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Author Topic: Pre-review discussion of Backup Software  (Read 24677 times)
mouser
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« on: April 04, 2005, 05:39:11 AM »

Next week will be Drive Imaging Tools

It will be part 1 of a 2 (or even 3) week series on backing up:
    1) Drive Imaging
    2) Incremental Backup of Documents
    3) A guide to good backup processes including 1+2 and extra info.

#2 is probably going to be the tricky one as there are so many tools for doing this..

Drive imaging (#1) is easier since there are very few of these tools (true image, drive image, and maybe 3 or 4 others).

Please help out by providing info as discussed in the other thread.

For those unclear, a Drive Imaging tool makes a complete compressed copy of your hd so that it can be restored later.
The current state of the art seems to be TrueImage and DriveImage/Ghost (now the same thing).

Minimal requirements to be considered for this award:
1) images an entire hd, including multiple partitions
2) can run while windows is still running
3) lets you explore/search/retrieve from images

so if you know of other programs that qualify, please post! (this is thing that would benefit me the most, so i don't miss a program)
and otherwise you can list your views on best/worst, and just as important if not more so, what features in a drive imaging tool you think are most important.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2005, 05:06:31 AM by mouser » Logged
JeffK
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 04:42:16 PM »

When I researched this issue I came across and eventually purchased Paragon Software's Drive Backup and also their Partition Manager.  While I don't use these programs regularly I have found them to be reliable.  Around the time I purchased them they were offering good discountsd and I suspect that they would be amenable to a request.

http://www.paragon-gmbh.com/

Acronis software is another possibility.

Jeff
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 05:03:44 PM by JeffK » Logged
nudone
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2005, 05:08:37 AM »

i'm just going to throw in the fact that i'm still using powerquest's drive image 2002 again, as it allows me to restore a full system drive/partition backup without having to put a boot CD in.

can this be an issue to consider whilst reviewing the other drive image software, please?

i'll stop using the 2002 version as soon as anyone can tell me of a more up to date program that doesn't require a boot CD to fully work.

here's me hoping...
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JeffK
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2005, 05:13:40 AM »

Do you mean that you don't have to put a boot CD in even if the original system drive will not boot normally?  Or do you mean that you are avoiding putting a CD in to do a full or partial restore of a partition or a disk copntaining several partitions?

Regards,

Jeff
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nudone
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2005, 06:14:41 AM »

er, no, not quite.

i wouldn't moan about the boot CD thing but i tend to make a lot of system backups - from the main system partition onto another drive partition.

although this isn't a daily process i still find it annoying having to rely on a boot CD to restore the system image; mainly because of the length of time it takes to boot from the CD. using drive image 2002 i can just open the program up in windows and select the image i want to restore and then let the program take over from there (rebooting the system and replacing the system partition).

that's all i want it to do. but, the current crop of drive image programs don't seem to allow for this. the programs i've tried require that you reboot using a boot CD - WHY?

on the occasion i have thoroughly destroyed my operating system and can't even boot into it then i will use a boot CD with drive image on it to carry out the recovery process.

i only keep moaning about all this as it seems we are going backwards - why has a boot CD got to be used when an older piece of software managed to do it without.

please shut me up if anyone knows of a program that will work like drive image 2002 but has the ability to do on the fly or incremental backups (the 2002 version won't).
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JeffK
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 06:28:10 AM »

I'm pretty sure Paragon Drive Backup 6 will restore a backed up partition without using the boot CD.  To give an example a while ago I created a backup of a logical drive which had data I didn't really need.  To be sure I didn't make an error I took a backup.  This was weeks ago.  I have since deleted the original logical drive.  I just used DB6 to restore from the original backup. 

This program also has ability to create incremental backups, including on a scheduled basis.

Jeff
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nudone
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2005, 06:57:37 AM »

 cheesy well, that's excellent to hear.

it must be one that i didn't try. i shall head over there straight away and give it a go.

thanks for the quick reply. if all goes well i'll let you know.

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JeffK
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2005, 07:00:51 AM »

You've piqued my curiosity to.  I'm having trouble getting the scheduled incremental backup to work.

Jeff
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nudone
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2005, 04:45:19 PM »

looks like paragon drive backup doesn't require a boot CD, so, top marks from me at least.

not tried any of the incremental backups or anything else yet but it appears to have a good set of options.

looks like i can now step into the year 2005 at long last and give up my devotion for drive image 2002.

thanks again for letting me know about the paragon software.

Jeff, how are you getting on with the scheduled incremental backup - it sounds like great a feature.
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mouser
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2005, 04:50:25 PM »

btw acronis does incremental + scheduled drive imaging as well.
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JeffK
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2005, 04:55:32 PM »

There are new updates (as of late March) on the Paragon site of some of their software (including Drive Backup).  When I downloaded this update and ran it the scheduler seemed to work OK.  But an incremental backup I created seemed to have an access problem.  I shall try again tonight my time (I am GMT+10).

