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Message started by wmbrae on Jan 27th, 2006 at 7:43pm

Title: My ghostless win98 backup story
Post by wmbrae on Jan 27th, 2006 at 7:43pm
I got a  PII laptop, with Win98se, 6.4 GB, 2.4 Gb in 16,482 files and 2,571 sub-directories.
I wanted to use freeware to back it up to CDís so it could be restored.
This is as far as I got.  It kinda works but I need help .

Computer is booted from floppy Dos, so none of the system files on the C:\ drive are active.
Dos has limitations
  Doesnít handle  longfile names
  Maximum file size
2 GB
  Max number of files
16,000 files.
  Maximum directory path length 80 characters

Here is what what I used.
  Doslfn       http://www.geocities.com/jadoxa/doslfn/index.html
  cwsdpmi   http://clio.rice.edu/cwsdpmi/
  info-zip     http://www.info-zip.org/pub/infozip/Zip.html
  info-unzip http://www.info-zip.org/pub/infozip/UnZip.html


Create a Dos floppy system diskette from Windows. Load up the Dos freeware.
A separate partition that has free space, at least 2/3 the size of all the files to be backed up
I made a partition with Partition Magic 3. (not freeware but freeware alternatives are easy to find.)
doslfnbk c:\ /f d:\lfn
    to condense the filenames to 8.3 format, creates a dictionary
    file lfn.lfn.
cwsdpmi   (something that makes info-zip happy).
zip Ėr ĖS D:\backup  C:\*.*  
   to create a zip file on D: of all files on the C: drive.
   (options are case sensitive, make sure to use upper case S)
split d:\backup.zip d:\backup f  3
   to split the zip back-up file to 3 fragments

I used a Win program, Nero Express, to write the file fragments to CDís and lfn.lfn

Mission accomplished, the system and files on the C: drive are now backupíed on 3 CDís.

To test the restore I used a completely different computer.
It had a system formated hardrive with 2 partitions and CD reader.
I used a Dos floppy diskette with a generic CD rom driver.
split /u D:/backup.zip C:\
   to merge each CD containing a fragment of the zip file, to
   reconstruct the backup zip file on the D: drive.
copy E:\lfn.lfn D:\          to copy the lfn dictionary on CD down to
   the D: drive
unzip ĖdC:\ d:\backup   to expand the zip files back to their
   original form
   Use the reply All to the override, so the IO.sys and MSDos.sys
   files get replaced by the Win98 versions
doslfnbk C:\ /r  /f d:\lfn  to expand the 8.3 file names back to long
   file names
Reboot the restored computer and Windows starts.  
Because it is on a completely different computer, Win will install new motherboard and other hardware drivers, so make sure the C:\windows\options\cabs subdirectory has all the files from the Win98 install CD.
After a few install re-boots you are home.
The laptop hard drive was very slow, so it took 3.5 hours to zip, 2.5 hours to split.  

If I had it to do over again I would use a second computer with Win98 installed. This would mean removing the the hard drive out of the laptop and attaching it as a secondary drive to the system using a conversion harness which handles 2.5 in drives.
Then use Dos from within Windows of the second computer to run the Info-zip/unzip for Win32.
Dos within Windows, handles longfile names and directory pathnames longer than 80 charcters.  
This would eliminate the doslnbk steps.
Restoring the hard drive would be also be based on a second computer.
This theory sounds easy but making it work may have surprises, every step in the Dos method above had unexpected difficulties.


Differences between Fat16 and Fat32 are a big deal.
I first read this.
This method works for Fat16 but Lharc, pkzip 2.04 and many other archivers could not handle 16,482 files.  They build a table in memory (ram) of all files to be compressed and simply
run out of memory (memory limit exceeded).  I tried several zip programs and stopped with Info-Zip and Info-Unzip because they were the first to work.  Other unzip programs would abort because of the Macromedia directory paths exceeding 80 characters, info-unzip displayed an error message and continued on.  Macromedia must have a bunch of junior programmers
working for them because they have created subdirectory trees with paths well over 80 characters.  So some elements of Flash player cannot be restored

Longfile names are a problem.
I used doslfnbk because it worked, it could handle 16,482 files.  I tried a tsr program called doslfn but was not sure it worked, I just couldnít understand the translated instructions.

System files must be included and attributes must be restored.  Info-zip/unzip handled this well.
The system you are trying to backup must not be active, because it does not allow active files to be copied.  That is why I used Dos.
I had to use a different partition because I was unable to write the back-up file into the same partition I was trying to back-up

I think Xxcopy should work.
You need at least the same amount of disk space as used by files on your computer.  They provided some background to the problems of backup.  I agree with their philosophy not to copy the MBR (Master Boot Record).

I spent 2 days trying to get Nero disk image (6.0) to work.  I think it is a very poor product.  It created a file in my administrator profile subdirectory for every file on the computer, that means 16,482 extra files!  When I tried to restore, it had problems with one file and stopped the whole process. The help file is in a separate Acrobat file which must be downloaded then navigated with Acrobat reader and then I never found what I was looking for.  

I liked the functions offered in MOB, my own backup.  
I had two problems, the compression coding was not optiomized so it runs s l  o  w and it complained about critical empty directory folders which I didnít know how to handle.

More suggestions and any comments are welcome.

Title: Re: My ghostless win98 backup story
Post by NightOwl on Jan 28th, 2006 at 12:18pm

Interesting read--looks like you've spent a lot of time with trial and error troubleshooting.  

Other than seeing if you could do a *ghostless win98 backup* using mostly non-retail software--is there a reason for this effort in this manner?

This is as far as I got.  It kinda works but I need help .

I doubt that too many folks will have experience with the software and issues you have encountered.

Title: Re: My ghostless win98 backup story
Post by wmbrae on Jan 28th, 2006 at 2:24pm
I think you can feel my pain.
This is the best site I came across that is serious aboout  back-ups.
When I started all I wanted was a simple backup method.
I had heard about disk clone, disk image and ghost.  
There is no discussion of which to use.  I always thought that there would be system files and things that would make backups very complicated.
I truly thought you could load a program and it would create CD roms to back up your drive.  I am disappointed that I need so much free drive space to make a back-up.
I am dealing with very small drive sizes.  When I hear of drives of 60gb or bigger my method would not be feasible at all.

BTW, I know my method is not a diskimage, is it a clone or what is it?

Title: Re: My ghostless win98 backup story
Post by NightOwl on Jan 28th, 2006 at 4:45pm

I would call it a *restored backup* that's almost a *clone*  ;) !

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