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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: June 1st, 2019, 15:00 
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Nice !!! Keep up with the good work !

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 5th, 2019, 17:13 
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HDDSuperClone version 2.13 released.

HDDSuperClone Changelog

version 2.1.13 20190804
* Fixed a bug with the timing byte
* Fixed a bug with some USB drives bad reads reporting as good
* Fixed a bug where SCSI passthrough would not work on old drives
* Fixed the generic source device mode
* Fixed a bug with the model name in generic source device mode
* Changed some of the default timeouts to a higher value

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 5th, 2019, 19:29 
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So I have been working on my Direct USB mode, which I now have at the beta level, and here is some information.

First, this is meant for drives that cannot be connected as SATA. It is not meant to be an adapter for SATA to USB. It could be used for other types of storage devices such as SD cards or NVMe drives with a USB adapter.

I only have SATA drives to test with, so all of my tests are using some form of USB to SATA adapter, which I say you should not be doing. But that is all I have to test with at this time. I will likely be asking for some beta testing help.

My testing with different USB adapters gave different results with different adapters. That means that the real world results will depend on the USB bridge of the device.

For SATA not all adapters directly support passthrough soft or hard resets, so I would think this could carry over to actual USB only drives.

Even without direct support for resets, there is a special reset for USB mass storage devices, called a Bulk Only Reset. This reset will trigger whatever resets the USB bridge needs to do (and is capable of) to reset the storage device. For SATA this reset itself will likely trigger a soft or hard reset, if it is capable. In the event of other types of adapters, it should be possible it would attempt to perform whatever reset could be done.

Resets can be performed on a timeout setting. If the device has not responded within the timeout limit, the reset process is started. If it is successful, the device will become ready again for the next command. If the reset is not supported or has no effect, you then still have to wait for the device to become ready.

In my testing, I have successfully used short timeouts to reset USB connected SATA drives to speed up the error handling process, very similar to timeouts on a SATA connected drive.

For drives that have some sort of “slow” issue, it can be possible to speed up the overall read speed by greatly increasing the cluster size (which is not possible using the OS reads). The idea is that the drive is performing a background operation between reads which causes all reads to take a long time. By increasing the read size, the ratio of data read per background operation is increased, allowing for a much faster overall data transfer. I only have one WD drive to test this with, but I am able to increase the overall read speed by a factor of 100.

For devices that could potentially require a very long timeout setting, you can set the timeout up to a stupid high 15 minutes (same as the other direct modes).

For devices that need to be power cycled, it will work with an external relay (which you would need to purchase and wire on your own, the instructions are on the website). Along with the usual drive issues, this may work well for some solid state devices that need to be power cycled often on a short timeout.

Overall, the Direct USB mode has good potential, but it still relies on the USB bridge, so results will vary. Only further testing will give a sign of the true potential.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 6th, 2019, 22:20 
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I would just like to add that I have a SATA drive that locks up when connected to a computer where the OS tries to read it (the very beginning of the drive has major issues that cause it to go into device fault and lockup if attempted to read). The drive can be accessed in Direct AHCI mode with disabling of the SATA port, but this is to prove USB access. The drive lockup would also happen if connected via USB, but Linux has commands to disable mass USB storage devices in whole, so that any USB storage device is left alone (side effect is that no other USB storage devices can be accessed at all, so no cloning to any other USB device). If I disable mass USB storage devices so the OS does not try to read it, and connect the drive to my USB adapter, I am able to read it using timeouts to get past the bad spot. This is a drive that absolutely cannot be read by any computer OS because it locks up, but I can read it with a USB adapter using the Direct USB mode.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 17th, 2019, 19:19 
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I am considering stopping my work on HDDSuperClone, and just making it open source with limited or no further support. It is taking up way to much of my free time to maintain and update it, plus the expected support. And only a small number have purchased the pro version. The small amount of extra income I have gained from it is not worth the time and effort. This is not set in stone yet, but I am really seriously thinking about this.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 17th, 2019, 19:55 
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You did all the work for free while many of your users are probably making thousands using it.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 3:30 
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I am just spending too much time on it. Because I sell a pro version, I feel obligated to support it as best I can, even for the free version. I think I want to be able to say that I will support it when I have the spare time, and feel like working on it. To get to that mindset, I would have to make it completely free, and just say "Sorry if it doesn't work like you need it to, or that you don't know how to use it because it is complicated. It is free, and you get what you pay for. Deal with it". I would still offer better support for the few that have paid for it, but otherwise I want to be more free of the obligation.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 3:35 
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And this is even as I am getting ready to release the new direct USB feature for the pro version. I think part of it is that if that feature needs tweaking, or someone needs help using it, I don't want to feel like I have to jump right on it and blow my day away.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 6:23 
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Too bad. From what I read it's an excellent tool with lots of potential that can compete with more expensive solutions.

