Disaster Recover Method

J

Thread Starter

Joe Martin

I am looking for a simple disaster recovery method using CD-ROMs and a
bootable floppy disk.

We have purchased an HP Read/Write CD ROM device that plugs into the
computer via the Parallel port. It comes with software that makes a Windows
Recovery Disk (floppy) then copies all the hard disk files to a set of CDs.
The problem, however, is that to recover from a crash, you need the HP
device plugged back into your parallel port. You can't just boot from the
floppy and load the CDs through the computer's built in CD-ROM drive.

How does the rest of the industrial world do disaster recovery? What type
of hardware / software is out there that runs on generic configurations?


Thank you,

Joe Martin
Martin Software & Design Inc.
Columbus, Ohio
 
I have had some success with Norton Zip Rescue (it requires a zip drive).
It actually loads a version of windows from the zip drive and allows cdrom
access.

Another excellent idea I have implemented is to make a backup of your
program files directory, your windows directory, and any other files that
you want...you can use separate CDs for this if you want. Then use the dos
version of the registry scanner utility (Scanreg.exe) found on the win98
cdrom (fits on a win98 boot floppy) to make a backup of your windows
registry, and copy it to a disk. The procedure is fairly simple to restore
your pc. In the event of a catastrophic hard drive crash, this is how it is
done.
1. format the drive.
2. boot from win98 startup floppy.
3. use dos commands(also Seagate makes an excellent utility that will do
this called Diskwizard, but to use it you must be in windows-that means
reverse steps 3 and 4) to copy all of your program files and windows
directory to the hard drive.
4. re-install windows from the windows CDrom(this will properly set up the
drive and boot sector-although it is not entirely nessesary, if you can do
it yourself).
5. copy the backup of the registry you made to the windows directory.
6. Reboot in Dos and run Scanreg.exe from your floppy. Restore the backed
up copy of your Registry and your compter will have the exact same
configuration as before, unless you forgot to copy some files you
needed(data files you wanted to keep or other stuff)

This is a good way of recovering from a virus - unless your backup contains
a virus. The good thing is it keeps all of your drivers, and all of your
settings exactly as you left it. I use it to recover from a corrupted
registry or to just clean out my computer.

Ok, so it's not simple, but it is versatile and doesn't cost anything.
There are some other backup utilities out there, but I am too cheap to use
them, so I can't say much about them.

David Lee
Project Engineer
Liebert Global Services
Site Products Division
Columbus, Ohio
 
R

Robert Squire

HP has a disaster recovery routine they use with their 8100i CD R/RW drives.
It formats and configures a floppy and a CD, and then backs everything up to
the CD. When you need to recover, you pop the floppy in, and the recovery
process pretty much handles itself.

It is the easiest thing I have run across. I believe the software has
migrated to the newer 8200i drives as well. I do not think that you can use
a generic drive on the recovery, since it uses a Rewritable CD (or two).

Robert Squire
 
FYI

If you want to read CD-RW disks in a conventional CDrom drive, just make sure it is a "multi-read". Most recent drives 32x and above are Multi-read drives. I don't know if the HP software requires the use of the CDRW drive
to use the restore function, but it could be inconvenient to reinstall the drive for a restoration operation.

Just my $.02

David Lee
Project Engineer
Liebert Global Services
Site Products Division
Columbus, Ohio
614.841.6310
 
J

Johan Bengtsson

If you can afford the cost of another harddisk of the same size (it can be a bigger one, but the easiest is one exacly the same).

When you have a existing working configuration, boot from a floppy and use a disk-edit tool to copy the entire harddisk sector for sector. Now you have two identical harddisks and it is just a matter of copying it back for it to work again.

A tool I have tried for this is a old DOS program called diskedit found in a set of tools called "Norton utilities" or something similar.
This, or any other program, capable of reading and writing absolute sectors can be used.

I recently copied a 3G disk in this way, it took about 1 hour unattended and then it was done.

