Make sure it's initialized!



  • @ender said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    On a machine that used text config files I'd have had the machine back up in less time than that without a full reinstall.
    You probably could do the same with XP - there are backup copies of registry hives in C:\System Volume Information. Been there, done that.

    Unless you disable System Restore, been there, done that



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I think most strictly-typed systems have ways to avoid the type system so they only provide "hints" as well.

    I'd imagine a strongly-typed system to require at least a flag if you're reading something in a different format - with Registry you just call a read function for a different format, and you'll get the data in that format.
    @serguey123 said:

    Unless you disable System Restore, been there, done that

    In that case, there are saved versions of the hives, which are usually enough to bring up the system without doing a reinstall.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    < blah blah blah fucking stupid "answers" blah blah blah>

    @morbiuswilters said:

    An RDBMS can also eschew binary data and just store everything in XML. Obviously, XML is the best format for everything. (And are you seriously editing hundreds of lines of XML in a text editor or are you using an actual tool for the job?)

    Quote me where I said that XML is always the best format.  Go ahead, I'm waiting.  In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS.  A Registry corruption can, and has, done that.@morbiuswilters said:

    community of professionals?

    You're right.  My apologies to TheCPUWizard, snoofle.@morbiuswilters said:

    Or maybe you can look up how to cook meth using Tylenol Cold and Sinus, Coleman fuel and an empty 2-liter bottle?

    The fact that you know this much about cooking meth shows you know more about it than me.  Thankfully you're moving off the mainland.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS.

    You're right, it just makes the machine unusable for it's primary purpose until the database is recovered. Which is why people make backups and have a DR plan. You keep ignoring this point, by the way.

    @nonpartisan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    community of professionals?
    You're right.  My apologies to TheCPUWizard, snoofle.

    Don't forget dhromed. He's a professional*, too.

    @nonpartisan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Or maybe you can look up how to cook meth using Tylenol Cold and Sinus, Coleman fuel and an empty 2-liter bottle?
    The fact that you know this much about cooking meth shows you know more about it than me.  Thankfully you're moving off the mainland.

    I'm glad I'm moving, too, although I don't know why that matters to you. Does the fact that I know basic chemistry and drug policy frighten you? Do you look down on DEA agents for knowing about drugs?



  • @nonpartisan said:

    In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS

    sudo cat /dev/random > /etc/inittab

    Luckily, that won't corrupt a Linux system so that it won't boot* oh whoops.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS

    sudo cat /dev/random > /etc/inittab

    Luckily, that won't corrupt a Linux system so that it won't boot* oh whoops.

    Boot a rescue disk, replace /etc/inittab, reboot.  15 minutes.

     



  • @nonpartisan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    community of professionals?
    You're right.  My apologies to TheCPUWizard, snoofle.

    Aw... if I start posting stuff about my work, can I be a professional, too?@morbiuswilters said:

    Do you look down on DEA agents for knowing about drugs?

    Not for that reason, no.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS.

    You're right, it just makes the machine unusable for it's primary purpose until the database is recovered. Which is why people make backups and have a DR plan. You keep ignoring this point, by the way.

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?



  • @nonpartisan said:

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?

    I pretty much have nothing backed up.  I haven't had a disk failure yet, so haven't been bitten.  Knock on wood  I've been meaning to back up stuff that's important to a web drive somewhere...



  • @nonpartisan said:

    @pkmnfrk said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS

    sudo cat /dev/random > /etc/inittab

    Luckily, that won't corrupt a Linux system so that it won't boot* oh whoops.

    Boot a rescue disk, replace /etc/inittab, reboot.  15 minutes.

    Or if I somehow stumble on it while the OS is still running, then I can fix it and no interruption in service.  How about if a Registry file corrupts in the middle of normal operation, either by strange accident or by malicious activity?

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @nonpartisan said:

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?

    Does a VM image for the purposes of escrow, backed up for every deposit, count?



