• Hard-drive imaging — AOMEI Backupper Standard

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    #2596318

    FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT By Deanna McElveen At OlderGeeks.com, we test a lot of software. Sometimes we do so in a virtual machine that we can reset when thi
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    • #2596322

      I’m going to give this a try. I’ve used Macrium Reflect for years, and it has saved me a few times (mainly the odd file I needed to recover) but for months now they’ve been ignoring a very serious problem with backup verification. I need to find a relibale alternative.

      • #2596331

        Macrium is used by people here who would reports issues so I’m surprised you have any.
        Can you open a thread explaining your issues and we’ll see what can be done.

        cheers, Paul

    • #2596330

      We’ve been using the Backupper Technician edition for years now to create images from all pc’s by using the command line. Good value for money – one-time purchase for unlimited pc’s and lifetime updates.

      There’s also the (free) Aomei PE Builder which has the free version of backupper already installed, along with some must-have tools.

    • #2596372

      to Deanna; et all:
      REF HDD Images.
      http://foxclone.org/ is the much Preferred way to make Images of HDD/SDD devices…

      Why? because it does NOT copy blank blocks, only blocks that contain DATA.
      Plus, it uses Compression to make the Images a bit smaller than Macrium Reflect, etc…
      MR takes all night to make an Image of my 1TB drive,
      Foxclone does it in a matter of about an hour.

      it is much faster than any other Image Program that I have tried, give it a whirl, I am sure you will be impressed.

      John in OkieLand…

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2596403

        Macrium is fast if you use “intelligent sector copy”.
        Macrium works under Windows, while you are working. Foxclone won’t.
        Macrium allows you to backup your data in the background.

        Unfortunately, Macrium isn’t free anymore.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2596461

        To add to/expand upon Paul T’s post:

        Macrium – when set to “Intelligent Sector Copy” – only copies blocks that contain DATA.
        Macrium – can also use Compression.
        Macrium – can verify Images directly after creation.
        MR takes less than an hour and 40 minutes to make an Image of my 1TB drive, and that’s including verification.

        Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B (SaS); Former 'Tech Weenie'
    • #2596394

      I used a paid version of AOMEI several years ago. It seemed to work OK. However, I gave it up out of uneasiness over its connection to China. As Ed Tittel asks in his article about Microsoft PC Manager in this edition, “Do I want a ‘Chinese connection?’ ”

      Does anyone else share this concern about AOMEI? Am I too cautious?

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2596408

      I tried aomei some years ago.  I had some issues with how it worked (at that time), but can’t remember what they were.

      I was also concerned about a China connection.

    • #2596424

      When Backupper is creating a bootable USB drive, from where is it getting a copy of WinPE?

      Does it ensure that the WinPE closely matches the version of Windows it’s backing up?

      Does the restore work if the backup drive is encrypted with Bitlocker, and is the restored drive still encrypted?

      And finally, what does it use if you don’t check that box to download WinPE?

      • #2596427

        See this thread for real a world test of Amoei using VeraCrypt disk encryption.
        VeraCrypt and Backup

        cheers, Paul

      • #2596436

        WinPE is just the vehicle to get you access to your hard drives and run the portable Backupper. They are getting the same copy as what you or I can download from Microsoft. They even have the download option to get it yourself.

        It does not matter the version since you are simply applying an image from a file to a drive.

        -Deanna

         

    • #2596435

      If you are worried about China, worry about all of your Chinese hardware you are using to respond here. AOMEI has been around a very long time and has a clean track record. I am not going to fault them because of where they were born. They have a good, clean and reliable product. I stand by them.

      -Deanna

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2596448

      Hello; I’m sorry to ask this as it belies my ignorance. What is a hard drive image? I have a portable external hard drive which I back up files from my computer, which has a solid state drive. If the computer drive fails, will the hard drive image contain everything that was in my computer and allow me to copy it to a new computer?

    • #2596457

      Hello; I’m sorry to ask this as it belies my ignorance. What is a hard drive image? I have a portable external hard drive which I back up files from my computer, which has a solid state drive. If the computer drive fails, will the hard drive image contain everything that was in my computer and allow me to copy it to a new computer?

      The drive image creates a file of your whole Pc containing everything.
      Restore from image brings back the pc to its previous state.

    • #2596475

      I’m probably a unicorn.

      I’ve used Acronis True Image for more than a decade.  I stopped updating at 2019.  From 2020 and beyond, they changed the file naming and structure.  I have multiple PCs that I backup and save to my NAS.  I always bought the 3 or 5 license version.  I’m looking for something that is not out of date, but with the following features:

      1. Filename that is customizable to include PC name and versions:
        ATI2019 = PCOne_b1_s1_v1.tib for example
        ATI2020 drops versions = PCOne-Acr.tibx and PCOne-Acr-0001.tibx
        With 2020, you could not move the backup file to another location and use it to restore.  You could not rename the files to reflect a version or a new backup would fail.  ALL the files are linked in a chain it seems.  Acronis claims the structure change was necessary.  I’ve never understood why, or the benefit of the new structure.
      2. Ability to customize whole disk backups to exclude files and/or folders to minimize size on the OS drive = hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys especially to reduce size.
      3. The ability to move the backup file to another location and still be able to use it to open and restore files/folders/disk whether on that system or another without getting a corrupt file message.

      I tested AOMEI Pro 6.2 in December 2020 and found that the file sizes were much bigger because you could not exclude swap file, page file, hiberfil and temp directories.  Could not modify file name to include system name or versions.  I just looked at their website, and it now has the ability to exclude a particular file extension.  hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys are both .sys files.  Problem is there are thousands of .sys files on my OS drive.

