HDD failure and recovery from external archive

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Longboard, Jul 23, 2006.

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  1. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Any comments;

    There has bee a lot of tooing and froing about FDISR and HDD failure.
    I fully understand "ISR" concept.

    However ,and correct me if I am wrong, I have been working on assumption that it is possible to recover a crashed HD using archive (or even snapshot)stored on external HD.

    I think we may have discussed this before.

    Scenario:
    Normal working in Primary HD... single 'C' partition for OS and apps, other partitions for photos, videos etc

    -Image 'C'weekly to External HD with IFD/BING ( copy other partitions as req.)

    -Daily or more frequent refresh of secondaries on Primary HD and .arx file to External HD.

    -Have copies of photos, videos, old work data etc on External hd.

    AARRGGH; Primary HD software catastrophe :gack:

    NO OS !
    No data!

    SO THEN:
    Boot into primary internal HD with BING
    -partition (if req Pete :D ) nothing fancy just storage options.
    -restore image from external HD to 'C' but having forgotten to image last week now; 3 weeks out of date.

    BUT:
    -Now have functional OS and FDISR.
    -Fire up FDISR and go to .arx file on external HD which is <24hrs old.
    -Create new primary with .arx file.
    -Reboot.
    Yay.:D

    Is this plausible?
    I hope so. I have been sort of relying on this as a concept but not tested it yet. ( I probably could test a variant of this with BING and creating new boot partition to check restore with .arx; but too lazy :shifty: )

    Please comment.
    Regards.

    Ps in event of real hardware failure on Primary HD I suspect this may not be so simple! More like migrating to new HD and might require very different reinstalls of drivers and new mobo etc...., but in essence it may work even then?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2006
  2. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Yep, your concept of disaster plan should work.
    Hard disk replacement might only be a problem if you switch from PATA to SATA drives, but if the interface is identical, then no big deal.
    MOBO change most likely means a complete startover, but you still can restore all your personal data.

    Basically,
    step one: get Windows running again from image of from re-install. Make sure that you can access the FD-ISR archives.
    step two: Install FD-ISR.
    step three: restore snapshots.
    step four: [move]sit back and have a drink[/move]

    Are you ready to put the plan to test?
     
  3. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @wilbertnl
    Thanks.
    Do you think we could develop a concept/protocol for recovery after mobo/HDD meltdown that could include a role for FDISR?
    Will FDISR stretch that far?
    Would FDISR have a role to play in that event?

    ?Would need some help from imaging utility

    Gulp :eek:
    Yes will come up with a plan.

    Lbd.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    The biggest issue would be the same as with an image. You have a hardware failure and you replace it with different hardware, hence different drivers, but assuming you have a hard drive failure and replace it with the same drive you should be good to go. I've even thought beyond your scenario to the point of what if my disk images are bad, but I have an archive on an external USB drive.

    Steps in that scenario

    1. Recover machine with factory recovery disks, or install windows.
    2. Install drivers for external drives(I have CD's)
    3. Copy FDISR from external drive and install it.
    4 Make a 2nd snapshot from archive, and then boot to it.
    5 Refresh primary.
    6 :D


    The real key to testing this is simple. Just make a new snapshot from your archive and make sure you can boot to it. If you can there should be no issue.

    Pete
     
  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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  6. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Peter is right.
    It's very unlikely that you can load your current image in a different computer and boot with success.
    That only works when the hardware is identical.

    My practical test would be more drastic:
    If I want to check a functional plan, I would (after backing up) erase the partition table and go from there.
    This is also the way to find out how much time your disaster plan takes.
    Don't you want to know that?
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I just finished an interesting test to try and get a feel for this.

    At this point I am kind of like Erik Albert. New box with two internal drives. No external drive yet. But test is still valid.

    Start out I had two equally current FDISR snapshots on C: On D: I had an IFW image that I had restore tested, but it was several days old, and as I add stuff to the system it is changing daily. I also had one FDISR archive.

    Step 1.

    I did an IFD image, and restored it just as a fall back. I also did an update refresh of the Archive.

    Step 2.

    To be sure I had a valid Archive, I created a third Test Snapshot from Archive, and then booted to Test to ensure it was good. I then booted back to Primary. So now I have 3 current snapshots, a current IFD image, a current FDISR image, and a 3 day old IFW image.

    Step 3. I restored the 3 day old IFW Image. Sure enough I had a 3 day old C: drive with only 2 FDISR snapshots. I then noticed FDISR didn't recognize my archive and had to reset the archive location. I forgot that I hadn't made the archive at that point.

    Step 4 How you do this is optional, but I booted to my secondary snapshot, which of course was 3 days old. I "refreshed" my primary from the archive, and booted back to the primary, which now was as it had been when I started.

    Step 5 "Refreshed" my secondary snapshot, and voila I was totallly back as started.

    Hard to beat the level of confidence when you do these tests, and all works well.

    Pete
     
  8. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @Peter 2150

    Excellent!

    I have just been doing similar test:

    Restored image of usual working partition 'C' (with FdISR installed) from external drive to purpose created partition on internal drive with BING.
    Booted into that partition; no problem.
    Created snapshot from preexisting .arx on external drive .
    Booted to that new snapshot. :)

    Remarkable.
    Then wiped that partition.
    Booted back to usual 'C'.
    Love it.

    Apart from total destruction of both HD, would seem to have workable solution for most disaster recovery scenarios.

    Peter I see you have may also done the slight whoopsy with the FDISR preboot and yet with IFD/IFW/BING there is only a reboot for FDISR to find the $isr folder. Note that I do not install BING which may limit some functionality but does not mess with the MBR.

