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VSNAP.IDX (Read 4603 times)
Howard Kaikow
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VSNAP.IDX
Dec 7th, 2005 at 1:36am
 
I am guessing that the installation of Ghost 10 caused the creation of a file vsnap.idx on eacjh of the logicak drives on my hard drives.

If so, what is that file used for?
 
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SheldonR
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #1 - Dec 7th, 2005 at 12:15pm
 
Couldn't find much information

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=VSNAP.IDX
 
 
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Howard Kaikow
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #2 - Dec 7th, 2005 at 12:29pm
 
Quote:
Couldn't find much information

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=VSNAP.IDX


I'm using Ghost 10, the other threads seem to be about problems in Ghost 9, or earlier versions.
 
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Howard Kaikow
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #3 - Dec 7th, 2005 at 12:41pm
 
I found nothing of relevance searching the Symantec "support" site/

Yes, "Symantec support" is an oxymoron.
 
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Howard Kaikow
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #4 - Dec 14th, 2005 at 7:38pm
 
I Got the following response from Symantec tech support via email.

"I understand from your message that you are want to know what is vsnap.idx .

Howard, please be aware that It's part of the snapshot driver's incremental imaging functionality.  Basically, when incremental imaging is enabled, the driver needs to continuously monitor all changes that are made to the volume.  As new data is written to the volume, the original data needs to be preserved.  It's moved off into areas of free space on the volume that are tracked and guarded by the driver.
The snapshot driver uses VSNAP.IDX to keep track of the locations in free space that are being used.  When a graceful shutdown/reboot occurs, the snapshot driver saves to VSNAP.IDX information about the free space that is being used.  When the machine is booting up, and before the operating system mounts any volume, the snapshot driver uses private knowledge of NTFS to scan the volume for VSNAP.IDX so that it can load the necessary structures (from free space) necessary to re-commence the monitoring necessary for incremental imaging.

Now suppose that you uninstall the product and then install it and that during this process neither the uninstall nor the install removes the existing VSNAP.IDX files (which at least one of them is supposed to do).  The data in free space that VSNAP.IDX refers to will have changed, unbeknownst to the snapshot driver (which is uninstalled and not running) and so it will be garbage.  When the driver is re-installed, and when the operating system's volume is about to mount, the snapshot driver sees an existing vsnap.idx file and goes to check the free space to load its tables/etc to recommence monitoring for incremental imaging, and it discovers that the data appears to be corrupt, so it ends up failing the mount request of the boot/OS volume, which produces the blue screen. "

I followed up with:

"I find it difficult to believe that Ghost is moving my data to free space on the volume. I could believe that Ghost is keeping track of which sectors have been changed, but no more than that.

Also, if one has a multiboot system, then the process fails. For example, if there are two OS installed on a PC, say, on C and on F, but Ghost is installed only in the OS on F, then if I boot to the OS on C, the vsnap.idx will not be updated while the OS on C is running. "

I am awaiting Symantec's response.
 
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John.
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #5 - Dec 14th, 2005 at 8:06pm
 
Thanks for the info.

Symantec's response just confirms my own belief that it is safer/wiser to avoid incremental backups (even though they are supposed to work).

A better approach is to always create full complete independent image backups, not incremental.  Thus you avoid the complexity they describe as well as put YOU in control of what is imaged; and you avoid all that Recovery Point code just introduced in Ghost 10.

In the event of a disaster, the user wants a certified backup image, not a maybe-vsnap-calculated image.

 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Brian
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #6 - Dec 14th, 2005 at 8:18pm
 
Quote:
A better approach is to always create full complete independent image backups, not incremental.


Ghost4me, I disagree. I've been using incremental backup images for over two years and I've never had a problem. I think they are one of the best features of hot imaging and I use them daily. Most of my restores have been done from an incremental image, mainly because they outnumber baseline images on my computer.

As I usually know which day my computer started to "play up" then I restore to the previous day.
 
 
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John.
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #7 - Dec 14th, 2005 at 8:32pm
 
Brian, ok I would propose a compromise.

In several small business enviornments we take full independent backup images once/week.  We do data backups (not using Ghost) daily.  I would agree that daily incrementals are fine because they tend to be smaller and easier to manage.

We also archive/copy the weekly full images to DVD for offsite storage, which I like because it is a complete image at a defined point in time.

So a combination of incrementals for daily use and full for weekly use could represent a reasonable approach.

(Thanks for this great forum!  I can't believe the level of knowledgeable support here from everyone.)
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Brian
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #8 - Dec 14th, 2005 at 8:42pm
 
Ghost4me, I like your compomise because it's almost word for word of what I do.

Regarding the extra automation in Ghost 10; like you I think I'll stick with a more manual approach. I've only played with the Ghost 10 demo so far but I don't like the feature which creates recovery points whenever a new app is installed etc. This feature can be turned off.
 
 
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Howard Kaikow
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Re: VSNAP.IDX
Reply #9 - Dec 15th, 2005 at 8:51am
 
John. wrote on Dec 14th, 2005 at 8:32pm:
Brian, ok I would propose a compromise.

In several small business enviornments we take full independent backup images once/week.  We do data backups (not using Ghost) daily.  I would agree that daily incrementals are fine because they tend to be smaller and easier to manage.

We also archive/copy the weekly full images to DVD for offsite storage, which I like because it is a complete image at a defined point in time.

So a combination of incrementals for daily use and full for weekly use could represent a reasonable approach.

(Thanks for this great forum!  I can't believe the level of knowledgeable support here from everyone.)


What's the point of using a backup that does not do proper incremental backups?

That would require using two programs to restore a system in a disaster.

What happens if you use Ghost 10 to do an independent backup and limit to 1 set per backup medium, then ask for another independent set on that same drive?

If Ghost is smart enough to first free the space from th old set, then create the new independent set, one could just run a full backup every night. Of course, swapping media each day, so you always have the most recent two copies.
 
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