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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    Simply in the interest of giving non-subscribers a daily dose of reading, Scot's on his almost-panic-mode horse again about SP-1, claiming that many businesses and so on are choosing to wait it out. You can read his current piece here. In addition to the usual do it - don't do it theme, one of the things that interested me is the question of whether to allow the SP-1 installer to BACK UP files in case you decide to remove SP-1 later. The accompanying documentation makes it clear that this archiving takes a lot of space, but given the miserable success of most software at uninstalling itself, why would you bother? Everyone who's been using a personal computer for more than a week OUGHT to have a regular system backup process they follow! And I'm not talking about system restore or the like. I mean, user, before you do anything "significant" to your computer, run a full system backup! Do ALL your hard drives by whatever method you choose, but DO IT! Then, when an installer like SP-1 asks for your permission to make a "backup" you can comfortably decline!

    P. S. Scot's current newsletter also includes his in-depth review of the "new" Sygate Personal Firewall 5.0 Pro. Interesting reading for those of us using one of the "other two," and for people considering adding a firewall to their systems.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    Big Al,
    Is this guy a typical MS "basher" or what? I did read his latest newsletter as you suggested and can't quite make my mind. What do you think?
    Re: backups, it never ceases to amaze me that so many people DON'T back up regularly or at all ! The same with virus updates (if they even have a AV program installed) Firewall? What's that? My machine never catches fire! <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>
    Bob
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    Scot's an OK guy. He writes very fair stuff in my opinion and I've enjoyed reading his insights for several years. I think in the case of SP-1 he's been overly influenced by the naysayers!

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    Big Al,

    I too am a great believer in backups. However, since making a network of three computers I kind of use them to store new files for each other. Works good for files created with applications but not changes to the OS or applications themselves.

    One Windows 98 SE machine does have a built in 10 Meg. DittoMax tape drive that no longer works and it has had 4 new or rebuilt replacement drives from Iomega and their latest software yet for some reason it will not function. It actually causes the computer to malfunction. I worked closely with Iomega's tech support all to no avail. Since the experience of trying to get it to work again, which spanned over 6 months last year, I have kind of lost track of what type of media or drive would make a good backup device for these extremely large hard drives. Of course, cost is a factor. Any suggestions or recommendations on what to use as a backup system for a three-machine network?

    Thanks.
    H Lewton

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    If you tempt me, my soapbox might result in a pretty long post so I'll try to be brief. I have three desktops and a laptop (only occasionally used) on a PTP network. The only reason for an ol' guy like me, sorta retired, having so many PCs is that I can't stand to "euthanize" one when the time comes. One such machine is my old Pentium Pro 200 that I kept around solely for a backup machine. It has four pretty good size hard drives in it and I alternate two sets of backups to different destination drives. In the wee hours of each morning, I have Cheyenne Backup running selected file backups for stuff such as documents, email, bookmarks and other daily changing "data" files. Cheyenne is pretty old but it works still. There are freebies available like previously discussed Karen Kenworthy's Replicator that would do the same job.

    Once a week (since my PCs aren't "mission critical") I use Drive Image to make images of all drives on all machines to said backup machine, again alternating destination each week, so I've effectively got TWO recent backup images of all drives. That's not as bad as it seems, but yes, it does take a little time. While each backup is running, I just go and do something else. Since Drive Image is essentially still a "DOS" program, the HARDEST part of my whole evolution was successfully learning how to create a boot floppy for each machine that is "network aware!" I spent a long time getting to where I am now and I dread the day I have to replace a NIC since that would require modifications to that machine's boot disk.. PowerQuest "says" that Drive Image "runs" under Windows but it will not do a Windows drive while Windows is running, hence the DOS thing. If you can't get network visibility from DOS, my whole procedure goes in the toilet.

    I too have been down the tape drive route, having had two Iomegas, two Seagates and one or two others. Over the years I just had too much trouble with tape, period, and gave up on the technology. I do have to smile when I read guys like Fred Langa, who also uses Drive Image to back up to CDs and he has said in the past that he keeps his backups "off site" (the trunk of his car!) Anyway, with the price of hard drives as respectable as it is, one could even "build" or refurbish an old chassis like I did to create a backup machine. By the way, mine has nothing but the CPU since it's hooked up beside another machine, connected with a KVM.

    Too much?

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    Big Al,

    Too much? Maybe not enough. I don
    H Lewton

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    NIC: Network Interface Card (The thingie that your network cable plugs in to)
    KVM: Keyboard, Video, Mouse (A switch that lets you run two or more computers with one kb, monitor and mouse)

    My backup machine is running WinME, my middle machine has Win98SE and this main computer has XP Pro, so no, my backup system doesn't care since I use Drive Image from a boot floppy and Drive Image supports all those OSs, including the NTFS file system. I hear what you're saying about having everything you need at hand to re-install from top to bottom, BUT if you have a crash, it's sure nice to be able to restore that drive or machine in 30 minutes to an hour, including OS, all software, customizings, etc. Each week when I run the image for each drive, that process (depending on how loaded the drive is, of course) takes about 30 minutes for each drive and it has saved me hours of work on (too) many occasions!

    Just one example: before I installed SP-1 I waited until I had just made my Drive Image backups. If anything had happened (bad) I could have restored that machine in no time - complete, everything intact just like it was. By the way, Drive Image DOES let you restore one or more individual files (extract) from an image if need be - and I've used that feature COUNTLESS times. I know I sound like a hack for PowerQuest and I guess I am, in light of the fact that I couldn't get along without DI or Partition Magic.

    More? Holler my friend!

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: More Scot Finnie (XP Pro)

    Big Al,

    I should have guessed NIC. I never would have come up with Keyboard, Video, Mouse.

    I do agree with you about being able to get back up and running in the shortest amount of time is a great plus. However, sometimes I find it nice to take a catastrophic situation and use it to clean house on some old and maybe troublesome programs that may be installed. Again, I am a great believer in serious backups. I just haven
    H Lewton

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