Virtualize Your PC with Go Virtual

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Are you looking for an easier way to virtualize your PC? Paragon’s newest product Go Virtual is the answer to many customers looking for an easy way to virtualize their PC.

Here are just a few ways Go Virtual can be of use to you. You can see all of the scenario’s here

Scenario 1: Safely evaluate new software

New software can be unintentionally harmful to your computer. Avoid negative system conflicts by creating a virtual clone of your current physical system using Paragon’s Go Virtual. Try new software in a safe environment and decide whether it works and is exactly what you need before making it a permanent addition to your collection. If the changes made on the virtual machine were successful, you can migrate your updated system from the virtual environment to your PC.

Scenario 2: Put your PC in your pocket, use it anywhere and anytime

It is very convenient and handy to use your favorite software with all data at any computer. Now it became possible with wide implementation of virtual environments. All that you want to do is migrate your system into a virtual machine, place it on any removable media and run this machine at any computer, which has virtualization software installed. Just obtain an external USB hard drive and use it as storage for your virtual environment – your computer is in your pocket.

Scenario 3: Combining Windows and Mac

All Apple solutions are very interesting and popular. But what if the Windows solution you have to work with does not have an analogue in the Mac world? Today you may not bother regarding the search of the compatible software; you may just run your favorite Windows-native programs on Mac’s inside of the virtual environment. Use Paragon Go Virtual to create a virtual machine with all software and data, then copy it to your Mac and run inside VMware Fusion.

Get a FREE copy of Go Virtual today

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Full Windows OS Support – Guaranteed support for any Windows operating system since Win2K (excluding server editions).

P2V Migration – Migrate a physical system to a virtual machine or convert a backup image to a virtual disk.

Migration without rebooting Windows – Hot processing of locked (in-use) hard disks lets you migrate a computer without rebooting and interrupting Windows.

P2V Adjust OS to recover the startup ability after unsuccessful virtualization with a 3rd party tool and to make Windows Vista/7 backups bootable on virtual hardware.

Smart Driver Injector – Makes the process of adding new drivers smooth and easy.

Performance – Paragon Go Virtual performs approximately 20% faster (your results may vary).

P2V adjust OS – Freeware tools will not adjust the OS to virtual hardware, leaving the user unable to boot their virtual machine. Go Virtual adjusts the OS so the virtual machine will boot successfully.

Selection of virtual hardware – Go Virtual offers the user a selection of virtual hardware types. Freeware tools typically do not.

Migration of offline systems – Freeware tools support the migration of operating systems currently running, but they have problems migrating offline operating systems, especially when there are more than one OS on the disk. Go Virtual performs these operations with ease.

We are very excited about this new release. Making physical to virtual migrations as easy as possible for people is a focus for Paragon. We would like you to download this product for free and leave us a comment here letting us know what you think about it. We value all of our customer feedback.

Enabling Hardware Independent Data Security Policy

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Paragon Software has a new article available on the popular Disaster Recovery Journal that was written by Sergey Solomatin.

Today, IT specialists have a wide range of options available to make the data security policy more composite and comprehensive. There are many tools and instruments presented for any level of demand on the IT market. Some of them are intended to be simple and convenient, others have to fit well into the larger enterprise infrastructures.

In this article, two important aspects of all-encompassing data security and management plan are described in more detail. First, I would like to discuss a hardware independent system recovery (HIR) and migration to virtual environments options. Even if you decide HIR is not your solution and do not attach much importance to it, HIR enables you to significantly increase a number of possible recovery, data migration and copying scenarios. In the light of the progress of modern virtualization technologies, HIR gets another great value – smooth system transfer between physical and virtual platforms.

Data Imaging and Virtualization

Creation of images is still the best way to get the maximum level of security for any computer data. It is the oldest and the most popular method of data backup. Despite the fact the technology principles are rather classical; the sector imaging continues its progress.

