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Curtis8
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Postby Curtis8 » Sun May 18, 2008 10:07 pm

I doubt very much that Natan is gone. I fully expect that he is simply busy or on vacation or something like that. I am sure he would have told me about any idea to drop the project, and I know that he never would anyway :D
I am sure when he gets back he will tell us why he was gone for so long.
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viable
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Image overwrite protection (source != target)

Postby viable » Tue May 20, 2008 1:53 pm

Thanks for a great application! I hope you will keep improving it, especially the user interface.

I recommend adding a security check that when making a restore the source device and target device are not the same. This is very important because otherwise the source device and the backup files on it will be corrupted.

CAUTIONARY EXAMPLE: I had first made an image of a SATA drive (/dev/sda) to an USB hard drive (/dev/sdb). When I attempted to restore this image to another computer with a PATA drive (/dev/hda) from the USB drive (/dev/sda) the program started to write on the source drive and crashed after a few moments having first overwritten at least the partition table of the USB drive. After that the data on the USB drive could not be retrieved with any freeware data recovery software I could find.

After browsing through these forums I realize I should have renamed my image files from sda* to hda*, but for a fist time user like me it surely wasn't obvious. In my opinion a good GUI doesn't allow accidental data loss and should warn before overwriting anything permanently.

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Curtis8
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Postby Curtis8 » Tue May 20, 2008 5:05 pm

I have talked to Natan through e-mail, and he is sorry that he has not been around the forum lately. He will be back and will be updating PING when he does. He appreciates all the good ideas and looks forward to adding them to either PING or the To-Do list :D
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jhurd8025
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Postby jhurd8025 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:34 pm

you sure about that?? :o Been quiet, development wize for about a month and a half now.

mabrownmab
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Multi CDROM auto restoring experience

Postby mabrownmab » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:32 pm

Wanted to give feedback on my experience in setting up an older computer and supplying auto restoration CDs for 4 partition computer.
hda1 spanned 9 CDROMs, remaining partitions fit on 1 rom (referred to as last cdrom below).

When using MULTI, few issues/comments.
1. When a cd is finished, the tray opens. After 30 seconds or so, it automatically closes again. Scratched a cd pretty heavily one time when it started closing on me as I was putting a cd on the tray. Can PING be made to not close the tray after the 30 seconds? I thought it was auto closing because it would automatically start using the next CD without typing /mnt/cdrom/hda1.00x but it never did. I always had to type it out.
2. MULTI seems to work when you have a single partition that you are spanning across multiple CDs, but it did not work for me for the last cdrom. When hda1 finished, I expected it to open the CD tray and prompt for last CD. Instead, PING exited to the shell. I ended up setting the last rom up as it's own boot and PING copied hda2,3,4 from it. All in all I was able to get it to work, but putting a MULTI file on the final cd for hda1 did nothing to make PING prompt for hda2, 3 and 4.
3. hda2,3,4 were originally extended partitions. PING had issues with them. I was able to convert them to primary and then PING had no issues.

cd1 files (AUTO,hda, hda1.000, hda1.first_sectors, initrd.gz, isolinux.bin, isolinux.cfg, kernel, MULTI)
cd2-9 files (hda1.00x, MULTI)
cd10 files (AUTO, hda, hda2.first_sectors, hda3.000, hda3.first_secotrs, hda4.000, hda4.first_sectors, intrd.gz, isolinux.bin, isolinux.cfg, kernal)

All in all, happy with the program as it allows me to provide promptless restoration CDs for this computer and future builds.

anthony15
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A big thank-you!

Postby anthony15 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:01 am

To everybody involved in putting this together. I am a small time computer build/repair business & this little program has literally saved me many a headache!! I love the support too, it's fantastic. I have been playing around with the isolinux.cfg files to see if i can create an automated CD that will restore from a partition, so far no luck but I will persevere. Considering programming isnt my thing I am getting on well so far in understanding all the instructions given. I look forward to future releases too. Many thanks & keep up the great work!

