continue virtual mode after reboot?

Discussion in 'General Returnil discussions' started by chrome_sturmen, Dec 2, 2010.

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  1. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    im trying returnil, had a question - how could one continue in virtual mode after a reboot? this would be useful for testing software that required restart. later, i suppose you could exit virtual mode discarding changes, or exit committing changes?

    thanks
     
  2. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    was this just an incredibly stupid question, and i dont realize it?
     
  3. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    It's a really good question. There is a way to tell Returnil to "start virtual mode when you start Windows". Just check that option. And uncheck it when you want to make some changes etc...

    ScreenShot002.jpg
     
  4. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    hm, would that continue the same virtual session across reboots, or erase the old session and start a new one
     
  5. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    It would erase the old session and start a new one.

    Currently, you can't use Returnil to test software that requires a reboot. For that you would need a VM. As I understand it, this is a technical limitation that light virtualisation products such as Returnil and Shadow Defender share.

    I believe that Returnil (the company) are working on a method of enabling virtual sessions to persist across restarts though which, if I've understood it correctly, will be based on their new multi-snapshot technology.
     
  6. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    No, it is a good question but it has been answered many, many times in various threads related to Returnil over several different versions of the program going back to RVS 2007 (1.6x versions). This is a very common question from those interested in using RVS/RSS from a research/enthusiast angle in threads that include additional information you may find useful as well, so I was giving you an opportunity to explore them at your own pace.

    The Multi-Snapshot Utility Beta is where we are exploring/testing the technology to achieve this while also providing an enhancement for the System Restore feature in RSS Pro. This along with multi-partition virtualization are scheduled to be integrated into a future version of the software.

    Mike
     
  7. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    vielentakk for all the advices - storagecraft's shadow server/shadow surfer has been able to continue with the same virtual mode across reboots for years, maybe you guys should get with them on it *puppy*
     
  8. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    I believe this is true of ShadowUser and ShadowServer, but not ShadowSurfer.

    My understanding is that there are two fundamentally different approaches to implementing light virtualisation. One involves tracking changes at the level of the Windows file system and the other involves tracking changes to the disk partition(s) directly.

    Tracking changes at the level of the Windows file system does allow for virtual sessions to persist across restarts. It is also capable of allowing entry and exit from the virtual mode without a restart. I believe that Fortres Grand's Clean Slate uses this approach and it appears that Storagecraft may be doing something similar.

    Although convenient in terms of features, this method is technically inferior from a security perspective. It is more easily bypassed by malware than tracking changes to the disk directly, which takes place at a lower level of operation below the file system. There may also be some performance and stability issues with doing it this way.

    I believe that Returnil and Shadow Defender have chosen the alternative approach of tracking changes to the disk directly because of its technical superiority. The disadvantage from a features perspective is that it is not possible to exit the virtual mode from the system partition without a reboot, or for a virtual session to persist across restarts.

    I don't have enough technical understanding to give you a more detailed explanation but Coldmoon will be able to explain this better than I can, and also to correct any errors in what I've said. My knowledge as to how all of this works is limited to what I have been able to glean from the discussions here at Wilders.

    Regards
     
  9. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    pegr, you know of course what pengar means in swedish right? it means money $ hehe
     
  10. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    I'm sorry, I don't understand the relevance of your last remark. o_O

    I don't currently use Returnil myself and I don't have any association with Returnil (the company) if that's what you're trying to suggest. :doubt:
     
  11. chrome_sturmen

    chrome_sturmen Registered Member

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    you stand by your convictions, i admire that in a man -tell me, you ever tried fdisr?
     
  12. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    No, never tried it. I thought that FD-ISR had been superseded by FD-Rescue. I assume that it is rollback software rather than virtualisation so not directly comparable to Returnil.

    My guess is that FD-ISR and FD-Rescue are implemented using disk sector mapping and modify the MBR. My understanding is that Returnil does not do either of these things so there are technical differences which would need to be carefully evaluated by the user when making a decision about which approach to deploy.

    There was an announcement regarding FD-Rescue here: Leapfrog Software. The link to the Leapfrog Software website doesn't appears to work though so I'm not sure what that means. The latest information relating to the current status of FD-Rescue that I could find is here: Crying Shame. It looks as though the developer may have ceased development which could be a point to consider.
     
  13. subset

    subset Registered Member

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    OT, but both things are incorrect. FD-ISR clones all data of your system partition and makes this copy also bootable, which works up to 10 copies.
    And it does not modify the MBR.
    What you describe is typical EAZ-FIX, RollbackRx etc. kludge.

    Cheers
     
  14. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I am so sorry. I misunderstood the question.
     
  15. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    I wasn't sure how it worked and I couldn't seem to find a technical description of it anywhere, so I assumed that it might be similar to RollbackRx, which is obviously incorrect.

    Thanks for the correction. :)

    Regards
     
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