Archives and data anchoring

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Longboard, Jun 13, 2006.

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  1. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    I have just had a brain flop.. again..( rebooted and seems ok :D )

    As i go further into this utility...

    If I use data anchoring between 2 or 3 snapshots and then If I keep an archive and keep it refreshed when I restore and boot into that archive will the anchored data be available?

    ANd: if a system gets corrupted, whats to say that the files in the anchored data will be intact?

    FD-ISR: "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things software."

    Thanks
    Lbd.
     
  2. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Whatever you do, DO NOT DO THAT!!!

    If you attempt to boot into the archive that does not have the data anchored you will pull yourself into another dimension and risk getting stuck in a perpetual time warp.

    To be honest that is a good question and I don't have the answer.
     
  3. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Sorry. that may not have been too clear. (as usual :blink: )

    Not trying to boot into archive...

    I meant restore the archive to status of snapshot, then boot into the "new" snapshot (really only if everything else lost on that disc)

    I think :blink: that's what I meant
    There can be so many options that trying to explain what one is doing is a bit murky :D

    Lbd.
     
  4. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Yes.
    Anchored data is not included in your archive, so after a restore it remains the same as before restore.
    Data that is anchored is even available when you create an empty snapshot and you boot into that to install Windows.
    The answer depends on your definition of corrupt.
     
  5. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Exactly. Anchored data is as much subject to damage, corruption, accidental deletion as any other data. So, if you lose it, don't be looking for it among any snapshots or archives (unless one from before that data was anchored).

    You need to have a separate backup for anchored data if you want to protect it from loss.
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I never tried anchoring, because my data is another partition, but from what I know, I agree with crofttk's and wilbertnl's explanation, since anchored data isn't included in snapshots and therefore not included in archived snapshots either.
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik is correct. Anchored data is not in other snapshots or archives. When I switched, I unanchored MyDocuments while I was in my primary snapshot, and then booted to secondary snapshot. My Documents was empty.

    What you can do if you wish is:

    Create a working archive with say MyDoc's anchored. That archive will look like your other snapshot.

    Then turn off anchoring, and create a backup archive which would contain everything. This would serve as a "backup" in case of disk failure. Then turn on anchoring again.

    This works, but you have to a) understand anchored data is only in theh primary snapshot, and b) be very careful to turn on/off data anchoring as appropriate. A mistake could be messy.

    Pete
     
  8. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    OK guys got it thanks.
    As I expected.

    Another question if I may:

    How much fragmentation is there after repeated "refreshing" of archives and or snapshots, ie incremental updates of said archive or snapshot, and, is it safe to defrag that file?
    ( my experience of incremental updates with other utilities would suggest a very fragmented file)

    I'm still fine tuning how best to use FDISR for my needs; ie 1 snapshot with anchoring and 1 archive (on external drive), both refreshed daily and a less frequently updated image (with FDISR ) on external HD.

    I suffer from high level anxiety about disc failure :gack:
    I really hate reinstalling so extra redundancy.......
    One of my stumbling blocks is having all my data and OS on 1 partition;Images etc take a while.
    Been following E-A's adventures about seperate partitions.
    Quite possibly, I just have a lot of crap sitting around and am currently shedding some excess fat.

    Regards.
     
  9. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Although my adventure with separating system from data was successfull, I'm not satisfied yet.
    I would like to move the entire folder "C:\Documents and Settings" to "D:\Documents and Settings".
    It has something to do with an unattended install of winXPproSP2, but I'm still reading/learning/gathering how to do this.
    There is more involved, than just this separation.
     
  10. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    I went through this exercise a year or two ago and learned more than I care to say about unattended installs and other ways to accomplish this.

    In the end, the fundamental problem, IMO, is separating application data and other structures contained in Docs & Settings from the registry files, which are still going to be stored under the Windows folder hierarchy no matter what.

    I decided that I would therefore limit what I pulled out to other partitions. I have only My Docs, Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, History, Temp, Outlook data (pst), and Outlook Express data stored on separate partitions.
     
  11. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    It is safe fo defrag your disks, but you have to be really careful when you decide to schedule automatic copy/updates and defrags. They should never run simultaneously.
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Longboard

    1) Copy/updates do result in fragmentation. Snapshots on disk get defragged with perfect disk any time you defrag. I do it about 3 times a week. Archives on external drives I never defrag. To much time, and I don't see the point.

    2). To address your imaging / backup concern. I also just use one big partition. Have done it this way for a long time with no problem. Yes images are bigger, and yes if you image with snapshot, they are really big. Here's my basic plan

    a) I image with 3 imaging programs maybe once a quarter with no other FDISR snapshots. Yes they sort of get out of date. I don't care.

    b) I maintain two FDISR archives on external drives. These I refresh daily.

    c) Most of my Data type stuff is in My Doc's, a couple of programs put data in the programs area. So for this:

    1) I backup My Doc's with Acronis using the files approach
    2) Using AJC Dir Sync I keep my doc's files on an external drive
    3) Using AJC Dir SYnc I keep all the business files whereever sync to external folders.

    Excessive maybe. Time consuming. No not once set up. Redundant yes, but like you say, I can't afford to lose stufff or take the time to rebuild a new disk.

    Pete
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    My backup is quite simple.
    1. One daily backup of my system partition, including FDISR and all its snapshots.
    2. One daily backup of my data partition : personal files, email-address-books and emails.
    Both have the same procedure, only the source and target are different, which is normal of course.

