The ultimate backup routine


J

John Doe

Working without a backup of your Windows C drive is like trying to
compose a document without being able to save copies.

.... get yourself a small solid-state drive (SDD) and a big
conventional hard disk drive (HDD), use the SDD as primary and the
HDD as secondary

.... get yourself a free program called Macrium Reflect

.... install Windows, using Macrium Reflect to periodically make a
copy of your SDD to your HDD

.... whenever anything significant goes wrong that you don't want
to mess with, make a "delme" copy of your current installation,
backup any data that is not kept as an ordinary file on your
Windows drive C (for example, Firefox bookmarks)

.... make appropriate backup folders on your big HDD drive, I name
those folders chronologically and according to the current
interest here, like "6 Dragonfly, SupCom, b4 Hotspot"

.... drop your backup Macrium Reflect CD in your DVD drive,
restart, select the most recent known good copy of Windows drive
C, and restore it to your SDD

.... once you get back into your nice neat clean copy of Windows,
you can use Macrium Reflect to browse the delme copy of drive C
and retrieve any updated files you need

If you need encouragement, just hang around this group for a while
and listen to the occasional sad story about losing data from a
hard drive that was not backed up. The above method provides
solutions to much more than that, it's a whole new world of
computing.
 
Ad

Advertisements

D

Davej

Working without a backup of your Windows C drive is like trying to
compose a document without being able to save copies.

... get yourself a small solid-state drive (SDD) and a big
conventional hard disk drive (HDD), use the SDD as primary and the
HDD as secondary

... get yourself a free program called Macrium Reflect

... install Windows, using Macrium Reflect to periodically make a
copy of your SDD to your HDD

Do you have to copy the entire boot partition? What about using a
small boot partition on the big HD? I am not sure I've seen any
performance advantage to having my 36GB 10K as the boot drive. I have
not tried SSD's yet.
 
F

Flasherly

Do you have to copy the entire boot partition? What about using a
small boot partition on the big HD? I am not sure I've seen any
performance advantage to having my 36GB 10K as the boot drive. I have
not tried SSD's yet.

Two hours setup on a dozen drives over two hard discs. Two open
cases, one behind and one in front. Three or four HDs, including USB
docks and an occasional USB stick. One physical drive to rebuild,
partition, format for appropriate sector sizes, and transfer a couple-
hundred gig data twice for downsizing two partitions into one.

The OS-s run permanently now 1 or 2 minutes transfer (copy or write),
and a linked, one-shot windows prg drive was pretty sweet, too, at 4
minutes for three times as big (tricky dicky programs like firewalls
that don't want to be copied other than going through the backdoor in
binary mode).

BIOS BOOT Drive c0 c1 X X-26th . . . X0, X0 is prg drive
c0-DOS boot shows c1
c1-windows boot does not show c0

next physical drive for binary backups
(some not all systems may get a performance boost across different
physical drives in dos binary transfers -
same then follows for X0 and a quicker boot when separating windows
installs from windows * can't have your cake and eat it under two
minutes any other way.)

ghosting in art school is done on c0 in DOS 98 or 6.2 with fat32
drives
 
J

John Doe

Flasherly said:
Two hours setup on a dozen drives over two hard discs. Two open
cases, one behind and one in front.

That sounds like dialogue at the start of a detective movie.
 
J

John Doe

Do you have to copy the entire boot partition?

I don't think so. You can try.
What about using a small boot partition on the big HD?

If you have a big HDD, you can try.
I am not sure I've seen any performance advantage to having my
36GB 10K as the boot drive. I have not tried SSD's yet.

What works is what matters here. Using Macrium Reflect is just too
easy, and the benefit of keeping backup copies of your Windows
drive C is out of this world. Believe it or not. Like I said, hang
around the script long enough to hear all of the crying about
having lost data. And, again, having browsable(!) read-only backup
copies of drive C solves all of your problems.
 
Ad

Advertisements

B

Bear Bottoms

Working without a backup of your Windows C drive is like trying to
compose a document without being able to save copies.

