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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools on: March 20, 2014, 02:29:30 AM

Macrium also has a solid forum and Facebook page.  This (imaging and also partition) is an area where companies tend to be shy, not wanting the public to see the possible "you trashed my system, I have no backup" type of post that can arise. So they tend to want to have details done privately.

I'm considering their Professional, noting the possibility of using the Redeploy option.

And remember, nothing wrong with having images from more than one software. And doing a special data only partition with file-by-file backup.

Speed is my least-important factor in backing up.  Reliability and redundancy are the key.

2  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: BitDefender Leap Year Sale - Any Product for $29 on: March 16, 2014, 10:37:28 PM
If you do this, read carefully and triple-check that you are not authorizing recurring billing later. Take pictures, save emails, make sure the license matches up, etc.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes is moving away from lifetime licenses on: March 15, 2014, 04:28:00 PM
I just bought one of the $15 specials. So much talk, need a little action.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ? on: March 15, 2014, 04:20:51 PM

Great suggestions.  And if Samba will work nicely under my OpenSuse (or Mint, OpenSuse is supposed to be more server friendly) I am not adverse to trying that.

I'll play around, I have the two Dells now with 8GB and more, one designed as a server, graphics, virtual architecture (i.e heavier stuff) so one of them I can dedicate in the way you suggest. (This is on top of my regular two systems.)

The Chrome is interesting, but rather light, more for remote control, and one of my Windows 7 puters does not even want to give a good Chrome install, it goes gray.  A known glitch. I wanted to try out their CloudPrint, which works through Chrome.

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes is moving away from lifetime licenses on: March 15, 2014, 03:45:20 PM
MBAM is really great on removing malware. I had the same good experience at a clients, and find their scans very fine.

So I think I will buy a one lifetime license, if still available, even if it is only for stuff like scheduling regular scans, and other goodies unknown, and not for the real-time mode.  Sometimes real-time seems to be CPU intensive.  Of course with a lifetime, if the real-time improves, you are already licensed.  Gotta check the cost.

Just some thoughts, have your grain of salt ready:
On Wilders and elsewhere, one guy got upset on a trick he claimed MBAM played, a few years ago, (placing in a dummy text file, blank I think, as a .dll and then finding it as malwre) .. he gets everyone annoyed by playing that trumpet, since MBAM people are generally spot-on, helpful, etc. However, when I went back, I think it may have occurred. (If so, it needed an apology.)  I got curious enough to think of trying to download a FileHippo type of old version and seeing if I can replicate the behaviour.  

Kaspersky is supposed to be an A-1 company, they got involved in a finger-pointing game with Microsoft about some unusual low-level behaviour, hooks that were said to damage some systems over time, and I still don't rush to try their products even many years later. (And I hesitate to install any product that seems to involve too much hooking or low-level, including rootkit stuff, I would like reviewers to pay more attention on that element.) That is without going into Comodo's CEO stuff, when they were soo tricky with toolbars, and moving away from Avira when they played games for a little while partnering with Uniblue. smiley And BitDefender played a painful recurring billing scheme, a fairly common trick where they try to gotcha on the install, which may be part of some super-duper-special, and then a year later can bill you on a credit card that you might not notice. Bits du Jour just discussed that problem with Anvir Task Manager (which is partly a security program).

Even if the company is spot-on today, if they did not really come clean, you wonder whether you want to work with their products.

Right now my main companies are Avast on the anti-virus and Online Armor and Private Firewall on the firewall and Win Patrol on the start-up area control.  Not that those companies are perfect in every way, I have been quite happy with each one.  I use WinPatrol and Chameleon, WinPatrol for the security, Chameleon for the startup interface and control.  Don't use a dedicated HIPS, or file integrity control program, partly because Avast is part-hips, partly because no one program stands out.

And I always look around and saw some more goodies today that I might test out, although overall I am pretty placid.  Paltalk gives me jitters a bit, since it sets off Avast alarm bells about stopping Trojans.  That is the most problematic spot I visit.

