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Author Topic: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools  (Read 8491 times)

mouser

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Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« on: March 17, 2014, 07:45:22 PM »
Nice comparison of Drive Imaging backup tools -- both free and commercial.  Focused mainly on speed differences.

Quote
Overall Summary:

AOMEI Backupper excelled in all tests bar one. When you consider its features compared to other free backup software, and the fact it’s free for personal and commercial use, Backupper is really worth looking at. Although it never won any of the main tests, we have to commend Acronis True Image for producing consistently strong results in all tests while showing no real weaknesses.

Both Macrium Reflect and ShadowProtect were also strong but each had a weakness in at least one area. EaseUs Todo Backup was good at backup speed but slow at restoration while AX64 was generally fast with its no frills ease of use philosophy. The higher compression and portability of Drive Snapshot makes it useful as a backup and restore from anywhere type of tool.

Obviously these tests are only one part of how well a particular backup software works, testing for other factors such as reliability and stability are simply not possible unless a program is tested in multiple scenarios over a period of weeks or months. But one thing you wouldn’t want from your backup software is for it to work inefficiently, because don’t forget, these results will be magnified the more data you are backing up or restoring.


Vurbal

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 08:16:48 PM »
I notice EaseUS ToDo showed similar performance which matches my personal experience using the free version for a few months now. I'll be buying it sooner or later.
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mouser

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 08:22:23 PM »
I've been using Macrium free very happily for a couple of years now, but I'm a big fan of Easus partition management tools, so I may have to switch to Easus.

Though I will note that speed is of secondary concern to me -- reliability of restoration is at the top -- and that's something reviews have a hard time addressing.

Vurbal

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 08:42:52 PM »
I've been using Macrium free very happily for a couple of years now, but I'm a big fan of Easus partition management tools, so I may have to switch to Easus.

Though I will note that speed is of secondary concern to me -- reliability of restoration is at the top -- and that's something reviews have a hard time addressing.

It definitely is. I've had good experiences with restoring but in both cases I was going back to a clean Windows 7 install image.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
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I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

40hz

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 05:50:44 AM »
+1w/mouser on reliability. If you don't have confidence in them in that regard, everything else becomes moot.

For that reason I think I'll just stick with Clonezilla and Macrium. Been using both for years and neither has ever let me down when I needed them. In my world "known good" trumps "new and improved" or "something better" when it come to this type of software.
 8)

xtabber

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 10:49:23 AM »
+1w/mouser on reliability. If you don't have confidence in them in that regard, everything else becomes moot.
That's why I don't find this kind of superficial comparison very useful.  Saving a couple of minutes up front doesn't do you much good if you can't restore something when you need it.

I have used imaging as my main backup strategy going back to MS-DOS days, starting with the original Ghost (before it was acquired by Norton).  I also image and restore frequently, particularly when installing software, and keep selected images going back several years in case I need to retrieve stuff that has been deleted or lost.  I always verify images immediately after creating them.

I used Acronis for many years but gave up on it some 5 years ago because of reliability problems, and I know from postings on various forums (including DC) that others had similar experiences.  Problems I personally encountered were corruption in images made from a running Windows system (as opposed to cold booting from an external device) and problems mounting images as drives under Windows.  Acronis may have gotten their act together since then, but I'm not interested in spending my time testing it.

I now rely exclusively on Paragon, which I had previously been using for disk management, for backup imaging.  In literally hundreds of restores, I have never had a failure with their products.  

Note that Paragon has a wide variety of program versions at different price ranges (including free) with different combinations of features, but the underlying technology is the same.  I personally use Hard Disk Manager Pro because it gives me everything I might need in a single package, including P2V and V2P. 

MilesAhead

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 11:32:25 AM »
It would have been interesting if GPT support was noted on the chart.  As drive sizes increase I think MBR is going to fade away fast.  Seems as I get new systems there's always some factor that limits my choices.

