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Messages - george7987 [ switch to compact view ]

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Very interesting reading, especially J-MAC and where he got to after 3 weeks of using the product (been there)....

When V2 was under rampant development, I got involved and was a big fan, had lots of issues though and hoped they'd all be resolved in V3, but that didn't happen, V3 was more of a service pack, and at 3.0.31 that still seems to be the state of play.

The fundamental underlying concept behind Oops, i.e. the deltas and the easy access to the latest version via windows explorer, is great, but I finally had the same problem as J-MAC, couldn't for the life of me workout what it was putting into the repository, nor how to prune/clean it after changes to the backup specifications.

While everyone says the BackInTime interface is simple, I personally would like to throttle the person who designed it. There is no menu system scoping out and giving access to the complete functionality of the product, additions have been tacked on via little screens, buttons, context find yourself right mouse clicking all over the product trying to find functionality......there is no easy to review list of all available past versions, those bloody dated green animated slides representing timelines, you open one and the others close, what is wrong with a standard scrolling list for gods sake??

<<ed>> And it does not highlight files that previously existed and have been deleted, this one really annoys me. It highlights files/folders I have told it not to backup in exceptions, but not those that have some past history in the rep[ository, but have been deleted!! <<end ed>>

Having said all that however, I did put it back on recently, because of its 'transactional' approach to a backup, where if a backup fails, it is roilled back and done again, along with the recent additions allowing limitation to the size of history. I did this after a power failure in the middle of a SyncToy job left a backup drive corrupted. (Whether Oops will actually improve this scenario or not, have no real idea, I just find the whole product the most impossible to evaluate that I have ever had to)

Yes as they say, it is simple to install and start....if you don't ask too many questions....but who of you are going to trust your future data recovery requirements to blind faith in a product you don't fully understand, and I still fail to fully understand Oops after all this.

I've already had one issue with the second drive synchronization, and was only able to solve that by choosing to delete all versions of the files involved, but on looking in the repository, saw that it had only deleted the latest and the history was still there??? not what I expected and this takes me back to the comment about problems pruning/cleaning the repository. <<ed>> I may have worked this out. On the delete, I think that what it has done is copy the Latest to be deleted to History, so it has treated it as a deleted file, thus allowing me to go back to a date prior to my removing all versions, and still recover a version prior to this date. This would be appropriate if I actually deleted the file, but since I chose to delete ALL versions from the backup, it should in this case have deleted the history as well. This is my problem with Oops, we spend half our lives trying to work out what it is doing because the documentation is so poor and scant <<end ed>> This history seems to have become old versions now that a new backup has happened, but who knows if they are recoverable because I thought the most recent delta was created by comparing the changed file with the latest version (which I just deleted) and the latest delta in history would have related to the latest I deleted rather than the changed file?????

A major problem I have with Oops is the scant to negligable documentation on the product especially with regards to micro detail on what goes on within the repositiory of backup versions, i.e when versions and deltas are created and deleted and how I can manipulate that according to my requirements because only knowledge of that will give me full understanding of just what goes on within Oops.

I'd love for Oops to succeed as a backup product because of it's fundamental concepts outlined above, but for me, I am still parallel running Synctoy with Oops, and important files are being backed up online with IDrive, because I just can't develop trust in any of them.

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: May 02, 2010, 12:43 AM »
Also, a friend of mine who put me onto this site, has also suggested I look at a sync program called 'Super Flexible File Synchronizer'. There must be lots of them, the trouble is which one does the best job. I still think the reverse delta concept of OB is good, and the delta concept itself is space saving, but you need to test them all in your own environment and data topography, and be aware of why and when you need versionong in addition to straight synchronization.

Basically, the discussions are just academic till you hit volume data, that's the real test, but if you don't have to manage GBs of data, then the useability of the product becomes the primary focus, which is certainly where OB comes in as a backup program despite the issues with the above three actions.

I guess this is why there are so many opinions, it all depends on how much data ypu have, where it is, and how you manage it.

My three actions listed above help alot for me at the moment in judging products. Useability is second and automation is third. I'm not so much worried about compression and storage space as opposed to the rate at which it grows under the afore mentioned actions.

