Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Leapfrog Software, Jan 25, 2006.
Also, is it ok to have True Image installed at the same time? TI some kind of Zone where it keeps copies of the hard drive and you can access it on boot up but I never use it. But can I have TI installed so I can make images sometimes to save on another hard drive? Will it conflict?
I've always been very reluctant to use programs which change the MBR because once I re-installed Windows without 1st uninstalling Goback and my PC got stuck at the GoBack menu and at that time I had to take it to a store to have it removed and it cost me $55. What happens if I forget and restore an image from TI over my C drive without 1st removing FDISR?
WC, hopefully Peter can answer that one for you. I have both on my system and I have MADE lots of images with TruImage but have never had to RESTORE any ... because of FirstDefense!
This is just a little info about something that happened to me five days ago. I just bought a new computer the 7th of march and I had several snapshots created with a different antivirus installed on each one. I decided to remove computer associates Internet security suite off of the third snapshot. when I deleted the Ca av it needed to reboot so after the reboot I got a black screen saying a sys.HAL.dll was missing and it could not find the operating system. No problem I rebooted so I could just pick another snapshot and be back to normal, well that didn't happen. When I did the F1 procedure to get to the other snapshots I got the message that FDISR encountered an error and could not open. I tried several times with the same results. the uninstall of the ca av hosed my whole system, even the restore discs I created were not recognized anything on the Hdd was not assesable anymore. The maker of my comp. sent me another XP OS disc and I had to completely replace the os with a another fresh one. The moral of the story is don't ever uninstall ca av and don't have blind faith when it comes to the information you have stored on your comp. Even with all of the back up programs and even with FDISR which I really do like a lot you still have the chance of loosing it all. If the makers of my comp had not sent me a new XP os disc I would have been out a couple of hundred dollars for a new copy of XP.
This is not a rant against any product just a heads up that even with all of the software available windows can still kick you in the butt.
Should this be reported to FirstDefense? As I understand it, unless the MBR is hosed, FirstDefense should work no matter what! I am a bit puzzled by this.
When this happened I even lost the bios screen on boot up that allows you to choose safe mode and entry to the bios so I don't think even FDISR had a chance. I had ca av do something sort of like this before but sys restore fixed it but this time it really did a job. The FDISR screen displayed but it could not open the program as the hdd was not assessable. It is the first time I have seen a comp react just like this in the several decades I have been repairing them, It just shut down the Hdd and that was it.
So it's unsafe to uninstall software while using FDISR?
How would I get my machine up and running if it couldn't boot and I couldn't uninstall FD?
Generally NO. But, it would be prudent to disable the pre-boot if you're going to do installation/uninstallation of programs which modify your MBR or if backing up/restoring with some other backup/imaging software.
I have uninstalled and installed lots of software with FDISR installed. But the program that caused my problem has caused me problems even before FDISR had been put on my comp. I think FDISR is one of the best softwares available.
I am awesome at checkers, but I suck at chess. Maybe my mind is just way too simple.
Anyway, if you are anything like me Dave, the moment you come to realize the capabilities of this software you will gain a huge amount of confidence. It shifts the paradigm.
Lets see if I can remember all the questions.
1) Re true image, I don't have any problem, but I didn't and wouldn't install the Acronis Secure Zone. Seems pointless to have the images on the same drive. I've always disabled preboot when taking images. I don't ever normally see any reason to restore an image with FD. I don't think it's an issue with restoring a new drive.
I would never disable preboot installing or uninstalling software. That would be self defeating in my opinion. Also I would never ever ever install a 2nd program that modifies the MBR. That almost ensures disaster.
I've trashed my system to the point that I couldn't even get to safe mode, but the preboot intercept still worked and I could boot to another snapshot.
Even with the current problem I am having with FDISR on my desktop(It wouldn't boot to another snapshot) it still boots windows. Sounds like CA may have trashed the first couple of tracks and wiped out the mbr. Mental note to self. Scratch CA.
I normally wouldn't either, but I would if installing another program that modifies the MBR -- I know you wouldn't do that Pete.
