How to set anchoring correctly?

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by ashwin, Nov 18, 2006.

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  1. ashwin

    ashwin Registered Member

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    Hello everyone

    I am using FDISR and have “anchored” “documents and settings”.

    Yes, now I’ve read the manual and it warns not to anchor the entire “user folder”…

    I just have the Primary and a Secondary snapshot.

    I’ve been using the secondary, thinking that if I corrupted it with a bad piece of software, I could boot to primary, and the offending software would not be present.

    I didn’t think any software I installed onto the Secondary snapshot would be in the Primary, as I was only anchoring “documents and settings“.

    I thought I could just use the install programs, saved in “my docs” to reinstall the software I wanted onto my clean Primary.

    1) I installed an offending software onto Secondary snap. It rearranged desktop icons on start-up, changed the start-up sequence so I’d have to do an extra click to begin, and changed the length of time before screen saver cycled….So I uninstalled it…..But I still have to do the extra click , and the screen saver still goes off too soon. The software corrupted my settings…

    2) I rebooted to Primary snap. The extra click to start the system is no longer needed so I‘m assuming the “settings“ are not corrupted on the Primary.

    What I was surprised to see were several other softwares on the Primary snap that I had only installed onto the Secondary snapshot.

    An exception was Lavasoft Ad Aware. I (finally) updated it the other day to Secondary, and it is NOT on the primary. The old version is.

    But I installed 9 other small softwares to the Secondary snap, and they are also now functioning on the Primary. I installed them all with an icon on the desktop. I expected to just have the icon, but without a functioning shortcut to the program itself… But they work, although with some “errors” (because they must be registered again?).

    BUT: Of the programs that were saved to the primary from the secondary, only some are now listed in “all programs” or the“install-uninstall” feature…..

    QUESTIONS

    1) There is one program I’d like to uninstall and then reinstall. It is on the Primary snap. It is functioning, but with an error. I don’t see how to uninstall. It is not listed in “all programs” or “install- uninstall” feature. How can I uninstall it? (not an FD ISR issue, but if anyone knows, please help.)

    (I’d like to use this snap as my primary, with this program installed. It’s the cleanest one- it was defragged, and was running smooth.)

    2) Can I just anchor “my docs” and “desktop” to avoid this in the future??

    3) Why are only some of the programs saved between snapshots?? Why was the Ad Aware software installation the only one not to be saved from the Secondary?

    3)I read people say they “refresh” their snapshots, but I didn’t see that term in the manual- am I missing it? What does it mean?

    4) Would it be better to just leave anchoring off, and “refresh” everyday?

    I currently also back up my docs to a cd (soon to be small external drive) and image the entire hard drive.

    Thanks for any help.

    Ashwin
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Couple of things since I always use the term refresh. I just use it in place of copy/update.

    On the anchoring. Probably what you really wanted to anchor was My Documents. Anchoring Documents and Settings is what caused the confusion. A lot of programs use folders under documents and setting, and also your desktop is there. I would remove anchoring on D and S and change it to My Documents.

    As to whether to anchor at all is personal. There are both pro's and con's

    Pete
     
  3. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    By anchoring Documents and Settings, you share all the user settings between snapshots, since you have anchored the user registry.

    The start menu is in the user registry, and now shared between snapshots.

    This is a feature that is introduced in build 169. Apparently files in inactive snapshots are now readable and executable.
    I think this is compromising the concept of FD-ISR.

    Probably setup information can be stored in either the user registry or the system registry. The system registry is not shared in your setup.

    Some programs let themselves uninstall by running the install program again and select remove/uninstall.

    Usually, when you defrag one snapshot, you defrag them all. Since they all reside in the same file system.

    Some users have a second partition where they store personal data, like My Documents, Address Book, Outlook Express storage, Favorites.
     
  4. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    REALLY?! :eek: This is news to me. I haven't been hanging around Wilders as much recently so may have missed something. Is this true, that programs located in other Snapshots can be "contacted" or actually function somehow while I am in a completely different Snapshot?