My fav three static scans are Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware and Emsi Emergency Kit, all of which give you a lot on freeware. It is interesting to see their small differences.  Occasionally I play with Hitman Pro, but it really is not a free scan if you want to do any cleaning and fixing.

Your thoughts?

6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / ad hoc network setup, Microsoft home, Teamview, dedicated VPN ? on: March 11, 2014, 03:12:44 PM

Hope this does not make your head spin.

My goal is to have reasonable network capability by about four puters behind a Verizon FIOS router (right now I am chaining through a second router but the master can do four if it is better to unchain).  Mostly Windows 7, maybe one is Windows XP, and Linux is being dual-booted in one or two, per the plans. I actually have finally seen a Linux download-and-install work, with Mint 16, next is OpenSuse! (One puter is a master hot dell puter that might play with virtual stuff, picked it up from a failed day-trader for not too much, at about $400.)  Ok, there is a puter at work that would be nice to be included, if it were VPN.

File sharing is of course a major goal.  Plus I would not mind doing that through mapping the drive, something that has always seemed problematic with Windows networking. Similarly, Windows home network facilites and such always seems problematic to me .. am I missing something? It's supposed to be sooo easy.  (Putting aside the Linux wildcard.) Seems like drives drop, names change, things get confused.

If some files can be accessed live as if it were a real network/mini, that would be nice (understanding that programs not multi-user don't want concurrent updates from two sources holding data in memory and updating. Talking especially Eudora and Linkman here. Eudora also has the problem that the mailboxes are biggggg.).  

Maybe I would use a real multi-user program like Filemaker, one PC being a server, if I was really trying to emulate a true network.  Then you are thinking more server architecture than peer-to-peer.

Teamviewer has been my remote control program of choice. I use it to help friends far away, and for calling in from/to work. And is VPN-capable. File sharing is good.  Drive mapping .. think they have their own file commander.

So, first question.  What options should I consider?  And I don't even mind paying a little for a better long-term solution.

Should I do two things, a Microsoft built-in thing plus more?  

Anyway, your general thoughts will be very helpful.



3 Windows 7   - one potentially
1 Windows XP

(dual booting to Linux on 1 or 2)


EXTERNAL - minor

1 Windows XP at work

occasional call home from outside when traveling or if I buy a laptop or smartphone


My gut feeling is to run with Teamviewer, expanding usage, maybe going paid. Haven't checked how
that works.   However, I really would like to hear your thoughts.  And if I use some such software,
I wonder if I should simultaneously do anything with the Windows home network, or if that is simply
a toy albatross.

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Malwarebytes is moving away from lifetime licenses on: March 11, 2014, 02:30:24 PM
Thanks for the info.

While I frequently use the MBAM scan, if you have a system with say Avast and Online Armor and WinPatrol, do you find the extra Paid version stuff of MBAM to be very useful?

My understanding is that you are paying for the real-time protection aspect.  However, too many real-time programs gets cumbersome.

Your thoughts?

If it is positive enough I will likely spring for the $14.95 times 1, test it and then go for maybe 2 or 3.  (Yes, I know I could read Wilder's, you guys are usually clearer.)  In fact, I will download the trial.

Ok, I just activated it, and I see it can be my missing HIPS, and can probably fit in, with a couple of other goodies.  MBAM has been quite a fine company.

Neil Rubenking at PC World a year ago thought their realtime stuff was a little blahh... while lauding the malware cleanup. So it should should be close.  With a lifetime license you can look at at least one license as a sort of future investment and thank you .

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 03, 2014, 07:35:55 AM

Is the concern here the (April?) withdrawal of XP support by Microsoft?  Is that really a problem for a well-layered security system, if you are not some sort of sensitive business enterprise that has to follow auditing directives?

