Some questions n ideas

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by enli, Aug 5, 2007.

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  1. enli

    enli Registered Member

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    Hi
    M currently using trial version of latest build of FD and m quite impressed about the flexibility of this program. I had read about software n saw some pictures on net n I thought this wont b a software to give a try to , but i was wrong , ; )

    M on my 2nd day i guess and m learning much fast i guess.I have repartitioned C:\ to make room for 3-4 snaps m going to create there.I had system crash before FD so i formatted C:\ to give try to FD.

    I have created 2 extra snaps ,
    First for games (where i m finished with all the tweaks i know ,with some appz like Daemon tools n Winrar ,not much really)
    2nd for Testing or Backup purpose in case primary snap get some problems
    I already had some software issue with primary snap so i copied backup snap to primary snap. Everything is smooth now.

    1. I was wondering what happen when say i m in my backup snap and i uninstall FD (FULL), so that uninstalls every snap n also removes the Spash screen at startup. In this case to which state my computer will b ? I mean will it be in my primary snapshot or the Backup snapshot ?

    2. I wanted to know in brief how this program handle different OS ?
    Does this replaces the snapshot files back to root of C:\ ? I guess its not possible coz evey snapshot is booted in the same time as that of if we r loading our normal XP

    3. If i export snapshot to archive which was already created for that snapshot. How does this upadates that snapshot so fast? It took me like 2 mins to update archieve to write 150MB data

    4. No matter i use RSS or VSC i get avg. speed of 5MBps for copying copying/updating snapshots. Is this normal ?

    5. I dont have installed any defragmenter yet as i m building my PC frm groundup and currently working on gaming snapshot.So i want to keep min. softs for this snapshot. Wanted to know how snapshots are stored on C:\ ?
    They r scattered or kept in contagious space? What strategy u use for defragmenting ur C:\ ?

    Some ideas:
    As i have got only 160GB HDD which is pretty much full now n C:\ is 30GB i was thinking for the best strategy to backup with ATI to DVDs.And Here is what i came up with :
    1. Export all archieves to other partition and delete all but primary snapshot
    2. Make image of C:\ with only primary partition. but before disable the spash screen of FD to make image bootable
    3. Now the C:\ size will b so small i can get image size almost near to 7-8GB . When its done
    4. Burn ATI image to DVDs alongwith the snapshots(seperately)
    5. In case of Disaster we got atleast 1 working snapshot so that after restoring we can easily copy snapshots on HDD from DVD and then import in the other snapshots
    6. Advantage of this can b we can get much smaller image of C:\ and those snapshots can b further updated afterwards very easily

    Do This idea apeal to u ?
    What is your strategy for backup of C:\

    Night
    EnLi
     
  2. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    1 To the best of my knowledge if you uninstall ISR completely you will be in whatever snapshot you uninstall it in, so in this case the only "system" that would remain is the one you are in when you do the uninstall.

    2 Not sure what you mean.

    3 When you copy a snapshot to an existing archive only the changes are copied.

    4 Sounds about right

    5 I only use the built in windows defragmenter.
     
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    If space is a problem and you don't want to expand your hardware then I have these suggestions.

    First of all, ATI has a Recovery CD, which is able to backup and restore your harddisk(s). So you don't really need ATI installed under Windows. So you save space this way. Just create a few more Recovery CD's, in case one fails.

    When you anchor the folder "My Documents", where your personal files are stored, all your snapshots will be much smaller, because anchored folders are not stored in snapshots.
    In that case you have to backup the folder "My Documents" separately and the software "Karen's Replicator" might be a good solution for this and it's freeware.
    I have no practical experience with "Karen's Replicator", but member "Huupi" knows all about it and can give you good advice.

    The secondary snapshot doesn't need to be a rollback snapshot, it can be a pure refuge snapshot, which contains just enough softwares to restore the primary snapshot. Member "Peter" uses such a snapshot, which contains only security softwares.

    The image of your system can be reduced significantly,
    1. if you only take an image of Windows and FDISR with ATI.
    2. Take an archive of each snapshot (primary and secondary) with FDISR

    So a complete restoration of your harddisk can be done this way :
    1. Restore the Image (Windows + FDISR) with the ATI Recovery CD first.
    2. Restore the UPDATED archive of the primary snapshot.
    3. Restore the UPDATED archive of the secondary snapshot.
    4. Restore your personal data with "Karen's Replicator"

    I wouldn't advice DVD's and certainly not with Acronis True Image and most likely you won't need them.
    1. The image of Windows and FDISR will be very small, which can be stored eventually on DVD.
    2. The archive of secondary snapshot will be very small.
    3. The archive of primary snapshot will be the biggest one.
    4. The rest is personal data.

