I still don't completely understand back ups!

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by ratchet, Jun 3, 2007.

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  1. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    So recently, using Ghost 10 and a Maxtor external HD, I restored my Firefox Profile after an extension update removed all my saved passwords. That was quite simple, however, I do have a hypothetical question. Say lightening wiped out my PC and I had to replace the HD or the whole computer. I do have a complete backup on my external HD. If I copied that to another HD, would software applications, be it security like anti-malware to utilities like CCleaner function, or must everything be reinstalled via setup.exe files? Thank You!
     
  2. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Presuming that you have a disk-image of your system-drive on your external drive, should your system-drive fail, you should be able to easily restore (not copy) that image to a replacement system-drive in the same PC and be up and running without any further setup being necessary.

    If you replace your PC with a new PC, you will probably have a great deal of difficulty restoring the image onto the new PC's system-drive because the new PC will most likely have different drivers (and a different HAL) than your current PC. However, if your new PC is configured similarly to your current PC you stand a fighting chance of success. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  3. IS200

    IS200 Registered Member

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    It's really easy.

    Use Ghost to image your machines hard drive to an external drive.

    If you machines hard drive is hit by lightening, you can simply
    put the Ghost disk in your optical drive, boot off it, and then point it at the image on the external hard drive and restore.
     
  4. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    is it realy that easy. by far and formost important : test restore your backup.
     
  5. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    Good topic question.

    So i would also ask, can anyone weigh in on the results if any of the new imaging feature being implimented as Universal Restore?
    I hear tell that it supposed to have some reasonable capability to restore an image from one type of computer system over to a DIFFERENT one, or so that's the concept.

    Thanks.
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Backup is really easy indeed.
    Doing a restore is something else. The first restores are real thrillers when you never did this before. I can promise you that.

    Does your Recovery CD recognize the USB/Firewire connection of your external harddisk ?
    If it doesn't, the restore will be even more exciting or make you even desperate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  7. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Having never used Ghost 10 I am in no position to contradict Ghost's ability to restore a migrated disk-image... BUT what I said in my post (above) is true of the disk-imaging programs with which I've had experience.

    Cloning is a different story than imaging... A disk-image must go through a restore process wheras a clone doesn't. Therefore, cloning has a better chance of working when attempting to migrate from one PC to another. However, cloning implies the luxury of a spare internal hard drive (for the clone-target), which can then be physically installed into another PC.
     
  8. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

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    I actually copied, saved and printed this. Your explanation is better than the Norton manual!
     
  9. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Besides saving that advice, I strongly suggest that you find another PC on which you can actually try and see if that restore procedure is successful. Otherwise, you may be in for a shock if and when lightening strikes! ;)
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi PV

    Not sure I'd agree a clone has a better chance in a different hardware scenario. True it doesn't have to restore, but it does have to reboot, and if drivers are radically different it will BSOD. A good implentation of a universal restore should be able to add adequate drivers to help the system boot and be up and functional.

    People should also bare in mind that if the systems are sufficently different then what a "universal restore" will do is get you a running system. You still will have work to do installing the correct drivers.

    WHen I was testing ShadowProtects HIR, I restored an intel based, promise raid system on to my nvidia based nvidia raid system. Radically different. The nvidia system booted and ran, but it was ragged. It would have taken a lot of driver install to make the system smooth. Test was successful, though, because the objective was to be able to boot into windows and have the machine work well enough to be able to do the driver installs.

    If the expectation is a perfectly running system, then it probably won't be met.

    Pete
     
  11. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Hi Pete~

    Our IT techs who perform PC to PC migrations every week tell me they have had more success using disk-cloning products (HDClone and Casper) than with any disk-imaging product (and that includes ATI with UR and Ghost 12). True, you still have to boot (regardless of the method used), but cloning eliminates the risk in trying to restore an image on a PC other than the PC it was created on!

    As you say, even after a relatively successful PC to PC migration, additional work is usually necessary, and that goes to the point I was trying to make in my replies to ratchet (above) - i.e., a complete PC to PC migration should not be expected to be 'a walk in the park' (as some would have him believe)!

    ~pv
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  12. kennyboy

    kennyboy Registered Member

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    Does make me wonder if there is any mileage in considering cloning instead of imaging, even on the same machine. Apart from lack of compression, is there any downside, and could the target partition/disk still be used to hold data etc, or does it need to be kept exclusively for the clone, in the case of this being the a clone of the system?
     
  13. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    When only considering the eventuality of restoring a hard drive on the same PC, disk-imaging is far more convenient and practical than cloning.

    - Images are frequently compressed, thereby saving disk real-estate.
    - Multiple images can be captured on one backup drive (typically an external HDD).
    - Images can be easily mounted in order to view/restore selected items.
    - The backup HDD can serve other purposes as well.