When my Windows 7 had 2 Gb it was slow, it really needed 4. XP does fine on 2 (with a slight preference for the 4 max, not all usable). It seems like a lot of effort to get a new OS and expand the hardware just to maintain the same level of speed.  Would it make more sense to try to get a newer or refurbed Windows 7 (still available?) or 8.  A friend just got a Gateway 8 with 6 GB at some Walmart special in the $200s.  How much is the Windows 7, the memory upgrade (I say its probably necessary) and the time and effort to convert a 6-year old box. Maybe the older box can be converted to a good Linux box instead?

Just some thoughts, since I face a similar situation, my older XP box is a Dell Precision, which is slowly just now decreasing so that the Windows 7 PowerSpec can increase.  The XP box is even tight on space with about 100Gb disk.

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: unattended large file copies that will not prompt for msg on: March 03, 2014, 07:03:40 AM

Great answers, guys (more suggestions welcome). I have a license for Total Commander, and
they have a great license  policy, so I will start there.

Sometimes TC seems a lot slower heads-down on copying that the alternatives, although again,
there may be some special or alternative modes. Any thoughts on that aspect as well?

From what I could tell, some copy programs work more directly with the OS copy command, others
go around it with their own tweaking?

Incidentally the long file names comes out of some .jpgs and such that are email attachments, which
in Eudora are a separate disk file.


I had some backup externals that were not able to be read by Windows 7, they were from the XP
days. One goal is to empty the data off any such disk (copy to a really big backup external) and
attempt to format in Windows 7, using the format command from a partition program. (These externals
are seen by the OS but not assigned a drive letter, and the manufacturers want them to be orphaned.)
So far, so good, the first one took fine.  In such a case you can easily want to move 100 Gb in the
background or when away.
one worked.

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / unattended large file copies that will not prompt for msg on: March 03, 2014, 05:24:14 AM

When you try to use the file managers, Total Commander, Free Commander, Xplorer2, Xyplorer to do large moves or copies (say from one tape backup to another) it is very hard to get a true "unattended" mode.  You keep hitting hidden files, +or write-protected, or overly long file names, or UAC stuff, and although some items get a "skip all" you never can quite get unattended. And each program glitches out different and has totally different speeds.

In this mode, you just want:

 "move as much as you can, I'll worry about the leftover later"

Maybe some of the file copy/synchronizer tools have this right?  Your recommendations?

11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: CMS lite with fine RTF editor on: February 16, 2014, 09:34:33 AM

Thanks for the two suggestions. 

Right now, I am going back to Concrete5 (I had never really tried to work with it.) It seems to be a good mid-range CMS that is designed for what they call "in-context editing".  The administration looks good, like CMS Made Simple (which was in some ways a tad more elegant) and it has a good support base.  I was able to look through many free themes that look fine and there are a gazoodle of others for $25-$40.

Will report back. Right now I am uploading a group of files, creating pages and sub-pages, stuff like that.  Plus I read a lot of comments from the "common man" that is friendly to the program. (Not to slight Silverstripe, Processwire, Modx, CushyCMS and 100 or 1000 others, besides the big boys.)

I think the desire for real easy editing is not emphasized enough in the reviews here and there.  Where the RTF editor functions cordially right as you design the pages in a full-feature mode. (As I mentioned, CMS Made Simple put the RTF in style sheets.)  And the question as to whether a light webpage implementation  needs to fall into code. (eg. The CushyCMS demo surprised me by showing some code-tag changes, and that is a Lite product.)

If all goes well I have some decent looking pages designed shortly and get it uploaded to my server account at Knownhost (which I have never used).  I do have good domain names available for what I am doing.

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / CMS lite with fine RTF editor on: February 14, 2014, 08:56:31 AM


Been awhile.  Always appreciate this forum.
Have a question.

Now I know we have some fine CMS and lite website builders here on the forum.  

A while back I tried playing with the blogging platforms, WordPress and Blogger, they are nice
for my type of quick posting, however I don't like having to work around the sideways blogging
architecture, to mimic the top-down structure of a website.  (Maybe this is not as awkward
as I think? With a special admin panel, eg. on WordPress? On Blogger, extras are minimal.)

