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Rollback RX "Scavenger Tool" Recovery Media

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  • Rollback RX "Scavenger Tool" Recovery Media

    Greetings HDS Developers and Support Staff. In my attempts to assist Rollback RX users with various System crashes, it has come to my attention that either serious shortcomings exist with the currently issued "Scavenger Tool" or its documentation, which is usually not issued with the tool itself. As a result, its use has become extremely difficult for users and in most cases provides no solution whatsoever for their issues.

    In my experience, I have gone through what appears to be three iterations of this tool. The first being a BartPE (WinXP)-based version of the tool (circa 2013), the second being a WinPE (Windows 7)-based version (circa 2014) and the third with is called a "Recovery Tools" issue which is also WinPE-based (circa 2018). In the 2018 version, the Scavenger Tool itself is the same as the 2014 version but the WinPE provides access to a simple menu driven list of five "support" tools to assist in MBR refresh, EFI refresh, REGISTRY refresh and the Scavenger tool itself. Clearly this 2018 WinPE version has been updated somewhat (although not the Scavenger Tool itself) but lacks any useful documentation as to what these tools actually do and how they do it.

    The original BartPE Recovery Media allowed for the Scavenger Tool to run, discover the resident Rollback RX DataBase in use on the broken protected volume, and allowed the user the ability to "explore" any of the snapshots found in that DataBase. A user would select the snapshot for exploration, the snapshot would be mounted, the user would be sent elsewhere on the WinPE to run a Windows Explorer-type tool to access those Scavenger mounted snapshots and gain file access to files that only existed in the snapshots themselves. This allowed the user to copy, if necessary, any important files in those snapshots back into the part of the System that wasn't broken at the time. This scheme generally worked due to the driver suite existing in the BartPE configuration but basically fell apart as Systems (Hardware and OS) moved on as well as their required driver support.

    This is where things get very murky as far as using the more recent versions of the Scavenger Tool Recovery Media. I've never been able to obtain a written procedure related to either the 2014 or 2018 WinPE versions of the Recovery Media, so when using those media, it's never been "apparent" how to obtain the same access to those snapshot files as in the BartPE Recovery Media. The 2014 WinPE Recovery Media would BOOT directly to the Snapshot Scavenger tool, usually allowing the ability to find the Rollback RX DataBase and SELECT it, then selecting an appropriate snapshot from that DataBase and mounting it for exploration. Problem is that at this point, there is no access to any sort of Windows Explorer-like access tool to explore the mounted Rollback snapshot.

    The same thing is found with the 2018 WinPE version of your Recovery Tools Media. Although the media BOOTs to a simple Recovery Tool selection menu (which includes the Scavenger Tool), once the Scavenger Tool has been run and the appropriate snapshot selected and mounted, there is no access to any sort of Windows Explorer-like access tool to browse the mounted snapshot.

    Now I guess my question is as follows... without any current documentation for the use of either the 2014 or 2018 version of these tools (the Snapshot Scavenger itself is the same in both), how am I expected to obtain access to the Scavenger mounted snapshots so that I may recover snapshot-based DATA and files? If anyone from either the Development or Support Teams (or any user who may have successfully used these versions of the Scavenger Tool) can provide any additional information on the use of these tools (specifically the Scavenger Tool), it would be very appreciated.