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Come on! BackupBuddy working when "Wordpress address" is different from the "Site address" (General Settings)?

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23 replies to this topic

#1 gguerin


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Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:40 PM

Hi Ronald,
Thanks for closing the thread http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/15888-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/.

I understand you may want to lock the conversation and put a blanket on this, but honestly I have just been trying to describe issues as Josh requested it from the beginning, even in his latest post.


Hey All,

Yes the fixes were pushed on Friday. Please let us know if you have anymore issues or questions.



Since I bought this nice plugin on 25/06, I have just been trying to convince you that there were problems as you were denying them, and I think I spent a fair amount of time and documentation on this, and stay as neutral and calm as possible.

I agree I should have ask before buying but that sounded at the time so obvious that I didn't even think of doing it...


Just FYI, and to prevent even more mis-interpretations.
The fails were caused by the fact that the user was using the updated backup script, but not the updated import script. BackupBuddy performed as expected, and migrated as expected, and all is fine.

Sorry, but if you read correctly the documentation I sent again today, you will see that the printscreen and the texts during the import indicate clearly 2.2.4 (the latest version of the script importbuddy.php included in the revision 2.2.6 of BackupBuddy). I agree however with Dustin (I forgot to include a new version of 1 specific printscreen which was not updated from the previous test version - sorry my mistake). Just read it, please!

So please Ronald, don't assume anything, forget a second the usual pre-sales speech that says everything is fine or test yourself if necessary as at the moment, and in this specific case, "BackupBuddy is not performing as expected, and does not migrate as expected, and all is not fine".

I have no doubt however that if it is confirmed (and I bet it will), Dustin will find a solution and push again another release soon.

I thank him in advance for this - at least I will not have to ask you for a refund ;-)... Really would like to use that stuff!

If anybody else wants to confirm, just contact me privately and I will send them the documentation and test file with pleasure. After all, it is what open source is for, I guess.

By the way I want to thank again Josh and Dustin for their help, their courtesy and their professionalism. They have been very pleasant to deal with, even if I would now prefer to do something else than just debugging and tracing my tests ;-) - just use it for example.

Dustin, as discussed, and if need be, don't hesitate to contact me by Skype if necessary, I gave you my number with the last batch of files.

Thanks again.


PS: @Ronald, really no offense here, after almost one month, maybe I am starting to feel over sensitive on this subject and just would like to get it to work...

#2 Ronald


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Posted 19 July 2011 - 05:02 PM


this is the kind of mis interpretation I was worried about. As forum admin, I also get to see posts by non members that are initially held in moderation, and they just kept coming (and will probably continue to come) from other parties that did not contribute at all to this issue at hand. The tone of those messages was not appropriate, constructive, which is why I decided to close the topic. I did feel (and still feel) that by now, it had turned into a support topic, that should go in the appropriate forum.

I heard from Josh and Dustin that you were working this out, which is great! You have supplied great information and debug data which allowed them to resolve this, or work on this.

I am sorry if that came across wrong, I have nothing but respect, and have not heard otherwise from Josh and Dustin about how you cooperated on the matter. It is part of the limitations of communicating this way.

Also, I did not assume anything, I was merely posting information that was confirmed to me, regarding the operation of BackupBuddy. I am not involved with the development of troubleshooting on that, I just try to keep the conversations positive, and useful to everyone.

So since the topic was turning into more of a support thread and feature request for BackupBuddy, I felt it was ok to close it, make sure that issues are resolved, and report back when they are.

I still do not think that it had a place in a Pre-sale forum anymore.

(this would probably be the 2nd topic in 2 years probably that I closed by the way, I do NOT intend to put a blanket on anything)

Again my apologies if my words and intentions came across the wrong way, that was NOT my intention at all!


Edited by Ronald, 19 July 2011 - 12:04 PM.

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#3 Guest_Pierre_*

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:51 AM

So, has the fixes been published? Is it fully working now?

