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Windows 7: Comparing Free backup software

15 May 2010   #11

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by malch View Post
I tried the Windows 7 backup/restore software. I didn't like the fact that it wouldn't allow me to specify where the backup would be placed. It gave me a choice of drive -- but not a choice of where to place the backup on the drive. That was irritating.

Anyway, then I made a second backup and it warned me that it "might" replace/overwrite the first. I checked the help and it said I could save up to 10 backup images on a local (non-network) partition. So I proceeded with the backup and darn me if it didn't replace the first backup. As far as I'm concerned that was the end of Windows backup.

This thread has prompted me to make a BartPE disk with Paragon integrated onto it (just in case of future issues with the Unix boot disk). It wasn't too hard to make an image. I'll be testing it shortly. [Edit: it works!]
Malch,
I agree that the "might" message is misleading. What they really are saying is that when the backup drive is full, then the new backup will overwrite the oldest backup.

I've always got multiple-backups on my external backup drive. True is that my backup drive is of sufficient size to hold multiple-backups.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 May 2010   #12

Win 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Anderson2 View Post
Can you share how you made a BartPE disk with Paragon integrated onto it. I would like to do that too but found the instructions on Paragon's website confusing. Could you share how you did it with someone who has never done it? Or better still share your iso file since both BartPE and Paragon Free are freeware?
I don't think my ISO will really help you. It has a ton of other software and is highly customized for my system (my specific drivers, network settings, etc).

I would start by making a basic BartPE disk with your drivers. You will need a Windows XP CD (preferably with SP3) and then grab PEBuilder and follow the guides here:

Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD

You may need to add some critical drivers. I added drivers for SATA (not on the XP disks by default) as well as my specific video and network adapters.

Once you have created a working BartPE disk, you can start adding other software tools and customizing for your preferences. I've added my favorite editor, file manager, Firefox, and a whole bunch of other tools. Even pre-configured my TCP/IP settings.

Adding the Paragon plugin was relatively painless. I just downloaded this:

http://ftp.paragon.eu.com/support/DB10/PSG_BartPE.zip

and followed the instructions in DB9x.htm. They were written for version 9 but they work with the current 10.2 Paragon software.

In short, in the BartPE\plugin\ folder you create a DB9x folder and and place the stuff from the ZIP referenced above into it. Then you have to copy the contents of your Paragon installation folder into BartPE\plugin\DB9x\files\ folder. After that, you need to add a couple of DLL's copied from your Windows\system32\ folder.

Then run PEBuilder to create a new ISO.

It took me a day or two to make my first BartPE disk; that was mainly caused by some issues with my original Dell XP disk (undoing some special Dell registry permissions). I spent another day or two customizing it with a bunch of my favorite tools and preconfiguring them for my preferences. Making a BartPE disk for your system is not a trivial job.

However, adding the Paragon plugin took well under an hour and didn't involve anything more complicated than copying the Paragon files to the correct folders per the instructions in DB9x.htm.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #13

Win 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
I agree that the "might" message is misleading. What they really are saying is that when the backup drive is full, then the new backup will overwrite the oldest backup.

I've always got multiple-backups on my external backup drive. True is that my backup drive is of sufficient size to hold multiple-backups.
Nope, my system disk was way less than 20GB at this point (right after a clean install). My backup disk had more than 600GB of free space. But it flatout replaced the old backup with the new. I was very pissed -- I really wanted to keep that image for future use.

The Paragon software I'm now using is far more sensible. It allows me to specify exactly where the backup should go, what it should be called and even allows me to add a description. Not exactly rocket science. But MS chose to do it in some strange way that has proven (to my satisfaction) to be a disaster.

I don't doubt that it can work differently under different circumstances. But this kind of inconsistent/unpredictable behavior is completely unacceptable in my book. Unfortunately, it seems to be something of a MS hallmark.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2010   #14

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you.

