Bootable Recovery Partition

Discussion in 'Windows XP / Older OS' started by endlesslyonline, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    I wanted to post this in the MDL Projects page, but for some reason i dont have rights to post there ...

    OK, here goes, My job entails looking after computer labs, these computers are being used by kids, which mess things up, alot. I then started making backup images to a external HDD and as soon as a virus hits, or some dude decides to mess around somewhere, i would just deploy the image, and set the PC back to its normal/earlier state.

    I have been wondering/trying to see if it is possible to set up a recovery partition, similiar to those "Press f5 to do a system recover" and just through an image on the hard drive in a seperate partition so, when all goes wrong, i can easily just recover windows to from the recovery image on the other partition.

    I have tried to read up on this, but cant seem to get anywhere, has anyone successfully done this before, that would give me some guidance?

    Thanks in advance.

    Just a few extra points,

    1. Most of the labs are having 25 PC's with XP (will be going over to 7, but not anytime soon probably) and a Server 2003/2008 PC.

    2. If it is possible to do this with free/open source software, that would be great, because the company that i work for is not very inclined to give money away for software.
     
  2. 911medic

    911medic MDL Guru

    Aug 13, 2008
    5,778
    488
    180
    #2 911medic, Sep 1, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
    ACRONIS. Complete with recovery solution to F11. Deep freeze may also be useful to you..

    Free would maybe be Macrium reflect.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    We are in the process of getting deep freeze, but the problem is just on some of the older PC's it makes them very slow, but that is a topic for another day.

    I have played around with acronis, but as far as i know it has a heavy price tag on it, considering the amount of PC's we need to load them on.

    I am actually using Macrium at the moment, but
    1) seems it is actually only free for private/home use and
    2) as far as i can see, it does not have the option to work with a bootable recovery partion.

    Thanks for the reply, hoping others will give some more guidance.
     
  4. sushil1576

    sushil1576 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    336
    154
    10
    #4 sushil1576, Sep 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  5. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    #5 endlesslyonline, Sep 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
  6. Tr3bg0D

    Tr3bg0D MDL Junior Member

    May 8, 2011
    92
    3
    0
    You can also create a GHOST image of the partitions and keep them on the RECOVERY PARTITIONS. When you need to rebuild the system, just boot into grub menu and have GHOST as one of your options to restore your partition. I always keep my RECOVERY partition hidden so no one can play with it. GRUB can be install/uninstalled very easily with BOOTICE. So if you were afraid of someone altering or getting into your GRUB menu, just use BOOTICE to restore the NT5/NT6 boot loader. When ever you have to do a repair, have BOOTICE on a thumbdrive, excute it, install GRUB boot loader and reboot into your grub menu.
     
  7. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    #7 endlesslyonline, Sep 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
  8. 2percent

    2percent MDL Member

    Sep 17, 2010
    105
    55
    10
    It is currently set without a password. When it asks for a password just hit enter. Change the line in the title Restore Menu section "password" to "password (your password)"
    You also may have to change the line "map /windowspe.iso (0xff) || map --mem /windowspe.iso (0xff)" to read
    "map --mem /windowspe.iso (0xff)"
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    ok, will test, but i thought that it would look at the password specified at the begining of the file

    edit - password function working now, thx

    but still cant get the partitions to hide?
     
  10. 2percent

    2percent MDL Member

    Sep 17, 2010
    105
    55
    10
    It is set to hide or show the second primary partition on the first drive. Are both partitions set as primary partitions? How are they partitioned?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. sushil1576

    sushil1576 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    336
    154
    10
    #13 sushil1576, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017

    hi,nice to know that you got the password part sorted out,just forgot to add the password in menu.lst,but i have edited the menu.lst now...

    The recovery partition will hide if you have only one disk and your disk is partitioned in two partition...If you have a different configuration you will have to edit menu.lst,..how you have partitioned your disk?... and do you have only one disk?..

    Another way of using password to protect your restore menu is as follow...

    Code:
    color black/cyan yellow/cyan
    password 123456
    timeout = 30
    default 0
    
    title Windows XP Professional
    hide (hd0,1)
    find --set-root /ntldr
    chainloader /ntldr
    
    title Windows 7
    hide (hd0,1)
    find --set-root /bootmgr
    chainloader /bootmgr
    
    title Restore Menu
    lock
    unhide (hd0,1)
    find --set-root /windowspe.iso
    map /windowspe.iso (0xff) || map --mem /windowspe.iso (0xff)
    map --hook
    chainloader (0xff)
    Now, if you try to boot into "Restore menu" you are denied "Error 32: Must be authenticated" which you solve by authenticating (pressing 'p' and typing in your password). You can add the "lock" command to any boot sequence, just remember that it stops executing when it reaches the "lock" command, so if you put it at the end, it's still bootable without authentication.
     
  12. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    OK, only part im still struggling with is the hide part, here is some background :

    One hard drive, 2 partitions, both of them primary, the grblr and the menu,lst is on the second partition, i must also add that i am busy test this in a virtual machine (Sun's VirtualBox), and not on a "real" machine, can it be that because its a VM, that the hd(0,1) can be different?

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  13. sushil1576

    sushil1576 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    336
    154
    10
    Virtual machine doesn't make any difference to the way grub4dos work...Well the partition will be hidden only if you log on to your system partition,..But you will be able to see the Recovery partition when you boot into Restore menu..
     
  14. endlesslyonline

    endlesslyonline MDL Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    63
    5
    0
    #16 endlesslyonline, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
    (OP)
    k, got the hidden partition sorted, not sure whats different, but on the 2nd example of the menu.lst it works.

    Now, purely for fun, i have tried
    splashimage=hdd(0,1)/splash.xpm.gz
    splashimage=/splash.xpm.gz

    i downloaded the splash, as i dont have gimp on my pc, but if i add the splash, it gives a black screen with a running cursor, things are still going behind the black screen, coz after the timeout it boots and i can also down arrow and enter to go into other selection's
     
  15. sushil1576

    sushil1576 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    336
    154
    10
    #17 sushil1576, Sep 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Use this code...
    Code:
    splashimage=(hd0,1)/splash.xpm.gz
     
  16. pwi_rk14

    pwi_rk14 MDL Novice

    Dec 13, 2011
    1
    0
    0
    Will the option to boot into Windows PE still be available in the event that C: is completely obliterated?

    Also, how would menu.lst look like with 4 partitions, 3 primary and 1 for hidden?
     
  17. Brien1

    Brien1 MDL Novice

    Jan 9, 2008
    1
    0
    0
    I have a question. I am currently in the process of teaching myself this procedure also. I was wondering about the mapping section. Can I map the ISO to key F-11 and start the recovery process using this keystroke at the boot up of the machine like the MFG's do?