    If this is true, it really does compromise the "protective" features of FirstDefense. If programs can "jump around" then certainly a virus or other baddie could. Any more info that ya'll can supply on this would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    Acadia
     
  5. ashwin

    ashwin Registered Member

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    Thanks Pete and Wilbertnl

    This is a feature that is introduced in build 169. Apparently files in inactive snapshots are now readable and executable.
    I think this is compromising the concept of FD-ISR.


    Just to make sure I understand- Does this mean ONLY when anchoring is used? If so, I'll not use the anchoring.

    Thanks very much for your insights- What a great community at Wilder's.

    Ashwin

    PS I defragged before making the secondary snap! I had read defrag can make it harder for FD to find data...
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Same here. I hope WIlbertnl can explain to us where he learned this. Unless he is confusing the fact the I believe Xexplorer or something with a similiar name can see into the other snapshot.

    Pete
     
  7. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    You should only anchor certain kinds of DATA (not programs that make entries in the registry). My Documents, outlook.pst, Desktop are the basic ones. This assumes that most (or all) other DATA files are stored in a different partition, but if you only have one (c:), then you can place DATA into folders within My Documents (or set up another root folder c:\My Data).
    I do have one program that does NOT use the registry, had it for years, and I anchor its folder as well, because I want it available in all snapshots and it never changes.
    The anchoring feature is good, but you do have to understand what it should and should not be used for.
    For example, if you took the extreme position to anchor all of c:, then you wouldn't have multiple snapshots at all, just different snapshot names.
     
  8. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I'm not using any tricks other than creating a shortcut of some application that I know is installed in only one and not more than one snapshot.
    Store that shortcut anywhere so it can be reached from any other snapshot.
    Try to launch it in any snapshot that has the application not installed.

    Use for example a small simple application like Foxitreader. (Foxit Software)
     
  9. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Hoky smoke, Bullwinkle, if you ask me this is a bug and it needs to be fixed. A shortcut in one Snapshot SHOULD NOT be able to launch a program that is located in another Snapshot! :( You know, I hate to say this because I really like the features of the later versions, but the old version of FD always made me feel more secure somehow and I even stated that once to Raxco tech support.

    Acadia
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I just tried it and couldn't get it to work.
     
  11. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I have seen this behaviour in build 169 and I wonder which build Ashwin has installed?
    As far as I remember there were no specific conditions to provoke this behaviour.

    I have known this since a while, but I never mentioned it because I didn't want another discussion about unofficial leapfrogsoftware downloads.
    Apparrently, Ahswin is able to create the same situation, with software installed in one snapshot and running it in another.

    I don't see this bug mentioned as fixed either in the leapfrog updates.
     
  12. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    I do know, and many of you also know, that many, not all, but many scanners such as virus and spyware scanners, can scan all Snapshots, not just the active one. Some scanners that I know for a fact can do this, or at least were able to do this at one time, are NOD, Spy Sweeper, and Trojan Hunter. If memory serves me correctly I believe that f-Secure can also do that; I'm sure that there are others. If scanners (and defraggers) can get into other Snapshots, then who knows?!?! :doubt:

    Acadia
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2006
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Keep in mind that all FDISR uses is NTFS permission and ownerships to "protect" the snapshots. If FDISR can change these to do what it does so can other software. I've deleted another snapshot manually. Painful yes doable yes. Also if you build a current BartPe and use it's File manager all the files and snapshots are there and can be manipulated. Likewise all the imaging software images the other snapshots.

    Interestingly when I scan with KAV from Windows it skips the other snapshots, but when I scan from it from their Recovery CD which is really BartPe, it scans all the snapshots.

    This is actually neither surprising nor really of concern. I view FDISR as there to protect me and help me with stuff that I do or an install that my system doesn't like. But If I had a really bad infection, I'd go to images and archives on my external drive. Restore image first and then update with Archive.

    Pete
     
  14. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Remember that Ashwin had a specific situation:
    And I do remember identical events.

    Still wondering which build Ashwin installed...
     
