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Author Topic: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery  (Read 8128 times)

Carol Haynes

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Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« on: September 30, 2009, 04:31:04 PM »
Acronis in recent months replaced their corporate products of TrueImage with "Acronis Backup and Recovery 10". I am not personally convinced that it is a step forward and I have had a lot of teething problems with it (not least the 680Mb download of the Advanced Workstation!!!). There is a lighter Workstation Edition which deosn't include server technology for remote installation and centralised licensing.

They recently released a new update (build 11105) which a client of mine downloaded and tried to install yesterday and there is a major problem on some systems (her's included) - when installed in certain configurations the system BSODs on restart/startup.

The problem seems to be related to driver conflicts between certain USB card readers (even if they are factory fitted in laptops) and the SnapAPI driver set installed by Acronis.

For anyone playing with this there is a much under-publicised fix for the issue (it does not appear in the Acronis KB it is hidden away in the forum). The fix basically means installing an updated SnapAPI set after the software (though why they can't simply create a new build and incorporate the new drivers is beyond me).

See http://forum.acronis.com/forum/3698 for details if you are affected.

Apparently in XP you get a BSOD, in Vista it starts the Windows repair interface (which was very confusing for my client as once the repair had finished the Acronis Software had apparently disappeared - not that life was that simple).

If like me you get in a big strop and want to remove the program manually they have not yet released a removal tool but there are manual instructions at http://kb.acronis.com/content/2975

Note these manual instructions are not correct in some places - for example in the Vista 32 instructions steps 8 and 9 cannot be completed in Home Premium because those Management Console snapins are only available in the Pro, Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista.

This all reminds me of the days when shoddy incomplete software was released to home user for unwitting beta testing and was one of the main reasons I shifted to the corporate software editions. If you have True Image Echo Workstation with a support plan that offers free upgrades I would wait six months while they get the software working properly.

One final comment I can't see any way in the new software to recover individual files from TIB archives (which are still used and old TrueImage archives are supposed to be compatible). The archive needs to be mounted and individual files or folders copied and pasted to recover them. I may be wrong but I can't see any other method. The problem lies in that in Windows 7 you can't mount archives in the Acronis Secure Zone so I would recommend you don't use Secure Zone at all. I haven't tried file archives yet but if you can only retrieve files by mounting images I am not sure you can do that with file archives so I am not sure how you are supposed to retrieve stuff ???

Its all a bit shoddy and isn't going to do their corporate image much good.

Innuendo

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 09:16:32 AM »
Its all a bit shoddy and isn't going to do their corporate image much good.

Acronis makes some of the most clever software in its market segment, but when they come out with a new version it's always one step forward & two steps back for a while. I'm really looking forward to a version of their software that has all their newest nifty tricks working in Windows 7, but I'm not holding my breath while I wait.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2009, 04:46:43 PM »
Backup & Recovery is supposed to be Windows 7 ready but there is a restriction with the secure zone in that images can't be mounted.

I can't really see the point of the secure zone - it doesn't really add anything apart from using up an entry in the partition table. Given that Windows 7 uses 2 primary partitions just to install (unless you are installing it as a multi-boot option on top of Vista or XP) it doesn't leave you many primary partitions to play with on a system!

The other thing I would like Acronis to do is to produce a pure recovery ISO image that is freely distributable so that you can distribute an archive of a new system with an easy to use recovery option.

I think this sort of early release shoddiness is going to come back and bite them in the arse one day - especially with products that are supposed to be enterprise recovery tools!

Innuendo

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 06:14:59 PM »
Given that Windows 7 uses 2 primary partitions just to install (unless you are installing it as a multi-boot option on top of Vista or XP) it doesn't leave you many primary partitions to play with on a system!

There is a workaround when installing Windows 7 & you can fool it into installing onto just one partition instead of having that silly reserved 100 MB partition with no ill effects.

Lashiec

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 06:18:36 PM »
Offtopic: What is the purpose of that 100 MB partition?

Innuendo

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 10:25:04 PM »
Offtopic: What is the purpose of that 100 MB partition?

Some PCs freak out if the Windows boot files are too far out on the disk topography. I think this is MS's attempt to make sure all of the boot files are right at the beginning of the disc.

J-Mac

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 12:56:30 AM »
Its all a bit shoddy and isn't going to do their corporate image much good.

Acronis makes some of the most clever software in its market segment, but when they come out with a new version it's always one step forward & two steps back for a while. I'm really looking forward to a version of their software that has all their newest nifty tricks working in Windows 7, but I'm not holding my breath while I wait.

Unfortunately Acronis often doesn't fix the problems at all - they just wait out the year and release a new upgrade, claiming it fixes the bugs from the previous version. Of course the new versions always have their own bugs. Pretty bad when one of your most prominent features for new versions is that it fixes bugs from the previous version.

