How to Perform a Bare-Metal Backup and Recovery (video)

Thanks to the group over at Windows 7 Forums for putting together a great video tutorial on Drive Backup. Windows 7 Forums uses Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 to demonstrate why it is always better to perform a bare-metal backup, as opposed to a live backup using Windows Backup or other products. This demo explains how to perform a bare-metal backup and restore in a two part series.

PART 1

PART 2

It’s very exciting for us to see fans creating videos of our products. If you have created a video let us know in the comments section and we may highlight it in a new post or in our Facebook page.

Not All Physical to Virtual Conversion Tools are Equal

Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversion tools are quickly becoming a necessity in the corporate server environment and data center. When used properly, a P2V tool has the potential to save hours of work when converting a physical server or PC over to a virtual server or PC. P2V conversions are accomplished using native or third party tools from a number of vendors. For the most part, when used properly, P2V tools work as expected.

However the P2V conversion process is a very complex endeavor and there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. The likelihood of problems seems to increase exponentially when performing conversions during an emergency as part of a disaster recovery plan. What’s more, most tools require several manual steps and can introduce hardware compatibility problems. Hardware compatibility issues can stop a migration dead in its tracks.

To overcome hardware issues, it is critical that a P2V conversion tool is able to access and modify the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) of the physical operating system. If the HAL is incompatible with the new hardware and/or virtual environment on the target system, the virtualized version of the OS will fail to work, potentially wasting hours of work and introducing unwanted delays into the conversion process. Paragon Software’s Adaptive Restore is the solution to this and works 100% of the time ensuring that your virtual machines boot the first time without issue. Continue reading Not All Physical to Virtual Conversion Tools are Equal

Drive Copy 10 Giveaway

For today only, MakeUseOf.com is giving away 100 licenses of Drive Copy 10 Personal. Drive Copy is a great utility for upgrading hard drives, creating a single image of your computer for recovery if the PC crashes, and many others. If you would like to grab a free copy, head over to MakeUseOf.com and read the post.

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Added Bonus:

They are giving away our personal version that will not work on servers. If you would like a chance to win a copy of Drive Copy 10 Server, leave a comment here.

Prepare For A Storage Explosion

We have the good fortune of having opportunities to contribute our insights to readers of popular online editorials like Processor.com. We have been featured by Processor.com for everything from how web development businesses use our products to the challenges to disaster recovery and even the power of partitioning.

This is the most recent article that we were able to contribute to. We were asked to respond to a series of questions related to storage and the growing trend of virtualization.

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Strategies For Growth

Without knowing where to start, it’s impossible to determine an effective and efficient strategy for growth. A key to gaining that knowledge is determining current storage requirements, says Aaron Van Velsir, senior account executive at Abtech Systems (www.abtechsystems.com). Van Velsir recommends that administrators perform a trend analysis, which consists of current information plus any new applications, projects, and new users to be added. With this data, future growth patterns can be extrapolated; assuming a three- to five-year life expectancy for a storage array means administrators should develop total storage requirements for three to five years, says Van Velsir.

Enterprise growth requires scalability in the data center; with storage technology that doesn’t scale well, enterprise growth will be, at best, difficult to manage. At worst, the lack of scalability could hinder business growth when it’s needed most.

Koka Sexton, manager of business development for Paragon Software Group (www.paragon-software.com), says administrators should be sure to use solutions that scale easily to growing storage demands. Consolidating free space with software can reduce new hardware expenses and maximize existing storage infrastructure, Sexton says; however, when new virtual machines or virtual storage is deployed, administrators should look for tools that can manage different virtual platforms.

Read the entire article here

Paragon Software Wins “Best in Show”

Paragon Software Group was invited to the  Orange County SMBTN (SMB Technology Network) meeting in Irvine recently. The group consists of local IT consultants and resellers. The focus of this meeting was to have a shootout between the who’s who of disaster recovery software. The players in this competition were Acronis, Windows 7 imager, StorageCraft, Windows Home Server, Symantec and of course Paragon Software.

The scope of the comparison was all the source machines were to have a basic OS installation (no data). These machines would be backed up and timed. Once imaged the backup archives would be restored to dissimilar hardware.

All of the software preformed backups without errors except for Windows 7 imager. A time comparison was made and gig for gig Paragon’s speed was at 1 GB per minute to USB 2.0 which put it in the middle of the pack.

All the destination machines were booted to their respectable boot media. All were WinPE or Linux based. Paragon was the only software that had the option to boot to flash memory. Paragon was one of the only applications that was able to do this recovery to dissimilar hardware without extra steps. Paragon restored from a Gateway laptop running Vista to a Dell Latitude 6500.

For the next round of restores, the destination machines were switched. Paragon was tasked to restore on the same box where Storage Craft failed. Paragon Drive Backup restored the partition and did the P2P adjust. The restored image started without any issue on the optiplex 270.

SMB Technology Network, thank you for having us at your event and showcase our Drive Backup software. We appreciate getting the “Best in Show” award and look forward to the next meeting.

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The SMB Technology Network has its roots in partner groups focused on IT solutions & services for the SMB (Small Medium Business) space. Our focus includes Windows platforms including SBS (Small Business Server).  One of the first SBS focused groups in the nation was created in 2002 by Roger Otterson in San Diego, California.  Shortly after attending the San Diego meetings in 2005, Jim Locke formed the Los Angeles SMB User Group.  Additional groups have formed in, Orange and Ventura County, the Inland Empire, Bakersfield, Fresno and across the country including the Carolina’s.  All consolidated as SMBTN.  Each group holds monthly meetings to discuss the latest small business trends.  In addition, the group has partnered with Microsoft at Connections and TS2 events, further penetrating the SMB space.  All groups have decided to merge under one umbrella to best serve the interests of the members.  The network is in an exciting position, poised to further expand and generate new opportunities for both our members and partners.

