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Author Topic: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop  (Read 13337 times)

Darwin

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StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« on: March 15, 2008, 09:05:31 AM »
Dormouse asked a quesiton about Almeza MultiSet in this post. This coincided with me reading about StorageCraft's Shadow Protect this morning, and got me thinking. At $80 ShadowProtectDesktop is more expensive than Almeza on Bits du Jour BUT given its ability to perform a

Quote
Hardware-Independent Restore, which means you can take a backed-up image of a Windows system that uses one kind of hard disk controller and restore it to a new computer that uses a completely different hard disk controller

this is worth a serious look! I have Acronis TrueImage Echo Workstation with Universal Restore (I've never tried this feature), but from what I can gather it really doesn't work that well. Click on the link below for one reviewer's experience using StorageCraft (and the nightmare that resulted from trying out Roxio's BackOnTrack 3 on the same machine) and for the source of the quote, above.

Edward Mendelson on AppScout

AppScout on ShadowProtect.pngStorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop

I'd like to hear from anyone who's actually given StorageCraft a go... in particular, anyone who has experience using both it and the Acronis (or Almeza) offering. How does it compare?

Enquiring minds want to know. I want to know!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 10:23:13 AM by Darwin »

Darwin

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 09:32:12 AM »
>:( Can't seem to post anything that requires going into the preview window... I've been trying for 25 minutes to edit the above post by adding a screeshot of the Edward Mendelson article and it just times out... repeatedly. I finally shut down my browser and restarted it but no joy. I gave up on that and tried to make a new post here, but it timed out too!

Question: will this make it...   :tellme: - Yes!

Update: a reboot solved all of my troubles  :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 10:24:06 AM by Darwin »

blarson

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2008, 11:34:35 AM »
I have used Acronis TrueImage since V6 and stopped when they went to V11. The deal-breaker was the necessity of using PE Builder to make the recovery disk. Recovery is the whole point and Acronis is able to save money by not paying Microsoft licensing fees. I still use TI10 on older machines, but ShadowProtect on new computers. On a new installation, I make a baseline backup by booting from the recovery disk and then backing up.

StorageCraft uses WinPE from Microsoft which is why you have to request a trial recovery disk - Microsoft charges for each download. The program is bullet-proof and costs the same as a 320GB drive. They provided the technology to PowerQuest for DriveImage7, which became Norton Ghost. I haven't had to test the Hardware Independent Restore (HIR) but I have done simple restores.

Darwin

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008, 12:48:43 PM »
Thanks for the comment, blarson  :Thmbsup: I wish there were some words of comfort on net for those of us running ATI Echo with Universal Restore... I've never had a problem with backup and restore to the same hardware, but bought UR anticipating moving installations between machines. Sadly, I've yet to have any reason to do this (ie no new hardware in YEARS)  :(
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

blarson

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 01:04:31 PM »
The old StorageCraft forum had some in-depth information on the subject:
http://forums.storag...Post.aspx?PostID=352
http://forums.storag...ost.aspx?PostID=1827

tinjaw

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 07:05:34 PM »
Quote from: StorageCraft
Restore or migrate backup images to and from physical systems and virtual
environments (P2V, V2P and V2V).

I have read that Vista uses a new HAL that allows you to backup on one architecture and restore on another. And virtual machines is easy, since it is always going to be the same architecture.

Since Win2K and WinXP still have the separate HAL I wonder if that works only for Vista.

Either way, ShadowProtect has been on my wish list for over a year.

Darwin

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 08:14:12 PM »
I installed a demo of ShadowProtect and gave it a whirl. Two things happened...

First, backing up the 20GB of my root partition started and settled down to about a 45 minute backup, which is on par with Acronis doing a "new" backup of the same partition.

Second, it dawned on me (cue music from 2001: A Space Odyssey) that ALL of my machines run OEM installs of WinXP (and they're from two different vendors) and I can't transfer images between them anyway... I stopped the backup, killed ShadowPrtotect and uninstalled it.

I liked the interface, which is very similar to Acronis TrueImage, and certainly didn't give it enough of a workout to venture an opinion as to whether or not it's an improvement on Acronis, but Acronis works just fine as it is for me and I don't need the Hardware-Independent Restore so...

Right then. Darwin dashes off to uninstall Acronis Universal Restore - bloodied, humbled but not defeated!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

howardb

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop - freeware alternatives?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 06:39:47 PM »
There have been freeware disk imagine software around for quite a while (e.g., DriveImage XML).  Recently Eusing introduced a new one, Todo Backup. They usually include an option to directly clone one disk to another.