    - Cloning is a byte for byte copy and the target drive is typically an internal HDD (your intended replacement drive in the event of a disaster).
    - While it's possible to clone a complete drive to a partition on the target drive, that's not the usual method for various reasons.
    - In order to view/restore anything on a clone, it is necessary to physically install the cloned HDD.
    - The cloned HDD is usually dedicated for that one purpose.
     
  14. kennyboy

    kennyboy Registered Member

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    @ PV. Very clear explanation thankyou. I really thought that the clone would be available for viewing/restoring, so that was one of the attractions.
    Oh well, will keep on searching for the "Holy Grail" of Imaging applications. Am tempted to try one of the small "out of favour ones such as Drive Image or or even one of the "non install" proggies which can be run from disk/floppy.
    Only disadvantage to these that I can see is there is no "hot processing" which I must admit is useful.
     
  15. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    The clone would be readily available for viewing/restoring if you leave it inside your PC (as a secondary drive) with power and ATA cables connected. But doing that partially defeats the purpose of a backup, which is to keep the backup media off the PC, in a secure location. If you leave the cloned drive runing in the PC, that lightening strike could fry it along with the rest of the PC. Or if someone steals your PC, there goes your backup with it. :eek:
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I haven't tried anything but the version 3 of Shadowprotect HIR. That worked very well, on the crazy tests. The others you mentioned, I haven't tried with them.
     
  17. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Neither I or my company have any experience whatsoever with SP, so it could be an exception to my conclusions. :doubt:
     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    They should get an evaluation of the IT edition and give it a try.
     
  19. flinchlock

    flinchlock Registered Member

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    Hmm, are you saying an image is not "a byte for byte copy"?

    Maybe I am reading more into your statment than I should?

    Mike
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I would say the output of a cloning operation, is a byte for byte copy of the disk where you can take the new disk and boot to it.

    An image is just that, a byte for byte image, that must be restored before it can be of use.
     
  21. flinchlock

    flinchlock Registered Member

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    So, why would Paragon Drive Backup have this option?

    Any my next question will be... what is, how can you tell what is or is not "even unused sectors"?

    Mike
     

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  22. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Yes, I believe you are. You can think of it this way (but please don't read too much into my terminology)! ;)

    A disk-image is an 'intelligent' backup whereas a clone is a 'dumb' backup - of sectors on a disk/partition (whereas file-by-file backup software copies files/folders and not sectors).

    I refer to imaging as being 'intelligent' because you can usually choose to include/exclude the MBR and specific types of files. More often than not, imaging only captures used sectors, however, a raw-image captures all sectors. Furthermore, imaging often makes use of compression (except raw images). This 'intelligence' comes at the cost of making a restoring process necessary in order to recreate the original composition of the disk/partition.

    I refer to cloning as being 'dumb' because it doesn't provide any choices other than cloning an entire disk or a partition on the disk. Every sector on the disk/partition is copied intact ('byte for byte') and is uncompressed. Since cloning is a 'dumb' sector-by-sector copy of an entire logical unit, there is no need for a restoring process; by definition, the cloned target is a clone of the source. ;)

    In a subsequent post, you asked how used vs unused sectors are determined. Each cluster's 'bit-map' reveals that status. If you want to learn more about disk organization (clusters, sectors, etc), Google is your friend.

    Hth, pv
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  23. flinchlock

    flinchlock Registered Member

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    I would also "assume" ;) that an image would usually happen while the host OS (XP, Linux, etc) is not running... ie, you would boot into a different OS to make sure to not have any open files.

    I do understand all that, and yes, I use Google.

    But, if I have booted into DOS or Linux to image my XP host system, how in the xxxx can DOS or Linux have a clue what sector is or is not used?

    TO cut to the chase, if some good or bad program has written data to some place on the disk, which would probably not be know to the host OS file system, does that hidden data sector(s) become part of the image?

    I have used Ghost.exe 2003 via a floppy for a gazillion years and have made images of whole disks and individual partitions. I have restored these images at least 200+ times (to dozens of different harddisks) WITH NO PROBLEM EVER.

    But I do know Ghost has a switch that determines if a sector-by-sector (either used or not used) copy/image is created. I am at work, so I can not really provide the exact quote... I will update this post later tonite.

    Mike
     
  24. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    As I said before - by reading the cluster bit-map.


    This is all very hypothetical and would depend on how covert the 'bad program' is, but in most cases when you image an infected disk/partition your image will also be infected!


    Most Ghost experts (e.g., Radified) say that Ghost 2003 was the last of the good Ghosts.
     
  25. flinchlock

    flinchlock Registered Member

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    Nope, not hypothetical, see My Power Shadow 2.8.2 is already registered! post #5...
    Yup, sector 15.

    Yes, have read that site many many times, and a few emails with Rad. :thumb: :thumb:

    Mike
     
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