#4 gguerin


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Posted 27 July 2011 - 06:55 AM



Just to be clear, what I am going to say here only relates to the case where the WP settings <span style="color: #ff0000">'Home URL' and 'Site URL' are different</span> (it does not imply any other consideration where they are equal – I personnally don't know about this latest setup).

My statement here should be understood as a situation on a current work in progress.

Currently (27/07/2011):

  • 1) Replacement of "Home Url" and "Site URL"
    • 1a) in the posts table: it works
    • 1b) in the options table (widgets for example): it doesn't work. Other tables, not sure.
  • 2) Replacement of other strings than "Home Url" and "Site URL" in all tables.

    This is a new option that will be apparently impleted by Dustin in due time. Apparently on top of the list of the future changes.
  • 3) Serialised data: it is maybe working or not, but we can't see it for the moment as 1b is not working and is a requirement to test this.
    If something is manually changed in the database in a serialised chain and would need to be corrected, currently it would not be fixed (I tried it and it didn't do anything to fix it)

  • 4) .htaccess, index.php in home directory: not taken in consideration for the moment. Maybe later? But if it is the only thing missing, I could personally deal with it.
Please whoever read this (internal or external commenters) don't turn this as a fight (this is not my intention anyway), as Dustin and the iThemes team are working (I assume the best they can) on this. They may also have other priorities than to fix these ones.

If your setup require a migration with Home Url and Site Url being different, and you have something that requires serialised data to be fixed, you will definetly encounter these problems currently.

You may just want to be patient as I try (Posted Image) to be.


Edited by Gilbert Guerin, 27 July 2011 - 02:02 AM.

#5 gguerin


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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:32 PM

The latest weekly news update published yesterday states (27.07.2011):

2. ImportBuddy is getting new upgrades this week. ImportBuddy is the
importing feature for BackupBuddy, so if you use BackupBuddy to migrate or
restore a site, you are already using it. And now it will be even more
robust. Matt Danner, COO of iThemes, described it this way: "It is like
ImportBuddy is getting a titanium hip. It will look the same on the
outside, but be even more super powerful on the inside". 
Hopefully this specific topic will be included.

Cross your fingers!

#6 Guest_Pierre_*

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:05 AM

Hi all,

has the fix finally been published?

Does it correct all problems mentionned by the previous user comment?

Maybe it is time for us to buy it if all is ok now (we have the same kind of setup than the one described by Gilbert).

Please confirm.


#7 Guest_Robert_*

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 11:44 PM

Good day,

That is me first post on these forums, but I am considering buying BackupBuddy for a while and I read these forum for already a couple of weeks.

I am also in the same configuration where my sites follow the precos from Wordpress where 'Home URL' and 'Site URL' are different (WP core files have their own sub directory).

My sites have also a lot of widgets where the address of the sites are included and should be changed by the process. I undestand from all pre sales post here that this still doesn't work with BackupBuddy, and tere is no current workaround.

Has the "Titanium Hip" update been finally released as announced for the week of 27/07 by Matt Danner?
Does it fix the problem?

Thanks to confirm asap as new major client migration needs arise quickly on my side.


#8 Bes Zain

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:54 AM

Hey everyone [Pierre, Gilbert and Robert],
[just posted this on the other thread in response to Robert, sharing it here too].
Gilbert is right: a new update is coming out very soon that aims to address this very specific issue of the SITE andWP url's being different. That will hopefully ensure everything works for such specific cases perfectly.
[my answer from the other thread - http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16887-backupbuddy-question-from-a-newbie-before-to-buy-migrating-a-site/] BackupBuddy, while working even in such cases, is not currently always flexible with the URLs as mentioned in this scenario when it comes to importing.

The direct answer:
Basically, BackupBuddy works fine in updating different WordPress and Site URLs, both being different, but does not update [when importing] things like text widgets or text widget settings, as an example [mainly in widgets] on the import end, for such sites where the WordPress URL and the Site URL is different.

