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XactCopy Product FAQ

General Questions

What is XactCopy?

XactCopy is a backup and restore strategy software, designed for instant recovery from operating system and physical drive failures. Top of Page

What does DPSR mean?

DPSR is an acronym for "Data Protection & System Recovery." The name given to the dedicated backup drive. The DPSR drive remains hidden from the OS while in DPSR mode. XactCopy protects all of the data on your system so that in the event of a system drive failure, the system can be immediately recovered. You can read more about DPSR technology in our White Paper.Top of Page

How does XactCopy perform such fast backups?

There are two reasons why the program performs very fast backups:

  • First, the Files Backup function searches the entire drive for all changes made to files and folders (including additions and deletions) since the last backup was performed. Only these changes are recorded to the DPSR drive.
  • Secondly, the system drive communicates directly with the DPSR drive through the BIOS, which is faster than if the interface was through the operating system.
Top of Page

Can I use XactCopy even if I'm already using two hard drives now?

Yes. If you want to back up both system drives, you will need to install two DPSR drives. XactCopy will backup any number of drives that your operating system and hardware supports.Top of Page

How is XactCopy different from RAID-1?

RAID-1 is concurrent writing of data to two separate drives. Thus, if a file were inadvertently deleted or became corrupted, it would exist this way on both drives. XactCopy's backups are performed either manually or automatically. There is no concurrent writing of data to the DPSR drive.Top of Page

Can I use XactCopy in a system with RAID?

Yes, XactCopy can be configured to work in a RAID environment. However, if you are more interested in protecting your OS and Applications than Data loss, System Guardian may be a better solution.Top of Page

How do I protect my data from fire and other disasters?

If you use pull-out drawers to house your drives, you can take your DPSR drive out of the system without shutting down (hot swappable) and take it off-site or place it in a fireproof safe.Top of Page

I need to "unhide" the DPSR drive. How do I accomplish this?

Boot your system off the backup drive. When you boot the backup drive and receive the message "backup drive restored - reboot your system" The DPSR drive will no longer be hidden. Top of Page

Does a drive have to physically crash to render it unusable?

No. If a bad sector develops on a critical portion of the drive, you may not be notified of a hard drive failure. However, some or all of the data on the drive may be unreadable. If a bad sector develops in a critical area used by a file that is required to load the operating system, the system would be inoperative.Top of Page

How do I boot my DPSR drive after a system crash?

This depends on how your DPSR drive was installed. If you have two IDE channels on your motherboard and your system drive is installed on the Primary IDE channel as a "Master", and the DPSR drive is installed on the Secondary IDE channel as a "Master", your system can be recovered very quickly. Following a system drive failure, you would enter the BIOS and remove the entry for the failed drive . Then boot then DPSR drive to make it a bootable system drive. Not including the time it takes to reboot and load the operating system, this procedure takes about one minute to perform.

If your system is configured with both drives on the Primary IDE channel (one as a "Master" and the other as a "Slave"), it may be necessary to open the computer's case to gain access to the disk drives, unless your BIOS supports BBS which allows you to choose the bootable devices in your system.

If there is available space in the front of your computer's case, you can install commercially available fixed disk pull-out drawers (street prices starting at $16.00), which eliminates the need to open the computer to gain access to the drives. Top of Page

Compatibility Questions

Can I use my removable drive as the DPSR drive?

We support removable fixed disk pull-out drawers. We do not officially support JAZ, Zip, SyQuest or other removable devices. However, in our own offices we are successfully backing up and restoring data to a JAZ drive, but we never intend to boot from the JAZ. If you are using a removable drive as the DPSR drive, it is likely that the backup will not be bootable. We do not recommend using a removable drive for disaster recovery purposes.Top of Page

Do I have to use the same brand or exact size of hard drive?

No. The DPSR drive needs only to be of equal or larger size than the system drive.Top of Page

Can I use a combination of drive interfaces such as IDE to SCSI?

No. XactCopy was designed to backup from like drives. IDE to IDE or SCSI to SCSI. We know of some people who are successfully using SCSI to IDE for backups, but this is not an officially supported configuration.Top of Page

Can I use XactCopy on a network drive?

No. Due to the nature in which XactCopy was designed (sector to sector) we have not yet included the ability to copy a "mapped" network drive. Support for over the wire backups is not yet supported as well.Top of Page

Do I have to perform a low-level format on the drive I intend to use as a backup?

Only on previously used hard disk drives. The desired backup drive must not have any partitions present.Top of Page

Is XactCopy compatible with Partition Magic?

Yes, with this caveat... That when you create, modify or delete partitions with Partition Magic, there is NO free space before or between the remaining partitions. Free space after the last partition is acceptable.Top of Page

When I run Norton Disk Doctor (NDD), it asks if I am having trouble accessing partitions on my DPSR drive. What should I do?

NDD is having a problem interpreting the DPSR drive. DO NOT attempt to recover the partitions. There is nothing wrong with the drive. In NDD, check only the system drives and disable drive checking on DPSR drives.Top of Page

Are there any systems that are incompatible with XactCopy?

Yes. Compaq computers that have a special boot drive will not function with XactCopy 95/98. We are currently working on an update for these systems. Top of Page

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