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HD Guard Pro

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by macroman, 23 Jun 2004.

  1. macroman

    macroman The One

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    Protect yourself HERE

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Will

    Will Beware the judderman...

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    Nice review :)

    It seems an interesting bit of kit, and the decision not to have a PCI backplate thing seems odd to me (it probably doesn't need it and will stick in the slot fine without needing to be screwed down, but still, the extra security to keep it in place would be nice, especially if you plan on moving the PC a lot).

    At the price I may consider one as an additional bit of protection against software corruption on my RAID 0 array (would be interesting to see how it would cope with such issues, though to test that it would be quite time consuming and simulating software corruption over an array isn't that easy either AFAIK).

    I figure it may help, then again if it will slow boot times thats a minus point (I already have 2 S-ATA controllers which slow the boot down dramatically) plus a hit on access times wouldn't be great either...but still, for the extra peace of mind it may be worth it for some. This thing could become popular amongst overclockers as well, the ability to restore a corrupted OS after someones pushed their fsb a bit too far would be very useful.



    :cooldude:
     
  3. Chronic

    Chronic What's a Dremel?

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    Well let me say HMMMM!!!! this has me thinking looks very intresting to say the least, just checked the EksitData site and its only 25 pounds :) think I will get one of these..

    Just hope its not to good to be true....
     
  4. Sc0rian

    Sc0rian Here comes the farmer

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    Nice review dude. Great job. Very intresting to read. Well done tbh.
     
  5. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Along with all the work you've done since the last restore point, unless you've backed up to an unprotected partition or cd? I bet that will catch a few ppl...
    :wallbash: :duh:
     
  6. macroman

    macroman The One

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    That's why I said it was not suitable for data partitions ;)
     
  7. Pricester

    Pricester What's a Dremel?

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    This looks like a great tool for things like internet cafes, university computer labs, offices (with hot-desking, not where you have your own PC), and maybe even a single use computer at home (a router, perhaps).

    It doesn't look like it would work with linux systems (at least, not if you're using anything other than FAT (or am I being dumb?)), otherwise it would be great for my router at home - finally, no more messing up and losing all my settings...

    I can't see it being much use what-so-ever for gamers though. There are only a few games that let you store your saves in a different location to the game itself, so you'd either have to forgoe protection of your game installs, or lose your new saves each time you rebooted. Although, I suppose you could mount an NTFS partition for each of the save directories, but I think you'd fast run out of partitions.

    Still, for 25 quid, it could be a usefull addition to my development system - one way to be sure that my latest attempts haven't severly messed up Windows...
     
  8. Zoomer

    Zoomer What's a Dremel?

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    after reading it i would guess it probably doesnt like you defragging mutch if it doesnt use much space.

    basically undelete in hardware format and a memory
     
  9. Guest-2808

    Guest-2808 Guest

    Nice review, this product certainly looks very interesting. I might suggest my brother get one as he re-installs Windows about once every three months.

    It sounds a lot like Acronis True Image, which can also create a hidden "recovery area" on your HD. The LAN boot trick is very nice too.

    One question though. The review says "12 Gb would be required to protect a 1270Gb disk". That seems impossible. What they are saying is that you need 100th of the space protected to keep an accurate backup copy of it. No compression is that good.

    My guess is that they are assuming at worst a few files will get deleted, less than 100th of the total data on the drive. But what happens if a virus/cracker/idiot starts formatting the drive? What if you accidentally copy a CD image or movie file onto that partition (easily done in a file manager like Opus)? I would be interested to know what the size of the recovery file was after you did the defrag/file copy/defrag routine.
     
  10. macroman

    macroman The One

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    Just in case anyone missed it, one of the test was a complete format of the HDD and an install of W2K (the original OS was XP). The HD Guard Pro restored the drive flawlessly.

    I do not know the size of the restore file after the defrag but the unit reported it had used 12% of its resouces.

    The figure of 12Gb to protect a 1270Gb HDD is the manufacturers estimate on how much space is likely to be used and not a limitation.

    The manufacturer claims the unit works with linux but I did not test it under linux.

    I hope that helps.
     
  11. Guest-2808

    Guest-2808 Guest

    Thanks for the info Macroman.

    I'm going to email the manufacturer and ask them a few questions about this device. There must be something going on behind the scenes that they are not talking about, because their figures don't add up. Unless the defrag didn't move much data around (unlikely if it took 20 minutes) then 12% is far too low.

