How can I test programs safely?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by TheMozart, Jan 5, 2012.

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  1. TheMozart

    TheMozart Former Poster

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    Unfortunately for me, I have Dynamic drives, so I am unable to make backup images and restoring them as no imaging program seems to support restoring Dynamic volumes.

    So now I must be careful with what I do in Windows 7 so I don't mess it up as I am then forced to do a complete factory restore :(

    So what's the best, free way to test new software to install without messing up my W7?

    And what's the best way to guard my W7 and that it runs smoothly and that no new bad program messes it up permanently?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    If you want to test a program the safest way to do it is a virtual machine. It's going to be hard on performance but it'll work.
     
  3. TheMozart

    TheMozart Former Poster

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    I cannot use Vm's as I don't have the original and proper W7 DVDs to install. I only have HP Rescue DVDs.

    Secondly, I want ability to install new programs or drivers and choose to keep them if they don't cause problems and I like them. But if anything causes problems, I want to revert back to original windows state.
     
  4. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    You can download Windows 7 legally and use your own product key.

    Without reimaging... IDK how to do this. Maybe shadow defender or something.
     
  5. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Can't you convert the drives to Basic disks? Then as HM advised you can use your key on a fresh install. I just found out about this latter info from HM last night :)
     
  6. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Ok Mozart, I'm beginning to see the picture... Even if you prefer staying with dynamic-disks, there must be disk-imagers that support dynamic-disks (although none of those may be free). Imho a disk-imaging app is so vital it's worth whatever it costs for peace of mind!

    As already mentioned, you can download a Win7 installlation iso and burn it to DVD, so I still think VBox is the way to go.

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  7. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    ShadowProtect will, but it's pretty big $$. Awesome product, though :)

    -http://doc.storagecraft.com/wiki/display/enSPguide/Supported+File+Systems

    Yep, agreed. If this dynamic disk scenario were my situation, come Heck or high water I would convert them to Basic, no matter what.
     
  8. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    It appears that the Acronis True Image Home Plus Pack is capable of supporting dynamic disks, with some limitations: http://kb.acronis.com/content/6533
     
  9. TheMozart

    TheMozart Former Poster

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    This was a fresh install, a completely new and fresh HP W7 rescue DVD restore, so the DVDs obviously created the Dynamic drives.
     
  10. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Right, I think the only way to convert them is to connect them to another machine and run a procedure similar to the one in the link...

    -http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/26829-convert-dynamic-disk-basic-disk.html

    I've no experience doing this so I can't say for sure it would work, although it looks like it should. All I can say is given the same situation as yours, I would give it a try, after making sure any data I need is backed up first, of course.

    EDIT

    check out Option 4 in that link. It uses the free Partition Wizard Home Edition, without loss of data.
     
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