Nowadays, sector images are commonly used to protect important data and system as a whole. They make possible to store full software environments and system copies in one or several files. With the introduction of high-capacity storages in SOHO segment, imaging technologies break the limit of large enterprises sector and are now affordable to any PC user.

Sector imaging evolution yielded such methods and instruments as incremental and differential images, CDP, granular recovery, hot processing and much more. Another important technology is hardware independent restore that is one of this article’s topics.

Data imaging and virtualization intersect in many IT segments. Both of them come from the enterprise market and are now available everywhere, on any platform. Both of them operate by large containers with data. Recent developments have introduced a merging of the two technologies there more and more data management solutions support data imaging and data management in both physical and virtual realms.

Read the entire article on www.drj.com

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.

The Top Five Problems of Virtual Server Migrations.

The top five troubles of migration to virtual environments. How to avoid or successfully solve them.

Migration to virtual environments is not always an easy operation. It includes many implicit issues, manipulations and processes, any of them can be incorrect or cause a failure for the entire server. Moreover the whole operation’s success relies on the initial scenario of the system migration.

Evaluations of virtual systems also demands several new approaches as it is significantly different from working with traditional physical machines. The top five issues you may face before, during and after a system migration are
described in this post. Each of them has a solution, but only Paragon Virtualization Manager unites them all.

#1 Changing target virtualization environment

Today you have a wide range of virtualization software (VS) to choose from. Some of them are free and a little reliable; others carry a price tag but have also been tested in large enterprises. It is always better to determine what functionality, security and support level you want from your virtualization vendor before its implementation. One wrong decision may cause significant expenses of both time and money.

But what if you really decided to change your virtualization software vendor? For example you have been disappointed in Microsoft Virtual PC and bought VMware Workstation. What will you do in this case? Or you

have bought a brand new Windows 7 OS alongside with its embedded virtualization environment and want to transfer all data from your Parallels virtual machines? The answers may be several, let’s describe some of them. The first way is most obvious: you just reinstall OS and software from a scratch. Then copy all data by any means. Of course this is the most time consuming solution. The benefit is that you do not need to use any additional utilities. But this scenario can be initially doomed If you do not have software distributives anymore.

The second way is to somehow store your virtualized system into an image and then restore it inside of another virtual machine (virtual machine). Deployment of the whole system with software and data is much faster than the previous scenario, but you have to use an imaging utility. If you chose this way you will need to adapt the recovered system for the new virtual machine environment because different virtualization software emulate different hardware.  Concerning Windows family OS this issue can be crucial as these systems are very hardware-sensitive.

The better choice would be using one solution, which supports reading data from both source and target virtualization software. It also should be system adaptation aware, that is it should automatically tune OS for the new virtual machine hardware.


Paragon Virtualization Manager
has all the needed functionality to accomplish this.

The solution of the problem with Paragon Virtualization Manager is the following:

  • Create the target virtual machine with an empty virtual drive.
  • Attach both source and target virtual disk files to Paragon
    Virtualization Manager with the ConnectVD tool. Paragon Virtualization
    Manager supports VMware Workstation, Microsoft Virtual PC and Sun VirtualBox
    virtual disk formats.
  • Copy all partitions from the source virtual disk to the target one. Thus you will get  the exact clone of your environment in the target virtual machine.
  • Perform target OS adaptation for different hardware with the P2P Adjust tool.

Finally you will get the needed virtual machine with all your software and data.

#2 Repartitioning of a virtualized system

The volumes configuration of your actual physical system before migration may not be appropriate for the virtual environment (VE). For example you may decide to reallocate space between partitions or distribute data to volumes on several virtual disks. Of course you cannot perform all these actions with the source environment itself,  repartitioning should be done inside of virtual machine.

You have several options here, the first one is to install a partitioning utility on the system inside virtual machine and use it for repartitioning. This approach is literally the same as for the physical system with two important moments:
You will have to acquire another license for the program installation (and usage) and set it up on the system, which is not the best choice since this solution is one-time use and will be redundant.