      So, anyone know of a solution?  I have not found it, free or paid.  I’m ok with paying if it works for me.

      TIA

    • #2596484

      I’ve used Acronis True Image for more than a decade.  I stopped updating at 2019.  From 2020 and beyond, they changed the file naming and structure.

      I also stayed with Acronis 2019 but last month I have updated to the new Acronis. The reason, they have added a menu during install where you can choose just the backup feature.

      Ability to customize whole disk backups to exclude files and/or folders to minimize size on the OS drive = hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys especially to reduce size.

      Acronis doesn’t by default backup hib or sleep or recycle bin or .tib.. files.
      There is an exclusions tab where you can add folder/files…

      • #2598151

        Thanks for the update.  FYI.  I contacted Acronis tech support and asked a few questions.  I have multiple computers and a NAS.  I copy the .tib files to my NAS either by drag & drop in File Explorer or SyncBackPro with ATI2019 with no issues.  Per tech support, in the current Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, the ONLY way to be able to use a backup file to extract files/folders OR do a full restore is for it to be IN THE ORIGINAL LOCATION or to move it FROM WITHIN CPHO.  I use SyncBackPro that automates copying these backup files from the various computers to my main desktop and my NAS.  When the need arises to restore a file or a folder, I often do this from my main desktop.  In my testing several years ago, if you try to open a backup after copying it outside the program to another location, you will get a corrupt file message and it is useless.  Appears this is still the case.  So if this is true, and you perhaps make a backup on an external drive, and for whatever reason you copy that backup anywhere else, it immediately becomes useless in the new location.  I’ve suspected external drives of possible defects and immediately attempt to copy the data off before investigating.  And I also tested copying the backup file back to the external, returning it to the original location, and it STILL is reported as corrupt and won’t open.

        I’ve learned the hard way that ANY backup solution is not fully validated until you’ve done test restoring of files/folders AND full image restores.  When something goes wrong, and you think “no problem, I’ve got backups” and then the backup files won’t open, now you’re screwed twice.  When I had to reinstall Windows from scratch and rebuild all the settings and so forth, NOT an insignificant effort, I vowed I would never trust backup files as being useful without periodically opening them and test restoring files/folders to an alternate location.  If you value your data enough to buy software and make backups, you are only half done with the job.

    • #2596562

      Macrium default makes images without paging or hibernation files (on V7).

      cheers, Paul

    • #2596563

      I have a portable external hard drive which I back up files

      What backup method / app do you use?

      Any of the free/paid apps suggested here will create image files, which means you can restore Windows if/when it or your hardware breaks.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2596831

        My backup method is clicking right click on the file and click on “Send To” which gives me “Toshiba Ext: (D:)” I don’t use an ap.

    • #2596885

      I suggest you get a backup app and create an image backup at a minimum. This will protect you from hardware failure.
      I have posted a link to apps that have been tested in #2596427 above.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2597322

      I used Acronis through version 2020, then switched to Macrium because it was free. Now that a full license for Macrium costs $135 per computer, and Acronis has gone to a subscription-only pricing model, I think it is time to ditch both. Will AOMEI read old Acronis or Macrium images? Any guesses how long Acronis 2020 and Macrium 8 Free will continue to work? Neither product blows my socks off, but both have proved simple and reliable in the past.

    • #2597323

      Can’t speak for Acronis, but Macrium 8 Free will get security updates through the rest of 2023. After that, The software will continue to work until it is not compatible with the latest Win OS version. It works on my Win11 now with the latest update installed within the last two or three weeks. I intend to keep using it on Win11 until it no longer works after an update. Win10 should be good til EOL since no more Feature Updates.

    • #2597393

      I am using Macrium V7 without any issues. The software is not internet facing (like a browser) so there is no need for “security updates”.
      I intend to keep running Macrium until I get a new machine, and even then I can’t see any reason to stop running V7.

      cheers, Paul

      • #2598278

        Paul,

        I’m still using Macrium V6 both Home and Free on my Win 10 & 11 machines and it works great. I’ve copied files all over the place and they always restore.

        The only time I’ve had a problem was a brand new machine that would not boot from the Rescue Media I had. I always like to Image a new machine BEFORE going through the OOBE so if I incur any problems I can return it to OOB condition before requesting a refund or repair.

        I used another free product to get the job done before realizing if I had just set it to Legacy Boot everything would have been fine.

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

    • #2601425

      I always like to Image a new machine BEFORE going through the OOBE so if I incur any problems I can return it to OOB condition before requesting a refund or repair.

      I’ve always wanted to do that, but could not figure out how. What is your technique? Do you use Macrium for that?

      • #2601483

        WUBRINEY,

        Yes, I do use Macrium. However, you should be able to use any Backup/Image software that allows you to create a bootable USB drive.

        Process:

        1. Create a bootable USB Drive on any computer, preferably using a recent version of Windows.
        2. Test that you can boot from that drive. This is imperative!
        3. With your new out of the box computer simply connect that drive and a secondary, spinning or SSD, external drive to receive the Image.
        4. Find, in the documentation or on the internet, the key necessary to tab to bring up the boot menu. For example on Dells it is F12
        5. Power on the new computer and immediately start tapping the key determined above until the boot menu appears. Usually, you’ll get a line on the screen that tells you what key to press and when that goes away you can stop tapping the key and await the boot menu display.
        6. Select the bootable drive and proceed to boot into the backup/image software and make your image.
        7. If the computer fails to boot with the drive you’ll most likely have to re-boot and turn off Safe-Boot and revert to the Legacy-BIOS. Then retry.

        I hope this is clear enough. Feel free to request clarification if necessary.

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

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