  • @nonpartisan said:

    Boot a rescue disk, replace /etc/inittab, reboot.  15 minutes.

    Guess what? It works the same way with corrupted registry!
    @nonpartisan said:

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?

    I've got a daily backup of my system drive (which contains the OS, all installed programs and all documents I care about) scheduled for every morning at 9:20 (the backup goes to my server, where it's stored on a RAID). I keep a month of backups (and they proved useful several times when I deleted stuff accidentally).



  • @nonpartisan said:

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?

    My workstations/desktop/laptop machines? None. They're not important.

    My servers? All. Production data plus config files, so I'm able to recover them in the event of a disaster (or migrate if needs be).



  • @nonpartisan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    In the meantime, an RDBMS file corruption does not take down the whole fucking machine, preventing me from using the basic maintenance tools available for the OS.

    You're right, it just makes the machine unusable for it's primary purpose until the database is recovered. Which is why people make backups and have a DR plan. You keep ignoring this point, by the way.

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?

    Complete differentials of each system at 3:00AM, Complete images every Sunday. Staggered retention policy [every week for a quarter, every month for a year, etc.]. Important systems (like my primary dev box) have shadows on standby, so I can fire them up even if the hardware is totally distroyed.

    I have had system failures, as well a a major disaster (house fire) a few years ago - nothing has been lost.



  • I'm not going to comment on individual backup policies yet until a decent sample has come in.  However, with respect to:@ender said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    Boot a rescue disk, replace /etc/inittab, reboot.  15 minutes.
    Guess what? It works the same way with corrupted registry!

    If you have a copy of the individual system's Registry file, then yes.  If you don't have a copy of it, then you're screwed.  But I can take any other /etc/inittab from any other like machine, throw it in, and have the system back up and running.  Or I can quickly write my own.  If it's a heavily-customized inittab, then yes, I should have a backup of it.  But if it's a stock inittab, I copy it over from any other like system and reboot.  Unfortunately, with the other settings that are stored in the base Registry files, you can't just copy one over from another machine.  At best, you'll end up with mixed configuration settings that need to be sorted out after the system is limping along.  At worst, it still won't work.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    I'm not going to comment on individual backup policies yet until a decent sample has come in.  However, with respect to:@ender said:

    @nonpartisan said:
    Boot a rescue disk, replace /etc/inittab, reboot.  15 minutes.
    Guess what? It works the same way with corrupted registry!
    If you have a copy of the individual system's Registry file, then yes.  If you don't have a copy of it, then you're screwed.  But I can take any other /etc/inittab from any other like machine, throw it in, and have the system back up and running.  Or I can quickly write my own.  If it's a heavily-customized inittab, then yes, I should have a backup of it.  But if it's a stock inittab, I copy it over from any other like system and reboot.  Unfortunately, with the other settings that are stored in the base Registry files, you can't just copy one over from another machine.  At best, you'll end up with mixed configuration settings that need to be sorted out after the system is limping along.  At worst, it still won't work.

    If you are running XP, do this. For Windows 7, the process is very similar, except the files are in C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack. A backup is automatically taken on every successful boot.



  • @Jaime said:

    If you are running XP, do this. For Windows 7, the process is very similar, except the files are in C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack. A backup is automatically taken on every successful boot.

    This is a procedure that I didn't have at the time.  Now I wish I did.  I will concede that there are automatic backups of the Registry files available and it doesn't look too complicated to restore them.  I could say something about "well, what if the backup is corrupted", but if both the primary Registry files and the backups are corrupted you're likely looking at a pretty screwed system (more akin to if I lost the /etc directory completely).  I would still argue that the procedure is more complicated than just rewriting /etc/inittab and being back up, but at least it can be done and still faster than reimaging the machine.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    TDWTF poll:  how many people here keep backups of their workstation down to the OS level on a day-to-day basis?  Not just data, but OS and configuration files.  Regularly.  No one?  Anyone?  Everyone?

