Recovery software for test box

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by FadeAway, Oct 14, 2007.

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  1. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    Hi all:

    Having spent the summer setting up a new everyday work machine here
    at the house, I find myself with the old XP Pro computer that was
    replaced, now sitting idle. So I'm going to turn it into a software
    testing machine. It only has one internal IDE drive, which as of now
    has 2 partitions: OS & data. But I can repartition as necessary.

    What would be your best suggestion, free or pay, for recovery software
    that would allow an install to survive a re-boot, but still allow
    a revert, all with only one drive, and do it reliably? Perhaps such
    stuff doesn't even exist, which is why I'm asking. I have ATI with
    multiple drives on the new machine, so I'm familiar with that. Not
    interested in investing in more hardware. Worst case, an OS reinstall
    would be no big deal.

    Thanks
     
  2. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Microsoft SteadyState is a free option. It's more geared toward public use computers with many user restrictions, but it can allow you to install software that needs a reboot/s, then you can discard or save the changes later. I don't know if it can handle the program/data separation setup you have. I have never tried SS, just going by what I have read. Anyways, it's a viable option. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/sharedaccess/default.mspx
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    The two prime programs used here are First Defense-ISR and Rollback. You can check the Leapfrog forum which is all about First Defense, and if you search on Rollback in this forum area you can read all you ever care to about Rollback.

    For me personally it's FDISR.

    Pete
     
  4. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    1)FDISR ( or cough cough Rollback splutter on second thoughts )

    2) Imaging software

    3) ? Go Virtual :D VMWare Player -now with tools- and Virtual Box = Free
    Free Machines: http://www.easyvmx.com/

    4) You Mentioned ATI; doesnt Acronis have some fancy new attachment:
    "Try And Decide" ( heh: I dont think they meant it to sound like that lol) Is that some rollback type option or some sort of VM?
     

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  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Acronis Try and Decide is a bit lame for testing purposes. You can't install and reboot if I understand right. Kind of more lilke Returnil.

    However if you want to use imaging for recovery then yes, there are several good imaging programs discussed on the boards.

    Pete
     
  6. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to stay away from ATI on the test
    machine. It works great with multiple drives, but I understand it gets
    buggy if you try to do it all with one drive a la Acronis Secure Zone.

    The description of MS SteadyState given on the website sounds like
    it might do the job. From what I've been reading here a Wilders,
    FD-ISR would be an obvious choice if it works reliably on a one drive
    set-up.

    Appreciate your comments, I'm still early on the learning curve in this area.
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    on my test machine running windows 2000 i just use my imaging program (paragon) to have a fresh image so every software i test is in a fresh install to avoid any problems.
    i just restore the image if i want to test some other software.
    lodore
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    FDISR works great on one drive. I used it that way for 3 years, and it was constantly bailing me out. Adding an external drive would open many options.
     
  9. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    If there are two partitions on the single HDD, say C:\ & E:\, does
    FD-ISR work completely within C:\? Meaning, will having multiple
    partitions interfere with FD-ISR?
     
  10. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    FD will only protect C: the other disks or partitions will be fine. I have 6 or so parttions across a number of disks....

    Extra partitions removes the need for data anchoring if my_docs etc are located off of C:
     
  11. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    FD-ISR, and also StorageCraft Shadow Protect.

    FD-ISR is more geared towards software testing, but SPD is so fast at imaging/restoration, then I'd be tempted to just use that to take a snapshot of a clean system, and everytime I wanted to test a piece of software I'd just restore the backed up image. It just depends on how much software testing you do, and whether you need to install on a clean system everytime.

    SPD is rock solid!
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Amen:thumb:
     
  13. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Rollback Rx is what i use on my test system. I just boot into a clean snaphot, do my testing and then delete it when finished. Its the perfect uninstaller.
     