I haven't had a chance to look at 'Super Flexible File Synchronizer' yet and won't for a week or two, but it reads interestingly, so will evenually give it a go.

Oh, and as for SyncToy, I believe it has only become useable since version 2.0, but still lacks versionong and automation, but look at my attachment script above if interested in using it for sync requirements as it is free.

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 30, 2010, 07:42 AM »
You're welcome....

If someone knows of one of the commercial sync programs that performs as well as Synctoy in regards the actions I spoke of, and has automation and runs in low priority...let me know.

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 28, 2010, 10:38 PM »
See my attached SyncToy automation script at the bottom of this topicWell I've progressed on this. I've done a fair amount of testing under volume and network situations, and have come to the following conclusions.

Still like OopsBackup for its reverse delta approach, its simplicity and its use of Windows Shadow Copy against volatile data like accounts and email data, but like most products, it is not the silver bullet....yet...(remember this is a new product evolving quickly). But I still find it the best for time sliced backups of volatile data where versioning is required, which should be against any changing data, because Syncs will only propogate corruptions to your backup copy in changing data.

My single concern is it's behaviour against volume data where files and folders are renamed and moved. This I think is a common scenario against pictures, videos and music on the 'home pc' as people organize and rename pictures and video from the location / name applied when downloaded from the camera, and later when organizing such material into collections / albums.

What I have found is that it does not adequately handle these three actions, namely:
  • rename of file
  • rename of folder
  • move folder
in the case of volume data.

It treats them as would happen for a delete/add. In order to maintain it's 'timeline' information, i.e. versions under the old name/location up to the time of the action and under the new name/location after the time of the action, it is currently doing this with new copies of the files in the backup repository as required with the new names/locations, or history copies under the old names/locations.

In other words, with these three actions, there is redundant storage of the data itself to represent these actions while the data itself has not actually changed at all. This is not really consequential for small volume volatile data where the volumes have no significant effect, and an extra version generated amongst the expected historical versions does not change the expected storage volumes anyway,  but with GB video / picture files where it is not expected that the data will change in the first place, the extra versions / copies put into the repository to represent the timeline snapshots has a significant impact on the volume stored in the backup repository.

In my case as I moved and renamed large video files around, the backup repository just grew to the point that I could not afford to cover this material with OopsBackup.

So I looked to a Sync solution to cover my videos, pictures and music, and to duplicate the backup repository on two external drives, and trialled GoodSync and Synctoy to see if they had the same problem. To my supprise, GoodSync did the same as OopsBackup and was a pain to select a data transfer speed for each pair that maximized performance but didn't interfer with the PC's other running applications, whereas very supprisingly, the free SyncToy Ver 2.1 based on Microsoft Sync Framework 2.0, worked perfectly against the three actions listed above.

I ran two tests, the first renamed a folder that contained a 7GB vodeo mpg file. The second then moved that folders parent folder to another location on the disk and that parent folder contained a total of 18GB of files.

SyncToy 2.1 completed both tests in 13 SECONDS, performing the same operations on the destination synced drive (these are Echo Syncs by the way), whereas OopsBackup with it's need to copy data, took 8 minutes for the first test, and 18 minutes for the second test, and this against an attached USB 2.0 drive, not even across a network.

So, if you don't want versioniong, look to SyncToy 2.1. Its easy to setup, but not automated. My approach to that has been to setup another administrative user to run SyncToy, use RunAs to create the pairs definitions and perform the initial sync with SyncToy itself, and then use SyncToyCmd (I think this might be new to Ver 2.1 if you're not familiar with it, not really sure) to run the pairs under that user from Windows Scheduler, and then to start that off in low priority as well. So, I don't see the SyncToy jobs run, they run in Low priority so don't interfer with me, and there you are.

I have two external drives, H:\ and Q:\, and I sync my three data drives E:\, F:\, and G:\ (an all up total of about 115GB) to both those external drives. Attached is my script run from Scheduler (at login and then every two hours) as Administrator to achieve this if you are interested. Don't forget to also run Synctoy as Administrator in the first place to setup the pairs and perform the initial sync.

