FD-ISR "1st Time User" Questions?

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Birdman, Jun 30, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Birdman

    Birdman Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Posts:
    571
    Hi,

    NEW user here as well. Just purchased FD-ISR a couple of days ago. Pardon my ignorance, but I have read the user manual and some things are still unclear. I would appreciate some help with the following questions:

    a) How do you UPDATE the "Primary Snapshot" with another snapshot?


    b) How many "Snapshots" are recommended?

    -currently I have TWO (1 daily update/backup snapshot and 1 weekly updated snapshot). The size of my HDD is 80GB, so is 2 enough?


    c) How do you refresh a BACKUP Snapshot before installing a new program/making changes to your system?


    d) I also use PERFECTDISK (latest updated version) to defragment my drive. Is it SAFE to perform an OFF-LINE BOOT DEFRAG with FD-ISR installed.....OR should you just use the "Smart Placement" option only?


    e) Is it recommended to ARCHIVE one of my Snapshots (ie my "Weekly" snapshot), or is this not really necessary?


    Sorry for all these questions. I just want to make sure that I fully understand this great program. Thanks in adavance for all your help and support! :)
     
  2. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    I'll answer a couple of them. To update the Primary Snapshot, boot yourself into another snapshot; from there you can use any Snapshot to update the Primary.

    How many Snapshots you have is totally up to you, the user; everyone is different.

    The later versions of PerfectDisk and FirstDefense work fine together, just make sure that your PerfectDisk is a later version:
    http://www.raxco.com/support/windows/fdisr/fdisr_faqs.cfm#16

    Good luck,
    Acadia
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,047
    A) Acadia answered
    B) Not sure the daily vs weekly makes sense to me. If you had one from a day ago, why would you normally keep one from a week ago. I'd just keep one snapshot say the one you update daily, and then if you have a reason to keep an older one, just archive the snapshot you want to keep on an external drive, and it won't waste space. Note you can't boot to an archive.

    C) To refresh before installing just do a copy from your primary snapshot to the backup snapshot. It will automatically add,delete and replace files as needed to make the backup snapshot the same as the primary. Then you can install something play with it, and if you don't like it make it go away.

    D) Acadia answered, but indeed you can use perfrect disk as though FDISR didn't exist and it will work "perfectly"

    E) Archiving gives you lots of flexibility. I refresh an archive daily so I can use it for recovery purposes. Also another example. I am playing with MS Office 2007 beta so I created an additional snapshot to use for doing so. Right now I am not doing anything with it so I archived the snapshot and took it off the system. Anytime I want to go back and play around with it, I can re create the snapshot from the archive.

    Pete
     
  4. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Birdman,
    It seems to me that you are using FirstDefense-ISR more as a backup software than an Immediate System Recovery (ISR) software.
    I'm not going to discuss that FD-ISR is a complete replacement for image/file backup software. Some FD-ISR-users have another opinion about that.

    How many snapshots do you need?
    After installing FD-ISR, you will have one snapshot, created by FD-ISR during the installation and based on your actual system partition [C:].

    FDISR-users usually create a second snapshot, when they are going to CHANGE their system partition.
    So they copy their first snapshot to a new snapshot and they reboot in that new snapshot.
    Each time I install a new software I use my second snapshot to try this software.

    If something goes wrong, I still have my first snapshot to recover my system immediately (ISR).
    In that case I will copy/update (= refresh) my first snapshot to my second snapshot and my second snapshot will be healthy again.
    After refreshing my second snapshot = first snapshot and I can use my second snapshot again for testing another software.

    If everything is alright after using it several days and I like the software very much.
    In that case I will copy/update (=refresh) my second snapshot to my first snapshot and my first snapshot will contain the new software.
    After refreshing my first snapshot = second snapshot and I can use my second snapshot again for testing another software.

    That's the basic principle and main purpose of FD-ISR : Immediate System Recovery.
    Windows System Restore works only when you are in Windows, FD-ISR can recovery your system OUTSIDE Windows and that's why FD-ISR is much better. There are stories enough of other members to confirm this.

    Some people like to test several softwares simultaneously, so they create additional snapshots for each software.
    It all depends on your personal needs and snapshots are not only created for testing softwares, they can be used for ANY reason that crosses your mind, that depends on your fantasy.
    Don't you worry about that, it's a learning process and one day you will understand FDISR completely and play with it, maybe much better than we do.