The same idea can be used to restore from CD-roms too, but that is more complicated to, contact me if you want to know.

Johan Bengtsson

P&L, the Academy of Automation
Box 252, S-281 23 H{ssleholm SWEDEN
Tel: +46 451 49 460, Fax: +46 451 89 833
E-mail: johan.bengtss[email protected]
Internet: http://www.pol.se/
 
J
********** CD-R Reliability WARNING **********

I have had (am having) *very* recent experience with an HP 7200i CD-R and a variety of media for distributing software applications, with
pre-silk-screened artwork. This requires reliable recording, as does disaster recovery.

I STRONGLY suggest the following process to find a media brand that your CD-R drive writes reliably:

Obtain several samples of each candidate media from various sources and various lots. Many "name brands" are produced in several factories and by
different suppliers.

Create a single test disk configuration for all media testing, preferrably at least a couple of hundred MB with a few multi-MB binary files and several subdirectories.

Perform "writing" and "optimum power calibration" tests (HP nomenclature) with each media to identify any blatant media incompatibility problems.

Record each passing media at various speeds (1x, 2x.....), intermixing the recording order (brand1, brand2, ...shutdown, restart...brand2, brand1). Be sure to permanently mark each CD-R before recording!! Yeah - obvious, but.....

Find the least reliable CD drive in your shop. You know which one....

Shut down all applications and create a New Folder on that PC. Copy the entire contents of the first successfully recorded media to the folder. Time the copy in minutes:seconds. Delete the folder. (Don't forget to empty your Recycle Bin! 8^D) Repeat for all samples.

Some media will be TOTALLY incompatible with your CD-R drive, some will record but have CRC or other fatal copy errors, and some will copy slowly due to read errors and retries. In my experience, "slowly" means 150% the time required by a "typical" copy with a "healthy" combination of CD-R drive and media.

In my case, Verbatim and HP media NEVER gave me problems, when others came and went. Your mileage will vary. The most technically consistent media
FAILED consistently with two different HP 7200i drives. Go figure.

Lastly, test samples of your chosen media from the exact lots that you or (in my case) your silk-screening contractor will use. Set those lots aside!!!!

If you are repeatedly burning the same software, the copy-time consistency test is a pretty good process verification.

Good luck.

John G. Boland, president
VisiBit Corporation
 
M
You'll also need the UDF driver from adaptec.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [email protected]
> If you want to read CD-RW disks in a conventional CDrom drive, just make sure it is a "multi-read". ....<clip> <
 
R

Robert Squire

Yes, that's why I did not think it would use a generic drive, since it would
have to configure the floppy to use that driver. Does the 8100i need the UDF
driver? If that's the case, maybe it would actually work with a generic
multi-read CD-ROM drive.

I don't have a lot of experience with it, however, I was able to set it up
for a customer, and he uses it all the time. And he was not very computer
literate, either.

Robert Squire
 
R

Robert Squire

I have read some of the replies to this and have not seen anything as easy as HP's Disaster recovery software for the 8100i CD R/RW drive. This software requires very few keystrokes to perform the backup to CD's, and formats a bootable floppy to use in the recovery. I do not believe that you can use a generic drive for the recovery. This is an IDE drive. I just install one of these drives instead of the generic CDROM drive when disaster recovery is needed.

The 8200i is the successor to the 8100i, and the software also comes with it.

Robert Squire
 
D
We use a generic CD-ROM drive for our recovery all the time. Simply use Ghost.exe for your backup to a CD writer (whichever one you happen to like) and then boot to DOS and run ghost. We use it with NT 4.0, no problems. And our plants love it. Quick, painless recovery.

Davis Gentry
Controls Project Engineer
Research and Development
Carpenter Company
 
B
Greetings,

I'm surprised this topic didn't receive more attention. For my purposes, Symantec's GHOST appeared to be ideal and since I had a copy supplied to me with a recent motherboard purchase I began testing it with NT 4.0. This has turned into the single most frustrating exercise ever and that includes raising 3 children to adulthood.

