Q to Paul

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Robert Baer, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Say i build a new HD starting with Win2K SP2, add SP4, add that
    latest update rollup (aka SP5), add all the drivers the MB needs (audio,
    video, EtherNet, etc).
    Call this the foundation.
    What i would like is to make a CD/DVD disk that one could boot from
    that would load a new HD with the same programs/drivers.

    How many programs could one have as a part of this "foundation"?
    Excel/Word 2003?

    In any event, can it be done, or do i make an image CD/DVD instead?
    Or am i "stuck" with a HD "foundation", especially if i would like to
    include Excel/Word 2003?
    Robert Baer, Dec 21, 2013
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  2. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    Many people can answer this question.

    You do a vanilla install, add whatever programs you like,
    then image the partition with your favorite tool. Later,
    if there is a catastrophe, you can restore from that
    image you made.

    The tough part, is figuring out the best storage media.
    The tools I have here, I would need one optical drive
    to hold the backup/restore "boot CD". I would
    need a second drive to hold the DVD with the Win2K
    image on it, if I was using a DVD to hold it. I
    don't have any tools here, which do the booting
    and hold the data, at the same time. Maybe a commercial
    tool can do that, but none of the free stuff I've got,
    does that.

    When I need to do that sort of thing, I have a USB pen drive
    with Linux on it. I could store an image on a DVD, then boot
    the computer with the pen drive, and restore the file to
    the hard drive from there. So I do have ways to do what
    you want, and only have one optical drive connected to
    the computer. But I doubt you'd like the method, due
    to the amount of command line work required :)

    If you're making backups to an external USB hard drive
    anyway, you might as well store your "Win2K reference image"
    on that hard drive. Then boot the computer with your
    backup/restore tool boot CD. I'm not really up
    on what is compatible with Win2K - we know Win2K does
    not have VSS, and automatically, that eliminates about
    90% of the tools on the market. You're going to have
    to sort through these yourself. I can't even begin to
    guess, what might work. While Macrium has options to
    use its own "pssnap.dll" to capture a partition,
    I don't know if other parts of the program (like the
    GUI), have a modern Windows dependency or not. Since
    I've had a number of programs barf when I tried to
    run them on Win2K, I do have some experience with this.
    It's just, Win2K is no longer my every-day OS. For
    the moment, WinXP is. It's still the champ. For now.
    I have a paid Windows 8 install on this machine, and
    I never use it... That tells you how good it is.

    Paul, Dec 21, 2013
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  3. Robert Baer

    Daniel47 Guest

    Robert, I dual boot Linux and Win7. I mainly use Linux, which has an
    inbuilt process called "dd" which, depending on what you tell it, can
    copy one HD (or parts thereof) to another HD, and that copy HD can then
    replace the original HD (if it dies) by removing the original HD and
    substituting the copy HD.

    There is, apparently, a Windows program, called dd.exe, which can do a
    similar function, but, beware, reading up on it on your favourite search
    engine, seems to indicate people think it could be a problem program!!
    I've never used it.

    Daniel47, Dec 21, 2013
  4. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    I use it extensively. It works.
    I have imaged entire drives with it.

    The nice thing about dd, is the file system type
    you back up, doesn't matter. When I needed to back
    up the HFS+ disks on my Mac, for storage on the big
    drive on my PC, I used dd for that.

    But when compared to Macrium, it hardly makes sense.
    Macrium has a GUI you can understand. dd is command line.

    I was actually pretty afraid of using this the first
    time, because of the danger of making one typing
    mistake, and erasing the wrong partition. You have
    to be a "confident command line user" to use a thing
    like this. But, it's there, and it's free. And versions
    are now available, just about everywhere.

    Current version is 0.6beta3 (dd-0.6beta3.zip).


    If you make a lot of typing mistakes in command line,
    and hit return a little too fast, I wouldn't recommend
    that to you.


    From a storage space perspective, for long term storage,
    you'd want to compress the output from dd. To do that
    efficiently, you can write large files full of zeros,
    to "flush" the sectors with an easily compressible
    pattern. The purpose of writing the large files and
    then immediately deleting them in the trash, is so if
    you go to compress the dd image later, it takes less
    space. By doing that, I could take a disk with 26GB of
    files, on a 500GB (mainly empty) drive, and it only
    took 26GB when compressed (roughly). For compression,
    I recommend GZIP or PIGZ compressor, for best speed
    versus compression performance. 7ZIP will compress
    more, but would take all week to finish.

