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Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Home for imaging PC with two internal hard drives

I use a PC with two internal hard drives for my business. Internal drives total 418 GB and have about 300 GB of programs and data. Windows XP operating system.

I want to image my entire PC (both internal drives) and save in external hard drive. I also want to do differential image backups on a daily basis. I have been doing this for three years with Acronis True Image Home 11. So I understand the process of creating images and then adding differential saves daily. I'm not going to talk about why I bought the Paragon software; that would only confuse things right now.

I just bought Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Home. From looking at the instructions, I'm not absolutely sure that this new program from Paragon will let me make differential backups to the original image that will be on my external hard drive.

I ran the program last night to save an image of my entire computer on an EHD with this Paragon program. The program showed that it was going to take about 12 or 13 hours to write the image to the EHD. Then I got an error message, and the Paragon program shut down.

Questions:
1. Will Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Home create the image of my entire computer (both internal drives) AND let me add differential backups to that image?

2. If the answer to the first question is yes, does it seem reasonable that creating the first image and writing it to my EHD would take 12 or so hours? Acronis True Image Home 11 (several years old) takes about 4 1/2 hours to image my computer with the 300 GB of OS, applications, and data.

3. Error message says "VSS: Can't read volume data. (Source: Hard Disk Manager)". Paragon had scanned the first internal disk and was "data writing (buffered)" when the error occurred. This happened about 2 1/2 hours into the imaging process. Acronis has been imaging my computer without having any problems. Does this message refer to a problem Paragon is having with my internal drives or my EHD?

Thanks for your help.

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faxhamil
Asked:
faxhamil
1 Solution
 
NummmnutCommented:
1) Yes in most cases, this is handled by the archive bits on the files, this will tell the backup program what was changed and backup program depending on if it is doing a full/dif/inc will toggle the archive bit in different ways.

2)  If you are using USB connection, then turn off the auto safe removal, so you will have to manually unmount the USB drive.  This will add better performance...  Also have your anti-virus program ignore your backup program/agents, as it will want to scan everytime it moves a file.

3) Sounds like this problem can be with the type of backup you are performing... try to go into advanced settings and turn off VSS using hardware and try Microsoft's...  If this does not work then turn it off completely.
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nobusCommented:
you can see on the features list that it supports incremental backups :  2nd item  here : http://www.paragon-software.com/export/sites/paragonsoftware.com/docs/BRH11Home_Full_Features_List.pdf

as for the time needed -  usb is max 480MBits/sec = 60MB Max if you obtain 50 MB that would be fine and it will not take 12 Hrs; i suppose that is the first estimate it lists?  normally the time is adjusted during transfer

for your error, i found this :    -->>  http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=252769
* start Backup & Recovery 10.0 Suite
* run full interface of Drive Backup Pro
* go to Tools - Settings - Hot processing options, switch from VSS to HotBackup
* try to create backup now

note  : you can also contact Paragon - they will help you out also !

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noxchoCommented:
1. Will Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Home create the image of my entire computer (both internal drives) AND let me add differential backups to that image?

_Yes.

2. If the answer to the first question is yes, does it seem reasonable that creating the first image and writing it to my EHD would take 12 or so hours? Acronis True Image Home 11 (several years old) takes about 4 1/2 hours to image my computer with the 300 GB of OS, applications, and data.

_Either your drive has errors or you have selected sector per sector mode. Or you are using USB1.1.

3. Error message says "VSS: Can't read volume data. (Source: Hard Disk Manager)". Paragon had scanned the first internal disk and was "data writing (buffered)" when the error occurred. This happened about 2 1/2 hours into the imaging process. Acronis has been imaging my computer without having any problems. Does this message refer to a problem Paragon is having with my internal drives or my EHD?

_This errors clears my first suggestion. When Paragon cannot read the data bitmap it considers that drive is RAW and completely full of data. For me 100GB data backup takes roughly 1 hour with Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server.
Scan your drives with CHKDSK /f/r (all of them) first. If VSS cannot read data from one of the partitions then it means that Paragon even did not start the backup. It failed at the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service part already. Does Full Scale Mode of Paragon show your partitions as NTFS formatted? Or is any of them shown as RED/Unformatted/Invalid?
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faxhamilAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the info and recommendations. I will try these out today and post back here.
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faxhamilAuthor Commented:
Update: I had errors on my C drive (the disk that has my XP OS as well as a lot of data). I finally fixed that through chkdsk, Spinrite, and the restoring the system to a previous restore point. Then I made an image of my whole computer with Acronis TI Home 11.

It took about 3 times as long as usual to back up an image of my whole computer to the EHD and also validate the backup. The external hard drive was making some grinding noises that are louder than usual sound from that EHD.

I did not run chkdsk on the external hard drive, because I didn't want to take a chance of screwing up the Acronis image that I just discussed.

I live in Central America and will go to a larger city tomorrow to buy another EHD. I'll use Acronis to save an image of my whole computer to the new EHD. Then I'll try Paragon again.

BTW, the reason I'm trying to see if Paragon will work is that I want to be doubly sure I have a good image of my whole computer. I've read enough horror stories about how programs like Acronis and Paragon sometimes fail when trying to restore an image to the internal hard drives. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm doing that by choice. I don't have ready access to a computer expert where I live, so protecting my OS, programs, and data with imaged backups is extremely important for me.

If you have any quick thoughts, feel free to share them. BTW, I'm going to the U.S. next week. I don't go often. Before then, I'll be looking online to check possibly buying a new laptop. My Dell XPS is 3 1/2 years old. I don't need the gaming and graphic capabilities it has. I'm thinking that to be really safe, it might make sense to buy a new laptop if I can afford a good quality one.
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noxchoCommented:
What I like in Paragon - it simply informs you about the problems your file system or HDD has - without imaging it silently. This makes you alarmed and gives you chance to save the data when it needed but not when disaster came. Like in this case you had.
And my experience with Paragon shows that if the image was taken successfully after running CHKDSK (I always run it before taking image) then it will restore for sure.
I had bad experience with Ghost and ATI in past (imagine that I took backups of city administration server and it failed. What the horror - the backups won't restore!!!!).
Ghost was slow in my case and could not find the image to which I pointed it.
Yes, Paragon has its own dark sids like slow speed and weak compression - but I am personally a fun of it.
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faxhamilAuthor Commented:
Noxcho, that makes sense to me. Because the last thing I want to do is rely on an image and then not being able to restore it. My business is a small one; I'm a consultant. Nothing nearly as big as a backup of a city administration server! But if a my backup failed, I'd be in a really tough situation.

Thanks for letting me know how Paragon is different from other programs in this way. Slower speed and weak compression is not nearly as important as being reliable. BTW, one reason my backup is slow is that I'm running USB2, not USB3. My wife will bring the USB3 to me in a couple of weeks.

I'll jump back on here after I get my new EHD and try Paragon again.
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faxhamilAuthor Commented:
It took me until late this past week to back up my computer with Paragon. The initial problem was that one of my two internal hard drives was failing. I used CHKDSK /f/r, SpinRite 6.0, and Western Digital's utility to find and repair the errors... multiple times.

Paragon finally said that it succeeded in imaging my two internal drives. Then the problem internal drive crashed big-time before Paragon could even verify the integrity of the archive. I'll replace that internal drive and then restore from Paragon. I hope that the backup was successful!

I've been having repeated problems with internal and external hard drives. I will start a new question about that tonight or tomorrow.
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