Used SD many years ago. Looking for a different solution to achieve the same result?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Shad0w99, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Shad0w99

    Shad0w99 Registered Member

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    Reading from the last few pages of the SD support thread, I see it's functional with critical upgrades. Would anyone be kind enough to point to an alternative that is more developmentally active? Nothing against Shadow Defender, just want to experience another software to achieve the same result.

    I use windows 10.
     
  2. henryg1

    henryg1 Registered Member

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    Me too, even though I have a lifetime licence.

    Wouldn't Sandboxie work for you (?), and it looks like it has a future (hurrah!!). For me, it is more flexible and useful as it doesn't require a reboot after use, just kill the relevant sandbox. Is SD more secure (I'm not competent to judge)?
     
  3. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

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  4. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    I must quite agree on Deep Freeze.

    Even years ago now, this program from Faronics was astonishing. I don't care if you downloaded and overloaded your PC with every vicious malware or virus you could drop in it and run. After a reboot your PC was instantly restored as if nothing ever happened. Perfect working condition without so much as a peep anything went wrong.
     
  5. Buster_BSA

    Buster_BSA Registered Member

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    That's not completly right. Certain malwares can survive a reboot even if you have Deep Freeze installed if you run the PC from an admin account. This is not advertised by Faronics anywhere.
     
  6. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Perhaps now days I might agree, might not. I was referring to years ago before malwares got picked up by big money funders for nefarious purposes.

    When I used it during those times of file infectors and such and way before ransomwares it was all but a concrete and granite container that sealed off any potential for foulwares to carry over.

    One would think after all these many years Deep Freeze would have advanced to cover all bases.

    Simply pointing out that Faronics DF could be a viable alternative to SD if one so chooses.

    Personally though SD is been solid on this end.
    Not so sure even that Toolwiz Time Freeze compares as a useful alternative to SD.
     
  7. Buster_BSA

    Buster_BSA Registered Member

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  8. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I don't understand what you mean, the program has had about 12 updates since the introduction of Win10 in 2015, which means that so far the program has been updated when needed. Deep Freeze is good but I still prefer SD. A license of Deep Freeze will cover updates for a year, after which you've got to pay for updates to the program. Anyway, here is a link about alternatives which i have not tested (except for Deep Freeze):
    https://alternativeto.net/software/reboot-restore-rx/?platform=windows
     
  9. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Deep Freeze is an excellent product and I would not hesitate to use it if I had to. But the fact is, unless things have changed, you need to reboot to both get in and out of Deep Freeze. With Shadow Defender you do not need to reboot to enter the Shadow mode. Also Deep Freeze, again unless things have changed, only protects your c:drive, Shadow Defender protects all drives, even external.
    Acadia
     
  10. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    true.

    false.
     
  11. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Hmmm, interesting. Was I wrong, has DF always protected all drives?
    Acadia
     
  12. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    yes and yes.
     
  13. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I used Deep Freeze many years ago and I remember it would protect only the booting hard drive. I've just checked their website, nowadays it is more sophisticated it can protect any drive internal or external, and has what they call 'Thaw spaces' where you can save any work from the frozen state. I definitely would go back to Deep Freeze if Shadow Defender eventually failed. The price is a bit steep though, 60 USD for a subscription of 3 years, and they don't say how much one has to pay thereafter to upgrade the program...
     
  14. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    it's not true. see this forum post from 2004:
    https://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/...freeze-work/?do=findComment&comment=584517347

     
  15. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Some 10 years ago, a series of LV Malware Tests were conducted by dax123, a very skilled techie, in which SD was the only software that passed (Deep Freeze along with others failed)! I'm not aware of any later similar testing, but I have depended on SD to protect our PCs since then without enduring any infection that could not be completely dismissed by a system restart. So I will continue to use SD until it no longer supports a future Windows release.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  16. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Alright then IMDb, I had 2 licenses of Deep Freeze on two laptops which had one single hard drive with no partitions, that's probably the reason I have never asked myself whether DF would protect more than one drive. Even with Shadow Defender, I enter shadow mode only with my internal drive, but I always have plugged in a USB hard drive in normal mode to collect material on the fly. It would be a decent replacement of SD, but I think it is too expensive...
     
  17. Krabbath

    Krabbath Registered Member

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    If I understand correctly how SD works, wouldn't this mean that e.g. a malware could successfully encrypt your personal files on the external hard drive, which you leave unprotected?

    As a potential SD user I had already prepared myself to protect not only the boot drive but all drives to achieve a comparable level of protection as I am used to have with Sandboxie where all write operations are sandboxed, no matter which drive is affected.
     
