February 11, 2008

Acronis TrueImage does not work

I started it at 4:00 this afternoon. Two hours and 45 minutes later I decided that no matter what else was going on, there should have been some indication of progress. So I shut it down, again. Which, as with all the other times, meant logging off and on again.

Hitting "cancel" doesn't stop it. It kills the monitor job, but the engine, which clearly was stuck in a fail-retry loop, kept going.

This run was longer than any of the other three fails, but it only managed to archive 540 megabytes before losing its mind. One of the others managed to archive 2G and reach the point where it thought there was only 13 minutes left before locking up. This one only got 16% of the way in and told me 49 minutes left. (For two hours it told me "49 minutes left".)

Oh, and it locked up in a different directory this time. Something called c:\Windows\System32\migwiz\dlmanifests\

I've been doing one particular thing: saving the system state. I haven't tried any of the other choices.

Before I give up outright and demand a refund (which I won't get) I'll try the out-and-out backup-everything-and-the-kitchen-sink. That really will take hours even if it runs properly. This system currently shows 138G used on both partitions. I don't know if the program will allow me to exclude any of that, or if it's all-or-nothing, but I bet it is indeed all-or-nothing.

And I bet that won't work, either. It'll try to store the same things as the sys-state backup did, and it'll lock up just like that did.

Must I buy a Norton product after all, after wasting $50 on TrueImage? Backup should be a system function. Microsoft should have provided me with a comprehensive backup solution. But the system "backup" program included in Vista also cannot archive the system state.

That's two in a row for me now, after the paid version of Zoom Player turned out not to display subtitles for DVDs, and thus turned out to be utterly useless for my purposes (in as much as I don't watch fansubs routinely). I wonder if I can make it three? There's a new version of Flash Decompiler, much enhanced, that I have to pay for as an upgrade. I wonder if I should risk it?

I don't like getting ripped off.

UPDATE: Is there a black cloud hovering over my head or something? The new version of Flash Decompiler doesn't work, either. Every SWF file it sees, it reports as corrupted. Including the one it installed itself, which it tries to autoload when it runs.

UPDATE: Probably the problem is that the previous version of it is already on my computer. I'll try uninstalling both of them, and then installing the new one, and see if that makes any difference.

But tomorrow. I've had enough teeth gnashing for one day. (There was a time when I had a greater tolerance for this kind of frustration. But I just don't have a lot of energy any more.)

UPDATE: I let it do a backup of the C partition last night. It seems to have worked fine. The resulting file is 66 gigabytes. Whether it can actually be used to restore my system state is something I pretty much can only discover when I need it, after some hypothetical crash, but it's the best I can do for now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 06:59 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 571 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I know this isn't exactly a constructive comment, but experiences like yours have solidified my tech-support stance of "reformat-ready" computing, where I consider the OS and all applications disposable and only preserve specific pr0n data files.

Of course, I say that, but I'm quite the slacker too. At least there's always more pr0n new content.

Posted by: gaiaswill at February 11, 2008 07:27 PM (gctoU)

2

I've had good luck with Acronis software in the past--of course, we're talking pre-Vista days. 

Is it possible that the system needs to run in Safe Mode, or something like that?  Maybe certain services have to be turned off, or the software can't grab the files in order to back them up.

I'm just guessing; sorry.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 11, 2008 08:06 PM (fnoZ9)

3 If so, the program should tell me. No mention of it, and plenty of indication that it expects to be running in background while the computer is in normal use.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 11, 2008 09:26 PM (+rSRq)

4 You can greatly increase your probability of a successful backup of the drive containing the OS by using BartPE with the Acronis TruImage plugin.  BartPE drops you into a stripped down Windows preinstall environment and does not use your installed OS.  All the files remain closed and the services remain off.  These are the culprits behind many a failed OS backup.

Posted by: kderosa at February 12, 2008 08:29 AM (voPUw)

5

I just checked with a friend who was using Acronis 10 under Vista.  He said he both managed to get both a successful backup and a successful restore.

If the new flash decompiler you got doesn't specifically say it is Vista-compatible, try running it in compatibility mode or as an administrator.

Posted by: RickC at February 12, 2008 01:01 PM (tnmu5)

6

Rick, with v11 I got a successful backup of the drive. My problem is that what I wanted to do was just to backup the state, and that didn't work. (Four times.)

The drive backup completed in a reasonable amount of time, but the resulting file is 69G. That means I can't keep very many of them around, unless I go shell out for another couple of big USB drives, which I'd really like to avoid doing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 12, 2008 02:39 PM (+rSRq)

7 But all of that misses the point: they say that the feature works. It doesn't. It's a major feature of the product, the feature that convinced me to buy it. They're supposed to have tested the damned thing before releasing it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 12, 2008 02:40 PM (+rSRq)

8

That's what pisses me off about ZoomPlayer, too. The freeware version of the program works fine for fansubs, but they deliberately held back the DVD features for the paid version. I played with the freeware version, decided it was pretty good, and shelled out for the full version -- and I can't watch my DVDs with it because I can't get subtitles to display. For all the good the damned thing does me, I might as well have stayed with the free version.

Probably there's some mystical menu choice I got wrong, some magical extra library I needed to download and install. The point is that I shouldn't have to do that kind of shit. I don't want to genuflect before dark gods in order to get purchased software to work. Simply offering up money should be enough.

For all the bitching that people do about Microsoft, this at least they do understand.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 12, 2008 02:43 PM (+rSRq)

9 Yeah, I remember you talking about zoomplayer's warts, and you are right. i'll check back with my friend and see if he ever did a "state" backup successfully like you mention. apologies for the state of this post-~ am using my new pocket pc phone and the keyboard is better than using t9 vut no as good as a real one

Posted by: RickC at February 12, 2008 03:55 PM (scexb)

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