    Although I've tested archiving and restoring of snapshots quite thoroughly, I don't use it.
    I have a hard time to accept FDISR as a backup utility.

    I would use archived snapshots only in two cases :
    1. If I don't have space enough to store them as normal snapshots and this won't happen in normal circumstances :
    1.a. I have space enough on my system partition
    1.b. Compressed snapshots will be possible very soon (Leapfrog's FDISR version)
    2. If I need more than 10 normal snapshots. Why would I need so many snapshots at the same time?

    My only concern is this separation, which means for me total freedom and above all reassurance :
    1. Whatever happens to my system partition, it won't affect my personal data partition and that makes me feel very safe.
    Even when my MS Office 2000 is totally unusable, I won't lose my documents and spreadsheets.
    Whatever happens to Thunderbird, I won't lose my settings, address-book and emails, even when I upgrade Thunderbird.
    I've done this in practice and it works.
    2. I can do whatever I want with my system partition and FDISR gives me the possibility to create as many versions
    of my system partition and that means freedom for me.
    3. It makes my backup with ATI very simple.
    Once I have my external harddisk, I can do it even better and safer.

    Is my solution a total solution in any situation? No, it isn't, because there are still softwares that keep files with USER-INPUT in their program folder on the system partition.
    Those softwares have an old fashioned design and don't use the hidden folder "Application Data" or any other folder under the folder "Documents and Settings" to store such files.
    Softwares like Firefox and Thunderbird have a much smarter design.

    My latest firewall "Look 'n' Stop" has also an old-fashioned design.
    I wrote a post about it in LnS forum, but nobody cares and frankly, I didn't expect they would care.
    If my memory is good, Peter has the same problem with Quickbooks.
    As long I backup my system partition, it won't be a problem, but it doesn't cover the worst scenarios.
    Only a separate backup covers the worst scenarios and that is an exception, I don't really like.
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik

    Lest someone reading your post gets the wrong idea. I might have the same situation as you with Quickbooks, but for me it simply isn't a problem. You are on a quest for this separation, and thats your privilege.

    I have run for over 5 years with one partition, not separating data, and haven't had a single problem, or lost any data what soever because it it.

    For me this is a total non problem.

    Pete
     
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    As I said before our reasoning differs alot, probably because I think as an application analyst.

    When you develop an application you have TWO kinds of files in an application.
    1. Files that DO NOT contain user-input, like software programs and those files belong in the program folder and you always have at least one program folder otherwise the folder "C:\Program Files" would be a big mess.
    2. Files that DO contain user-input and those files do NOT belong in the program folder. These files don't always exist, but in most cases they do exist. It depends on what the softwares does.
    And this is a general rule for ALL applications, you just don't put both files in ONE place. That's a CAPITAL SIN in computer science.

    The problem is that not every software company follows this rule and they put both files in the program folder.
    Quickbook and LnS are examples and there must be alot more of them.
    So every software company that doesn't follow this rule is a sinner.

    M$ created a folder "C:\Documents and Settings" for that purpose although the name isn't choosen very well, a better name would be "C:\Data and Settings" and I would call it simply "C:\User Data"

    Documents =
    - software files that contain user-input = data-input.
    - files created by the user himself.
    - files downloaded by the user himself.
    Settings = software files that contain user-input = configuration settings.
    Both represent the hard work of each user and he doesn't want to lose them.

    Some softwares create automatically extra folders under "Application Data" and/or "My Documents".
    Other softwares create a default folder and give the user the opportunity to change that folder, which is IMO the best way.
    Why do you think these softwares are doing this? Why don't they put everything in the program folder, like Quickbook and LnS? That's because they follow this rule, unfortunately not always like it should be.

    So Quickbooks should be a problem for you too, but you don't see it that way. That's the difference between you and me.
    And this has nothing to do with separating system from data, it's also a problem if you have ONE partition.
    Files with user-input belong somewhere in the folder "C:\Documents and Settings" and never in the progam folder.

    I have alot more to say about this, but I keep it short. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  16. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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    Check this out and see if it helps.
    http://pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,125833,00.asp
     
  17. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    This is about MS Outlook. I use Thunderbird and moved my email-address-book and emails already to my data partition [D:] and did the same for Firefox. All these folders are stored under Application Data and moving them was no problem.
     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik

    In prinicple I'd agree with what you said. In practice I just haven't found it mattered. You still need to backup data, just a matter of where it is. If a rogue program wants to find doc files, it will find yours as easilly as mine. Actually the biggest problem in some cases was like for Outlook, is finding them all. That I admit did take a bit of doing.

    You are thinking like a computer system guy, where as most users don't. Thats okay. I am just saying both approaches are either equally good if you use backups or equally bad if you don't. Simple

    Pete
     
  19. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    As I posted above, I've moved the bulk of my data to another partition. But, you will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns in relocating data. I stopped relocating data at a point where I consider the rest, mainly program settings and customizations, as being expendable and not worth the added effort and, in some cases, program instability, to move them. I can forego the holy grail of relocating everything -- I am after all trained as an engineer and, although I have ideals, I get done what is practical and move on.
     
  20. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    You might like to look at Windows Symbolic and Hard Links this link has some great tools to help:

    http://shell-shocked.org/article.php?id=284
     
  21. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Thanks for the link, but I've seen this already. Not really what I'm looking for.
    I have already the links I need, just didn't try it yet and I'm still waiting for my external harddisk and printer. :)
     
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