The second approach is to use a bootable media and run the virtual machine from it. You can leverage the utility without its installation but you will be constrained to the limits of the virtual machine. You will not be able to exchange data between disk files of different virtual machines or transfer data directly to the physical one.

Paragon Virtualization Manager is a much more comprehensive solution that is able to perform different repartitioning tasks, and copying and migration scenarios. If you have access to virtual disk files or snapshots you do not need to install the solution or boot the special environment. All you have to do is attach the virtual machine containers (virtual disk files, snapshots) and perform the needed operations. Paragon Virtualization Manager is able to treat data on virtual disks of running virtual machine, but in the read-only mode.

Just attach the needed virtual machine container (or several) with the ConnectVD tool of Paragon Virtualization Manager and you will be able to perform:

  • Create, format, delete volumes;
  • Move/resize partitions;
  • Convert file system;
  • Change cluster size;
  • Change partition ID and other parameters;
  • Merge partitions, redistribute free space;
  • Defragment file system;
  • Copy volumes;
  • Undelete partitions and much more;

Any data operations are easy to perform with Paragon Virtualization Manager. Its broad functional covers nearly all possible data management scenarios and it is all concentrated inside of one handy solution.

#3 Reviving outdated environments as virtual machines

Computer hardware is improving very fast; a high-end computer bought in the past year is a middle-class machine today and become outdated in the next year. So everybody makes upgrades or purchase brand-new systems. But if
you have a well-configured and tuned system with your favorite software you will naturally want to use it after computer upgrade. Unfortunately sometimes differences in the previous hardware and new one make this scenario
impossible.

The better option is to conserve your old environment inside of virtual machine. And again as in the first scenario you will have to deal with manual or utility-assistant migration process. However you probably have some archives
of your system, thus you become able to make virtual machine directly from such archive copy even if you do not have a physical machine anymore.

You may also have some old images of your system which you want to transfer into virtual environments for future use. virtual machine can be a handy substitute for any archived image as it can be run at any time. Combining all these sources as virtual machine is another task for Paragon Virtualization Manager that it successfully solves.

Paragon Virtualization Manager enables you to revive old environments with Windows OS (versions since Win2K) in a virtual machine with the help of the P2V Adjust tool. You can restore the old archive in a virtual machine by any means and then perform OS adaptation.

Moreover if you previously used other Paragon solutions for system imaging, you can simply convert or .PBF archives into virtual disks of the needed format. Just run the P2V Restore tool and Paragon Virtualization Manager will create
the virtual disk with all your software and data.

#4 Transferring data between virtual machines

Exchange of large amounts of data between several types of virtual environments can be a hard labor. You will have to use some kind of media to connect many virtual machines, which could be rather slow, unreliable and inconvenient. Also you probably will not want to download or install a particular tool to perform a single data transfer between your virtual machine and one you got from a remote source.

For example you need to quickly transfer data from a virtual machine to a brand new virtualized system. You may use a network connection, a flash thumb drive or any other mean, but only if both virtual machine can work with these things.

Paragon Virtualization Manager is the best choice for fast data transfer of large amounts of data between different virtual machines and physical computers. Its ConnectVD tool is able to attach as many virtual disks as you want, then you may do whatever you want with data on them.

Connection of snapshots is another great opportunity as you become able to rapidly copy some data from an old snapshot to the actual virtual machine you work with. Even if you make wrong actions or delete some files – you may simply copy them from the previously created snapshot or the archived image.

#5 Returning back to the physical machine

Deployments to a physical machine from a virtual one is even more difficult than initial migration to virtual (P2V). This is caused by a lack of appropriate solutions for this task on the market as there are only several typical virtual machine hardware configurations for each virtual vendor and the endless number of physical hardware configurations that the software will have to adjust to.

Despite that the issues of deploying to physical machines is not related with migration to virtual environments directly, this is kind of a backward process. You can face it if you made a mistake when chose the virtual vendor or decided to give up virtual implementations. It is also possible that you run a development server in virtual space and then need to transfer the data to a physical server.