Well, "different strokes....", as they say. I have BootitNG and FDISR installed on my machine and that's never been a problem. I disabled FDISR's pre-boot before installing BING and re-enabled it afterwards. Now, if I want to boot into BING, I disable FDISR's pre-boot, reboot and there it is. I've done successful restores with both programs.
Granted, with BING using EMBR, maybe there's something special about that allowing co-existence w/ FDISR, I don't have a clue. All I know is that it works fine.
Maybe BING is the ONLY program that allows this and that practice is otherwise risky.
I'm still struggling to understand what FirstDefense ISR actually does.
I use Acronis TI once a week to create a full image, and every other day to create an incremental image. The images are stored on a second hard drive. So, I can always go back to "yesterday". I do this on each of my 3 PC's. Plus, I use EMC Retrospect once a week to do a file-by-file backup of all three PC's (over the network) to my NAS box.
How would I benefit from FD ISR?
I am familiar with programs that you mention (TI & EMC), but have never used either of them, although I have read about them and I have heard what people say about them. They seem to be very good softwares. That being said, I think you would save a lot of time using FD-ISR. When I say that, I meam that you will save time when you create you "incremental backup" and if you ever have to restore your system.
Hopefully, someone with more first hand knowledge of your programs will give you a more detailed answer.
To give you an example, let me give you a couple of scenario's and think what you'd have to do in each one.
1) Your system boots up almost all the way and then BSOD's. Does this
2) You can't log in at all but can boot to safe mode.
3) You can't even boot into safe mode.
4) You are running a registry cleaner and the system freezes. You have to
do a power reset. Result is UGLY.
I've had each and every one of these experiences. To fix everyone of them all I do is reboot, and right at boot hit F1 and select my rollback snapshot and boot into that. Then do a snapshot refresh fixing my primary snapshot, and boot back into the primary. Whole thing takes less then 5 minutes.
In the normal course of working, before any significant system changes, I just refresh my secondary snapshot which takes less the 5 minutes. You can have up to 10 snapshot.
Additionally you can have Archives on external disk drives. You can refresh back and forth with these. I also use them as an alternative to traditional imaging. Best part, is using them as a backup tool you can test non destructively. Another words restore an image and it wipes your drive. If the image fails you are ....... You can test a FDISR snapshot without that risk.
Hope this helps a bit.
You can use a Snapshot to experiment with different softwares, potential new anti-virus or new browsers, have completely different configurations of your system. The Snapshots remain separated from one another and cannot effect each other, so you can experiment to you hearts content without fear of hosing your system, and this is NOT a virtual reality program; whatever Snapshot you are in at the time is your REAL c:drive, not a virtual c:drive.
I do understand your struggle, bcronin.
For recovery or test purposes I also use Acronis TrueImage or Farstone Restore-it.
ISR is different because it actually creates an exact copy of your current installation (files and settings) on your disk. And you are able to select that copy to boot from anytime.
Because the copy is already there, you don't need to re-image your system.
That is where the 'Immediate' in ISR comes from.
You would be able to schedule daily updates of your copy and weekly archives to an external drive. All automatic if you want.
I find the term snapshot confusing, because to me that is fixed in time, like a screen snaphot. I prefer to think of it as virtual partition.
Impressive piece of software. Looks like I'll have to format my drive and a make a 'virgin' archive and snapshot, just to make it as bugfree as possible.
I'm not sure if it's the theme I'm using or not, but it doesn't seem to work with FDISR (or vice/versa), only if I use the regular one in XP.
Anyways I'm gonna try out my new toy, see what it can
I'm having the same experience with different xpstyles as well.
Seems like FD-ISR isn't themes friendly.
Windowblinds users have the option to exclude a program from skinning.
As I said before any image backup software is a boring software, but a MUST in your system. If I ever have to choose between image backup software and snapshot software, I keep my image backup software. Of course I will never have to make that choice.
I choosed "Acronis True Image + FirstDefense-ISR", but it could have been "BootItNG/IFW/IFD + RollbackRx".
For me it was very important that ATI was able to backup/restore my system partition, including all my FDISR-snapshots without any problem and although I had problems in the beginning, due to "me" (not ATI/FDISR) all these problems are gone.
