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Best Backup Program for Win8.1 (Read 11351 times)
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Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Jan 13th, 2015 at 9:14am
 
I've read a number of threads about Paragon and Macrium Reflect, but Easus is the best free backup program second only to a program that costs $20 according to review at http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/3263573/13-best-backup-software-... Do any of these work with SATA mode set to IDE in the BIOS?  I used Seagate Discwizard for years to backup WinXP and earlier Windows and liked it a lot. 

However, latest Discwizard version 13 says "Discwizard found no hard drives" with SATA mode set to IDE, but my system is dual boot WinXP/Win8.1Pro for which SATA mode must be set to IDE for WinXP to boot.  Latest Discwizard works fine if SATA mode is set to AHCI, but WinXP won't boot with that settting.  Do any of these or other backup programs work with SATA mode set to IDE?

Edit:  For some reason above link is abbreviated after post is submitted, and you need to add "3263573/13-best-backup-software-2015-uk/" without quotes after " http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/" that appears when going to above link if you want to see the review.  Don't  know why this should be necessary, but it is for some reason.

(Edit by NightOwl, 1/23/2015:

Here's the link that should work:  http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/3263573/13-best-backup-software-...

See my reply #7 below for explanation.)
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #1 - Jan 14th, 2015 at 1:35am
 
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You can install AHCI drivers to WinXP if you want both of your OS to be in AHCI mode. See TBOSDT Pro (the OSDTool script)...

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/tbosdt.htm
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #2 - Jan 14th, 2015 at 2:51pm
 
That page has a link that says"Click here to download the free personal or 30-day trial version of the TBOSDT Suite," but clicking that link prompts me just to download tbosds_en.zip.  Do you know if that file download gives option to choose version when executed, and will the free personal version work?  Also does it install in WinXP, or must it be included in a WinXP indtall disk and be included via repair install?

BTW I contacted Seagate support asking whether Discwizard 11 works for Win8.1Pro and explaining I was dual booting WinXP/Win8.1Pro, and they replied Discwizard won't work with dual boot and that the only way I could boot WinXP is to toggle between IDE and AHCI in the BIOS.  Well I've only been using Discwizard 11 to backup and restore multi-boot systems in excess of 10 years with nary a glitch.  Also current system boots Discwizard 11, WinXP and Win8.1Pro with BIOS set to IDE with no need to toggle BIOS settings.  It doesn't bode well for their support when the user knows more about the product than support knows.  Does anybody here know if Discwizard 11 works to backup and restore Win8.1Pro?
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #3 - Jan 15th, 2015 at 1:36am
 
TBOSDT doesn't install, it just unzips to a folder. In the scripts folder are 3 run files. Edit drvins_1.run with Notepad. There are instructions in the manual. This might not work with your SATA controller but the Pro version contains osdtool.tbs which will work and it is easy to use. Again, see the manual.

You need to obtain the press F6 type SATA/AHCI drivers. I put them on a flash drive for the install.
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #4 - Jan 15th, 2015 at 1:13pm
 
Just thought of another issue if AHCI drivers would solve the boot problem which is a PCI IDE adapter  in the system that I got to enable use of IDE burner in WinXP since the motherboard came with only SATA controllers.  This adapter requires IDE mode to work if memory serves and probably won't work for AHCI BIOS setting.

Another reply from Seagate support failed to answer question about whether Discwizard 11 will work to backup and restore Windows 8.1Pro and simply replied Discwizard 11 is discontinued and not supported.  Perhaps it's time for me to try an experiment to see if it works.
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #5 - Jan 18th, 2015 at 7:48pm
 
Attempt to restore image using Discwizard 11 fails giving error message that the computer needs to be repaired using the install disk.  Trying different repair options on the Win8.1Pro install disk finds there is a missing partition.  Looks like Discwizard 11 is no good for the newer Windows backups.

I also tried Discwizard 13 which is supposed to work, but it failed to restore image 2 or 3 times in only a handful of tries to restore.  Looks like Discwizard 13 is too unreliable to use for any backup.

Edit:  Above result has proven to be invalid due to operator error by yours truly.  In my Discwizard 11 experiment I tried simply restoring the Win8.1Pro image to a blank partition to avoid tampering with my Win8.1Pro install if it failed to work.  Then I retried same steps using Easeus Todo Backup Free and got identical results.  I then finally tried Discwizard restore image to partition where my Win8.1Pro is installed, and it restored and booted to Windows normally.

Apparently Win8 must create a hidden partition during install which means simply restoring an image to a blank partition will not boot.  The fact that Discwizard still works for newest Windows version is very good news to me.  Discwizard 11 was and still is my all time favorite backup software!

