SSR and RAW disk blocks
I am in the process of evaluating whether to go for SSR or another similar solution from a certain vendor, for one of our projects.
Hot cloning is not important, it is the cold cloning capabilities that will be the deciding factor.
(Cold cloning, a.k.a., Cold Backup, Offline Backup, Offline Disk Cloning, Offline Disk Imaging, etc.)
I have tested both evaluation versions, and have found that SSR could not backup RAW disk blocks, while the other solution could.
After booting up the host with the SSR boot CD, I found that it only allows me to select parts of the disk that actually contain a file system.
Either that, or it only allows me to select the parts that have a MBR/GPT header.
In other words, the remaining RAW parts of the disk cannot be backed up.
The other vendor's solution, on the other hand, lets me backup the entire disk, block by block, blindly, regardless of whether file systems or partitions could be identified at all.
I could understand that, by identifying file systems, it allows for "smart" backing up of blocks that actually contain files, skipping the rest of the disk that don't, and as a result, helping to speed up the backup process and saving storage space.
But the capability to backup RAW blocks is also very important.
I would like to know if I have missed some settings somewhere with SSR.
Can it be configured to also backup RAW disk blocks?
Thanks for your help.
Addtional information about "RAW" disk blocks:
Some refer to them as RAW partitions, RAW volumes, RAW disks, RAW data, unallocated partition, random blocks, noise data, etc.
It is part of the disk that does not contain any files, file systems or MBR/GPT partition headers.
So basically no FAT, no NTFS, no ext3, no OS, no boot partition, no data, nothing.
As an example, if you have a 100GB disk, and you partition the first 60GB to be NTFS, and then do nothing with the remaining 40GB, then in Windows Disk Management, that remaining 40GB will be identified as "Unallocated". To Windows, this is a RAW partition.
(Using this example, I found that SSR would only allow me to select the first 60GB to backup. I couldn't see the remaining 40GB anywhere in the GUI for me to select.)
Some DB applications such as Oracle, and encryption applications such as TrueCrypt, write data to RAW disk blocks.
Some home PC brands also store their recovery system in RAW partitions on a disk.