Optimizing raw Windows partition backup - Summer Glau






Optimizing raw Windows partition backup

I was going to do some experiments with Windows the other day. I do not use it much so I'm fine with complete reinstall. But after reinstalling it from CD, installing all updates, and tuning some settings I realized that it may be a good idea to look for another way of having a "clean" system set up and running. The obvious solution: use a "dd" command from your favorite *nix to copy raw partition on an external disk and then copy it back when you need it. The only problem: my Windows partition is 150GB and it almost empty (just installed and updated system), so the idea of wasting 150GB of my drive did not excite me. Of course I may try to compress that image but the blocks from unused space will most likely contain some random data (that partition was approx. 30GB before I started my experiments) and the compression may not be very efficient at this point. So the next step is to try to find a utility that will clean up partition by writing some simple pattern into all unused blocks. After a little googling I found an excellent solution: Eraser (http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/).

So I installed it but it needs an administrator account to write to empty blocks. At first I could not find a way to log in as administrator but Google was very helpful as usual: I had to start a command shell and run the following command

Code
net user administrator /active:yes


Important: do not forget to set up a password after you log in as administrator or anyone who have physical access to your computer will be able to log in as administrator without password.

After the administrator account was set up I proceeded with "Eraser" utility... just to find out that all built-in writing methods use random data because this utility was designed for security, not for optimizing data compression. At this point I had to read manual and the solution was found! Click on "Setting" link

Settings panel
scroll that window to the very bottom and right-click on "Default Erasure Methods and PRNGs" to open a settings window:

Erasure method

Then click on "Custom Erasure Method" tab and click "Add Method" button:

Add new method

In a new window type a name for a new method, click the "Add" button to add a pass and in a pass settings select "Text" and in a text field just type a single space:

Settings panel

Close all windows but the last one by clicking the "Ok" button. In the main window scroll back up and click the "Save Settings" button. You may also want to set "Spaces" as default method like you may see it in the first screenshot.

Now go to the "Erase Schedule" and click the small triangle arrow to click a "New Task" menu item:

New Task

In a "Task Properties" window click an "Add Data" button:

Task Properties

and in a "Select Data to Erase" make sure to select a new "Spaces (1 pass)" method and "Unused disk space - Local Disk C:" option:

Select Data to Erase

Now you may run that task. It will take a while and after that you may reboot into your favorite *nix to make backup.

Here is how my hard drive looks like:

Code
# fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xa6a46671

  Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 13 104391 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 14 19595 157292415 7 HPFS/NTFS
...


I do not show remaining partitions as they are not important. Also I've already mounted an external hard drive into "/mnt/backups", so I may execute commands:

Code
# dd if=/dev/sda1 | gzip -1 > /mnt/backups/win7_sda1.gz
...
# dd if=/dev/sda2 | gzip -1 > /mnt/backups/win7_sda2.gz
314584830+0 records in
314584830+0 records out
161067432960 bytes (161 GB) copied, 2886.13 s, 55.8 MB/s

"/dev/sda1" is a small boot partition so I do not care about it. Now let's look what we have:

Code
# ls -lh /mnt/backups/win7_sda2.gz|awk '{print $5}'
9.8G


So the ~150GB partition was packed into a less than 10GB file. Looks good to me smile

Now let's make sure it works:

Code
# zcat /mnt/backups/win7_sda1.gz |dd of=/dev/sda1 bs=512k
...
# zcat /mnt/backups/win7_sda2.gz |dd of=/dev/sda2 bs=512k
567+4792245 records in
567+4792245 records out
161067432960 bytes (161 GB) copied, 2755.97 s, 58.4 MB/s

So about 45 minutes to restore and Windows started flawlessly after that.

If you look for a similar utility for another OS then "Wipe Free Space" (http://wipefreespace.sourceforge.net/) is probably what you want (but I have not tried it).




