Two excellent programs

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by bluekey23, Aug 12, 2004.

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  1. bluekey23

    bluekey23 Registered Member

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    Hello,
    I have been using two programs the last several months which have kept my machine running smoothly and bailed me out when I had windows programs. The first is First Defense ISR(raxco.com). This is easy to install and set up and will create an identical snapshot of your system on the hdd. So, if you have corrupted system files, or your system is suffering from some application you installed which has created havoc, or some other problems, you can shut down and choose to boot into your backup snapshot from the preboot screen and you're back up and running in no time. Now, what about support if you run into a problem? Have you ever tried to contact Symantec? Or perhaps "support" associated with some other application you bought and ended up with those wonderful messages from an auto-responder or mail robot? We all have had those experiences, even after paying good money for the apps we bought in good faith. I have only had one problem with First Defense and the support was really exceptional. Just as good as from Diamondcs. I was contacted promptly and ended up talking to real people on the phone(who paid for the call). I was also contacted by the primary developer who solved my problem. Truly a class act similar to DiamondCs.
    The other program I'd highly recommend is PerfectDisk. The only Microsoft certified defragger, it's a step above all other defragging apps available today(I've tried several including Diskkeeper) and keeps your system running smoothly by its Smart placement of files feature so that you rarely have to do a full defrag.
    Both of these programs have been tested and highly rated by various trade magazines(PC World, PC Mag, etc) . Well worth having,
    Hope someone fiinds these as valuable as I have.
     
  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    I've been using PerfectDisk for three years. Top notch program and support.

    I'll check out First Defense.

    What was the problem with First Defense?
     
  3. bluekey23

    bluekey23 Registered Member

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    Ronjor,
    About the problem I ran into -I tried to remove a snapshot and ended up with an error message. Turned out to be a bug with a simple work-around. I got my fix from the original coder himself via email. Took about 30 seconds and involved no commands. Evidently this has only come up once before. Otherwise this progam has worked great for me. They are working on a new build with some new features, one of which will be backing up to removable media.
     
  4. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations.

    I just perused the PerfectDisk pages and it seems just slightly strange that the download is more expensive than the CD.
     
  5. BigBopper

    BigBopper Guest

  6. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  7. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Thanks Bluekey23. Have you had an opportunity to use a backup yet?
     
  8. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    BlueKey, I have been using FD-ISR for about a month now ... I LOVE THIS PROGRAM. I used GoBack on my old system for five years and I LOVED that program also, but FD is, in my opinion, even better because of it's incredible flexibility. Only drawback, it uses even more disk space than GoBack did, but just like GoBack, it needs all that space to do those incredible things. GoBack was my favorite program for five years, now its FD-ISR ... oh yeah, and you're correct about the tech support, unbelieveable. :cool:

    Acadia
     
  9. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Bluekey23,

    Did the programmer merely give you a workaround or actually fix the problem?

    When are the rolling backup images actually created?
    Before windows loads or in the background after windows loads?
    How long does it take to create an image using high compression?
    Does it make compressed images?
     
  10. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Have used PerfectDisc for over a year now and it is a top notch product.

    As regards First Defense; does it continually access the disc like Goback, so there is continual file activity? I found that this was a drag on older systems. And as Devinco asked does it boot in before Windows loads?
     
  11. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Ok, VERY briefly. FD does not run constantly like GoBack did. It takes “Snapshots” of your system whenever you tell it to. In this respect it is like MS System Restore, but whereas System Restore only takes a few folders and the registry, FD snapshots your ENTIRE system, minus the paging and temp files. There is no compression so you can see how FD will only be for those of you with lots of empty space on your pc. If your c:drive is 4gig and you snapshot it, your hard drive is now 8gig full, 4 for the original and 4 for the snapshot.

    Unlike System Restore, these Snapshots stay on your system as long as you want. Also you can update them, for example, if I make a new snapshot of my pc yesterday and this morning I install a new software program, I can simple update yesterdays snapshot instead of recopying my entire c:drive all over again. After updating, your c:drive and FD Snapshot are IDENTICAL, minus the paging and temp files.

    Like GoBack, there is a pre-boot screen incase you have muffed your system up so badly that you cannot even boot into windows, in fact, I’ve had to use it when a MS Critical Update prevented my system from booting … worked perfectly, I went back to a snapshot prior to the MS Upgrade … I had my old system back.

