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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Paragon Snapshot for Mac OS X Public Beta Testing


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Anatoly

 
Member Since: Sep 07, 2007
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Dear Forum Visitors,

For the past year Paragon Software has been working on a new product - a unique, open system, and completely stable point-in-time snapshot technology for Mac OS X.

A point-in-time copy of data, known as a "snapshot", is an ideal solution for complete and safe backup imaging, and has been in use on Windows-based operating systems for years. Paragon Software is preparing to make this technology available for Mac users with the introduction of its Snapshot for Mac OS X – now in beta testing.

Current backup solutions available to Mac users only back up individual files. Paragon created Snapshot for Mac OS X to give users a more complete solution, offering real-time protection for the whole system at the sector level. Snapshot technology combined with a sector level backup method enables complete system backup imaging and immediate recovery when required; the solution also supports open file backup (locked files) with the ability to back up a file that is open in the application it was created in.

The product is almost ready for market release and we want to offer you the Public Beta version. We do it because we want to make Paragon Snapshot for Mac OS X a useful tool for every Mac user -- that is why we need your opinion of it.

What we expect from you:
1. Bug reports (though we hope that there won't be many). If you find a bug, describe with details how it can be reproduced by our developers. We need every detail, every step (even if it seems minor). Please specify your Mac OS X version and disk configuration.

2. Usability issues. We want to make the product as easy to use as possible. Please share your suggestions on what you think we could improve in full versions or what should be changed. Make your suggestions both detailed and reasonable so we can understand what your concerns are as well as determine to implement if possible.

To download the public beta version, please visit this site to:
1. Download the beta version;
2. Get more information about the product’s main features;
3. Read the Beta Tester’s Guide.

Our commitment to you: We will read your feedback in this thread very carefully. Please excuse (in advance) any possible lack of replies to your posts. We won't be able to reply to all of them, but we will do “summary” replies once a day in this thread.

PS. We value this forum's community members very much. That's why we selected you for our Public beta testing program. In exchange for your help, we will be glad to provide the most active beta testers with Paragon Snapshot for Mac OS X free of charge.

Thank you in advance and best regards,
Paragon Software.
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cwa107

 
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As always Anatoly, I would love to help out. Your company's products have been absolutely top notch - and I appreciate the opportunity to test them.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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chscag

 
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Thank you Anatoly. As cw has stated your products are top notch. Looking forward to testing it.

Regards.
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cwa107

 
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A couple of comments so far:

1. Once the installer completes, it should notify the user to look in their Applications folder for the Snapshot Manager application (right now, it just reboots the machine and the user is left wondering "OK, what now?").

2. In the Snapshot Manager, currently it lets you choose from all of the volumes mounted. In my opinion, it should also allow you to select an entire drive (for example, I have a Windows Vista Boot Camp partition and the OS X partition, I would like to be able to do an image of the entire disk if possible).

Otherwise, so far, so good.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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cwa107

 
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Not sure if this is a bug, but I discovered that when I attempted to create a snapshot of my OS X partition, I was offered the ability to place the snapshot file in "/" (root). I was a bit taken aback that this would be possible, considering the filesystem would need to be locked to do the image, so I tried it just to see. To my surprise, it allowed me to choose it, but then the image process just hung (by the way, a status bar, instead of just a map of the partition structure would be helpful).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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bobtomay

 
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Yep, count me in.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Anatoly

 
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Dear cwa107 and chscag,

Thank you being willing to help us to bring a good backup solution for Mac.

Dear bobtomay,
Please go to our web form to register and download the first beta.
Thanks.

Quote:
1. Once the installer completes, it should….
Thanks. It's a good suggestion. We are planning to add a shortcut for Snapshot Manager to the Dock after the installation is completed.

Quote:
2. In the Snapshot Manager, currently it lets you choose from all of the volumes …
In this version you can only create a multiple snapshot (one snapshot for several volumes). Now, to select an entire disk you should specify volumes in the left frame by holding the CMD button. In the next version we are planning to add this feature (create a snapshot for an entire disk, not only for specific volumes). We hope to add this feature before releasing this product.

Quote:
I was offered the ability to place the snapshot file in "/" (root).
You can store snapshot data (snapshot image) wherever you like, even on the volume, you take a snapshot for.

Quote:
...considering the filesystem would need to be locked to do the image...
The file system (the partition) should not be locked because we use its snapshot image (that is always locked) to backup.

Quote:
but then the image process just hung
What did you backup (the system partition or its snapshot image)? Did you use Disk Utility to backup? Please note, you can find a detailed instruction in Guide to Beta Testing (Chapter 4, Creating a backup image). You can also find this document in the Snapshot Manager's help menu.

Thank you all,
Best regards,
Anatoly.
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bobtomay

 
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1. The transfer dialog disappears from the screen unless the Snapshot Manager is the window in focus.

2. The transfer dialog speed indicator shows 0 while the size of the backup was increasing 1 GB approx every 13 seconds.

3. It needs to verify that the location selected for the saved snapshot has enough space prior to it beginning the backup.

4. Guess I don't understand what a snapshot image is. Am assuming from what I saw, that a snapshot image must be a sector for sector copy of the volume and not a backup of the data on the volume?
I tried a snapshot image of my system partition - approx 300 GB with 185 GB used. I stopped the process when the image size reached 215 GB because there was only 20 GB of space left on the partition I was saving the image to.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Anatoly

 
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Dear bobtomay,

Thank you for your questions.

We will definitely fix your first three points (1, 2 and 3). Thank you very much.

I would like to clarify your fourth point.
Snapshot technologies should be used by backup solutions (such as Disk Utility) to make backup images. These backup solutions may use any algorithm (compress, skip free space and so on) to save data (from snapshot).

Snapshot IMAGE is a sector level copy of the volume (you are right), so its size will be equal to the volume size. You can save snapshot image (dump) as DMG image and get access to data stored in it. With Paragon Snapshot for Mac OS X you can easily make a backup image, even if some files are in use by the system or applications. To do that, please first make a snapshot of a volume you need to back up. Then click on this snapshot, and select the required volume from the list (that is included into the snapshot), and then click Open Device. On the desktop you will see a block device named similar to the name of the selected volume. Launch Disk Utility. Select new the block device, and then click New Image. Specify an image name and its destination, click Save. Using this technique you can create DMG image of your system partition that can be easily restored then.
You can find a detailed instruction in Guide to Beta Testing (Chapter 4, Creating a backup image).

Please let me if you have any question.
Thank you in advance.
Anatoly.
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mrplow

 
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A bit late to the party but beta tested previous products and been very happy with Paragon apps.

Happy to give it a go, downloading tonight

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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