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Fine article (survey) of cloning programs (Read 6701 times)
cardinal23
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Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Apr 7th, 2008 at 10:54am
 
Let me just slip in this:  I am so grateful for this forum.  Thank you - you know who you are.  You have done so much to enrich my life - sounds corny - but tough.  You fellows have helped me so much.  THANK YOU!

I have used Ghost for years - all the versions: Hot-imaging, cold imaging.  It has been generally OK.
HAving seen a post on the Ghost forum, I switched to ShadowProtect.  The ability to restore to different hardware is GIGANTIC.  Has anybody ever heard of a laptop being stolen, or a motherboard frying.  In most cases, Ghost is useless except for disk issues.

Finally, I just can no longer forgive Symantec for providing H O R R I B L E support.  ShadowProtect provides fine support.

Chck out this article:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2259168,00.asp
 
 
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Rad
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #1 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 11:35am
 
Wonder why they didn't use
Norton Ghost 14
? You must be hanging out with Pleo. Smiley

Some comments from their Ghost 12 review:

Quote:
Bottom line
This is a flexible, powerful drive-imaging and file-backup program with an exceptionally clear interface and lots of scheduling options, but a networking problem with its emergency CD keeps it from receiving an Editors' Choice.

Quote:
Pro's
Simple interface with a unique calendar view of past and scheduled backups. Backs up drives and files with ultra-flexible scheduling options, including backups when a specified application launches.

Quote:
Cons
Emergency disc couldn't see network on test systems.

Do you use image & restore over a network? I just go to a back-up external USB 2.0 drive. Ghost 12 works fine for that.

Another quote:

Quote:
I might recommend buying Norton Ghost 12.0 because it has the best interface of any drive-imaging competitor, and it's the only product of its kind that won't frighten a completely nontechnical user.
 
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cardinal23
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #2 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 11:46am
 
Rad: You understand that I'm just providing a link to an article I read.  Yes?  I'm not getting the Pleo joke.
Ghost 14?  Haven't used it.  Wasn't even sure it was out yet.
Does Ghost 14 allow you to restore an image to a different computer than the one it was created on?
 
 
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Rad
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #3 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 11:50am
 
The article is cool. Thanks.

Pleo has also recently migrated to ShadowProtect, and has become something of an evangelist:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1190053581

Norton Ghost 14 has been out for a while.

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1202684531

I use Norton Ghost 12: http://nortonghost.radified.com/

I am interested in your claim about ShadowProtect restoring to a different computer. Have you actually DONE this? Specifically to a different PC with a different CHIPSET? Seems this is a function more of the operating system than a cloning program. HOw does it get/find/load the new drivers for the new hardware? .. while restoring the old image?
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #4 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 12:28pm
 
Rad wrote on Apr 7th, 2008 at 11:50am:
Seems this is a function more of the operating system than a cloning program.


I believe you are correct.  What from what I have read SP uses and licenses WinPE 2.0 from Microsoft which is the latest Windows Pre-Install environment boot cd.  It's the one that Microsoft uses for Vista I think.

Bottom line summary:  we probably all remember different versions of Windows install (boot) cd's that would recognize "most" but not all motherboards and chipsets.  I'm not an expert in this area, but I believe that's what is going on here.

It is actually very logical:  For example with Ghost's boot cd, or linux cd, or BartPE cd, etc. it recognizes all the devices that are packaged with that cd.  Thus the application works with those chipsets.  We all remember the issues with Ghost boot cd's not recognizing usb drives.  And I'm sure NightOwl can tell long stories about drivers needed for DOS boot diskettes.

So, yes, I'd like to see a universal boot cd that works with *all* chipsets myself and ability to take image backup from Asus motherboard's hard drive and restore it to Intel motherboard harddrive.

Licensing WinPE 2.0 adds to the cost of the software package.  That's why from what I've read, some (True Image, Paragon) use linux.

Remember Symantec has had several versions of boot cd's:  Ghost 9 was a Symantec proprietary one, and then Ghost 10, 12, etc were different.  In Dos days, you had to add motherboard drivers to your boot diskettes, but in those days, motherboard manufacturer's didn't put additional bells and whistles in the mb's that made them unique, or required unique software.



 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Rad
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #5 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 12:51pm
 
If someone actually *does* this (restore to a different chipset), and is able to run a trouble-free system .. I would be most impressed. Here is where practical experience is more important than theory/design/marketing_claims.
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #6 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 1:43pm
 
Rad wrote on Apr 7th, 2008 at 12:51pm:
If someone actually *does* this (restore to a different chipset), and is able to run a trouble-free system .. I would be most impressed. Here is where practical experience is more important than theory/design/marketing_claims. 


