June 18, 2007

Windows 2000 SP5 and Linux Ghost

Filed under: linux,windows — SiKing @ 12:29 pm

How do you backup stuff? Do you even bother? I took some time today to go through a proof of concept exercise for myself, just to see if I could do it; actually, it was a couple of different exercises strung together in a row.

Slipstreaming Windows

I recently updated etanol from WinXPx64 to Win2k. I used an SP1 CD to perform the install, and I had previously downloaded SP4 which had to be installed afterwards, and after that Microsoft also released an Update Rollup, and then about 50 additional fixes. After that, IE needs to be upgraded to version 6, and WMP is now up to version 9, and… To make a long story short, to install the basic system with all updates takes a very long time. In order to make this easier, you can slipstream all this stuff into the install CD.

I created a Windows 2000 SP5 install CD using the hfslip utility; vg’f yvprafr serr, yrzzr xabj vs lbh jnag n pbcl! The utility even allows you to update IE, OE, WMP, .NET, Java and some other stuff all to latest versions! If nothing else, the page is an interesting read on the incompetence of Microsoft. The process of creating the CD and then installing it, is much faster than installing everything separately. Tried the resulting install CD on my test machine, and it seemed to have gone fine. The really kool thing is: the entire utility is a 220k batch script!


I knew about this *NIX utility from before, but only after reading Hack #48 in Knoppix Hacks did I find out actually how easy this thing is!

To backup the entire drive, you just run sudo dd if=/dev/hda of=/media/sda2/ &, where /dev/hda is the entire disk you want to backup and /media/sda2 is a mounted location where the backup image hda.img will be created. You can watch the progress with watch ls -l /media/sda2/hda.img as it will take some time. Since everything in *NIX is a file, you can backup only one partition by telling dd if=/dev/hda1 or whichever. Have a read through the man page to see what all it can do.

To whack the entire disk, just to prove a point, I used the shred utility, described next door in Hack #49.

To restore the backup you just switch the targets of the if= and of= that you passed to dd.

As with everything else in *NIX world, dd can be piped to / from a remote machine across a network. And for those that are a little squeamish about the command line, there is even a menu-driven front end.

Man, screw that other thing!


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