... get yourself a small solid-state drive (SDD) and a big
conventional hard disk drive (HDD), use the SDD as primary and the
HDD as secondary

... get yourself a free program called Macrium Reflect

... install Windows, using Macrium Reflect to periodically make a
copy of your SDD to your HDD

... whenever anything significant goes wrong that you don't want
to mess with, make a "delme" copy of your current installation,
backup any data that is not kept as an ordinary file on your
Windows drive C (for example, Firefox bookmarks)

... make appropriate backup folders on your big HDD drive, I name
those folders chronologically and according to the current
interest here, like "6 Dragonfly, SupCom, b4 Hotspot"

... drop your backup Macrium Reflect CD in your DVD drive,
restart, select the most recent known good copy of Windows drive
C, and restore it to your SDD

... once you get back into your nice neat clean copy of Windows,
you can use Macrium Reflect to browse the delme copy of drive C
and retrieve any updated files you need

If you need encouragement, just hang around this group for a while
and listen to the occasional sad story about losing data from a
hard drive that was not backed up. The above method provides
solutions to much more than that, it's a whole new world of
computing.

This covers the parts you missed.....

A security plan that first covers recovery, and data protection is key.
Have a current image of your operating system and files. Backup your
data off-site regularly. Use a Anti-Keylogger. Have a Identity Theft
Plan. Have a financial transaction plan such as PayPal or MyProtect
(especially with Credit/Debit cards.) Anything truely sensitive, keep it
encrypted and/or off of your computer that is connected to the net.

Then use AV/AS/Firewall to help reduce the need (and time between) to
recover from malware. Just about any of the top free ones are good
enough. Just remember, the bad guys are always one step ahead. No silver
bullets.

Your computer being hosed beyond use is not the most important issue. An
image of your system easily remedies that. The issue is protecting
yourself from financial harm or sensitive data being discovered or data
loss.

PRIVACY

Remember: There is no privacy on the Internet and you can only protect
yourself by not doing or divulging some things at all. Identity Theft
and Financial protection plans are crucial.

IDENTITY THEFT

Some of the better identity protection companies are LifeLock, IDENTITY
GUARD, TrustedID, ID Watchdog, and Guard Dog ID. These are not free
however, but are important as identity theft is one of the most serious
and numerous threats today. Research the companies available and choose
one. Identity Theft Labs Top Ten Reviews TomUse.com
http://www.identitytheftlabs.com/
http://identity-theft-protection-services-review.toptenreviews.com/
http://tomuse.com/identity-theft-protection-service-review-compare/

FINANCIAL TRANSACTION PLAN

Be sure all financial transactions are with trusted sites and an HTTPS
connection (secure web connection) such as https://website rather than
http://website. Also, secure web browser services are available. One
such new free service is very good: MyProtect. A history of MyProtect
can be found here.
http://www.quaresso.com/index.php?/myprotect/
http://tinyurl.com/29scjgn

KEYLOGGERS

Keyloggers are one of the more serious threats and a very good program
to DETECT AND PREVENT them is SpyShelter which uses special algorithms
to protect your data against Spy and monitoring software that are used
to steal or reveal your data to other parties such as extremely
dangerous and custom-made keyloggers. It actively scans when any spy
program, keylogger or trojan attempts to store your private information.
It is designed to be compatible with other well-known security products
such as anti-virus and firewall software. System protection (HIPS), Anti
keylogger, AntiScreenCapture, and AntiClipboardCapture. Minimal resource
usage. It can be configured to launch an on screen keyboard when logging
into your system. A better on screen keyboard to use with SpyShelter or
anytime you type secure information is SafeKeys
http://www.spyshelter.com/index.html
http://www.aplin.com.au/neos-safekeys-v3

IMAGING YOUR SYSTEM

Imaging your system is the single most important thing anyone who owns a
computer should do.

The single most important aspect of a computer recovery is to be able to
restore your computer easily. There is no silver bullet or suite of
software that can guarantee you will not become infected. There is no
guarantee or certain way to know that you will be able to clean all of
the malware if you become infected and even so, that process can
actually take longer than re-imaging your computer. Making an image of
your system is the fastest and best solution for hard drive failure or
recovering from malware infections. It is also something anyone can do
easily regardless of their level of technical knowledge.

The act of restoring an image, completely erases the contents of your
hardrive/partition and rewrites the entire contents of the image. If
this image is an image of your active partition (partition on a hard
drive set as the bootable partition and contains the operating system -
usually c:/) it will completely restore your system as it was at the
time you made your image. Making an image of your system can reduce
complete system restoration time to thirty minutes or less and it is
very easy to do. You will not need operating system or factory
restoration disks, or computer manufacturer restoration features to
restage your computer - simply restore the image. This is the best
overall protection you can have. I cannot stress the importance of this
enough.