    This is one way to create a large file of zeros. This
    command is intended for a FAT32 partition, to help
    "cleanse" the unused space on the disk. You fill the
    partition with files like this, then delete them, and
    then the unused sectors are known to be filled with
    zeroed bytes. Since FAT32 has a 4GB limit, each command
    makes a zeroed file a little less than 4GB in size.

    dd.exe if=/dev/zero of=E:\big01.dd bs=65536 count=65535
    dd.exe if=/dev/zero of=E:\big02.dd bs=65536 count=65535

    Paul, Dec 21, 2013
  5. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    That DOES help a lot.
    Does an image of a HD take less space than the source, perhaps a LOT
    less space?
    Robert Baer, Dec 21, 2013
  6. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Yes, i have heard of the Linux "dd", and that it is a complicated
    mess for those that know NOTHING about Linux and less about "dd".
    I certainly do not want to learn about yet another OS to JUST make
    limited copies; i use the Ultimate Boot CD to make limited copies.
    I say "limited" because it can only go one way: 40GB source to 80GB
    Robert Baer, Dec 21, 2013
  7. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    Macrium does light-weight compression.

    If you are using the "intelligent sector" backup feature,
    it only records the sectors that contain data. None of the
    unused space is recorded in that case. That takes
    much less space than a dd.exe capture would take.

    You can easily test this, by installing Macrium, using
    the default settings, backing up your current Win2K partition,
    then doing some math to see the space numbers. Compare
    the file space in the C: partition properties, to the
    size of the .mrimg file that Macrium makes. You can then
    determine whether it would be feasible to store your Win2K
    image, on a single-layer DVD.

    When Macrium backs up "foreign partitions", it backs up
    every sector and isn't space efficient. But it does know
    what NTFS and FAT32 are, and can do a better job on those.
    And that's what we're counting on.


    Now, let's say that you install Macrium, and it fails
    to make a backup while running from Win2K. You could
    try making their boot CD, and running it from there.

    This example, I installed Macrium in a Vista virtual machine,
    and told Macrium to make a WAIK based boot CD. That downloads
    a maybe 130MB file from Microsoft, and it uses that to build a
    boot CD.

    Once the boot CD is booted, I notice it has a backup option
    in there. So it can also make backups from the CD. Here's a
    picture of my Macrium WAIK based CD, booted up in a virtual
    machine environment.


    I test software like this, in Virtual Machines, so I won't
    be wasting blank CDs for nothing. In the previous picture,
    I make the boot CD as an ISO9660 file. The virtual machine
    software, will "boot from an ISO9660 file" like it was
    a physical CD. It allows testing that the CD is boot
    worthy. If testing reveals working functions, at
    that point, I might actually waste a buck on a real CD.

    And you might ask, "where can I get my own virtual machines?".
    You can get them here. There is a trick.


    The trick is, you need to find some type of virtual machine
    software, that will run on your host OS. I don't know if
    VirtualBox or VMWare will run on Win2K. But some of the
    virtual machines on that download page, are made to run
    on various brands of virtual machine software. I'm using
    VPC2007 exclusively here, for my VM environment, which
    means I can't run Windows 8 in a VM. The Windows 8 VM would
    be useless. The problem with VirtualBox is, it's not
    as compatible with a variety of OSes. VIrtualbox pretends
    it can run Win2K as a guest OS (i.e. run Win2K on top of
    Win2K say), but in testing here, it rails a core on my CPU,
    implying something needs to be tweaked. A good VM environment,
    when both host and guest are quiescent, the CPU usage drops to
    around 1 or 2 percent. A "rogue" VM, will drive a core to 100%,
    and will have to be put out of its misery. My test of Win2K guest
    on a VirtualBox install, did not go well. Other OSes ran better.
    I didn't run any OSes from the time of Moses, to see whether
    really old OSes would run or not. Win2K is about as far back
    as I want to go. Things like VPC2007, are better suited
    to the operating system Moses was using. I run Linux in
    VPC2007 too, but it's a chore to tweak it so it'll run.
    And sound doesn't work too well, unless you have a really
    old Linux distro.

