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#1 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 08:49 AM

I am sure that the main reason people look into bootable OS is to have the ability to image a local disk of their main drive (assumption!), Well it was mine!

 

Thanks to Reboot.Pro I now have a great solution of booting Winpe via PXE (TFTPd) where i am then able to restore a image to a device, without having to be anywhere near the computer - this is great.

 

The only problem with this is that you are only ever up-to-date from the last image you have of this machine. This has so started my look into backup/cloning/mirroring solutions so i could have a more up-to-date image.

The ideal to this would to be able to take a capture of the local disk nightly - backing it up to a network drive. For I am using wim files, imagex doesn't allow to capture of the booted drive (for the BCD/windows files are locked). Little more research showed there are a few application out there that allow the capture of a booted drive;

 

http://downloadsquad...hout-rebooting/

 

But also there is a sysinternals application (disk2vhd) that allows the capture of the local disk to a VHD.

 

 

What I would like to be able to do is capture my local drive (maybe with some exclusions) - to a wim (prefferably), that could be a scheduled task. This way if a machine were to fail, it could always be restored to a more present version.

 

Has anyone had any experience in these fields? any suggestions/lesson learnt? is it possible?

 

:)



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:14 AM

Last time I checked the Backup in Vista could make .vhd's alright:

http://www.petri.co....e-pc-backup.htm

 

On windows 7 it is still possible, and it offers even more options:

http://www.petri.co....kup-restore.htm

http://www.sevenforu...p-vhd-file.html

http://thexrmguru.com/?p=23

 

a .wim is NOT a suitable format for these tasks (it may be OK for the backup, not much so for a "bare metal recovery"), a .vhd is much more suited.

 

Still one of the best (IMNSHO) solutions for "backup and restore of a system" is XXCLONE:

http://www.xxclone.com/

http://www.xxclone.com/itheory.htm

because it is fastish in backing up the "differential part" once you have created the base.

 

:cheers:

Wonko


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#3 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:36 AM

Hmm XXclone looks interesting, but am i right in thinking it clones drive to drive, not creating a single, deployable file?

 

Creating a VHD is fine (the sysinternal file is cool)  it then applying the VHD back to a replaced HDD. I dea would be to Boot into the PXE hosted Winpe, then reapply the VHD to the new/fixed disk - via a script! :)



#4 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:39 AM

 

a .wim is NOT a suitable format for these tasks (it may be OK for the backup, not much so for a "bare metal recovery"), a .vhd is much more suited.

 

 

 

Why is it not suitable? Also from a WIM i would be able to recreate the bootsector of the drive (bootsect). Its how i build the machine in the first place (Boot Winpe, Format, Imagex /apply, Bootsect /nt52 c:) <-- would love it to be that simple with a wim 'backup'



#5 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:57 AM

after a morning of 'Googling' i have found - http://odin-win.sourceforge.net/

 

Seems a nice, simple, opensource tool with command line options - which also seems to have active support. Creates *.img files

 

Currently cloning a XP machine's booted drive - will let you know what my opinions are after :)



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

grrrd :), look - with all due respect - you cannot come here almost 5 (five) years later announcing the discovery of Odin:

http://reboot.pro/in...?showtopic=5871

 

You have IMHO to "narrow" the scope of what you want to do.

A RAW image is a RAW image, it is the most "exact" form of copy you can make, but it will take a lot of time (and each time the same time) to be taken.

A "incremental" backup is the faster way (the intiial run will be slow, but subsequent ones will be very fast) biut won' teasilly allow the recovery.

A mid-way between RAW and "incremental backup" is what the suggested tool attempts to do, but it is only one of the possible approaches.

 

There is a thread here:

http://www.msfn.org/...aging-software/

listing most of the available software.

And here one:

http://www.msfn.org/...inside-windows/

where the terminology is hopefully cleared (if needed).

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#7 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:48 AM

grrrd :), look - with all due respect - you cannot come here almost 5 (five) years later announcing the discovery of Odin:

http://reboot.pro/in...?showtopic=5871

 

You have IMHO to "narrow" the scope of what you want to do.

A RAW image is a RAW image, it is the most "exact" form of copy you can make, but it will take a lot of time (and each time the same time) to be taken.

A "incremental" backup is the faster way (the intiial run will be slow, but subsequent ones will be very fast) biut won' teasilly allow the recovery.

A mid-way between RAW and "incremental backup" is what the suggested tool attempts to do, but it is only one of the possible approaches.

 

There is a thread here:

http://www.msfn.org/...aging-software/

listing most of the available software.

And here one:

http://www.msfn.org/...inside-windows/

where the terminology is hopefully cleared (if needed).

 

:cheers:

Wonko

 

Wasn't an announcement - but i get what your saying. Big thing for me is Opensource :) - no budget you see !



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:57 AM

... but i get what your saying.

Good :thumbsup:
 

Big thing for me is Opensource  :) - no budget you see !