Views: 645 | Added by: Charley_Dixon | Date: 11-07-23
Total comments: 0



 
Only registered users can add comments.
[ Registration | Login]


SEARCH

LAYOUT
Bright theme
Dark theme
Mobile theme
PAGES MENU

Open folder Summer Glau Open folder Career Open folder Fanfiction
Upcoming TV/Movies

Sequestered
October 14th on Crackle

Inside the Box
film festivals, VOD and DVD

Peter Panzerfaust Motion Comic
Upcoming Events

LOGIN

Old login form

ARCHIVE

«  July 2011  »
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31

APPS

Google play

OUR POLL

If Summer is casted in an upcoming Avengers movie which character should she play?

Total of answers: 660

STATISTICS


Total online: 1
Guests: 1
Users: 0


NEW FORUM POSTS

Summer Glau at London Film Comic Con
chrisdvanne

The Photo gallery
chrisdvanne

Bug report thread
Fermi

Summer Glau in Crackle's thriller 'Sequestered'
chrisdvanne

Photos of celebrities from the Glau-verse
chrisdvanne

The OFFICIAL Summer Glau Appreciation Page!
KevinInEngland

Just a funny link
chrisdvanne

The official funny thread
chrisdvanne

Herzlich Willkommen, deutsche Besucher!
chrisdvanne

Cameron Phillips in TSCC - Action Figures
chrisdvanne


RECENT NEWS

New Photo from the John Sciulli Photoshoot
by chrisdvanne


New Candid Picture
by chrisdvanne


Summer on the Cover of Hungarian Magazine Képes TV műsor
by chrisdvanne


Sequestered 1.06 'All In' - Captures and Clips
by chrisdvanne


Sequestered 1.05 'What's In The Box' - Captures and Clips
by chrisdvanne


New Sequestered Promotional Images
by chrisdvanne


Sequestered 1.04 '1 More' - Captures and Clips
by chrisdvanne


Sequestered 1.03 'Proof of Life' - Captures and Video Clips
by chrisdvanne


Sequestered 1.02 'Folding Laundry' - Captures and Clips
by chrisdvanne


Sequestered: Video Interview with Summer
by chrisdvanne


NEW BLOG ENTRIES

Summer Greets her Fans at the 2008 GQ Men of the Year Party - Gallery Update
by chrisdvanne


Serenity Review in Entertainment Weekly #855 - HQ Scans
by chrisdvanne


TSCC in TV Guide July 2008 Sci-Fi Preview
by chrisdvanne


Starlog Magazine Scans
by chrisdvanne


New Images from the Serenity Premiere at the 59th Edinburgh International Film Festival
by chrisdvanne


TSCC Blu-ray Extra Season 1 - Creating The Chronicles: Reboot
by chrisdvanne


Crackle Thriller Sequestered Is A Game Changer
by chrisdvanne


Syfy UK To Air Firefly and Serenity
by chrisdvanne


Candid Photo of Summer Posing With Autograph Hunter
by chrisdvanne


Awesome Photos of Summer Nerding Out at LFCC
by chrisdvanne


NEW COMMENTS

MattM made a comment on: Video of Summer Panel at Fantasy Con 2014


chrisdvanne made a comment on: Video of Summer Panel at Fantasy Con 2014


chrisdvanne made a comment on: New Candid Picture


Chris7 made a comment on: Summer on the Cover of Hungarian Magazine Képes TV műsor


Chris7 made a comment on: New Candid Picture


Talon made a comment on: New Candid Picture


chrisdvanne made a comment on: New Candid Picture


chrisdvanne made a comment on: Summer on the Cover of Hungarian Magazine Képes TV műsor


Chris7 made a comment on: Summer on the Cover of Hungarian Magazine Képes TV műsor


chrisdvanne made a comment on: Summer on the Cover of Hungarian Magazine Képes TV műsor


NEW VIDEOS

00:16:45





Sign up
Go to top