On XP Paragon Drive Backup Personal seemed great.  But it messed up my partition table in Vista.  I moved to Macrium Reflect.  I got another PC with a software raid controller.  Macrium didn't like it.  Moved to EaseUS ToDo Backup.  EaseUS also had USB 3.0 support with the Linux rescue CD. No need to use WinPE.  Now I'm on a Windows 8.0 Laptop with GPT partitions and secure boot.  It seems at the moment Macrium Reflect is the way to go as the free version includes WinPE and GPT/secure boot support.

I guess the way to have more software to choose from is to stay with something like Windows Seven MBR systems?


Steven Avery

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2014, 02:29:30 AM »
Hi,

Macrium also has a solid forum and Facebook page.  This (imaging and also partition) is an area where companies tend to be shy, not wanting the public to see the possible "you trashed my system, I have no backup" type of post that can arise. So they tend to want to have details done privately.

I'm considering their Professional, noting the possibility of using the Redeploy option.

And remember, nothing wrong with having images from more than one software. And doing a special data only partition with file-by-file backup.

Speed is my least-important factor in backing up.  Reliability and redundancy are the key.

Steven
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 02:35:40 AM by Steven Avery »

Vurbal

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2014, 04:07:59 AM »
And remember, nothing wrong with having images from more than one software. And doing a special data only partition with file-by-file backup.

Good points and I would also add the occasional offline backup to bypass the complications of a running system. Fortunately that's the one thing the last version of Acronis True Image I bought does reliably - besides completely b0rking Windows Backup and failing to uninstall properly anyway. I use the Bart's PE plugin for semi-regular offline backups to my server. It's the only reason I decided to decline the refund they offered me.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

zenzai

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 05:59:52 AM »
I've been using TerabyteUnlimited's tools for years, and highly recommend them. Been creating and restoring images with Image for DOS hundreds of times, never had a problem. I especially like that you can make byte-for-byte compare both when creating and restoring an image, haven't seen this in any other image programs.

Their BootIt Bare Metal which is a great tool for managing partitions include a copy of Image for DOS btw.

http://www.terabyteu...ootit-bare-metal.htm



mikiem

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 09:13:12 AM »
Regardless the tool(set) you choose to use, test it -- make sure restoration works on your hardware setup & you know how to use it. Sounds simple enough but I've read lots of complaints where folks lost everything because they couldn't fully restore a backup using the software they had been using for however long. Also test external drives if you use one to store your backups. If it won't work well outside Windows, e.g. using a boot disc, obviously that's a problem. If USB, doesn't hurt to check sustained data transfer either -- I've seen USB drives that seemed fine otherwise, but failed during backup restoration because of that sustained transfer. If you put the rescue disc ISO on a USB stick, test that on all your systems, &/or use CD/DVD -- mileage varies depending on USB stick & PC/laptop hardware.

Admittedly I just did a quick skim of the original article, but suspect the results are inaccurate in a couple or more cases... Why? Well Paragon for example includes disk integrity checks by default, as well as an option to protect your data in the event of power loss. Others such as Aomei do not. To get a valid speed comparison with Paragon the author needed to go into preferences & turn off those 2 features, but I didn't see any mention of that, though as I said I just skimmed the article & could have missed it.

Finally I have to question the whole concept of incremental backups with a disk/partition imaging app. Imaging works because you're moving raw data -- taking the time to look at that data as files/folders, & thus determine what needs to be backed up, increases the time it takes to backup, often by quite a lot. It also makes mounting backups [when possible] & restoration less efficient.

MilesAhead

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2014, 03:52:19 PM »
Regardless the tool(set) you choose to use, test it -- make sure restoration works on your hardware setup & you know how to use it.