    Don't store FDISR-archives on DVD, because you won't be able to update them quickly.
    You can also streamline Windows with nLite, but that is a bit risky.

    I hope this helps. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  4. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    This is all true what EA said and it shows one more time the flexability of FDISR.A rare exeption is if you mess the partition table in the first tracks on disk,then FDISR and imaging app. are of no help .In my case i had to install windows again.But even then with all the hassle i brought my system current with an archived FDISR snapshot in no time.
     
  5. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Hi Huppi, glad you were able to sort this problem, may I ask how this occured, primarily so I may avoid it.
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    In this case :
    1. I would zero my harddisk first.
    2. Then I would restore my IMAGE with ShadowProtect or ATI
    3. Then restore the archives of each snapshot.
    My experience with ATI and ShadowProtect is that they always restore an image on a zeroed harddisk and I have done this many times.
    If your harddisk is zeroed, you don't have any damaged partitions anymore and that's why the restoration works.

    Remember you the test of Peter regarding the "Killdisk virus" ? After this attack his partitions were also damaged and the Recovery CD's of SP and ATI didn't work anymore. You probably had a similar situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  7. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Remember you the test of Peter regarding the "Killdisk virus" ? After this attack his partitions were also damaged and the Recovery CD's of SP and ATI didn't work anymore. You probably had a similar situation.[Quote Erik]

    You guess right !! I also damaged the part. table so i had the same problems he had but he eventually recovered from this mess with Terabyte Bing if i remember right ?!?
     
  8. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    It was my own stupidity,i tried to partitioning my drive without that much understanding about the matter so i screwed up everything,tried all means to recover but no go,so by carefull and if you feel unsure about all this,ask member MUDCRAB on the Acronisforum he is a specialist on this matter and is very helpfull.
     
  9. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Thanx Huupi, I appreciate you sharing that, and will not attempt anything similar.
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Yep, I sure did mess up a partition table. It was so bad, Winpe,Bartpe, and the Windows CD would all blue screen.

    Worst part was anything that could load my raid drivers bsod'd, and anything else couldn't see the drives. Truly was the proverbial rock and hard place.

    It was indeed Bootitng to the rescue.

    Pete(enjoying vacation)
     
  11. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    All these CD's seem to have problems with damaged partitions, which I still find unlogical. If these CD's detect such a problem, why don't they fix it first and then continue doing their job like the average user expects it.
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Problem is the only way they all have of accessing the partition table is with Microsoft routines. Same as defragging. All defraggers use the Microsoft API's

    Pete
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Right. I have to accept this, because there is no other way and I'm well armed :
    1. I have a zero tool to wipe my harddisks completely.
    2. I have a partition manager to fix partitions.
    With the "killdisk" test you certainly proved, that these tools are sometimes necessary and what most users don't expect at all is a not-working Recovery CD. :)
     
  14. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Good topic. I like to add another benefit i discovered when zeroing your hard disk for a fresh new install or restore. Normally in my case the XP Pro install disk installs alright but always seemed somewhat sluggish and took quite a few minutes.

    However, after zeroing the disk, i even gone to the extreme of first using RANDOM pass then ZERO with ActiveKillDisk and/or the hard drive's product manufacturer's "wipe" utility, and let me tell you now the XP install literally "flies!" and is 100% complete in just a few minutes. Looks like you can save at the least 5, 10, or more minutes with that type of technique and the only time loss is manually entering the CD serial code and pressing the few prompts.

    I would be curious to know if this plays out the same with a restore so far as saving time with a backup image. Seems zeroing really "cleans" or smooths the platter nicely. :)

    Greets, EASTER
     
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I never experienced any speed improvement after zeroing my harddisk and installing WinXPproSP2.

    I've done some experiments with nLite :
    - patching WinXPproSP2
    - removal of components
    - unattended
    - tweaking
    but I wasn't satisfied with the final result.

    For instance :
    1. Removal of components.
    Although I did it pretty safe, I probably removed too much.
    After installing WinLite, I installed my NVIDIA/ATI/CREATIVE/CANON-drivers = 4 CD'S.
    During the install of each CD, I was asked to insert the original WinXPproSP2-CD.
    Also the installation of MS Office 2000 pro asked for the WinXPproSP2-CD.
    Unfortunately, I couldn't see which missing files were installed back by the WinXPproSP2-CD.
    The final result was good, I just didn't like to insert my original WinXPproSP2-CD.

    2. Unattended
    The unattended didn't work either, at least not complete.
    The regional settings were not correct as instructed.
    The computer name, organization name, ... were back to blank, although I mentioned them.
    I didn't consider this as a real problem.
    The serial number was accepted and Windows never showed the screen for filling in the serial number.