I've used Acronis True Image Home from version 8 through the 2009 version, which would have been 12 if they had stuck with their previous version numbering. And, as is the case with all overly greedy developers, the more added features that have appeared (read: bloat), the more troublesome the software becomes.

Jim

Carol Haynes

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2009, 03:26:47 AM »
I have to say I gave up on TrueImage Home edition after version 9 because of all the bugs. I transferred to Workstation 9.1 and through that version and TrueImage Echo Workstation I had virtually no issues whatsoever and I recommend people avoid the Home version and go for the corporate versions because that are rock solid.

Now they have left the True Image developement thread and moved to Backup & Recovery I can't in all honesty recommend to clients that they swap over. I have had nothing but hassles since the bloody thing was released. I must have spent about 5 hours troubleshooting a clients system to get this working - it has left her unconfident in the software and me 5 hours of my life gone forever (and a bad taste in the mouth). How anyone can release (and still be distributing) a product that instantly kills even a small proportion of corporate customers computers is beyond me. I could understand an error creeping in and them withdrawing and returning to the previous build until it is resolved but anyone who buys this piece of crap will still play lottery with their system by installing it.

MerleOne

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2009, 07:02:11 AM »
I too ditched Acronis True Image a long time ago, even if it was a really nice software for the first versions, especially the incremental imaging they were among the first to bring to the market (I think).  Also, I remember I had a problem on a saturday, where my recovery CD refused to boot on a new laptop.  I mailed them and 1 hour later, I got the download link for a new bootable CD, that solved my problem.  This was really customer service !

Then bugs started to get more frequent with new releases, and upgrade price too high for just a few improvements.  I finally switched for drive snapshot, and its differential image "philosophy" easier to manage than incrementals.  I also use Image for Windows/Linux because it can write DVD directly and with excellent reliability.  Sometimes, when I see a huge discount on Acronis (like $9 for TI11...) , I buy a new license, but I never use it, I just build the recovery CD...
.merle1.

40hz

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2009, 09:59:50 AM »
@Carol - I feel your pain. I used to swear by TrueImage. Now I swear at it... :down:

I have an old copy of TrueImage (Ver 9.0 Build: 2323) that works flawlessly under WinXP. I believe this was the last version that was released before Acronis started all that Home vs Enterprise edition nonsense.

The distinction between the two is totally artificial. Differentiating them was a move driven purely for business reasons. That alone would have been aggravating enough - assuming the newer releases worked correctly. Unfortunately, they didn't. From my experience, v9.0 was the last that did.

I've since gone over to Clonezilla (www.clonezilla.org), and I'm now seriously considering Maricum Reflect (www.macrium.com ) as a possible replacement now that Win7 is out. I plan to give Reflect a test run as soon as I have some open time. There's a free version available that will handle basic imaging and recovery if you decide you don't need all the features of the full version.

Worth a look.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 10:01:47 AM by 40hz »

MerleOne

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2009, 10:36:01 AM »
About Macrium, a lot of people seem to find it excellent. I also did so, until I started to get a bunch of BSOD on my system, when ejecting usb drives, or doing usually harmless operations.  I traced it back to the filter driver install by Macrium that is active even when Macrium Reflect is not running.  After uninstalling this product, I resumed a normal BSOD frequency (less than 1/month I would say).  That was 1 year ago approximately.
.merle1.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2009, 10:49:55 AM »
Today Acronis released an update which amongst other things fixed the BSOD error.

My system was running fine until I installed the update now my system runs fine but I can't do backups all I get is: "Process interrupted - requires user interaction" but there is no interaction to be given just click on OK and then it stops as failed backup.

I suppose at least an application of 688Mb that does nothing is better than an application of 688Mb that simply crashes your system is an improvement!

I have now manually uninstalled it (including all the registry entries) and reinstalled without any improvement!

Really pissed off and will certainly not be renewing my maintenance contract next month.

40hz

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2009, 11:36:44 AM »
About Macrium, a lot of people seem to find it excellent. I also did so, until I started to get a bunch of BSOD on my system, when ejecting usb drives, or doing usually harmless operations.  I traced it back to the filter driver install by Macrium that is active even when Macrium Reflect is not running.  

Thanks for that bit of information. I wasn't aware of that.

Quote
After uninstalling this product, I resumed a normal BSOD frequency (less than 1/month I would say).  That was 1 year ago approximately.

Ummm...I don't know how to say this, but...there's nothing 'normal' about getting a recurring BSOD, no matter with what frequency it occurs. I never blue screen on any of my machines (I have several), unless I've just installed a flakey video or chipset driver. One quick rollback later and the problem's gone.

