General discussion

Disappointed with Carbonite

I've had Carbonite for a little over a year. It was setup on my XP machine and everything seemed great. My initial backup went smoothly and additional files would get backed up quietly and quickly.

Then I decided I need to build a new PC as my XP machine was getting on in years. So I built it based on the AMD Phenon II BE triple core(great chip BTW) and installed Vista Home Premium. I was fourtunate in that the version I bought comes with a free upgrade to Windows 7.

I then installed Carbonite and the problems began. For some reason, the restore process was in a "waiting for Internet connection" status for hours. Carbonite knowledge base support says to reboot the PC. I did that several times but nothing. I also shut down my AV and firewall and still nothing. Finally,hours later, it started restoring. But then I found that files were not being restored to the proper directories. XP and Vista have a slightly different user directory structure. XP stores data in c:\documents and settings\users ,etc. Vista stores in c:\users\user, etc. Carbonite was unable to figure out this structure. I had to specify to Carbonite where to restore my music folder, where to restore my documents, etc.

I'll think twice about renewing. External drives are so cheap now.

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Wouldn't this same issue occur

With all known backup and restore softwares?

Microsoft changed the base folder names and to compare, look at what MSFT did to support XP Backups restoring to Vista.

There appears to be nothing good to write about any of these when we change the OS.

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Normally, yes

However, before I began the restore process I bothered to read through the knowledge base for tips and suggestions on restoring a backup. No where did I read an advisement that I would need to create or specify my own directory structure. What I read seemed to indicate that I would only need to 1. install the Carbonite software and 2. Install applications (such as Office) and 3. Click on restore. And that's it!

I suppose I expected too much from Carbonite.


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I think I can explain that.

Let's say I was them and wrote a detailed web document to cover that scenario. I could safely bet that clients would scream that the product was too hard to use. Just scared of the documentation.

Now the competitor would gloss over that and put up with the 1 percent that needed more docs up front.


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Not sure I follow your reasoning here

I would have appreciated a detailed web document on what to expect when migrating from XP to Vista. But then again, I'm an advanced user.

Are you saying that new users would be scared off by offering such detailed help?


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Are you saying that new users would be scared off by offerin

"Are you saying that new users would be scared off by offering such detailed help?"

Absolutely. I know of some very common issues that we can fix with a new small battery, a registry edit or the command line.

I've lost count of replies telling us that it's too technical and they'll take it to the shop.

-> Which brings up a good point. After decades, where is our flying car (or computers that just work?)

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Is there anywhere

that Carbonite says it will be able to restore backed up files to a different Operating System?

If I understand your post correctly, you used Carbonite to back up files from within XP, but you have now changed to a new, Vista, machine.

I have to say, even with my own limited experience, I would never expect a backup and restore utility to restore files from one OS to another. The differences are all too often too great.

What I did, when I recently changed from XP to a Vista computer, was to 'copy' all the personal files, (music, video, documents, photos, etc), to some external source, eg an external usb hard disk, and I also used a CD/DVD, then in the new computer copy those files over.

That worked fine for me.


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No there isn't but...

There are also no KB articles that warn against such operations. There is an article that warns against restoring a PC backup to a MAC. That's easy to understand since now you are talkin about a different OS.

To me, going from XP to Vista would be a fairly common thing.


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There really no perfect way to map folders from XP to Vista. We've tried lots of approaches and they work for some people and make a mess of things for other people. Carbonite's restore wizard makes it easier than any other backup program I've seen. It's really not that hard to decide that user A on XP maps to user B on Vista, and so forth. You're only going to do this operation once.

As for Windows 7, the reason that your restore didn't start promptly is that we have not yet released our Windows 7 version because Microsoft keeps making changes. We will ship our Windows 7 version at the same time that Microsoft ships Windows 7 (not beta). Our Win7 version is also in beta.

Dave Friend, CEO
Carbonite, Inc.

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Carbonite could be a great product but it just a mess

First of all I am a product developer and am intimately familiar with common sense product design. Carbonite is probably just fine for keeping an eye on a few gigs of data on a very small unchanging environment. However...if you have an average amount of data and you change them on occasion you might want to just use a backup drive.

Believe it or not Carbonite is a resource hog even when disabled! That's right Carbonite will be at the top of your services window even when put into pause or disable mode! Where Carbonite really fails to deliver is in servicing files that change over time like word docs, graphics, etc. Upon installation Carbonite will scour your system looking for files to protect. While its performing this initial backup process it completely ignores previously scanned files that since changed! In other words common sense would dictate that Carbonite would monitor pre-scanned files for any changes but no it ignores the changes until it backs up your entire system! If you have a larger than average system it could take several weeks for Carbonite to service items from the initial scan! I kid you not. Then once you have a fully covered system Carbonite will only log one update per file per day! If you are just a casual user and write a document or two a day you will be allowed one whole backup per day. I don't know about you but I need a little more from a backup. Carbonite should deploy a priority folder where users can expect regular visits from the Carbonite service routine. And finally...How in the heck can a piece of software that does so little gobble up so much processor and memory resources? My God, I have designed a couple hundred products to date and I have never seen such bloated and inefficient software, ever. This product is a kludge and needs to be scrapped and designed by someone who knows what they are doing.

Jack Durban
CEO Vorelco

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