This is one thing that drives me a bit buggy about Macrium.  Seems I just make my restore USB, create a backup image, then boot the USB to make sure I can see the image and the HD.  OKJ, all is well.  Next time I run Reflect I get an update notice, we fixed a bug in the restore USB that could cause it to hang yadda yadda.  Back to the drawing board.  After awhile I just get tired of booting the damn machine.  :)

brotman

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 03:22:11 PM »
to Raymond et. al.:

Great article!  Looks like it took a lot of work. but you were able to summarize it in a small table !awesome!

I missed seeing a write up of  Ocster's backup product "Ocster Backup 8" available in a free version a less expensive, simplified 1-click version and the more complete Pro and business versions
 (I have no connection other than  I purchased and use a copy of their Pro version 8 )

I think this product is notable because it is the only product I'm aware of which uses a method called "infinite reverse incremental backup". They claim a 50% smaller image using that! I'd love to see how Ocster stacks up against the other tools in your study.

their website is http://www.ocster.com/en  http://www.ocster.com/en. Just my $.02

Keep up the good work,  :Thmbsup:
Chuck Brotman
Chuck Brotman
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 03:45:56 PM by brotman, Reason: fixed infinite revers incremental »

tomos

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 03:59:24 PM »
I think this product is notable because it is the only product I'm aware of which uses a method called "infinite incremental backup".  I'd love to see how Ocster stacks up against the other tools in your study.

their website is http://www.ocster.com/en

I like the idea of a cheap & simple version - I've given up doing incremental versions anyway. Seems you can even browse the backups in the cheap version. Interface seems friendly / logical.

@Chuck, any experience with restoring? With or without incremental versions (? I never did have a problem with Acronis 8 or 9 restoring from an incremental version, but a lot of people seem to be wary of it).

As someone who turns off their computer when not using it, I'm wondering is it easy to save settings and do a manual backup (my experience there with Acronis and O&O has been abysmal in user-friendly terms) - (I see the Pro version covers that).
Tom

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2014, 08:08:31 PM »
@Chuck, any experience with restoring? With or without incremental versions (? I never did have a problem with Acronis 8 or 9 restoring from an incremental version, but a lot of people seem to be wary of it).

Tomos,

One of the advantages of the "infinite reverse incremental" method is that the latest version of the backup IS A COMPLETE CURRENT SNAPSHOT!  In other words, it includes all updates, incremental or otherwise.  Where it gets a little trickier is if you want to restore a not-the-latest version. (Thats what the "Reverse" means). In that case (I think) the extra files are those needed to get back to the desired previous level. Thankfully Ockster 8 Pro takes care of the logistics.  You just need to select the desired version from a drop down list.  I have done several successful restores to both the most recent and not-most-recent backups.

On a related note, I called Ockster support and the tech was only too happy to talk with me about the details.  The gist of that discussion was you can safely delete older files (ie. older than the CURRENT snapshot) hen you do you dont't affect the current snapshot -- only the ones of the dates you deleted and before.  Overall I've been quite satisfied with the product...

Chuck
Chuck Brotman

tomos

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2014, 02:36:49 AM »
^thanks for that info Chuck,
(oddly I got an offer via Softmaker (since I posted above) for the Pro version for 10 euros)
Tom

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2014, 12:24:25 PM »
^thanks for that info Chuck,
(oddly I got an offer via Softmaker (since I posted above) for the Pro version for 10 euros)

Huh?  Does Softmaker even have a  disk imaging software?????  I looked but could find no trace of one!!

Chuck
Chuck Brotman

tomos

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2014, 02:48:17 PM »
^thanks for that info Chuck,
(oddly I got an offer via Softmaker (since I posted above) for the Pro version for 10 euros)

Huh?  Does Softmaker even have a  disk imaging software?????  I looked but could find no trace of one!!

Chuck

no.
In one of their emails to me, they included an offer for Ockster pro.
Tom

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Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2014, 10:53:27 PM »
no.
In one of their emails to me, they included an offer for Ockster pro.

Oh, I see!  Thanks for the clarification...  I hope you enjoy it
Chuck Brotman