A Tale About Adaptive Restore

For several years the company has been constantly improving the Adaptive Restore Technology which is intended to solve all issues with dissimilar hardware restore and migration. Its goal is to help you make an operating system functional again after any complex hardware replacement like installing a new motherboard or RAID controller.

The first version of Adaptive Restore supported only Vista and Windows 2008 operating systems due to use of a very simple adaptation algorithm. In short: because of the fact that these OS’s have many hardware drivers on board but in the inactive state the program just only activated them during adaptation assuming that it will make an OS bootable. There was not any possibility to add third-party drivers. The lack of this approach was obvious: some important drivers may not be found or adaptation should affect deep system layers. So the next version of Adaptive Restore was able to change OS core settings and install any additional drivers.

After several revisions Adaptive Restore become what it is now, a complicated technology with many background manipulations.

What makes Adaptive Restore Tick

Basically there are two main operations. First of all the program adjusts the OS kernel including proper HAL selection. Secondly the program installs any additional drivers. Now Adaptive Restore supports modern Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7 operating systems alongside with deprecated Windows 2000 and going out of date Windows XP/Windows 2003.

Adaptive Restore is intended to be both simple and comprehensive. It usually doesn’t demand special attention or manual actions during the operation set up, but informs you about any hardware without properly installed drivers. Inexperienced users can completely rely on the internal Adaptive Restore algorithm during the operation when others, who feels themselves skilled enough, are able to change Adaptive Restore behavior.

If you choose a simple scenario you will need only to pass a path to the drivers’ repository in the program. There is no limit to amount of these repositories; the program will scan them all while searching for appropriate drivers. If the program fails it will ask you to provide a path to another repository. The lack of this scenario is that you cannot control which driver will be actually installed.

A long but detailed and interesting way to bring your system back on rails is to use the advanced Adaptive Restore scenario. In this case the program will provide you with additional Adaptive Restore parameters and tuning. First of all in this scenario you can see all the information about the hardware which drivers have to be installed for in an easy to understand manner with device names. Continue reading A Tale About Adaptive Restore

Backup Software Weekend Giveaway.

Backing up your computer is not an option. The thought of losing your precious pictures of  friends and family and your entire music collection should keep you up at night. A computer crash from that nasty virus you downloaded by accident from the website you shouldn’t have visited can erase everything you have in seconds.

You should have an external hard drive. If not, go over to our Facebook page and enter to win a free 1TB drive. Even without an external drive you do not have an excuse for not having a reliable backup of your computer.

Free Backup Software Giveaway

With the move to the new blog and a growing community around our products, we want to offer our readers a free copy of Drive Backup Professional. Typically sold for $49.00 we are going to give away this must have backup software. Do you want a copy? Of course you do. Continue reading Backup Software Weekend Giveaway.

Best Practices on Virtual Server Backup Strategy – White Paper

Are you looking for the best practices in implementing and maintaining a virtual server environment?

Download the latest white paper explaining the best practices in virtual server implementation and maintenance.

IT systems have become such an integral part of the business process that down-time must be avoided at all costs. Those responsible for enterprise systems, both large and small are asking tough questions when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery, questions such as:

  • How can we keep down time to a minimum?
  • How can I future proof my business continuity solutions?
  • What new technologies deliver improved 24×7 access?
  • How can I demonstrate the Return on Investment (ROI) of a disaster recovery solution?
  • Is there a way to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with new technologies?
  • How can I build synergy into a backup solution that delivers future value?
  • How can I avoid dead-end technologies?
  • What criteria should I use to select and integrate recovery products?

Simply put, businesses large and small needing to maintain 24×7 access to IT resources are looking for a better way to deliver 24×7 access, prevent disasters and recover quickly from unpreventable events, all without breaking the bank and still maintain scalability with products that are future proofed. Continue reading Best Practices on Virtual Server Backup Strategy – White Paper

Adaptive Restore Week

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About two weeks ago I had a computer crash. Not just a bad virus or other corruption but my PC gave me the dreaded blue screen of death and nothing I seemed to do was going to bring my PC back from the dead. I had a recent backup image of my computer. I was using Drive Backup scheduled for an image on a weekly basis but that alone wasn’t going to help since I was going to need a completely new computer to replace the one that was fried. Granted it was time to buy a new computer, the one that died was on it’s last leg and was over 3 years old.

I ordered a new PC online and when it was delivered I wanted all of my old data to be on the new machine. I was sure that our product had functionality to do this but wasn’t exactly sure how it worked or how difficult it would be since I was now using a completely new set of hardware. I asked my favorite Tech Support rep how hard it would be to restore my computer on the new hardware and he just about  laughed at me. He explained that with Paragons Adaptive Restore, I could restore my backup image onto ANY computer and it would be just as easy as running a regular restore with one minor adjustment. Adaptive Restore would do the rest automatically. Continue reading Adaptive Restore Week

Backup and Recovery – Tekzilla Recommended PC Approved.

Tekzilla the internet based technology show hosted by Veronica Belmont and Patrick Norton have a quick review of Paragon Backup and Recovery in their latest episode. You might remember that they mentioned Paragon Backup in a past episode also. Thanks Veronica and Patrick for including us in your show.

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Rick the Recruiter doesn’t know which options to choose when he’s setting up software to back up his hard drive. Should he backup folders, the whole computer, or create a disc image? Are incremental backups, better than overwrites. If his hard drive fails, should he restore from a disc image, or re-install windows then move his files back over? Veronica and Patrick walk you through their choices for backing a computer, Windows or OS X!