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Author Topic: ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me  (Read 5056 times)

tranglos

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ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me
« on: April 15, 2011, 06:41:10 AM »
My WD Raptor system drive died the other day after about 4 years of great performance. Lesson One: when the SMART warning kicks in, it is already too late! One moment I run the WD diagnostic tool and SMART checks out fine, a mere two hours later Windows tells me the drive has failed and needs to be replaced asap, data throughput speed drops to something like a 1.44" floppy, and you know it's going to die on you any minute.  Good thing I saw heard it coming hours before SMART did and made a fresh image just in time. Lesson Two: listen to your hard drive! :-)

Lesson Three: system image is a wonderful thing.

It took me about an hour to go and buy a new drive and only a couple of minutes remove the bad drive and install the new one (yay for Antec cases, check the side view).

But I was apprehensive about restoring the system image. Due to my specific setup of external drives, I once had a less-than-stellar experience restoring an XP system using ShadowProtect 3.5, described here. All ended well, but it took some hair pulling and manual editing of MBR config. If anything, I expected 7 to be harder, since there are now two partitions to restore: the main bootable system partition, and the hidden one 7 setup creates.

Well, it would seem that when ShadowProtect went from 3.5 to version 4, those wrinkles I experienced were smoothed out. There is an option to restore the original disk layout exactly as stored in the image file, and it does precisely that. Restoring both partitions took under 20 minutes, and after one reboot I was back in business, with an image only a day old.  Smooth sailing all the way!

The whole thing took maybe 90 minutes of my day, most of which was to go and buy a new drive. If I had a spare one on hand, the whole procedure would have taken under 30 minutes.

One weird thing though... you know when 7 boots, it displays the colored dancing balls and petal-like things? Well, after restoring the 7 image, the boot-up animation has reverted to the sickly green-ish progress bar that XP had. How come?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 06:52:17 AM by tranglos »

city_zen

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Re: ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 12:00:12 PM »
ShadowProtect is a great disk imaging program indeed, and extremely useful for Windows XP systems. But with Windows 7 including a built-in system image backup I wonder what advantages does ShadowProtect have now over the built-in Windows alternative. At least in your case (system drive dying), it looks like the built in program would have saved you too. But maybe I'm wrong.
Anyone with more experience with both alternatives care to comment on this?
Thanks
I'll have what she's having

tranglos

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Re: ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 08:42:51 AM »
You are probably right. I registered ShadowProtect while I was still on XP. I realize 7 has the imaging feature built in, but I've no idea how good that is.

I am pretty much convinced that all the "disk doctor" type applications and disk defragmenters that come built in are about as good as third-party apps, especially that they're all using the same system APIs in the end. The difference may lie in the interface and configurability, but in the end they do the same job.

As for imaging, ShadowProtect people have developed their own technology, and the interface for restoring an image needs more functionality than just a "restore" button. I'd certainly like to hear from someone who has used the built-in imaging feature in 7.

tomos

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Re: ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 03:09:54 AM »
I'd certainly like to hear from someone who has used the built-in imaging feature in 7.

+1
Tom

tezza

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Re: ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 04:34:36 AM »
Hi tranglos,

I think you will find that this bit:

One weird thing though... you know when 7 boots, it displays the colored dancing balls and petal-like things? Well, after restoring the 7 image, the boot-up animation has reverted to the sickly green-ish progress bar that XP had. How come?

Is probably caused by the partition with Windows 7 installed on it being set as the active partition rather than the small 100 - 200MB one.  I did that once myself when restoring a ShadowProtect (excellent disk imaging software)  image of my Windows 7 drive.  One of the options in the ShadowProtect restore wizard is whether on not to set a particular partition as active when it's restored abd you shouldn't select that option for the main Windows 7 OS partition.

Regards,
Terry

tranglos

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Re: ShadowProtect Desktop just did an awesome job for me
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 06:26:36 AM »

Is probably caused by the partition with Windows 7 installed on it being set as the active partition rather than the small 100 - 200MB one.

Thanks, Terry! This is probably it, I did mark the partition as active. I guess I'll fix it the next time :-)

One other good thing about ShadowProtect that I forgot to mention: when restoring an image it provides an option to restore the old drive's serial number. This helps a lot with applications that tie their licenses to hardware. I use a handful of those, and none of them required re-licensing after I installed the new drive. Windows doesn't seem to have noticed, either.