First you should obtain an external hard drive and create backup folders
on that drive. (You can use CD/DVDs to copy your images to, however,
multiple CD/DVDs will be needed and how many depends on how large your
drive is.) Before you make a restoration image, update your programs,
run deep scans with your antivirus and manual scanners, clean and
defragment your machine in order to get as clean an image as possible.
http://www.ccleaner.com/

Download and install your backup imaging program. I recommend Macrium
Reflect. Macrium Reflect on first run prompts you to create a boot CD.
Insert a blank CD and make one. Next, create your backup image and save
it to your external hard drive. To restore your image, place the Macrium
Reflect boot CD in your CD drive and restart. Then connect your external
hard drive, and follow the wizards. It is that simple.
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

Video1 showing how to create an image with Macrium Reflect, and Video2
showing how to restore an image with Macrium Reflect which was made
about one year ago though it is still current enough to provide you the
necessary information.
http://bearware.info/Misc/MacriumReflect1.flv
http://bearware.info/Misc/MacriumReflect2.flv

HowToGeek reviews how to use Macrium Reflect.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/7363/macrium-reflect-is-a-free-and-easy-to-
use-backup-utility/

Tutorials by Macrium Reflect.
http://www.macrium.com/blog/CategoryView,category,Tutorials.aspx

It is an easy process and I highly recommend to have a backup image of
your entire system which will make it painless to restore your operating
system to the last clean image you made in the event of a castastrophy.
Also remember to make new images periodically when your system changes
significantly.

Tip: Keep the last few images you make as you may discover a corrupt
image or make a dirty image (system not clean when you make the image).

Tip: If you are not sure your system is clean, it may be worth the
effort to restage your computer with your factory restoration CDs or on
hard drive restoration factory images, reload the Windows updates,
reinstall your programs, data files and settings and then make an image.
This may take a long time, but it is worth having an image of your
computer in a pristine state. Just image your system before you restage
so you have access to files etc. after your restage.

Tip: With Macrium Reflect, you can Browse or Explore an image by
mounting the image file in Windows Explorer. This makes the image appear
as a drive in Windows Explorer that you can access just like any other
drive and has its own drive letter. With Marium Reflect, the image is
mounted as read only. This means that you cannot change the contents of
image but you can copy files from the mounted image in Windows Explorer
to your PC. You can also open files (such as WORD documents) by double
clicking. To mount the image, right click on the image file in Windows
Explorer and select 'Explore Image.' Select the partition from your
image you wish to view. Your image partition will be displayed in
Windows Explorer with its own drive letter with all of the files and
folders that were on your computer when you made the image.

BACKING UP YOUR DATA

Ask yourself "If I restored the last image I made of my system, would I
be satisfied?" and if the answer is no, make a new image. It only takes
about 30 minutes.

My preferred choice of protecting my data files in between images, is to
use SugarSync, DropBox and Google Docs. All of my datafiles are kept on
either of those sites. I use SugarSync to sync MyDocuments folder, any
files in my Dropbox folder are sync'd realtime to my free Dropbox online
storage, and my Google Docs are accessed via my browser and reside on my
Google Docs free online storage. Therefore there is no need for me to
make incremental backups of my data files between images.
http://www.sugarsync.com/
http://www.dropbox.com/
http://docs.google.com/

If you choose not to use such services or such isn't suitable for your
needs, use backup software between images like FreeFileSync routinely to
sync your data files to a different folder than your Macrium Reflect
folder on your external hard drive. This will help make reverting to
your last image more painless if you ever have to do so as those
backed-up data files you changed since the last image can be copied back
to your system after you load your image. Just remember, most are not
realtime backups.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync

Your important data should be backed-up offsite or online, though some
people use 'fireproof containers" which could still become lost, stolen
or receive damage.

ANTIVIRUS, ANTISPYWARE AND FIREWALL SUITE

There are a lot of anti-malware programs that are very good and it is
difficult to choose an adequate 'suite' without over-burdoning your
computer or creating multitudes of annoying notices and still get decent
protection. I prefer a balance of the best protection with the least
amount of noise and configuration. The minimal Windows process I
recommend (all free) is as follows (this will be updated as this dynamic
environment changes.) If you wish to use more, by all means do.

