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BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 1st 07, 08:24 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
MISS CHIEVOUS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

Hey Guys,

This summer I purchased Symantec's PARTITION MAGIC 8.0 and GHOST 10.0
- in part to implement a backup strategy for use with two 500 GB PATA
drives I just came into. I've never before used _any_ backup software
(neither of these two Symantec products, nor even Microsoft's utility)
and I just experienced a scary boot event (described below) following
the install of the first of these two programs - PARTITION MAGIC - so
before I go any further with this new reinstall I thought I'd better
check in with the Professionals and . . . just review the whole
thing. I'm doubtful that PARTITION MAGIC is a program I even need;
the jury is still out on GHOST, since I'm now genuinely afraid of
using this software lol. I got these two Symantec products FAR (and
the two brand-new Retail Seagate Drive Kits for an astonishing $60
each without rebate, don't even ask heh) so I'll consider myself ahead
of the game even if you recommend I buy something else (software _or_
hardware). Your help and guidance will be _gratefully_ received.

C O N F I G U R A T I O N
There are 3 HARD DRIVES in my PIII-1000 (Windows 2000 Pro) SCSI
system, and 2 GB of ram: As you can tell from this (now-ancient)
computer system I'm not a speed demon; but I _am_ a capacity
fanatic . . .

================================================== ==========
SEAGATE PATA #1 (465 GB) on IDE Primary+Master
*3 NTSF-PRIMARY Partitions hold _only_ programs:
_____ C (labeled MICROSOFT) = OS . . . 30 GB
_____ O (labeled OPERATIONS) = Utilities . . . 90 GB
_____ P (labeled PROGRAMS) = Applications . . . 50 GB
*11 NTSF-LOGICAL Partitions hold BACKUP-CRITICAL FILES:
_____ D E F H I J K L S W X = doubt will exceed . . . 60 GB needing
backup
================================================== ==========
SEAGATE PATA #2 (465 GB) on IDE Primary+Slave
This is the DOS-READY Backup drive, as follows:
_____ R (labeled RECOVERY) = NTSF-PRIMARY . . . 465 GB
_____ Y (labeled FATBOOTY) = FAT32-PRIMARY . . . 50 MB
_____ Z (labeled FATBOOTZ) = FAT32-PRIMARY . . . 50 MB
================================================== ==========
SEAGATE SCSI (169 GB) on ID-0
*1 NTSF-PRIMARY Partition contains, in part, graphics already
archived:
_____ G (labeled GRAPHICS) . . . allow 120 GB that will need backup
================================================== ==========

In summary, RECOVERY (R:\) will be backing up
1. recent files on G:\, currently not in the (already-archived)
graphics vault
2. all files on partitions D:\ through X:\ (that I expect not to
exceed 60 GB)
3. and the entire contents of the three program-exclusive drives C:\
O:\ and P:\

To date I've backed up my MBRs using the MBR Backup & Restore feature
that comes bundled with SEAGATE's DOS-BOOT CD. And I've of course
seen the warnings that prompt not to use any "Commander"-like backup
software if I am backing up my MBR through SEAGATE. Nonetheless I
tempted fate and left my three SEAGATE-generated backups in place when
I installed both PARTITION MAGIC and BOOT MAGIC. I don't know what I
expected these two utilities to do, but it wasn't what I _needed_ them
to do (er, that is . . . I think; read on).

BOOT MAGIC
I didn't realize that BOOT MAGIC was a utility for multiple operating
systems (my BAD). I simply don't need this program, but I installed
it and generated a boot floppy nonetheless.

PARTITION MAGIC
I create my partitions through Microsoft's Windows 2000 Disk
Management utility: It doesn't win any beauty contest, but I'm very
comfortable with it (and have my cluster sizes down precisely to their
last kb so there are no surprises heh). My procurement of PARTITION
MAGIC was with the expectation that, at some point in the software
installation, I would be able to backup my MBR and NTLDR --and SEE
THEM AS FILES somewhere so I could burn them only something more
stable than a floppy disk. I can see my MBR backups in SEAGATE's
utility but cannot extract them; my hope with PARTITION MAGIC was to
not only see physical files, but rip them to a CD (and, if necessary,
assemble the nasty little article into something bootable).

I installed these programs late two nights ago; yesterday morning I
turned on my computer and received an ugly little error message that I
regret I didn't write down - a string of hash marks and words to the
effect of "cannot boot" or "cannot find OS". I immediately went into
the SEAGATE DOS-BOOT utility and deleted my three MBR backups.