There was a short period, in which I believed that I had to enable/disable my FDISR Pre-boot Screen during ATI-activities, but that isn't true. I never enable/disable my Pre-boot Screen in FDISR during any ATI-activities, because it's simply unnecessary.
There was a short period, in which I believed that the primary snapshot was different from other snapshots (02 upto 10) and that it was essential to keep it, but that wasn't true either. All snapshots are EQUAL. If there is one special snapshot, it's the ACTIVE snapshot and that can be any snapshot (01 upto 10).
There was a short period, in which I believed that the primary snapshot was determinative for your system partition, when you UNinstalled FDISR, but that wasn't true either. Your ACTIVE snapshot is determinative for your system partition, when you remove FDISR completely from your system partition and REMEMBER this if you don't want to lose any installed software.
There was a short period, in which I believed that you could have more than one frozen snapshot, also that isn't true. There is only ONE frozen snapshot possible, which can be an ACTIVE snapshot (green) or an INACTIVE snapshot (yellow), but you can NEVER have two or more frozen snapshots. This was a problem for me in my plans, but I found another solution to freeze more than one snapshots.
All this has been tested by me personally and I do NOT expect from other members to believe me, test it YOURSELF and if you are able to prove the opposite, I'm all ears.
There isn't much difference between "Archive/Restore" and "Import/Export", they both work with .ARX-files (= Archived Snapshots), UNLESS you are planning to use DVD/CD's as a backup/archive medium, which is IMO a bad idea.
I also use DVD/CD's as a backup/archive medium, but always as a TEMPORARY or SECOND one, never as a MAIN one.
Another internal harddisk and certainly an external harddisk or removable harddisks are the only reliable backup media for harddisks IMHO.
Don't trust DVD/CD packet writing, like DirectCD (Roxio) or InCD (Nero), BURN your DVD/CD's. Packet writing (DVD/CD) looks very good and handy, because you have the same possibilities with DVD/CD's as a floppy diskette, but my experience is that packet writing is less reliable, than burning DVD/CD's.
Except for the Import/Export-function (= Archive/Restore-function for me), I'm going to use any other function of FDISR in the near future.
ATI is too boring for me, but FDISR is a very interesting software that requires imagination and intelligence.
I'm still thinking about how to use FDISR, but my intuition tells me there is alot more than just using FDISR for testing new softwares and getting out of trouble, when something goes wrong. Every experienced FDISR-user knows for sure that FDISR does a better job than Windows System Restore and we all have examples enough, where Window System Restore would have failed.
Frankly, I'm not surprised that experienced member "Acadia" uses all 10 snapshots, I'm not that far yet, but I need already three PERMANENT snapshots in my mind.
One thing I know for sure : anyone who ditches FDISR is CRAZY.
The more Snapshots, the larger the playground!
It depends how much space you have. With more space available to you, you can afford to create extra snapshots, but then it also depends why you want to do that. Some people just use the program as a backup - one main snapshot and a backup snapshot. Others want to test software so create snapshots in order to do so, limited to the space they have.
TonyW is correct. It obviously depends upon your c:drive size. Obviously, you must figure ten times whatever. Enjoy as many of the 10 bootable Snaps as you can!
I just started using the FDISR trial (as soon as I get home I'm going to order a copy). I plan on using it to test and fiddle around with security applications, beta software, and general disaster recovery. I also have Acronis True Image as well, though I will probably get less and less use out of that program now. I had been using it for testing, and it took a loooooong time to create and restore from.
I don't know if the users who asked about ATI and FDISR are still looking for answers, but hopefully I can help... As far as I can tell, when you create an image of a drive or partition, ATI includes a copy of the MBR in the image. So if you have an image that was created before FDISR was installed, and you want to restore it and be able to boot, you would tell ATI to restore the MBR along with the contents of the drive/partition. If you don't tell it to restore the MBR, you might have trouble booting. That would also mean that if you were to make an image of a drive that has FDISR installed and running on it, you would be able to restore the system back into the state with FDISR preboot running by restoring the image and the MBR.