One of my major goals is simple.  Pages with fine RTF for basic color, size of fonts, italics.
And easy insertion of pics, usually simple screen pics of a manuscript or from a book (all
copyright fine).  The best is cut-and-paste, also very good is an upload facility that integrates
nicely, I don't mind the extra steps of creating a disk folder and save to file from a screen pic.

Also I want a good webpage administration architecture, built in. This item is underneath this, and then
when you  move that, maybe some tabs and links automatically recognize the new architecture.  In a blogging
platform that is probably doable with modules, however unless there is some special implemenation,
I prefer a more elegant CMS-website building architecture.

Now, I looked at CMS Made Simple. The adminstration architecture looks very fine, exactly what I like.
However RTF is not directly implementable on the page through the editor, RTF works through style sheets,
which seems like it would  be overly structured for my purposes, which are more ad hoc.  This Bible verse
is purple, this quote is brown, this is highlighted and in italics. etc.  I want that type of formatting
through normal editing (like when I work here, or on Eudora) not front-ended. (Unless I am missing something.)

Oh, an extra plus is if you can RTF cut-and-paste from an existing document (e.g. my Eudora email, or a web
forum) and keep the formatting intact.  However, the extra steps of reformatting in an editor are not too bad, if



So anybody have a suggestion?
Likely a CMS (reasonable cost ok) that:

a) is easy to use and rarely if ever has to fall down to code on simple pages.

b) has a fine administration center, where pages are edited, moved around, structure is built, pages are disabled, etc.

c) has a good regular editor, with color, sizes, maybe fonts, a step or three beyond the underlining etc.
that is in the rudimentary editors (e.g. MicroTiny that is bundled with the CMS Made Simple install).

Any help appreciated.


Here is my discussion on CMS Made Simple forum. (What puzzled me was that one of the CMS
videos I thought showed a nice full-featured editor. And I thought maybe loading the TinyMCE
module would accomplish my goals. The answers I got seemed to indicate not.)

editor functionality, RTF - text colors, size, fonts

I thought I put the following post in, as a follow-up.
Possibly, my error. Possibly not.




Eudora has simply a normal easy-to-work editor, with good RTF functionality.  

Plus it has a special nicety, that you can paste pictures directly in from the clipboard (they don't have to be uploaded attachments.) So I think when I was playing with Wordpress I used that feature combined with emailing to the blog. However, I do not particularly like trying to mold a blog architecture to mimic a website. Seems unelegant.

With CMSMS I gather if I use style-sheets for RTF it would be hard to go in and out of different color and size on a web-page, in a free-form, not previously sectioned, manner.  Without tweaking in HTML after the fact. That sort of free-form writing (e.g. Bible verses in one color, quotes from books in another, my text in another, some words might be in italics) is an ongoing part of my writing and what I am trying to accomplish on my web-pages.


Note: I test on my XAMPP installation.  I don't mind testing a couple of CMS or similar platforms.  Right now WordPress, CMS Made Simple and some others are "installed".  (Also Concrete5, getsimpleCMS, ProcessWire, WolfCMS and MediaWiki, the last for a different purpose)

My goal is to to decide the best without too much extra testing of a tool, especially not one that might not have the basic features or on the flip-side one that requires too much initial coding expertise.

Steven Avery
Bayside, NY
13  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: FREE Today Zemana AntiLogger on: August 12, 2013, 11:38:34 PM

While I have tended to like Zemana when it is installed (see above) I have an aversion to low-level hooks of any kind, or at least any more than is "necessary".  And I am not convinced that Zemana is necessary to a fairly stable and well-protected system.

14  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Syncovery at 50% off - BDJ on: April 03, 2013, 10:58:58 PM

I understand this is fine, well-supported program.  However, if we do not do fancy sync stuff, but more backup in the mode of Cobian and Backup4All, can you mention what you like about the program that might help me justify jumping at the special and making it my main backup program, with whatever sync comes down the sink ? Thanks.

