Using a bare bones drive image with FDISR

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by wxman, Oct 7, 2006.

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  1. wxman

    wxman Registered Member

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    I have a question for the more experienced (adventurous) users.

    Would it work if I made a complete image of a hard drive, single partition that includes only windows, and FDISR, then save it to a CD, DVD, or on my second hard drive. Keep archived snapshots also on the other hard drive. Then in case of a failure, all I need to do is restore the bare bones image, and copy the archive snapshot over to make it the current snapshot.
    I'm only wondering this because it would save on the size of the drive image not having the whole system installed in it. I wasn't sure if there would be MBR issues.
     
  2. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    This will work and that is what I'm planning to do with the next installation from scratch, because I need those special backups and special archived snapshots to get more flexibility in restoring. So this is possible without any doubts.
    I just won't use CD/DVD's, I will use my external harddisk for this.
    My advice : prepare this in a text document first, step by step, print it out and do it.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I actually tested this. I have a IFD image of my system right after I got it. All it has is some security software so I am safe on line with it. I keep this both on a 2nd internal drive, external USB drive and DVD. I also have current FDISR archives. What I have done is:

    1. Restored the early image which leaves my machine as it was shortly after I got it, FDISR installed but no extra snapshots.

    2. Create a 2nd snapshot from the external drive. Boot to this snapshot which is current system.

    3. Update the out of date Primary from the current secondary. Primary is now current.

    4. Defrag.

    Works lilke a champ.

    Pete

    PS. I still keep current images as space isn't an issue.
     
  4. munckman

    munckman Registered Member

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    Yes.

    The qualifier; "The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 5 characters."

    Sorry for rambling, I didn't know about the 5 character limit.
     
  5. wxman

    wxman Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Right now space is a bit of an issue. At least untill I can pick up a new second hard drive. The only one I have now is only 40gb, and I have a total of 4 computers I want to be backing up. I know I can't fit it all on there, so I'm making do.
     
  6. wxman

    wxman Registered Member

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    I also just realized that, if I was VERY brave, I should be able to update the archived snapshot, and store it on the backup drive. Then reformat the main hard drive, reinstall windows/drivers/windows updates, patches, and FDISR. Then after making sure it all works, make a image of the "new" system, and store it away. Then restore the archived snapshot, and all should be right back where it was before.

    The reason I would need to be brave is two of these computers are my wife's. Very dangerous territory to mess with.
     
  7. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    My intention is always to install each software OFF-LINE as much as possible. This creates the possibility of having 100% CLEAN special backup files and special archived snapshots, which can be used to get a CLEAN restoration in no time, in case you don't trust your daily backups and daily archived snapshots anymore.

    Once I'm ON-LINE I consider my computer as infected, no matter what security softwares I have to protect it.

    Getting 100% CLEAN backups and snapshots isn't easy :
    - winXPproSP2 requires already an internet connection for its activation and you need the activation in your backups and snapshots, otherwise Windows will keep on asking for activation.
    - more and more softwares require an internet connection to make the installation possible.
     
  8. wxman

    wxman Registered Member

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    I guess you can almost get away with a "off-line" install. You should be able to pre download all XP updates/patches as files, and store them on the back up media as a separate entity. Then the only time you would need to be on line would be for the activation.
     
  9. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    That's what I'm doing too and I use "nLite" to create an "Updated WinXPproSP2 Installation CD", but the activation is still a weak point.
    There is a procedure for an OFF-LINE activation and I tried it a few times, but it doesn't work. Maybe I do it wrong or it doesn't work at all. :D
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Wxman

    Actually the only bravery in this is the wife situation. You really don't need all the updates and patches. Just stay off line. All you need is enough to get windows running, so you can see all your drives. Once you've done that install FDISR, and use the archive to bring all current.

    One caveat(other then wife). Test the snapshot. Create a new snapshot from the archive and make sure you can boot to it. If you can, you are good to go. You can update that snapshot daily. Just keep testing it occasionally.

    One thing I'd do is demonstrate to your wife on your computer, how you can trash, modify or whatever to a snapshot and then fix it with FDISR, and she will become a believer.

    Pete
     
  11. wxman

    wxman Registered Member

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    That part I'm going to do - but later. That's because I just demonstrated to her how to totally destroy her notebook's hard drive by doing a simple partition resize, not paying attention to what I was doing, and loosing all her stuff. Thus the reasons for making a better system of backups for us.

    You're right about the not needing the updates. I wasn't thinking that they would already be in the archived snapshot. The simple image of the operating system, and FDISR would end up being fairly small with everything left out. I guess you would still have to have the proper drivers installed so you could hook up through the home network to the backup hard drive. Mine is a second internal on my main desktop wired directly to the router.
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    What I have is my basic system with just the stuff to make it safe on line. I imaged that with Image for DOS, and have it on DVD, internal 2nd drive, and USB drive. I have test restored with all 3. I have also tested restoring one of these images, and getting current with external FDISR archives.

    One thing you are so right about is paying attention. I've gone all the way thru to the last step of a restore, and then backed up and redone it cause I didn't remember if I did it right.

    Pete
     
  13. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    Here's another way to do it off-line:

    http://www.ryanvm.net/msfn/

    Windows XP Updates
    RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack 2.1.2 September 17, 2006
    Directly integrate all post-SP2 hotfixes, plus a few other updates.

    I've got 2 archived copies of Win XP2. One is virgin install w/ FD-ISR from 071206. And one has FD-ISR & security apps installed. When I have some time, I plan to do a SnapShot using RyanVM to replace the two current archived SnapShots...

    ...screamer
     
  14. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    That's the same website I use to upgrade my install CD with "nLite".
    Of course RyanVM doesn't contain the recent patches, but it's a good start to avoid a long downloading and installation of too many patches from Window Update. I bought WinXPproSP2 in 2006 and it needs already 70 patches to be up-to-date.
     
  15. wxman

    wxman Registered Member

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    As Pete already said, if I do this on a system that's already running, all the updates are there in the snapshot. You wouldn't need to download any more, just make an image with XP and FDISR in it.

    I looked at that site, and I'm going to download a copy of the files anyway. It does look like a good idea.
     
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