An update to importbuddy.php is coming out soon [as this issue arises on the import side - the backup side works fine atm] that addresses this very specific issue and makes the import more flexible with such url differences [meaning it makes the actual import work perfectly or as much accurate as possible] in such scenarios the way it does with current sites where the WordPress and Site URL is the same.

Does that help? I hope that clears things up! When the new update comes out [any day now] you can actually use the new importbuddy.php it right away and let us know how it goes; hopefully it will work perfectly for your exact case right out of the box.
I hope that helps! Let me know if any of you have any questions [Robert, you can reply here or the other thread].

Edited by Bes Zain, 11 August 2011 - 05:54 AM.

#9 Guest_Pierre_*

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:22 AM


Thanks Bes, first time that we see a proper and "real" answer from the support here about this problem.

But still waiting now for weeks & weeks. Has the problem been finally fixed?

Where is the titanium update announced for "now" more than one month ago?


#10 Bes Zain

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:27 PM

Hi everyone (and Pierre, thanks for waiting! Replying to you here also), :)

GREAT news today:a brand new version of BackupBuddy has just been released:2.2.14which has MANY new features, including the first release of this exact function of flawlessly dealing with DIFFERENT WordPress URI and Site URI on the domain name. So the entire topic of WordPress address being different from the Site address in WordPress –> Settings is now resolved.

Please go ahead and download it from your Member's panel to test it out. For new/future customers, you can now rejoice and rest assured: you should have no problems at all if your WordPress URL is different than your Site URL in WordPress –> Settings area. BackupBuddy takes care of that perfectly in all of our thorough tests. :)

Since this is the first time we're releasing this exact fix for it,including the brand new MULTISITE Support, please test it out, let us know any suggestions you have, any errors/bugs you run into, etc. Your testing and feedback will let us know what to work on more, what to focus on, etc.

Please be sure to post only one post about each issue in only one forum/category/thread. (you can always pm me anytime to let me know if we miss any reply or topic)

You can post specific questions/comments/etc about this exact version release, if you're an existing customer, in the BackupBuddy forums: <a  href="http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/forum/74-backupbuddy/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/forum/74-backupbuddy/</a>

Questions related to BackupBuddy and Multisite specifically go in this category: <a  href="http://ithemes.com/support/backupbuddy-ms/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ithemes.com/support/backupbuddy-ms/</a>

Any Pre-sales related questions regarding this very topic can continue in this very thread, however. :)

Thank you SO VERY MUCH for being patient with us while we addressed this very issue. Let me know if you've any other questions.


(also posted in the other related thread: <a  href="http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16452-come-on-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/#p83427" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16452-come-on-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/#p83427</a>)

Edited by Bes Zain, 31 August 2011 - 12:34 PM.

#11 gguerin


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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:56 AM

Hi Bes.

Thanks for posting this. Was looking for this great news since end of June ;-).

Just to be sure, which version should be tested (the normal one or the beta - both appear in the interface of BackupBuddy)?


#12 Bes Zain

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:16 AM

Hi Gilbert, :)

Thanks for posting this! (just replied to your pm also):

Try the latest version 2.2.15 and use the "Beta" link on the Backup page for importbuddy.php (is that what you meant?). The actual bundled importbuddy.php should be the latest version too ( since it was just released ), though the idea probably is to have the "Beta" link always download the latest Beta/test versions also at any time.

For this specific version, an actual and separate importbuddy_beta.php file is included, which includes some Beta features (more in the changelog). So I would suggest you use the Beta link at this time.

Please let us know what you think, what you see, what you experience on different steps, etc in the BackupBuddy forums http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/forum/74-backupbuddy/. That will help us start focusing on improving the new BackupBuddy features and eliminate any new bugs. If you can think of any way we can make the interface better too, please let us know.


Edited by Bes Zain, 02 September 2011 - 04:17 AM.

