Newbie contribution - restore OS wo/installing from scratch

By cjew
Jun 12, 2005
  1. Hi ALL,

    I wish to share my experience how to restore the OS if you're unable to recover from a virus , spyware, or malware.attack. Or you still have resudues after using one of those cleanup software. Sometimes the best way is to reinstall your OS from scratch. But can be a tidious task to get your system tweek just right the way you want it the first time. I had the unfortunate mishap falling victim to the ceres and/or aurora pop-up and elite toolbar and among other things. Couldn't get rid of it. Stop the process in task manager and it still reinitiate itself. slow down my pc and wasted all cpu resources. No choice but to reinstall everything. sigh :confused: This is my way to cut that time if I had to do this again. After you've install all the basic software in, call this the baseline, you want to create a backup copy of this partition to be used in the future should you want to restore it. Thus, you won't have to sit in front of your pc reinstalling your OS from scratch. The strategy is like this.

    Prepare for backup:
    defrag your hard drive, purge all existing cookies, and anything else you feel need to have your pc in a state of readiness for the backup.

    I've used v-com partition commander ver 8.0 (PC8), I'm not endorsing this but is what I'd purchased at the time and was the most easy to use and intuitive interface I've seen compared to Norton Ghost 2004. The software can be installed in windows or can be bootable stand alone. I prefer not to install in windows cause I don't plan on doing this often and having it taking up the space on the hard drive. I go to the system bios on boot-up and set to boot from CDROM. Re Boot pc with CDROM in and PC8 will come up. I choose 'manual partition'. On the graphical representation of the hard drive, I elect to resize drive c: ( if this is the only drive on the pc) to allow enough space at the end to hold a duplicate of the OS on the primary partition. When this done you'll see that 'free space' i(in white) is created on the volume. Then I elect 'copy' to copy ths partition to the free space I've created in the prior step. After copying is done this will become my backup. Now I don't won't this to appear in windows, so I make this partition ( the copy) 'hidden' (under advance tab, see manual). And that's it. When you reboot ( with the PC8 CDROM removed) to windows, you can check the capacity of drive c: and see that it has shrink ( max cap of drive less the free space created which is the duplicate of your OS).

    Now the unthinkable:
    To restore the OS to this duplicate backup. First you must have pratice a strict organization habit to not to have your personal working files or anything you've created or want to keep all over the place on your drive c: because if you have to reinstall or in this case restore the OS to a backup point your files didn't existed then so MAKE SURE YOU BACK OFF ALL FILES you want to keep before exercising the restore.

    So you are ready to restore. Ok, pop that PC8 CD in and boot from that. Pick manual partition. Select the root partition ( the first most partition containing the active OS) and delete that. Now select the partition where you've created before during the initial backup (the one whose status was set to hidden before). Copy this to the root partition resided before and is now noted as free space because you've just deleted it. On the copy dialog panel there will be three choices you will need to address before starting the process. For NTFS OS like XP, besure to UNCHECK all except for the one that says to 'Auto expand/shrink to fit target' only check this one. Then click next. The operation will start. When finished you'll need to select the root partition that you've just recopied and make that 'not hidden' and 'active ( under the advance tab see manula).

    Now reboot the system, expect to get a system error message warning about checking the integrity of the hard drive. Select ok and scandisk will be performed. Then windows welcome screen will be up and all is back to normal. As a precaution, once you on your desktop shutdown the pc and restart again just so that windows synchronizes itself.

    That's it. Your pc will be restored.

    I know this is very involving. I don';t recommend this for the faint at heart, but if you're the kind of person who is not afraid to take things apart and are curious how and why things work together then this is for you.
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Sounds okay, I've never used v-com before. How much did it cost? And also, does it give you the option to put your "restore" on CDs instead of a partition?
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    In Drive Image (which can also be run from 2 floppies) you click 'select partition', click 'destiny where to save' and click 'perform action now'. All backed up.

    To restore, click 'select backup file', click 'destiny where to restore' and click 'perform action now'. All restored.

    That PC8 program sounds awfully complicated.
  4. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

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