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 Post subject: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 1st, 2020, 11:08 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
Posts: 754
Location: United States
On a new system (Win 10 Pro) that has multiple disks, I want to be able to image the host OS disk only, with only used space backed up and possibly compressed so the backup image does not take up too much space. The backup image creation will be on demand only. But I need it to be able to be reliably restored to a different drive if the current drive fails. With my old setup, I used Macrium Reflect booted from Hirens Boot CD to create the image backups. While I would like to be able to create the backup image while booted into the OS, having to boot from a live device is acceptable (I have recently attempted to use the built in Windows Backup and Restore, and testing yielded very disappointing results, as in epic failure). I have it down to three programs. I chose them because they have free versions, and I would plan on using the free version from within the OS if possible. Plus all of them are included on the new Windows 10 Hirens boot disk.

AOMEI Backupper
Lazesoft Disk Image & Clone
Macrium Reflect

Does anyone have any preference to any of these, and why? I will be testing all of them, but I always welcome to the feedback of others that may have some insight that I would not find out until later when it was too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 1st, 2020, 18:56 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
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Location: Hungary
i prefer Macrium Reflect.... coz i don't know anything else :P

pepe

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 1st, 2020, 22:51 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
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Location: United States
My testing so far has ruled out AOMEI Backupper. The free version does not offer the making of a boot disk. And using it from Hirens boot disk failed to restore properly. AOMEI is off the table!

When using Macrium Reflect from Hirens boot disk, it could not read the source. But when building the proper Macrium boot disk it did work. And I like the fact that the PE boot disk can see wireless networks, which would be helpful if needing to recover from a NAS. But I have had a glitch with recovery, where it recovered once from a backup, but trying to recover again from the same backup gave an error that the backup was corrupt. It will require more testing before I can be confident with it.

And then there is Lazesoft Disk Image & Clone. It has worked from both Hirens boot disk, from the OS, and from the boot media it creates. It has been flawless in all operations. It even seems to be noticeably faster at some operations. I will do more testing, but it definitely is a contender.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2020, 7:44 
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Joined: December 8th, 2010, 11:37
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Macrium Reflect here. Never had a problem with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2020, 10:26 
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Joined: December 8th, 2010, 11:37
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
I just tried Lazesoft Disk Imaging and Clone last night and it seemed to work great. Created then restored an image to a new SSD and was very happy.

This morning, I tried again, this time to restore the image to a smaller SSD. I got an error message "Failed to get drive image file version information from the file:<image path and filename>". Can't find anything on that error message but that's a nightmare waiting to happen. I think I'll pass on Lazesoft.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2020, 14:39 
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Joined: July 26th, 2020, 17:15
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Location: United Kingdom
I tried something similar using easus todo backup and somehow it even crashed my boot drive, I then used acronis and that made a successful backup but then whin I restored to another hard disk it came up with boot failure, back in the old days it was Norton ghost all the way, going to get in touch with easus technical support next week see if they can work out what's going wrong and I let your know, it does seem like a good bit of software otherwise


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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2020, 19:54 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
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Location: United States
LarrySabo wrote:
I just tried Lazesoft Disk Imaging and Clone last night and it seemed to work great. Created then restored an image to a new SSD and was very happy.

This morning, I tried again, this time to restore the image to a smaller SSD. I got an error message "Failed to get drive image file version information from the file:<image path and filename>". Can't find anything on that error message but that's a nightmare waiting to happen. I think I'll pass on Lazesoft.

When I try to restore to a smaller drive it won't even let me, and I can see a message that the destination is too small. So it can't restore to a smaller drive, that could be an issue in an emergency when all one has is a spare drive that is smaller.

