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Topic # 136293 22-Nov-2013 07:28
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After my OS SSD failed this week I thought I was covered with DriveImageXML. I had a heck of a job putting the system image onto a new disk though. I have an Ultimate Boot Disk (luckily) so I could boot into an environment to run DIX easily enough, but I had two problems:

1) The drive wouldn't boot. I had to go through the windows setup DVD and tell it to repair the install. That didn't work the first time, I had to re-image from DIX again, go into repair, repaired the install, typed in a couple of commands I found on google, etc. It took me about 3 hours.

2) I created an image of my data SSD so I could test a new install of windows on it. No matter what I did I couldn't get that image back onto the disk, it kept saying "drive must be larger than the image". It was the same disk! In the end I just copied the files back onto the disk, as I had a manual backup as well, or I could've extracted the files from DIX too.

I'm looking for an imaging tool that's easy to crete images, and easy to recover from them to a new disk as well. Any suggestions.

I know windows kindof does this, it keeps image backups itself. The problem is I can never create a recovery disk - it can never write to the DVD. When you try to use the windows install disk to recover it doesn't seem to want to let you look at the OS images on your various disks, just the one disk you have the OS on. It just seems buggy and inflexible.

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  Reply # 938765 22-Nov-2013 07:45
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ShadowProtect is the best one available on the market.
More expensive than others like acronis but it's worth it.

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  Reply # 938766 22-Nov-2013 07:45
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I use Acronis True Image to do for three PC's at home.
I have each pc setup to save backups on a weekly schedule to a NAS

Having said that, i've never had to recover to/from an SSD, but have restored full images to a HDD as well as recovering individual files from an images

Haven't had any issue creating or using the Acronis bootdisc either.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 938767 22-Nov-2013 07:46
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  Reply # 938771 22-Nov-2013 07:56
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ShadowProtect looks pretty good, lots of features and very flexible. Acronis also looks good, maybe not quite as many features but probably more than enough. More features isn't always good, complexity can make things difficult.

To people who've used each to recover from OS problems, did it go pretty smoothly, or was it frustrating and difficult?

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  Reply # 938773 22-Nov-2013 07:59
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Acronis is great, you need to pick the right version for the features you want though.



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  Reply # 938776 22-Nov-2013 08:03
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Inphinity: Acronis is great, you need to pick the right version for the features you want though.


Good point, restore to a different PC is in their premium product which costs the same as ShadowProtect. Feature comparison. Not sure if you need premium to restore an OS image to a different disk, or just if you're moving to completely different hardware.

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  Reply # 938780 22-Nov-2013 08:28
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Windows Home Server for me.
Simple to setup. Incremental backups of every machine, over the network, every night. To restore, plug in the USB stick (created by the server) and restore over the network in under 30 minutes (90% unattended).

I've used it several times after I've screwed things up or Windows Update killed something. Used it to restore a HDD machine to an SSD with no issues.

It's also my network storage solution, contains my TV tuner cards and runs the TV Server software.

I always wondered why people would run a server at home, now I have one, I wouldn't be without it.

Be aware:
-Realtek NIC's can cause issues which prevent restore.
-It won't resize partitions for restore.




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  Reply # 938783 22-Nov-2013 08:31
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I'd need another computer for WHS though, that's $500 to $1000 plus power and space. I use my PC as a server, really just for media and file serving. It's on the whole time I'm awake and home anyway.

If WHS was available on a small NAS device with a few disks in it that might be ok.

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  Reply # 938788 22-Nov-2013 08:39
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timmmay:
Inphinity: Acronis is great, you need to pick the right version for the features you want though.


Good point, restore to a different PC is in their premium product which costs the same as ShadowProtect. Feature comparison. Not sure if you need premium to restore an OS image to a different disk, or just if you're moving to completely different hardware.


Aside from TrueImage, you can also look at their Backup & Recovery line. The Workstation edition w/ Universal Restore addon should support most of what you want, except direct disk-to-disk imaging (but you can create an image, then deploy it to a different disk). Depending on what specials are on at the time, it can cost anywhere form about US$49 to US$129.



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  Reply # 938793 22-Nov-2013 08:47
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There are too many options from Acronis, all doing much the same thing. That one looks good though. The trick would be deciding which one to get.

I don't buy much software these days, open source usually does a good enough job and there's a huge range available. Backup is importa though, I'm definitely willing to invest.

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  Reply # 938805 22-Nov-2013 09:08
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There are very good free applications with paid versions if you need more features: Macrium Reflect and Paragon Backup and Recovery - see http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-drive-cloning-software.htm for reviews and download links. I've used both extensively because I do a lot of software testing so I'm often making and restoring images. They are solid performers being limited versions of commercial products and worth trying out to see what suits you before having to spend any money. 

In the free versions there are some limitations. For example, Macrium Reflect doesn't do differential or incremental backups (but can restore them) and won't backup across a network.

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  Reply # 938812 22-Nov-2013 09:28
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I have used both ShadowProtect and Acronis (various flavours).

SP is a must for a server IMO. I have used it to restore a couple of SBS servers (onto new hardware in a couple of occasions) and it is a life saver.

Acronis is great for home users and small business. When I was working as a mobile tech, if I had to take a PC away, first thing I would do is image the customers HDD onto my PC with acronis.

At work now, we use Symantec Recovery (which I think is an iteration of the old Norton Ghost).



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  Reply # 938862 22-Nov-2013 10:49
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Macrium Reflect is getting pretty good reviews. It has a free version that can do basic stuff, you can pay $50 to get additional features like incremental backups that would be pretty handy. It has a boot/recovery environment based on Windows PE. Anyone have any experience with that?

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  Reply # 938863 22-Nov-2013 10:52
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I've used the free version to clone an install to another connected disk, worked fine.




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  Reply # 938867 22-Nov-2013 11:08
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As I said above, try out the free versions first. Over the last 5 years I've used the free version of Reflect along with Acronis and Paragon products. I like it for the 'busier' interface because I need to be continually reminded of exactly what I'm doing as I get lots of interruptions. Others will prefer other products because their interfaces are less busy.

For the last year or so I've been using the 64-bit free edition which is currently version 5.2. This week I've upgraded my laptop hard drive and used it to image and restore entire disks and individual partitions. No problems even with imaging my Windows system partition while using it.

A couple of years ago I had misgivings about Reflect because setting up WinPE recovery disks was more difficult. They rectified that and it is much better integrated. I've had no problems in recent times using both the WinPE and Linux recovery disks.

I use GParted for working with partitions so I don't need those features in Reflect. If you do then you might want to look at Paragon's free Backup and Recovery which a limited partition repair feature.

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