The process is straightforward. Not wanting to risk my boot drive I simply cloned it to a new drive, then installed the new drive as the primary and voila! - NOTHING. It won't boot. This process was repeated numerous times on a number of systems with all possible disk and/or partition combinations.

I've downloaded two newer versions (5.1d and 6.0) and NT4.0 SP4 but Symantec's convoluted registering restrictions prevent them from loading. (Apparently the download is free but not the use. ???)

There are over 950 posts to the 'GHOST' section of the Ask Symantec website for November alone. VERY few posts have been answered.

This appears to be an extremely flaky product at this time and I would caution all readers to thoroughly test any intended use before relying on
it for disaster recovery.

The concept may be excellant but the delivered product leaves a lot to be desired as does Symantec's support. Unless you have a large number of similar systems, the implementation effort is just too great.

Check out their website, look through the posts, and see their (lack of) replies.

Regards,

Bob Lockert
Blocke Communications
Calgary, Alberta
[email protected]
 
D
We've been using Ghost for years, and are currently using 5.1d to clone Windows NT 4.0 machines. We have run into problems trying to clone between hard drives of different sizes, but working with Symantec tech support got it figured out. Try the following command sequences and I think it should solve your problems:

ghost.exe -NTC- -batch
-clone,mode=dump,src=1,dst=c:\image.gho
ghost.exe -NTC- -batch
-clone,mode=load,src=c:\image.gho,dst=1


Davis Gentry
Controls Project Engineer
Research and Development
Carpenter Company
 
A
Power Quest has a similar product to Ghost. I would be interested in any
comments on that product

Regards,
Art Bourdeau,
[email protected]
Phone:(518)765-3667
Fax: (518)765-4033
Mobil: (518)573-4745
Fax:(518)765-4033
 
M
My disaster recovery solution is as follows (I use it at home too).

The stable, freshly installed and commissioned (after sign off is probably the best time)system is backed up by creating a disk image using Power
Quest's Disk Image software. So far all of the image files have been less than about 500Mb (using compression) but Disk Image allows you to split the image in to multiple files.

Previously, the image was then stored on a parallel SparQ disk which was used in conjunction with a boot disk containing the SparQ drivers and the Disk Image rescue disk.

I now store the image file on a bootable CD, along with any other drivers, files or utilities that I may need.

I find that this method along with an effective back up procedure for data files (logs, trends, recipes, etc.), provides an effective recovery
procedure.

I have used Disk Image in numerous ways for at least two years and along with Partition Magic it is one of my tool box essentials. I have never had a single problem with it, and although I have not used it with NT, have successfully used it with Windows 95/98 and Linux many times (at least 30 times in all).

I hope this was of help.

At about $50 per work station for the single user version it is money well spent.

Regards
Mark Hutton
Software Engineer
Vogal Software Services
Regent House, Welbeck Way, Peterborough. UK PE2 7WH
Tel: +44 (0)1733 370789 Fax: +44 (0)733 370701
[email protected]
 
B
Actually,the solution was to use the -ib switch. By default Ghost copies only the boot sector, and does not copy the remainder of the boot track.
The -ib switch forces the complete track to be copied. This is only possible on disk to disk (or to image) copying not for an individual
partition.

The downside of this is the length af time it takes to save an image of a very lage disk with multiple partitions. NT must be shut down since Ghost runs under DOS only. Even a 2 gig drive took about 28 minutes to save with a compression level of 2.

If you can tolerate shutting down the process for an hour and a half to clone a 6 gig drive once a month it may work.

I say MAY WORK because of your comment about difficulties using different drive sizes. I have three WD 6.4 gig hard drives purchased at different times. They are equivalent but apparently not identical. A complete image
from the oldest drive cannot be restored to the newer drives. The error is destination drive is too small. (I know why but this isn't intended to be a tech support discussion)

There are work arounds but the point that needs to stressed is that these types of problems might only be discovered when an actual disaster recovery is needed. And that is not the time to be learning the operational quirks of commercial product.