    3. Tweaking
    I didn't notice any problem with all these tweakings and they were probably all executed.

    After that I tried to activate Windows and that wasn't possible anymore, because I reached the limit of activations.
    This has nothing to do with WinLite, because even when I install Windows with the original CD, I can't activate Windows either. I have to re-activate Windows by phone.

    So the removal of components wasn't really successfull and this is the only option, that really streamlines Windows.
    Back to the drawing board. :)
     
  16. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    I'm one of the lucky ones i guess. Speed=Rapid Velocity which means everything to me when it comes to computers or why bother with just a glorified typewriter/copy machine? ;)

    One other thing is certain. FD-ISR is a computer/user's dream come true. I know it's been months now but this super creation almost defies the very physics of Windows.
    Leapfrog's developers can be very proud of this accomplishment.

    If Window users, whether they be business or home users ever longed for a great immediate recovery solution, FD-ISR has to take those honors IMHO.

    I know it becomes old hat after awhile but still you just can;t go wrong with the ADVANTAGES it provides.

    I never really cared about any rollback solution before all this buzz over FirstDefense and was quite resigned the rest of my life would be to turn to an imaging app to restore matters when something went wrong, but this revolutionized my entire strategy as well as gave software confidence a whole new meaning when i finally joined this crowd. :)
     
  17. silat

    silat Registered Member

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    Hello Erik,

    What zero tool and partition manager do you use?
     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Be aware the zeroing tools might not work. They didn't for me as WD's tools are very simple, and provided no means to install the Nvidia raid drivers, so they never saw my disks.

    This is a limitation if you need to load disk drivers.

    Pete
     
  19. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Western Digital provides free tools to do things with my type of harddisks, like testing and one them zeroes my harddisk.
    If you don't have my type of harddisks, WDnnn (nnn = number), you can't use it.

    Go to the manufacturer's website of your harddisk(s) and see if it provides also tools for your harddisks, if not you might try "Darik's Boot and Nuke" at your risk.
    http://dban.sourceforge.net/
    DBAN has an ISO-file, which you can burn on a CD. If you reboot with that CD, you can wipe your harddisk in several ways. Just don't use the Gutmann method, because this might take a very long time.
    I didn't test it yet on my Seagate external harddisk, but that is my intention.

    I use PartitionMagic for partitioning (no RAID), which was originally developped by PowerQuest, but Norton is now the owner.

    I don't use these tools very much, just in case when I need them or when I feel better to use them. It depends on the situation.
    Recently I zeroed my harddisk to re-install Windows and Windows wanted to install itself on partition [E:] instead of partition [C:]. I didn't understand this, because the partition letter "C" was available. Windows couldn't use "D", because that was my data partition (my second harddisk), so Windows choosed the next letter "E" instead of "C" and I wanted "C".
    I used the PartitionMagic's floppy to prepare the partition [C:] and after that Windows installed itself on partition [C:].
    There are probably other methods to fix this, but I'm not a very knowledgeable user and then I use my logical brain to fix things and it worked.

    After a destructive malware attack (Killdisk virus) or any other malware infection, I would always zero my harddisk first.
    I just feel more comfortable to start with a clean harddisk, when I re-install Windows from scratch or when I restore Windows with ShadowProtect.
    What I learned from Peter's killdisk test, is that these tools are NECESSARY, before that I thought I didn't really need them, I only used them to feel more comfortable. Keep in mind that Peter's Recovery CD didn't work anymore after the killdisk test and nobody would expect this.
    Can you imagine such a situation : your system is destroyed and your Recovery CD doesn't work. That is a panic situation. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  20. enli

    enli Registered Member

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    Thanks n sorry been out for a while (couldnt reply)

    I m using NOD32 antivirus which is always updated. I guess i wont be attacked by that Killdisk virus ?

    Anyway happy chatting ;)
     
  21. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Just copy the i386 folder to the HDD
    Virtual machines (VMware, VirtualBox) can assist you in testing XP builds :)
     
  22. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    It would be great to make a bootable CD from the I386 folder but i learnt that it is not that easy to do.
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Sorry but your reasoning is WRONG.
    Dear member "Huupi" was in a similar situation and it was not caused by the killdisk virus.
    Accidents do happen, you know and it doesn't matter who or what caused it.
    The disaster is there and you have to solve it. Even Peter's Windows-CD didn't work anymore. How are you going to re-install your computer ? :)
     
  24. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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  25. silat

    silat Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply Erik. I happen to have WD drives also.. So its off to the WD site:)
     
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