I have a Seagate in the laptop and a WD for external backup. So I am covered. Wonder if Acronis will let you upgrade to its full software at an upgrade price.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #15

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 
Acronis "Discount"

@Anderson2: When you first launch Seagate's Discwizard, there is a dialog that pops up which, as I recall, has a link to order Acronis at a $29 price. That link does not appear in the WD version.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #16
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I have to agree with the OP - Macrium is the easiest and fastest imaging program I have used. Long time ago I was given a free key for Paragon and I used it a few times. I did not really like it although I was impressed by the speed with which the differentials were created. At that time I was using Norton Ghost. It does the job but it took me about 6 months to understand all the odds and ends - it is not intuitive and not fast either. With Windows 7 I use free Macrium and I have made more than 20 recoveries (for real and for test and demo in my classes) and it has always worked. I use the Linux recovery disk.
For those that are interested I have made a Macrium Video Tutorial that shows the whole imaging and recovery cycle. There is also a link to a "related post" that I posted on the Vista Forum which gives a quick overview.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #17

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
@Anderson2: When you first launch Seagate's Discwizard, there is a dialog that pops up which, as I recall, has a link to order Acronis at a $29 price. That link does not appear in the WD version.

Monk
Thank you very much HMonk. I have downloaded both. Could not install them yet because I have the trial version of the full Acronis installed to try it out and the WD and SG versions would not install over a more recent version. After I finish trying the full Acronis version I will uninstall it and see what the differences are with the WD and SG versions and may go ahead and purchase it the SG upgrade way.

Quote:
For those that are interested I have made a Macrium Video Tutorial that shows the whole imaging and recovery cycle. There is also a link to a "related post" that I posted on the Vista Forum which gives a quick overview.
Thank you whs. Did you find a way to do a full "bare metal" backup using the Free Macrium version's rescue disk? On the Paragon forum they say that Paragon will warn you if the source (bad clusters) of your backup is bad, while Macrium may not. Any experience there?

How would you compare Macrium and Acronis?

Which brings up another question. With Acronis True Image and the paid version of Macrium costing about the same, would Acronis (more established) not be the better choice? Any experience with both? I heard acronis is faster still but have not really tested it yet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #18
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

With the free Macrium I image partitions. As to my knowledge you cannot do bare metal - maybe with the pro version that I have never used.
A long time ago I have tried Acronis. But in thoise days I was sold on Nortion Ghost and did not really persue it. I think Macrium is the fastest of all. I image my system partition and my data partition together. That takes 12 ninutes for a 26GB image. That is from an SSD to an internal disk. To an external disk it is a little slower - about 20 minutes.
I have chosen Macrium because it is easy to use and very reliable. Also because I teach it for the 650 members of my computer club who are on average not very advanced. They need something simple that they can deal with. Ghost or Acronis would probably stunn them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #19

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Anderson2 View Post
On the Paragon forum they say that Paragon will warn you if the source (bad clusters) of your backup is bad, while Macrium may not. Any experience there?
Hi,

Macrium Reflect will always inform you if it cannot backup a HDD, but Reflect will check the Bad Cluster Table to ensure that it misses any clusters that Windows has marked as not to use and miss them clusters out, I'm not sure if Paragon does this and just says there are bad clusters on the disk so do not try imaging it?

Stelly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #20

XP Pro
 
 

Windows 7 Pro Imaged with Free Seagate DiscWizard, and then Restored to a different drive.

I tried the latest DiscWizard, and had minor errors, so did not use it.
Not sure what my older version is, but I downloaded it from Seagate in May 2009. THAT WAs THE ONE I used below.

I made an image of the full drive MBR + Windows 7 partition + a data partition(no OS)
That is, I just ticked the box to image the whole drive.
(This was NOT a Sector by Sector image)
It took about 15 minutes to create, and the same to verify.
I then removed the drive, and put another drive into the PC.
I used Partition Magic to Delete the partitions that were previously on the new drive (Possibly I did not even have to do that ?).
I then booted with the 2009 Segate DiscWizard CD, and Restored the MBR + Windows 7 + Data partitions mentioned above.
That took 10 minutes, and I then booted into Windows 7

Hope this will assist others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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