Monday, June 22, 2009

HP Total Care Backup Manager - First Impression: Total Crap

A friend brought an HP laptop to me. It came with Vista Home Premium, and it would not boot up. It would always stick at the black screen with a cursor that precedes the login screen. No amount of system checkpoint recovery, chkdsk, and replacing the registry files with a base copy did no good. Even the venerable SpinRite (which is completely worth the $80 or so I spent for it - I keep on hoping for a SpinRite 7!) I went for HP's tools as a last resort.

I decided that, prior to attempting to boot Knoppix and move the customer's desired data onto a temporary medium I would see if there was a repair option. Alas, there was not, but there was a handy backup featue that promised to back up all of the data, classified into images, documents, multimedia, and the like. Beautiful!

I proceeded to attach the requested USB storage - an 8GB Lexar stick, which the backup app didn't even deign to recognize. I attached an external 3.5" hdd and the Next button cheerfully lit up. I eagerly pressed it, and, to my horror, it scoured the whole local hdd and proceeded to archive every inane image, document, .wav file, .txt file, countless .png's and .jpg's from numerous crapware HTML documents that came with the computer. The backup took 10 hours.

The reinstall of Vista took considerably less time than that, and, after removing of the crapware the system came with (njdsakfdsaNortonSystemProtectfndjaskf, oops, sneezed), I proceeded to point the system at the external hard drive, run the restore application, and let 'er rip! Well, it's been an hour and a half, and it still shows 0% complete.

A brief search on Google brought numerous complaints of this with no answers to be found. Great - I'll let it set until morning and see what happens.

Meanwhile, I'm contemplating the merits of installing the Windows 7 RC and giving it back to them, or, even more daring, loading it with Ubuntu!

Do any of you have thoughts on this? Please let me know, I'm sure the data restore will finish in a day or two! Way to go, HP, Awesome Backup App, GREAT JOB.


It's morning and I see that the Restore Manager got it's act together - 12 hours later and it's 24%through it's restore. This speaks very poorly of the efficiency of the code that HP is using to backup and restore info. It should be much quicker as it's coming from a USB 2.0 external HDD. Come on, HP, ntbackup works better than this!


Wow, 15 hours later all 30GB or so of data has been restored. If your HP Backup Manager seems like it's doing nothing, give it a day or so, it'll get its act together.

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