So, my backup strategy for the moment now stands at:
1) use AJC Active backup to create realtime versions at every save of a file, these only kept for a couple of days, to protect me from human and system errors/crashes.
2) use OopsBackup for all volatile data, especially where open files are required to be backed up as well
3) use SyncToy 2.1 for volume non-volatile data like Pictures/video/music
4) sync everything to two external drives, one removed off site and returned every week or two
5) and yes, despite loathing it's dominance at the head of every editors review list of backup software, because it isn't, I use Acronis for imaging the system disk only, which is not covered by any other backup.

Hope everyone is virus free.....cheers

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 23, 2010, 12:23 PM »
Forget Easeus Todo Backup, a restore of my system disk left the system unable to boot. Lucky I had made both a Todo and Acronis image before I tried a restore.

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 15, 2010, 08:37 PM » I do feel like christmas has come, free imaging, this looks like the only part of Acronis I liked and it's free, and put together with OopsBackup, I've got all I want for now.

Have a look at Easeus Todo Backup

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 12, 2010, 07:30 AM »
Ok, I'm going to risk offering an answer here, but don't want to get in too deep, and would ask that you put further questions to them via their community forum at Altero OopsBackup Community Forum

But briefly, the way it works....When you first install, you basically specify all drives to be backed up. These will be covered by the common options like a) frequency of backups, eg backup every 1 hour, b) new full after 30 deltas c) no VSS (Windows Shadow Copy), d) no auto purge.

Then you pick out
a particular folder
, which will include all its sub folders and files, and say it's a special folder. Do this for as many folders as you deem necessary that they require different treatment, and these are called a special folders in OopsBackup. For each Special Folder, you choose tailored values for a,b,c,d above, eg a folder with Quicken files, and for this you will specify that Windows Shadow Copy is to be used and the frequency is every 17 minutes.

Note that you don't specify times that backups are to occur, but how often they are to occur, and if the computer is off for a while, it'll do a backup if overdue when you logon, and then adjust the due time for the next backup according to the required frequency. If the frequency is specified in minutes, each different, it'll spread the backups of each special folder so they don't all happen at once, like one every 11 minutes, one every 17 minuters, one every 23 minutes etc. Frequencies in days or hours all occur 'on the hour', so if the frequency is specified as every 3 hours and 3 hours is up at 11:50, the backup will happen at 12:00.

So special folders are backed up according to their specific parameters rather than the 'catch all'.

Now here is how a backup works, a file within a folder is only further backed up from its state in the repository at the time of the backup, if it has changed. If a file is backed up, the latest version is always kept as a full complete copy of the file, and stored in the repository under the classification of Latest, and could be just copied again with windows explorer. The complete copy that would have been previously stored as the latest, is used to create a Reverse Delta, i.e. the differences, and in a restore this reverse delta is applied to the latest, in order to regenerate the second latest version again. All Deltas are stored under the classification of History in the repository. To restore further and further back, it just applies more and more Reverse Deltas to the latest which is the full copy. It goes backwards from a full copy of a file which is always available to get older versions, rather than forwards from an old full copy applying incrementals to get the latest as in conventional methodologies.

Now for obvious performance on a restore, you can choose to keep a full every so often, so if you want to go back 600 versions, you don't apply 600 deltas, but a few only to full kept at some time in the past.

Now, your question (1) I think should be answered as Yes, it only keeps deltas of files that have changed. In answer to the restore part of the question, let's say you specified a frequency of every hour, it backed up everything initially at 10am, so by 11am you had changed 3 files, so it backs up creating 3 deltas, by 12am you deleted a file, so at 12am what was the latest for it is copied to the History with the deltas, and there will not be a Latest anymore, etc.

You go to the backInTime screen to restore, you select the
particular folder
, you select the snapshot, i.e. 11am or 12am, and choose restore all.

You will get back what the folder looked like as at the snapshot time. If you restore the 12am snapshot, it will not restore the deleted file. But you can only restore as at the snapshots in time, taken according to the backup frequencies you specified for the folder.

Re - Question (2), if restoring the latest, no deltas, incrementals whatever, are applied to anything, the latest is always kept as a full copy of the file.

