FDSIR trial has hosed My Documents!

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by pink emu, Jun 22, 2008.

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  1. pink emu

    pink emu Registered Member

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    At the suggestion of someone very experienced with FDSIR, I downloaded a trial of the PC version, did a plain vanilla default install, created a BACKUP area with only My Documents and *.tmp, configured as anchors. All fine with no errors. It rebooted out of the Copy/Update operation into the regular Windows ORIGINAL area. Later I rebooted on purpose into the BACKUP area, downloaded a software beta to play with it, fiddled around a bit, then tried to reboot back into my ORIGINAL location, and FD wouldn’t allow. Even though I let the Preboot delay pass without action, it rebooted me back into BACKUP.

    I thought about this and realized that once installed, it couldn’t let the BACKUP area remain different than the ORIGINAL area, although it doesn’t discuss its policies in the User Manual (and yes, I have RTFM, several times). So I did another Copy/Install, which was much briefer, and noted it only changed files I had been using, such as the new download, browser cache, etc.

    BUT, FD was still hi-jacking every boot attempt to the BACKUP area. I filed a support ticket with horizonsdata.com, and got a fast request for the default logs, which I sent yesterday, but so far no other response.

    I uninstalled and reinstalled, completely. New install repeated the same hi-jacking and I also noticed the anchored My Documents folder was not accessible in the backup area. Didn't check it the first install but aaaarrrggh!

    Finally, I did a second uninstall. When it unwound it did not restore the anchored My Documents folder, and THAT is a REAL disaster! This FDSIR trial has apparently hit me a HARD blow. The entire 2 GB My Documents folder that I had anchored, is GONE! :argh:

    So far no further tech support response from HDS. I have scanned the C:\ disk free space from a data recovery application in another drive and can recognize many references to paths to My Documents but see no obvious way to reconstruct the folder yet. I’m going to try booting to the UBCD for Windows and look at the drives from outside Windows.

    I’m not a newbie at all, but this is my first experience with this application. Do any of you folks experienced with this have any ideas or suggestions?

    TIA

    Pinky
     
  2. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Hello Pink Emu, in order that the more experienced members here can perhaps help you out, can you give a bit more information?

    Which exact version of the software FDISR are you using?

    What is your operating system?

    Are you saying that when you were in backup, and wanted to get back into primary you did not make any choice from the preboot selection?
     
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    He is using FDISR PC Rescue, that I know for sure.
     
  4. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    What you call the original location, is the Active Snapshot and the BACKUP area is the Rescue Snapshot. I know that FDISR PC Rescue calls it BACKUP, which is quite confusing, they better call it RESCUE.

    What I don't understand is that you install a beta software in the Rescue Snapshot, which is wrong. You have to install this beta software in the Active Snapshot and when you want to get rid of the beta software, you have to copy/update from the Rescue Snapshot to the Active Snapshot and that will remove the beta software from the Active Snapshot.
    Your Active Snapshot is your WORK snapshot for daily usage and your Rescue Snapshot is the one that will save you if you have problems in the Active Snapshot.

    I'm not saying this is the cause of your problems, but you certainly don't use it right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  5. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    That is logical, because when you reboot without using the F1 key in Pre-boot, you will boot in the current snapshot, which was at this moment the Rescue Snapshot (= BACKUP)
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Pink emu,
    I hope you have an image of your system BEFORE using FDISR PC Rescue.
    1. Restore that image.
    2. Install FDISR PC Rescue, which will create the Active Snapshot
    3. Anchor the folder "My Documents".
    4. Copy/update from Active Snapshot to Rescue Snapshot, to create the Rescue Snapshot.

    The normal usage is :
    1. Use your Active Snapshot for daily work and when your Active Snapshot is clean, copy/update from Active Snapshot to Rescue Snapshot at the end of the day, to keep your Rescue Snapshot up-to-date and clean.
    2. Use your Rescue Snapshot to save your Active Snapshot, if your Active Snapshot is in trouble or needs to be cleaned.
     
  7. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Don't depend too much on support of HDS. If you are not a company, just a plain user, you are placed at the end of the row for support.
     