I do not find the need for additional anti-spyware programs or other
security programs with the following setups. Just remember, no matter
what security products you use, none can guarantee you will not become
infected and all of them allow some types of malware through. People who
claim they never get infected are both lucky and use very conservative
safe hex practices. They will still get an infection at some time...the
odds are against them.

COMODO Internet Security Premium, has positioned itself as the top free
contender in this dynamic environment and likely the best all around
security protection of any free or even many paid options.
http://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/free-internet-security.php

COMODO Internet Security Premium features a new user interface theme,
application sandboxing, reduced pop-up alerts and the ability to easily
take system snapshots or create restore points, antivirus with
heuristics engine built in, firewall with outbound and inbound
protection, system memory firewall protecting against buffer overflow,
HIPS (Defense+), Online Cloud Scanner and behavior analysis, spyware
scanner, improved malware cleaning, and game mode. CIS is my current
choice for best free anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall suite.

Sure there is a Pro version, but functionality is the same as the free
version though additionally you get TrustConnect which offers protection
from Internet threats regardless of where the computer is being used or
how the computer is connected, and Hands-on Support (Apart from the
usual 24x7 product support, there are other services like remote virus
removal, wifi security, remote installation and PC tune-ups for a
sluggish machine.) While $40 a year isn't bad for those two additional
services, unless you really want/need them, they aren't significant
enough to warrent the cost. After all, you do have your operating system
image now.

ALTERNATE ANTI-VIRUS Suite

I equally recommend Panda Cloud Antivirus Beta antivirus coupled with
ThreatFire and SpyShelter with the Windows Firewall as an alternative to
Comodo Internet Security. Panda Cloud Antivirus Beta is an effective
alternative along with ThreatFire and SpyShelter which do not rely on
signatures, but instead constantly analyzes your computer's behavior to
detect and block any unknown malicious activity.
http://blog.cloudantivirus.com/cloud/beta/
http://www.threatfire.com/
http://www.spyshelter.com/index.html

An alternative to Panda Cloud Antivirus Beta, AVAST, or AntiVir are also
good choices.
http://www.avast.com/index
http://www.free-av.com/

ALTERNATE FIREWALL

Windows firewall is good enough, but if you want more control though
much noisier, use Comodo Firewall (without the antivirus) or Panda Cloud
Antivirus (remember to remove any other antivirus software) instead of
Windows firewall.
http://www.comodo.com/products/free_products.html
http://blog.cloudantivirus.com/cloud/beta/

KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UP-TO-DATE

Vulnerable and out-dated programs and plug-ins expose your PC to
attacks. Attacks exploiting vulnerable programs and plug-ins are rarely
blocked by traditional anti-virus and are therefore increasingly
"popular" among criminals. The only solution to block these kind of
attacks is to apply security updates, commonly referred to as patches.
Patches are offered free-of-charge by most software vendors, however,
finding all these patches is a tedious and time consuming task. I
recommend Secunia PSI as it automates these necessary updates and alerts
you when your programs and plug-ins require updating to stay secure.
http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/

ROUTINE MALWARE MANUAL SCANS

Perform routine manual scans periodically with Superantispyware
Portable, Malwarebytes, Dr.Web CureIt and Emsisoft Anti-Malware (Install
the full version of Emsisoft Anti-Malware...after the installation, it
will give you several options....choose the free scanner only option
then on the next screen, deselect the privacy and online update options.
When you run the program, it will ask if you want to update. Emsisoft
Anti-Malware takes a long time to scan your system, but it is thorough.
http://www.superantispyware.com/portablescanner.html
http://www.malwarebytes.org/
http://www.freedrweb.com/cureit/
http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/

To check for and clean rootkit infections run a scan with Gmer
Anti-Rootkit and let it walk you through removal if it finds any rootkits.
http://www.gmer.net/

REMOVING INFECTIONS

If you think you are infected, perform a deep scan with your anti-virus
and then with the above manual scanners. If you are infected which is
causing management issues in normal mode, you can try to clean these
infections with the above scanners by booting your system into SAFE-MODE
(without networking) by re-booting and pressing F8 during boot and be
sure to use safe-mode without networking.

Tip: Sometimes malware will prevent these programs from running and a
good trick is to rename the executable file before running it.