  15. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    True. FD has saved me from many a bad install or my own stupid mistakes. Guess we must still rely upon the "old fashioned" scanners to protect us from the baddies! :D

    Acadia
     
  16. ashwin

    ashwin Registered Member

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    I'm running build 166, version 1.05, recieved from Raxco May 18th 2006.

    Ashwin
     
  17. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Wilbertnl

    I don't think the issue here is which build as the mistake of anchoring Documents and settings. That would like stuff across the snapshots in a messy way.

    Cheers,
     
  19. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    You might be right, but I know that I never anchored data this way and I know that I used build 169 the same way I used build 166.
    And the described symptomes appeared to me in build 169.

    Even if the user hive of the registry is anchored and shared between snapshots, that does not explain how an application can start that resides in c:\$ISR\**\program files of a inactive snapshot. The mentioned errors are explained because the system registry is different.
    When I had this situation, I noticed that the shortcuts didn't have the correct icons, but after launching the shortcut Windows searched and found the target and corrected the icon too.
    At least it looked that way.
     
  20. ashwin

    ashwin Registered Member

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    I noticed it too, Wilburtnl. I just had the small squares on the desktop in my Primary snapshot instead of the company logo- for the programs I had installed to the Secondary snap only. As I clicked on them, the company logo would appear.

    Today I booted back into the Secondary snap, and...loh...the company symbols were now missing off the programs I opened in the Primary. A few clicks on the icons and I had them back.


    The start up sequence is still different between my Primary and secondary snap, as well as the length of time before screen saver cycles. On the secondary, I have to click on a user icon before arriving at the desktop. On my primary, I just turn on the computer and the desktop appears.o_O
     
  21. ashwin

    ashwin Registered Member

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    Wiburtnl are you using FD's most recent build? Does your system still do this, even though Pete's does not??

    THANKS ACADIA. I know Raxco said I would get a year of updates- but I never heard from them, and didn't check their website.

    Time for me to end this day. Tommorow I'll change the anchor to just "my docs" and "desktop" and see if the programs are still shared...or better yet, get the update and check it then.

    Be Well.

    Ashwin
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Be Careful. Removing anchoring can also cause some interesting side effects. If you have an image I'd start over, and NO don't anchor the desktop. Just anchor data, and play it safe.
     
  23. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Peter is correct.
    Before you remove the anchor settings, go to the snapshot that you think functions best.
    After removing the anchor, copy/update the other snapshot(s).
     
  24. ashwin

    ashwin Registered Member

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    I moved to my favorite snap, eliminated the other, and renamed the existing snap “primary”. The update from Raxco went smoothly.

    I went through the anchoring process, and became confused with the menu. I tried to go down the “tree” of options: c drive…docs and settings…my username…my documents.

    Here’s my confusion: When I went to “my user name,” it contained my docs, favorites, desktop, and cookies. I thought I selected my docs by cliking it, and it became shaded. Then I clicked “OK” but what appeared in the anchor window was….
    C:\documentsandsettings\username. I expected to see:
    C:\documentsandsettings\username\my docs

    So, I decided to cancel the entire anchoring process, made a secondary snap, and have been waiting for a window of time to go back over the process. But what I found was that the snaps ARE anchored…So I must have missed something very basic. I don’t see the software being that far off. I must not have canceled the “anchor” process.

    I was going to follow Pete’s advice and not anchor the desktop. I know for sure I did not click desktop during the selection process.

    Now, when I check today, the FD manager window has in the status bar at the bottom:
    Anchored: C:\documentsandsettings\username.

    Nothing about my docs or desktop, though of course they are within that folder.

    I went to Primary, and saw that my desktop and my docs have been anchored.
    I installed the nifty FoxitReader, (thanks Wilbertnl) and it did not install to both snaps (whew). The installer icon went to the other desktop, but the software was only listed in the original snap “add or delete” listing.

    Todd at Leapfrog dropped a note and said the desktop should be OK to anchor (this was after Pete’s post).

    I’m curious. I know Pete is able to select only “my docs” as that is in his advice, so I don’t know what happened on my settup…I think I’ll leave it for now.

    Thanks a MILLION everyone.

    Ashwin
     
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