However in my experience this 'freemium' type model (where you have a free version that offers very usable functionality) you're using does not work for this type of software. Amount of support may drop and revenue may increase if you drop the free stuff: Most people are free riders. There's a large group that feels that they're entitled to free stuff.

I tried this model. I spent large amounts of time on supporting the free riders and it appears a simple thank you for your time is even too much to ask for. Those people will never pay for a license.

And then you didn't even try to solve the easy stuff: In Chrome I see no paypal button. I am assuming Chrome is the most used browser, so that may be a thing.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 6:46 
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maximus wrote:
HDDSuperClone version 2.13 released.

HDDSuperClone Changelog

version 2.1.13 20190804
* Fixed a bug with the timing byte
* Fixed a bug with some USB drives bad reads reporting as good
* Fixed a bug where SCSI passthrough would not work on old drives
* Fixed the generic source device mode
* Fixed a bug with the model name in generic source device mode
* Changed some of the default timeouts to a higher value


Nice... Keep it up..

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 8:40 
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Posts: 888
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maximus wrote:
I am considering stopping my work on HDDSuperClone, and just making it open source with limited or no further support. It is taking up way to much of my free time to maintain and update it, plus the expected support. And only a small number have purchased the pro version. The small amount of extra income I have gained from it is not worth the time and effort. This is not set in stone yet, but I am really seriously thinking about this.

To be honest you shouldn't offer support for the free version and only updates when there is a major new version.
The free users should be able/capable to discuss any issues amongst themselves on this or any other forum.


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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 10:03 
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Quote:
And then you didn't even try to solve the easy stuff: In Chrome I see no paypal button. I am assuming Chrome is the most used browser, so that may be a thing.
I just tested that in Chrome, and it did work, but it took several seconds before the button showed up. And to that I would like to add that my website is a Google Site... so WTF, it should f***ing work right in Chrome! :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 10:11 
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dick wrote:
maximus wrote:
I am considering stopping my work on HDDSuperClone, and just making it open source with limited or no further support. It is taking up way to much of my free time to maintain and update it, plus the expected support. And only a small number have purchased the pro version. The small amount of extra income I have gained from it is not worth the time and effort. This is not set in stone yet, but I am really seriously thinking about this.

To be honest you shouldn't offer support for the free version and only updates when there is a major new version.
The free users should be able/capable to discuss any issues amongst themselves on this or any other forum.

Yeah, maybe I should just completely stop free support unless it is a bug. Maybe only offer limited support for the paid version unless it is a bug. Maybe put a disclaimer to read the user manual, and if something doesn't work, provide as much information as possible, and I will check to see if it is a bug, and if it is a bug it may not get fixed right away. Maybe also a disclaimer that the software is as-is. I just need to get away from it for awhile.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 17:21 
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I think part of my problem is that I am obsessed with the program, and keep finding things that can be improved, or new features that can be added, all of which takes time. That is my problem that I have to figure out how to deal with.

But then there is the support. Sometimes I just get stupid people that don’t know what the heck they are doing asking questions or saying they are getting an error and it is not working. Then sometimes I get smart people that just don’t read the user manual first, and ask questions that they should have figured out on their own. But then there are the times where it turns out to be some sort of issue or bug that I need to (or should) address, or maybe something that I just can’t fix without having the problem hardware myself.

My goal is to get the program to the point where there are few or no bugs. My ideal goal is to just be able to sell it and not have to deal with any issues (pipe dream?). I think I am sabotaging myself in a way by adding extra features and improvement that could cause bugs that I have to deal with. And here I am about to release a major new feature, just waiting for someone to find something wrong with, or not understand it. Maybe I just need to adjust how I deal with support, and say “this is my software, and it is what it is, you can report bugs, but otherwise just deal with it”. That is not a good attitude for customer service, but I might have to adopt it to some point to free myself. The problem is how to do that without blowing off actual potential bug issues. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.

