What an update mess!


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Morten
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Brits are known for their wonderful and irresistible charm - also for their mess, I'm afraid...
Patrick O'Keefe
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Any chance you could be a bit more specific?    Perhaps I'm just lucky but I haven't run into many Macrium messes yet.

jphughan
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There have been 3 Reflect updates issued in 3 days. Of course those who aren’t affected by the problems fixed in those updates don’t necessarily have to update, though.
Edited 17 October 2020 3:17 PM by jphughan
phred
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Morten - 17 October 2020 12:26 AM
Brits are known for their wonderful and irresistible charm - also for their mess, I'm afraid...

I wouldn't consider it a "mess" by any means. The fact that they issued an update, and then two more patches over the course of three days speaks volumes of the responsiveness of the Macrium staff. All software has (and will have) bugs. And no matter how much a beta is tested, a bug or two will slip through. As soon as the forum lit up with bug reports, for the most part only one or two issues, Macrium was all over it. Issuing patch fixes so quickly should be applauded. Not chastised for creating a "mess."

I have used various Acronis products for years and years, and if there were problems with a release (and there always were) it would take months to get it fixed. If at all. And very little help from the Acronis staff on the forum.

I've been using Reflect for just about a month. Downloaded the trial and in less than 24 hours I purchased four licenses. The support from seasoned forum members, coupled with the presence of Macrium staff is truly impressive.
Colin Pearson
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jphughan - 17 October 2020 3:13 PM
( ....) . Of course those who aren’t affected by the problems fixed in those updates don’t necessarily have to update, though.

I'm surprised to read such a comment from you
@jphughan, inviting us to self-assess the merits of applying a particular update.


I wonder how many of us fully understand all the technical nuances, and the mix of conditions that might arise on our computers or networks - tomorrow or next week - for which that latest patch would be relevant?

I'd suggest that unless the associated Readme notes for a specific patch explain clearly when a patch need not be applied, it will be safer / more prudent and wiser to install the patch ... even when - as in these recent v7.3 follow-up patches in quick succession - it's an annoying and time-consuming nuisance to do so.
Colin P.


--
Two backups is one backup too few.


jphughan
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If someone has neither the inclination nor expertise to evaluate the merits of a patch, then yes, typically updating is safer than not updating. But it is also true that updates can introduce new problems where none existed before. So for people who DO have both the inclination and expertise to read release notes, I recommend that they do so and decide for themselves whether they actually NEED to update in order to mitigate that risk. If everything today is working for you and there isn’t even the potential that you’ll be affected by anything that was fixed in an update, then what exactly is the benefit of updating? It’s all risk and no reward. I’ve saved myself from having to install quite a few Reflect updates this way on always-on, mission-critical systems I support for clients. Some of the updates were irrelevant and/or turned out to have introduced bugs that required installing another update that arrived shortly thereafter in order to address. But in a very basic case, often Reflect updates have fixes for CBT. I don’t even have CBT installed, so why should I install that, particularly on mission-critical systems? And I don’t use VB scripts or the German version either. So the last two releases have been pointless for me.

Note that all of the above assumes that the release notes are descriptive, as is usually the case with Macrium. But of course that’s not always the case. For software vendors that put out release notes that only say, “Various fixes and improvements”, applying the thinking above is impractical. Also note that I specifically do NOT condone a full bore version of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. I’ve seen people go literally YEARS without updating Reflect because “my backups have always worked” and then find themselves unable to restore a backup when needed because they got stuck on a bug that had been fixed long ago. That’s why I say you have to ask whether a fix or enhancement MIGHT apply to you, not just whether that bug or lack of enhancement is adversely affecting you right now.
Edited 17 October 2020 6:20 PM by jphughan
Patrick O'Keefe
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+x
phred - 17 October 2020 5:29 PM

I wouldn't consider it a "mess" by any means. The fact that they issued an update, and then two more patches over the course of three days speaks volumes of the responsiveness of the Macrium staff. All software has (and will have) bugs. And no matter how much a beta is tested, a bug or two will slip through. As soon as the forum lit up with bug reports, for the most part only one or two issues, Macrium was all over it. Issuing patch fixes so quickly should be applauded. Not chastised for creating a "mess."


I absolutely agree with this.  The general release of an update just means the product has entered the gamma test phase - testing by all users in real use environments.  Of course bugs are going to be found.  The collaborative effort of customers collecting diagnostic data and the MR support team analyzing the data, finding the problem(s), and fixing them in such a short time is phenomenal.

phred - 17 October 2020 5:29 PM
I have used various Acronis products for years and years, and if there were problems with a release (and there always were) it would take months to get it fixed. If at all. And very little help from the Acronis staff on the forum.

I've been using Reflect for just about a month. Downloaded the trial and in less than 24 hours I purchased four licenses. The support from seasoned forum members, coupled with the presence of Macrium staff is truly impressive.
[/quote]
I, too, was an Acronis user for many  years - 12 years, I think.  The user's forum was very helpful and good at finding circumventions to problem, but the official support was almost useless.  (The level 1 support was worse than useless.)

The fact that people from MR support monitor the user's forum and respond to unofficial reports of problems is exceptional.



Patrick O'Keefe
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Colin Pearson - 17 October 2020 5:31 PM
jphughan - 17 October 2020 3:13 PM
( ....) . Of course those who aren’t affected by the problems fixed in those updates don’t necessarily have to update, though.

I'm surprised to read such a comment from you
@jphughan, inviting us to self-assess the merits of applying a particular update.


I wonder how many of us fully understand all the technical nuances, and the mix of conditions that might arise on our computers or networks - tomorrow or next week - for which that latest patch would be relevant?
I would guess that none of us common users "fully understand all the technical nuances" of the fixes and releases, but reading the release notes is a way to get more familiar with the product.  If the information is way beyond us we can just blindly install the fixes.  If  it is a little bit beyond us (such as having to ask "What's CBT?") then it may prompt getting more familiar with the product.

A while back, reading about a problem (or maybe just a peculiarity) with CBT prompted me to read up on it and to decide I was better off disabling it. And now reading the doc on these recent patches let me know I was not going to run into the problems they fixed.  (And probably would not be hurt by further problems introduced by the fixes ... but that's not a given.)

I don't think close scrutiny of fixes for all products is warranted, but it is certainly a good idea for something important as backup software. 

Drac144
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I have learned to NOT install an update immediately upon its release.  I typically wait 3-10 days and watch the fourum to see if there are issues. If no issues are reported or if the reported issues are fixed and there are no new issues, then I will consider an update.  There is rarely an update that I need immediately. I rarely use any new features.  I have been using Reflect for years and do not change my backup plan.  It runs reliably - no issues.  So even if there IS a new feature, I have been getting along fine without it, so no hurry to start using it - assuming it is something that I would use.  
alQamar
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me too can only chime in with @pokeefe and @phred having 3 updates out in a few days is not optimal BUT
on the other hand it shows they have their code in control

For Acronis, not mentioning Microsoft, bugs can be introed and remain for years. I am currently fighting one introed in 1903 still unfixed and critical. With efforts of mine and Insider Team It is fixed for Win10 in 21H1 and they ask me to bring up examples and financial figures now for a world-wide issue, just to justify if it is worth it to backport or leave it alone for another year, this would mean a known and fixed issue is around for 2 years.

For Acronis I am working on an issue introed in Acronis 2019, still not fixed in 2021. Sounds familiar? I spent hours and days on both cases.
That's a mess imho.

Frankly speaking, Macrium does a great job. On support and quality imho. On top the download size is pretty small and installation is quickly done compared to the other two named.
In Germany we would call it "complain on a high level".
GO

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