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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    Review of imaging software

    [http://www.pcmag.com/print_article2/...=224413,00.asp

    Covers Acronis TI 11, Symantec Norton 12, DriveImage XML, Pargon Drive Backup 8.5 PE & [the winner] ShadowProtect Desktop 3.1

    Review seems well done and accurate. Makes the good point that Acronis (which I use) should spend more time on improving base functionality instead of expanding functionality, which I agree with 100%..

    Edited by Big Al to correct the "typo" in the subject, as I think this might get a few reads by Loungers. <img src=/S/anigrin.gif border=0 alt=anigrin width=19 height=19>

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    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Thanks for this. After reading the review, I decided to try the product. I purchased a copy, downloaded it, uninstalled ATI, and installed ShadowProtect. I'm busy mucking around with it at present, and to date, it does look promising. The creation of the Recovery CD for ShadowProtect is a touch more complicated than that of ATI, but certainly not a deal breaker. The CD is created (using burning software) from a downloaded ISO file (the CD is included if the boxed version is purchased). Unlike the ATI recovery disk (which is Linux based), the ShadowProtect Recovery CD is Windows PE based. The recovery CD included SATA drivers (at least for my system). If these drivers are not present for a particular system, the recovery procedure allows the user to load them prior to the actual restore.

    To date, I've imaged my desktop drive to an external 500 GB FreeAgent drive. Like ATI, you must select each of the volumes to be included (if there is more than one partition). Unlike ATI however (which creates 1 backup file containing all of the volumes), ShadowProtect creates separate images for each volume. That's one thing that I want to look at a little closer.

    A Bare-metal restore is also possible with this software. With ATI, this facility is not included with the Home edition. On the other hand, ShadowProtect does not offer a Clone option. There seem to be pluses and minuses for both programs, and I'm certainly going to have to play around a bit more before I decide which application I will ultimately decide to use.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Hi John,

    I have downloaded the full evaluation package for ShadowProtect and will give it a whirl. There are some interesting comments on the StorageCraft forum related to conflicts with True Image and ShadowProtect. The gist is that TI should be fully uninstalled before installing SP. It has to do with the snapman.sys driver.

    Here are a few related links at StorageCraft...

    first link

    second link

    third link

    There is also the possibility that the Acronis Disk Director app might have the snapman.sys driver.

    Cheers, Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    John,

    >>Unlike ATI however (which creates 1 backup file containing all of the volumes),

    That's true IF you select to image all of the volumes together. You can also do separate images for each drive or partition. You can also restore just one or more partitionsdrives from the single image that was created, if that's what you want to do.
    BOB
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    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Hi Bob,
    Yes, I have read those posts. I did uninstall TI (via Vista's Programs & features, not the manual method) before l installed SP, and I have not encountered any blue screens. I was able to successfully create ShadowProtect backups both from within the Windows environment and from within the WinPE (recovery disk) environment. I have not yet attempted a restore. I want to do a little more testing and experimenting before I take the plunge.

    The only Acronis service that is still listed on my system is the AcronisOS Selector Reinstall Service ("C:Program FilesCommon FilesAcronisAcronis Disk Directoross_reinstall_svc.exe"). It is listed as Automatic but is Stopped. I suspect it only starts when Disk Director is called.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    "IF you select to image all of the volumes together". Correct - and that's how I've created the backups with both TI and SP. I posted a question on the SP forums and I received a very detailed response .
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Hi John,

    So, if I understand your message correctly, you have Acronis Disk Director installed and had no problems with ShadowProtect.

    Does that imply that there is no snapman.sys driver associated with Disk Director? Just curious since it would appear that I could leave Disk Director installed when I uninstall True Image and install ShadowProtect.

    I believe I read a post on the ShadowProtect forum indicating that ShadowProtect can partition the hard drive. Don't know its full power and whether one could consider it as a replacement for Disk Director.

    The other nice feature of ShadowProtect that I read on the forum is that it has the Hardware Independent Restore feature. A feature that is not available in ATI Home but is the ATI Echo WorkStation version... but at additional cost.

    ShadowProtect is getting to look better as time goes on.

    Cheers, Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Bob,
    It certainly looks like snapman.sys is not associated with Disk Director. I've left Disk Director installed. As for partitioning, I'm not sure about that. I know that if you restore an SP image to a brand new hard drive, you can create "exact fit" partitions to hold the restored volumes, but I don't think it goes any further than that. As for the HIR feature, yes it does include that. But, to be fair, SP is $30 more expensive than TI Home. TI Workstation (which does include this feature) is $30 more than TI Home.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Snapman.sys is not associated with Disk Director but it IS associated with True Image.
    Process files associated with TI are:
    -----------------------------------------
    File Name
    acroinst.exe aministp.dll AutoPartNt.exe bootmenu.exe
    bootwiz.sys cdrecord2.exe gen_bootmenu.exe growisofs.exe
    MediaBuilder.exe mouse.com msi_setup.exe ramdisk.exe
    readcd.exe rpc_client.dll schedhlp.exe schedul2.exe
    setup16.dll setup9x.dll setupapp.exe setupnt.dll
    snapapi.dll <big>snapman.sys </big> spawn.exe timounter.dll
    TimounterMonitor.exe tishell.dll TrueImage.exe TrueImageMonitor.exe
    TrueImageNotify.exe TrueImageService.exe TrueImageTerminal.exe
    -----------------------------------------
    Reading around some forums, there does appear to be a problem with snapman.sys when BOTH TI and SP are run at the same time. BSOD possible.
    BOB
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  10. #10
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Thanks for the clarification Bob. As I indicated, I did uninstall TI before I installed SP, and I've run into no problems. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Bob,
    Apparently snapman IS an integral part of DD. I removed the snapman references in the registry and DD failed with a "no hard drives found" error. Restoring the registry entries solved that problem.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  12. #12
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    Re: Review of imaging software

    Oops.

    I too am running the trial (I was taken aback at the default hourly incremental backups but am impressed by the speed and the compression) and I too had what may have been a snapman problem (prior to all of this). In my case I uninstalled TrueImage 10 and Disk Director 10 under Vista and snapman went with them, with no need to mess around in the registry as I had been prepared to do.

    The oops part is the reference to the "no hard drives found" error, which I have had on an XP computer that has been out of action for months now because of it. I thought it was a BIOS error (the drives are formatted but empty). I have been trying to boot from an Acronis boot CD, so if you can shed any light on that particular message any information would be welcome.

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    Re: Review of imaging software

    The "no hard drives found" error results when snapman.sys and the registry references are removed. I haven't attempted to boot from an Acronis boot CD since I installed ShadowProtect, but I when I did try to run Disk Director (which I did not uinstall), the "no hard drives" error appeared. As soon as I restored the snapman registry entries, Disk Director functioned properly. In my experience, I found that a simple uninstall of True Image allowed ShadowProtect and Disk Director to function without problems.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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    Re: Review of imaging software

    No hard drives problem solved today, quite by coincidence. I replaced the IDE ribbon cable, and that did it.

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    Re: Review of imaging software

    For those of us who have not yet purchased any of the reviewed products, I hope that the objective of comparing what is available in today's market, and at what price, has not been abandoned.

    Shadow Protect is attractive for my purposes (and I am running the trial), but it is expensive and it would be interesting to know if everyone has simply agreed with the magazine's assessment.

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