Disaster Prevention 101

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by root, Sep 15, 2002.

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  1. root

    root Registered Member

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    Hi. I have been noticing lately a lot of people getting into trouble and finding they have to make some hard choices about what to do next. I thought I would offer a few suggestions about programs I have that I have found to be invaluable in keeping me out of trouble. As far as having to format and reinstall, I mean.
    First of all, I use a program called WinRescue. It will back up your registry and system files, so that, if you get the registry messed up during an uninstall or something strange happens, you can simply restore the registry and system files to the last state that you backed them up in.
    Example: I create a backup with Winrescue. I can then clean the registry with jv16 powertools and SystemSuite. Run a quick defrag with Vopt. Reboot and save the registry again. Now I can install a new program if I like. Try the program for awhile. Lets say I don't like it. Uninstall the program, then do a registry restore with the last saved registry in Winrescue. It will reboot the machine and my registry does not have 50 new entries left from the program I just uninstalled. None of the uninstallers remove all registry entries on an uninstall, so over the long haul, this stops a lot of useless entries from gathering in the registry. I backup my registry every morning first thing after logon. That way if something happens during the day, I can always restore back to that point quick and easy. I always backup before I run my registry cleaners too. I back up the registry before installing any programs.
    Winrescue can be found at http://www.superwin.com/ . It is not free, but there are free versions of similar programs around.

    Next thing is that I have partitioned my H/D so that I can make an image directly to my "D" drive. Imaging your "C" Drive and keeping a copy on another partition and/or on bootable CDs is the single best way to make restoring your OS an easy task. Just don't go too long in between images.
    I recently switched to Acronis TrueImage for my image making. It is awsome. It makes and restores from windows. No need to boot into DOS and work off a floppy. I love it. Can be found here. http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/
    A little pricey, but worth every penny to me. Restoring from an image can take about three hours usually to get everything back up to date. Format and clean install usually eight hours plus for me.

    Another program that I would not be without is RegRun. It watches for changes to major keys in the registry and warns when changes have been made. It is very handy for a quick look at registry settings for what is in the startup sections. You can make changes to the registry such as delete, pause, or start. I really use it a lot and would not be without it. Can be found at http://www.greatis.com/regrun.htm for the lite version and for the Suite here,
    http://www.greatis.com/regrun3.htm .

    I am not trying to cover every program I have here. Of course everyone needs a good antivirus, antitrojan, spyware checker and firewall. A good system cleaner like SystemSuite or System Mechanic is a must. I use Window Washer to clean up cookies, cache and Windows hidden files. There are many similar programs.
    What I want to stress is registry backup, image backups, and registry monitoring.
    Lately I have seen so many people getting bit by IE hijackers, spyware, and corrupted registries I just wanted to say something. If you can just restore your registry to a known good point for your current configuration, you can save yourself so much heartache. I can't tell you how many times I have used Winrescue to get me back up and running in less than three minutes. The alternative would have been to restore an image. That is better than a format and reinstall though.

    SO for me the deal is simple. I try to have good AV/AT/Firewall protection, but if it fails for some reason, I can bail out with my backups. No major disasters. No formats unless I want to try a new OS or start clean for some reason. WinRescue, Acronis TrueImage, and RegRun 3Gold represent the best of the best to me. If you cannot afford to have all three or do not like them for some reason, please, at least have three similar programs in your arsenal. You will be happy surfers if you do. :)


    PS Obviously there are a lot of people that already know this and even more about such stuff than I do. This is for those that are relatively new to the present state of affairs on the net and find themselves not knowing which way to turn when disaster strikes. Better yet, hopefully this will help someone divert disaster.
    If I have missed something pertaining to disaster prevention, or anyone wants to add to what I have suggested, I would welcome such input. I'm no expert, I'm just sharing what I have learned thru the school of hard knocks. :D
     
  2. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    a good program and life saver is GO back kinda newby frindly

    i use reg cleaner 4.3 by the same guy that makes jv16 powertools perty good
     
  3. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Root -

    KARMA COOKIE!

    Very, very good. I wish people would just understand the value of the image. I run into people all of the time that have had trouble with Norton Ghost and that turned them off. Ghost is DOS based, sometimes difficult and is hardly user friendly. But, it was one of the first (if not THE first) so people think "Ghost" when they hear "image," and they are turned off. But things have changed!!!!!!!

    I use Powerquest's Drive Image 2002 which sounds very similar to your imaging program, root. No DOS disks to create or restore an image if it's on another drive or partition.

    If people would just use this one tool --- a drive image utility --- they would save themselves a world of troubles. I image right after I do a clean install, finish tweaking the OS, the email client, browser, etc. Then, that's it! I image. That is my "barebones image" that I always know I can count on to restore - as opposed to reformatting -- if something goes horribly wrong. I then do it again with my "must-have" programs already installed and after it's up and running and I see that all is stable. Image #2. I will also image and use it just like a backup program naming one from today, for example, "091502backup" (the date).

    Your other tools couldn't have been better selected as a "preventive toolbox" and well, root - that was just a good post - period!

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  4. root

    root Registered Member

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    Thanks John. Looks like this isn't getting a lot of comments. I guess most people would rather post about how they hosed up their computers, now what do I doo_O No fun in preventing major system problems. :D
    Sigh! :rolleyes:
     
  5. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hey Root,

    You've got already a karma cookie from me for this excellent posting !!! You'll get another one ;)


    BTW: What would you think about a poll like:
    "What kind of software and hardware are you using for back-ups?"
     