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Natan
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Postby Natan » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:22 pm

Hi there,
Thanks Mabrownmab for the accurate feedback. You're right about these MULTI bugs, and feel sorry about them. I'll really, really, have to fix them soon :oops: Only for the 30-seconds trick I don't feel too much guilty, because everyone knows that unfortunately, Partimage (a third-party app) has not been updated for long, and that it has limitations that made me look for what is no more than a workaround (two scripts running in parallel).

And thanks Anthony15 for your support, too !

Regards
Natan

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Postby jhurd8025 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:25 pm

glad to have you back!

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Natan
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Postby Natan » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:27 pm

Sorry for not reappearing sooner, indeed ! was sooo busy...

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Postby jhurd8025 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:30 pm

No worries, we all have our day jobs ;)

Any thoughts on using the part-image side project: PartImage-NG
http://partimage-ng.org/


or ntfsclone
http://www.linux-ntfs.org/doku.php?id=ntfsclone

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Natan
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Postby Natan » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:52 pm

ntfsclone could be used. In my opinion, it should be used when Partimage has failed, which PING detects in some cases (not all), and when the FS type is NTFS, obviously. In these situations, we presently use zsplit, which is almost as good as ntfsclone, except for the dont-store-not-used-clusters feature ntfsclone has. In all other cases (no partimage success, no NTFS FS), then we should go on with zsplit.

Concerning partimage-ng, I must first say I support the developpers' initiative very much. Yet, it still seems very new, and we'll have to test it a lot before proposing it. Even then, I think default record app should remain old partimage for some time, with partimage-ng as an available option (same as today, when users can choose zsplit over partimage). I'm confident that in less than a year, they might become a standard app for everyone, at least because they use libntfs from ntfsprogs-2.0, which partimage does not (and could not do either, since it didn't exist when partimage has been released first).

Regards
Natan

jhurd8025
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Postby jhurd8025 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:06 pm

awesome... I definitly would like ntfs clone as an alternative to zsplit if possible.


Also how hard would it be to add in wget features instead of using smb/ciffs. Grab the image files from a web server?

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Natan
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Postby Natan » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:31 am

Hi there!

wget is used, along with lftp/ncftp, on the WINNER image (which project is not maintained), for such a purpose. I must say it works fine, and that the http protocol can be preferred to smb/cifs, for http routes are generally open.

I don't think it would be very hard to add the option to use wget. Yet, this means...:
- asking for the server url, if http is to be used
- asking for user/password, if ftp is to be used
- asking for proxy settings
- testing the availability of the url
- downloading and checking checksums (file.md5 should be available on the server)

Now, the problem would be: where would we store the downloaded files before using them!

A way could be to use tools like ftpmount instead of wget, but reliability would probably be questionable. Another way could be to dynamically make space on the local HDD, by partitionning the disk, before and after the partimage process. And a third way could be to download small parts of images, and restore them one after the other -- which means MULTI if old partimage is used, which is not good -- but other tools might work better (ntfsclone ?).

This is for getting files. Now, backuping a local system and storing these files remotely on a http/ftp share would be another story -- assuming such an option would be useful to anyone. Yet, there would be several ways to do it, too, similar to those proposed for the restorations.

As you see, that's something difficult, yet feasible. The first step will be to add wget, and ftpmount to the next release, so you can, at least, make some manual testing, and tell me what methods should be preferred.

Regards
Natan

jhurd8025
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Postby jhurd8025 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:23 pm

I must say I need to read up more on wget.


The addition of wget would be amazing for me. In our envrioment smb is really hard to use at times.

I know this has been done. They do this over at the clonezilla project using ntfsclone. Gotta read how they store it.

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Natan
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Postby Natan » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:51 pm

Yep. Easily enough, as ntfsclone supports standard output. I don't know if wget can also, but we always have the possibility to create a pipe device on the ext FS. Partimage-ng does support piping too, so it can be used instead of ntfsclone.

Now, I don't think I'll propose to store remotely using http...


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