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Author Topic: Easiest replacement for windows system restore?  (Read 9979 times)
F.A.
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« on: March 13, 2008, 02:29:01 PM »

Only reason i want to replace it because generally it does not function when i need it most, very unreliable for me.
I don't have a burner to make backup cd's. What choises do i have?

Thanks Jacks
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armatostr
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 03:57:05 PM »

I use ERUNT
http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/
I'm very happy with it, has saved me enough times to earn a permanent place in my pc. By default it makes a backup the first time you turn on the computer during the day and you can choose were you want to save them.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 04:14:23 PM »

generally it does not function when i need it most, very unreliable for me.
I don't have a burner to make backup cd's. What choises do i have?

Same situation here.  I'm one of the many for whom system restore is just unreliable.

I recently bought RollBack Rx from here: http://www.horizondatasys.com/169614.ihtml

RollBack Rx Does the job for me.  In one of those serendipitous moments, the day after installing RollBack
I did something really stupid so I had a hands-on test of it.  Repairing the damage from my mistake was
as simple as telling RollBack to, well..., roll back.  Saved me hours of frustration and paid for itself right there.

You need to know that RollBack only handles the root drive.  (It's supposed to be okay on multi-boot systems,
too but I have no first-hand experience of that.)  So, if you have more than one physical drive in your machine
it'll only handle the one from which you boot (though it will cover different partitions on that same drive). 
This works well for me as I have separate backups of other drives which are easy enough to restore and I
really want something to rollback items such as registry changes and unfortunate driver installations.  That being
so, covering changes that occur on C: (in my case) does the job nicely.

The company has other products that might suit you better, FirstDefense-ISR Workstation (discussed at length
here) and FirstDefense-ISR Rescue edition.

 

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Chris
J-Mac
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 02:24:42 AM »

The best and most reliable I've found is Acronis True Image.  For a similar application that is free, you could try DriveImage XML, but that is much slower and less versatile than Acronis. Besides, Acronis can be had pretty inexpensively.  Shop around and make sure to check both Newegg.com and Amazon.com.

Jim
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cmpm
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 04:19:02 AM »

Ive found the most efficient way is to have all your downloads and docs in my documents and sync it to a slave drive.
I don't load any programs in the slave except the ones that don't install and just unzip and you have the program.

I mean how can you tell if whatever is mess up is in the image or system restore? hiding in therte like the rest of troubles.

If I can't fix it easily through the easier ways, I have to revert to reformat and reinstall my programs. Takes longer, but I feel safer about it.

Geekstogo.com has some tools in their arsenal that are given for the specific situation that the advanced helpers use to fix problems, that I've never seen anywhere else.
Just a tip. Thry could be other places but I've never found them, though I haven't done a through search for them either.

In comparison to the other help forums, which do provide help, Ive found thast geekstogo solves more problems and cut through the waste of time stuff thst is out there.

Currently I use ccleaner, gladys utilities, regcleaner, atf-cleaner clean-up, malwarebytes, a-squared, avg-anti spyware, avg anti virus, superantispyware and runscanner when I run occasional maintenance.

For specific problems with a program, usually uninstalling or repairing the program fixes it,
Other then that I use geekstogo, which I haven't used for years.
Though I get many tips and leads to programs from it.
It's a very large forum with lots of helpers.
And they seem to have tools that that I have'nt seen anywhere else.
Though some require guidance from their staff to do it right.


Which reminds me, I got turned on to DC from GTG a long time ago.
One of the staff had Screenshot Capture in his signature.

Overall, I suppose clean-up by steven gould is very effective.
Though it's not recommended by GTG.
It used to be till it started causing problems with some users.
And they maintain a very safe method of operation for the general user.

So that's my take on the subject.
Except I agree that system restore is unreliable.
Though there are fixes to restore dates.
There is no guarantee that the problem is not in the ST files.
Though I keep it running just in case it works. smiley
I have found traces and trojans in the system restore files, so that's why I don't specifically rely on it.

Surfing the net in search of different things, one runs across some malicious stuff.
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cmpm
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 04:25:44 AM »

and their are many fixes out there in computer wonderland that cause more problems then they fix.
Crazy computer stuff.......
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dlazarus
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2008, 08:51:12 AM »

generally it does not function when i need it most, very unreliable for me.
I don't have a burner to make backup cd's. What choises do i have?

Same situation here.  I'm one of the many for whom system restore is just unreliable.

I recently bought RollBack Rx from here: http://www.horizondatasys.com/169614.ihtml

RollBack Rx Does the job for me.  In one of those serendipitous moments, the day after installing RollBack
I did something really stupid so I had a hands-on test of it.  Repairing the damage from my mistake was
as simple as telling RollBack to, well..., roll back.  Saved me hours of frustration and paid for itself right there.

