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What data recovery software would you suggest?

This topic was created by normanpritchard59 .

What data recovery software would you suggest?

I use the dell latitude E6420. I need a data recovery solution for it and seem to like Rollback Rx. Acronis True image also looks ok. What do you think?

Lets not talk of hardware backup right now.

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Re: What data recovery software would you suggest?

I would go for Rollback. It is fast and has saved my computer from viruses multiple times (I have been using it in my business). About Acronis True Image, is also compatible with Rollback, as long as you don't activate the Acronis Secure Zone feature.

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Re: What data recovery software would you suggest?

I would recommend Deep Freeze restore software by Faronics. Rather than going for any recovery software, try restore software. I'm using it for long time probably 4-5 years. Go for it.

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Re:

Rollback Rx has standard 256 bit AES encryption. It even has multi access control.

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I'll Go For Quick Recovery for Extra Advance Instead...!!

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Bronze badge

Recovery or Backup?

Not entirely sure which you're after here you haven't made it entirely clear, it sounds like you mean backup though.

For backup:

Some people say you get what you pay for. In the case of backup software there are some extremely decent free options.

Acronis True Image isn't a bad choice, it can be made an even better choice if you have a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive in your machine, as there is a free edition available from those companies. Only works if you have one of their brand drives in your machine though.

Comodo Backup has a free edition which is what I currently use at home, it seems to be quite decent so far. Has a good range of options including differential and incremental backups, a range of compression options including a maximum mode with deduplication. It supports networks drives, custom backup jobs and scheduling.

If you want a completely system backup without an fancy customisation options, and you're running Windows 7, then the built in Windows Backup isn't actually too bad.

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Re: Recovery or Backup?

>Windows 7, then the built in Windows Backup isn't actually too bad.

It's a good idea to run a virus scan before making an image backup with Win7's built in tools, because if it finds something it doesn't like several hours into a backup, it will abort.

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Linux

The question really is: Do you need something to recover a crashed laptop, a virus-loaded laptop, or do you want something to back up your laptop so you can recover easier (aka prevention)?

For a crashed (or crashing) laptop, there is only one solution: Spinrite at grc.com. This works wonders and is worth the $90. Don't be fooled by it's tiny (3.5" floppy) size -- it's written in assembler by GRC's sole owner, Steve Gibson. Spinrite also works on SSDs (using level 1, max level 2). Get it, slap it on a CD, boot into it, scan your drive. It'll take a while but it's worth the wait and price.

For a virus loaded laptop, pull a copy of the AVG Rescue CD, and boot into it. Scan your system. Then switch to MalwareBytes and let it clean up your system.

If you Windows install is completely hosed, grab a Knoppix CD and use it to dig through your laptop and copy your data to an external USB drive. This is Linux for the win.

For prevention, there's numerous ways including Carbonite or even setting up a Raspberry Pi with a large desktop HD (or even a USB based Drobo) and setting up a "Time Machine for Unix" scheme.

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I'll add to the linux offering by suggesting gddrescue for proper buggered hard drive data recovery.

Use it daily for recovering customers hard drives. Took 9 months to clone a drive with it once but I got everything back.

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Joke

"Took 9 months to clone a drive with it once but I got everything back."

@ Richy Freeway

Was it sending the data in morse code? And were you billing by the hour?

Seriously, why so long - just many many passes?

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Spinrite...

OMG! I've not heard that name for abo0ut 20 years - I still have bad memories of having to nurse Kyocera 20MB dives periodically with spinrite to counter sector drift. I ran it over a weekend once on a CDC/Seagate Wren EDSI drive, that was a whole 670 odd meg, and it was still at it when I came in on on the Monday morning!

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Macrium Reflect

I have been using Macrium Reflect. Use the paid version at work, which I now trust for incremental folder backup, use the free one for my laptop.

IMO True Image is awful these days.

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Re: Macrium Reflect

That's what I've heard and that has kept me from upgrading from True Image 2011. I heard that they started to go downhill at around the time they fired all their internal support in favor of outsourcing.

