Frequency of Updates


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RevJimB
RevJimB
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I am wondering how others feel. Since version 7.1, we have averaged three new updates per month, for the past 5 months. Most of the updates require a reboot. Multiple updates required rebuild of recovery media. I have four machines I am maintaining with this product on the Home version.

One of the things I want in this product is stability, and I don't feel like I am getting that right now. I want to "set it and forget it" but it is constantly needing an update. Then the update wants a reboot. Then you read the release notes and it needs you to recreate the PE recovery drive.

I am wondering if we could get into more of a schedule. At this point, a monthly roll-up patch would be welcome to 2-4 patches per month. I get that I don't HAVE to update, but the software comes configured to tell you about updates before you even use it, so it seems like updating is important.

I just think you want stability in a recovery product. I'm not feeling that right now
jphughan
jphughan
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I've thought about this myself, but I've just now gone back through the release notes from the various 7.1 releases, and what I'm noticing is that most of them contain a fix for at least one issue that would have represented a major problem for anyone affected by it, and if I had been an affected user, I personally would have wanted it resolved asap, not up to a month after a fix had been developed just in the name of keeping a predictable monthly roll-up schedule. But at the same time, many of these bugs that might be critical to those affected by them might not have applied to most users at all, so exactly as you say, you don't NEED to update if Reflect is working fine for you and/or the reason for the Rescue Media rebuild suggestion doesn't apply to your scenario.

If Macrium had been pushing updates at this pace just to fix minor cosmetic issues or something, then I would agree that this would be a bit much, but while the bugs being fixed are as significant as they've usually been recently, I would argue that quickly taking care of users affected by them and allowing everyone NOT affected to pass on the update is a much better choice than withholding critical fixes from those who need them just to keep things quiet for the general population.  Since the original release of 7.1, there have been 18 updates total, though users of non-German versions only received 17.  The bugs I've listed below I would argue have all been critical, and they account for 10 of those 17/18 releases.  Also note that I feel I kept a pretty high bar for what constitutes "critical" here, since some of the releases I considered non-critical on the basis of, "Well technically the user could have just not used CBT or Macrium Image Guardian to avoid the issue that was fixed in that release," and I suspect many users would have balked at that idea and felt that issues such as MIG potentially failing to start or being impossible to disable when needed would have, or CBT causing BSODs on their system, would count as critical in their book.  In that case, there would have been 15/16 "critical" releases, depending on whether you use the German version.  But here is the list:

- Rescue Media potentially not starting (twice)
- Incorrect validation of GUID-based backup destinations
- Security update to close a gap that allowed standard users to perform backups (including running arbitrary scripts with elevated privileges) and even access the Reflect GUI elevated
- Inability to authenticate to NAS shares to perform backups/restores
- viBoot could fail to boot certain images
- Restores possibly corrupting dynamic disks
- Fix Boot Problems not always working
- Inability to back up volumes encrypted by a Symantec product
- Free version installation rendering XP systems unbootable
- ReDeploy not properly adjusting migrated Windows installation to boot from an NVMe SSD

Edited 5 March 2018 12:57 AM by jphughan
RevJimB
RevJimB
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jphughan, Thanks for your reply.

So, in addition to a fairly rapid "churn" of simply applying updates, there is also a fairly significant number of what you call "critical" bugs in these releases that are not found by the developer's current testing process.

This is a philosophical argument that I am making, but I think a backup/recovery product should NEVER introduce system instability, and reliability must be the highest priority, far ahead of factors like performance.

While I wouldn't want someone to have to wait for a fix, it takes time and testing to know that the fix doesn't break something else. Maybe monthly roll-ups that have more time for testing would be preferable for those of us who aren't broken and are looking for more stability.

Recent history is a little unnerving when you look at that list of bugs.
jphughan
jphughan
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Your point is well taken.  I was responding merely to the wisdom of suggesting waiting potentially a month to deliver fixes for bugs of this nature given that they were there in the application.  The fact that bugs of this nature existed in the first place, especially considering that in several cases above, those serious bugs were introduced in new releases as opposed to being long-time bugs that were only finally fixed recently, is a whole other discussion, and it certainly does make the case for the "If it ain't broke" mentality.

Edited 5 March 2018 1:22 PM by jphughan
Merlin
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Nothing is ever 100% perfect for the infinite variables of Windows machines on the planet.
If there is an update released, it's for a reason.
You can choose not to update at the time of the release if you aren't having an issue and the release notes show you weren't affected.
A few minutes updating and rebooting is worth way more than having lost a system.
Edited 5 March 2018 6:52 PM by Merlin
Drac144
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My update philosophy involves only updating immediately if the issue(s) being fixed effect me.  If not, I wait at least a week to be sure there isn't a follow-up update to fix a problem caused by the update. At that point I may update if there is an improvement in operation of some major feature that I use.  Typically that is NOT the case so I might update once every 3 to 6 weeks (if convenient). 

As was said by others, I am glad that Macrium fixes problems quickly.  For those effected, THAT is important. For those not effected (and I am usually in that group) there is no hurry to update - why bother if one is not having a problem?  I understand there are people that have "a need" to always keep their software up to date.  I think Windows users are conditioned to doing that.  Tongue
RayG
RayG
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The one main issue you have is that unless you are doing restores on a regular basis how do you know you don't have a problem. As has been said, the last thing you want is to need to do a restore and then find that the backup has not worked or the restore fails. Its all to late then

Its like saying I don't have a problem there is no malicious software on my system I don't need any AV software.

Software seems to have ways of producing issues just when you don't expect.



Regards
RayG
Windows10 Pro X64 V1809 B17763.194 MR v7.2.3906

jphughan
jphughan
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^ In an absolute worst case, you could get to another PC to use Reflect Free to create Rescue Media. Unless you need ReDeploy unexpectedly, the Free version will do what you need for a restore, albeit without the convenience of RDR. But I suppose you could even activate your real Reflect license on that PC temporarily to get full-fledged Rescue Media if it was truly necessary. Other than that, I guess you could keep historical Rescue Media builds to avoid being stuck from having updated to a version that turned out to be broken. Keeping older ISOs isn’t very difficult, or you could even just keep older sets of Rescue files in a subfolder of your USB Rescue Media and move those files to the root if you need to use an older release.
Edited 6 March 2018 2:42 PM by jphughan
Drac144
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Ray,

A nice thing about this forum is that at LOT of people are reporting on issues (or no issues) for Reflect.  I don't have to do frequent restores because others do.  If there is a problem with the software I will know because of the experience of others.  By looking at the kind of issue, one can usually tell whether it affects them or whether it affects the backup reliability.  If one is very concerned, they can do a verify after a backup.  I have never used the verify because it takes too long for a full backup and I never experienced a problem with a backup not being useable when needed.  I always have multiple backups of my system (not all as new as others) so if the current backup should fail I can go back a day or a week (or more).

I guess if I ever had a problem that resulted in not being able to do a restore, I would have to rethink my backup plan.  I only have to do a restore a few times a year and usually it is just a single partition or recovering files for a single folder. 

The more valuable the data, the more time and effort it warrants.  My data is valuable but most of it is backed up so many times (there is little change over time) that the likelihood of losing it all is extremely small.  At my age, I am more likely to "become corrupted" then my data.  And there is no backup for ME. Wink

GO

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