You need to know that RollBack only handles the root drive.  (It's supposed to be okay on multi-boot systems,
too but I have no first-hand experience of that.)  So, if you have more than one physical drive in your machine
it'll only handle the one from which you boot (though it will cover different partitions on that same drive). 
This works well for me as I have separate backups of other drives which are easy enough to restore and I
really want something to rollback items such as registry changes and unfortunate driver installations.  That being
so, covering changes that occur on C: (in my case) does the job nicely.

The company has other products that might suit you better, FirstDefense-ISR Workstation (discussed at length
here) and FirstDefense-ISR Rescue edition.

 


\\

Beware of Rollback. TWICE it completely trashed my system.ShadowUser is MUCH better. Never had a problem with it.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2008, 03:52:19 PM »


Beware of Rollback. TWICE it completely trashed my system.ShadowUser is MUCH better. Never had a problem with it.

I don't know about ShadowUser as a System Restore replacement, but I might take a good long look at ShadowProtect Desktop 3.1PC Magazine recently gave it their Editor's Choice rating, knocking Acronis True Image Home 11 out of its previous spot.  The reviewer, Ed Mendelson, found some fairly serious bugs in Acronis that put him off, but he raved about ShadowProtect Desktop. Though it doesn't have the vast feature set that Acronis does, he feels that for just plain old drive imaging it does a much better job.

Worth a look.  If you create an image daily you will effectively have the same thing that a working System Restore gives you.

Jim

Edit:  I added a link to the ShadowProtect Desktop web page.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 03:54:09 PM by J-Mac » Logged

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masu
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 04:03:25 PM »

The best and most reliable I've found is Acronis True Image.  For a similar application that is free, you could try DriveImage XML, but that is much slower and less versatile than Acronis. Besides, Acronis can be had pretty inexpensively.  Shop around and make sure to check both Newegg.com and Amazon.com.

Jim

Acronis would be also my suggestion  Thmbsup
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tymrwt33
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 06:03:03 PM »

Shadow Protect ought to be good, it is twice the price of Acronis, or three times if yuo use version upgrades.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 06:17:39 PM »

Shadow Protect ought to be good, it is twice the price of Acronis, or three times if yuo use version upgrades.

Yeah, I'm just getting a little nervous about the comments made in the PC Magazine review where they stripped it of its "Editor's Choice" status. Sounds like if you try to restore your system after having installed new hardware (like a new disk drive, for example), it fails miserably and fouls up the works. I haven't tried that but it is certainly a way I would hope to use it.

I stopped by the Acronis forums at Wilders and it does appear that a lot of users aren't happy with it anymore - more so than the usual number of support complaints.

Jim
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Armando
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2008, 08:19:49 PM »

There are many posts/threads on Acronis true image on DC. I personally Use Acronis, but an older version, and never had a problem with  it. The consensus is usually that newer versions are always buggy and that it takes a little while before they're ironed out.

I don't have a burner to make backup cd's. What choises do i have?

Then, I hope you either have 1- a big hard drive or 2- an external one. Otherwise that doesn't leave you with many options.  RollBack Rx or FirstDefense-ISR Workstation like cranioscopical suggested, maybe? But you'll still be limited by the amount of available space on your hard drive.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 11:08:47 AM »

there's been a few recommendations for alternatives to Acronis True Image
if you do a search for Acronis you should find a good few threads and try the most recent ones (one looking for a discount i think)

People generally not so happy with newer versions
I bought version 11 and sorry I didnt get something else if only because of the size of it - it's a monster...

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Tom
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2008, 05:09:48 AM »

Ghost-still the best.
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F.A.
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2008, 05:07:54 AM »

Wow, i never expected this many responses. For some reasons i stopped getting notifications for posts done here. I want to thank you all very much. This has turned out to be one hell of a thread!

So as i understand it everyone has it's personal favorites that work well for them. About acronis ive seen the infinite numbers of posts of unsatisfied customers on wilders so i dare not go near it for now. Besides i think ill need a burner for that. Tools such as fd-isr and rollback rx are much to expensive for me.

Im looking into syncback free right now. I might just install that at my next reinstall. If for some reason or an other i won't turn out positive i might get into shadowing software. I just hope SBF will be easy enough to handle and reliable in the end.

About my HDD, it's never filled that much. I was just looking for something that can take me back to a "just reinstalled" state without having to get all the windows updates and doing registration again.