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image backups after OS reinstall with clean system on: March 26, 2013, 10:11:06 AM

Ok, got the O&O.  A bit slower (1/2 hour in my case others were about 10-25), but since I am posting while it backs up, really no problem. That speed thing is really an issue on a professional situation with many images, or large images which I do not do.

It is possible that the O&O is better than some of the others on restoring to another PC.  If I get a chance later shortly, I may give that a try.

Incidentally, Freewaregenius

and Gizmo  
 (a few articles around the issue)

both have very fine articles about this imaging thing, and the freeware programs.  Mostly similar to the above, not going into the issue of pseudo-freeware specials. One also mentioned "Redo Backup" which is open source SourceForge, however it does not seem to do individual partitions, it may be very fine for full disk bare metal backups.

btw, the DriveImageXL boot disk is probably no probably at all with UBCD and the plugin, which may be in the standard edition anyway, since that can be a straight download and iso burn.

16  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Chameleon Startup Manager 50% off on: March 26, 2013, 02:15:35 AM

Here is a thought for Evgeni.

When we save Chameleon we are really backing up two different aspects that can be at dissonance.

1) settings
2) data - programs loading, configs

e.g If you do an OS or early image reinstall, you may end up with very different programs and want (1) but not (2).  In other cases, you might want both.  

Thus, the save should be split up into the components.  As it is now it is hard to save the settings without also getting the program data that you often might not want.

(This is off the top of my head, so if I am wrong on this, correct away.)

17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image backups after OS reinstall with clean system on: March 25, 2013, 11:15:04 AM

Ok, I got the Paragon freebie above.  Definitely a bit more sophisticated, in a nice way.  Makes you think a bit about the boot record, MBR. Apparently the others don't tell you exactly what they are doing with the MBR when you reinstall a partition. This is especially an issue if you do any repartitioning after the early backup.

And I did a bit more checking on DriveimageXL. Apparently if you want to restore the primary OS partition, you need to burn a CD with a DriveImageXL plugin.  Some mention BartPE but that is a bear, however UBCD is likelier easier.  

However, this is another spot where Paragon, Easeus and Macrium (and maybe Aomei, the new kid on the block) have a notch over DIXL.  You have another hoop to jump over, rather than simply burning a CD from the program itself, all one integrated unit.

Another area is that some of these programs also allow for file-by-file backup out of the image.  I don't particularly need that, I consider them two different functions, however, it does allow a little extra redundancy.

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linkman 8.80 released on: March 25, 2013, 11:08:04 AM

Your right.

Somehow I did not think I saw it before, I definitely see it now in my !
A couple of days ago I did a reinstall (after an image reinstall) perhaps I had an earlier version.

Thanks, well done once again.  (Sometimes the little foxes jump through the vines.)

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linkman 8.80 released on: March 25, 2013, 09:46:25 AM

Linkman remains my #1 program as a research assistant and also as a PIM and an everything finder.

Look forward to trying out the new stuff.

There is one little enhancement needed that I do not see above.  When a search gives 0 hits, we need a "0 entries found in x.x seconds" in the status bar.  smiley

Beyond that I have to try the user-defined fields a bit. However, if the print feature was a bit stronger, I would be more motivated.  (hint, hint).

Funny to see Powermarks import improved.  It was pretty good even a gazillion years ago.

20  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Debenu PDF Tools Pro Free on: March 25, 2013, 09:13:02 AM

Thanks, Rowan.
I'm not sure if I will work with the Explorer method, but either way I thank you for the neat offer.

Added 3-28: downloaded and ready to try.  Thanks again. I noticed that you have a solid looking forum as well, always a good sign.

The PDF software world is complex. On printing to PDF I use Bullzip, it is possible that I may be doing a lot more PDF stuff in the near future and your toolkit looks good.

21  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Debenu PDF Tools Pro Free on: March 24, 2013, 07:42:19 PM

Does it have a direct method of working from Debenu without Windows Explorer and right-click ?

