What happened? First time FD did not come to the rescue!

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-ISR Forum' started by Acadia, Oct 21, 2007.

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  1. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Guys, something happened the other day that really has me puzzled. FirstDefense, for the very first time, was not able to save me from a major problem. Fortunately we got the problem fixed although I am not sure how. This happened on my wife's pc which also has FirstDefense installed, yes, we have two licenses for FD. This is what happened:

    Every time that FireFox has an upgrade of any kind, my wife needs to reboot her computer; we do not know why, I never need to but she does. We both have WinXP Home but she always gets a message that her system needs to be restarted, not FireFox needs to be restarted, BUT HER ENTIRE SYSTEM. So she has always lived with that minor nuisance.

    The other day she upgraded to FireFox 2.0.0.8 and sure enough received the message that she need to restart her entire system. So she shut down her system properly using the usual Microsoft recommend procedure. Upon restart, she received a message that her system had not been shut down properly. o_O I was there when she did it: she did indeed shut it down properly. Anyway, after the usual screens including the FirstDefense pre-boot screen … NOTHING! Nothing but a blank, black screen … and it just stayed that way.

    I said to my wife, no problem, I'll just reboot your system and boot into another Snapshot and get rid of the FireFox upgrade. Restarted her pc, went into the FD pre-boot screen, switched to another Snapshot, continued the bootup … NOTHING! Same blank, black screen, FirstDefense was not saving us. I tried this several more times, same result. This was the first time ever that I have seen FD helpless. My wife has the most recent version of FD on her system.

    Not really sure what to do I just booted into the pre-boot setup BIOS screen and played with her boot up sequence, you know, what boots up in what order. I decided not to change anything, so I got out of the SetUp without making any changes. The next time I tried booting up her computer IT WORKED, we booted up into the original Primary Snapshot. I decided to keep her FireFox upgrade and everything has worked ever since.

    Does anyone have any idea why FirstDefense was unable to boot to another Snapshot, and if so, what should I do the next time, if ever, this happens again. Thanks.
     
  2. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Did it show any reason in the event viewer as to why it didn't shut down properly?
     
  3. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Hi, stapp, haven't looked there yet but shouldn't FD have been able to save me no matter what the reason was?

    Acadia
     
  4. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Out of curiosity, what make of computer? Not a Toshiba by any chance?

    Ooops never mind, I see it was a PC not a lappie.

    Could be some sort of driver issue, sadly I'd have no idea how to prove or disprove that theory. definitely worth looking in the system event viewer to see if anything came up there. Also in FD logs to see why it did not obey the boot to snapshot command.
     
  5. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    I agree, but was thinking along the lines about if there was an underlying problem (your wife having to reboot so often etc) which could have lead to it such as user profile hive problems


    Probably way off beam, just waiting of the cavalry!
     
  6. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Rofl, me too, punching time 'till Peter shows up ;)
     
  7. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Acadia,
    I have no idea what happened. I only know FDISR very well, when it is working properly.
    When FDISR fails and that happened a few times, I restore a daily image of my system partition (= Plan B). :)

    Plan A = FirstDefense-ISR
    Plan B = Daily Image
    Plan C = Clean Image
    Plan D = re-creation of clean image, using other clean basic images.
    Plan E = total re-installation, starting with a clean image of WinXPproSP2 + WPA + WGA + UPH.

    This is what you call a "Layered Recovery Solution" (LRS), but quite unknown to the world and not to confuse with "Layered Security Solution" (LSS). :D
     
  8. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Further info, my wife has a 3 year old Dell desktop. She only needs to reboot during FireFox upgrades, ALL FireFox upgrades, otherwise her PC behaves perfectly normal and I have used the FirstDefense pre-boot many times on her pc, FIRST time it ever failed and we were even able to get into it, just would not boot to another Snapshot even though I told it to... it would not boot ANYWHERE.

    Thanks for all comments, might have to check those logs out of curiosity, especially the FirstDefense logs.

    Acadia
     
  9. screamer

    screamer Registered Member

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    Acadia,

    I've had FD-ISR fail me once also. It was also on a re-boot. I was unable to hit F1 since there was no FD-ISR pre-boot screen available. Just a blank screen. I wasn't able to boot into safe mode either. I was beside myself. I needed to do a full Win XP re-install. I never did find out what exactly happened, I'm only thankful that it only happened once, a long time ago.

    ...screamer
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Boy that is strange. I've never seen anything like this. I know Dell's have hidden partitions, and that might have had something to do with it. I don't use firefox, but if it routinely doesn't require a reboot on install and does on that machine then something isn't quite right.

    But like Erik, I also have images I can restore, and also I use archives more than other snapshots.

    If it duplicates I'd report it to support.

    Pete
     
  11. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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    I have had a few snapshots fail before.... But my problem then was VSS related.

    I had one snapshot fail on my test machine yesterday
    • I was using an old build 173 this happened after I upgraded to 3.2 b 205 in my base test snapshot
    • the snapshot that failed had never been boot so ... it may have been doggy anyway

    I then booted all of the other snapshots on the machine - every one gave an error about $isr not being found and then booted into windows. Once booted and rebooted error gone.

    I can't remember when FD moved from the MBR but I guessed this may be related.
     
  12. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    You´re right.
    I´ve been using Firefox for years, it does never ever require reboot of the computer, why should it?
    It doesnt install any deep level files that affect the system. Something is very, very wrong if Firefox requires reboot of the computer for any reason. I would look for some malware the first thing if that happened to me.
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Maybe the wife has some software on her computer that causes this problem.

