Nuke & Rebuild



  • This is a copypaste duplicate special edition re-issue of a post I wrote on some other forum and I currently can't be arsed to be original. Discuss.

    Yo, reinstalling your computer is fucking tedious, even if you have your
    main data on a separate drive, and a well-organized set of
    peferences&profiles backups, and have pre-downloaded various system
    drivers and service packs for rapid pew-pew-pew install.

    I
    reinstalled because at some point in some mysterious way some Trojan
    managed to invite itself onto my system and then crapped all over it. It
    was an interesting experience with all sorts of RootKit scanners and
    the discovery that Avast! really is better than AVG, but in the end you
    can't really trust your system anymore. So, I packed my stuff and blew
    away the system for a fresh slate.

    I probably should have
    quick-formatted my 1TB drive, instead of a 2.5 hour deep
    format-the-fuck-out-of-it. Then again, you really want to be sure you've
    totally napalmed any insidious MBR rootkits that may or may not have
    been present.

    PROTIP: It's really a fine, fine backup strategy to
    have one's data (photos, music, installers, projects) NOT on the drive
    you intend to immolate. Bonus; in case of new computer -> yank ->
    plug -> boot -> set drive letter -> ready*.

    I should
    actually maybe swap the drives, because then I have 1TB for data and
    160GB for progs, but maybe I'll just unleash my expansive wallet unto l'economie
    and fix me up another TB drive and donate the 0.16TB drive to a hapful
    organization.


    )
    incidentally, this is also how I make love to the ladies
    *.

    **) I
    could not pass up this joke, and also wanted to beat y'all to
    the chase.



  •  I highly recommend having at least 2 hard drives.  A small one for the operating system and programs, and one or more bigger ones for everything else.   After installing Windows, all of my programms and drivers and spending some time tweaking everything, I use Acronis True Image to make an image of C: that gets stored on the second hard drive.  I also have a batch file that makes a copy of my Users folder (Documents and Settings for Windows XP). Then, when something gets mucked up it's fairly simple to restore the Acronis image and copy over all my user settings.The latest version of Acronis is amazingly fast and only takes a few minutes to complete restore my hard drive.

    I've never had a system get borked by a virus, but I have hosed things many times due to my own stupidity and/or curiosity (gee, I wonder what would happen if I . . . . oh shit) and my setup has saved my ass many times. Over the past several years I've hardly ever had to do the "install from scratch" thing.  Usually only when I did something major like going from XP to 64 bit Vista and from Vista to Windows 7.



  •  A batch file?

    Simple as that, eh?



  • @dhromed said:

     A batch file?

    Simple as that, eh?

     

    If you're backing up your user directories via batch file, you might as well burn the time to remap the default user directories, etc to your external/second disk - it makes the restore a little more complex (you have to nuke NTUSER.dat before you restore) but you won't have to worry about losing any files between batch file runs when you get pwned.

    +1 if it's a NAS because then you've got poor man's thin client computing - your user is identical everywhere because HKLM (I believe) looks for NTUSER.dat on the shared volume. We did this for a while at our office before our IT department went insane and decided CitrixXen piped from Denver, CO was better way for the Washington, DC office to work.



  • @rad131304 said:

    f you're backing up your user directories via batch file, you might as well burn the time to remap the default user directories, etc to your external/second disk
     

    I'm not sure I want to shim the system in such a way when things may fall over if some process expects one situation and gets another. I once used tweakUI to map MyDocs to a different place, but results were unsatisfactory and meh, so I just left it as-is. Makes the whole a lot more predictable.

    @rad131304 said:

    Citrix

    The ultimate inner platform.



  • @dhromed said:

    @rad131304 said:

    f you're backing up your user directories via batch file, you might as well burn the time to remap the default user directories, etc to your external/second disk
     

    I'm not sure I want to shim the system in such a way when things may fall over if some process expects one situation and gets another. I once used tweakUI to map MyDocs to a different place, but results were unsatisfactory and meh, so I just left it as-is. Makes the whole a lot more predictable.

    Just guessing, but TweakUI may have caused problems because you were modifying an existing user registry. If HKLM directs the user account to be "born" on the remote volume, there shouldn't be any issues associated with that unless you are working with NAS.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @rad131304 said:

    If HKLM directs the user account to be "born" on the remote volume, there shouldn't be any issues associated with that unless you are working with NAS.
    Or if any random application developer is ignorant as fuck and hardcodes paths.


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