Difference between Normal snapshot and Frozen snapshot ?

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Defenestration, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    I'm a bit confused as to the differences between a Normal snapshot and Frozen snapshot. Can anyone shed any light on the differences ?
     
  2. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    Ignore my question - I've just read the manual :D
     
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    The major problem with frozen snapshots is that you can have only ONE frozen snapshot in FDISR and that's one of my suggestions to improve FDISR. Having more than ONE frozen snapshot.
    It's technical possible to freeze all snapshots, but it didn't happen. :(
    Each time I create a (test) snapshot that needs to be frozen, I have to freeze that snapshot and the other snapshot isn't frozen anymore. That's the problem.
    You won't read that in the manual of course.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2006
  4. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Another point regarding frozen snapshots that is open for discussion is this : a frozen snapshot is cleaned during REBOOT, maybe it is better to clean a frozen snapshot during SHUTDOWN.
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    That is a good point, but may be beyond the technology. Basically cleaning a frozen snapshot, is like rolling into a new snapshot. I think there are something done in that process, that can only occur when the reboot process actually starts up. In other words at the same point you see the FDISR message when you change snapshots and reboot.

    Be interesting to see if they respond to that.

    As I think about it I bet there are two problems. While windows is running, it would be like updating the snapshot you are in, which can't be done. THe second, once the system call NTShutdown is made, thats it, next stop is on reboot.

    Anyone else have any thoughts.
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    During freezing FDISR creates an archived snapshot, called "Freeze Storage.ARX", which is exactly the same as the current snapshot.
    When you reboot, FDISR does a copy/update (= restore) FROM "Freeze Storage.ARX" TO the frozen snapshot, which happens behind the Windows Welcome Screen and that cleans the snapshot.
    So the reboot-time = normal reboot-time + the copy/update time, which depends on how many objects have to be removed, replaced and/or added.

    If FDISR can do it during reboot, it can also do it during shutdown that is just a matter of timing.
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik, it would have to do it before window initiates shutdown. That would mean updating from the archive to the snapshot you are in. FDISR can''t do that now, and no imaging software like acronis can restore the system partition while you are in it.

    Frankly what would the advantage be?
     
  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Of course FDISR can't do it now, because FDISR isn't programmed that way.
    Things can be changed in a program by the programmer in case you didn't know.
    If a new version of any software comes out, it means that the programmer has changed the old program to make it better.
    We are talking about a theoretical possibility, that doesn't exist yet.

    I don't understand what Acronis has to do with it. I'm talking about FDISR.
    And Acronis can restore any image while you are in the current snapshot.
    This has been tested already six months ago by myself. But again I don't see the connection.

    "Frankly what would the advantage be?"
    That's what I'm trying to find out.
    One thing is certain : the frozen snapshot will be clean when you reboot the next morning in any snapshot.
    And that means that you can do any other activity with that frozen snapshot from another snapshot, because it is already clean.
    In case you didn't know, you can do things with a snapshot, without being in that snapshot.

    In the actual FDISR, you can't archive a frozen snapshot from another snapshot, because it isn't clean yet.
    You can't copy a frozen snapshot, because it isn't clean yet.
    You always have to boot in a frozen snapshot first to clean it, before you can do anything with it even when you don't have to be in the frozen snapshot. :)
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Things can be changed by a programmer yes, but there are certain things he can't do. For example he can not make a call to NTShutdown, and then go on and do ten other things. That call causes windows to shutdown, and that it will do.

    I don't believe it is a theoritcal possibility at all. If I am not mistaken when you restore an image in Windows with Acronis after you set up the procedure, doesn't Acronis reboot into a pseudo nonwindows environment. If so it shutdown. You can image in windows but you cannot restore the system partition while in windows.

    Pete
     
  10. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Since you are not a programmer, you don't know what is technically possible or not. You are just guessing.
    I like to hear that from a professional first, if it is possible or not.

    You are right about the reboot, but what has an image backup software to do with frozen snapshots of FDISR o_O
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Simple. What you are asking about is restoring the frozen snapshot from it's archive. This is no different then copy/update or refreshing any other snapshot, it just does it automatically from the frozen archive. What you are wanting to do is the same as updating a primary snapshot from a secondary snapshot, while in the primary snapshot. Can't do it, and it is for the same reason you can't restore a image of the active system while in that system. There are several different methods for copying the active system. FDISR uses one flavor, as does Acronis, Image for Windows, ShadowProtect etc. BUT none of them can restore the system partition while active in Windows.

    What Acronis is doing is the same thing the old Ghost used to do. You set up the job while in Windows and then reboot, into some pseudo DOS, Linux environment for the restore. BUT Windows did shutdown.