Are there any reasonable ways to use these programs to transport a win xp OS plus applications from one PC to another (assume I have 2 valid windows licenses) ?

Dutchy

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 01:12:03 PM »

After having had too many problems with Acronis' (Linux based) Recovery CDs not always recognizing my SATA drives, I have made the switch to a ShadowProtect-like program: Macrium Reflect.  AFAIK it doesn't have a "Universal Restore" kind of function, but as tinjaw already mentioned, you don't need that function anymore with Vista (and Win7).
The program is just as fast as ShadowProtect, but it's price is a lot friendlier (€ 29,99) and it does include a (one time only) downloadable WinPE based recovery CD (iso) in addition to it's standard supplied Linux based recovery CD (iso).

There is even a free version for personal use without the WinPE based iso and missing a few features.

Info:
http://www.macrium.com/default.asp

Free version Info (differences at the bottom of the page):
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Ron

longrun

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop - freeware alternatives?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 07:19:24 AM »
Recently Eusing introduced a new one, Todo Backup.

I believe you mean Easeus.

msj

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 05:29:23 PM »
I have owned, used or tried almost every imaging or backup solution that is on the market. I can tell you that StorageCraft Shadow Protect Desktop is without a doubt in my mind the best available solution out there and I do not say this lightly.

One of the great features of SPD is that you can take an SPD image and mount it into Windows Explorer from a USB drive for example, read or read/write to it, so you have immediate access to the data without restoring the image. You can import the image into VMware Workstation VM or a MS Virtual PC VM.

Yes it is not the cheapest out there for a good reason, it actually works. It does have some NUANCES and understanding how to do Hardware Independent Restores (HIR) is one of them along with the machine specific activation of the licensing. Client application licensing is per machine and the license must be registered and de-registered from a machine as required. However none of that affects backups or restores when running SPD from the recovery ISO.

SPD uses it's own VSS provider and therefore does not work along side other backup/imaging utilities that do the same or those that use file system level virtualization or other disk level utilities.

This tool is worth every penny and has not only saved my axx a number of times but allowed me to backup and restore/move my OS image between Tablet PC's and other dissimilar hardware (e.g notebooks/laptops). One thing to be aware of is that HIR may be challenged when moving an OS image between systems with significantly different processor families (e.g. dual to quad core etc). Although in my experience the install media I had may not have had the appropriate HAL required for OS for the quad core processors in the target notebook/laptop and I did not have enough time to do extensive resolution around that specific test.

SPD comes with a WINPE recovery environment and ISO can be burned and run from CD/DVD. In the 3.3 version I was able to burn and run the recovery environment from a USB key too (easier and faster I think). The latest 3.5.2 version is designed for CD/DVD only as far as I know. Once in the recovery environment you can create, format, delete,  partitions and restore images to partitions amongst other things. To be successful doing a HIR I always restore the image then run the HIR and point to a source (on an external USB drive) that houses the hardware drivers or OS install folder (e.g. \i386 folder for Windows OS). Image backup/creation and restoration are relatively quick from my experience with 250GB laptop drives (unused space can be eliminated from the image). I always manually defragment the OS and disable defrag before beginning my image to optimize my files ystem and avoid any defrag process messing up the actual disk image creation process. 

Whilst SPD is NOT an instant state revert or instant recovery mechanism like some of the virtual file system level tools available, it is a robust image backup, restoration and OS image migration tool with HIR capabilities unlike anything else I have seen out there. Some of those file system software based solutions are great for instant state recovery but can hose you completely if they corrupt their file system (e.g. due to lack of disk space), the OS file system and then are unable revert to their stored snapshots. I know because it has happened to me before I found SPD.

From my personal experience I have observed that StorageCraft (Utah based) have very professional folks who are knowledgeable about and support the SPD product line for both business and retail customers.

FYI I have NO affiliation with this company, I am simply attesting to the product and it's image creation and restoration capabilities. Are there things I think can be improved in the product yes but you will be hard pressed to find a more robust solution for ensuring disaster recovery for any PC, OS and data.

MerleOne

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Re: StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2010, 11:27:01 AM »
I also have tried SP, Acronis, IFW, Macrium, Paragon, Drive Snapshot, etc...  I didn't find SP that great, especially in the file naming convention area.  I even had some glitches where differential backups were turned into full ones, for no obvious reason.  The speed of diff/incr backup is not improved since the full backup is compared to the current disk during the process while Macrium and Drive Snapshot use CRC to speed up the process.

SP has some advanced features such as mounting archives in R/W mode and aggregating a full one and incremental in a single one, but I don't use these features that much.  My current choice is Macrium, which also comes with an excellent WinPE recovery CD.
.merle1.