    Paul, Dec 21, 2013
  8. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    I like simple-minded solutions, so i guess i will get a few more IDE
    HDs for "permanent" storage; the question then becomes "what size is
    most reliable out of the box?"
    I have mostly 40GB drives and when i tried to get more IDE HDs, about
    8 of ten 80GB drives failed to be recognized by the BIOS, despite vendor
    claiming they were tested.
    This is expensive crap in that i get stuck paying shipping both ways.
    Do you know of an IDE HD size that id "decent"?
    Macrium. Ads look good, but the only version that is available
    (current one) will not work in Win2K; Ultimate Boot CD is FAST and
    reliable one-way (40GB to 80GB).

    GhostPE works either way and seems to skip empty FAT sectors and
    maybe(?) skip empty NTFS whatevers as well.
    Ghost PE can screw up partition IDs and boundaries; PTEDIT from
    Partition Magic can be used to fix those - but is a hassle.
    Robert Baer, Dec 22, 2013
  9. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    On your 80GB drives, try inserting the Clip jumper. On old IDE
    drives, that causes a geometry declaration change that the BIOS
    will accept. Capacity reported with Clip in place, is either
    33GB or 2GB, depending on how old the computer is. This is a
    tremendous waste of capacity, but fine if you just want to
    keep an antique computer running. The Clip jumper is your friend.

    Note that the Macrium version 5 picture above, the Macrium CD
    can also do backups. Then, Win2K is no longer an issue,
    as the runtime environment is WinPE. In other words, because
    you boot the CD to do the backup, the OS is the OS packaged
    on the CD.

    Maybe I should try creating a Macrium CD on a Win2K VM, and
    see whether the CD has backup capabilities as well.

    Paul, Dec 22, 2013
  10. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    OK, forget it.

    Macrium is not going to work on Win2K. Not
    even long enough to make the boot CD. I'd have
    to ship you the CD. I tried to find a copy
    on the net for download, but I'm not getting
    a match on my checksum, so it's unlikely to be
    out there.

    Not even Macrium 4 runs on Win2K, as I tried that as well.
    I tested the current Macrium 5, and it's just as determined
    not to work. To the credit of Macrium 4, the installer
    stopped and just said WinXP was the minimum OS. Whereas
    the Macrium 5 installer tried anyway... and failed.

    The thing is, I suspect the boot CD would work, but
    you can't make a boot CD, without installing the

    That leaves "dd" from Linux perhaps, or your Ghost thing.
    The reason you'd use "dd" from Linux, is the file system
    would not have any busy files to get in the way,
    while the copy is being done with "dd". Your GhostPE
    is doing the same sort of thing.


    There's a list here. Nothing here is really all
    that straight forward. Just use what you've got.


    You could have prepared the Macrium boot CD for yourself,
    if you had:

    1) A virtual machine environment (VirtualBox is WinXP minimum.)
    2) A modern Windows OS evaluation version.
    For example, I could use an install-only key for
    Windows 7, plus a downloaded (easily available)
    Windows 7 x32 CD. And that would stay running for
    72 hours at least (no attempt to activate). Then,
    I could download a Macrium installer onto that, and
    finish the job of making the Macrium boot CD.

    So there are some ideas like that, but sticking with only
    Win2K, really really limits your options.

    And, your hardware can get in the way, depending on
    how ancient the PC is. Windows 8 only runs on one PC
    here (without having to buy something to make it work
    properly). This PC has a Core2 processor and a not-too-old
    video card, and that's enough to get Windows 8 to run.
    I can't run Hyper-V, because my processor doesn't have SLAT.

    But things like P4 processors, there aren't too many
    models of those that would support Windows 8. Just to
    give you some idea where the cutoff would be. Maybe
    Windows 7 would be a bit more permissive. On Windows7,
    you could disable Aero and then older video cards might
    be good enough (less than 128MB of video RAM).

    Even things like the Upgrade Advisors that Microsoft
    makes, won't run on every OS possible. Which I consider
    to be pretty stupid. I think the Advisor for checking
    for Windows 8, might only run on Windows 7 in standalone
    mode. So even a customer's attempt to investigate
    upgrade options, is thwarted by a myopic approach
    to marketing. Even if an OS is severely restricted
    from a hardware perspective, you at least
    want to make a customer feel welcome to try
    your compatibility testing tool. The customer
    will feel better, if the tool runs on Win95, and
    can tell you why a Windows 8 purchase would be
    a mistake. Whereas, having the advisor just
    burp and fart, doesn't tell you anything.