  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I have no explanation for this and I don't use FDISR PC Rescue either, I use the full FDISR. I can only assume that your fooling around with FDISR PC Rescue was the reason. Normally this shouldn't have happened.
    I never used anchor either, because I separated my system from data.
    1. System Partition [C:] = Windows + Applications + FDISR of course.
    2. Data Partition [D:] = documents, spreadsheets, emails, email-address-book, ... anything I don't want to lose.
    This way I don't need any anchoring and I can have separate backups/restores for system and data. I also have total freedom in my system partition without being worried of losing data.
    It's also safer for your data than storing your data on the most attacked partition [C:] by malware.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  9. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Why would you want to anchor your *.tmp files? Or did you add My Documents into the area that says, however it is worded, that they would NOT be copied. (*.tmp is already listed there as a default). If that is what you did, adding My Documents into the area that lists *.tmp, then that explains what happened; My Documents were never copied, you would have told the program not to copy them. (I don't remember the exact screens or wording since I am at a pc that does not have ISR on it).


    Acadia
     
  10. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Acadia,
    You might be right, on the other hand he is talking about anchors.
    Maybe he did indeed add my documents in the area where *.tmp is mentioned and considered this as anchoring or he anchored wrongly.
    Anything is possible with a first time user of FDISR PC Rescue.
    From what I read in his original post, I can only conclude that he doesn't know how to use it. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Guys I think what happened is this.

    Anchoring was set from working snapshot, there for My documents was attached to workng snapshot. Uninstall was done from backup snapshot, so it was kept and working snapshot was deleted, taking my documents with it. But from what I understand Pinky wasn't able to at all boot back to the workng snapshot.

    Hopefully Todd will step in.
     
  12. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Still don't understand why anyone would want to anchor their TMP files.

    Acadia
     
  13. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    As far as my new experience with the Rescue version goes, the 2 snapshots are completely interchangeable: Whether you use the 'original' or the 'backup' for whatever test you are doing it's the same. Copying/updating from one to the other achieves the same results as long as one keeps track of what is happening chronologically speaking. If you are booted in the 'backup' snapshot, and activate the command to boot to rescue area, it will consider 'rescue' the original snapshot. There is absolute symmetry of operation between the two snapshots.

    What happened to me earlier is that I completely misunderstood the concept of anchoring data, and after anchoring 'Documents', I deleted it in the backup snapshot to save space not realizing that in doing so it would disappear from the original too. Well ShadowProtect rectified my mistake within minutes.
     
  14. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    You are right about 2 snapshots are completely interchangeable in theory, but each snapshot has a specific purpose. I would never install a beta software in my Rescue Snapshot, like the OP did, that is not the purpose of a Rescue Snapshot.
    Of course you can do whatever you want in both snapshots, but then you have to know exactly what you are doing and it will become more complicated, when both snapshots are losing their purpose.

    Suppose your system uses 10gb and My Documents (= data) uses 90gb.
    If you don't anchor My Documents the size of both snapshots = 10gb+90gb = 100gb x 2 snapshots = 200gb in total
    If you anchor my Documents the size of both snapshots = 10gb x 2 snapshots = 20gb + 90gb = 110gb in total.

    The only thing you have to do is using the function "Data Anchoring" and tell FDISR to anchor "My Documents".
    After that the complete folder My Documents won't be included in the snapshots anymore and that will reduce the size of your snapshots of course.
    You don't have to remove "My Documents" in any snapshot, just anchor My Documents and do nothing else.

    If you don't anchor, you have two sets of "My Documents" with a separate updating and that is also dangerous, when snapshots are losing their purpose.
    If you anchor "My Documents", you have only one set of "My Documents" with only one updating and that makes it possible to update "My Documents" in each snapshot.

    My standard recommendation is anchoring "My Documents", because data grows and grows until the size of your snapshots is too large and then you have to anchor anyway. Anchoring is a LONG TERM solution until your HDD is full.
    My favorite solution is separating system from data and then you don't need anchoring anymore.

    What happened to the OP has no other explanation, than a bug in FDISR PC Rescue, unless he deleted My Documents himself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  15. pink emu

    pink emu Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    Two things:

    1. THANKS so much for the comments.
    2. I recovered My Documents by using the Universal Boot CD for Windows and its recovery tools, and not waking up the installed Windows at all. Then I moved that folder off the system drive to the data drive and made a backup copy. Guess I have to get serious about installing a dynamic backup system, ‘cause THIS kind of crash recovery is a royal PITA.

