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"Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging" (Read 28642 times)
Pleonasm
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #30 - Apr 10th, 2007 at 12:39pm
 
Just to illustrate the point that a .GHO image has the potential to be created in a corrupt state . . .

Quote:
I am trying to create an image of a 12GB Dell 2950 server partition using a Ghost 2003 boot disk.  Every image I create shows as corrupt.  I am able to create images of other servers that are fine.
Source:  Every Image Created is Corrupt
 

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nbree
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #31 - Apr 11th, 2007 at 4:04am
 
El_Pescador wrote on Apr 10th, 2007 at 10:26am:
Then the question becomes: Is easier for a "ham-handed" user to precipitate improperly managed transactional file system activity when using either "hot-imaging" or "cold-imaging" Ghost products, or is it instead a "wash"?

The thing is, that the only kind of program which could cause any trouble of any kind would be one that, for instance, when saving a file erases the original before writing a new one. Now, programs that do this are vulnerable to all kinds of problems - if they fail internally, they lose data, if the power goes off, they lose data, etc. - and the total extent of the problem they would cause for a snapshot is exactly the same as in those other cases, which is that one file might end up truncated in that one snapshot.

Now, as it happens there is even a way to deal with almost all these situations; the kinds of programs that do this kind of thing are almost universally single-threaded, which is how Windows stops them causing exactly these problems when, say, suspending a notebook. Because such programs almost always do these operations synchronously, if a backup program were to simply ensure that the currently running programs are dispatching window messages it's pretty much covered.

In fact, this is doable using just one call: BroadcastSystemMessage with the BSF_FLUSHDISK option.

So sure, it's possible to screw things up, but only if you have a program that does long-running, high-risk data-destroying operations on files while still processing window messages. There really aren't a lot of those around though, and people tend not to use such programs on data they value highly.
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #32 - Apr 11th, 2007 at 9:36am
 
Pleomasm and Rad

*Hot-imaging*  Undecided *Cold-imaging* reliability--here we go again!

Pleonasm wrote on Apr 4th, 2007 at 7:10am:
Nbree, continuing the conversation from Reply #11, there has been considerable debate among forum members on whether or not "hot imaging" (e.g., Norton Ghost 10) is as reliable as "cold-imaging" (e.g., Norton Ghost 2003).  Your comments imply (and appear to confirm my own perspective) that both are equally reliable for Windows XP - and presumably for Windows Vista, too.  Of course, each image backup approach has some benefits and features that the other lacks - but specifically with respect to reliability, is there any reason to believe that one approach is any more or less reliable than the other?


Rad wrote on Apr 8th, 2007 at 6:08pm:
if your boot/system drive died .. and if your storage drive contained two back-up images .. one with the file extention *.gho (created by Ghost 2003) and another ending with *.v2i (or whatever file extention Ghost 9/10 produces) .. which would you consider more reliable? .. if you had to bet the farm on the restore working??


I thought we *agreed* a long time ago that if the software (DOS Ghost 2003 vs Ghost 9/10/Save & Restore) was compatible with one's other software and hardware and did not cause usage errors, then both hot and cold imaging seemed to be equally *reliable*--yes they are different approaches with different functionality--so one person may prefer one approach over the other--but there does not appear to be major *reliability* issues!

I think most of *us* who worry about *hot imaging* are folks who go back some years and used programs in Win 3.x, Win95, Win98, etc. ... years where the promise of being able to multi-task in the Windows environment frequently ended up with a crashed or frozen system--both Windows and the hardware (CPU capacity) were not up to the task of *multi-tasking*!

DOS Ghost 2003 (and it's other DOS cousins) and Ghost 9/10/Save & Restore work for most of the users, most of the time as long as there is not software or hardware conflicts!

Looking over the majority of posts about problems with Ghost in our forum--I would guess that a majority of *reliability* issues is *wetware user error* in not knowing how to use the software correctly (read that--did you read the User Guide?!), or not understanding the terminology of the User Guide (if it was read!)--and not understanding the issues involved in imaging, cloning, and restoring to one's HDD under various scenarios!

So, here you are pestering this poor software developer who has his own corporate work issues to deal with in an attempt to *bolster* your respective biases and have him *take sides*--

Both of you--go to your corners--you need a *time out*, and some *quiet time* to think about this   Wink !



nbree

Ever the diplomatic answer!:

Quote:
Given that I have the ability and access to fix any problem that could arise in Ghost it's not a question that I can answer in the abstract; I use Ghost (edit by NightOwl--he means DOS Ghost), not just because I can but because it's right and proper for us to eat our own dogfood. Indeed, last time I did a boot drive migration at home (earlier last year) it was with the pre-GSS2 development code and helped find a bug.

The same is undoubtedly true of the PQ guys (edit by NightOwl--he means Ghost 9/10/Save & Restore), and I have no doubt that they work every bit as diligently as we do. PQ was justly famous for Partition Magic, and deserved the reputation that brought them. Even as competitors we held their engineering skills in high regard; we and they took and still take different approaches to product design, which is a completely different matter entirely. I happen to feel similarly about most competing products, such as Acronis; I wouldn't criticise the engineering ability of their staff either.


