Whose Fault?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by bobdat, Aug 23, 2005.

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  1. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Here's something I have to remind myself about every time I have a system error or crash and blame it on Acronis:

    1) Windows XP has so many patches and fixes that it's a code nightmare by now.

    2) After I clean install XP Pro I have to install Service Pack 2 and then more than 25 Microsoft Windows Update patches just to arrive at a basic operating system.

    3) Then, I have to install all my Dell drivers and software updates.

    4) Then, I have to update Office with over 30MB of patches and fixes just to type a memo!

    5) Then, I have to update each and every printer, peripheral accessory and software program I use, not to mention the daily virus, firewall and antispyware updates that get downloaded automatically.

    Can you imagine what my registry looks like? And that's for a "clean" install. Imagine what it must look like after I run for a few weeks?

    Why is this reminder important to me? Because, every time I run a root-level program like TrueImage 8 and get a system error, I immediately blame Acronis. You know what I've learned? That most errors are exposed while running TI8 but they have nothing to do with TI8. They originate in the buggy XP code; the sloppily written drivers I loaded; the shoddy software code my programs installed and the corruption that occurs in the registry and elsewhere as a result of running an inherently unstable operating system.

    I just thought I'd share my own personal reminders with you to help illustrate the dimension of the software universe that's contained on our hard drives - and what an increasingly imperfect universe it is.
     
  2. "That most errors are exposed while running TI8 but they have nothing to do with TI8...."

    Do you have data to support this claim? What [O/S specific] errors are exposed only when running Acronis software??

    "They originate in the buggy XP code..."

    You experience O/S related problems on a regular basis that you know for a fact is due to "buggy XP code"? (I detect a MS rant)

    "... the sloppily written drivers I loaded; the shoddy software code my programs installed..."

    Why are you installing sloppy drivers and shoddy s/w? If your system is hosed to begin with, Acronis s/w is not going to make it worse (or better).

    It is patently unclear how any of these vague statements could be remotely relevant to the performance of Acronis software. Why would anyone except the computer neophyte rush to blame any "[O/S] system error or crash" on Acronis software??
     
  3. kocka

    kocka Guest

    Very unfortunate but true. The time I have to spend on just basic maintenance of my two computers is getting ridicules. I often wonder how long can we continue this trend before all of us become administrators of spoiled machines nobody can afford (timewise) to work on anymore.
     
  4. mcanyes

    mcanyes Registered Member

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    Ya know, I actually find XP to be quite stable. I upgraded my motherboard and processor about a month ago and it made quite a difference. The one thing that seems to cause problems is installing and uninstalling programs. Once I figured that out I keep a clean disk image of the C drive that I know is stable and just put it back with TI whenever I need it. Every so often I update the clean disk image to keep it resonably current. I am no Microsoft fan, but XP is not all that bad.

    Michael
     
  5. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Well, I usually try to ignore "guest" posters who pop into a discussion and use provocative "hit-and-run" posting tactics because they lack the courage or courtesy to identify themselves and conduct meaningful dialog. But, sometimes it's hard to ignore such a direct attack on one's credibility so I'll make an exception and respond here.

    As for my comments, "Why is this reminder important to me? Because, every time I run a root-level program like TrueImage 8 and get a system error, I immediately blame Acronis. You know what I've learned? That most errors are exposed while running TI8 but they have nothing to do with TI8. They originate in the buggy XP code; the sloppily written drivers I loaded; the shoddy software code my programs installed and the corruption that occurs in the registry and elsewhere as a result of running an inherently unstable operating system."

    There is no question, in my experience, that XP Pro is less stable on my computer (Dell Inspiron 6000, Pentium M 760, 2GHz) as I add more of Microsoft's updates and patches to it.

    Here's why I make that statement: If I restore my system to XP Pro and SP2 with no further updates, I can run my computer for several days with no system errors or crashes using Dell's initial release drivers specific to my computer and running Acronis TrueImage 8 build 826 (my current favorite for this machine).

    However, as soon as I download and install the 25 MS Windows Update patches and fixes from their website, I have continuous system errors and driver crashes within two or three restarts of my computer.

    This is a fact. I have repeated this test process more than a dozen times with the same results. I have also run the same tests using TI8 builds 903 and 937 with the exact same results.

    I have also restored my drive as above, to XP Pro and SP2 with no further updates and then installed all the updated Dell drivers for my computer as posted on their website. Two or three restarts later I get continuous system errors. This proves to me that some of the Dell drivers may introduce bugs into an otherwise stable operating system environment.

    I bought a brand new HP laser printer in June and have been required to patch the cd-installed driver software 5 times since then by downloading the HP-recommended udates for my model from their website. If I run the XP Pro with SP2 system with no other updates except the HP software, I get random system errors.

    Last and most important, I unfortunately have a 5 year subscription to McAfee Security Center. I receive automatic downloads almost daily. As soon as McAfee is installed on ANY configuration of software on my computer I get multiple system errors upon restart almost every time over and above all the other observations I made above. McAfee blames Microsoft. Microsoft blames McAfee. Dell blames both of them.

    How do I know McAfee causes problems? I completely uninstalled it and installed PC-cillin and had no further system errors whatsoever for dozens of restarts. What does that tell you?

    As I said, a challenge to my credibility compels me to respond to the hit-and-run poster and it's probably fortunate that the attacker provoked my more detailed and factual reply so others can more fully appreciate the extent of the testing I have conducted before arriving at my conclusions.

    I am not a scientific tester by any means and my results only apply to my situation but they convince me that TrueImage 8 is far less frequently to blame for my system errors than my unstable operating system, buggy drivers and software I am forced to load to run my computer and the trouble-prone antivirus software I have been stuck with because of a prepaid subscription I purchased before I knew what I was doing.

    To mcanyes, I'm happy XP Pro is an improvement for you. I have no prior reference, though. XP Pro is my first operating system after 20 years of Macintosh. It seems very unstable to me when compared to my Mac system, however.

    I hope this tends to clarify my position here. I'm not trying to denegrate Microsoft or anyone else. I'm simply trying to remind myself and share that with others that in my best attempts to isolate system errors after installing TI8, I find that most of the errors are NOT directly caused by TI8 as I said above.

    Thank you.
     
  6. mark7

    mark7 Registered Member

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    I've got a Dell Inspiron 7000 notebook w/400MHz PII and 256M RAM (66 MHZ FSB) purchased in 1999. I've found the best (fastest and most stable system) O/S installation from Win98SE -> WinME -> WinXP Pro was 1) turn on and make sure it works. 2) turn off and perform a pristine install of O/S.

    I only used "Original Dell drivers" or their updates from Dell as a LAST resort, if the resident XP drivers did not support my hardware.

    IIRC, the only "non-XP" drivers I'm using are Dell drivers for the onboard sound and ATI video driver (from ATI, *not* from Dell).

    Just this week, when looking to "upgrade" my PC66 memory (OK, you can all stop laughing now :D ), I tried booting WinXP Pro with only 128M RAM. It worked, and was quite stable, although it took about 5 minutes to boot.

    In summary, my experience with WinXP Pro has been very stable on my Dell Inspiron. Perhaps w/o McAfee and some of the Dell drivers that XP supports natively, you might get better performance/stability on your system.

    (edit) Oh, BTW, I'm using Zone Alarm Security Suite v6 for my firewall/anti-virus solution - it adds some to my boot time, but has been a stable
    performer for me.
     
  7. PaulB2005

    PaulB2005 Registered Member

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    Then perhaps you ought to look into those problems because thats not typical behaviour in my PC or the PC's my friends and familly own or the hundred or so PCs i support.
     
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