Returnil and Virtual Drive

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by dja2k, Oct 13, 2007.

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  1. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    How many GB's do you personally put aside for Returnil Virtual Drive? Can you install lets say an antivirus (i.e. Online Armor AV+) to the Virtual Drive so that it will keep updated definitions? I haven't tried this but wanted some feedback first.

    dja2k
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
  2. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    I don't use the virtual drive so may be wrong. Returnil only keeps C: the same. Other drives or partitions will change if written to. If you have other drives to save data to then you don't need a virtual partition at all. So if you decide to have a virtual partition the size ought to depend upon how much data you want to save.
     
  3. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    Thanks for the post, you replied back before I reworded it. I wasn't clear on what I was asking so I changed it.

    dja2k
     
  4. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    I use the VP on my laptop as the drive is not partitioned, my size selection was based on what I figured the absolute maximum amount I would ever have to save on it in a session, and then some, so I set it at 1GB. For my main desktop, I just save to another partition so it has no VP.
     
  5. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Have never tried to install anything in it, can imagine it may cause complications, I do not mount the VP at boot, nor run protection from boot, so I update my AV and whatever else prior to enabling the session lock.
     
  6. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    How often does OA update ?
    So far I have moved outlooK *.pst from C: Roboform data, Firefox Profiles so these up date no problem. I find that for one reason or another I need to change C: about once a week so I leave other updates and do them then. If OA
    needs to update several times a day and if it can be installed to another partition then I could see that making a small virtual drive might be a good idea.


    OT- are you using the Firefox add on version of Key Scrambler ? If using Roboform what extra benefit does Key Scrambler provide ?
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Likewise I set only about 100mb for the virtual drive, but I can also use my D: drive. I also don't mount the VP at boot. I don't see installing anything in the VP. I don't think it was intended for that.

    Pete
     
  8. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Everyone has there own preference based on the space they feel best suits them to set aside for it as you see.

    In Returnil, i chose 650Mb's because if i really need to save a HUGE file wITH Session Lock my machine is connected to dual drives, so i just send them over there.

    In your instance, you'll need to determine that for yourself and how much you plan to store in it.

    BTW, i have plenty of Virtual Drive apps i got off of places like CodeProject and various sites around the net for free, but i am estatic at Returnil's virtual drive in that it mounts it lightning fast!

    A really fine and exceptionally well thought out creation. Being the skeptic i am i held some reservations over even using it as opposed to Power Shadow which is worked to perfection for my needs, but Returnil's newest version is changed all that.

    I am 100% committed to favoring it and it's simply awe inspiring with it's stability plus features.
     
  9. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Also keep in mind that you can back-up anything in your virtual drive and then uninstall Returnil with the option to delete the VP. Then you can reinstall Returnil and select a smaller, larger or no VP. If you do 're-size' it, you can move the data you backed-up into your new VP. It's not etched in concrete so if you find yourself running out of space, you can do the above. Returnils' GUI doesn't have a lot of settings so it wouldn't be hard to set it up like you previously had it.
     
  10. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    Oh these questions I have are not for my setup :D , I have like four other drives that I can save to. I was asking this because I want to start putting Returnil onto computers I work on so they will not change anything on them that I have configured. Thats why I was asking if it was possible to install all changing applications to the Virtual Drive instead of the C:.

    dja2k
     
  11. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    That is a good question for Coldmoon :).
     
  12. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    Well just to my surprise after testing it out for myself it so happens that even if you install applications on the Virtual Drive, they will not run at startup. Maybe its because the Virtual Folder isn't initialized before the startup of Returnil. Oh well at least that was a mission to explore. I guess best way to install applications that will change would be to partition a drive into two, C and D, then install Returnil to protect C then applications like AV on D.

    dja2k
     
  13. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    Hi dja2k,
    The original design basis for the VP was to allow a convenient way for users to save thier current work, data files, download files, pictures, etc rather than trying to be a test solution like VMWare, VPC, etc.

    Also be aware that limited users cannot make changes in the root of the VP. IOW, they can open and read files in the root, but cannot edit, create, or save files in the root. This is limited to an admin user. The limited user can however create a folder in the root of the VP and then save data within that folder.

    We recommend using an alternate data/program or separate data and program partitions as the most efficient configuration depending on your available HDD space.

    Mike
     
  14. dja2k

    dja2k Registered Member

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    Yep I totally agree as that is what I found out by testing it. Thanks for the help.

    dja2k
     
  15. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Hi, I'm trying to grasp this whole concept. I think I understand the 2nd part about separating data (my documents, anti-virus definitions, browser bookmarks) from your program (Windows, anti-virus, firewall, games) partition. But I didn't understand the first part about "alternate data/program".