There's room in the world for all these, and no shortage of reasons to prefer one or another that aren't about technology. Really, most technological arguments about products are emphasising the wrong things: qualitative factors such as "flexibility" and "attractiveness" are harder to evaluate but end up mattering more where it matters most, in how users feel about their experience with a product. We're emotional beings, after all - which ties us back to your question about how I felt about being a developer.

 

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Pleonasm
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #33 - Apr 11th, 2007 at 12:35pm
 
Thank you, NightOwl, for interjecting a dose of sanity into the discussion.  Smiley I think you summarized the situation quite well, from my viewpoint:  there really is no rational reason to prefer a “cold imaging” backup solution over one using “hot imaging,” as evaluated in terms of reliability, provided the user has verified in her or his own environment that the selected tool works as expected.

As Nbree stated in Reply #25, we are emotional beings when choosing one backup solution versus another and have “no shortage of reasons to prefer one or another that aren't about technology.”

By the way, for those individuals who may want to learn more about the central role that emotion has in consumer decision making, I recommend the book Body of Truth:  Leveraging What Consumers Can't or Won't Say by Dan Hill.
 

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nbree
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #34 - Apr 11th, 2007 at 8:24pm
 
Quote:
By the way, for those individuals who may want to learn more about the central role that emotion has in consumer decision making, I recommend the book Body of Truth:  Leveraging What Consumers Can't or Won't Say by Dan Hill.

Sounds interesting.

By the way, I wouldn't say that it's irrational to be distrusting of a complex technology like volume snapshotting, particularly when it's a) new, at least to most people and b) underdocumented and hard to understand internally. These are normal reactions to having insufficient information, which is exactly the point where our cognitive machinery needs to turn to our emotions in decision-making.

Part of the problem with the v2i tools is that they were presented as "magic - trust us" (Microsoft haven't done themselves any favours either in regard of VSS, which has some impressively opaque documentation). If, when snapshotting was new, the theory of operation was better explained then it would have been much easier for everyone to become comfortable with it. Giving customers more choice during the transition to using it instead of simply dictating to everyone that the new way was the only way would have helped as well.
 
 
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #35 - Apr 11th, 2007 at 11:42pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Apr 11th, 2007 at 9:36am:
Pleomasm and Rad

*Hot-imaging*  Undecided *Cold-imaging* reliability--here we go again!

Looking over the majority of posts about problems with Ghost in our forum--I would guess that a majority of *reliability* issues is *wetware user error* in not knowing how to use the software correctly (read that--did you read the User Guide?!), or not understanding the terminology of the User Guide (if it was read!)--and not understanding the issues involved in imaging, cloning, and restoring to one's HDD under various scenarios!


Most users do not read any of the user guides. I recall an instance of a person who is new to computers spent $3000 and had problems with using it. Called the toll free tech support, and was asked if she read the user manual. She shot back saying that she has spent almost $3000 and after spending all that money should she also read the user guide? We want software much like the video games. Just load and try!

Rama Grin

 
 
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #36 - Apr 12th, 2007 at 9:44am
 
Nbree, I completely agree:  it is a quite natural human reaction to be initially distrusting of (and have an emotional reaction toward) new technology.  By “not rational” (Reply #33), I simply meant that there is no fact-based or empirical foundation to logically justify the emotion.  That does not make the emotion less “real” or “valid,” of course.

Rama, your point is well taken:  too few people take the time to read the User’s Manual!  When I respond to a technical problem in these forums, I often try to provide a page reference to the manual and point the person to that source rather than answer the question directly.  My motivation is try to encourage more people to read the documentation.

Rad, you are oddly silent here. Huh Do you also agree with NightOwl’s reasonable and thoughtful summary (Reply #32):

Quote:
I thought we *agreed* a long time ago that if the software (DOS Ghost 2003 vs Ghost 9/10/Save & Restore) was compatible with one's other software and hardware and did not cause usage errors, then both hot and cold imaging seemed to be equally *reliable* -- yes they are different approaches with different functionality -- so one person may prefer one approach over the other -- but there does not appear to be major *reliability* issues!

Peace.
 

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NightOwl
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #37 - Apr 12th, 2007 at 10:10am
 
Pleonasm

Pleonasm wrote on Apr 4th, 2007 at 7:10am:
Nbree, continuing the conversation from Reply #11, there has been considerable debate among forum members on whether or not "hot imaging" (e.g., Norton Ghost 10) is as reliable as "cold-imaging" (e.g., Norton Ghost 2003).  Your comments imply (and appear to confirm my own perspective) that both are equally reliable for Windows XP - and presumably for Windows Vista, too.

I believe Ghost 9/10 has been identified as not working under the Vista OS (true?)--so I would have to say those are not *equally reliable* for Vista!

DOS Ghost, by using the *preserve disk signature* switch, i.e. *-fdsp*, based on what I've read (I have no personal experience as yet), allow DOS Ghost to be compatible with Vista however.

Vista and Symantec Ghost 8.x

Quote:
If I perform a DISK backup and then perform a DISK restore AND use the -FDSP switch, I can bring back my Vista 5270 image successfully.


 

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Pleonasm
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Re: "Hot-imaging" versus "Cold-imaging"
Reply #38 - Apr 12th, 2007 at 10:39am
 
Yes, NightOwl:  you are correct.  Norton Ghost 12 is reported to be compatible with Windows Vista, while Norton Ghost 10 is not.  I should have worded my statement in Reply #20 more carefully.
 

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