I did notice that the backup I created did not require a comuter reboot.  I think this is part of the "Hot" function of the program.  I think a change in partition size would still require  a reboot but I'll check that out too.

Jeff
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nudone
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2005, 05:19:18 PM »

doesn't the acronis program require a boot CD when restoring a system image mouser?

i'm sure i tried it and didn't use it any further because of the boot CD thing. but then i was sure i had tried everything and i obviously haven't (i'm beginning to doubt what i've done now  stars).
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mouser
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2005, 05:21:50 PM »

acronis might require a boot cd.  i dont think it does, but it might, i don't remember.
i'm just pointing out it does incremental backup + scheduled backups.

ive never considered the boot cd issue.. i'll have to think about it before the review this week.
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JeffK
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2005, 05:23:38 PM »

I tink Paragon would require a boot disk if you were restoring a dead system.  However if you are overwriting the existing system with a backed up system I'm not sure. 

Jeff
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mouser
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2005, 11:06:05 PM »

any other drive imaging software to consider?

Acronis True Image
Drive Image / Ghost
Paragon
http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/index.htm

others?
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2005, 03:44:43 AM »

Here are a couple (courtesy og google):

R-Drive Image 2.0
Active@ Disk Image (DOS)
NTI DriveBackup! 4.0
EZ-Imager
Double Image-O 5.0
Partimage (linux)
DrvImagerXP v2.2 (free)
dantz Retrospect 7 (with DR add-on)
DriveStar 2.39

I know some of them do not meet your requirements, but I thought I'd list those I found thumbs up.
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mouser
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2005, 08:04:39 PM »

seems the great infopackets has recently been writing some articles on backup and todays review was for acronis true image.
http://www.infopackets.co...true_image_8_0_review.htm

seems kind of pointless for us to do something 95% identical..
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2005, 09:21:03 PM »

mouser, this being such an important kingpin to backup maybe a little more thought and research should be given over to it, something no one mentioned was prgm compatibility, it has to cover 95-XP, Linux, Mac, & should interchangably be able to format disk/hdd too. I'm not familiar enough w/ prgms mentioned to know if they do, or if any does, but it does set the bar a little higher
JMHO
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2005, 10:19:38 PM »

seems the great infopackets has recently been writing some articles on backup and todays review was for acronis true image.
http://www.infopackets.co...true_image_8_0_review.htm

seems kind of pointless for us to do something 95% identical..


Perhaps a comparative review would be good.  Is Acronis really the best?  Or is it because they have established their name earlier?

I remember now why I didn't like Acronis.  It wasn't the drive backup, it was the boot menu component, I think of the partitiion manager, that locked my system up.

Jeff
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mouser
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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2005, 10:43:02 PM »

Maybe instead of awarding best drive imaging tool this week i will devote this saturday's entry to a guide to backing up your computer, and present a set of concrete policies for backing up..
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JeffK
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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2005, 11:52:34 PM »

I think that would be helpful.  Perhaps there are some thoughts around about how to combine the "drive backup" type of tool with the folder/file backup tools liks Syncback.

Jeff
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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2005, 11:55:27 PM »

yes, that was my intent, to provide a guide to a complete backup strategy.
keeping with philosophy of this site, i would focus on recommending a particular comprehensive backup strategy.
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JeffK
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« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2005, 11:56:54 PM »

I look forward to it.

Jeff thumbs up
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mouser
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2005, 12:09:22 AM »

randy, good point about supporting different partition/operatingsystem types
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nudone
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2005, 04:32:25 PM »

my apologies for banging on about whether boot CDs are required or not - it appears the current crop of drive imaging software aren't as strict about this (i've not tried the current version of ghost so can't speak for that).

i'm pretty sure though that version 7 of acronis true image and ghost 8 wouldn't use a dos boot loader type thingy when i tried them (might have been over a year ago) but i'll admit i should have tried the current versions myself before making an issue of using boot CDs.

acronis appears to be the favourite with a lot of people so i thought i better try it. looks good i must say. the chunky graphics and layout look better than the paragon drive backup software's interface but from what i've tried so far the program from paragon is quicker to use.

as an example, which i would expect to be the common one for most users, i made a complete backup of my system partition and then restored it...

using paragon drive backup and from within the windows o/s i could select the image to restore and then let it reboot and get on with it - simple.

using acronis true image, within windows again, after selecting the image to restore there then followed another sequence of steps to follow after acronis true image had rebooted itself into dos, i.e. i had to repeat the image selecting procedure all over again. seems a bit unnecessary to me. why repeat it?

have i missed something or is this how acronis works?

i know i'm moaning all over again about having to make a few extra steps. i can't help but find it odd when you can't just select the image to restore, click 'go' and then walk out the room knowing that when you return in a few minutes everything will be done.

in short, paragon drive backup seems the most sensible program to use in this scenario.
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