 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #6 - Jan 23rd, 2015 at 8:08am
 
My Discwizard 11 results and identical results I achieved using EaseUS Todo Backup Free that I also tried has created an issue that just occurred to me.  If a hard drive were to completely fail, would it be necessary to reinstall and reactivate later Windows versions such as 7 and 8 and then restore the backup image?  It seems to me that would be necessary unless there's something about these backups of which I'm unaware.  Does anybody know the answer to this question?
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #7 - Jan 23rd, 2015 at 6:33pm
 
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Tator wrote on Jan 13th, 2015 at 9:14am:
Edit:  For some reason above link is abbreviated after post is submitted, and you need to add "3263573/13-best-backup-software-2015-uk/" without quotes after " http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/ " that appears when going to above link if you want to see the review.  Don't know why this should be necessary, but it is for some reason. 


Here's the link that should work: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/3263573/13-best-backup-software-...

I have put an *Edit* in your original post above.

Regarding your two observations above:  The forum software abbreviates hyperlinks that are longer than a certain length.  That started happening one or two forum software updates ago.  Before that, the full hyperlink was shown.  So, that's normal forum software behavior--and somehow the software remembers the *whole* hyperlink, and has nothing to do with your link problem!

Regarding the second highlighted issue--you put a period at the end of your sentence in your original post just after the hyperlink that is not working.  Although good punctuation, that creates a syntax error as far as a hyperlink is concerned--the forum software does not know where the hyperlink ends, and thinks your period is part of the link--that's what's throwing everything off.  A *space* is needed at the end of the link and before the period so the forum software knows when the hyperlink has ended.

You can test your hyperlinks before posting if you use the *Preview* function and click on the hyperlink to see if it works okay. 

Hope that helps in the future.
 

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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #8 - Jan 24th, 2015 at 4:28am
 
NightOwl wrote on Jan 23rd, 2015 at 6:33pm:
Regarding the second highlighted issue--you put a period at the end of your sentence in your original post just after the hyperlink that is not working. Although good punctuation, that creates a syntax error as far as a hyperlink is concerned--the forum software does not know where the hyperlink ends, and thinks your period is part of the link--that's what's throwing everything off. A *space* is needed at the end of the link and before the period so the forum software knows when the hyperlink has ended


While NightOwl's solution (adding a space) is valid, the root cause of Tator's problem is, I think, more subtle than perhaps even NightOwl recognizes. Adding a period does not by itself cause a problem for the forum software because in most cases the software can deduce the period is not part of the URL. However, Tator's link ended with a '/', and a '/' followed by a period *does* confuse the software because '/.' is a legitimate part of any URL. (It means, "retrieve the default index file, as defined by the server's configuration settings, from the current directory of the specified directory".)

Tator's link would have worked if he either left off the trailing slash (ala, "...2015-uk.") or added a space as NightOwl suggested (ala, "...2015-uk/ .") In the first case the forum software will know "...2015-uk." isn't a valid URL and will interpret "...2015-uk" as the end of the URL.  In the latter case it will know a space isn't valid in a URL so will interpret "...2015-uk/" as the end of the URL. (You'll get to the same page with or without the trailing slash.) It's only when it sees "...2015-uk/." that the forum software isn't quite sure how to parse it.

Also note that another solution would have been for Tator to use the forum's "Insert Hyperlink" button, in which case you tell the forum software exactly what the hyperlink is instead of making the software try to puzzle it out.

Another factor worth mentioning in this particular case is that the pcadvisor.co.uk website has configured a 404 redirector so that when faced with a request for a non-existent page (as the link in post #1) it simply redirects the visitor to the website's main entry page instead of returning a "page not found" error. That's why the link in post #1 gets you to the right website even though not the specific page Tator intended.



 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #9 - Jan 24th, 2015 at 5:01am
 
Tator wrote on Jan 18th, 2015 at 7:48pm:
In my Discwizard 11 experiment I tried simply restoring the Win8.1Pro image to a blank partition to avoid tampering with my Win8.1Pro install if it failed to work. Then I retried same steps using Easeus Todo Backup Free and got identical results. I then finally tried Discwizard restore image to partition where my Win8.1Pro is installed, and it restored and booted to Windows normally.


Tator, that's a key difference. In a default installation, the BCD is designed to boot a *specific* partition. Imaging one partition and trying to restore that image to another partition seldom works unless you also reconfigure the BCD to tell it where the boot partition has been moved to. That's what a repair with the install disc would fix--and hence is the common solution typically recommended by others.

This is not just a problem with DiscWizard or Easus--you'll encounter the same problem with most imaging/cloning programs (including Acronis, Ghost, Paragon, and even Terabyte), especially if you're not doing a whole disk image/restore or your system uses a separate System Reserved partition.

You can solve the problem either proactively or reactively. The proactive solution involves installing Win8 from the beginning in a manner that does not precisely specify the boot partition in the BCD.  Brian and I have discussed that in earlier threads, and refer to the technique as "generalizing" the BCD.

The reactive solution is to leave as is and simply repair the BCD if the image is restored to a partition other than the original source partition. That's not as hard as it may sound, and can take only seconds once you get used to it so you know what you're doing. Some imaging programs--such as Macrium Reflect or Terabyte's BootIt Bare Metal--offer tools that make fixing the BCD easy.