    I have daily full backups to an external disk. I keep the last 2. Once btrfs becomes less of a piece of shit, I'm going to use it to do 15-minute snapshots which will be uploaded to my EC2 server and stored in S3. Unfortunately, right now, Linux has pretty mediocre backup support.

    For servers: I do 15-minute snapshots of everything.

    The fact that you consider backing up to be so esoteric shows your level of competence. I have made huge errors with backing up; when I got a new machine I was too busy to set up proper backups. When my SSD died without warning I lost a lot of valuable data. However, that my was my own stupid fault and I wouldn't sit around blaming my OS because I was failed to make backups.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The fact that you consider backing up to be so esoteric shows your level of competence. I have made huge errors with backing up; when I got a new machine I was too busy to set up proper backups. When my SSD died without warning I lost a lot of valuable data. However, that my was my own stupid fault and I wouldn't sit around blaming my OS because I was failed to make backups.

    But you see, here is where you're making assumptions about me.  Do I have my workstation backed up?  Not the OS and programs -- and initial returns show that I'm not the only one.  Do I have all the data backed up?  Everything that is important to me, yes.  I throw things onto the desktop for convenient access sometimes but I don't put things on there that I don't want to lose.  I have a home directory on a network file share.  Yes, my data is backed up.

    What you apparently didn't bother to pay attention to in my previous posts:  (a) there was no permanent data stored on the workstation that corrupted (it was a general-access workstation for MDs, RNs, etc.), and (b) I had a build image that restored the machine in two hours.  It had all the programs on it that it needed.  The worst problem for it was that the patch level was out of date, so it had to download and apply many of the patches.  The base OS and applications were installed in about 30 minutes.  Nevertheless, I still stand by the idea that if the Registry used a text-based system and organized within the file system, I'd have been able to compare it to an identical machine sitting on the other side of this one and rebuilt the corrupted config.

    I'm sure you're going to rip me to shreds on this one.  Nevertheless, one thing about me that I've not really said and you probably don't realize:  I come from a time when I had the freedom to tinker with and tweak my machine how I wanted to, bare metal, no hypervisors or virtual machines or virtualization or whatever getting in the way.  I've blown away floppy disks messing with the FAT.  I've hand-analyzed FAT and NTFS and ext2/3.  I ran a bulletin board system with text configurations.  I've hand-coded ANSI text files.  I've written software.  I've been burned many times by programs that purport to be the interface to the back end, then when there was a feature I needed, that interface was buggy, or didn't support the change I needed, or it was difficult to get to, or . . . take your pick, but the result was frustration that the program didn't do what I needed it to do.  So I would figure out the file format (either binary or ASCII), hack it, and move on.  Regardless of what you think of any of this, what it did was instill a desire to know and understand what's going on behind the scenes and be able to manipulate it.  Windows (and Linux, and FreeBSD, and OS X, and BeOS, and . . .) are so big, hard drives are so big, etc. that it is difficult to fully know and understand exactly what's going on down at the "component level", per se.  I mean, I know how most of it works in concept, but I used to understand in a practical, operational, down-to-the-hardware-component level.  So if a Registry corrupts, I have no idea the "why"s or "what"s or anything like that; it's a big binary blob that I can't troubleshoot.  But if my UNIX-type system corrupts, I have a good shot at being able to log into it, determine what went wrong, and fix the individual component that corrupted.  It enhances my understanding of what's going on and I learn from it.  Typically I also get clues about what went wrong so I can make a better judgment call -- am I experiencing a hardware failure?  Am I looking at a bug in the kernel or the application?  Your opinion comes across as "Who the fuck cares why it happened?  Just put it back in place and move on!"  I don't like the idea of losing potential information about the cause of the problem.  But I guess you young 'uns don't care about that, so fine.  Whatever.



  • @Jaime said:

    If you are running XP, do this. For Windows 7, the process is very similar, except the files are in C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack. A backup is automatically taken on every successful boot.

