Is RollBack Rx compatible with Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost, or any other drive imaging software?
Posted by on 07 Oct 2013
You can use Acronis or Norton Ghost or any other imaging solution to image a "Rollbacked" disk drive to an archive. However, none of these programs understand Rollback snapshots; so they will only archive the current image or Snapshot.
RollBack Rx has a pre-OS console, called the sub-console. It resides in the very first sector of the hard disk. This first sector is known as the MBR (master boot record) OR GPT. This pre-OS recovery console is the heart of RollBack Rx, and is a required component and cannot be archived into the image, thus the image will not contain the RollBack Rx sub-console.
Acronis True Image:
Acronis True Image (ATI) itself has no compatibility issues with RollBack Rx. We have many customers who have RollBack Rx and ATI installed on the same PC. But ATI has an optional component which is called Acronis Secure Zone which is also a pre-OS boot loader (for booting into a hidden partition). The Acronis Secure Zone also needs to modify the MBR and partition tables, that's where the incompatibility is with RollBack Rx. RollBack Rx can not have its MBR Modified by a third party application.
If you wish to install Acronis true image on with RollBack Rx - you can do so without loading the Secure Zone feature.
If you are restoring a Disk image onto the existing drive, you must first uninstall Rollback after you finished restoring the image. Therefore, when you refresh a disk from an archive, neither the Rollback product nor any of the snapshots are restored. You must re-install Rollback and strike a new baseline.
This is true for all archiving programs. Archiving is done on a file by file basis, to permit a disk images to be mapped back onto an unlike disk (in case of hard disk failure). Rollback works at a sector level; its snapshots cannot be mapped under these circumstances.
Only use Windows-based Drive Imaging software. Some older imaging software works outside Windows (i.e. loads from CD or diskette) - do not use these. Rollback Rx works at the NTFS driver level, and therefore, requires Windows to be active. A stand-alone imager will only see the baseline and neither any of the snapshots, nor the current image. Therefore, it will image only the baseline. If you restore this image, you will have lost all your data.