RESCUE CD

SARDU (Shardana Antivirus Rescue Disk Utility) can build one multiboot
support CD, DVD or a USB device. The disk or USB device may include
comprehensive collections of "antivirus rescue cd", collections of
utilities, popular distributions of Linux Live, the best known Windows
PE , recovery disks and Install of Windows XP , Windows Vista and
Windows Seven. All you need for troubleshooting. SARDU does include a
few utilities, but is primarily a tool for managing the software (ISO
image files) that you download from other companies and developers,
which can be also done with this tool.
http://www.sarducd.it/

Video Example by Mr Izos
http://www.youtube.com/user/mrizos?
feature=uploademail_ch#p/a/u/2/vaAoagLmumc

Video Example by Languy99 in three parts (older version of SARDU but
shows you how to use it.)
VIDEO 1rst part
VIDEO 2nd part
VIDEO 3rd part

There is no antimalware program(s) that is bullet proof...therefore more
important to have real time back up of your data and portable programs,
and a very current image of your system. Why...because *when* you become
infected, it takes more time to try to clean than re-image, and you can
never be certain you've cleaned it all. If you do not have such a plan,
SARDU is the best type of approach to cleaning. Trying to use programs
to clean your system while your system is booted is definitely a crap
shoot.

If you have such a recovery plan, just about any decent anti-malware
program could be used. I mean it's not like any of them are bullet proof
so it's a crap shoot. You might have the best AV in the world and happen
across the one malware that defeats it...bang. You might use the worst
and never come across malware that defeats it. It's a crap shoot.

Tip: If you are so heavily infected requiring rescue CD's, it is much
faster and reliable to use the backup Image you made with Macrium
Reflect and restore your computer to the last image you made in 30
minutes or less. You must however, boot with the Macrium Reflect boot CD
to restore your image.

PASSWORD AND FORM MANAGEMENT

LastPass is the most secure solution for encrypted automated password
management, and form filler. There is also nothing easier to use to
manage your passwords with as many features although some folks prefer
computer based programs such as KeePass.
https://lastpass.com/
http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/keepass_portable

Steve Gibson, reknowned security expert, reviews LastPass in depth in a
podcast. Here is a text transcription of that podcast.
http://bearware.info/Misc/LastPass_SteveGibson.txt

DNS PROXY

Google Public DNS allows you to use Google's DNS servers coupled with
their malware databases which block websites known to contain malware.
This gives you an additional layer of security without adding additional
burden to your system resources. It is also faster and has more valid
results than your ISP's. Look up how to change your DNS settings for
your particular operating system.
http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/docs/intro.html

WIFI ENCRYPTION

If you use wireless connections in your home network, it is imperative
that you encrypt the connection. Anyone within range of your wireless
transmission could connect to your network and use it or capture your
computing sessions.

WEP is no longer recommended. The FBI has demonstrated that WEP can be
cracked in just a few minutes using software tools that are readily
available over the Internet. Even a long random character password will
not protect you with WEP. You should be using WPA or preferably WPA2
encryption. Check with your wifi router manual to determine how to do
this.

To encrypt your wifi, reset the wireless router to factory: press and
hold reset 20 seconds. On the main computer connected by wire to the
router, use any browser and go to 192.168.1.1 to enter management page.
The router's login password is usually on one of the "Administration"
pages. The other settings are all found in the "Wireless" section of the
router's setup pages, located at 192.168.1.1.

DEFAULT USER NAME LOGINS:
Linksys BEFW11S4 or WRT54G= admin
Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Ethernet routers= Administrator
Linksys Comcast routers= comcast
All other Linksys routers= [none].

DEFAULT LOGIN PASSWORDS:
Linksys BEFW11S4= [none]
Linksys Comcast routers= 1234
All other Linksys routers= admin.

First, give your router a unique SSID. Don't use "linksys". Make sure
"SSID Broadcast" is set to "disabled".

MAC Authentication should be applied.

Next, leave the router at its default settings (except for the unique
SSID), and then use a configured as above pc to connect wirelessly to
the router. Test your wireless Internet connection and make sure it is
working correctly. You must have a properly working wireless connection
before setting up wireless security.

To implement wireless security, you need to do one step at a time, then
verify that you can still connect your wireless computer to the router.

Next, select to encrypt your wireless system using the highest level of
encryption that all of your wireless devices will support. Common
encryption methods are:
WEP - poor
WPA (sometimes called PSK, or WPA with TKIP) - good
WPA2 (sometimes called PSK2, or WPA with AES) - best.