The solution depends on what you exactly need to do with the data. It is not very difficult to copy some data from virtual machines to your computer, but a whole environment deployment is a rather complicated task.

As in the first scenario you can reinstall all from a scratch and copy data. The limitations are the same: absence of distributives and time expenses. As in the first scenario you can restore an image of the system, but you will face hardware incompatibility issues and get a non-functional system.

Paragon Virtualization Manager can significantly speed up the whole deployment process. Its tools can help you copy all data from the source virtual machine to a physical HDD and tune up the system.

The solution with Paragon Virtualization Manager is the following:

  • Boot the physical machine with Paragon Virtualization Manager WinPE media. Thus you will be able to use Paragon Virtualization Manager without any actual system installed on the computer.
  • Mount a network share or get access to the source virtual disk drive by any other way.
  • Attach the source virtual disk drive to Paragon Virtualization Manager with the ConnectVD function.
  • Copy all partitions from the virtual disk to physical one.
  • Perform target OS adaptation for the different hardware with P2P Adjust tool.

In the end you will get the physical machine with the needed software environment and data. Process speed depends on the amount of data that needs to be copied.

Paragon Virtualization Manager is able to help you successfully solve many tasks related to migration into virtual environments and virtualized data management. The key opportunity of Paragon Virtualization Manager is that it has comprehensive and diverse functionality inside of one application. Thus you do not need to search and buy different utilities to perform any task.

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A Better Backup for Mac OS

Every Mac has a backup utility called Time Machine, but given the opportunity for a different backup software many Mac fans . Time Machine has its pros and cons. Under the hood of a glossy interface with “bells and whistles” it’s nothing more than a simple file-backup utility, which can’t even work with locked files on demand. There is no simple way of restoring your system after a disaster. You will have to restore the Mac OS then use Time Machine to restore all of your files. Obviously this isn’t an ideal situation and a rather long procedure.

I want to tell you about Paragon Volume Snapshot for Mac, an application, which implements a new level of data security in the Mac World. As it can be seen from its name Snapshot for Mac is a snapshot technology application (as opposed to Time Machine). In fact Paragon Volume Snapshot is the first snapshot backup solution for Mac.

Snapshot Backup for Mac

Basically a snapshot is a image of your entire hard drive including your OS and data. Snapshot for Mac is an online-backup technology, thus it’s able to work with locked files and folders at the time of archive creation. It’s closely related with the Disk Image utility, so in the end you will get images as well-known DMG files. And finally, you can boot your Mac with the Mac OS X installation disc; perform quick restore of your whole application environment from a DMG image in several minutes without any fuss; boot your Mac as usually and continue your work as if nothing had happened.

Let’s see how to use the Paragon Volume Snapshot utility. Just click on the installation package, choose where to install Snapshot for Mac and restart your Mac. The restart is needed for kernel extension installation.

Click the Paragon Volume Snapshot icon in the Applications window, the program’s main window will open.

Here you can see all available volumes on hard drives in the system. Choose one you want to backup and click the “Backup” button.

The program will ask you where you want to store the image, we suggest you to use an external media (HDD or a flash drive) for this purpose. You may be prompted to enter the administrator credentials to continue.

Then you are all set. The backup will begin and you will take your first image of your Mac and have it stored for easy recovery. The Disk Image utility takes approximately 50% of one CPU resources for the DMG packing; the process is rather quick: 1GB of data per minute.

In the end you will get a DMG file with your system and data. You can mount this image as usual and recover some files and folders, or restore your whole environment later.

Paragon Volume Snapshot for Mac is a simple but robust solution, which you can use for disaster-recovery backup of your Mac computers. It provides a new level of data security that cannot be achieved with the use of Time Machine.

If you are interested in doing an online review of our Snapshot for Mac product, leave a comment.

Let us know what you think about Paragon Snapshot for Mac or your favorite Mac backup solution and you could win a copy for yourself.

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