For me, a long-time Ghost user since DOS it wasn't easy to make the change but True Image 2011 has become the only drive imaging software I've ever needed for years. I have used it to backup and restore XP/7 and Ubuntu 12.04 partitions successfully. Being able to reliably backup to and restore from FTP is my favorite feature although I'm sure other imaging products have the feature as well.

Drive Image XML is free for personal use - does anyone have firsthand experience with it?

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Re: Macrium Reflect

Re Drive image,

I call it Drivel Mage because I hate capital letters in the middle of words.

But I do find it useful for restoring Windows systems with all the device drivers and office software that I use. There is a version of it on the Hirens CD, so I can reinstate my Windows system on a bare machine.

Choice of compression: none, quick but useful, or strong but takes time to save an image. Restore is reasonably quick.

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Joke

Re: Macrium Reflect

How are companies going to register common vocabulary words as trademarks without the capitalized letter(s) in the middle?

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Re: Macrium Reflect

I can also give a big thumbs-up to Macrium Reflect. It's unobtrusive, simple and gets the job done. Also, even older versions are well supported with periodic updates. It's also got a neat drive clone facility – I used that recently to swap out an old 150GB C: drive for a new 1TB one. The whole job was done in about an hour, and for most of that I was carrying on using my PC as normal.

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Macrium Reflect does the job without much fuss.

I can only second the recommendations for Macrium Reflect. It's a strange UI (but which UI isn't nowadays), but it does the job of backing up and restoring (or search/copy parts in images) without much fuss und very reliably.

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Re: Macrium Reflect

Another vote for Macrium Reflect. Acronis True Image has got significantly worse over the last couple of years, and the USB boot disk doesn't even bloody work at all on my Asus Zenbook.

Free version of Reflect works fine.

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Been happily using Acronis True Image 2009 since ummm 2009. I do keep the system and data on different partitions and backup data to a Qnix NAS daily and a clean system to the same place monthly.

For a quick and dirty file copier, I use Karen's Replicator. It's schedulable and network aware but doesn't verify.

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Facepalm

Hey I started with True Image 2009 and was happy with it - until I found it wouldn't work with SATA. I upgraded to 2011 but then found that it was incompatible with images created with 2009!

facepalm!

Back to Ghost I go then - only to find that it too was incompatible with image files created by previous versions.

double facepalm!

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True Image good

Been using it for years, with backups going to a NAS drive in a different building (paranoid? moi?). I do weekly drive image and daily data directory differential backups, so have daily snapshots of data and weekly of drive doing back for some months. As any backup can be mounted as a normal drive it's very useful for those "Oh shit I wish I hadn't deleted/updated that file yesterday" moments.

The NAS drive is important. For damaged drives then there's no problem backing up onto a different drive in the same box or another box next to it on the desk. But when a burglar nicks anything electronic? Or the flames start licking throught he room? What use is your backup then? If your data is your livelihood then paranoia is really, really good. Make sure that at least some of your backups are going off-site.

Anti-virus cleanup? I suggest multiple solutions. Had to clean a friends win8 box recently that had nasties crawling everywhere. McAfee (installed on box) wasn't spotting much. Ran Kaspersky Rescue CD that found and deleted 80 nasties, McAfee then said it was clean. Then manually deleted a couple more! Then ran AVG rescue disk that found another 9 nasties. Then disabled one last startup thingie and it seems to all be okay now. If he'd had incremental/differential data backup it would have been a lot easier jut to go back a few days.

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Acronis 2014: major fail

I have found that Acronis 2014 was a bad choice for me: had many problems with recovery from a backup--so I had to uninstall it. Also, the Try & Decide feature corrupted the hard drive.

Older versions of Acronis were excellent--2014 don't recommend.

For my complete review and others--read the 1 star reviews on Amazon: Acronis True Image 2014 (DVD).

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Recovery options

Agree with Phil: you want backup or recovery: clone or imaging: snapshots options or not ??

File recovery, external or network storage

You got W7 or W8, UEFI or GPT ??

You want bootable snapshots for testing and rollback or just back up images ??