 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #10 - Jan 24th, 2015 at 10:19am
 
Exactly what I did in the experiment was restore the Discwizard 11 image to the exact same partition on a separate hard drive connected the same as the source partition/drive which isn't the same scenario described by "Tator, that's a key difference. In a default installation, the BCD is designed to boot a *specific* partition. Imaging one partition and trying to restore that image to another partition seldom works unless you also reconfigure the BCD to tell it where the boot partition has been moved to. That's what a repair with the install disc would fix--and hence is the common solution typically recommended by others."  If the source is drive 0, partition 3 and the destination is drive 0, partition 3, the configuration of destination is same as source and should produce no BCD issues.  Therefore I suspect the problem experienced has something to do with the hidden partition you mention.  BTW I tried the repair with install disk, but it said "the drive is locked" thus preventing the repair.  Can you tell how to unlock the drive and continue the repair?

Can you tell me how to "You can solve the problem either proactively or reactively. The proactive solution involves installing Win8 from the beginning in a manner that does not precisely specify the boot partition in the BCD.  Brian and I have discussed that in earlier threads, and refer to the technique as "generalizing" the BCD." or give the link that tells how to do this?
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #11 - Jan 24th, 2015 at 5:45pm
 
Tator wrote on Jan 24th, 2015 at 10:19am:
If the source is drive 0, partition 3 and the destination is drive 0, partition 3, the configuration of destination is same as source and should produce no BCD issues.


I don't think it's that straightforward.  My understanding is the BCD method involves GUID parameters so even though you may think you've duplicated the partition layout the partitions will almost certainly have different GUIDs. Note that a whole-disk restore will work more often because it restores all partitions, plus the MBR and boot track of the hard disk.  If you do partition restores you may miss certain pieces of the puzzle.

As for information on generalizing the BCD, do a forum search here for the term "generalize" (in the messages, not the titles) and you should come up with many threads.  A lot of them go back 4 or 5 years, so be sure your search goes back that far.  Some of those threads even have links to tutorials on the Terabyte website relevant to generalization.

In a nutshell, "generalizing" means to configure the BCD to simply boot whichever is the active partition, regardless of location or GUID.  Therefore, the technique only works if the "Active", "Boot" and "System" partitions are one and the same.  IOW, if you install Windows in the default Microsoft layout (which creates a SRP) you cannot generalize the BCD because the default is to create separate "Boot" and "System" partitions.

I've never encountered the "locked drive" message so can't help you there.  I rarely if ever use the install disc for repair because it's kind of a "catch-all" answer and I don't like not knowing what's it fixing, so I mostly use other tools when I can.

I can't tell from your posts whether you have a SRP (I think you probably do) or even whether you have a MBR disk.  You seem to have Win8.x, and by default Win8 will create a GPT disk instead of a MBR disk if given a completely blank hard disk to install on.  Those details are crucial for any discussion of imaging, restoring, generalizing, or multibooting.




 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #12 - Jan 25th, 2015 at 1:46am
 
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Here are some references that can get you started on learning about generalizing the boot files on the post WinXP OS's--they apply to Win 8.xx as well--there might be some minor differences--you will have to consider using a boot manager that can hide and unhide various OS partitions and set the Active partition to control multibooting (you may want to read through the whole topic thread to get a better picture of the whole idea):

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1257809610/49#49

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1257809610/42#42

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1170184062/70#70

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1170184062/63#63

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1170184062/30#37

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/cloning.html

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/managers.html




 

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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #13 - Jan 26th, 2015 at 2:12pm
 
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We are interested in knowing your partition layout and OS.

As you have found, free imaging apps can cost in time and worry. Having something that works every time is very comforting.

I've generalized the BCD when running imaging tests with Ghost 2003 but otherwise I don't generalize the BCD. The TeraByte apps have two options which makes this unnecessary. "Automatic Boot Partition Update" for entire drive restores and "Update Boot Partition" for partition restores. You can restore the OS image to any partition or Free Space on the HD and the OS boots.

With UEFI installs in Win8 and Win10 you get 4 partitions....

Recovery 300 MiB
EFI system partition 99MiB
Microsoft reserved partition 128 MiB
Basic data partition (the OS)

Using TeraByte apps you can restore these partitions in random order, anywhere on a blank HD you like and the OS boots. To do this use the "Restore First Track" option with the first image restore and the "Update Boot Partition" option with the last image restore.
 
 
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Re: Best Backup Program for Win8.1
Reply #14 - Jan 27th, 2015 at 10:47am
 
Win98 is on partition 1 drive 0, WinXP is on partition 1 drive 1, and Win8.1Pro is on partition 6 drive 0.  Other partitions are used for various types of data storage.  FYI Win98 no longer boots because it's not supported by this motherboard, but I left it as is because I didn't want to repartition and reinstall WinXP. 

Using TeraByte apps sounds much easier than learning about and generalizing the BCD.  For UEFI installs are there any differences in partitions if SATA mode is set to IDE versus AHCI?  Is there a free version of TeraByte, and what's the cost if no free version?
 
 
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