    Paul, Dec 22, 2013
  11. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    * "Clip jumper"? What is that?
    All of the 80GB drives were Western Digital, roughly (i think) 5
    years old and look exactly like my 40Gb drives which are about 7 years old.
    One of the 80GB drives worked for a week,died (BIOS would not
    recognize), then the next month decided to work for a few daze before dying.
    The computer motherboard is an ASUS M2N-MX SE PLUS, got it 5 years ago.
    Even then it was not easy to find a MB that would support PATA drives
    and be "modern".
    Had to toss my PATA CD/DVD R/W drive and get a SATA one for the MB.
    Robert Baer, Dec 22, 2013
  12. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Well, at least Win7 installs on my system (new HD).
    As far as getting the devices (as listed in the Devices Manager)
    happy with some kind of driver is another story.
    Sometimes an attempt to use an ASUS supplied driver is completely
    rejected but the result after one or two failed attempts results in
    (surprise!) a working install - and sometimes NOT.
    I had this stupid concept that this stuff was COMPUTABLE, that is to
    say logically organized and predictable; no Heisenberg stuff.
    I even installed Win98SE, then Win2K, then 2 copies of Win7 on the
    same HD (each in their own partition) with no problem; got a nice boot
    "select OS" menu. Which was completely and totally impossible to modify
    or edit; the so-called binary editor did not work in any way shape or
    form. Eventually i wiped the drive for some other project.
    Not surprised that Win8 is so balky.
    The newer hardware that is DEMANDED by M$ gets in the way of "white
    box" builders and experimenters and the OSes do the same; hiding more
    and more bloat requiring more and more software (by guess who?) to fix
    what was purposely left out.
    Hell, it seems that they made it impossible to replace a failed HD,
    even with a clone - because they look at and remember the make,
    model,serial number etc during OS install.

    Shoot,even the "find" or "search" facility in XP is blunted - and i
    understand is almost non-existent in Win7.
    Robert Baer, Dec 23, 2013
  13. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    I hope this link is OK.

    "How to configure a WD EIDE drive using the Alternate Jumper Settings"


    Even if the accompanying text goes amiss, here is a picture
    of "Alternate Jumper Setting".


    The idea is, using a Clip jumper, means the drive might
    have two jumpers visible while running. One is for the
    Master/Slave/Cable_Select part, the other performs the
    Geometry Modification to keep a BIOS happy.

    Once the Geometry (CHS) is modified, the capacity reported
    will be smaller than the purchased value. But it's one of
    the prices you pay, to continue using an older BIOS like that.
    I think I have a couple machines, they need a Clip jumper.

    There is no such jumper for SATA - if you take a SATA drive,
    connect a SATA to IDE converter, plug to an old IDE system,
    there will be no way to modify the Geometry like with an
    actual IDE drive. SATA doesn't have the same jumper functions
    on the back of the drive. Only things like Spread_Spectrum
    and Force150.

    Paul, Dec 23, 2013
  14. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Hmm.. Got it, read it.
    Article states when NOT to use it; two conditions there apply: 1)
    using Win2K, and 2) installed on an IDE controller card that is
    providing support to access the full drive capacity.
    How do i know about #2? I have a working 120GB drive (7 yrs old) that
    i have set as one partition to hold a fair bunch of videos.
    Robert Baer, Dec 23, 2013
  15. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    This might typically be used on computers from the year 1999.

    You would use the Clip jumper, if there were visible symptoms
    that the computer could not handle a large drive.

    If you've had good luck to date with your computer, there
    is no reason to use it now.


    A typical situation would be, a user with a really old
    computer, comes to the computer store looking for a
    replacement hard drive. No "tiny" IDE drives are
    available for sale. By using the Clip jumper on a
    larger IDE, that IDE drive can be pressed into service,
    where normally it would not have worked right.

    Paul, Dec 23, 2013
  16. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Someone gave me two HP Vectra (286) computers; uses the old CHS
    select from BIOS or manual entry for hard drives.
    Naturally, the "newer" hard drives do not give that info, and in any
    case, CHS is for the newer extended mapping.
    Had to take a "new" drive, diskwipe it, then install and experiment a
    little with the BIOS.
    No fancy jumpering tried, as i did not know of that then.
    Guess i lucked out, because i got a reasonable amount of useful
    space; the rest of the GB space on the hard drive is dangling in mapping
    Heck, i needed only a few MB anyway (DOS boot, small program, data
    needed the rest).
    Robert Baer, Dec 24, 2013
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