    Still, it looks like an impressive bit of kit.
     
  12. Chronic

    Chronic What's a Dremel?

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    Nope this is VERY Possible try a program called UHA this is unreal at the compression ratio, example I did a 120meg file with UHA on Best file is now 12.4meg. If you want to try it go here www.winuha.com this makes Zip & Rar files look silly :D
     
  13. Pricester

    Pricester What's a Dremel?

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    That's still only 1 tenth the size, not the 1 hundredth of the size that the device is claiming. Not that it matters, since it seems that the "12GB for 1270GB" is an average usage, and so probably based on the fact that you'd very rarely change 100% of it all in one go.
     
  14. Guest-2808

    Guest-2808 Guest

    Chronic: Thanks, I have been experimenting with UHA for a while now and it is quite impressive. Still, there are mathamatical limits to how much something can be compressed, and for an average mix of executable code and media files 100x is still highly unrealistic.

    Pricester: You are completely correct. What bothers me is the lack of hard numbers. After all, if you have a 120GB HD and format it, given an average compression ratio of 2:1 you would need 60GB to restore it.

    Question to Macroman: is the recovery file actually a file on your HD that you can see, or is it a hidden "secure area" like True Image uses which is outside the filesystem?

    Still an impressive product though, especially for the price. It would be really useful in schools and internet cafes that insist on running Windows/IE.
     
  15. Jedi

    Jedi What's a Dremel?

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    uharc is a mighty compressor but highly processor intensive, would u really be able to run that in the background?
     
  16. Chronic

    Chronic What's a Dremel?

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    Yes you can run it in background easy works great on both my PC, mind you they both 3ghz :D but it starts at idle proirty so runs slow if you move it up a gear to above normal then that will slow your pc down for multi-tasking..

    I have been using it a few weeks now and packed nearly everything with it, must have got an extra 50-75% extra compession over zip & rar and on BIG! files it does even better would have to say 90% extra compression over zip & rar..
     
  17. macroman

    macroman The One

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    Yes it is a hidden secure area (s)

    I think there are a few things to bear in mind...

    1. The products intended audience/use.

    2. Somethings may not use as much drive space as you might think. e.g. deleting a 10Mb file (forgetting about any form of compression) will need 10Mb to store the file plus a bit to rebuild the FAT. Installing 500Gb of stuff on to the HD, HD Guard Pro still only needs the 10Mb + a bit to fully restore the drive. It is only interested in changes made to its "protected" data. Everything else is just removed during a restore.

    Likewise a defrag only needs to track changes to the FAT to restore the drive.

    Put simply the unit takes a compressed snapshot of the drive partitions and then tracks the changes made to this snapshotted data.

    I hope I explained that well enough. :confused:
     
  18. Guest-2808

    Guest-2808 Guest

    Thanks for that. I guess the next logical question is how is this area created? Does it re-partition your HD automatically, and what happens if the area becomes full? Acronis True Image requires re-partitioning if you don't have free space already, and if it fills up you are stuffed.

    Ah, yeah, I didn't think of it that way. I suppose if it's a Windows driver it must be able to determine when the defrag API is being used. It must be fairly inteligent to be able to restore files in such a way that they don't overwrite data that was moved during a defrag, and still maintain an NTFS filesystem.

    I wonder how it works with Linux? Having said that, you generally don't defrag Linux filesystems, but unless they have come up with some kind of kernel patch I can't see how they would be able to tell what writes are overwriting protected file data and which ones use free space.

    Still, as you say, I guess most people using it won't be running Linux anyway.

    You did explain it well, please don't think I'm trying to attack your reveiw, I was just wondering about the specifics of the device. Sorry if I gave that impression.
     
  19. macroman

    macroman The One

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    NP I never considered that the review was under attack. :D

    I am pleased at the interest shown in the review and I just wasn't sure if my explaination was clear.

    I too had doubts about the claimed figures and I spent a considerable time talking to the manufacturer about it. My own testing did not lead me to believe their figures to be unreasonable in practice. The bottom line is that the product works very well (when used properly) and I doubt if its use of HD space will ever be an issue in practice. :)

    The thing that really did it for me was the complete HD reformat and installation of a different OS and to have it fully restored back within seconds after a reboot. I would like to see Windows restore do that! ;) :naughty: :D
     
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