    A backup of what is taken on every boot? The procedure outlined isn't simply "copy each hive file back into place" (that would be too easy), it's pages of nonsense including needing to smash your way into System Volume Information. The files that you copy back into place were created during OS installation, not boot. At least for XP, according to the above. Last Known Good Configuration assumes that the SYSTEM hive isn't toast. Maybe 7 actually does take a proper backup.

    A novel way to corrupt the Registry: mouse isn't working for some reason, therefore, switch PC off and back on. Mouse still isn't working, switch PC off and back on. Wait … the SYSTEM hive is now destroyed. (I was going to reinstall this PC, but for kicks I'll try the above behemoth of a procedure and see what happens. Edit: no this isn't my PC and I didn't do that. Brainworm prose, sorry.)

    There I thought that the Registry was transactional, but obviously in XP it wasn't protected against people who don't know how to operate Windows without the mouse. Which, sadly, is pretty much everyone. I'm not hot on keyboard support in 7, either – the user account picture control panel (as trivial as it is) doesn't even draw a focus ring. But that's off-topic … That said, I haven't taken the complaint of Registry corruption seriously since Internet Explorer 4 (?) supposedly corrupted it. There are other reasons why I dislike it, but (un)reliability is not one of them.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    A backup of what is taken on every boot?

    Windows 7 takes a backup of all of the non-user hives of the registry on every boot. Yes, you just copy them back into place. Last Known Good is a different thing, it's a subset of SYSTEM, so it requires the system hive to be accessible.

    BTW, to fix the mouse condition you described, go back to a registry backup and then do a LastKnownGood boot. You've got two problems (mouse and bad registry), so you need two fixes.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    The fact that you consider backing up to be so esoteric shows your level of competence. I have made huge errors with backing up; when I got a new machine I was too busy to set up proper backups. When my SSD died without warning I lost a lot of valuable data. However, that my was my own stupid fault and I wouldn't sit around blaming my OS because I was failed to make backups.
    But you see, here is where you're making assumptions about me.  Do I have my workstation backed up?  Not the OS and programs -- and initial returns show that I'm not the only one.  Do I have all the data backed up?  Everything that is important to me, yes.  I throw things onto the desktop for convenient access sometimes but I don't put things on there that I don't want to lose.  I have a home directory on a network file share.  Yes, my data is backed up.

    What you apparently didn't bother to pay attention to in my previous posts:  (a) there was no permanent data stored on the workstation that corrupted (it was a general-access workstation for MDs, RNs, etc.), and (b) I had a build image that restored the machine in two hours.  It had all the programs on it that it needed.  The worst problem for it was that the patch level was out of date, so it had to download and apply many of the patches.  The base OS and applications were installed in about 30 minutes.  Nevertheless, I still stand by the idea that if the Registry used a text-based system and organized within the file system, I'd have been able to compare it to an identical machine sitting on the other side of this one and rebuilt the corrupted config.

    I'm sure you're going to rip me to shreds on this one.  Nevertheless, one thing about me that I've not really said and you probably don't realize:  I come from a time when I had the freedom to tinker with and tweak my machine how I wanted to, bare metal, no hypervisors or virtual machines or virtualization or whatever getting in the way.  I've blown away floppy disks messing with the FAT.  I've hand-analyzed FAT and NTFS and ext2/3.  I ran a bulletin board system with text configurations.  I've hand-coded ANSI text files.  I've written software.  I've been burned many times by programs that purport to be the interface to the back end, then when there was a feature I needed, that interface was buggy, or didn't support the change I needed, or it was difficult to get to, or . . . take your pick, but the result was frustration that the program didn't do what I needed it to do.  So I would figure out the file format (either binary or ASCII), hack it, and move on.  Regardless of what you think of any of this, what it did was instill a desire to know and understand what's going on behind the scenes and be able to manipulate it.  Windows (and Linux, and FreeBSD, and OS X, and BeOS, and . . .) are so big, hard drives are so big, etc. that it is difficult to fully know and understand exactly what's going on down at the "component level", per se.  I mean, I know how most of it works in concept, but I used to understand in a practical, operational, down-to-the-hardware-component level.  So if a Registry corrupts, I have no idea the "why"s or "what"s or anything like that; it's a big binary blob that I can't troubleshoot.  But if my UNIX-type system corrupts, I have a good shot at being able to log into it, determine what went wrong, and fix the individual component that corrupted.  It enhances my understanding of what's going on and I learn from it.  Typically I also get clues about what went wrong so I can make a better judgment call -- am I experiencing a hardware failure?  Am I looking at a bug in the kernel or the application?  Your opinion comes across as "Who the ----  cares why it happened?  Just put it back in place and move on!"  I don't like the idea of losing potential information about the cause of the problem.  But I guess you young 'uns don't care about that, so fine.  Whatever.