    PS.: computers have alot of drivers and women aren't very good drivers. Everything is possible. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2007
  14. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Suitable plan, for anyone. :)

    Mine goes something on the order of this............

    Plan A = FD-ISR
    Sub-Plan A = Change FD-ISR archive location to alternative internal/external disk.
    (1) What this accomplishes is two-fold, first it allows for additional space in your active system where FD snapshots are housed in $ISR and CAN make for the bulk of disc space useage depending on how many a user creates.
    (2) Makes for wise security in 100% preservation of your main active system should anything go belly up for whatever reason and corrupt either system or drive.

    Plan B = I prefer to use Second Copy! It makes a backup of your data files to another directory, disk or even another computer across the network. It then monitors the source files and keeps the backup updated with new or changed files. It runs in the background with no user interaction. So, once it is set up you always have a backup of your data somewhere else.

    Plan C = Clean Image(s). As another solid precautionary measure brought about in part by Windows code prone to sudden unexpected corruptions and/or conflicts with other software as well as potential infestation from anyplace, i prefer Paragon Drive BackUp Pro images and store those on alternate hard drives.
    As an added backup measure of safety & preservation to the above i also make an image with DriveSnapshot. The old motto and saying applies here where it's been said two heads are better then one, and my belief where concerns Windows poor track record of risk doesn't exactly make for total trust. If something can go wrong, you can count on that it will at some point.
    So 2 backup programs is a strategy that i employ with no second thoughts.

    Plan D = Reinstallation (like Erik) with a clean image but first delete partition then totally WIPE it via D-Ban then i use ActiveKillDisk to zero out the drive or the Hard Drive's zeroe program if it's WestDigital or SeaGate.

    These methods vary somewhat in approach but are vastly similar in many ways and makes for a 100% Reliable Strategic Recovery Plan.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2007
  15. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    In my plan A = FDISR are daily and clean archives included of course, but if that doesn't work, it means that FDISR is corrupted by some software/malware.
    If a legitimate software corrupted FDISR, I restore a daily image.
    If a malware corrupted FDISR, I restore a clean image.
    If I have doubts, I restore a clean image.

    It doesn't really matter how you organize these things as long you can get back in business in a considerable time.

    My worst restore time = 30 minuts :
    - 20 minuts to zero my harddisk completely, the quick zero is very fast : 1 minut +
    - 10 minuts to restore my system partition, including the CD load-time
    Normal restore time = 10 minuts

    All the rest is with FDISR, which is a matter of seconds or minuts.
    I use my archives usually to clean my snapshots, especially my off-line snapshot, where I do all my work and hobbies.
     
  16. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    Great stereotype Eric!
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Actually guys aside from the fact it really isn't funny, it especially isn't true. I can think of a few gals who lurk here and they are pretty computer savvy.

    Pete
     
  18. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Very true, we do have some very knowledgable ladies that frequent here.:thumb:
     
  19. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Well, to line up a little closer with the topic title here, i must say FD-ISR does come to rescue in more than just a few ways. My best and most favored featured still is the archives .arx and the flexibility of being able to store them to another media storage for later use.

    For me it's the bread and butter of immediate rescue from disaster aside from my PARAGON DRIVE BACKUP imaging app. With my most recent acquisition of Second Copy and the way it reacts immediately to a changed or new file to either copy or move to a safer locale, my data/system preservation plan is finally falling into place perfectly.

    Again it bears repeating, i let loose a virus unintentionally on my main FD-ISR system and it wreaked total havoc being a stinking file infector :ouch: and when i seen that no amount of Copy/Update from archive to snapshot would even work, i thought my goose was cooked good this time.

    But to the rescue in brilliant! fashion :D rushed in FD-ISR archives that i at least had presence of mind to store off disk, thanks to all of the member discussions here, it 100% returned every single snapshot back to it's original condition again, of course after i had first salvaged useful material from the disk then wiped & formatted to a new clean install.
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Yes, I received already a PM complaining about my remarks. I've seen worse in the world than joking about women. Women joke about men too in case you didn't know.
     
  21. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Yes, I have seen worse in the world, and yes women do joke about men........BUT, it isn't going to happen here. It just isn't necessary.

    Thanks,

    Pete
     
  22. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I installed all my softwares in image format, not in snapshots. It's easy to create a snapshot of each image. I don't maintain my snapshots anymore, I maintain my images.

    I did this to change easily from FDISR to another ISR-software, like DeepFreeze, Returnil, ... and to switch easily to another Image Backup software.
    I just don't like to re-install and configure all my permanent softwares over and over again, that is too much work.

    If FDISR fades away, I'm ready for another ISR-software.
     
  23. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    This problem was caused by a corrupted mft. FD-ISR can corrupt the mft but I have only see this on "dualboot" XP and Vista snapshots.

    There is no way to fix a corrupt mft. The only alternatives are an image restore or a clean installation of the os.

    ps. This does not mean that fd-isr was to blame in this case. It can happen even if you have installed only the OS and nothing else.
     
  24. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Yep, it smells like filesystem rot.
     
  25. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    And we can point that misgiving straight back at it's source from it's original code team. I suppose $M never consider that potential possibility when they were going over those specs at the time on the magnified big screen during one of their review sessions.

    It should have been easy enough for them to code a repair strategy to reclaim a good MFT if patterns were somehow disrupted there for whatever reasons.

    But..........
     
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