I also had one other issue where the installation was not compressing the image properly, and it was 5 times bigger than it should have been. Reinstalling the program did resolve that issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2020, 19:57 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
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Dellboy wrote:
I tried something similar using easus todo backup and somehow it even crashed my boot drive, I then used acronis and that made a successful backup but then whin I restored to another hard disk it came up with boot failure, back in the old days it was Norton ghost all the way, going to get in touch with easus technical support next week see if they can work out what's going wrong and I let your know, it does seem like a good bit of software otherwise

I just tried EasUS Todo Backup, and was unable to restore from the backup with some error message. Epic fail, won't be using this either.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2020, 20:04 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
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I think I have made a decision for myself. I will be using Macrium Reflect as the primary backup, and Lazesoft Disk Image & Clone as a secondary backup. I may not do the secondary backup as often, maybe only for more major system changes. That way I have an alternative if Macrium glitches on me. You can never have too many backups!

That does not mean this conversation has to be done. More feedback is always welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2020, 5:40 
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Joined: July 12th, 2010, 4:38
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I use Macrium to make images of the drives if I want to restore them again after, but the destination drive should be at least the same size.

To make disk clones, to smaller SSD for instance, I use Minitool Partition Wizard and it works 99% of the times (on the other 1% I get some error that can't boot the OS, don't know why...)

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2020, 21:08 
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A little off topic, but many years ago before I discovered virtual machines, I did some crazy partitioning with multiple bootable partitions. I think at one point in time I had a 500GB drive with 14 partitions, and 9 of them were bootable Windows. I think 3 XP, 3 Vista, and 3 Win7. I had a unique method of using grub4dos to boot dos images that would each themselves do a grub4dos boot to the desired partition while hiding the others to avoid conflicts. I probably have some unwritten record for Windows multiboot on a single drive. The one thing I do remember is that the only backup/partition tool that worked at all for me back then was Acronis True Image. I used it to move things around, although I still had to modify the Windows OS to be able to boot if it was moved. It was a big learning experience. I have not included Acronis in this discussion because it does not meet the criteria of having a free version. But if I ever had to pay for backup software, it would be at the top of my list.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2020, 21:35 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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If you have a Seagate or WD drive, then both Seagate and WD provide free OEM versions of Acronis True Image. Seagate calls it DiscWizard.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup Image Software
PostPosted: August 30th, 2020, 5:47 
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Joined: August 29th, 2020, 22:23
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Location: New York City
I've used 'dd' and 'clonezilla'. With dd, the backup can be to a file which can be mounted as a file system, and accessed just like a drive partition. Clonezilla doesn't do that. But both restore to a bootable state. Dd can also be Piped through gzip or bzip2 to compress the image, and can be then piped through netcat to perform cloning over a local network, or over the internet. The clone bit stream can be piped through ssh for encryption over public channels.

The clone can be streamed to a Luks container, which, when closed, renders the clone encrypted. Images can be made on ftp severs, nfs volumes, samba shares, cifs volumes, UFS volumes, lvs2 volumes, raid arrays, flash media, over USB, TO flash readers, loopback devices, sparse files that grow only to the size required to hold the image, ramdrives, M.2 drives, and the following file systems, from any to any: UFS, XFS, ZFS, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, CIFS, NFS, CRAMFS, LogFS, UBIFS, Minix, NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, EXFAT, HFS, btrfs, tmpfs, ramfs, and others.

Dd is the reference data-processing standard for imaging since the 1970s. It has been use billions of times without error, and it is assumed in courts of law, without further qualification, to produce an exact duplicate of the data it copies.

Proprietary solutions have a big problem with increasing drive capacities. They all use file systems developed 'in house', many of which have serious limitations. So, very large files need to be split, compression algorithms choke on the sheer volume of data, only a few restore position-dependent files to the sectors they originally occupied relative to the partition table, the file systems are poorly tested for scalability, they contain no error checking or parity, so it must be done as the data is read, written, and then read again.

Users will always have failures using proprietary image backup solutions.
But there are some standouts. Handy Backup, Symantec Ghost, and Acronis True Image. Handy Backup is feature rich and cheap, but not free.

Ordinarily, if you restore Windows 7, 8 or 10 to a different disk, it doesn't boot.


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