Again thank you lads for the insight.
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Armando
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2008, 08:32:14 PM »

About acronis ive seen the infinite numbers of posts of unsatisfied customers on wilders so i dare not go near it for now. Besides i think ill need a burner for that. Tools such as fd-isr and rollback rx are much to expensive for me.

If you're affraid of acronis, there are other great imaging software, like the VERY reliable Image for Windows (39$) or BootIt NG (same company). Some members here (like Zaine) used to swear by it.

Im looking into syncback free right now. I might just install that at my next reinstall. If for some reason or an other i won't turn out positive i might get into shadowing software. I just hope SBF will be easy enough to handle and reliable in the end.

For full system backup (and eventually incremental), I wouldn't use something like syncback. It will be a lenghty process, and I'm pretty sure you'll run into problems trying to copy in used system files.

EDIT : but if you're using XP, I'd probably try to grab a cheap copy of Acronis True Image 9 (ebay). That's what I'm using and I NEVER encountered a single problem, and I've used it many many times. my 2c.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 08:38:19 PM by Armando » Logged

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2008, 08:47:46 PM »

Another vote for Acronis TrueImage BUT .... I have given up using their consumer level versions and now only use the business products (Acronis True Image Echo Workstation). They are stable and work brilliantly (much better than the experiences I have with PowerQuests V2i - which died with the Symanetc buy out, Norton Ghost which I never found easy to use in any of its incarnations and is now basically PowerQuests Drive Image which was bought by Symantec ... theme here).

OK Acronis business products are a bit pricier but their annual maintenance is cheap and you then get all versions as they are released. The speed of development of the business/enterprise range of poducts is much slower and properly tested unlike the permanent public beta system that seems to plague the home user range.

Having said that I do think that support forums is the wrong place to go to look for postive comment. By definition Wilders forums are pretty full of disgruntled users for one reason or another. They are good forums but remember most people only go there when they have problems to solve.
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Armando
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2008, 09:12:36 PM »

They are good forums but remember most people only go there when they have problems to solve.

So true!
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2008, 09:48:08 PM »

+1 for the business edition of Acronis TrueImage (TrueImage Echo Workstation). I've not had a single problem with it and the maintenance contract is cheaper than upgrading the consumer version every year. Anyway, it's been rock solid for the two years I've been using it... had no real complaints about the consumer version, either, but haven't used it (consumer version) since v.9.
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2008, 10:02:38 AM »

Paragon's back-up (& other apps) deserve mention IMHO. Work's great & doesn't have the compatibility prob I've experienced with Acronis. I think their only weak point is marketing -- I lot of folks have never heard of nor mentioned them.

When a disk image is overkill -- & there are quite a few times that's true -- a simple zip (or other compressed archive format) file of windows & Documents & Settings will do. If you've got a multi-boot PC it's easy, & if not, there are many bootable OS options using discs or memory sticks.

RE: Restore: In XP it creates a partial shadow copy, & is designed to preserve current work, assuming I guess that many (most?) users aren't competent enough to use a truly powerful "WayBack" machine. It's usually workable to do an Erunt backup, then set Restore Point, then do whatever it is like installing an app... Using that example, to go backwards uninstall the app,, restore Windows, then restore the Erunt backup.

In Vista Restore is much better, keeping a copy of the drive(s), though in a format few other OS understands -- simply firing up XP will destroy any Vista shadow copies the moment the hdd containing them is read. It is possible to manipulate shadow copies in limited fashions, but in my past experience documentation is scarce. Like Restore in XP however, it is designed to preserve current work -- it will not get rid of changes it thinks you might want to keep. Unfortunately the combo use of Erunt is not always a good thing -- I have had Erunt mess up in Vista, to the point where Vista wouldn't boot.

After using Restore in either version of Windows, immediately look for renamed files & folders -- XP has the edge here: will plainly tell you it tried to screw up your system, & it's detection of changes isn't as good as Vista's, so you can get away with putting things back before a restore. *IF* Restore renamed program folders, so you've got basically 2 versions on hdd, you might have some reg hacking to do, or in Vista, re-install or repair for those apps involved.

Myself: I use Paragon's backup software to keep a few disc images on a non-system hdd, I keep a zipped copy of the Windows & D&S folders (XP) (Users & Program Data in Vista), & I use Erunt & System Restore... Often I can yank a file out of the zipped archive, & then there's restore... If restore fails, there's Erunt, & if that fails there's backup. Disc space is cheap enough (1 terabyte for $200 recently) there's no problem keeping a few disc images handy, so if a problem was introduced a few months back, not a catastrophe.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2008, 11:03:03 AM »

For basic file backup (not imaging) Windows has a built in Backup utility which is pretty effective and allows incremental backup.
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