#13 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:43 PM

Just a clarification: although you _can_ take a copy of the current importbuddy.php directly from the plugin folder (for some people the download can sometimes prove troublesome) you _must_ download the beta version through the beta download link as mentioned by Bes as the importbuddy_beta.php is _not_ a standalone script file and a beta importbuddy.php is created on-the-fly.


"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."

#14 Guest_Pierre_*

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:34 AM

Ok, thanks great news.

But as this was already previously announced several times as "no existing problem" or "already fixed", would still love to have an "external independant" confirmation.

Gilbert, as you were apparently the existing customer who put your finger on this in June, would you be so kind to confirm if this is really working now (at least in your personal opinion)?

#15 gguerin


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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:04 AM


well, as of today (08/09/2011), honestly, I am not so sure. It might be implemented and working or not ;-)...

At the moment, the beta version (2.2.15) crashes at step 2 of the import on my side (before it has the opportunity to handle the content of the database), so I didn't manage to test it further.

The importbuddy file is more complex than before as it needs to unpack first function files it requires to further handle the process. It is where it is crashing at the moment in my configurations, but it is most probably independant of the database treatment itself.

So cross your fingers, it might be completely working really soon!

Based on the symptoms I encounter here, we have daily exchanges with Bes & Dustin and they are working on it to fix what should be the last glitches (hopefully).

Would really love to have the opportunity to use it at least once completely with success ;-), but I guess we were never so close!


#16 Bes Zain

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:43 PM

Hi Pierre and Gilbert, :)

Thanks for posting this. I feel like there is still some confusion about this, so I'll go into it in a bit more detail (sorry if I repeat myself):

This feature, of supporting sites with different WordPress address and Site address, was released back on September 1st (our first official announcement of its availability, if I'm not mistaken). It's been out in the wild for about 8 days as of now and is an official beta part of the plugin.

It's there in beta for you to use right away. Confirmed. It's not just a "coming soon" announcement anymore. It's an actual product feature now.

It works in all our tests and works for many customers who have not reported any problems with it (or have mentioned it works). However, since it's in beta, some issues may arise just like any other beta/other issues and new plugin features. Gilbert seems to have tested this thoroughly for a specific setup (thanks! ;) ) and thus Gilbert can also offer good opinion on it at the moment for specific setups.Again, however, the existence of any such issues does NOT mean it does not work AT ALL. It means the feature does not work in THOSE SPECIFIC situations/setups only.

You all seem to know a lot about this specific topic and your needs, so you can actually tweak and test out everything in BackupBuddy and this specific feature to bring it to its knees and let us know what we can do to bring it out of beta please!

Any crash issues you may be having can be looked at (via support threads) on the forums (or as we're already working with you, Gilbert).

Again, to clarify so that there is no doubt about it: this feature is there now inside BackupBuddy to use immediately,and it is currently working in all our tests and for many of our customers (who have not reported back errors/issues about it not working at all or have mentioned that it works). Before it was simply announced that it was coming soon – now it is officially there and part of BackupBuddy, and working in almost all (or at least most/majority) of the cases.

Like any other plugin or feature, there will always be case scenarios where something (specially in beta) will cause issues or not work perfectly with all setups out there. That's why we have the support forums – we'll work with you to come up with an alternate solution or release a code fix to fix the issue for you. Gilbert can tell you how our PluginBuddy team is at keeping topics alive or communicating if some specific issue with any customer is unresolved. ;)

If you run into issues with your setup, please let us know in the Member's area with full details so we can work with you on solving them. Maybe your setup is like many of the other customers and you won't run into any issues at all.

Hope that clarifies everything and answers your questions, Pierre and Gilbert (and thanks for chiming in Gilbert! I really hope this reaches a stage where it works 100% for you too!).

Also Gilbert, if possible, could you please share your setup and situation summary to Pierre also (we won't discuss/test/solve it here in this thread at all BUT it will give Pierre and anyone else a good idea of whether their setup/needs are the same as yours and what is working without any issues as of September 8th/9th, 2011).


