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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    SSD Restore Issue

    I wasn't sure whether to post this here or Maintenance but I suspect it may relate to the new SSD.

    Old System

    O/S Win7 Pro
    Backup Terabytes Image For Windows
    Restore Terabytes Image for DOS
    Seagate Mechanical HDD MBR Partition

    On the old pc I never had a problem restoring Quark Express (DTP) which has software protection built in.

    When I built the new pc straight after Windows was installed I took a backup and did a test restore which was successful

    New System
    O/S Win7 Pro
    Backup Terabytes Image For Windows
    Restore Terabytes Image for DOS
    Corsair Neutron XT SSD (960Gb) GPT Partition

    Once most of the software had been installed I deactivated the licence for Quark Express on the old pc and transferred it to the new pc, everything worked properly. I routinely take backups so when a day or so later when I mucked a driver upgrade up I went back and did a full restore.

    Everything worked fine until I opened Quark Express and got a message that the software had been tampered with and had to be re-registered, which of course I couldn't do as the licence had already been activated. Contacted Quark who wanted me to pay for a support ticket upfront, as I had paid around 800 UK Sterling I thought it was a bit much and got round the problem by doing a full restore of an old backup on the old pc which worked fine, so Quark is running again (though on the old pc).

    I have been in touch with Terabyte who (credit to them) replied to me over the weekend, however they were not able to explain what had happened except to say it was an issue with the software protection.

    So what I'm seeking advice on is whether there is a difference in restoring to either a GPT Partitioned disk or SSD?

    I'm also a bit concerned in case there's a fault on the SSD but I can't think of a way to test it. I have run chkdsk on it which only reported the following that doesn't look serious

    Cleaning up 261 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 261 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 261 unused security descriptors.
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    34966 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
    37654024 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
    CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
    master file table (MFT) bitmap.
    CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
    Windows has made corrections to the file system.

    My main concern now is how reliable is the SSD, it has worked faultlessly for everything else (MS Office etc) it's just with that Quark it throws this problem.

    I'm not familiar with SSD or GPT so is it possible that the image restored is not quite the same as on a mechanical HDD?

    My apologies for such a long post, if you made it this far I owe you a pint

  2. #2
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    This is not a reliability problem with the SSD and most likely it would if you used a regular HDD as restoration destination. The software in question surely builds a signature based from several components of your hardware, including your disk (disks?), which is then used for validating the installation. So when you restored, the process failed due to change of disks.

    If anyone is to blame, then I guess you know who is...
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  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    The problem is that when I do a restore on a regular HDD it does work, that's why I'm rather concerned about reliability, it's only restoring on the GPT SSD that it happens.

    The backup from the SSD is stored on a HDD but as it's a full image I wouldn't have thought the backup storage locaction would make a difference
    Last edited by Slorm; 2015-02-18 at 07:33.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    I think you missed what Rui was trying to tell you. When your software installs it creates a signature using the Storage Device (HDD or SDD) serial number or other identifying number as part of a signature. This signature is used when you Activate the software. When you reinstall/restore on a different storage device the software will generate a different signature when it starts up and it will not match the one you used to Activate so the software thinks it has been pirated. The software company should have procedures in place to allow you to contact them to inform them that you have changed hardware and reactivate the software using the new signature.

    Microsoft windows does this but you have to change more than one item used in the signature before it will complain. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slorm View Post
    The problem is that when I do a restore on a regular HDD it does work, that's why I'm rather concerned about reliability, it's only restoring on the GPT SSD that it happens.

    The backup from the SSD is stored on a HDD but as it's a full image I wouldn't have thought the backup storage locaction would make a difference
    Retired Geek tried to make my previous post more clear and I think he achieved that (thanks,RG). I am obviously in ignorance of the actual algorithm used by the program in question to generate an hardware "signature", but I could almost bet that restoring to a different HDD would generate the same situation. They do this to protect the huge fees they charged for their software, but I would expect that a clear explanation of the reason for the disk change would be enough for them to activate the software again.

    I would also insist on the matter of reliability. All other programs performed as expected, which is no surprise, I have had no different experiences when upgrading to SSDs. This behavior from Quark is even harder to accept today, where an internet connection can be expected, to allow activation of a particular instance of any software. By keeping a single copy active and not allowing multiple deactivations and activations would achieve the same purpose of protecting the editor's intellectual property, without causing undue difficulties to the software's legitimate users.
    Rui
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  6. #6
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    IIRC some sw used to write a signature to an unused area of the MBR. If I am interpreting the situation correctly and Quark will not run on a GPT disk restored from a MBR disk but WILL run if restored to an MBR disk that indicates this is the case here.

    David

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  7. #7
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    Sorry I don't think I've made this clear, I not restoring to a different device.

    In the first case on the old pc where the restore works correctly both backup and restore were on the same pc (HDD). I had deactivated Quark to transfer the license.

    In the second case it was a clean install from CD onto the SSD on a new build pc and new Win7 installation, Quark was then activated and running correctly. A full disk image of the SSD was then taken which was stored on a second internal drive. When this image was used to restore back onto the same SSD Quark reports as being tampered with.

    So this was a backup on the GPT SSD and a restore to the same device (I probably put too much detail in my original post).

    EDIT:

    I was mulling this over on my way home from work and from all your points (and I really do appreciate that you have taken the time to answer) I came up with a guess which may explain what's happening.

    The version of Quark I'm using is some years old now and before GPT. I suspect from your comments about signature files and wavy's point about writing to the MBR, that as the GPT has a hidden system section rather than a normal MBR, that it is this that causing the issue.

    Maybe Quark doesn't check after the activation so it runs normally, but when restored the record it thinks it's written to an unused area of MBR isn't there so it throws a "tampered with" error. If this is the case then it will never restore correctly under GPT whatever the storage device might be.

    I suppose to really test it thoroughly I would need two new Win7 installs one on a new SSD and one on a new HDD but aside from the expense I really don't think it'd be worth the effort
    Last edited by Slorm; 2015-02-19 at 14:23. Reason: added text

  8. #8
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    Your explanation does make the situation a bit more clear. The cause is not as clear cut as it seemed initially, but I would offer that the issue is still not the SSD, but Quark Express. Are there any specific Quark support forums that you could resort to, in order to get more Quark specific knowledge?
    Rui
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  9. #9
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    I think you're right Rui.

    I've been in further touch with Quark themselves as I pointed out it was a bug report not a support request. They advised they don't support the version any more and there's a fee for activation/deactivation questions, but to try reinstalling or restoring an old version (which is what I'd already done to get it going on the old pc in the end).

    Everything else seems to work perfectly, so unless something happens over the weekend I'll put this down to being an "interesting experience"

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