So! Whatcha doin' that you're getting a monthly BSOD? Curious minds want to know. :)

« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 11:42:21 AM by 40hz »

Innuendo

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 12:44:53 PM »
So! Whatcha doin' that you're getting a monthly BSOD? Curious minds want to know. :)

Agreed...only time I see a BSOD is if I install a new piece of software & it is buggy. Then I uninstall it and I'm back to a BSOD-free existence.

MerleOne

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 02:39:25 PM »
Ummm...I don't know how to say this, but...there's nothing 'normal' about getting a recurring BSOD, no matter with what frequency it occurs. I never blue screen on any of my machines (I have several), unless I've just installed a flakey video or chipset driver. One quick rollback later and the problem's gone.

So! Whatcha doin' that you're getting a monthly BSOD? Curious minds want to know. :)

It doesn't happen often, I just said 1/month as an estimate, it might be less.  Last time I got one, I think it was some error message like referring to IRQ_LESS_OR_EQUAL..., but there is no hint as to what has caused it.
.merle1.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 03:50:19 PM »
It that was the message it is more than likely a faulty driver.

If you want to track down past BSODs try http://www.nirsoft.n...lue_screen_view.html which allows you to look at past BSODs and lists the drivers involved.

I have found this incredibly useful for troubleshooting.

MerleOne

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2009, 08:50:30 AM »
It that was the message it is more than likely a faulty driver.

If you want to track down past BSODs try http://www.nirsoft.n...lue_screen_view.html which allows you to look at past BSODs and lists the drivers involved.

I have found this incredibly useful for troubleshooting.

Thanks ! This does look excellent.  I'll use it next time it happens.
.merle1.

tomos

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2009, 04:02:44 PM »
Thanks ! This does look excellent.  I'll use it next time it happens.

- it appears you can use it for past crashes - must try it out here, I have an occasional problem with some driver (thanks!)
Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2009, 06:05:17 PM »
That's right. Provided minidumps have not been deleted you can see dated earlier crashes.

tomos

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2009, 06:19:19 PM »
It that was the message it is more than likely a faulty driver.

If you want to track down past BSODs try http://www.nirsoft.n...lue_screen_view.html which allows you to look at past BSODs and lists the drivers involved.

I have found this incredibly useful for troubleshooting.

I made a thread about that cause I'm going to have some related queries :) (but need sleeep now...)
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=20161.0
Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2009, 06:49:24 AM »
Today Acronis released an update which amongst other things fixed the BSOD error.

Back on topic ...

My experiences so far with Acronis Backup and Recovery Advanced Workstation:

1) Initial release build - endless problems getting it installed. Introduces numerous running processes and ten applications to Add/Remove programs applet. No integrated installer other then via a web download system which means every repair or reinstall meant downloading over 600Mb of data.

2) Build 11055 released. Seemed to work OK on my system but other systems experienced BSOD 0x0A afetr every reboot until 'Use last known good gonfiguation' option was used which effectively removed the product.

3) Build 11133 released. Now I can't use VSS to ensure consistent backups of my system drive. Seems to work fine on any hard drive that doesn't include a system partition but on the system drive you can't use VSS even with the Windows partition excluded. Completely pointless product - the whole point of VSS is to ensure a backup of internally consistent data - without that functionality product is worse than useless.

[Edit - Correction ... use of VSS is inconsistent sometimes you can't backup any drives with VSS enabled]

4) Reverted 11055 - started getting BSODs myself and had the devil's own job to get the system to start in a way that allowed me to install the SnapAPI patch fix.

5) Installed SnapAPI fix (so now running 11055 with fix) and have the same problem as 11133 with lack of VSS support.

All in all an extremely frustrating experience.

Situation is so bad now that Acronis Support forums have either been taken off line or can't cope with the volume as all I get is a white screen.

Instant support try to be helpful online (the promised telephone support no longer seems to exist - at least I can find no way to get a telephone number) but they always want to collect information for supoort to examine and tell you to run AcroniInfo.

Trouble is I can't get AcronisInfo to run on my system it just exits with errors every time. So they can't even write a troubleshooting tool that works consistently.

Is Acronis going to be in it's final death roll over this one? I cannot see how a manufacturer of corporate recovery software can survive with this debacle. I would imagine corportate clients will abandon the sinking ship in droves.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 06:58:59 AM by Carol Haynes »

Innuendo

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Re: Be warned - Acronis Backup and Recovery
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2009, 11:27:46 AM »
Is Acronis going to be in it's final death roll over this one? I cannot see how a manufacturer of corporate recovery software can survive with this debacle. I would imagine corportate clients will abandon the sinking ship in droves.

Looks like their quick rise to greatness is only going to be matched by their quick decline into....well....poo.