WPA and WPA2 sometimes come in versions of "personal" and "enterprise".
Most home users should use "personal". Also, if you have a choice
between AES and TKIP, and your wireless equipment is capable of both,
choose AES. With any encryption method, you will need to supply a key
(sometimes called a "password" ).

The wireless devices (computers, printers, etc.) that you have will need
to be set up with the SSID, encryption method, and key that matches what
you entered in the router. Retest your system and verify that your
wireless Internet connection is still working correctly.

And don't forget to give your router a new login password. Picking
Passwords (keys): You should never use a dictionary word as a password.
If you use a dictionary word as a password, even WPA2 can be cracked in
a few minutes. When you pick your login password and encryption key (or
password or passphrase) you should use a random coMBination of capital
letters, small letters, nuMBers, and characters but no spaces. A login
password, should be 12 characters or more. WPA and WPA2 passwords should
be at least 24 characters. Note: Your key, password, or passphrase must
not have any spaces in it.

Most home users should have their routers set so that "remote
management" of the router is disabled. If you must have this option
enabled, then your login password must be increased to a minumum of 24
random characters.

One additional issue is that Windows XP requires a patch to run WPA2. Go
to Microsoft Knowledge base, article ID=917021 and it will direct you to
the patch. Sadly, the patch is not part of the automatic Windows XP
updates, so lots of people are missing the patch.

A wireless Router with a Full FireWall implementation is best. Then only
the operating system's stock FireWall is needed and the LAN nodes will
have more resources available. A Router FireWall is stronger and more
secure than a software firewall.

ON-LINE HELP

If you believe you are infected and want on-line help (if you can go
on-line), go to one of the free tech support forums listed in my Tech
Support Section (I prefer TechSupportGuy,) post your issue and let them
walk you through cleaning. However, RESTORING THE LAST CLEAN IMAGE of
your computer is the surest and fastest solution.
http://www.techguy.org/

CONCLUSION

At the very minimum, keep a current clean image of your computer and use
AV/AS/Firewall software. Restore the image if you get into trouble.

©BearWare
 
J

John Doe

Bear Bottoms said:
John Doe <jdoe usenetlove.invalid> wrote

This covers the parts you missed.....
Have a financial transaction plan such as PayPal or MyProtect
(especially with Credit/Debit cards.)

I have had experience to suggest that is not such a big deal (for
the vast majority of home users), but I don't want to explain or
argue that subject. I would guess that ordinary users more often
get their data inspected without knowing or caring when they take
their PC to a shop.
KEYLOGGERS

Keyloggers are one of the more serious threats

That's certainly a well known threat, but I've never seen anything
to suggest that has happened here, and I've had lots of experience.
Has anyone ever mentioned that happening, in a post to this group?
Again, not really something I care to argue. I guess you can't be
too safe, but I can't be that slow.
IMAGING YOUR SYSTEM

Imaging your system is the single most important thing anyone
who owns a computer should do.
Yup.

Making an image of your system is the fastest and best solution
for hard drive failure or recovering from malware infections. It
is also something anyone can do easily regardless of their level
of technical knowledge.

Well... You can get into some very ugly and very serious technical
problems backing up and restoring copies of your Windows drive C.
Things are getting easier, Macrium Reflect certainly appears to do
an excellent job, I have not had a recovery disaster so far using
it, but I doubt that we are entirely out of the woods yet. For
now, I would still leave the Windows backup and restore process in
the hands of a techie. Or at least be sure that a techie is
immediately available. Or at least have another way to access the
Internet.
The act of restoring an image, completely erases the contents of
your hardrive/partition and rewrites the entire contents of the
image. If this image is an image of your active partition
(partition on a hard drive set as the bootable partition and
contains the operating system - usually c:/) it will completely
restore your system as it was at the time you made your image.
Making an image of your system can reduce complete system
restoration time to thirty minutes or less and it is very easy
to do.

Unless things go wrong.
You will not need operating system or factory restoration disks,
or computer manufacturer restoration features to restage your
computer - simply restore the image. This is the best overall
protection you can have. I cannot stress the importance of this
enough.

First you should obtain an external hard drive and create backup
folders on that drive.

I disagree. Doing a reinstallation of Windows is the pits, but
total system obliteration is extremely rare. I've never seen
anyone come into this group to say that their computer exploded or
that all of their hard drives stopped working at the same time.
Yes, I understand that might happen with RAID, but I don't do that
kind of thing. Also, there could be some distant past exception
involving lightning, but I bet you can't find it in the archive of
this group. In my opinion, keeping important files on removable
media is all that is necessary for the vast majority of home
users. That means you also might have to export some data from
programs that don't keep stuff in browsable files.

