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Restoring Oracle VM Virtual Box using Acronis True Image.

I recently went on a deleting spree to clean up my hard drive using scripts and fell afoul when I accidentally deleted a 124 GB folder containing all of my Oracle VM Virtual Box machines. A little concerned because the VM's are often active and running when the backups are taken, I fired up Acronis and restored the folder from the last Incremental backup. (Acronis True Image backs up my entire system drive using an incremental backup to the cloud each evening)

The result was perfect - After the restore, my VM's fired up without a problem as though nothing had happened.

This confirms my theory that it's fine to just backup the Host drive that contains the VM's, rather than running a separate backup in each VM. At least in the case of Oracle VM Virtual Box.

Note I've no idea if the result would be the same if using Windows's VM solution, but I thought I'd share the experience if one uses the Oracle VM solution.

Hope you find this account of my experience useful.

There seems to be a general consensus that if you've been hit with a Ransomware Virus, especially if by a newly discovered strain of ransomware, and do not have a reliable and unaffected backup to restore from, that all hope is lost.  

This is not necessarily the case!

Whilst it's true that Ransomware is one of the most difficult "destructive infections" to recover from, recovery should never be considered impossible.

Advising those seeking help that they should just accept defeat and wipe all chances of recovering their data is bad advice. This is a point that has been proven time and time again, particularly with past Ransomware strains that were once considered hopeless, yet have now had decryption recovery tools developed to restore data.

If you have been hit by a Ransomware Virus and don't have a backup - do not accept advice that you should just cut your losses, format your hard drive and admit defeat. That's just letting the criminals win.

The first thing you should do (after deactivating the virus) is make a Full Image Backup of your affected hard drive using an imaging backup tool like Acronis, Macrium Reflect or similar so as to have a copy of all files that were encrypted.  Safely store that backup away for future recovery attempts, or to restore from if a recovery attempt goes belly up.

Once backed up, Wipe and Start fresh if desired to get back to a working …
LVL 19

Author Comment

by:Andrew Leniart
Security companies do have excellent heuristics and definitions,  but they will never catch everything.

No argument.  But doesn't it then naturally follow that they can never "block" or "prevent" everything either?

Using that train of thought, even with all of the security software that you have protecting your machine(s), how can you be certain that you don't have a key logger recording your key strokes right now? Or a yet unknown time bomb trojan just waiting to jump up and deliver its payload? How could any system ever be trustable?

I'm honestly not trying to be argumentative here, it's just that the logic behind your conclusion is escaping me.

If you can't trust your security software to clean up an infection that has been researched and that it knows about, then how is it that you can trust the same software to prevent a yet unrealized one from occurring?

I'll agree we probably need to disagree.  

Life would be too boring if everyone agreed on everything anyway. :)

My thanks again for your input.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
I guess what I meant was that no one security software is likely to catch everything.  That is why I have a multilayered approach on my machines.  But you are correct, I do not feel safe even with that.  I guess I am on the paranoid side, which begs the question, "Is one paranoid, if the fear is true?"  That is a paraphrase of the original question.

The biggest problem, IMHO, is that to secure one's computer (and still have a computer that actually works, instead of one filled with cement), one needs to put enough security software on there that it slows down even the best of computers.

I would like a product that doesn't hog resources and assures me that I will never get malware of any kind (like that is happening).



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