I shut down and rebooted to the same ugly little error message with
the hash marks.
I shut down and rebooted to the floppy with BOOT MAGIC on it and got
this:
_____ ERROR #701
I shut down and rebooted (& loaded?) both of the PARTITION MAGIC
floppies and got this:
_____ ERROR #8250
_____ Error reading boot record

Whereupon I shut down and decided to venture into the SEAGATE DOS-BOOT
utility once again - in hopes of isolating where the (obviously MBR)
error was - and . . .

Booted right into Windows 2000 !? I'm not going to go forward and
install GHOST until I first understand what happened HERE.

MY GOAL
I've been through so many reinstalls of my OS from virus attacks -
despite my best efforts to keep AVG Anti-Virus + Anti-Spy current on
my machine - that I am desperate with this most recent install to have
a TRANSPORTABLE, Non-OS-Dependent, Non-MAGNETIC-Media backup of my
MBRs and NTLDRs _at a minimum_ so that when I see the dread MBR Status
in AVG as "Changed" I can, in minutes, overwrite it.

I apparently restored "something" with one of those floppy boots; but
what isn't working for me AT ALL is the invisibility of these two
Symantec programs: If there's an MBR sitting anywhere on those
floppies, I've yet to see it. In any event, at a minimum I need a
backup program that isn't reduced to floppy disks! tsk

The software I'm looking for will back up not just my drives, it will
also backup the MBR & NTLDR data -- in such a manner that I can not
only see their physical files, I can detach them from the hard drive
and place them on a CD that is independently-accessible from the
operating system: DOS, in other words. I may have accomplished this
with PARTITION MAGIC but the process is/was unacceptable to me. Even
now I'm afraid if I remove the program . . . I don't know what it will
take with it! Do I dare backup my MBR's in SEAGATE again? - and yet,
that isn't acceptable either since I'm not comfortable having a backup
(of what amounts to the control of my entire computer! - its MBR and
NTLDR) stored on the very media that's just been corrupted! (the hard
drive)

I obviously don't work well with programs that are so automated you
can't see what's actually happening; so I welcome alternatives to
Symantec. I've not installed GHOST because I'm afraid it will be the
same "I-Won't-Let-You-See-Anything-Just-Trust-Me" approach to the
management of data that PARTITION MAGIC obviously is.

Or tell me a different way to use the program(s) I've got.

Finally, I do apologize that this descends into the equivalent of a
rant - that isn't my intention! and please, I will be so grateful for
anyone willing to be patient and help me put in place a strategy best
suited to someone like me who needs to be able to see EVERYTHING.
Thank you and I'm sorry this was so long!

MC

  #2  
Old November 1st 07, 08:29 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
MISS CHIEVOUS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

Oops, my BAD! I of course meant

*11 NTSF-LOGICAL DRIVES Extended Partition (etc.)

  #3  
Old November 1st 07, 08:30 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
Al Dykes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 200
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

In article .com,
MISS CHIEVOUS wrote:
Hey Guys,

This summer I purchased Symantec's PARTITION MAGIC 8.0 and GHOST 10.0
- in part to implement a backup strategy for use with two 500 GB PATA
drives I just came into. I've never before used _any_ backup software
(neither of these two Symantec products, nor even Microsoft's utility)



IMO, this is a must-read for anyone trying to set up a backup scheme.

http://www.taobackup.com/



--
a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore. A Proud signature since 2001

  #4  
Old November 3rd 07, 01:42 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
Iago
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

On Nov 1, 3:24 pm, MISS CHIEVOUS wrote:
Hey Guys,

This summer I purchased Symantec's PARTITION MAGIC 8.0 and GHOST 10.0
- in part to implement a backup strategy for use with two 500 GB PATA

snip
Thank you and I'm sorry this was so long!

MC


Well, you probably won't like my comments because I have a very
different approach, dare I say opposite to yours? Anyway, please don't
take these as smart aleck comments or personal attacks.

In that long message you never once mentioned what your backup
objectives are. You should identify what you want to protect, and how
often. Also important is to give some thoughts on how fast your
recovery has to be. Can you wait weeks, months, days, minutes or
hours? Nobody can do this for you.

Point number two, automation is the key to a good backup. You should
not have to start or monitor the operations as you seem willing to do.

Third, having only one backup target, I mean your recovery drive, is
a very poor choice. If your computer breaks your data may be safe but
not accessible at least until you can rig up another machine and
transplant the drives. Is this time acceptable? Of course to answer
that question you have to define what's the longest you can stay
without data.

Also have you considered the possibility that both drive get zapped
because of a short or lightening? Hope you will never have a fire but
if you do, are you going to run out of the house carrying your PC? An
external device for backup is a much better choice because is easy to
move to a different machine.

Better yet if you can manage to have removable media as backup
targets, and start a rotation to a different place, a relative, a
friend or a bank vault.

