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Windows 7: Debate: A proper os imaging setup is the only way to go.

27 Nov 2017   #1
DonMurray

 
Debate: A proper os imaging setup is the only way to go.

I make this debate: If a computer does not have a known good re-storable image of a clean UN-compromised os install/setup to fall back on, then this computer is not properly set up and it puts the success of that business in jeopardy and every moment spent doing a clean setup on this computer is worth every moment of time spent.

So If a computer is in good working condition, an image for sure needs to be made of its hard drive and it needs to prove Re-storable on a spare hard drive.


This debate is not about weather or not a computer with a bad install can be fixed or should be. Its not about when to revert to a known good working image. My debate is that a computer that does not have a OS image to revert to, is a computer that puts the company/sm biz at risk and is not properly setup for the small business


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27 Nov 2017   #2
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

I concur. Especially for a small business. The cost of doing regular backups, and testing them to make sure that you can restore them, is less than the cost of manually setting up a computer from scratch, as well as the down time when you can't use the computer. This doesn't even figure in the cost of losing your data if you don't do backups.

The cost of doing regular backups could be reduced by doing the following:
  • Setting up an automatic backup regimen.
  • Using backup tapes rather than hard drives.
  • Putting your data on a shared network drive, and backing up only that drive nightly, using a sensible combination of incremental and full backups; and doing OS backups from time to time.
I expect that my tape suggestion will provoke some debate. We used tapes at my last job. Tapes satisfied the purpose of doing backups, that is, to be able to do a restore within a reasonable amount of time; and it was far cheaper to store massive amounts of data on tape rather than on hard drives.
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27 Nov 2017   #3
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

There needs to be two backups one of data which is best done to Google drive or similar this backs up on its own and data is available anywhere in the world at 12 a year for 100gig it's bomb proof. The second is an image but that must be updated a lot to be useful. Tapes can be a nightmare I worked for ici and they proudly said they had years of backup on tape and it was in a safe. When I saw it in a wharhouse I pointed out the temperature which was so low it destroys all the data they also hadn't kept the backup software so couldn't restore anyway
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27 Nov 2017   #4
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
Tapes can be a nightmare I worked for ici and they proudly said they had years of backup on tape and it was in a safe. When I saw it in a wharhouse I pointed out the temperature which was so low it destroys all the data they also hadn't kept the backup software so couldn't restore anyway
You definitely have to have a climate-controlled, clean facility for storing your tapes; and you definitely have to always have a way to restore old tapes to your current environment. If you don't attend to these two requirements, your backups won't have much of a shelf life.

If you backup massive amounts of data (like we did on my last job), you have to have a huge facility for storing the tapes. When I left that job a few years ago, we were running out of space to store the tapes, and no one seemed to be actively trying to address that problem.

One way to address that problem is to get higher-capacity tapes, so that you don't generate as many tapes. But the higher-capacity tapes (and the higher-capacity drives) are more expensive than the lower-capacity ones.
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27 Nov 2017   #5
TechnoMage2016

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DonMurray View Post
I make this debate: If a computer does not have a known good re-storable image of a clean UN-compromised os install/setup to fall back on, then this computer is not properly set up and it puts the success of that business in jeopardy and every moment spent doing a clean setup on this computer is worth every moment of time spent.
So If a computer is in good working condition, an image for sure needs to be made of its hard drive and it needs to prove Re-storable on a spare hard drive.
This debate is not about weather or not a computer with a bad install can be fixed or should be. Its not about when to revert to a known good working image. My debate is that a computer that does not have a OS image to revert to, is a computer that puts the company/sm biz at risk and is not properly setup for the small business
Discussion (arguments) about what is the best backup is like the discussion on the car forums about "What oil should I use?". Pretty dumb at best.

Tape? I've not seen any backup tapes since I ran a Mainframe Computer for the County, back in 1990.
We had to make a new Tape backup every afternoon on a fresh tape of all our data files. Then the tapes were taken to the County Court House where they were stored in a fireproof and climate controlled Vault.

The two acceptable backup media for modern day PC's (personal Computers) is a very large External Hard Drive or DVD's. For the initial backup, right after I set up a new PC, I like to put the backup on DVD's. They are good for about 20 to 30 years, if properly cared for. Then a High Capacity USB, External hard drive is quick and easy for daily data backups and weekly full C: drive backups.
Having a spare drive to use as a CLONE works well too.

My own computer, which I consider average, gets a number of different backups, like a data file backup, daily, a full C: drive backup at least once a week and a Clone of the Whole drive every couple of weeks.

But no matter how you back up your PC, a few simple rules must be followed. (my own list)
First the Backup and restore program MUST be on a boot-able media, like a CD or Flash Drive. So if your HD goes up in a big ball of fire and smoke, (hey! they can do that) you can boot up your PC and restore your backup to a brand new HD, in just a few minutes.
I even have a backup PC, with a motherboard identical to my main PC, so if my mainboard shoots craps, I can move my HD over to my Backup PC, and go right on computing. I've already tried that, and it works great! Then I can repair my main PC, or not, as I see fit.

And Second, your backup should not be stored in a box right next to your PC. It should be in a locked and climate neutral container.

If someone breaks into your home or office, and steals your computer, you don't want them to get your backups too. I actually lost a PC like that some years ago, but my backups were hidden and were SAFE.

I did a data recovery for an insurance company, years ago, where all their customer data was on just ONE hard drive and there were NO backups. The building burned down and the monitor for that PC was melted down over the CPU (old, flat, table top PC, an IBM AT I think it was) What a freakin' mess! Well, after removing the monitor with a hammer and chisel, I finally was able to remove the Hard Drive from the PC. I removed the logic board off of the HD and washed it with Denatured Alcohol, and after drying it and reinstalling it on the drive, I was able to start up the drive as a Slave on my own PC, and I was able to access all the data files and transfer them to floppy disks. The manager of that Insurance office was ecstatic when I handed him that stack of disks, with all his customer files on them. He vowed to do daily data backups of all his data files, after that.

Cheers Mates, and remember...."The only bad backup is the one you decided NOT to make".

TechnoMage
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28 Nov 2017   #6
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

That maintaining backup images is a good idea isn't really a matter of debate. Almost everybody who has knowledge of the matter would agree. That is not to say that they actually maintain such backups. There are many opinions of how this should be done because there is no single right answer.

But considering the large number of requests I have seen on forums for help with data recovery it appears that most people have no backups at all. Many people have never given the matter serious thought while others simply trust to luck. Unfortunately this is not confined to home users but applies to small businesses as well. Many businesses that experience serious data loss do not survive the experience. Of course if a company is that careless with their data they are probably making other serious mistakes as well.
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28 Nov 2017   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

Well it's been report that even large organization haven't had the proper backups and got hit with ransomware.

Jack
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28 Nov 2017   #8
TechnoMage2016

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86
 
 

Pretty Stupid, Eh?

We've had good backup software, ever since PCTools came out with theirs, back in the DOS days.
Then in 1997 a little known Software Co. in New Zealand, released the "Ghost" Backup/Restore program on a single, bootable, floppy disk. I'm still running the last DOS version of Ghost today, (Ghost 11.5) and it backs up everything from XP to Win-10, even Linux and Windows Server.

And, since it runs from a DOS boot disk, it can back up a HD that can't even boot up a system, or a data only disk.

I have my Ghost program on CD's, Flash drives, and even a SD Memory card. (all are bootable)

Happy Computing Mates! And Happy Holidays!

TechnoMage
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 Debate: A proper os imaging setup is the only way to go.




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