22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image backups after OS reinstall with clean system on: March 24, 2013, 11:43:16 AM

Right. Lots of giveaways, also of Paragon on Giveaway (with the limitation that you lose it with the OS reinstall).   So I may have a serial number parked in my email or serial# lands for a good image backup from Easeus or Paragon or Aomei (if they do image), I will check.

Now that I as more comfy with the image restore, I may look into restoring on other hardware. I know I can make sure it is meant to be an XP puter and the same size partition is fine.  However I would have to use a pro version for that feature, if it is an investment of $25-50 (or free on a special or if I have one parked or a 30-day trial) I would like to try.  Granted, as a Dell going to a non-Dell, I am skeptical if this c:\ partition restore stuff will work too well to another puter, however I would not mind trying (I have a light spare here).  Will the drivers be happy?  Maybe, they are generally not Dell specific.

Also, I played around quite a bit on the Rescue CDs, just to get a better fix.  UBCD4Windows is liked by many, but the fix for doing it with Dell did not work, and I see that it can be a bear (often taking many iterations and minimal real support now).  Hiren's Boot Disk may have the best file managers (7Z is there) an important feature imo since you want a final backup before you start fresh with an old image or OS restore.  Although Hiren is not particularly known to be ultra-scrupulous on copyright issues.

The file manager on the rescue disks is the sleeper issue, imo.  They really vary tremendously, and half the time you are using a rescue disk you should end up restoring a image anyway instead of trying to resuscitate  a corrupted system.  So you really want something friendly, dual-pane if possible.

Easeus Home looks pretty good for the simple image backup.  As I mentioned I like to have about three early ones parked on a good external disk or two.

So far I do not bother with the internal image on a separate partition idea, although it is a healthy idea, I could set up a special partition the same size as my c:/.

23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image backups after OS reinstall with clean system on: March 23, 2013, 07:55:03 PM

Some notes:

Macrium does have a verify option, but it does not automatically show and ask, so I ran it on the newer (more helpful, fuller early install closer to my base system) image I just did. Good to know, and they should make it more forthright.

DriveImageXL seems weak in that area, yet another way that Macrium seems a notch above DIXL (they also save quicker but that is not too important for my limited use).

Easeus talks of building a WindowsPE boot disk in the pro version, and don't mention a boot disk in the free.  Do any of these programs actually begin a restore of the c: from Windows? .. that would be tricky because they would have to "shell out".  If not, then how does Easeus do the restore in the free version?  I am ready to ask in their forum, before an install.  (If I remember, DIXL works with a boot disk, but memory is a bit vague.).

Since I had more than one Macrium image, the verify before restore option was still quite helpful, but clearly the important time to verify is right after the save (and then again before the restore, you would feel bad to see a restore fail).

I see lots of people trying to save infected and kludged Windows systems, when they should backup their files, cut bait, and restore an early image.  However, to do that .. you need an early image, otherwise you hit the bricks of an OS install, which can be quite frustrating (even if edumacational).  You are always pleased when you then have the light system and begin to think through what you really use and want.

24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image backups after OS reinstall with clean system on: March 23, 2013, 07:50:48 AM

Thanks.  I will add Easeus free as #3.  It is so simple to make the backups, and my early c:/ backups are only 5-10 gigabytes, so the redundancy is recommended. One, or even two, could glitch out for various reasons.  I figure I saved at least 5 hours, maybe 10 and more and hassles, by not having to reinstall the XP OS (and I do have the original Dell CDs, if you have a CD problem it is even more helpful.).

It is true that a good shop will do the OS install for under $100, they have some good techie tools or machinery, but that is still $, time and hassle and you end up with a very barebones system and you have to spend more time getting to your personal base system.

btw, I still prefer my XP system over Windows 7 by quite a bit.  I was thinking if I needed a new puter to look for a fully decked out XP system (4 gigabytes memory, etc).  I still find Windows 7 comparatively annoying in various ways, including some lags in mouse and key use that I have to troubleshoot some day.