Whatever your choice, you should never trust a single medium, or a
single application. A safe backup strategy should include automated
multiple backups run to different media and using different
applications.

Have you considered versioning? If I understand correctly you keep
refreshing a backup copy on the same drive. Versioning would keep
alive multiple versions of the same file, as many as you choose to
have..

That's all what I have for now, but as a parting shot (pardon the
pun) I find your partitioning scheme extremely and possibly
unnecessarily complicated. You may think to have good reasons to do
so, but forgive me for saying that I doubt the pros outweigh the
cons. The KISS rule applies also to backups.

Good luck with your project

Art

  #5  
Old November 3rd 07, 04:04 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
MISS CHIEVOUS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

Iago wrote:
In that long message you never once mentioned what your backup
objectives are.


I don't know what part of this is ambiguous:

MY GOAL
I've been through so many reinstalls of my OS from virus attacks -
despite my best efforts to keep AVG Anti-Virus + Anti-Spy current on
my machine - that I am desperate with this most recent install to have
a TRANSPORTABLE, Non-OS-Dependent, Non-MAGNETIC-Media backup of my
MBRs and NTLDRs _at a minimum_ so that when I see the dread MBR Status
in AVG as "Changed" I can, in minutes, overwrite it.

Where do you backup your MBR? You obviously have a strategy; what is
it? Removeable drives? CD/DVD? What software are you using? You
said you use automation; you're obviously using something.

I see a wealth of methodology in your reply and a paucity of
SOLUTIONS. I can handle your criticism but it's worthless if you
don't pair it with the products you are using to accomplish your
method.

I'll move on and ask at some of the private forums I'm registered
with.

MC

  #6  
Old November 3rd 07, 04:39 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
Al Dykes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 200
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

In article . com,
MISS CHIEVOUS wrote:
Iago wrote:
In that long message you never once mentioned what your backup
objectives are.


I don't know what part of this is ambiguous:

MY GOAL
I've been through so many reinstalls of my OS from virus attacks -
despite my best efforts to keep AVG Anti-Virus + Anti-Spy current on
my machine - that I am desperate with this most recent install to have
a TRANSPORTABLE, Non-OS-Dependent, Non-MAGNETIC-Media backup of my
MBRs and NTLDRs _at a minimum_ so that when I see the dread MBR Status
in AVG as "Changed" I can, in minutes, overwrite it.




Wow. IMO, you are doing something wrong and it's not how you are
doing your backups.

  #7  
Old November 5th 07, 01:38 AM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
Brian K
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 532
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s) you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)


_ so that when I see the dread MBR Status
in AVG as "Changed" I can, in minutes, overwrite it.



That message is so common with AV programs that it is almost meaningless. It
doesn't imply there is anything wrong with your MBR and your MBR is in all
likelihood, perfectly normal.



  #8  
Old November 22nd 07, 04:54 PM posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.backup-software,alt.comp.periphs.cdr
Dave Cohen
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 99
Default BACKUP & RECOVERY: Please share your strategies + software product(s)you prefer (MBR, NTLDR, PARTITIONS, DISK IMAGES etc.)

MISS CHIEVOUS wrote:
Hey Guys,

This summer I purchased Symantec's PARTITION MAGIC 8.0 and GHOST 10.0
- in part to implement a backup strategy for use with two 500 GB PATA
drives I just came into. I've never before used _any_ backup software
(neither of these two Symantec products, nor even Microsoft's utility)
and I just experienced a scary boot event (described below) following
the install of the first of these two programs - PARTITION MAGIC - so
before I go any further with this new reinstall I thought I'd better
check in with the Professionals and . . . just review the whole
thing. I'm doubtful that PARTITION MAGIC is a program I even need;
the jury is still out on GHOST, since I'm now genuinely afraid of
using this software lol. I got these two Symantec products FAR (and
the two brand-new Retail Seagate Drive Kits for an astonishing $60
each without rebate, don't even ask heh) so I'll consider myself ahead
of the game even if you recommend I buy something else (software _or_
hardware). Your help and guidance will be _gratefully_ received.

snipped rest of message

It's a shame you didn't post before you went out and bought stuff. I've
been using bootitng from www.terabyteunlimited.com for a long time. It
will do all your partitioning, multi-os management and imaging needs. I
know you're not asking for all that but at around $30 who cares. They
also have a windows based version of imaging that you can run from
within windows and can safely backup the system you are using while you
do other things. Right now that doesn't do differentials. Another very
good one is Acronis, but I've never used it.
Image backups are fine, but I also use a file backup program for data
that permits differential. My system is a little complicated since I
also have added encryption using TrueCrypt (a freeware product) for
sensitive data.
Dave Cohen
 




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