Ghost is IDEAL for deploying multiple systems with similar configurations or returning the sytem to the original state as delivered at some future date. It CAN be used as a backup method if shutting down all applications periodically can be tolerated. But this is not often the case in an
automation environment. My approach would be to use it to save a complete disk(s) image at commissioning time with ongoing incremental backups of user data via std backup procedures under the operating system.

Whatever you do, get a spare drive and actually restore a saved image and test it BEFORE you need it. Periodic saving alone will give you a FALSE
sense of security because the majority of problems appear to be in restoring the saved image. Furthermore, the solution is often a change in the way the image is saved, not the restore process, which at disaster time is no longer an option.

Regards,

Bob Lockert
 
D
--- Robert Lockert <[email protected]> wrote:
> I say MAY WORK because of your comment about
> difficulties using different
> drive sizes. I have three WD 6.4 gig hard drives
> purchased at different times. They are
> equivalent but apparently not
> identical. A complete image from the oldest
> drive cannot be restored to the newer drives.

Using the commands as I originally posted them let us get past this error. Our original machine images tend to have been made on 2.1 GB drives, as this was the standard size we were using when we first started using ghost. We currently copy them onto 4 GB regularly, and have used up to 10 GB drives for the copy.


> Ghost is IDEAL for deploying multiple systems
> with similar configurations
> or returning the sytem to the original state as
> delivered at some future
> date. It CAN be used as a backup method if
> shutting down all applications periodically
> can be tolerated.

Ok, I agree with the first statement, and that is how we use it. But how much is your control and/or HMI code changing that you need to back it up once a month? We put out new releases of control/HMI code about once a year for each machine type. New image made at the time of release. Recipes are stored on a server which is backed up on a nightly basis. But the machine images almost never change. About the only
situation where the image would change unexpectedly would be if a component failed and a new driver was needed which would not run using the drivers found on the old image. This has happened, but not as often as you might expect.

> Whatever you do, get a spare drive and actually
> restore a saved image and test it BEFORE you
> need it. Periodic saving alone will give you
> a FALSE sense of security because the majority
> of problems appear to be in restoring
> the saved image.

VERY good point. I concur entirely.

Davis Gentry
 
Very simple solution i found to deal with that problem.First install Norton ghost,then make sure you have good boot disk-regular windows
bootdisk will do.Then you have to have second hard drive on your pc or second partition.Then in Norton ghost software folder find
,,ghost.exe,,.This is all you need to do the job quick and without the hassles.Copy that program to floppy or second drive,partition.Restart
your pc in dos mode or i recomend from boot disk.Ok,since you already have that ,,ghost.exe,, file ready for you,execute
it-type,,ghost.exe..Then there you can dump your drive C to drive D.Also you can choose what kind of compression to use.After you finished with the job-it shouldnt take you long,restart coputer,go to your drive D-whala-there is your compressed drive.Put it on cd along with,,ghost.exe,, file,so it will be in same place ,when you need to recover your hard drive.
I personally made image of my drive C right after
i freshly installed all my nesessary software,so at this point the computer is in its best shape ever.
Every time files get messed,you can always restore it from image file and your computer will have its brand new feel.
Ok,how to restore.Remember,to make image file with Norton ghost or to restore from image file you ALWAYS do it in DOS mode,because none of
windows files are used in Dos mode,so you wont have any problems compressing them.
Restorating process is very easy.Load your cd with image file on it into cd drive-restart you computer from boot disk-make sure it has cdrom
drivers on it,then go in dos mode to your cdrom-type,,ghost.exe,, and proceed with restoration process.At the end,remove all disks from
pc,restart it and you have yourself fresh pc.It takes me about 3-4 munites to restore.
Glad to help.Have fun with it.
 
Top