All important considerations

Avoid Rollback Rx like the plague it's a snapshot tool, not a proper imaging tool, messes with MBR, messes with MFT, not even sure it works with UEFI and GPT

Looks great on paper but ....

Can make all data unrecoverable. Not compatible with many other tools: just dont.

Google RollbackRx problems

Acronis has good rep and as noted lots of free options and many configurations: can be a massive pain to uninstall

Some HDD manufacturers have free tools for backup

I have tested and used all these:

The Best snapshot option: Raxco ISR: need disc space for snapshots, intuitive, easy very reliable great support http://www.raxco.com/business/products/instantrecovery

A great back up option: Storagecraft Shadow Protect

Macrium Reflect is a great free tool. Easy defaults Extra options with paid

AOEMI Backupper: funny name great free tool: solid: preconfigured defaults, easy

Paragon tools very good options: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/categories/official-paragon-support-forum.107/

The absolutely, ABSOLUTELY best software is Terabyte Unlimited Bundle: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/index.htm

Has a slight learning curve but phenomenal tools and support like nothing you have experienced

You want a little end user experiences and guidance: good forum here:

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/forums/backup-imaging-disk-mgmt.97/

There are plenty of other tools..choose wisely :)

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One more

Let me join the "it depends" camp. For typical unfancy cross-platform backups I'm running fwbackups. I've also recently used GParted Live, Redo Backup & Recovery, Clonezilla, Amanda and rsync depending on who needs, and is comfortable with, what. All have their advantages, disadvantages, focus and strengths. As you may have guessed, I tend toward the oss solutions but that's mostly because I've been bitten the arse more than once when a proprietary package decides to change formats for no good reason.

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Yes, what is it that you want to do?

It sounds like backup, rather than 'Oh £$%&, I need to recover data off a borked system'.

Backup is a case where OSS is safer than proprietary. If there is a popular closed source backup program that has not, at some point, changed its file formats to something incompatible with previous versions, I have not discovered it. Typically, old versions are only supported on old OSes or for one more version of the program. As a result, I - and probably most other people - have some old backups you can't easily read.

Do you want to restore to a different machine or an identical laptop? (Many image programs will leave you with a backup that won't run on the new one.) Do you want to access the backup from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection? How much data, and how often do you want to back it up, and what's it worth?

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Anonymous Coward

Or in future consider using a Mac with TimeMachine (free / included with the OS).

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Carbon Copy Cloner...

is better than Time Machine for creating bootable images of your Mac. Not free, but a lifesaver on many occasions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Carbon Copy Cloner...

I find Backuplist+ is a more flexible tool.

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Anonymous Coward

Any love for EASUS?

I'm another long term user of GHOST but I lost interest when it started being expensive and shiny and snapshot based rather than simple and effective and DOS based.

After that I did briefly try Acronis (several years ago) but various issues (which I forget) made it unappealing.

With the recent arrival of Windows 7 and SATA in the house, I've needed to move on. This week I have been mostly using EASUS. I fail to understand the difference between its "disk" and "partition" backups (whereas with GHOST it was clear) but it's done the job so far.

I did look at Macrium before trying EASUS. Can't remember why it didn't win.

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Windows comes with its own back up software that can take both incremental and full backups, producing restorable image files.

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>Windows comes with its own back up software that can take both incremental and full backups, producing restorable image files.

Maybe, but restore does not work.

So, I have a laptop, hard drive died ... kids, moving around ... hd is dead. I order SSD and think, Windows 7 backup is all nice and cool, I intentionally took a system image, have over 250Gb of data backed up, sounds like quite a lot for 12 months (disk was 320Gb, contained about 150Gb when it died).

I reinstall Windows 7 and attempt to restore from the network drive, windows 7 installer insists to reinstall again (I could not navigate to the share), go to backup and recovery in the control panel and wish to recover from the network drive ... no valid backup signature found on the specific folder, or something like that. WTF, my rsync backups from my macs/linux boxen are easily accessible.