    No one will accuse me of being a "young'un" having been programming since right around the introduction of 8" floppies back in the early 1970s.... You raise some good points....but....the registry format is not difficult, so anyone who has looked at NTFS (or even FAT) structures, would have no problem in "byte editing" the information. I had resorted to it a number of times. If you dont want to do that, then copy the CORRUPTED registry to a temporary location on a good machine, use the API, and then copy the file back... I did both of these quite a few times in the late 1990's, and once or twice more recently (I now tend to send clients machines that are "trashed" out to recovery houses when necessary - they do it well, and I have better things to do (i.e. they won't pay what I would charge to do it personally).



  • I'm mobile now and not going to try to quote just the part I want. I had thought about writing a file system module for Linux that would mount a hive. It is indeed very similar to a file system. However, when I last looked (guessing 2007-ish; definitely before Vista, so probably earlier) the documentation that I could find was incomplete and somewhat scattered. Maybe I'll look into it again. An interesting and enlightening project anyway.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    I'm mobile now and not going to try to quote just the part I want. I had thought about writing a file system module for Linux that would mount a hive. It is indeed very similar to a file system. However, when I last looked (guessing 2007-ish; definitely before Vista, so probably earlier) the documentation that I could find was incomplete and somewhat scattered. Maybe I'll look into it again. An interesting and enlightening project anyway.

    My personal favorite (reasonable current) starting point: http://blogs.technet.com/b/ganand/archive/2008/01/05/internal-structures-of-the-windows-registry.aspx



  • @Jaime said:

    Windows 7 takes a backup of all of the non-user hives of the registry on every boot. Yes, you just copy them back into place.

    So, a lot less involved than the process detailed for XP, then ;-)

    @Jaime said:

    BTW, to fix the mouse condition you described, go back to a registry backup and then do a LastKnownGood boot. You've got two problems (mouse and bad registry), so you need two fixes.

    It wasn't my PC, but imagine that it was a loose cable. Unfortunately the user's troubleshooting steps resulted in destroying the SYSTEM hive.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    When my SSD died without warning I lost a lot of valuable data.

    Fearing a catastrophic SSD loss is exactly why I've set up regular backups in the first place (that they helped me when I deleted stuff by accident is just a bonus).



  • What software do you guys use to do these daily backups/images, stored for a month (for example)? I just leave System Restore enabled and it's worked for me so far, but are these other options preferable?



  • I don't have a system or method in place, but I'm currently considering just using Total Commander's directory sync. I'm uncertain if it's capable of handling that kind of amounts of files.

    My primary unsolved problem with backups in general is that sometimes I change the directory structure at the root or first level. For example, I separated all my drawn work from the generic pictures and renamed and moved folders. Files have not changed a bit, but I imagine any backup software will go apeshit, thinking WELL FUCK ME, EVERYTHING'S DIFFERENT copycopycopycopycopycopycopycopy

    But hell, maybe I should just shut up and let it copycopycopycopycopycopycopycopy.

    Edit

    Oh, maybe since these folder changes are small and rare, I should simply do it manually on the backup drive. Folder changes have pretty much zero drive activity cost!