If restoring a prior version at a snapshot in the past, obviously some reverse deltas are applied to get from the latest which is a fill copy, to regenerate the required prior version . Not sure if this answers your question.

The product like most is available on a 30 day trial. I've not found it to be unsociable software. the initial backup of course takes a while and can be posponed during the process, but after that, I have not found it to adversly affect the performance of my machine. Their support monitor the community board and are extremely quick in responding during office hours (US I think), so have a go at it, and ask them any deeper questions. Perhaps look at their Wiki at OopsBackup Wiki

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 11, 2010, 09:15 AM »
Hmmm. That saved a whole 26K, but what the heck, one more step.

Here then it is, please see the attached document at the bottom. Not mind blowing to the guru's on here I'm sure. I really put it together for the computer illiterate. However, I thought it might add something to the discussion as it seems to be ramping up here.

Now, I've just been reading a thread in your general area about people being paid to spruk products. My problem is that if you have something to say, and the ability to say it well, and you take the time to put together an article with argument and conviction, you're immediately spotted as one of these. This is the second forum I have joined, the first here in Australia (whirlpool) just hid my article calling it Spam.

Seems that unless you are cheeky with one liners, you are not part of the group. I'd like it to be known I do NOT work for anyone anymore (retired after 30yrs in IT, yes, started with paper tape, went through SQLWindows and ended with VB6/Oracle Ver8), let alone Altaro, just have a sincere conviction that this might end up being a really good product.

The reason I got this involved was that I was sick and tired of seeing Acronis at the top of all reviewers lists, and after buying it as a backup product, can only think these people have never had to restore after a serious amount of time. It just does not work as a backup product. Then I went to Nero BackItUp, and they couldn't even get their email notification configuration to work, and then Genie which I see is favoured here, bogs down zipping everything up in 4GB bundles. Finally you get to Backup4All which I believe works well (according to the friend who sent me here after I sent the attached article for him to review), but it again bamboozles the happless with screens of options, and the job of working out just how many and what type of backups you need.

Most people other than developers and 'geeks' never restore from an image, so most are led down the garden path buying Acronis or Norton imaging products. The people down the road who are book keepers, and developing their on-line shop with ShopFactory, and writing reams of word documents for one reason or another, are just not capable of let alone interested in, disk images. They want a product that when things go wrong, they can find a good copy of their files, and then after that, they need educating about versioning and what it offers.

And so do I, these days, if I develop anything, it's in MS accesss and I still use DAO, that was it's native api before everything had to front end the web somehow, and previously did my backups with MS Visual Source Safe to get versioning.

All these products had good points, but in the end were let down by lack of support and a care for the profit rather than the quality of the software marketed. All get so big they start buying other peoples good ideas and proceeded to loosly put them into their own product line with an eye on profit and little else, and to stuff them with a lack of support and evolution.

I don't know much about Altaro, but their product OopsBackup is new, evolving, and seems to work, which after months of trying other products, was refreshing in itself. So, I admit to being a fan at the moment, and having had some over active exchanges via their community forum (My Last Post there) but definitely do not work for them and am not 'buyable'

Just suggesting after seeing this forum list the same products basically as, if you are software junkies, have a look at OopsBackup and reply with anything you like here, I'll probably learn something, but please, don't tell me about your favourite Sync program!

Backup Guide / Re: Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 11, 2010, 07:50 AM »
I thought it was..

'Charter Member', sounds important, can you tell me why I can't upload a PDF file as an attachment. Seems like you can upload all sorts of risky files like executables, yet not something as benign as a document. Typical developers, last thing they are interested in.

How does one share a document on this forum?

Backup Guide / Well I'd like to have shared some ....
« on: April 11, 2010, 04:22 AM »
info in a document I prepared on the subject, in a PDF format, seems like a strange format to disallow, but the site won't allow it, so ...!

But if you are interested in a good file backup alternative, with versioning, automation, scheduling, Windows Shadow Copy, extremely easily configured, works well, forget worrying about Full Diff and Incremental and how to make them work together, forget about forever getting that message that says can't restore because can't find the initial full version etc etc...

Look at

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