  6. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    it be nice if you could post some free ware utlitys that back up your reg and is newby frindly

    great post by the way
     
  7. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    No comment doesn´t mean it wasn´t read and/or appreciated ;)
    I use Norton Ghost myself, but luckily so far System Restore was sufficient.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  8. Permit me then to add this old link at Wilder's which goes hand in hand with the Theme you have started here. You will find free programs there and other Members who have added to the thread entitled.....

    Realistic dangers for average Joe?

    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=2465;start=15

    And just like that thread Root, many still use that link..read it..I thank you for starting one that will be read by many people. Trust me. ;) ;)
     
  9. snapdragin

    snapdragin Administrator

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    points up at her Favourites

    i bookmarked it when you first posted it! :D

    thank you muchly root!

    snap
     
  10. root

    root Registered Member

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    Thank YOU, Snap.:)
    MyNethingyman, thanks for adding the link. It's a good post, that perhaps I should have added to it.
    Pieter, I was just trying to stir up some interest. Looks like it worked a little. ;)
    MRBLAZE, I will try my best to find a good, easy to use free registry backup program with restore functions. I can't tell you how much heartache that little program has saved me.
    FanJ, thank you very much. I think thats a good idea, but I have never messed with the poll feature. Those things intimidate me. :D
    I was thinking I should try to find some free programs that will do what I was suggesting, so I think I will do some searches and get back here with the results.
    I just find it so sad to see someone struggling with a problem for days and even weeks, when it could have been prevented simply with a backed up registry.
    Thanks everyone for helping keep this alive another day.
     
  11. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi Blaze,

    This might not be exactly what you're looking for, but this Symantec site describes how to backup your registry (with screenshots):

    How to make a backup of the Windows registry

    http://service4.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/199762382617

    It is only for Windows 95/98/Me, but for Windows NT/2000/XP it points to some pages from Microsoft.


    And here are the Microsoft pages:

    HOW TO: Backup, Edit, and Restore the Registry in:

    Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q322754

    Windows NT 4.0
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q323170

    Windows 2000
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q322755

    Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q322756
     
  12. crockett

    crockett Registered Member

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    Hi Root ;)

    Sorry I didn't reply to this post sooner.

    Very good advice. I think this type of post should be more common since it delivers very important infos in a short and focused space.

    I wrote a similar (although much smaller) effort in my August 31, 2002 post in http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=3312;start=0

    I also think people need some time to step in and follow/implement the kind of recommendations you made in your post.

    Not that they aren't interested - it's just that acquiring new habits can be a long road and may seem scary at times, especially as so many interesting programs and ideas are to be tried around here.

    I think it would be great if everyone here gave its top three recommendations in similar-in-kind posts.

    See you soon :)

    Crockett :cool:
     
  13. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Great post, root.

    I use Ontrack Fix-it to back-up the registry etc. Also, I rely on WinMe's restore function & [now that I installed M$'s patch] it worked just fine the 2 times I had to use it.

    Also, I use Total Uninstall [free] to monitor every install, & Bask [free] to back-up all my data files to an Iomega Zip file.

    Plus I pray a lot, and offer a daily sacrifice of a white chicken to a small statue of BG. :rolleyes:

    Shaloha.......bellgamin
     
  14. root

    root Registered Member

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    Thanks. All I'm trying to do is let the people that visit Wilders know that an ounce of prevention is really worth a ton of cure when it comes to computers.
    I have been to three other forums today and saw at least ten posts about problems that could have been fixed with one reboot to a backed up registry.
    I guess I should just leave the windmills alone. :D
     
  15. Great read....thanks!
     
  16. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    DITTO root.
    KC heading your way, coming to a screen near you, etc. lol
    Cheers, TAS
     
  17. craigbass76

    craigbass76 Registered Member

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    Image restore has something to do with making a system recovery cd, right?

    Is there a free version of a program that will do that?
     
  18. root

    root Registered Member

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    Hi craigbass76. Not really the same.
    A system recovery cd usually helps recover system files and tries to repair some damage done.
    You may also get a recovery cd from the computer manufacturer that will restore you C: drive to the state it was in when you purchased your computer.
    An imaging program will take a picture of whatever drive you choose and copy that picture to another drive on your HDD or on cds. This picture is an exact replica of the chosen drive, so that when you restore it, it takes your drive back to that exact state when you took the picture. You lose only the updates that have taken place since the picture was taken.
    I have a link somewhere to a free imaging program and I will hunt it down later an post a link here.
     
  19. root

    root Registered Member

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  20. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    Hmm. I suppose you need a lot of space for drive images?

    I'll just stay with registry backups and the backup stuff in Win2k..
     
  21. root

    root Registered Member

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    I use True Image and my 2.45 gig image is 1.21 gig. The compression can be set even higher.
    Please trust me when I say a registry backup, with other basic stuff backed up is not the same.
    My registry backup has saved me a lot of heartache, but occasionally, I have to restore an image.
    Happened to me just last week. I hit a website, that in an instant, corrupted every program I had running in memory.
    And I have js and vb scripting disabled. I use Opera and so it could not have been activex.
    The choice is yours. :D
     
  22. TEL

    TEL Registered Member

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    Hi Root

    Did you ever find out what hit you from that Website?

    TEL
     
  23. craigbass76

    craigbass76 Registered Member

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    Thanks root. I'm looking around for one.
     
  24. TAG97

    TAG97 Registered Member

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    I use Drive Image by PowerQuest. I've used it four times in the past year. It's a remarkable program that gets me out of trouble when everything else doesn't work. :oops: Four times isn't too bad in a year is it o_O
     
  25. root

    root Registered Member

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    If you mean restored an image four times in the last year, probably not to bad. Depends on why you had to restore I guess.
    I like to backup every 6 weeks or so because I install and uninstall a LOT of programs.
     
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