Even though not many have purchased it, I still do like the bit of extra income :) I just need to not spend as much time on it. That would mean less support and bug fixes. Still not sure where I am with this overall.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 17:54 
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And now I see that my automated language translation has issues. Might be time to drop that support. I have one person that has provided a proper Russian translation, maybe I should just stick to language translations that someone is willing to keep up with, and dump the automatic that is based on Google Translate. Probably nobody uses the other translations anyway...

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 18th, 2019, 19:49 
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With all the negative thoughts, here is a positive one.

New release of HDDSuperClone, with a new Direct USB feature. Refer to the user manual for more information about the new feature:
http://www.sdcomputingservice.com/hddsu ... ect%20Mode

HDDSuperClone Changelog

version 2.1.14 20190818
* Improved USB ATA locked up drive detection
* Fixed a bug with the driver minimum cluster size
* Made the minimum driver cluster size also affect domain reads
* Enabling SCSI write now uses /dev/sgX devices
* Added the new Direct USB mode

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 19th, 2019, 18:16 
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Okay, I think I am coming down off my mid-life-crisis and getting a grip on reality again, not sure for how long though :lol:

I am currently working on fixing the translation, it wasn't that hard to figure out to fix, and the updated files will be uploaded when done.

It has been asked for support of NVMe devices, and I have looked into it a bit. There is no good documentation at all. There is no official "passthrough" as there is for SCSI and ATA. Plus the drives are normally connected to the motherboard either directly or attached to a card, so there would be no way to power cycle the device if needed. Plus it would be about impossible to keep the OS from trying to access it while still being able to access it with software.

So with this new Direct USB mode, I am going to say that is my solution for NVMe drives. Get a USB to NVMe adapter, and then you may have some sort of chance to read it, with the ability to power cycle, and have the OS leave it alone. I don’t know what resets are possible with NVMe, but depending on the USB adapter bridge, it could (should?) be capable of performing whatever reset is needed with the USB bulk only reset. I also don’t know what kind of luck you will have reading these devices when they are messed up. It could be futile. This is the best I can do.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 20th, 2019, 19:15 
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maximus wrote:
I am considering stopping my work on HDDSuperClone, and just making it open source with limited or no further support. It is taking up way to much of my free time to maintain and update it, plus the expected support. And only a small number have purchased the pro version. The small amount of extra income I have gained from it is not worth the time and effort. This is not set in stone yet, but I am really seriously thinking about this.

After some thought, I will be keeping on with my work, but I may change how I handle support, and maybe not as many updates/fixes as quick. So if someone has an issue at a time where I don't have the time, then I may say I don't have the time, and that I don't know when I will get to it.

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 21st, 2019, 19:25 
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Someone pointed something out about my pricing, and I am thinking about a bit of a change. Currently I am charging $25USD for the short term 60 day license, and $150USD for the extended long term (basically lifetime) license. That is a ratio of 6:1. I am thinking of going with a 10:1 or 20:1. Maybe $20 for the short term and $200 for the long term, or even $15 for the short term and $300 for the long term. The idea is that someone that is doing some data recovery on a semi regular basis will be willing to pay for the long term license (and not worry about always needing internet access). But for someone that wants just a one time or occasional use, or wants to test it before committing to the long term version cost, the price is more affordable. I would make more from those that want to use it regularly for data recovery, and also get more of those that either want to test it or only use it for an occasional recovery. So what do you think, 10:1 or 20:1? I am thinking I like the 20:1, go big or go home :)

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 Post subject: Re: HDDSuperClone - A new Linux hard drive cloning/imaging t
PostPosted: August 21st, 2019, 19:31 
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maximus wrote:
Someone pointed something out about my pricing, and I am thinking about a bit of a change. Currently I am charging $25USD for the short term 60 day license, and $150USD for the extended long term (basically lifetime) license. That is a ratio of 6:1. I am thinking of going with a 10:1 or 20:1. Maybe $20 for the short term and $200 for the long term, or even $15 for the short term and $300 for the long term. The idea is that someone that is doing some data recovery on a semi regular basis will be willing to pay for the long term license (and not worry about always needing internet access). But for someone that wants just a one time or occasional use, or wants to test it before committing to the long term version cost, the price is more affordable. I would make more from those that want to use it regularly for data recovery, and also get more of those that either want to test it or only use it for an occasional recovery. So what do you think, 10:1 or 20:1? I am thinking I like the 20:1, go big or go home :)

The issue might be that this is a data recovery forum full of professionals, and you are asking advice on whether you should increase the cost of the product to data recovery professionals.......

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