  18. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Yes, your files would be encrypted until you rebooted, then everything would be back to normal.
    Acadia
     
  19. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    I apologize for what may seem like an odd question, but I'm trying to determine the usage case for SD. I consider myself as someone who practices safe browsing and I also use ESET and Voodooshield Paid (& Kerish Doctor). I don't do malware testing and I don't do anything that I consider risky. I used to do a lot of trying out of different types of programs, but I don't do that much anymore. I do some gaming; some web-based. And, I'm currently working from home.

    I've actually had a license for SD for a couple years, but I don't use it. I just don't see the need. I'm hoping that some of you can explain why you use SD and why you find it beneficial. Is there really a need for someone with my usage case to use SD?

    P.S. I need to change my signature line because I don't currently use Sandboxie. It doesn't play nice with ESET.
     
  20. Krabbath

    Krabbath Registered Member

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    Thank you for your answer, @Acadia, but I'm afraid I haven't fully understood the situation yet:

    Let's assume that the PC has the boot drive c: built in, and as a second drive I use an external USB hard disk, which has the drive letter d:
    • Now, I activate the shadow mode only for c:
    • I don't activate the shadow mode for drive d:
    • Malware is installing itself on c:.
    • This malware manipulates/encrypts/deletes my data on d:
    If I now reboot my computer, only the changes made on c: (e.g. the installation of the malware) would be discarded, as far as I understood, but the manipulation/encryption/deletion of my files on d:\ made by the malware would be kept, since this drive was not protected by the shadow mode:

    Is this understanding right or wrong?
     
  21. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    You are correct. If the d:drive was not in Shadow Mode, it would still be infected.
    Acadia
     
  22. Krabbath

    Krabbath Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    For me, this means that I would have to activate shadow mode for all drives to achieve a level of security that satisfy me...
     
  23. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    You are perfectly right if a USB drive is not in shadow mode it will get infected. It is really a matter of setting up a system for any possible contingencies. So this is my modus operandi:

    I have 5 USB hard drives of various capacities (500 to 4 GB) always unplugged when online, where I store all my data and Win 10 images Why 5? Redundancy. My very sensitive data is backed up by Macrium which protects it with its 'Image Guardian' against ransomware.

    I hardly keep any data on my computer, Shadow Defender is there to stop any unwanted changes that may occur surreptitiously, but mainly for configuration mistakes, testing programs, doing operations (like scanners) in shadow mode to check things out. Rebooting out of shadow mode will insure a clean environment all the time, no unnecessary registry entries, or invisible leftovers.

    For good measure I also make an incremental image every morning which is very fast (50-90 seconds) as it is basically only the operating system being backed up.

    Which brings me to the last point about the external drive always plugged in, and not in shadow mode. The only real disadvantage of Shadow Defender is the possibility of inadvertently forget you are in shadow mode when doing serious work (like research, business online etc) and by rebooting your computer you will definitely lose work that might have required hours to prepare.

    So what I do, I generally keep for good any important file or folder with the right click menu 'Commit by Shadow Defender', but to be absolutely sure of saving important data, I also transfer those files and folders to my external USB drive, which will subsequently be transferred to the unplugged drives. If my plugged in drive gets encrypted for whatever reason, it will be a copy of what has already been saved by Shadow Defender in the first place, and just a few files for that matter.
     
  24. Krabbath

    Krabbath Registered Member

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    As far as I know, the most common way to get infected with malware these days is to visit legitimate websites that have been manipulated by criminals; this is the case with many blogs created with WordPress, for example, but also with the websites of major, well-known organisations and companies.

    My personal point of view is therefore that, in addition to an up-to-date operating system and up-to-date programs, an additional layer of protection in the form of virtualization software is useful.

    So far I have been using Sandboxie for this purpose, but occasionally I wish for a solution that offers more comprehensive possibilities. Therefore I am interested in Shadow Defender.

    ESET and Voodooshield I only know by name. So I don't know if SD would complement these programs.

    Have you already checked if the situation can be improved by activating this setting (please look at the attached screenshot)?
     

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  25. Krabbath

    Krabbath Registered Member

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    Unfortunately, I depend on being able to edit my personal files continuously, so I cannot simply disconnect the external hard drive from the computer while I am online.

    I was previously able to use the Windows Sandbox integrated in Windows 10 Professional (which has its own serious disadvantages), but since I switched to Windows 10 Home I'm looking for a replacement.

    I guess I'll just have to install SD to see in practice if and how I could best use this software.

    Thanks for your detailed answer, @Osaban.
     
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