I would agree with the idea that you should keep copies of your
Windows drive on more than one HDD/whatever, in case your backup
drive fails, but IMO it doesn't have to be an external drive.
Before you make a restoration image, update your programs, run
deep scans with your antivirus and manual scanners, clean and
defragment your machine in order to get as clean an image as
possible.

Whether defragmentation is necessary has always been in
contention. Using an SDD, you don't want to defragment anymore.
But apparently you're supposed to run some utility that resets SDD
stuff, from time to time.

I agree with the general idea. That is one of the coolest things
about keeping backup copies of your Windows. You can play all day
and then go back to a pristine copy of your advanced installation.
Lately, I've been keeping a to-do file for the installation, for
reference before and after the installation is restored (that file
is on the secondary drive and accessed through a shortcut on my
desktop).
http://www.ccleaner.com/

Download and install your backup imaging program. I recommend
Macrium Reflect. Macrium Reflect on first run prompts you to
create a boot CD. Insert a blank CD and make one. Next, create
your backup image and save it to your external hard drive. To
restore your image, place the Macrium Reflect boot CD in your CD
drive and restart. Then connect your external hard drive, and
follow the wizards. It is that simple.

Yup, unless things go wrong.

Given the fact that Macrium Reflect allows browsing read-only
copies of the Windows partition, lately I have found that making a
"delme" copy of the current Windows drive before restoring is
easier and safer than copying out files from that installation.
That works for retrieving more recent data files from your messed
up copy of Windows, after you do the restore. I mean browsable
files, you still have to export program stuff that is not kept in
user accessible files, before you do a restore.
--
 
F

Flasherly

read more »

Or don't read nothing more than the simple need *NOT* to be online.

Not a practical approach, but what's practically so demanding about a
casual homeuser's perusals.

- NEVER go online when building a reliable system, ie installing
software, prior to the backup.

- No matter how piss-poor your computer "hardening" efforts are, if
your backups are sufficient, you're effectively over the hump and well
on the way learning to customize a level of protection as you gain
experience, at what levels specifically will apply to your needs.

-Keep your installs insulated from prior backups. When there are
question, doubt or uncertainty, then give yourself adequate time to
gain trust for a program before shifting up the backups and
incorporating that program among the regular itinerary of standbys and
familiars.

I read, some say, that within 5 minutes of going online the average
computer user -will be- compromised variously by unauthorized incoming
connections.

Well, what's there left -- but rootkits and a BIOS attack for
motherboards with dual-bios chipped MBs, one that being pin-jumpered
for write protection -- which you'll probably never practically
encounter, either, if you just stay away from a likes of "one under
and one over sites." May your days be happily filled with two-handed
typing.
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

John Doe

Davej said:
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

Ok, but wouldn't this program be better if it ran under Linux?
Maybe there is a Linux equivalent? If it was Linux you could
boot off of a CD or a USB stick. Plus it could store the backups
on a Linux partition where no Windows program could touch them.

You need to stop making excuses and get it done.
 
Ad

Advertisements

P

Paul

Davej said:
[...]
... get yourself a free program called Macrium Reflect

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

Ok, but wouldn't this program be better if it ran under Linux? Maybe
there is a Linux equivalent? If it was Linux you could boot off of a
CD or a USB stick. Plus it could store the backups on a Linux
partition where no Windows program could touch them.

I've never used this program, and I just downloaded it again. (I
have two copies on disk - I didn't know I already had a copy.)

The one I just downloaded, if I open it with 7ZIP, inside it's

rescue.iso

which means, it *is* some kind of Linux thing.

The previous download had a more confusing inner structure,
but it too seems to be Linux boot media (has "isolinux" and
"[BOOT]" folders). There was an extra layer of indirection
in the structure of the previous one, making it harder to
recognize the methodology, by using 7ZIP.

This is an example of the GRUB boot menu. No idea what the "015B43567543A12"
stands for.

title Macrium rescue CD
kernel /kernel ramdisk_size=131072 vga=0x317 015B43567543A12 loglevel=2
initrd /initrd

title Memtestx86
kernel /memtest86.bin

title Memtestx86+
kernel /memtest86+.bin

HTH,
Paul
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top