secure system on Winnt


Thread Starter

J-F Portala

Hi listers,

I'm using NT 4.0 sp5 on industrial systems, and I had some problems with NT system (BSOD Blue Screen Of Death), and the cause was not clear. The PC is switched on in the morning and off in the evening, and the applications seems to be stable. They can run 6 months without any problems, and system can crash (perhaps hard disk problem or PC power shutdown while running,

I am not capable to prevent NT from crashing, so here is my solution: redundancy systems Generally, I share hard disk in 4 partitions. The 2 first are identical systems (NT4), the third
contains data for reinstallations of applications, the fourth is a little partition of 400 Mo dedicated to swap. The 3 first partitions are formatted in NTFS, and the fourth in FAT. The swap is separated from systems and formatted in FAT for better performances. I prepare also a CD-ROM with a file corresponding to an image of
the system (created with a tool like ghost)

Perhaps it is better so separate the system and the applications, in order to avoid hard disk access to system partition.

Is anyone has some experiences or other solutions for redundancy systems, or for reinstalling rapidly or at a distance a complete system with applications. Do you know software capable to create and restore an image file of a partition in NTFS system file. Ghost needs fat16 or fat32.

Thank you

J-F Portala
SoViLor company
[email protected]

Henrik Johansson


Redundency is a helthy path to follow, however,
a Blue Screen Of Death on a Windows NT 4.0-system
is a serious problem and should be dealt with.
Possible reasons for this is poorly written drivers (very rare, check with vendor), wrongly installed drivers or/and faulty hardware.

My experience is: an NT system well configured and
consisting of reliable hardware will hardly never

Best of luck,
Henrik J.

P.S. For time-critical redundency, use a RAID-based solution. For emergency-restoration I
use Linux to grap a snapshot of the system-partition. Also, make sure the system is properly shut down; NT will not write data to I/O-devices in real-time, but uses various queues so that processes with higher priorety can bypass
non-critical tasks. If powered off without properly shutting down the NT-environment, it can (in worst case) lead to data-corruption, or inconsistancy in the file-system which can potentionally lead to more severe problems. D.S.

Curt Wuollet


Yes, it's easy and free. Simply put a base Linux installation on one partition. you can then dd whole partitions. It's good to have a Linux partition anyway, that way you always have something that will run for recovery.


Curt Wuollet, Linux Systems Engineer.
Heartland Engineering Co.

Dave Ferguson

Ghost does not need fat16 or 32. We back up complete NT boxes regularily. You boot with a floppy so it does not care what the operating system is of the machine after boot.

Second use SP6.0a. 5 Was loaded with flaws, upgrade it......6.0a has been very stable for us. We have like 150 machines at 6.0a in an industrial environment running 24/7 for control.

Dave Ferguson
Blandin Paper Compnay
DAVCO Automation

Mark Fairbaugh

If you use 2 hard drives you can mirror the drives, I use this for my system and it is formatted NTFS.


Mark Fairbaugh
PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara
Sr. Process Control Engineer
e-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (62)-370-636-318 Ext. 47948
Mobile: (62)-812-382-0235

Blunier, Mark

> Yes, it's easy and free. Simply put a base Linux
> installation on one partition.

This sounds like a bit of overkill. Simply boot up a linux rescue disk like tom's boot disk. Otherwise you'll need to figure out how to make the system dual boot with nt and linux.

Mark Blunier
Any opinions expressed in this message are not necesarily those of thecompany.

Curt Wuollet

That should work fine too. I like to have a few luxuries around for recovery like a working browser, cd writer, etc. Perhaps in automation systems it wouldn't be a big deal, depends on the time to recover vs the time to simply start over.


It all depends on how much you're willing to pay for the reliability. For starters, if the system is critical, add a redundant power supply and raid for the harddrives. This should be enough in most cases to solve your problem.

In case you really need more reliability, then consider using solid state storage, at least for
some critical section of the code. If all the code can't fit into the Diskonchip,
Some simple recovery routines can then be incorporated into the diskonchip and run to either copy a new image
from cdrom or query a server somewhere else via modem or network to download new software.

Drive Image from powerquest is a piece of software than can handle NT, windows and linux partitions without a problem.

Good luck

Akumeka Technology
Embedded and Industrial computers