    I just want to know for my own knowledge as it would be quite a task to accomplish on my system. Also, after you set a system up by separating the programs from the data, is it hard to maintain? I guess I'm concerned about the many program updates which happen often and the troubleshooting if there is a problem afterwards. If for example I had the suggested split setup and I updated and upgraded my hips/firewall, java, flash player, Returnil, and Winamp just this week (a true scenario which happens often), are split program and data partitions maintainable without uber knowledge? What if I manually update my hips/firewall and a new version is available and they change the path/filename of the defs or settings. This is what I worry about.
     
  16. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Some applications already provide options to move the data folder away from the program folder.
    Also, applications which don't required shared files/DLLs and don't use the registry to store settings (portable apps, commandline apps and softwares which use INI files) can be installed outside of the system partition.
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Innerpeace

    If you want to separate data, fine. But don't beat yourself up about it. I only have one partition on all of my drives, and I keep my data right there along with my system. Never had a bit of problem with it. True I don't work with big movie files, or HUGE photo albums. I keep stuff like the download exe's on separate external drives.

    It is totally workable this way, and everything is saved in images, although I do backup my data separately for redundancy. I considerate a matter of choice not necessity.

    As to Returnil, I keep a small VP, and if I the only two programs I run all day, if I have Returnil protected, make all their changes(with different setting) in their program folder, so what I do at the end of the day is copy the whole folder to my D: drive, reboot, and then sync the folder back, so I get any changes. Non issue for me.

    Pete
     
  18. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    @ Lucas, Thank you and I will have a look at some of my apps for the 'move the data' option.

    @ Pete, Thanks and I think the best thing for me is to keep it simple for now. I have an idea that may work well for me and my knowledge. I'm also afraid to mess with the OS because it's a sure way to cause problems. If you don't mind, could you clarify this paragraph for me.

    Thanks again,
    innerpeace
     
  19. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Sorry Peter I'm lost here as well. I know that you work with only C: which I think makes life unnecessarily complicated. If you sync at the end of the day how do you know which are good changes and which might be bad ? If you sync at the end of the day why bother with Returnil at all ? Sorry I'm clearly missing something here.

    using partitions or several drives C: remains unchanged unless I want to add or change something. Things like Firefox Profile, Outlook *.pst, Roboform data etc are moved to F: Everything on C: remains fixed F: changes.

    Just don't see how sync helps
     
  20. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    There is portable and portable,quite a few write to disk and leave traces,most portable sites check portable app. on this behaviour.
     
  21. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Okay.

    I run several market data charting programs, and for the most part nothing changes. I will sometimes run returnil, as it is an easy way to clean things up. I also run rhapsody for music, and it generates some huge temp files, that I like to keep gone. Note that when I am doing this I am not running my business on this machine, so no data really changes. Normally at the end of the day a reboot and everything is reset.

    But occasionally I do make changes in the charting programs and I don't want to lose the changes so. Fortunately it turns out that any and all changes these programs make are in their folder under programs. So what I do is

    1) Copy the complete folder to my D: drive.
    2) Reboot which wipes out the changes in the actual program
    3) Sync back from the folder on D: to the program folder on c: Usually only about 5 files.

    All the changes made that were lost by rebooting out of Returnil are now back. Not as complicated as it sounds. Rebooting is actually the longest part.

    Note when Returnil's new beta with a commit function comes out this won't be necessary.

    Pete
     
  22. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    This is exactly what I have been doing so far with my charting software, I did look, and still am to be honest, at moving the folder containing the charts outside the C partition but a copy route seems simpler.
     
  23. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Thanks -- so if I understand this correctly I could leave the Firefox profile on C: and most days simply reboot. whenever a new add on is added or book mark added - just copy the firefix profile to another drive, reboot and then copy the profile back ? or perhaps wait for the commit function ?
    :(
     
  24. Tony

    Tony Registered Member

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    I use FEBE to back up my profile on a weekly basis to a seperate partition.
    Very easy way of keeping Firefox up to date.
     
  25. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    On my laptop I have only one partition and ustilize the VP in this manner, I have a job created in Karen's Replicator which copies the Opera profile (containing bookmarks settings for Opera etc) to the VP. I run this prior to shutdown, KR will alert me if I forget.
    Then when I reboot I mount the VP and simply copy the folder back before going into session lock and I am good to go.
     
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