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Discussions - Public / Re: The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on June 08, 2017, 05:30:40 AM »
Disk encryption when it goes bad can be very nasty as we are seeing here.

There is an easier solution - keep your data separate from OS. On desktop/mini towers I have  2 or more physical drives. A C hard drive and a D hard drive.

Even on machines that have a single disk drive like laptops I will partition the drive down to a C and D drive and move all the user files to the D drive. If the C drive craps out than you will at least still have your stuff on D and it will be untouched. Of course this doenst work if the hard drive goes bad. But if you loose C, at least you can slap an OS into C and get your stuff.
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Discussions - Public / Re: The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by unix on June 07, 2017, 05:55:47 PM »
Interesting points you make. I am downloading Ubuntu right now and will certainly try it.

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Discussions - Public / Re: The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by benali72 on June 07, 2017, 03:53:31 PM »
Do you wind up having a bunch of portable HDDs laying around with backups on them?

I can update my initial backup of a system and every time I do so it adds a few GB to the original.... not an entire new copy of the drive.

For personal situations ---

No, for backup and restoring the operating system, I just keep one current copy around to rebuild any of the couple dozen computers I support.

Linux is 2 Gig in size total (you're not talking the tens of gigs involved in a Windows system.)

Also, Linux does not bind to the specific hardware it runs on. You can take a single linux master and just Copy it onto any other computer, and it works immediately. (There is no Registry to prevent cross-machine transportability.) The most I've ever had to change is edit the ETC/FSTAB to match a different disk configuration. Restoring the OS does not affect their personal data because it's on a different partition.

For backing up their personal data, I just back up their HOME directory with a scheduled background script. Rare is the user who has more than a gig of personal data, even with pictures and the like involved. (None have video or big digital libraries it might be a different story).

For business situations --

Of course, here you have an entirely different matter. As a DBA, I've supported (and designed) backup/recovery systems for any number of businesses. As you say, you must have incrementals. Plus you need cumulatives, differentials, block-level imaging supported by the operating system, etc, etc. And you must have (1) a user-friendly GUI interface to manage it all (2) a whole stock of underlying scripts to automate it (3) a scheduler system to control it all (4) off-site disaster recovery strategy that's been tested .... and more.


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Discussions - Public / Re: The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by pxsant on June 07, 2017, 10:46:05 AM »
Here is a link to a short article on encrypting hard drives

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2858642/you-can-encrypt-your-hard-drive-but-the-protection-may-not-be-worth-the-hassle.html

Here is a key paragraph in the article - "But that level of security comes at a cost. Encrypting the entire drive can brick your PC.  Make an image backup first, and make sure you have emergency repair drives for both the encryption software and your image backup program."

I would have encrypted only the specific folders which contain your data, not the entire drive.   That way the MBR is not affected.

Unix you might look at this article on how to restore a Windows MBR using Linux.

http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2013/08/repair-windows-mbr-from-ubuntu/

Gorn, I also normally use either Acronis or Clonezilla.
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Discussions - Public / Re: The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by The Gorn on June 07, 2017, 09:00:28 AM »
Ugg. Doesn't sound too fun. Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

In linux I just backup my MBR by a single command --   dd if=/dev/sda   of=FILENAME  bs=512  count=1

The inverse command restores the MBR from its backup --  dd  if=FILENAME  of=/dev/sda

For the newer disks with GPT partitioning, just use the sgdisk command.

Benali, I've seen you (and maybe also Pxsant) mention a disk imaging backup here in the past.

Do you wind up having a bunch of portable HDDs laying around with backups on them? One reason I use Acronis is the incremental backup... I can update my initial backup of a system and every time I do so it adds a few GB to the original.... not an entire new copy of the drive.
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Discussions - Public / Re: The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by benali72 on June 06, 2017, 08:16:42 PM »
Ugg. Doesn't sound too fun. Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

In linux I just backup my MBR by a single command --   dd if=/dev/sda   of=FILENAME  bs=512  count=1

The inverse command restores the MBR from its backup --  dd  if=FILENAME  of=/dev/sda

For the newer disks with GPT partitioning, just use the sgdisk command.
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Discussions - Public / The joy of Master boot record recovery
« Last post by unix on June 06, 2017, 04:29:22 PM »
It's the vera crypt software that hosed it. I have a dual disk setup, I used to mirror them.

well, I encrypted the primary HDD, then cloned it. So the cloned image is broken, does not boot. The MBR must be hosed.  I decided to encrypt it just in case, while booted off the primary HDD.

Now yesterday the primary HDD fails. Sounds like a loose bit floating inside of it and that noise it makes now. Hardware failure. 

I try to boot off secondary HDD, not only does it not boot due to MBR issues but it's encrypted. I used the Vera Crypt recovery DVD and it decrypted it - took 36 hours - I used different algorithms - one on top of another - however still not booting obviously. And I lost my copy of Windows CD so I cannot use its recovery features.

tomorrow I am getting that Windows 7 recovery disk and will try to salvage the MBR. If all goes well, it will boot. It has an entire operating system on it. why oh why did I get involved with this veracrypt byllshyte.

Friends, don't let friends use Windows?

I don't understand Windows. It's a miracle I lasted in IT as long as I did, not having a deep understanding of it - and not really desiring it either.
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Craigslist posters tend to be people who are ignorant (and don't know it) with postings about how they want to have $million sites built for $500. Those are projects for fixed price. People who don't know and don't know that they don't know are nearly impossible to educate.

This was evil. This person didn't post what the project was. Instead, it was simply "I want someone working for me for slave wages." (Found on Upwork.)
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FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Re: Datamation's 2017 Salary Survey
« Last post by Code Refugee on June 01, 2017, 07:22:15 AM »
The stuff I looked at looks right to me. I assume that's 10-90 percentile or 25-75?
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FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Re: Datamation's 2017 Salary Survey
« Last post by unix on June 01, 2017, 05:35:04 AM »
They seem kind of right on the money (that's a contradiction)'

but it's a huge range.  Plus how do they account for geo differences?

Systems Administrator

2017 average salary range: $69,000 – $112,000
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