Am I the only one in this case ? Has anybody managed to restore Windows backup from a share ? Backup worked fine, there are a bunch of snapshot folders on there .... Yes, I could go through the shapshts, unzip, copy files .... but that is not really the point of backup .... on my rsync folders I do

$ cp /media/backup/myhost/<tab><tab> (to get list of backup dates)

$ cp /media/backup/myhost/20140920/sarah/Documents/blahblah.txt Documents/

If I want to restore the lot, a for loop with 20130610, 20130620 [....] 20140920 calling rsync on folder ... only changes are in the individual date folders.

Time machine does not like my NAS - and I have 6TB, so space enough for duplicate homework - I do not backup game installation, just saved games (/home/sarah on UNIX, [c:]/Users/sarah on Mac/Windows). I guess there might be quite a few videos there, though ... looking at the size.

Thought, anyone ?

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Full HDD backups

I have a 256GB SSD which is encrypted with bitlocker. I bought a 320GB magnetic drive from my local computer store and a hardware cloner / forensic imager from an auction website.

Once per week I do a full bit level backup of my SSD to the magnetic drive. This has two useful benefits: First, if a customer doesn't want their data leaving their site then I can leave my encrypted ssd with them and get them to wipe it and return it once satisfied or I can invoice them for a new one. Second, if anything breaks I have a full copy of my system from earlier that week and don't need to waste a day rebuilding it (I have local admin on a non-domain machine so my situation may be unusual).The magnetic drive is stored seperately from the laptop and doing a full backup takes 30-45mins or so

I guess if I was more paranoid about viruses than present I would buy multiple magnetic drives and rotate through them...

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Anonymous Coward

Avoid Acronis

Used Acronis true image for a while, found it very buggy and at one point my backups suddenly corrupted themselves and it was not possible to access the archive until a few months later a new release of the product suddenly solved the problem. Spent an age trying to solve the problem with their support team located god knows where but they clearly had no idea how to or real interest in actually investigating the issue. After similar problems over a couple of years and regular random crashes I removed the software, installed storagecraft shadow protect, great product.

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Crashplan Free

Your question mentioned specific products but not your recovery goals.

I use Crashplan's free edition for my family and friends computers. We all have home fiberoptic internet without caps (50Mb/s upload connections minimum) so speed is not an issue for us.

The concept is that you back up your machine's important files to a friend or family members' machine at another location, and they do the same. If you get a large group, you can simple pitch in for a USB HDD to place at a couple of locations and all use them. The data is fully secured and encrypted, so only you can read your own data.

This deals with 2 potential situations: (1) the inevitable dead HDD, and (2) a disaster like a fire or flood destroying your machine (and backup drives in many cases!).

Has worked well for me for about a year, though I am not sure about the "free" longevity... buy there are never guarantees!

My $0.02

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Re: Crashplan Free

Crashplan here too, for off-site backups. Family back up to my machine, I back up to Crashplan's servers with a paid-for account. Takes a while to back up initially (I have a well-used 1TB disk) but once the initial backup is done it works very nicely.

Chose Crashplan for the unlimited backup size, and the ability to keep some revisions "for ever".

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Holmes

FBackup

FBackup 5. Mirror backup everything onto an external hard drive. Grab the drive and go - instant on the road access to all your files from any system. Fast and free.

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Different tack

How about using one of the many 'cloud' sync/backup options? You probably don't need to back up as much as you imagine, certainly not whole disk image of the OS, protean files, etc. If you use (for instance) Google Drive, it keeps previous versions of files under its watch too, so you can get the benefit of file-level version restores if you need to, out just allow the client software to sync and restore a copy of your files to reformatted/rebuilt hardware. For me, it makes sense anyway, as I duck and weave between devices and if I lose one, there's another ready to go with no real interruption.

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Happy

Image for Windows

Terabyte Unlimited's "Image for Windows" also works with Linux. Boots from HiRen's recovery USB or floppy, or CD. Creates an image file(s) which can be booted. Best for System disks/partitions but will do a complete drive, if you wish.

I have never needed any other solution. I run an automatic backup every night with it. Saved my bacon several times.