    Thanks to PW and you guys for introducing me to this utility :-*

    Heh, also V. happy to have found Terabyte. You guys may have known about it for some time but I'm pleased that others here have been willing to step outside the usual suspects and check it out.

    Regards
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Actually I never had a problem with the preboot. I sure wondered what was going to happen when I restored an image with two snapshot over the disk with 3. No issues at all.

    What's not to like.
     
  10. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    :thumb:
    Dont you ever sleep?
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    It's only 10PM here. Thats not to bad.:D
     
  12. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I can tell that you are both relieved and excited, now you finished the test with success.
    It's so important to have that experience, and that way you even discover little unexpected things, like Peter's location of the archives.

    Bravo!
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    If IFW/IFD is like ATI you can restore any image with or without FDISR on it.
    It doesn't matter what is on your actual system partition, it will be overwritten by the restoration.
    Even a formatted or wiped out with zeroes harddisk doesn't make a difference, IFW/IFD will restore it back as it was.
    I never touch the Preboot in FDISR either, it's always enabled.
    The more tests you do, the more confidence you get in IFW/IFD.

    EDIT:
    I just noticed that you need IFD to restore an IFW-image. I thought you could use IFW for both.
    In fact I needed PHYLOCK also to make an image with IFW. So you need three pieces of software.
    So I had to edit my post a little bit. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  14. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Only if you want to restore over your system partition, and cannot access any OS.
    BING will do this from floppy, like IFD.

    (Yes PHYLock is a remarkable app. Can even continue working while image underway, obviously none of the new work would be in the image.)

    IFW Can restore any other partition to any other partition as long as you can access OS.
    Can restore system partition to another partition and then you can rearrange boot.ini sequence or with BING move that restored partition to correspond to current boot.ini sequence. CAn crreate bootable rescue discs that will write to system partition.

    If you have mult-os setup then IFW can work from within any of the other OSs to restore your other system partitions.

    I think some of the original concepts with the Terabyte apps was based on smaller partitions with OS only (like you have) and then basically permanent boot CDcopies could be kept and or refreshed easily and very quickly.

    Fortunately they work with big fat partitions too :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Well, I don't like to use floppies and CD's to do a backup or restoration, too many inserts and forgotten ejects.

    I also don't like exceptions in backup/restoration and different ways to backup and restore either.
    I use the very same procedure for backup/restoration of my system partition and data partition, all programmed in scheduled tasks in order to avoid any manual mistake in choosing the source and/or target of backup or restoration. I start each scheduled task manually, which requires two mouse clicks.

    I also use FDISR as second backup solution, so I don't need IFW/IFD/PHYLock. Too primitive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  16. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    IFD is on a floppy. The images made by IFW or IFD are on a HD or a CD -- wherever YOU decided to put them. In my case, I put images on an external HD.

    Bottom line- Other than the IFD program disk itself (ONE single self-contained floppy) there are NO "inserts and forgotten ejects" that are inherent to use of IFD or IFW.

    It's so simple even a caveman can do it

    /s/ Alley Oop o_O :blink: :-* :-* :-* :blink: o_O
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I hope you've made and tested your recovery CD. Restoring from within windows as you now apparently can do with ATI is a neat feature, and apparently is working well for you. But for testing it's fine, however when the drive fails......

    Pete
     
  18. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    Can someone explain to me why I would want IFW/IFD if I have FD-ISR & ATI? I also use Genie Back Up for data.
    Is there an advantage to adding IFW/IFD?

    ...screamer
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    If you have tested restores with ATI like Erik has and are 100% satisfied with ATI you wouldn't.

    As to advantages of IFD/IFW. Simplicity which makes for reliablity. One measure of relative simplicity. Download of IFD and IFW is 2 files. Total of about 4.5 Meg max. Download of ATI is now 75Meg's

    Pete
     
  20. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    For me, it was a matter of circumstance. ATI, for some time, was unreliable for me and I couldn't afford the time going back through prior builds figuring out which build worked reliably for me. So, I dropped the $35 or whatever it was for the BING/IFW/IFD combination package.

    ATI has been straightened out somewhat since then but, too late, IFD/IFW has it's hooks into me. As I posted elsewhere, I use IFD/IFW on this laptop while away from home on assignment but still will use ATI on my home desktop, even though now I use Retrospect to nightly back up all of my home network (2 laptops+4 desktops).
     
  21. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    You hit the nail on the head, Bellgamin.

    Some people just don't like simple and straight ahead, they want to be challenged and be required to think. :D :cool: :D

    I'm impressed with the fact that IFD fits on a single floppy, Acronis TrueImage takes five floppies to do the same.
     
  22. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @peter2150
    What? Is that possible? Restore from system partition to same system partition?

    @screamer
    Probably not if everything is working for you. :cool:
    Just decide what you like and go for it.
    LOL Get caught in endless loop of backups ofthebackupsofthebackupsoftheback..........
     
  23. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    OK thanks Guys :)

    During my latest disaster (2 weeks ago) ATI & Genie came to the rescue and made my re-install that much easier. Guess I'll stick w/ what I've got for the time being.

    ...screamer
     
  24. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Longboard

    They do the same thing that Ghost 2003 does when you do a backup from windows. It reboots into a quasi DOS environment, and then does it's thing.

    Pete
     
  25. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Do you really think, I forgot to test my Acronis Recovery CD ? I mentioned this often at Wilders. Each time I create a new one, based on the latest build, I try it again, but after that I don't use it anymore.
    Anything can fail, floppy drive can fail, DVD/CD-drive can fail, internal harddisk can fail, external harddisk can fail, image backup file can be corrupted, archived snapshots can be corrupted, etc...
    You can scare everybody with these remarks, ...
     
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