Advice needed- please help! :)

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by karmakiller, Feb 13, 2009.

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  1. karmakiller

    karmakiller Registered Member

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    So i have to start saying i'm a 17yo girl, not a very experienced user, nor a native speaker, so please be gentle. :(

    Having read all different kinds of reviews about DeepFreeze, ATI etc.. i don't quite know which one would do the best job for me..

    I soon have to reinstall my XP-again- and i'm so not looking forward to it that i decided to do something to prevent that from happening in the future.. Now most of the apps have powerful tools and all, but i'm a humble user let's say, with minimum requirements.. I would like to keep my primary partition, c:\ -with all the programs (and configs) i frequently use already installed- and get back to that fresh state when it all becomes slow and messy.. Deep Freeze seemed pretty interesting but i do tend to install little programs quite often, so i'm looking for the easiest and fastest way to 'defreeze' the system, preferably without rebooting.

    Also, which is the easiest way to resize c:\ without losing any data from the partitions and what would be the recommended size, given the 500+80 HDD?

    And probably my last question- Is it possible to hide entire partitions from other users(with limited accounts) without having to lock and unlock them everytime i need to access the files?

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could answer my questions, and i'll keep reading tutorials so i can make something of your awaited answers. :)
     
  2. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    You should look at the Group Policy. Use gpedit.msc. Check it out, look at what it contains. YOu don't have to change anything to study. This should unlock some mysteries as to what you can/cannot do to a user account.

    As for imaging, maybe you should decide how often you will need to restore an image. For myself, I use an imaging software called Macrium Reflect. It takes a snapshot of the drive c: It puts it onto other media than hdd c: is on. I make image after I have all my normal apps installed, but not large space users like Office etc. But then, I don't anticipate the need to restore that often. Incremental images or updating images with new items requires a paid for version. Probably true of many imaging freeware.

    For more often restoring you would consider deepfreeze or other type program. These I believe will allow you more chance to make those small changes and recreate them to your image.

    Maybe that is a start for you.

    Sul.
     
  3. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hello karmakiller and welcome at the wilders fora.
    I guess that you are looking for free applications...

    Since you are going to reinstall, I would advise you to image your partition with the free Drive Backup 9.0 Express. It will give you a peace of mind when you want to restore your pc without having to reinstall the OS drivers and programs again.
    You can look at ReturnIl Personal Edition which is a great freeware, but you'll have to reboot for unfreezing your system drive.
    You can use Partition Manager 9.0 Express another great freeware from paragon. But remember to backup your inportant data first. Once the resizing is started you should not stop it in any way, shutdown or reboot the pc because it will lead to major data loss.
    You need to hide them completly or only making them private (the other users will see the partitions but will not have access)?

    hope it helps,
    Panagiotis
     
  4. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I just more or less went through the process you are going through as to trying to decide which program to use for backup and OS security purposes and I selected RollBack Rx. Its a program that will let you simply roll your PC back in time to some previous state. Its very fast, snapshots (images) take 3 or 4 seconds to make and can be scheduled to occur automatically as often a hourly, and to fully restore the PC to an earlier state will take 3 or 4 min.

    The current version comes with a drive imaging feature but this has been spun off into its own program with the new version which is about to be released in a few days (not intending to rush you but may want to move on this quickly. I don't know how long you would be able to purchase current version licences once the new version is released although you can often find older versions somewhere on the net for many programs). As with most of these sorts of programs there are a few little "things" you need to be aware of. With RollBack you do not use a 3rd party defrager (RollBack has its own built in) and if you use a 3rd party imaging program such as Acronis True Image you will have to "fix" the MBR if you restore an image but since you would only restore the 3rd party image in the event of a drive failure this may not be much of a concern (and is evidently not a big deal to do anyway). If you use RollBacks own imager the MBR issue is not an issue at all. The program seems to have a lot of respect from Wilders forum members so even though I just bought the licence and have yet to install and set up the program I feel comfortable recommending it. For more info you can browse through the forum or go to the publishers website at http://www.rollbacksoftware.com/ a discount is available if you go to http://aroundtheclockcomputerrepair.com (click on Products -- this is the site of a Wilders forum member and he has been a great help in my search for the best program for me in this product category)

    I hope this helps and good luck on your search.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  5. karmakiller

    karmakiller Registered Member

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    Thanks guys for all your recommendations! :thumb:
    And sorry for posting in the wrong place, i should have looked better..

    All your solutions were interesting.. Though i'm particularly fond of Rollback's features. Problem is, well, more or less, i can't afford buying the license but could try some other ways :blink: I don't suppose it'll be the same thing but the very essence of this program should be reachable?..

    I have thought about it and maybe i won't have so many restores to do.. But it's comforting to know i could actually do this frequently..

