Question for Leapfrog (Todd)

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Acadia, May 7, 2006.

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  1. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Sorry, Todd, to be asking this question to you, and not to Raxco's tech support, but I received (not recently) an answer from them that conflicts with what the FirstDefense built-in User's Help manual says, and I figured who would be better to ask this question to than the person who created this program.

    When using an imaging program, such as Acronis or Ghost, to make a mirror image of my entire hard drive, Raxco tech support once told me that it was perfectly "OK" to leave FirstDefense totally enabled including the Pre-Boot option. However, the User's manual, version 1.05, build 166, says this:

    "Normally you will want to leave the FirstDefense-ISR Pre-boot enabled, but there are times where you may wish to disable the Pre-boot. For example, if you are going to use a drive imaging program to make an image of your system disk, or any other application that modifies the Master Boot Record, the Pre-boot must be disabled before the image is made otherwise the image will be unbootable."

    So, does it or doesn't it need to be disabled? And also, same question when restoring the image.

    I know that many users of this program may have their opinion on this, but I'd rather hear it straight from the horse's, er, frog's mouth. Thank you, Todd, very much. :cool:

    Acadia
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Like wise I would love a definitive answer on this.

    Pete
     
  3. Leapfrog Software

    Leapfrog Software Leapfrog Management

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    Greetings All,

    I would be glad to answer your question. In the early days, many years ago, the very first versions of the ISR technology did require the pre-boot screen to be disabled before using a disk imaging application such as Ghost, TrueImage, etc. Since then we have provided a feature that does not require the pre-boot screen to be disabled. After a BMR (Bare Metal Restore) from one of these products, you may not see the FD-ISR boot screen the first time the system is booted, but you will from that point on.

    Although we do recommend you turn the pre-boot off, thus the warning in the help file, it may not be necessary if you have tested it on your system. With all the BMR products available, the various versions of those products, combined with various flavors of Windows and the various service packs, etc. we decided to play it safe as to our statement in the manual and to how we train our partners.

    I should have our documentation department modify "otherwise the image will be unbootable" to "otherwise the image may be unbootable". Good question Acadia!

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Todd, thank you again, very much. I had been leaving the Pre-boot enabled when creating a disk image but because of FirstDefense I have never had to restore an image, so I don't have any idea if it would work. From now on I think I will disable the Pre-boot when imaging to "play it safe".

    Todd, even though I have never had to do this, how about when RESTORING an image? I am going to assume that disabling the Pre-boot would, again, be "playing it safe", correct?

    I've been using FD for almost two years now and still cannot believe that I have found a product that protects me from EVERYTHING except total hard drive failure. :cool:

    Acadia
     
  5. Leapfrog Software

    Leapfrog Software Leapfrog Management

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    Yes, Arcadia, you are correct in playing it safe.

    You are right about the protection we provide almost up to a BMR (Bare Metal Restore). We decided early on not to create a BMR product but add to its capability. Lets face, almost every IT shop has Ghost or some other BMR product, thus we did not want to change the direction of the wind, but instead put more wind in ones sails.
     
  6. Leapfrog Software

    Leapfrog Software Leapfrog Management

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    By the way, if you are interested and game, here is a good bedtime reading application note to help when using a BMR product and FD-ISR.

    It has a unique twist, in the BMR process, so that you may only have to create a BMR image once!
     
  7. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Acadia:

    So, would you create a disk image with the snapshots (in c:\$ISR) included?
    I imagine that these disk images are huge.
     
  8. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Yup, a mirror image is exactly that, a mirror image ... and yes, they are huge; I use the maximum of 10 Snapshots. :eek:

    Acadia
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Ding Dong another bell goes off. I've been imaging weekly. Duh. Not necessary. One image to get system up, then FDISR to bring it current.

    On this basis I might remove my 2nd snapshot, then take images from DOS so the are rock solid, and thats it. From then on imaging isn't necessary.

    I also have been disabling Preboot for imaging. Very interesting indeed.

    Pete
     
  10. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Todd,
    I have a dumb question. I noticed that your bedtime reading included a fairly involved, albeit only 4 step, process which included scripting (optional) and the creation of bootable disks (not to be confused with auto-play), but for us less than intelligent folks out there I have a question:

    If I have already used Image for DOS to create and image that contains only Windows and FDISR and in the event of a HD failure I replace the HD, restore the image, and use the "import snapshot" function within FDISR to bring me up to date, then would I not be accomplishing the same task?

    My intuition tells me that your proposed method may be faster, but is that time savings not mostly attributable to the fact that you are incorporating the use of a stripped down version of Windows XP that would cost me $40 to obtain? I mean your proposed method would involve sticking a CD/DVD into the drive that has been pre-configured to automatically restore a stripped down version of Windows which automatically intitiates (again optionally) a script that allows the user to install the archive of his/her choice.

    My method involves sticking a boot disk in the drive, restoring from an external source an image of a fresh copy of Windows XP (without all of the updates to save time) + FDISR installed, importing the image and booting to that image. How much time would be saved using your method (understanding that hardware is a factor) vs. using mine? Mine saves saves $40.

    I do not mean for this thread to have a challenging tone, but rather to simply pose a question in a tone that invites consideration and provokes further discussion.

    Respectfully,
    dallen
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2006
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Dallen

    Good questions. If as I think I do, understand what Todd is suggesting, I am not sure that works for me. However after thinking about it here is what I am going to do this weekend:

    1) Remove my secondary snapshot, so I have only the Primary.
    2) Using the boot CD's as opposed to doing in windows Image the system with Ghost 2003, ATI 9.0(last build I will use) and IFD.
    3) Then I will restore the secondary snapshot from an Archive.
    4) Copy all the images to the 2nd external drive for redundancy.

    This will save a heck of a lot of time as I keep 2 archives on each external drive, and refreshing the archives takes about 1.5 minutes each.

    Gads the flexibility of FDISR is just a function of the imagination.

    Pete
     
  12. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Would it work when you create a bartPE bootable CD with the command line tools from c:\$ISR\$APPS included? It would be great if you are able to skip the setup of windows and restore from archives right away.

    What do you think, Todd?
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I believe you have to at least have Windows and FDISR on the hard drive. The command line tools run FDISR from the command line, but windows and FDISR have to been installed. I think you are assuming the the archive is the same as a disk image, and it really isn't

    Pete
     
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