Edited by Bes Zain, 08 September 2011 - 11:47 AM.

#17 gguerin


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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:32 AM

Hi there,

So as requested, here I am: I am the dirty black duck who always had only problems with the ImportBuddy script since we bought it end of june 2011. But one day, hopefully I will be recognised as one of the white swans Posted Image.

My setup is the following:

  • Always use latest version of WordPress (localised either in EN, FR, ZA, or few others languages)
  • Always use latest version of BackupBuddy
  • Always deploy WordPress installation as described in WP Codex best practice here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Giving_WordPress_Its_Own_Directory ("Home Url" and "Site URL" being different) – our partners or clients understand it or even require it directly themselves
  • Use when necessary Widgets (which can include links or reference to the Home URL or sub addresses)
  • Hosting: Hostgator (reseller package or not) or equivalent Host
  • Local Dev machines: Laptop / desktop X86, with either:
    • XP SP3 last updates done (EN or FR)
    • MS Win 7 Ultimate last updates done (EN or FR)

  • or virtualised machines running on VMWare Workstation 7.1.4 build-385536 – OS is XP SP 3 latest patches installed
  • Apache 2.2.20, PHP5.2.17, MySQL 5.1.56
  • We have also administrator rights on everything (OS, Tools, Users)
What we are looking for:

  • Years ago, we were first developing static websites or with database, but in both case we had complete control over the content and the way it was stored. It was then very easy to adjust when migrating from dev to live setup or reciprocally.
  • Then came WordPress, where links to assets or pages are frequently coded in hard in the different posts. Most of the content was now handled directly by the CMS. As it was more and more widely asked for or used by our clients, we started to have requests for this CMS as the foundation tool.
  • To be used with the other software installation needed for the projects (like wiki, forum, etc…), and to keep some sanity in the general setup, we quickly had to use configuration where WP core files were not located in the root directory of the site. Likely WP was able to handle a sub directory system keeping the root directory rather clean (use of Home URL, and ‘siteurl’) – see for reference the Codex here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Giving_WordPress_Its_Own_Directory.
  • We were usually also handling pretty vast updates of content offline, while a real site was still live and still receiving WP comments from Internet users or entries in the live forum for example.
  • We needed to have a system in place to upload in both directions from live setup to dev setup, and from dev to live setup.
  • The solution is the following:
    • When content to be changed is locally & massively updated, it is very easy to handle the migration by exporting a flat txt file from the database, search and replace the strings to be migrated in it (either the main site address, or sub addresses, or anything else that needs to change for that matter).
    • We can also easily manage with a fine granularity the table import or replacement – for example, remove from the flat txt file to import the part of the file concerning the comment’s table (so local comments do not erase the live one). This solution is simple and works perfectly.

  • Except that at some stage, widgets started to be more and more widely used in the WP community (it is even worse now for that matter with complex setup where a lot of design or layout info are now also handled this way – see Builder for example or other same kind of solutions).
  • And with the Options table came the annoyance of serialized data that had to be also changed (when strings replacement involve a change of length of the string replaced). It is something which is difficult to be handled directly and automatically in a flat txt file. When it is a simple serialized structure, it is possible, but it is very complex to manage with potential multi dimensional arrays of serialized data in the flat file – even with the use of regular expressions.
  • So we came to this conclusion and process:


  • Export a flat file (very easy)
  • Do the replacement with string replacing in the flat file (very easy)
  • Remove in the flat file the part concerning the tables we don’t want tobe erased in the live environment (very easy)
  • Import the flat file (very easy)

  • Run a script fixing all serialized data that need to be aligned (script to be found or developed)
    • By searching existing solutions, we found BackupBuddy which seems to correspond to the profile (and do a lot more extras, nice eventually, but not specifically critical for us). We ask questions in the pre-sales forum, maybe not sufficiently – but in general answers were assuring everything will be fine. Bought it.
    • And in our real life – it never worked for the moment…
    Don't get me wrong, since end of June when we bought it, Dustin (the developper) and other support members were kind enough to try to understand what was going wrong and try to fix it (the numerous message in these forums attest for it), and we had also a lot of message with Dustin directly outside of these forums. Dustin has always been very professional and keen to understand or fix what was going wrong.