    Archived Snapshots?
    Archived Snapshot is a way to archive NORMAL snapshots, which are stored in .arx-files.
    You can do this in TWO different ways.
    1. Copy an existing snapshot to a new archived snapshot. (.arx)
    2. Export an existing snapshot to a new archived snapshot (.arx)
    They both result in an .arx-file.
    The main advantage of .arx-files is that you can store them
    1. on another partition than [C:]
    2. on external harddisk
    3. on one or more DVD's
    4. on one or more CD's
    It's upto to choose the right backup medium. The number of archived snapshots is unlimited.
    The number of normal snapshots is limited to maximum 10 snapshots and can only be stored on your system partition [C:]

    Very good reasons for using archived snapshots are :
    1. To save space on your system partition
    2. To store lesser used snapshot somewhere else until you need them back.
    3. To store snapshots as a backup.

    Archived snapshots can be restored in new snapshots.
    You can do this in TWO different ways.
    1. Copy an existing archived snapshot (.arx) to a new snapshot.
    2. Import an existing archived snapshot (.arx) to a new snapshot.

    Activity Wizards?
    Whatever you do in FDISR there is always a wizard to do the job and these wizards are very smart.
    The copy/update wizard will only give you VALID source snapshots and VALID destination snapshots, that are approperiate to do the job. The same for freezing snapshots, booting in snapshots, remove snapshots, etc.
    FDISR will never give you a source/destination snapshot that is impossible.
    So all possible valid snapshots and options (new, archived) are mentioned for each activity.

    Good luck :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2006
  5. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,850
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
  6. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,850
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Hello Birdman,

    You asked about archives, and I understand that you are looking for suggestions, like a cookbook for FD-ISR.
    This is how I use archives:
    I have two internal harddisks in my system and I use the first disk (80 GB) for the Windows system partition. The second disk (160 GB) holds the personal data of all accounts (My documents. Outlook Express, Address Book, Desktop, Favorites, downloaded music/software/updates and projects). The second disk also holds the FD-ISR archives.

    Archives function in my organization as templates and backups, while each of the snapshots lives their own life.
    So, I have an archive of a fresh installation, with security updates and latest drivers, I call that Archive of OEM.
    Whenever I decide to do something different or start over, I use the OEM to create a new snapshot and go from there.
    I also have an archive that holds a complete installation, I call that Archive of Complete.
    I update that archive when I installed software updates. Whenever I need to restore, I use that archive.
    I have archives for Windows 2000-sp4, Windows XP Home-sp2 and Windows XP Pro-sp2 (don't ask)

    Like I said, all snapshots are different, one has Antivir, the other has F-Prot, a third has TrendMicro Security Software.
    Again, just examples to give you an idea. I'm testing antivirus software in this example.
    You want to play with MS Office 2007 public beta? Create a snapshot and install there. Don't like what you got? Reboot in another snapshot and gone is your frustration.

    Anyway, I wanted to give you my recipe for your FR-ISR cookbook.
     
  7. Birdman

    Birdman Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Posts:
    571
    Acadia, Peter2150, ErikAlbert and wilbertnl....THANK YOU very much for your time, expertise and detailed instructions.

    This looks like an amazing software and I'm glad that I invested in it! :)

    So IF I'm going to test out a new program or update another....

    I UPDATE my Secondary snapshot (with the PRIMARY), then REBOOT to the Secondary and install the new program.

    QUESTION: By doing this, will the PRIMARY snapshot still remain the same or will it now reflect the Secondary snapshot?

    Now IF I don't like the newly installed program, then I can just reboot back to the PRIMARY (pre-install), right?

    But IF I like the changes, then I should copy/update the Secondary to the PRIMARY and then REBOOT into the PRIMARY snapshot?

    Hopefully I am on the right path here? Please let me know. Thanks once again. You guys rock!!!
     
  8. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    No, the Primary Snapshot will remain as it was.
    Correct.
    Correct, this is one way of doing it. ;)

    Acadia
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,047
    Yes the primary will remain the same, and yes if you like the changes you would copy/update the primary and then reboot to it.

    Note You can do what you are talking about several ways.

    Once you first refresh your secondary so they both are the same. You can

    a) boot to secondary and install test software there like you said or
    b) install software in the primary snapshot. If you like it and want to keep it, just do another refresh of the secondary. If you don't like it boot to the secondary and refresh the primary. This is totally flexible.

    But let me give you another example of when you really fall in love with FDISR. I installed one to many beta updates without enough time between them. On the last one when I went to log in I got the Windows Activation screen, and it wouldn't let me log in. OOPS!!!. I rebooted into my secondary and refresh the primary. This got rid all the offending problems, and I redid it properly with no problem. It's times like this that FDISR just brings a warm smile to your face.

    Pete
     
  10. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,850
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Birdman,

    I like to think of snapshots as virtual partitions, with each snapshot containing their own installation.
    Other forum members might disagree with my take of snapshots. :)

    So, each snapshot is absolute separate from the others, and you make them identical with copy/update.
    This also means that when you install whatever in snapshot #2, and you boot into snapshot #1 to copy/update from #1 to #2, that the installed whatever in #2 will be removed.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.