    I just discovered all your responses, so let me digest them, some other posts, my recovery notes and logs, and get back to you with a concise list of steps of how I got into this, to see if it can be duplicated with a dummy My Documents file to anchor. I think I can tell already from your posts at least one thing I did that may have caused the My Documents folder not to anchor, but don’t see why that would have DELETED it! According to the Help file, the default (no F1) reboot should return the user from Rescue to Original. I actually did it both ways. I pressed F1 and selected N and the response message was “You will be rebooted to Windows” which I assumed was to the ORIGINAL. All combinations of F1 and Y or N led back to the RESCUE partition (sandbox) (snapshot).

    I’m making a list of questions to resolve. I can tell you there are some totally conflicting opinions about how to use this application out there, and I think the install instructions and new user info on the HDS site need to be revisited. I’m actually a retired University Lecturer in Computer Science, but it was my maiden voyage with FDISR. I’m trying to get up the nerve to try this again! ;)

    Thanks again,

    Pinky
     
  16. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    "Advanced users can also use the Rescue Area as a "sandbox" in which to test applications or other system changes. Simply boot to the BACKUP build and try the change. When done testing, boot back to the ORIGINAL build and refresh, with the Copy/Update command, to remove the changes made to the BACKUP build" From the FD-ISR Rescue product manual.

    They actually advise to use the backup snapshot as a sandbox. What is not clear from the manual is the symmetry of operation of the 2 snapshots. I agree that one should develop a personal protocol to avoid mistakes and the tray icon should tell you constantly in which snapshot you are in (the only way to know is to open the gui).

    Anchoring 'Documents' is clear to me now after my mistake, and in my situation it's very useful when I image my C drive (single partition) as the ShadowProtect image is not so huge (anchoring saves about 8 GB of image data).

    I think the OP must have made a mistake somewhere, if it is a bug only time will tell.
     
  17. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    There are no conflicting opinions and certainly NOT with FDISR PC Rescue.
    Each snapshot has a very specific purpose and you can't change that purpose.
    The Active Snapshot is your work snapshot and the Rescue Snapshot (BACKUP) is there to save you, if your Active Snapshot is in trouble or needs to be cleaned.

    It's very important to keep your Rescue Snapshot MALWARE-FREE and you can only do this by cleaning your Active Snapshot BEFORE you do a copy/update from Active Snapshot to Rescue Snapshot.
    You can't freeze your Active Snapshot either and that means you need a strong security in your Active Snapshot to keep it malware-free. Possible solutions are Returnil or DeepFreeze, if they are compatible with FDISR PC Rescue.

    FDISR PC Rescue is too simple and you only have 2 snapshots to make Immediate System Recovery possible, so you have to be alot more carefull with these 2 snapshots, otherwise you won't have ISR anymore.

    There might be another way of using these 2 snapshots independently from one another with a different kind of updating, but I have to think about this first, because I have no practical experience with FDISR PC Rescue.
    I have at least a rough idea, how to do this in a much better way than the recommended standard way of using FDISR PC Rescue.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  18. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Pinky,

    Most forum members here have experience with a previous release of FD-ISR with more features than Horizondatasys is offering.
    From your message I would agree with Acadia that your actions seem to exclude your documents folders, as opposed to sharing them between original and backup.

    Why your systems persists in booting into the backup snapshot remains unclear. I would like to know more about that.
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik, this is your view of it, but necessarily factual. In fact you can use either snapshot as you like, it just doesn't matter. All that matters is you keep it straight in your own mind.
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Pinky

    One of the things about FDISR, and this still applies to a degree with Rescue, is there are a lot of different ways to use it.

    But you are right about one thing. You want an imaging solution to go with it. Saves a lot of pain on many fronts.

    Pete
     
  21. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Thanks for teaching me FDISR PC Rescue. :rolleyes:
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    It's no different then the original FDISR before they had archives, and using just two snapshots.
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Do you really think I'm not aware of this after using FDISR for 2 years ? Teach the OP, not me. :)
     
  24. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik, you may know FDISR, but your posts are misleading. You state your usage as being fact for the program, ie, the only way it works. For example.
    . This may be your opinion, but it simply isn't true.

    Pete
     
  25. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    The OP is a first time user, so you don't start telling him that it doesn't matter which snapshot is the Active or Rescue one.
     
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