.

    Shadow Surfer on the other hand was fairly trouble free.

    The catch(in my opinion) is the company itself. I called techsupport and left a message for them to call. They never did. They are offering Shadow Surfer free right now on their website, so I went thru the screwy purchase process you need to go thru. I should have received a key by email. No key.

    @Erik

    Without rehashing your experiement, since English isn't a problem, I would strongly advise trying it with FDISR, instend of ShadowUser.

    Pete
     
  23. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Peter, a free ShadowSurfer with FirstDefense sounds interesting, but is SS even needed if you own the latest version of FD that now includes a feature that basically does the same thing: reverts your c:drive every time that you reboot?

    Acadia
     
  24. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Academic. I did an uninstall as I didn't want to use FDISR. It was such a mess getting rid of it, it isn't going back on. I haven't tried freezing. Going to have to do that.
     
  25. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    LOL, Peter, it sounds like you're trying to get rid of FD, and I KNOW that isn't true!

    Acadia
     
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