With Easeus they have a EaseUS Disk Copy Home Edition. Other sites say they also have EaseUS Todo Backup Free, however on their web site this seems to show as EaseUS Todo Backup Home as a Trial.

The plethora of products with Easeus (and Paragon) actually works against using them on a simple need like my early image backup.  One reason I like Macrium and DriveImageXL, very clear what you have.

For file-to-file backup, like my D:/ and special saves to USB sticks, I generally use Cobian or Backup4All.  I know Easeus is competent for that as well, but I like the dedicated tools.

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / image backups after OS reinstall with clean system on: March 22, 2013, 07:04:58 PM

Last one or two times I did an OS reinstall is was a real bear.  Many hours getting the OS install and drivers and software and basics right.

So I made sure to use the freebies of image backup, especially Macrium and DriveImageXL (any other favs?) to make multiple images in the days right after the install, stuck them on some Iomega and burned the recovery CDs.  This can be fully free.  I liked Macrium a little better especially since the result tended to be one easy to work with file of about 5 to 10 gigabytes for my early images.  

When I went to restore, one image was busted (Macrium has a test-verify mode before) so the fact that I had made multiples was very helpful.

For this the more data you put on the d:\ the better.  I'm not sure whether you can get Xampp type servers there though, so you be sure to back up the stuff you need, probably you also back up the full d:\ to be safe, even if you have to do some final backup with a recovery CD because your Windows was uncooperative.

(The file managers in the Recovery CD's vary, Dolphin on Kaspersky is ok, some have Midnight Commander, you do want one that thinks a bit in Windows rather than raw Linux only, once I had FreeCommander but I don't know where.  I avoid the more complex recovery CDs like BartPE and UBCD4Windows).

You do have to keep in mind that if you reduce the c:\ size after the backup you won't be able to get the free larger image scrunched down (the paid version might work by eliminating blank space).  So it is a good idea to partition down the c:\ to where you think you are comfy (in my case 30 gigabytes) before imaging.

Understand that ... I do not like image backup for full, funky systems. ... the systems are too tardy and cumbersome anyway.  If they give you trouble, you want a clean reinstall, and the good clean reinstall is the image thing, making sure you have serial numbers, etc.

Anyway, I just did one of these. Could not sign on. Probably winlogon.exe was glitched, I tried various safe and debug modes, various tricks for fix, checked registry entries in the Rescue CD, and nothing was really working.  I even tried a Windows XP pseudo-install where it fixes the OS, but that locked up at one point where it was looking for a file and the mouse and keyboard would not move. Weird.

So I made sure backup was good (I had done the d:\ right before the final glitch, it turns out to be nicely redundant) and reinstalled the c:\ from the image using the Macrium recovery CD.

And I must say, Macrium worked super-fine.  Within about an hour the reinstall was done, email was loading down, browsers were updated, my main programs had been already loaded, I had updated and added a couple more programs that I now consider basic, and I decide to write this little note.

And after an hour or two of update I plan to do a more refined image backup or two for the down-the-pike "next time".  A few definite programs loaded, really not much, I am quite happy with the light system that I have.

It is real comforting to have the system back up, all the drivers totally fine (I think I may have an optional screen adjustment to check, changing the resolution, that's all) and all the main programs, including PrivacyFirewall and my AV up and running immediately with the restore. And all my data up-to-date on the d:/ email, Linkman, Rightnote, etc.

So here is the buzz.   Early OS and programs (after you have all the basic up and running) images can be ultra-friendly.  They don't have to cost a penny. They don't take a lot of time.  And they can make it very easy when Windows clogs.

However, use some redundancy.  More than one program.  More than one image for each program.  Then when Windows gives you a hassle, don't worry too much about cutting bait and going back to an early state.

In my case my image has about 25 apps installed.   Probably I had about 100 and more at the time of the kludge.   And I probably will reinstall about 25 in the next few days.  However, it is always nice to think "do I really need that .. now?".  And just put on what you really, really use.

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