    Wow.

    Problem solved.

    Thanks TDWTF!

    FOR NOTHING.

     

    AGAIN.

     

     

    goes sob against morb's fluffy ballsack



  • @ender said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    When my SSD died without warning I lost a lot of valuable data.
    Fearing a catastrophic SSD loss is exactly why I've set up regular backups in the first place (that they helped me when I deleted stuff by accident is just a bonus).

    Yeah, SSDs are awesome, but after spending a lot of time working with them I can tell you catastrophic failures are far more common than with HDDs.



  • @lettucemode said:

    What software do you guys use to do these daily backups/images, stored for a month (for example)? I just leave System Restore enabled and it's worked for me so far, but are these other options preferable?

    I use a variety of tools. One that I use often, and recommend is "CrashPlan" (Pro)....you can backup to their cloud server, you can backup to another machine (even "make a deal with a friend" and you backup to their house, they backup to yours (be sure you are good friends)

    For the system level stuff, I do everything in Virtual Machines (90%+ Hyper-V). Snapshop the drive(s) nightly then have the snapshots just "treated as files".



  • @dhromed said:

    Files have not changed a bit, but I imagine any backup software will go apeshit, thinking WELL FUCK ME, EVERYTHING'S DIFFERENT

    Depends on the software – AhsayOBM for example is able to detect when a file has been moved, and will simply move it on the backup server accordingly. I don't know whether it uses hashes or file UIDs or what, as it doesn't always work (for example if you get a new PC or new server).



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    even "make a deal with a friend" and you backup to their house, they backup to yours (be sure you are good friends)

    Or encrypt your backups. Which you should be doing anyway.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @TheCPUWizard said:
    even "make a deal with a friend" and you backup to their house, they backup to yours (be sure you are good friends)

    Or encrypt your backups. Which you should be doing anyway.


    That won't help in the case your friend decides he needs the space and delete your backups or you have a falling out or something like that (maybe that was what the TheCPUWizard meant). Besides everybody knows that you should keep your stalker pictures encrypted.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @TheCPUWizard said:
    even "make a deal with a friend" and you backup to their house, they backup to yours (be sure you are good friends)

    Or encrypt your backups. Which you should be doing anyway.


    That won't help in the case your friend decides he needs the space and delete your backups or you have a falling out or something like that (maybe that was what the TheCPUWizard meant). Besides everybody knows that you should keep your stalker pictures encrypted.

    Yes, I was refering more to trusting the friend to "keep" the data. But also, every encryption has been broken (or has the ability to be broken) given sufficient computing power and time, so that also plays into it.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @TheCPUWizard said:
    even "make a deal with a friend" and you backup to their house, they backup to yours (be sure you are good friends)

    Or encrypt your backups. Which you should be doing anyway.


    That won't help in the case your friend decides he needs the space and delete your backups or you have a falling out or something like that (maybe that was what the TheCPUWizard meant). Besides everybody knows that you should expose your stalker pictures to the internet via some file-sharing service or image gallery.

    FTFY.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    every encryption has been broken (or has the ability to be broken) given sufficient computing power and time, so that also plays into it.

    Yes, but I'm guessing that you don't keep really important data on your computer, also think of the cost/benefits, encryption algorithms don't have to be unbeatable, they only need to be good enough (pre-empting pedantic dickweeds, some data requires more protection than other so it depends



  • @serguey123 said:

    @TheCPUWizard said:
    every encryption has been broken (or has the ability to be broken) given sufficient computing power and time, so that also plays into it.

    Yes, but I'm guessing that you don't keep really important data on your computer, also think of the cost/benefits, encryption algorithms don't have to be unbeatable, they only need to be good enough (pre-empting pedantic dickweeds, some data requires more protection than other so it depends

    I guess it depends on the definition of "important"....I have plenty of confidential data, with severe (ie. would cause bankruptcy) consequences if the data leaked [violating NDA/confidentially agreements]...



