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schoondoggy, please describe your Paragon strategy & techniques


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Hey.

 

I'm investigating backup options other than WHS2011 and WSE2012. I've been a strong supporter of WHS2011's backup capabilities, and I do believe they are very strong, but it's been a few years since I really looked at other options, so I figure it's time take another look.

 

I'm wondering how you use Paragon Backup. Do you use VDs? Scripts? Do you schedule backups? Etc.

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Thanks a bunch. There's no real hurry.

 

Mostly as a lark, I just jumped into Paragon Home 15 and did a VD backup of my Win8 Desktop to a share on my WHS2011. It worked fine. Then, I scheduled Incremental VD backups of the system. It all seems to work.

 

However, while Paragon was doing that, I started reading the manual. On page 54 it started talking about Data Backup and Rescue and said to use Smart Backup, which requires switching to Legacy Features. I'm doing a backup that way right now. The obvious question is which method is best, or is one really better than the other? That's one reason I was wondering what you're doing. After all, 'Legacy Features' has the implication that it won't be supported at some point in the future.

 

In the VD backup scenario, I didn't find a way to schedule Incremental Backups except to create a script and schedule that. OK, that's fine, but now there's an issue with the labels for the backups. It appears the script will overwrite the same file over and over, not something I think I would want. So, is it possible to schedule Incremental VD backups and have them create a new label for each backup?

 

It's things like this I'm wondering about. Certainly I could run all kinds of tests and find out, but why not make use of a great resource when it's at hand (uh, that would be you :) ).

 

One thing does bug me. The Trial Version of Paragon doesn't include the Embedded Recovery Media Builder, which means I would have to install the ADK and WAIK in order to test the restoration process.

 

Hah. Just found the freebie version. From the description, it has the same features as the paid version, and does include the Embedded Recovery Media Builder. Maybe I'll try that out.

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Found out the free version doesn't have scheduling for VD backups. I'm sure I could finagle it if I really wanted to by creating a script and using Task Manager to schedule it, but I'd rather support Paragon by paying for the full version.

 

I figured out how to do a scheduled Full + Incremental backup to VD, but it was a pain to find. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why Paragon puts this under "Retention Wizard for VD". This is particularly true when the script it creates has "Cyclic Backup to virtual container" as its name. To me, these don't really equate. A Retention Policy specifies how long something is to be kept, not what is to be backed up and how it's to be done. In any case, a search of the manual for "cyclic" doesn't bring up anything to do with a "Retention Wizard". Considering that Paragon is now pushing for everyone to use Virtual Drives, they really should improve the interface and documentation. 'Course, the manual could user a lot of correction anyway — the German to English translation is not the best.

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schoondoggy

Whenever I find something that does not make sense with Paragon, I have to remember,,,, where is their headquarters?

Global Headquarters

 

Paragon Technologie GmbH

Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str. 5c

79100 Freiburg/Germany

 

All of their products tend to have a flow of: define a policy; then apply the policy.

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Whenever I find something that does not make sense with Paragon, I have to remember,,,, where is their headquarters?

Global Headquarters

 

Paragon Technologie GmbH

Heinrich-von-Stephan-Str. 5c

79100 Freiburg/Germany

 

All of their products tend to have a flow of: define a policy; then apply the policy.

 

That became clear pretty quickly. I had a thought of offering to clean up their documentation for them. Not sure I have the time though, or that they'd be interested.

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schoondoggy

I should have mentioned I am not in full production yet. Mostly I'm still testing. My overall plan is to find a backup and recovery software that will support bare metal restore and file level backups, so that I can move to some form of basic NAS on my home server. I have Paragon Backup and Recovery 15 the pay version.  I intend to use this for my three major computers. I will probably use the free version for most other machines. mostly have worked with backup to virtual disk. But what I'm really looking at is using the Recovery Media Builder manager, to full bare metal restore for Windows 8 UEFI computers. 

NEW  Embedded Recovery Media Builder 3.0

The new Recovery Media Builder 3.0 is now embedded into the product. It boasts more options, usability, and stability:

  • Prepares Linux or WinPE-based bootable environment on a USB thumb drive or in an ISO
  • Doesn’t require Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) or Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) on Windows 7 and later platforms
  • Can build WinPE-based media on Windows XP, Vista, if WAIK is installed in the system
  • Allows injecting additional drivers for storage devices, network controllers, USB controllers, or system during setup
  • Pre-configure a network connection and map network drives during recovery media creation
  • Prepares hybrid 64-bit recovery environment, supporting both, uEFI and BIOS compatible systems, on flash drive or ISO image

 

I hope using file backups to VD and file complement to VD will give me full content backup. Then using Recovery Media Builder to give me full bare metal restores.

File content backup and recovery's have worked well. I have not done a bare metal restore on a Windows 8 system yet. One of my upcoming tests with Recovery Media Builder is to backup my daughter's Windows 8 laptop replace the hard drive and do a restore to basically different hardware. 

The schedule function is built into the pay version and I believe you can write scripts for the free version but I'm not sure of that.

Paragon does offer a 30 day trial of the full version, if you would like to give it a try.

I am not traveling this week, so I will possibly have more time to experiment on this.

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Thanks very much schoondoggy. Much appreciated. I did notice that the one thing missing from the trial version is the embedded recovery media builder. How does that make any sense?

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Drashna Jaelre

Thanks very much schoondoggy. Much appreciated. I did notice that the one thing missing from the trial version is the embedded recovery media builder. How does that make any sense?

Because they probably embed some sort of special license into that embedded recovery version that doesn't ping back to their license servers. Which would mean a great way to ... well pirate the software.

 

So it makes complete sense to me.

 

 

Though I wonder how they're making the WinPE based media with the ADK or AIK .... Probably shipping WinPE with it. And if so, that's a pretty penny (or several million, rather....)

Also, if they're creating WinPE based images.... you can add those as a boot image to Windows Deployment Services (aka the "Client Restore Services" in Server 2012R2 Essentials) :)

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Because they probably embed some sort of special license into that embedded recovery version that doesn't ping back to their license servers. Which would mean a great way to ... well pirate the software.

 

So it makes complete sense to me.

 

The problem is that it negates one of the two most important features: easy recovery (the other being, of course, easy backup). I don't think they really thought it through. This is making me not want to continue testing.

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