Sure, but still:
  • Opensource= free as in freedom (AND NOT necessarily free as in free beer)
  • Freeware (AND NOT Opensource) = free as in free beer
  • Freeware OpenSource = BOTH free as in freedom AND free as in free beer
only #2 and #3 are compatible with "no budget". (and there many good "no budget" tolls in the mentioned list ;))
 
:cheers:
Wonko

#9 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:00 AM

Good :thumbsup:
 
Sure, but still:

  • Opensource= free as in freedom (AND NOT necessarily free as in free beer)
  • Freeware (AND NOT Opensource) = free as in free beer
  • Freeware OpenSource = BOTH free as in freedom AND free as in free beer
only #2 and #3 are compatible with "no budget". (and there many good "no budget" tolls in the mentioned list ;))
 
:cheers:
Wonko

 

Master of semantics :)

 

Out of interest the Odin backup just finished (1hr) and seemed to work faultlessly - more testing will be needed - incremental would be amazing, 



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:29 PM

Out of interest the Odin backup just finished (1hr) and seemed to work faultlessly - more testing will be needed - incremental would be amazing,

Good :), but how big in size was the *whatever* you backed up (disk or volume), and with which options/settings did you run the tool?
And, are you now confident that with that backup image you can wipe the original hard disk and do "bare metal recovery" on it?
(If I were you I would get another - new or used - similar hard disk, wipe it, then exchange it for the now booting disk drive and attempt a recovery on the replaced disk from the backup, before actually trusting the tool or the way you used it. Better be safe than sorry :).)

:cheers:
Wonko

#11 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:55 PM

For a 25gig windows installation, the img came out at 15.5gig using GZip Compression (Save only used blocks and take snapshot).

 

I am now going to search for a spare drive to perform the 'test' to see if it actually has done a full baremetal backup!



#12 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:16 PM

For a 25gig windows installation, the img came out at 15.5gig using GZip Compression (Save only used blocks and take snapshot).
 
I am now going to search for a spare drive to perform the 'test' to see if it actually has done a full baremetal backup!

Well, if you imaged the volume (the *whatever* gets a drive letter under windows or \\.\LogicalDrive), I presume that you have an image of the volume (just like DriveImageXML images Drives and NOT "whole" disks) and you will need to separately backup the MBR (and maybe the whole set of hidden sectors) before getting the spare disk ;):

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=22563

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#13 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:54 PM

Well, if you imaged the volume (the *whatever* gets a drive letter under windows or \\.\LogicalDrive), I presume that you have an image of the volume (just like DriveImageXML images Drives and NOT "whole" disks) and you will need to separately backup the MBR (and maybe the whole set of hidden sectors) before getting the spare disk ;):

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=22563

 

:cheers:

Wonko

Would that be achievable with bootsect + diskpart ? or am i missing something?

 

Cannot find a spare SATA disk :( will mean experiments will have to continue next week::(



#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

Would that be achievable with bootsect + diskpart ? or am i missing something?



Yes, you have failed to read the given reference, particularly this one :
http://www.911cd.net...ndpost&p=153266
 

The MBR contains basically:

  • CODE specific to the given OS (but OS independent, meaning that if you write, say the Linux MBR code on a XP machine, PC will boot nonetheless) MBR simply calls PBR of Active Partition
  • DATA specific to the machine and the way it was partitioned, in other words the addresses where to find the PBR's/EPBR's, in the case of NT based systems contains also Disk Signature
Though it is perfectly possible to recreate a MBR from scratch, it is not advisable to "lose" it and have to recreate it.

 


This other thread is more explicit ;):
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=22984

particularly :frusty::

http://www.911cd.net...ndpost&p=156788

http://www.911cd.net...ndpost&p=156807

and this:

http://www.911cd.net...ndpost&p=156875

(I am particularly proud of my autographed antique book analogy :smiling9:)

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#15 grrrd

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 02:53 PM

Will have to see what happens... found a blank disk and a identical machine to perform the restore on. Booted into Win8PE and running via GUI - apply time is a lot quicker then capture time - currently writing (over LAN) at 20m/s so estimated time to completion is 20min.

 

Fingers crossed that I don't have to learn all the above :)



#16 grrrd

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:35 AM

Booted with no issues at all - no issues with MBR, no need for diskpart or anything.

 

I am going to try again with a NEW disk - so no legacy data could accidentally screw my results :)



#17 grrrd

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:26 AM

Well, fresh brand new disk didn't work ... until I realised that I didn't set the disk as active - then it worked perfectly :)

 

Next step is to see impact on performance when running ODIN during normal operation - and across multiple platforms.



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:49 AM

Well, fresh brand new disk didn't work ... until I realised that I didn't set the disk as active - then it worked perfectly :)

 

Next step is to see impact on performance when running ODIN during normal operation - and across multiple platforms.

What do you mean set the "disk" as active?

In the BIOS?

Or in the MBR?

(if you need to touch in *any* way the MBR code or data then the solution is not - in itself - "bare metal" anymore).

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#19 grrrd

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:30 PM

The process for restore - that worked for me;

diskpart
slect disk 0
clean
create primary partition
select volume 1
active
format c: /fs:ntfs /q /y
ODIN Restore
Bootsect /nt52 c:


#20 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:36 PM

 

The process for restore - that worked for me; 

 

Possibly only by chance :w00t:, meaning that for *any* reason the original Disk Signature was not needed for booting the restored image.

It doesn't cost that much to save the MBR before and restore it before restoring the volume (and would avoid the use of diskpart).

BTW in the process you followed there is seemingly no indication about keeping the same size of the volume.

Either the partitioning of the disk and formatting of the volume was unneeded (but then it would have worked without it) or not only the disk signature, but also the Volume data are "brand new" (Volume serial and size/location) as Odin "adapts" the saved ones to the new configuration you just created, or again by pure chance you created a new partition/volume with the same size and location than the original one... :dubbio:

 

:cheers:

Wonko






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