    I don't know if I should be somehow proud to be such an exceptional case in the design community? Are my configurations so exotic or expectations so irrealistic that I am the only one on this planet to have these specific requirements? I let all readers judge for themselves Posted Image if this apply to them or not.

    Don't take however my words for granted. Maybe your setup is like many of the other customers and you won't run into any issues at all (dixit the official support) Posted Image.

    I did setup a very minimalistic site based on the default WP theme with 1 widget, 1 article that can be used to check if the migration is working or not [ for my personal requirements - as explained above ], with an associated documentation which explains exactly what happens or not. If somebody else (other than the support & dev, they have it since July) want to check for themselves, I would glady transfer it to whoever request it to confirm if it is working or not for them.

    What could be also another approach is to describe for us a configuration when it is known to work 100%, and we will gladly try to reproduce it (as long as it does not involve to buy specifically a brand new Mac or OSX related machinePosted Image).

    Or if somebody knows how to solve the step 5) – see above in our process (serialisation fix) – with a PHP script for example, that would be just sufficient for us – and we would be just happy to keep our current process.

    Please confirm.


    Edited by Gilbert Guerin, 15 September 2011 - 01:44 AM.

    #18 Guest_Pierre_*

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    Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:17 AM

    Hi Gilbert,

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    Sorry, can't help for the point 5), otherwise I would not be here too ;-).

    Your expectations and configuration do not sound "exceptional" at all to me, we have globally the same ("Windows based" dev machines, serialised data to be fix, "Site URL different from Home URL").

    The only things is you have a more updated setup than us for Apache, PHP and MySQL...

    Would like to hear from the support now what is considered a "different setup more like many of the other customers".

    Any confirmation from iThemes ?


    from a customer where this kind setup is working - or what do they have different (the dev OS? - because for the rest - serialised data to be fix, "Site URL different from Home URL", sorry we can't change it)?


    #19 Dustin Bolton

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    Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:53 AM

    This thread needs to be continued in the BackupBuddy support forum. This is the pre-sales section and is handled by different staff and intended for pre-sales questions only, not debugging and troubleshooting of an already-owned BackupBuddy product. If you are still experiencing problems with this issue posting there will make sure you get your problem properly troubleshooted. Please state your current problem you are encountering for us there so we can continue helping you.

    Just include a link to this thread when making your new post. We will update this thread later from the outcome.
    The BackupBuddy Guy - Dustin Bolton's Website - Twitter - Linked In

    #20 Guest_Pierre_*

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    Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:22 AM


    Thanks for jumping in Dustin.

    If you move this thread to the already purchased side, how I am going to know if I should buy it or not.

    The only reason why it is here is for us to know if we should invest or not (is it really working or not in the configuration mentionned above).

    I don't want to buy it if it can't at least do that (already waiting for weeks for the decision)...

    Or modify your policy so if it is not working - and we discover it after buying, we could then get a refund in that case.

    The user describing its configuration where it does not work (and I mean this guy is really nice to spend time here without to be agressive or anything like that) is really helpful for us so can we can make a proper decision as such.

    There is a pitch sales going on for the last 3 months here saying "everything is fine - buy it, we will fix your problem after" for that exact configuration, even if we discover after that it is only now that is released as beta test - months after.

    I don't want to be misleaded. I don't want to debug and troubleshoot after (you have apparently users who were sufficiently great for that) - I need to know as a potential buyer if it works "really" or not.

    Or show us a video showing that in that specific configuration and requirement...


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