  14. Chris12923

    Chris12923 Registered Member

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    Of course for software testing Rollback Rx is great. Although at the moment I am having some issues with some parts of 8.1 namely restore on reboot, but that would not affect what you are trying to do. It is faster and uses much less space. If you test many software the time you save will be worth it. But it does seem Rollback does not work on every machine without problems but what software does? FDISR is my next choice and it works great to but for testing depending on how much it will take you alot more time and space. FDISR first and try it a few days then install rollback in your FDISR snapshot and try it a few days. Whatever works for you you should purchase.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  15. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Hello FadeAway.

    I use Rollback Rx v7 on my test box for months. I haven't tried v8 yet as I'm pretty much content with v7 for now. As Chris pointed out, it is faster and takes much less space than FDISR. Never had problems with it, and I certainly recommend you to try it.

    Cheers.
     
  16. fce

    fce Registered Member

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    guys, don't compare FDISR & Rollbak Rx 8.1

    Rollback Rx8.1 is NOT ONLY recovery software BUT with imaging software.
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Yes, but the imaging in it is a mess. Regardless of what I have on my disk with FDISR, I can image and then restore and I get back exactly what was there when I imaged. This isn't quite the case with Rollback's imaging.

    Also if you have any trouble with Acronis's Linux recovery CD, then Rollback's recovery CD won't work either.

    Doesn't mean it's necessarily bad, but it's just not that simple.

    Also it can depend on what you want to test. If I were to test a fairly straight forward program, that I might then want to remove then:

    TIme to refresh my FDISR archive is about 1.5 minutes, and time to undo install 2 reboots and a 2 minute copy.
    Rollback, 10 seconds to make snapshot, and reboot to remove install. Clear winner is Rollback.

    But If I want to install and test something that might affect partitions, then thats different. Suppose the test does bad stuff, and accidently wipes partitions. Unless you imaged with Rollback you can only restore to the last image you took. With FDISR, it's no sweat. Just restore any old image, and then use the archive to bring system back current. Here advantage FDISR.

    Just depends on what you are going to do.


    Pete
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  18. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

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    Just yesterday,after reading someones comment about SnoopFree I decided to try it. My computer would not boot. Thank goodness for FirstDefense. I booted into my secondary snapshot. Then updated the primary. All is ok. Don't know what the problem was with SnoopFree but I even had to run chkdisk.
     
  19. fce

    fce Registered Member

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    wrong.

    i've been using Image feature of Rollback Rx8.1, all image result are excellent.
     
  20. FadeAway

    FadeAway Registered Member

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    This thread has been very informative for me thus far. As stated in
    my initial post, this is about making a functional testing machine.
    I'm not concerned with the kind of bullet-proof security that ATI
    provides on my working computer, which has ample resources to handle it.

    With a hardware-limited test machine, at least for me, the concern is
    not about losing valuable data, but simply ease of recovery. A complete
    disk wipe and reinstall is not the end of the world here.

    I am going to start tonight by downloading the trial version of FD-ISR,
    but don't let that stop this great exchange of info. I'm certain the
    Wilders search box will answer most any question I may have. Should it
    not seem to meet my needs, I'll move to some of the others mentioned.

    Many thanks.
     
  21. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    SnoopFree is not updated since long. It installs a kernel mode driver and can have conflicts with other security applications as well. All this is enough to cause the troubles on some systems though I have used it in the past without any major issues.
     
  22. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    One thing bugs me about the imaging feature, and that is the apparent fact you have to uninstall RollBack Rx before restoration of any image either with their program or another image program. Unless I've got this wrong, but the Knowledge Base says:
    It seems to imply that any imaging program will only archive the current system, and, therefore, not include RollBack and however many snapshots you have set up at the time of imaging.
     
  23. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Exactly why I said imaging was a mess. When I was playing with 8.1, I could use their recovery CD as it is linux based, and that doesn't work for me. I experimented with Shadowprotect and found that first I had to collapse Rollback to it's baseline snapshot, and even so if I imaged from windows I had zilch. I could image and restore from the SP recovery CD and that worked.

    Rollback is fast at what it does, but if you image a lot, the speed advantage, starts to wane.
     
  24. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Yes rollback's current imaging functionality is pretty dodgy. If you do try it out use ATI for imaging instead.
     
  25. OldMX

    OldMX Registered Member

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    Another vote for Paragon
     
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