    Deep Freeze caught my eyes immediately being the first software that i've heard of.. I almost never lost any important data, nor did i have virus problems, but given my 512 RAM, i'm doing my best to boost up the computer's performance and after 4 months of intensive installing/uninstalling i miss the feeling of that freshly-installed OS.

    @pandlouk- No, they don't necessarily have to be hidden.. an access error should be enough but it should stay that way for good., without having to configure it again and again..

    Thanks again for the tips, they are all of great help!:)
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Take a look at Macrium Reflect, its an imaging program rather than a rollback type program. I had trouble creating the boot/rescue disk and just moved on to another option but with the help of folks here you should be able to get this well respected program functioning for you. There is a free version and its available at

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
     
  7. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hi bgoodman4,

    I can understand your excitment about RB-rx but I would advise you, to use caution and not trying to convice everyone in buying it, until you use it long enough. RB-rx can be helpfull and at the same time a major pain in the ... I have seen RB-rx corrupting files, destroying it's snapshots and the worst possible senario killing the partition table during the uninstall procedure.

    I am a HorizonDatasys customer myself (both FD-ISR,RB-rx bought from them), but I have a love-hate relationship with rollback. When it fuctions properly I adore it but not always does...

    Panagiotis
     
  8. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    OK. Here you can find some tips for "hidding" folders.

    For hidding drive letters you can use Tweak UI. Login with the account, that you do not want to see the partitions and uncheck the drive letters(you should give that account admin privileges for running it there; after it's done, revert it back in a limited account)

    For disabling the access to a drive you should take the ownership of that drive with your admin account and then make your admin files private.

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  9. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Yipes, now you have me worried (I am not kidding). I did however do an image of the drive last night with ATI and still have not installed RollBack on it so I guess I am as safe as I can be. I have been using GoBack for years and I know many people had serious problems with it. I also know there is always a risk when installing new software and especially so with this sort of program. I will however take your suggestion to heart and keep the recommendation to myself until I have used the program (hopefully successfully) for at least 3 to 6 months.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  10. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    You should expect that those things can happen and do happen with rollback.

    I would advise you to backup your partition table because once corrupted is very difficult, and in some cases impossible, to recover.

    Panagiotis
     
  11. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    It best to keep it simple like my computer.

    my computer security protection. amd 4800x2 windows xp pro 1gb ram.
    1. zone alarm basic firewall
    2. avg free antivirus
    3. firefox browser
    4. returnil

    Returnil works just as good if not better than deepfreeze and it's free. As long as you have returnil enabled when you surf the internet you don't have to worry about anything damaging your computer permanently. It's an on demand virtual program, it always boots up disabled so you can do your virus updates etc. You can enable returnil instantly (no reboot required) takes less than 5 seconds to go into virtual mode.
     
  12. MICRO

    MICRO Registered Member

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    Can you give a 'how to' re. the above please Pandlouk ?

    And can you advise re. FD-ISR please - am I reading correctly that even with the personal edition one must pay an annual maintenance fee ?

    Is it the only App. you are aware of whereby one can use the snaps on 'different hardware' ?
     
  13. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Could you explain what a partition table is and why an ATI image would not include it? Are you talking about a sector by sector image rather than one from within Windows?
     
  14. PROROOTECT

    PROROOTECT Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Why not make a small wink: try Itsira?

    Extremely simple solution and fun at the same time: many Itsira on the screen! Only 56 K. Even me, i weigh more: 69 K, yet I am only 0 and 1.

    Itsira download at the bottom of the page: http://dewasoft.com/

    PROROOTECT wink:argh:
     
  15. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hi Micro,

    The partition table resides in the mbr (sector 0). You can back it up with a hex editor (winhex instructions)or with speciallised applications.
    The only programs that I know that can restore only the partition table (beside hex editors) are:
    Drive SnapShot
    Active@ Partition Recovery and
    Partition table Doctor (gives problems with raid 0 configurations and very large disks).

    I'm sorry but I did not understand your questions.
    -FD-ISR pro is no longer on sale and FD-ISR rescue does not give you the ability to import/export snapshots. FD-ISR rescue for servers do have this ability but cost lots of money and is not intended for home users.
    -Why would you need to use the snaps on different hardware?

    ATI cannot restore only the partition table. As for why not, you should ask their support :p
    And no it has nothing to do with sector by sector imaging.

    ps. we should stop hijacking karmakiller's thread.

    Panagiotis
     
  16. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thanks for this, I took a quick look at WinHex and while it gave me a headache I will spend some time studying it. Man have I learned a lot in the past month from this forum. Thanks for your part in that.


    But it can restore the MBR which from my brief look at the WinHex page linked to above contains the partition record, so I expect ATI would cover this.

    Understood, thanks.

    You are right, sorry karmakiller.
     
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