I'm sure you remember with DOS and earlier Windows versions, they wouldn't support scsi and you had to press F6 to load additional drivers at boot time.  And then motherboard vendors had to load additional Windows 9x drivers to support their hard drive controllers to get optimum throughput.  (In my opinion) this is the same thing going on today -- how to ensure that a boot cd/dvd or spx update contains drivers for *all* possible computers.  Pretty difficult task.

FYI, there's an interesting thread which I have been following for last week or so on True Image board:

Must Acronis abandon their Linux Boot and Use Bartpe/VistaPE?
http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=205014
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #7 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 1:58pm
 
Couldn't help but notice the following post from your link:

Quote:
Functions, flexibility, and cost keep me coming back to Acronis (vs. e.g. ShadowProtect), but I keep running into problems with not being able to recover images with the TI Linux boot code. Either it won't boot at all, or it will boot but not recognize the device containing the image...

If someone can't recover an image, the cloning program (IMHO) is useless. That's what cloning (imaging) is all about.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1214969&postcount=3

Sounds like a nightmare.
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #8 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 4:28pm
 
Symantec, Acronis and StorageCraft have their own methods to image and restore to different hardware. It can also be done with standard imaging software. John and I have discussed this in the past.

Last week I imaged a one year old Dell Dimension with SATA HDs. The image was restored to a nine year old Compaq DesktopPro with IDE HDs. That's certainly "different hardware." On first boot there was "nothing." A blank screen. Not even a blinking cursor. After a Repair Install from a WinXP CD, the Compaq booted and seemed fairly normal apart from running slower than the Dell. That wasn't surprising.

I've used this method with other old computers and no failures yet.
 
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #9 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 5:48pm
 
Brian wrote on Apr 7th, 2008 at 4:28pm:
After a Repair Install from a WinXP CD, the Compaq booted and seemed fairly normal apart from running slower than the Dell.  


Brian, the Repair Install (as I know you know) is what usually makes it all work -- because you are essentially doing an XP install from the Windows XP install CD, and it re-detects all hardware on the pc.  It does all this, without destroying the user registry keys and software that is installed.

As I understand it, in basic terms, booting from a WinPE 1.0 or 2.0 is a "mini-environment" and to create that, WinPE detects all the hardware configuration that is there.

In an image restore to significantly different hardware, WinPE gives the application (Ghost or TI or whatever) a good enough matching environment to run and complete the image-restore.  If it then doesn't boot (as Brian noted), then you run the XP Repair Install, which causes all the correct chipset drivers to be copied onto the hard drive of restored-image.  Of course if you have a newer motherboard chipset than the latest Microsoft install CD contains, you may not even get that far; but most motherboards maintain functionality to allow that.  Otherwise they would have to provide install CD patches (like F6) just to load Windows.

That's the summary.  I'm no expert on what is actually going on beneath the surface, but that is the technical concept that everyone is searching for.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #10 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 6:05pm
 
Brian wrote on Apr 7th, 2008 at 4:28pm:
Symantec, Acronis and StorageCraft have their own methods to image and restore to different hardware.

What is the Symantec method?

Where is the thread where this was previously discussed?
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #11 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 6:29pm
 
Rad, Symantec have Restore Anyware which is in Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery. In Australia it sells for around $30 more than Ghost 12 or 14.

Here is one thread.

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1146045354/0#0

I don't think it's particularly important which software you use for the restore to different hardware. Last week I used Image for DOS. It's a 431 KB file so there is no WinPE. You are just laying down the sectors on a different HD, in the same way they were arranged on the original HD.
 
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #12 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:41am
 
Quote:
I am interested in your claim about ShadowProtect restoring to a different computer. Have you actually DONE this?

I have restored a few ShadowProtect 3.1 images of a Windows Vista system to a VMware Workstation 6.0 virtual machine (VM), and it works quite well.  The chipset on the VM is an Intel 440BX based motherboard, whereas the backup image is of a HP xw4600 Workstation with an Intel X38 Express chipset.

By the way, one of the nice features of the Windows PE 2.0 environment used by ShadowProtect is that you can “hot load” device drivers at any time, and the Recovery Environment recognizes devices that are “hot plugged” into the PC after the environment is already booted.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #13 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 11:48am
 
Pleonasm wrote on Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:41am:
The chipset on the VM is an Intel 440BX based motherboard

BX .. isn't that a circa-2001 mobo? You are running Vista on 2001 mobo? On VMware? I thought Vista needs mucho hardware horsepower.
 
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Re: Fine article (survey) of cloning programs
Reply #14 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 12:19pm
 
Rad, VMware Workstation 6.0 doesn’t allow the user to configure the virtual machine (VM) with a choice of different chipsets – the Intel 440BX is the only hardware supported, to the best of my knowledge.  Of course, the performance that you see with VMware is dependent upon the processor of the physical PC on which the VM is running.  In my case, that's a 3.00GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

For purposes of this thread, though, the key point that an image of one PC was successfully restored to a second PC that employed a different chipset, using ShadowProtect Desktop 3.1.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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