    Very big advantage over Goback, are you Goback users sitting down, if you ever have to disable FD, and I don’t know when you would except perhaps to partition your hard drive, but if you ever disable it … YOU DO NOT LOSE ANY OF THE HISTORY … you can re-enable it and still “goback” to a prior snapshot.

    I am not knocking Goback, I still love that program, it saved me from too much sweat and tears over five years and I could “goback” (sorry about that) to using it in a second, but on my new system with lots of space FD simply allows for too much flexibility.

    Hope I've helped a little bit, the Raxco site has some PDF files you can download for studying, take care,
    Acadia
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2004
  12. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Thanks for the info Acadia. Do you disable system restore?
     
  13. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Oh yeah, forgot something, FD allows you to have up to 10 snapshots, each can be kept forever and updated as often as you like. Each snapshot can also be a completely different configuration of your c:drive with different software, etc., just like having WinXP loaded on 10 different partitions. You can boot into any snapshot at any time and simply start using it; that snapshot LITERALLY becomes your c:drive, it's like having 10 different computers.

    Yes, it is recommend you disable System Restore for two reasons, to conserve disk space, and because you simply do not need it anymore.

    Acadia
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2004
  14. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info Acadia.
    It looks very promising.
    I like that you can just update the image to be current, that should be much faster than a new snapshot.
    Then from this I gather that you create the snapshot from within windows and not the preboot screen (or both?)?
    If it is from within Windows, can you continue working during the snapshot?

    I hope in the next version they add compression and support for bootable recovery CDRW and DVD images (with spanning) like Ghost 2003.
    Then it could replace Goback and Ghost!!
     
  15. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Forget to add one thing, FirstDefense-ISR only works with the NTFS filing system.

    You create the new snapshots, or update the old one while you are in Windows, using one of the snapshots (one of your "c:drives").

    But you can reboot into another snapshot either while in windows, or by using the pre-boot screen, much like you could when using GoBack.

    Yes, it would be great if you could store snapshots on another hard drive, right now that is the only weakness: if your hard drive "breaks", you lose everything. That was also Goback weakness, the history bin had to be stored on the c:drive.

    It took me 9 minutes to snapshot 3gig of data. It only takes about 40 seconds to update it.

    Acadia
     
  16. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    So there is no system slowdown?

    May give this a go.Thanks for your observations, Acadia ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2004
  17. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    That is correct, however you have to take time out to either create a new shapshop or update a previous one, but there is no constant monitoring; it does its job when YOU tell it to.

    I want to emphasize one thing so there is no misunderstanding, this unbelievable program will only work on NTFS systems, so you Win98 users are out of luck (but you can still use the excellent Goback).
    Acadia
     
  18. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Tried to install on a WIN XP Pro system. Program has been installed in C:programs but during setup, window comes up stating ' This version of FD only supports English, then update wizard fails!!!!

    Any ideas?
     
  19. bluekey23

    bluekey23 Registered Member

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    Hello,
    Sorry I wasn't able to check back here earlier. Seems like Acadia and Ronjor have answered the questions from others about these programs(thanks). As to whether I've created and booted into my backup snapshot, the answer is yes, and many times. If you start up your machine, you will first see the ISR pre-boot screen. It will show all of your snapshots, with the most recently used highlighted. You then can use the up/down arrow to choose another snapshot if you desire and then boot into that snapshot. Also, as someone pointed out, it's pointless to use system restore if you have this program installed. System restore has never been that effective anyway.
    A couple more things to point out. First of all, there is an option in FD-ISR where you can check for upgrades. So far this year, they have had one upgrade. The upgrades are free for licensed users(also free for PerfectDisk). Not sure if there is a time limit or not. Maybe a year of free upgrades, I don't know. Also, I just got an email from the owner of the co. who develops FD-ISR(leapfrog software) and he told me there will be a major upgrade of FD-ISR in next few months(available at raxco.com). Hope that answers any lingering questions.
     
  20. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    BlackCat, this from the Raxco website:

    "...FirstDefense-ISR is not localized and will fail on
    non-English language systems, FD-ISR now tests for English on installation."

    Also, don't hesitate to contact Raxco tech support.

    Good luck,
    Acadia
     
  21. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    I use V-Comm's Copy Commander to copy the entire drive to another drive which is then bootable. Works great and saved me when I had a primary drive hardware failure. It came bundled with Partition Commander and System Commander for $50USD (in the U.S.). That's a grrreat deal!!!
    Jim
     
  22. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    I am in the UK. So I do not know why I am getting this message?

    I will contact support, thanks.
     
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