  • @serguey123 said:

    some data requires more protection than other so it depends

    I'm sorry, I seemed to have missed something here....what are we protecting against?

    I thought we were talking about protection against failure (backups) - not about protection against disclosure (confidentiality).



  • @Cassidy said:

    I thought we were talking about protection against failure (backups) - not about protection against disclosure (confidentiality).


    Thread derailment is a time honored and well stablished TDWTF forum's tradition.
    @TheCPUWizard said:

    I have plenty of confidential data, with severe (ie. would cause bankruptcy) consequences if the data leaked [violating NDA/confidentially agreements]...


    Then don't send that information to your buddy, I'm confident (perhaps wrongly so) that you are a competent person and can do a simple task like correctly backing your data without losing confidential information because you sent it to your "buddy".BTW, I tend to assume that almost every person in this forum is a profesional IT person capable of using his\her brain, perhaps I should'nt assume that much



  • @serguey123 said:

    BTW, I tend to assume that almost every person in this forum is a profesional IT person capable of using his\her brain, perhaps I should'nt assume that much

    All pigs refueled and ready to fly...



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    But also, every encryption has been broken (or has the ability to be broken) given sufficient computing power and time, so that also plays into it.

    What? No it doesn't. Given sufficient key length, many ciphers are practically unbreakable. I'm not going to hand someone AES-256 encrypted data and be concerned that they will be able to crack it. (Also, the pedantic dickweed in me feels the need to point out that your statement about the strength of encryption is wrong: one-time pads aren't breakable, no matter how much computing power you throw at them.)



  • @Cassidy said:

    I thought we were talking about protection against failure (backups) - not about protection against disclosure (confidentiality).

    I'd say those are closely-related concerns. My data is already encrypted on my hard drive but if I make a backup I need to be sure it's securely encrypted, as well.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I'd say those are closely-related concerns. My data is already encrypted on my hard drive but if I make a backup I need to be sure it's securely encrypted, as well.

    Agree on the closely-related, but they have different objectives and therefore different methods:

    - your data is backed up for continuity reasons

    - your data (live or backup) is encrypted for confidentiality reasons

    A tool to do encryption won't do backups. A tool to do backups may (or may not) encrypt.



  • @lettucemode said:

    What software do you guys use to do these daily backups/images, stored for a month (for example)?

    Acronis TrueImage Home. It's the least bad of the programs I tried that fit my needs (backup to network, incremental/differential support, able to do bare metal recovery or individual file recovery).



  • You know you're in a winning industry when the quality of a product is described as "least bad".



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You know you're in a winning industry when the quality of a product is described as "least bad".

    Everything else I tried was either too slow, couldn't handle storing increments and/or network, didn't pass restore test or all of the above.
    TrueImage has it's quirks: running it under my account would forcefully disconnect all network drives and close all files I had opened from the network, so at first I just used it's built-in FTP upload functionality. This stopped working after some update (it changed all slashes to backslashes, then complained that the path is invalid) I was at first able to correct this by editing the configuration file manually, but they later broke it even more, so now I'm simply running it under a different user account (and storing directly to UNC path), which seems to leave my network connections alone. It still complains every morning that backup failed, but the backups are fine.



  • @ender said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    You know you're in a winning industry when the quality of a product is described as "least bad".
    Everything else I tried was either too slow, couldn't handle storing increments and/or network, didn't pass restore test or all of the above.
    TrueImage has it's quirks: running it under my account would forcefully disconnect all network drives and close all files I had opened from the network, so at first I just used it's built-in FTP upload functionality. This stopped working after some update (it changed all slashes to backslashes, then complained that the path is invalid) I was at first able to correct this by editing the configuration file manually, but they later broke it even more, so now I'm simply running it under a different user account (and storing directly to UNC path), which seems to leave my network connections alone. It still complains every morning that backup failed, but the backups are fine.

    There are a few which will meet all of those better then TrueImage, but they all tend to fail the "wallet test" as they are priced for DataCenter usage...


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