    If you think me wrong, find me a single imaging solution or Rollback type solution that can restore the system partition while you are actively in it.

    Pete
     
  12. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Peter,
    You are giving me nothing but alternatives, which I already know for a long time. The subject was frozen snapshots, not all the rest. :)
     
  13. Chris12923

    Chris12923 Registered Member

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    Can one of you guys explain why it sounds so difficult? Can't they just set it up to boot to a certain snapshot every restart? You could have any amount of frozen snapshots you wanted this way?

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    What we were talking about is trying to essentially do what rebooting with a frozen snapshot does, but doing it on shutdown. My point was since you had to shutdown anyway what difference does it make, and you can't do it without shutting down.

    Pete
     
  15. Chris12923

    Chris12923 Registered Member

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    Not sure I understand why but I see what you mean now. thanks for the info.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  16. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Chris, I want to try to improve your understanding here.
    Unlike EF/RB snapshots are not static and fixed in FD-ISR.

    Example:
    You have two snapshots in FD-ISR SA and SB.
    You restore into snapshot SA and add a document DA to it. Then you restore into snapshot SB and add document DB to it.
    After that you return to snapshot SA and you discover that document DA survived the snapshot switches.
    You also return to snapshot SB and you find document DB still there.

    A frozen snapshot means that it is compared to a reference, named freeze archive and any differences are undone.
    This happens every time you restore to the frozen snapshot even if you only reboot.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Chris12923

    Chris12923 Registered Member

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    But would it not be easier to handle it as Rollback where it just loads the selected snapshot automatically at reboot? Maybe I'm still confused but I think I got it. just doesn't get handled the same as what I am used to so it throws me off a bit. maybe I'm just tired too. Thanks for the explanation!

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  18. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I prefer to think of virtual partitions when talking about FD-ISR.
    Practically it's possible to install Windows 2000 in one snapshot, Windows XP home in another, Windows XP Pro in the third and Windows 2003 in the next. As long as NTFS is supported.
    The word snapshot has complete different meanings. :thumbd:
     
  19. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Chris, you can play with this idea.

    Suppose your frozen snapshot calls "Iceman".
    The freeze storage is normally stored in the file "Freeze Storage.arx".
    The folder where the file "Freeze Storage.arx" is stored, is defined in the folder setting of the Tools/Options/Freeze-screen.

    During reboot a copy/update (= restore) FROM Freeze Storage.arx TO frozen snapshot "Iceman" occurs.
    In other words the frozen snapshot "Iceman" = "Freeze Storage.arx", which means it's clean again.

    Since the Freeze Storage.arx is nothing but an archived snapshot, you can use any .arx-file as a freeze storage in theory.

    1. Remove the actual Freeze Storage.arx.
    2. Copy/paste any other .arx-file to the same location
    3. Rename the .arx-file into Freeze Storage.arx.
    After reboot your frozen snapshot "Iceman" = Freeze Storage.arx = .arx-file of your choice.

    Of course this procedure is not a standard procedure for average users, but it allows you to reboot DIRECTLY in any archived snapshot.
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik

    That is devilishly clever. I think the boundary of idea's for use of FDISR just got another shove outward.

    Pete
     
  21. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Unfortunately it remains a workaround and I don't really like workarounds.
    Maybe if we think longer, it can be implemented in FDISR for normal usage.

    One thing is sure, FDISR is a very versatile software created with intelligence and does a very complicated job in a very simple way. The rest is upto the user's imagination.
     
  22. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    What strikes me, is that FDISR is able to restore archived snapshots before Windows even starts and the Freeze Storage.arx is the living proof of that possibility.
    Instead of showing normal snapshots in the Pre-boot Screen only, it must be possible to show archived snapshots in the Pre-boot Screen as well, restore them and reboot in them.
     
  23. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I think technically that sure would be possible, but I'd still be very surprised if Leapfrog did that. I say that not based on the technical situation, but a marketing decision.

    Remember we of the security forums are probably a very small part of the market, and while good for wringing these products out, no software vendor would probably survive on sales to us. They rely on corporate and other instutitutional sales. Think of the biggest users of a "freeze" function. The last thing the would want is option's to boot into different archives. So then there would have to be a way to lock that out, and on it goes.

    Hopefully Erik for your need, I am wrong, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Pete
     
  24. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Well this change wouldn't be easy anyway.
    Except for the freeze storage.arx, all my other archived snapshots are stored on my external harddisk and I don't want that harddisk on-line just for booting in archived snapshots.
     
  25. kennyboy

    kennyboy Registered Member

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    The fact that Eric has come up with this idea of being able to boot from ANY archive brings a whole new dimension to this program for me.
    Many Thanks
     
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