Hot Key ghost restore from 2ed partition

My previous question...

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21200747.html

started me thinking about other options...

Some computers come with a 2ed partition for restoration if the primary partition fails...a hot key will get you in...

Is it possible to set this up on a laptop that normally uses a restore CD...???...I assume this hot key restore option is part of BIOS...

Make a 2ed partition, ghost the primary partition to this 2ed partition, then have a hot key to restore the ghost image back to the primary partition???

Any ideas on how this could be done???

Thanx
Steve
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Steve MutchlerIT TechAsked:
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Great thought, Steve.

I too thought that hot key was a BIOS setting, until I googled to this site :
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-46088

I have not tried anything yet, but just thought of a procedure :

1. Create a 1 or 2 GB PRIMARY partition at the end of disk.
2. Format it to DOS.
3. Copy your ghost image to this partition, as well as ghost.exe.
4. Create an autoexec.bat file, that will start ghost, and restore the image to your first partition.
5. Configure your boot loader (boot.ini incase of W2K / XP) to include one more option of booting your "restore" partition.

So, when you choose Restore in your boot menu, command.com on your Restore partition will take over, execute autoexec.bat, and restore image to your desired partition.

Since we are not formatting the drive, boot sector will remain unaffected.

I would like to hear your views on this.
(BTW, I am taking a 6 day leave from tomorrow, and hope to see some positive activity under this question).

All the best.

Parag
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elconomenoCommented:

it's just an idea, never tested :


1. create a second partition to boot from(search the internet how to make dual boot system with winxp and win98/DOS)
2 format 2ed partition with dosdiskette
   something like format d: /s
3 copy the ghost.exe on this partition
4.copy ghost image.
5. make autoexec.bat
    C:\GHOST.EXE /<RESTORE OPTIONS>
 
i hope i gave you some inspiration
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elconomenoCommented:
sorry guys, i was only five minutes later, because i was thinking ... ;-)
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Don't be sorry, elconomeno,

I too was thinking, and searching for some clue on net :)

As I am leaving on vacation, I will not be able to try what we have thought, but hope you & Steve will try & report it here.

I recall having downloaded some IBM software long back, which was for creation of recovery partition. I tried to search it today on IBM site, and could not find it. But, perhaps I have burnt it on a CD. I will check after returning.

Ah, I just remembered, it was called IBM Rapid Restore PC. A search on net found that it has been replaced by IBM Rescue and Recovery. Check this :
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-4Q2QAK.html

There is nothing to suggest that it will work only on IBM PCs.

'hope you people will be able to dig into it.

All the best.
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rindiCommented:
You will still need some device away from the disk. If the "customer" kills the mbr or so, you wouldn't be able boot to get to the restore partition. Don't format that partition to Dos, as that can easily be deleted by the client. Use some utility to hide the partition from general use (Partition Magic?). To keep the customer from tampering around, I'd keep those tools on a boot CD, away from the PC, so it would only be used in a condition "Red". I'd still have a backup image on CD or DVD, in case the disk crashes (probably in military use this would happen more often than not). Maybe there is some Solid state option where you could save the image, a large eprom that could be bootet like a disk (I don't know if get something with aprox. 5 GB size, but could be worth searching for)?
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
I am sorry Rindi, but Steve is not talking about any "customer". I think he himself wants to use it.

As far as hiding the partition is concerned, IBM's recovery partition on my IBM NetVista is hidden, and is FAT formatted.
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Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Paraghs...
Great ideas...!!!

This is for a customer...short story...my client had developed a piece of equipment that is attached to a lapto via USB...
He wants to sell the system to the US MIlitary...

I have hardened the OS per military specs...a custom application was written to control the mechanical device...there are no other programs installed on the laptop...

Now we need to have some kind of system restore so if some sargent in the middle of the dessert has a problem with the laptop, the HD can be reimaged easily...

I was thinking of a "system restore" CD like Dell and others use...but the Ghost image of the HD is 4.8Gb, needing 2 DVD's to hold everything...

So, am now trying to come up with an alternative plan...

I like the ideas expressed here and will follow them out over the next few days...

Thanx

Steve
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
I am again sorry Rindi, as I did not check the link to Steve's previous question. It indeed is for a client.

My sincere apologies.
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rindiCommented:
no problem paraghs. I was at some sort of advantage as Steve had posted the question in the OS section as he mentioned above. He outlined it there.
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Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
paraghs...

You get the gold...!!!

IBM didn't have anything, but more googling brought me to this...

http://xpoint.com/en/OBR/MobileUsers_solutions.asp

and it looks like the IBM Rapid Restore is based on this program, or they make it for IBM or something...

$60.00 for the program and initial testing indicates this is what we are going to do...

Many thanx for all input

Steve
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:
Hello Steve,

Great find !!

Thanks.

Parag
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