Also good for porting operating systems intact to a new hard disk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Image for Windows

You missed one of the most important advantages of purchasing this cheap tool. You get free lifetime upgrade. I bought a copy of Image for Linux about five years ago and sometime last year needed an imaging software and was just able to log into my account and download the current version.

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Re: Image for Windows

..and unlike Windows Backup, it allows you to archive discrete differential backups.

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Anonymous Coward

I use rsnapshot, which runs on a Raspberry Pi I have in my loft. It also runs OpenVPN and my laptop connects in whenever it can. Rsnapshot grabs files from the server, rather than there being a client which sends data. It uses rsync to copy the files and keeps hourly, daily and weekly snapshots. I've got it set up to back everything up when I'm at home and only the most important stuff when I'm out and about.

A totally DIY solution, I know, and it won't work for everyone. It works for me though, and I know that as long as I have my OpenVPN keys and an SSH key I can get my data wherever I am in the world, even if my laptop dies or is pinched.

Works for me.

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Silver badge

Data recovery? Testdisk

I've been using Testdisk for years. It works on all but the most extreme HDD wipe/crash such as Ghostery set to multiple pass wipes before imaging or R/W heads no longer working or disk won't actually spin.

Free.

Very old school and somewhat quirky, but recovers things you would not believe. If you can get the system to boot to the simplest command line in any way possible, you're good to go.

NOTE: This is ONLY for recovering files and not the OS.

(free huh? I remember I paid $175 for this a decade ago)

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Re: Data recovery? Testdisk

Yep, Testdisk is great. As is Photorec. A friend of mine's wife managed to format their camera's SD card while they were on holiday. Photorec recovered the lot.

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Proof of the pudding...

I have successfully used Active Disk Image software from LSoft Technologies. What I like is that you can either restore the whole disk image or selectively restore single files from the image! What more could you want? I use a laptop with an SSD drive as drive C: this backs up the current image to another SSD in the DVD bay as drive E: for speed and each evening drive E: is backed up to a USB3 750GB WD Black 2.5" caddy drive. All saved data is stored on separate NAS drives. Drive C: only contains todays data clips and notes until sorted. 55GB from C: takes 7minutes to save and 12 minutes to restore, the USB has the oldest image deleted after 7 days. Once you have lost all your data and files you too can be as paranoid as me about backups!. Good luck.

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In terms of actual data recovery software, I've got nothing but good things to say about GNU ddrescue, and you certainly can't beat the price.

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Anonymous Coward

data recovery

Recover My Files

I have used this product with much success many times on hard drives, memory cards, even my Samsung phone's built-in storage. Easy to use, also.

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I've busted my head for ages to work out which are the most reliable trouble free solutions for this on windows. Depending on your needs I recommend:

For backups: Cobian Backup Free - does full and incremental backups and is fully configurable despite being a free solution.

For drive imaging: clonezilla: it has a learning curve but does everything you could possibly need and has an infinite number of options

For data recovery e.g from a crashing disk, destroyed partition table or just accidentally deleted:

Zero Assumption Recovery ( ZAR): does everything and has a remarkable success rate due to utilizing multiple methods to recover data, under any scenario. Remarkably reliable and inexpensive.

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Bronze badge

Belt and braces

On my laptop I have a partition for backups, made by Cobian, which I routinely copy to an external USB HD. Really important stuff is also copied to the family PC, across the network.

On the family computer with all the important stuff I have two HDD internally. One has a backup partition, big enough for an image (Macrium) and a per file backup. (Cobian) and the rest is stuff that I can afford to lose. Most of the data is on the other.

And an external USB HD dedicated to backups,

I also have the most important folders from these backed up to cloud services- free versions of Onedrive/Box/Dropbox./Googledrive. Some automatically (Cobian again). That's just in case I lose access to all the machines, as an off-site store. (150mb cable internet help).

I have encrypted partitions on the USB drives in case I need to store anything sensitive.

So I should be able to access most of my data safely, come what may.

But then I have an in-built tendency to assume that something nasty is always bound to happen when you least expect it.

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For most disk-related issues, I recommend Rutime's software (from runtime.org), GetDataBack is quite well known, I think.

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